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Sea Cadet Project

Over the past seven years Oldham District Freemasons have been involved in many projects within the community.  This year’s project was Oldham Sea Cadets where young boys and girls are taught seamanship, mechanical and electrical engineering plus computer skills to a very high standard.

The Sea Cadets Commander, Philip Maycock, has converted what was a medical centre into a wonderful Sea Cadets training centre with rooms dedicated to running static engines with bilge pumps attached, computer rooms, officers’ rooms etc.

Many of the training courses involve hands on approach, especially on the engine strip down and rebuild, which as we all know can be very dirty but the centre did not have showers for the students.

WBro Eddie Baines

WBro Eddie Baines after visiting the centre submitted a plan to improve the facilities to the Chairman WBro David Dunn, and after several discussions the finished plan was submitted to ELMC.

The project received the go ahead and the work commenced on the 9th April and was completed on 12th May.

The finished plan consisted of constructing a shower room containing three cubicles with an electric shower in each cubicle and the whole room was finished in white tiles.

The corridor leading to the shower room which had bare plasterboard was wallpapered and emulsioned and all woodwork was given several coats of paint bringing all the facilities upto a very high standard.


Shower cubicles completed

WBro Baines District Project Manager wishes to thank the following brethren for their support with the project, David Dunn District Chairman, Steven Graham Charity Steward, Stuart Booth, David Clayton, Peter Hawksworth, Les Taylor (District Deputy Chairman), John LeBrun, James Beecroft, and Mr Philip Maycock the Commander for his part in the work.

 


 

Installation of WBro Michael Gibbons as APGM

On Thursday 2nd May 2015, at a special meeting of Napthali Lodge No 266 in the Rochdale Masonic Buildings, Rochdale, the assembled brethren witnessed WBro Michael D Gibbons, JP,  PProvJGW, installed as the APGM for the Eastern Area of The Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire

WBro Christopher J Welton, PJGD, who was the APGM for the Eastern Area has now become APGM for the Manchester Area.

The Lodge was opened in due form, the minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed and reports received from the Lodge Almoner and the Lodge 2015 Festival Representative.

There was a report at the door of the Lodge and the ProvGDC, WBro John Griffin, was admitted and announced that the PGM, RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD,JP,DL, accompanied by a Provincial Delegation demanded admission. The PGM and the Provincial Delegation were admitted.

The Provincial Delegation

The WM, Bro Godfrey Lawrence, offered the gavel to the PGM and on this occasion he accepted.

The PGM addressed the brethren before introducing the members of the deputation.

The PGM than presented a PAPGM's Collarette to VWBro Stephen M Blank, PGSwdB.

The PGM then proceeded to invest WBro Michael D Gibbons, JP, PProvJGW, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire.

After the collection for good causes, the PGM and the Delegation retired from the Lodge.

Retiring APGM VWBro Stephen M Blank and the PGM  RWBro Sir David Trippier 

APGM WBro Christopher J Welton and the PGM RWBro Sir David Trippier
     Congratulate the new APGM WBro Michael D Gibbons

L to R - WBro John Griffin ProvGDC, WBro David Dunn PAGDC, Oldham District Chairman.
  RWBro Sir David Trippier RD,JP,DL Provincial Grand Master, WBro Michael Gibbons JP,APGM Eastern Area,
   WBro Peter Hewitt PAGDC, Rochdale District Chairman, WBro Leonard Hayes PAGDC, APGP Eastern Area.

L to R - WBro David Dunn, PAGDC, Oldham District Chairman. RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL Provincial Grand Master,
WBro Michael Gibbons, JP, PProvJGW, APGM Eastern Area and
  WBro Peter Hewitt, PAGDC, Rochdale District Chairman

At the Festive Board a total of 128 brethren dined, the room looked resplendent, and the chatter of the brethren was incredibly noisy.

The PGM’s reply to his toast was witty and humorous but above all very serious. He commended the brethren of Naphtali Lodge and especially the secretary WBro Trevor Jewitt for the exceptional amount of organisation that had gone to making this Investiture such a success, he continued with the humour for which he is renowned before concluding for which he received a lengthy ovation.

The reply to toast number 5, to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Assistants, was given by the newly installed APGM, WBro Michael David Gibbons, JP, PProvJGW, who stated that he would serve the Oldham and Rochdale Districts to the best of his ability for which he also received a lengthy ovation.

A truly wonderful night of Masonic brotherhood that will be remembered with fond memories by all who were present, ending as always with the Tylers toast.


Neville Rayner 50th Birthday

APGM WBro John Christopher Welton PJGD, WBro Neville Rayner
accompanied by a Provincial Deputation and members of Langley lodge

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.


District Chairman WBro David Dunn Presents a Gift to WBro Welton PJGD

 


 

Bro Doug Chappell Celebrates 50yrs in Freemasonry

 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.

Doug retired some 22yrs ago, but in his own words thought he wouldn’t live to see the age of 86!

After the meeting was opened and normal lodge business was 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.

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 listed some interesting facts from the year Doug was born i.e. – that the reigning monarch was George the V, Mr Stanley Baldwin was the Prime Minister, John Logie Baird demonstrated the first colour TV transmission, Emilia Earhart became the first woman to fly the Atlantic, baked beans were first manufactured in Britain and Harry Ramsden opened his first chip shop.

Doug was also reminded that he shared his birthday with personalities such as Shirley Temple, Frankie Vaughan and Bob Monkhouse.

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.

WBro Robert Stanworth PProvSGW went on to describe his friend as an avid collector collecting everything and everything, from books, cds, tapes and general things that caught his eye at this point WBo Robert Stanworth PProvSGW pulled a laminated piece of paper on which was an Irish poem. He then recited this to the lodge members and then gave it as a keep sake to Doug for his collection, jokingly asking if he had already got it.

WBro Welton thanked WBro Robert Stanworth for his tribute and went on to say Bro Chappell has been “a constant and profound supporter of Life, Freemasonry,  his Lodge and Chapter, 50years in Freemasonry is a fabulous milestone to achieve and we are here partly to commemorate that milestone, but what we are actually celebrating is much, much more than that. 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 and it is our turn tonight to make him feel special and to let him know how much he is valued and to celebrate 50yrs of membership to this special Order and to celebrate the life of this man.”

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.

WBro Welton, together with Bro Chappell and the Provincial Deputation, then withdrew from the lodge in Masonic order.

The Worshipful Master Roger Leach closed the lodge and everyone retired to the social board where during the proceedings WBro Howard Nuttall PProvSGW gave tribute to Doug reliving the past years and interests that they had shared and although they had been members of separate lodges WBro Howard Nuttall being a member of Solidarity and Doug a member of Albert lodge they had become P.I.G.S and have attended each other’s lodges as often as was possible.

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 Dr Herbert McRoberts 50th Birthday

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.

The Worshipful Master received a report that WBro David Cowen ProvDepGDC was outside the door of the Lodge. On entering he announced 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 Derek Andrews WBro David Cowen asked the Brethren to stand and give salutation to the APGM.

The Worshipful Master 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 saying, Brethren we are here tonight to celebrate a most important birthday, the 50 years in Freemasonry of WBro. Herbert McRobert, known to us all as Mac. Mac was initiated into Alkrington Lodge No. 6102, on 16th November 1964 and then joined Horton Lodge on 1st November 2011 WBro Herbert McRobert was born on 13th August 1940 and that year King George VI was the reigning monarch and Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. We were in the depths of the Second World War. It was a year of Nazi atrocities and Russian annexation of other countries. That year saw the creation of the Commandos, now 50 years on, they are famous throughout the world. Away from the war many well-known pop stars were born in 1940 including John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Adam Faith, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones and Freddie Garrity.

Mac was initiated into Alkrington Lodge on 16th November 1964 and that year proved to be quite a momentous year, not just because Mac joined Freemasonry but in that year Harold Wilson became P.M. and then went on to win an election later that year. The trial of the Great Train Robbers started and during that year 2 children went missing in the Manchester area Keith Bennett and Lesley Ann Downey.

The Forth Bridge opened and we did pretty well at the Tokyo Olympics with 4 gold 12 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Whilst all this was going on Mac was quietly going about his Freemasonry and doing sterling service in his Lodge.

At this point in the proceedings WBro Welton called upon WBro Colin Heywood to deliver a tribute to Mac. Colin began by saying, Mac was born in Birmingham but moved to the Werneth area at a very early age and spent his youth in and around the Chadderton area and finished his school years in Chadderton Grammar where he also met his wife Pat. Mac and Pat continued their education by going to separate universities with Pat obtaining a degree in mathematics.

Mac and Pat were married in 1963 and with the support of his wife Mac continued his university studies gaining a Doctorate in Physics.

He was initiated into Alkrington Lodge on the 16th November 1964, passed 18th January 1965 & raised 25th April 1965.  All three ceremonies were performed by the late WBro Albert Tattersall. Throughout the 60’s & 70’s Freemasonry was thriving throughout the district which resulted in his early years spent on the stewards list but eventually becoming the Worshipful Master in 1977 but the highlight of Mac’s year was his ladies evening at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel where 230 people attended at a cost £6-50pp.

In 1976 Mac joined the Royal Arch, was exalted into Imperial George Chapter and became First Principal in 1986.   He has attended the Lodge for the past 33 years.

In 1993 Mac was approached and asked if he would be interested in becoming a member of the District Committee as the Deputy Chairman and held this position until 1998 then he held the position of District Chairman until 2004.

On the 29th April 1998 Mac gained promotion to Grand Rank becoming a Grand Officer with the rank of PAGDC. Although Mac was a dedicated member of Alkrington Lodge the membership declined and eventually the Lodge handed in its warrant but Mac continued his freemasonry by becoming a member of Horton Lodge.

WBro Welton thanked WBro Colin Heywood for his tribute and went on to say WBro McRobert has been a constant and profound supporter of Life, Freemasonry, his Lodges and Chapters.  50years in Freemasonry is a fabulous milestone to achieve and we are here partly to commemorate that milestone, but what we are actually celebrating is much, much more than that.

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 various offices he has occupied, the contribution he has made to meetings, committees and social events, the principles of integrity, honesty, kindness and support he has upheld, 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”.

WBro Welton then read a letter from the RWProvGM Sir David Trippier and presented WBro McRoberts with his Illuminated Certificate. The Deputy ProvGDC, David Cowen then escorted Mac around the Lodge to the affirmation of the brethren.

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.

The Worshipful Master Derek Andrews closed the lodge in due form and everyone retired to what was a most enjoyable social board.

WBro Ed Cheadle APGP, WBro David Cowen DepProvGDC, WBro Herbert McRoberts
Thanking the brethren at the social board
.

 


 

Russia Salutes Alfred Shaw

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”. 

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Sue Cooley, summed up the event by saying “it had been a privilege to see the medal awarded”.

 

 

 

 


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