Oldham District Latest News
APGM WBro John Christopher Welton PJGD, WBro Neville Rayner
Langley Lodge No 3989 held a 50th Birthday for WBro Neville Rayner on Thursday 5th March at Middleton Masonic Hall. Neville was initiated into Langley Lodge on 4th March 1965 and then was Exalted in the Chapter of Unanimity No 42 on 29th September 1981. Many Brethren attended the lodge to celebrate Neville’s Birthday. After the meeting was opened by the Worshipful Master Bro Andrew Royle and lodge business discussed the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro David Cowen, entered the lodge to inform the brethren that the APGM WBro John Christopher Welton PJGD, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation, were outside the door of the lodge and demanded admission. A Delegation of the Provincial officers and District Officers, headed by the APGM were received by the Worshipful Master. WBro David Cowen asked the Brethren to stand and give salutation to the APGM. The Worshipful Master Bro Andrew Royle offered the gavel to WBro Welton, who said he was pleased to receive the gavel, accepted it and occupied the chair of King Solomon after which he introduced the delegation who accompanied him.
WBro Welton then passed on a message to WBro Rayner from RWBro Sir David Trippier PGM and V. W. Bro. Derek Nelson Thornhill, Dep. PGM both of whom sent their best wishes to everyone and personal congratulations to Neville.
WBro Welton asked that the birthday boy be placed on a chair in the centre of the lodge and that the Lodge minutes be read from the night of Neville ‘s Initiation. WBro Carter read the minutes of the 4th March 1965, he also added that he was passed on the 1st April and raised on the 4th December of the same year.
WBro Welton then listed some interesting facts from the year Neville was born i.e. that the reigning monarch was King George V, Ramsey McDonald was head of a Coalition Government, the speed limit was reduced to 30mph in built up areas, the driving test became compulsory, Sir Malcolm McDonald broke the land speed record and became the first driver to exceed 300mph. In sport Fred Perry won the Wimbledon championship and (one for you Neville) in cricket on 14th May that year Northants gained their last victory for 99 matches, they next won 4 years later on 29th May 1939.
1965 also proved to be quite a very momentous year, not just because Neville joined Freemasonry but in that year Sir Winston Churchill died, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, the average price of a house was £3660 and a 70mph speed limit was introduced. Mary Quant introduced the mini skirt and Manchester United won the league and Liverpool the FA Cup.
The night was further enlightened about Neville as a younger man by his friend WBro Terry Carter recalling that Neville was born on December 9th 1935, and lived in Milnrow, Rochdale with his parents and two older sisters. He attended St James Milnrow Church of England School from the age of 4 until 11, then went onto Chadderton Grammar School aged 11 until 16, As a teenager he was a member of the Church Choir and a campanologist and when he was available he would help out the Sexton to dig graves.
Neville met Valerie his wife when he was only 15 years old and she was 14 years old, whilst both attending Chadderton Grammar School. Neville played Cricket at school for Milnrow in the Central Lancashire League and progressed through the ranks to be appointed Captain in 1960 and held that position until he reluctantly retired.
When Neville left School he started an Engineering Apprenticeship at Ames Crosta Mills, Heywood, which incorporated night school classes, until he was 21 years old and his National Service Duties were deferred until his apprenticeship was completed.
From May 1957 to December 1957 Neville completed R.A.F training at West Kirby, Yatesbury, and was then stationed in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, attached to the Psychological Warfare Section flying in Dakotas.
Cricket continued to play an important role in his life, he played for the Squadron, then the Station, and finally the combined services as well as the Selangor state. In his opinion, this was the easiest and happiest 18 months of his life.
Meanwhile, Valerie left school at 18 and spent 2 years at Teacher Training College, She had been working for one year when Neville went into the RAF, and when he returned in 1959, they became engaged and married in 1960 when he was 24 and Valerie was 23 years old.
Neville and Valerie have two Daughters, Alison and Clare, although he did not complain, it was obvious that he was hoping for a SON, (who would be expected to play Cricket)
WBro Welton thanked Terry for his tribute and went on to say “sitting before us is a special man. We are here to applaud this Man and all that he has achieved and contributed to in Freemasonry. Brethren, it is men like this who have been the custodians of Masonry during its long history and that have enabled the Fraternity to still exist as vibrantly as it does today. The service he has given, the contribution he has made to meetings and social events the knowledge and experience he has shared with the Brethren and the care he has given to other Masons, both new and the more experienced has been strong, deep and has probably touched their lives in many ways.
Above all this, we sometimes forget what Freemasonry is really about. Yes, it is about meeting together with like-minded people, comradeship, dinner and social activity amongst friends and families, well managed fund raising, charity towards those less fortunate than us. Then there is our proud history and so on. But in Lodges like this, all of us here have learned to be Brothers and each day we try to learn and put into action that which was started on the day of our Initiation. We learn a moral and ethical approach to life. We embrace virtues and behaviours which are essential in any society and for any individual. We learn values based on integrity, honesty, kindness and fairness which, if we adopt, have the capacity to make us a better, husband, father, colleague and friend. Thus we develop better relationships with others, the world at large, and we understand ourselves better. We learn to encourage and support others, we help those with needs, we try to enjoy ourselves, and we try to make other people feel special and valued. Brethren, this man before us, Bro Neville Rayner has been doing all of this for over 50 years, and it is our turn tonight to make him feel special, and to let him know how much he is valued. Tonight we are together with Neville, his brethren and friends to celebrate his accomplishments, to celebrate 50 years of membership of this special Order and to celebrate the life of this man.
At this point WBro Welton proudly read a letter from the RWBro Sir David Trippier ProvGM and presented WBro Neville Rayner with his Illuminated Certificate. David Cowen the ProvDepGDC then escorted Neville around the Lodge to loud applause from all the brethren. WBro Welton, together with WBro Neville Rayner and the Provincial Deputation, then withdrew from the lodge in Masonic order.
The Worshipful Master Bro Andrew Royle closed the lodge and all the brethren retired to the social board.
WBro Neville Rayner Gives a speech
The RWBro Sir David Trippier PGM has asked WBro Chris Welton to preside over the Manchester Area from the 2nd April of this year and at the Social Board the District Chairman WBro David Dunn took the opportunity to present WBro Welton PJGD with a gift for all the hard work he has done for the Oldham District and Eastern Area since he was invested in May 2013.
APGM WBro John Christopher Welton PJGD, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation /Brethren of albert Lodge and Guests.
Albert Lodge No 854 held a 50th Celebration for Bro George Douglas Chappell (fondly known by all his friends as Doug) who since his Initiation has travelled all over the world setting up and inspecting the machinery that was required and used within the cotton industry.
WBro David Cowen asked the Brethren to stand and give salutation to the APGM.
The Worshipful Master Bro Roger Leach offered the gavel to WBro Welton, who said he was pleased to receive the gavel, accepted it and occupied the chair of King Solomon.
WBro Welton began by congratulating Doug for his time and devotion to the Craft and Chapter being initiated in 1965 at the age of 37yrs of age, and asked for him to be placed in the centre of the Lodge room.
WBro Welton stated that the year of Doug’s initiation was also a momentous year not just because Doug joined Freemasonry but it was the year of the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, Manchester United won the league, Liverpool won the FA Cup, it was a time of the swinging sixties with bands and artists like Cilla Black, The Beatles and an unlikely number one record from Ken Dodd.
At this point the minutes were read by WBro Ken Garside, the Lodge Secretary, from the night of the year of Doug’s Initiation.
WBo Robert Stanworth PProvSGW and Bro George Douglass Chappell.
The night was further enlightened about Doug as a younger man by WBro Robert Stanworth PProvSGW, recalling the past not 50yrs but 60yrs with fondness and admiration for a friend and a brother, how they became good friends, how they had discovered the arts and been in many plays together, how they played Sunday cricket together.
At this point WBro Welton proudly read a letter from the RWProvGM Sir David Trippier and presented Bro George Douglas Chappell with his Illuminated Certificate. The Deputy ProvGDC, David Cowen then escorted Doug around the Lodge to loud applause from all the brethren.
Worshipful Master Roger Leach presenting Gifts from the brethren to Bro George Douglas Chappell
The social board continued and a very pleasant time was had by all. Doug was presented gifts by the Worshipful Master from the brethren of the lodge to show their appreciation for all the hard work and support Doug has given to the lodge over the years.
WBro Herbert McRoberts, WBro Chris Welton APGM and the brethren of Horton Lodge and Visitors
The Worshipful Master of Horton Lodge, WBro Derek Andrews, opened the Lodge in due form and began the meeting by conducting normal business.
WBro Herbert McRoberts & WBro Chris Welton with illuminated Certificate
WBro Welton, together with WBro McRoberts and the Provincial Deputation, withdrew from the lodge in Masonic order.
WBro Ed Cheadle APGP, WBro David Cowen DepProvGDC, WBro Herbert McRoberts
At the age of 20 Alfred Shaw’s life was very up and down, very traumatic and he could have died at any moment. It was 1944 and Alfred was involved in the bitter Arctic Convoys. A total of 78 convoys took place between August 1941 and May 1945 and thousands of Allied troops lost their lives in the treacherous conditions endured whilst delivering essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend Lease Programme.
After many years, Alfred Shaw, for his gallant work, has received the USHAKOV Medal from the Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko, in a recent ceremony held at Manchester Town Hall.
The Ushakov Medal which was a Soviet Military award created on 3rd March 1944 and was named in honour of the Russian Admiral Fyodor Ushakov who never lost a battle.
WBro Alfred (Alf) Shaw was born on the 29th September 1924. He was initiated into Wilson Lodge 1077 on the 5th March and was the Worshipful Master of Alkrington Lodge in 1977 & 2004. He is currently a member of Horton Lodg
Prior to the presentation the ambassador paid tribute to the crews who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to shorten the war.
on behalf of the Russian Government for the invaluable contribution you and your comrade-in-arms made to the defeat of the Germany.
What you did 70 years ago, taking part in what Sir Winston Churchill rightly called the worst journey in the world, was extraordinary even among what is considered to be beyond the call of duty. Thousands of allied seamen lost their lives as British ships sailed in the unwelcoming, stormy waters of the Arctic Ocean under constant threat of being attacked by German u-boats and aircraft. Your heroism will always be remembered in Russia and Britain. Your deeds will continue to serve as the supreme expression of Bravery and a high point in human spirit”.
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WBro John LeBrun, District Communications Officer for Oldham District.