Rochdale District Latest News
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Forthcoming Visits to Lodges in the Rochdale District
by The APGM, WBro J Christopher Welton
The APGM extends an invitation to
Grand Officers and District Officers to join him at these meetings.
Please see Rochdale District Team Visits
APGM Visits 2015
St Edmund's Church, Fallinge
This church, dubbed Rochdale's Temple to Freemasony, which had been abandoned and left to become derelict for the last three years, will soon be re-opening after the first phase of extensive repairs have been carried out.
It is now in the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust who have raised an appeal for half a million pounds to save the church.
The church features a
blend of Gothic revival
architecture and Masonic
symbolism.The church was built and given to the people of
Rochdale by Albert Hudson
A Message from Rochdale District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt
‘The very successful Rochdale District Flower Festival was formally opened by Lady Ruth Trippier on the 6th June and attracted around 1,000 people throughout the 3 days it was open. The event was supported by every Lodge/Chapter in the Rochdale District and raised a magnificent sum of £9,608.00 for the EL 2015 Festival.’
Teddies as part of Victim Support for Children
Service Delivery Manager, Andrea Lawlor proudly accepts TLC Teddy Bears from freemason David Law.
Court Security guards Danny & Lester kindly help settle the bears into their new home!
David Law a member of Royds Lodge No 816 in Tomorden applied to the ELMC Community Fund which resulted in the supply of 144 Teddy Bears to Victim Support as part of our continued support under the TLC initiative.
On Friday 30th January he visited Minshull Street Court in Manchester to formally present the bears to Andrea Lawlor who is the Service Delivery Manager working with the Witness Service and Victim Support based in the building. Andrea is the wife of a Royds Lodge member and our relationship began when he was District Charity Steward for the Rossendale District and as part of their initiative in engaging with non masonic charities and the local community in general. The Teddy Bear appeal (TLC) as you are no doubt aware, was initially launched to offer support to children attending Accident and Emergency units in Hospitals local to each of the Masonic Districts throughout the North West and was funded by selling Teddy Bear lapel badges. As they did not have an A+E associated with the Rossendale District, the Victim Support charity was ideal for consideration to receive their bears under the scheme and thus the relationship began. With the generous support and previous successful application to the Community Fund this relationship continues to date.
The bears are offered to children attending the court when giving evidence and greatly assist in that traumatic process, Duty managers based around the North West also take teddies to offer to children attending similar traumatic interviews in their offices and courts.
Below are extracts from a letter from - Andrea Lawlor, Service Delivery Manager, Minshull Street Crown Court Manchester.
I wanted to send you a heartfelt Thank you for the amazing donation of 144 TLC Teddies! I love them almost as much as the children will!!!
You and your colleagues cannot possibly know what this little bear represents to a small child who is about to give evidence about how they have been abused sexually or violently by somebody they loved and trusted! I see first- hand how these vulnerable children are affected. Something simple like the gift of a Teddy bear can mean the difference between a child being comforted or a child being so traumatised that they refuse to give evidence!
To see a little smile appear on a frightened child’s face when they are given the bear is truly priceless, but believe me, it happens every time! Children are informed when they arrive that they will receive a Teddy bear for giving evidence & being brave, which helps soften things for them. I also design a certificate for the child using personal information gained from family members (IE A love of Disney’s Frozen) which goes perfectly with their cuddly bear! As you are probably aware these bears will not just be used here at Minshull Street Crown Court but at all the courts in Greater Manchester & Victim Support offices.
So we really do get the word out there that the Freemasons are one of our biggest supporters. In these uncertain times (Victim Support have just lost their bid to keep heading The Witness Service to Citizens Advice) its heart -warming to know that some things, like your continued support will remain the same.
So please pass on not only my appreciation on behalf of all the service users but all the other Managers who work within the borough, we really can’t thank you enough!
SoThank you David for acting as our champion and doing all the running around in order to get the bears to us!!
Some of the teddies waiting for the call to action
Some Districts may have had difficulty collecting for TLC bears, having done so for 10 years plus, due to working all out for the EL2015 Festival. The ELMC, through the Community Fund, wholeheartedly supports Districts needing extra funding for TLC Bears to keep this important initiative going.
APGM & District Team visit Liberty Lodge No 5537
L to R - The candidates proposer, Bro Paul Roberts, the candidate, Bro Lee Barnfield, WM,
WBro George Pilch, APGM WBro Christopher Welton and District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt.
The District Team visited Liberty Lodge No 5573 on Tuesday 10th February as part of the ongoing scheduled visits to Lodges in the Rochdale District by the APGM WBro Christopher Welton. The Team consisted of the APGM, Chairman of the Rochdale District, WBro Peter G Hewitt, Deputy Chairman, WBro Alan Barlow, District Secretary, WBro Ian Clarke, District Mentor, WBro Ian Warrington, Asst District Charity Steward, WBro Bernard Percy and the District Communications Officer, WBro Dave Garnett. We were joined by two Provincial Officers of the year namely Provincial Grand Registrar, WBro Michael Church-Taylor and Provincial Grand Steward, WBro Tony Gillard.
The Lodge was opened and the team were welcomed by the WM, WBro George Pilch with the APGM thanking the WM for the very warm welcome and introducing the members of the deputation.
The most important business of the evening was to raise Bro Lee Barnfield to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. An excellent ceremony was conducted by the WM, WBro Pilch and assisted by WBro Victor Howarth. It was noted that the ceremony was at times infiltrated by the Scottish Rite!
The Social Board was excellent; the Lodge 2015 Representative gave a comprehensive report of the lodge’s success in the amount raised for the Festival. The District Chairman responded to the toasts thanked the brethren for there warm welcome, and congratulated the lodge on its response to the 2105 Festival appeal. He also stated that the District team enjoys their visits to Liberty Lodge.
Keystone Lodge No 363 Installation Meeting
RWBro Sir David Trippier PGM & WM,
Our very own Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL as member of Keystone Lodge No 363attended the Installation of Bro Peter de Loughery as Worshipful Master. On this occasion RWBro Trippier was accompanied by Grand Lodge Officer of United Grand Lodge WBro Dennis Everett, PAGReg(Eng).
All those who attended the meeting enjoyed a fine Installation Ceremony, performed with great style by the Installing Master and various other Past Masters of the Lodge. Excellent explanations of the working tools were given by Brothers Stuart Smith, Nick Clough and Daniel Nutall.
Bro Peter de Loughery, as WM
The outgoing Worshipful Master, R. Robert Codling (it was 21years ago when he last stood as WM) addressed the Brethren of Keystone Lodge and thanked them for their support throughout his year in office and said it was an honour and privilege to serve the brethren of Keystone Lodge again. He gave particular thanks to DC, WBro Ian F. Hastie PProvJGD who was retiring after tenure of 7 years.
SW Bro Stuart Smith, WM Bro Peter O’Neil de Loughery, JW Bro Nick Clough
After the ceremony was completed everyone retired to the bar to toast the new Worshipful Master’s health (who generously just happened to buy the first round!). Following a most satisfying meal, everyone then enjoyed the usual toasts to Her Majesty and the rulers of the Craft.
Families keeping in touch
Following on from a report by the WM of Benevolence Lodge No 226 WBro Chris Hajikakou regarding visits he made to lodges that were all descended from the Lodge of Antiquity No 146.
Chris still feels quite strongly about family ties and is hoping that he can get the message out there.
He hopes this could possibly lead to a rise in the number of brethren visiting amongst families of Lodges - which is a great thing to behold when it comes time to give greetings.
Recently there have been three (family) Lodges in attendance at various meetings and it causes a bit of a stir when we announce our links.
Chris recently visited a granddaughter lodge in West Riding of Yorkshire - Royal Forest 401. They are only ever known as "Four nought one"...it appears that few people know their lodge name.
This photo shows the Tyler in his traditional garb and how he dresses on every meeting.
In an anachronistic 18th Century Tyler’s uniform challenging a 21st Century Master.In February there will be a meeting at
Blackburn with six related Masters in attendance with lodge members plus District Deputation.
APGM & DISTRICT TEAM VISIT ROCH VALLEY LODGE
L to R WBro Alan Grime, acting JW, APGM WBro Christopher Welton, WBro Keith Davenport, WM,
WBro John Harrop, SW and WBro Joe Warburton, the candidate for the Ceremony.
On Wednesday 28th February, Roch Valley Lodge had the pleasure of receiving into their Lodge the APGM for the Eastern Area, WBro Christopher J Welton, accompanied by the Rochdale District Team and 2 Acting Officers of the Year, WBro Joe Galvin, ProvAGDC and WBro Tony Gillard, ProvGStwd.
The District Team was welcomed by the WM, WBro Keith Davenport and WBro Welton kindly introduced the individuals to the brethren who, including the District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt (ADC in Roch Valley Lodge) and the two Acting Officers of the Year, totalled ELEVEN in number.
The main focus of the evening was a Demonstration Ceremony of Passing with the candidate for the demonstration being WBro Joe Warburton the Assistant Secretary of the Lodge.
The work of WM WBro Davenport was excellent and the ceremony went without a hitch. Reports were heard for the Almoner, the District and the 2015 Festival representatives.
The Social Board was conducted with dignity and good humour combined with a superb Festive Board.
The toasts were honoured and the APGM, WBro Welton responded to Toasts 3,4,and 5 during which he informed all present that he was soon to become the APGM for Manchester, but that he would always remember the many friends that he had made from both the Rochdale and Oldham Districts whilst he had been the Eastern Area APGM.
The raffle was drawn by the APGM and he drew his own ticket. He commented that this was the first raffle he had won at Rochdale and insisted that the Lodge accept the prize back for them to use on a future occasion. His gesture brought about a tumultuous and spontaneous round of applause.
A wonderful evening all round and certainly a night to remember.
A FAMILY OCCASION AT THE LODGE OF BENEVOLENCE No 226
L to R . APGM WBro Christopher Welton, Bro Jonathon North, the candidate,
WBro Christopher Hajikakou WM and WBro John North the candidates father.
On Tuesday 27th January, WBro Chris Welton, APGM for the Eastern Area, accompanied by the Rochdale District Officers paid a visit to The Lodge of Benevolence No 226.
After the Lodge was opened in due form WBro Welton and the District Team were admitted into the Lodge room and cordially welcomed by the WM, WBro Christopher Hajikakou following which WBro Welton was formally saluted. WBro Welton acknowledged the salute then took the opportunity of introducing the District Officers, together with two Acting Officers of the Year, who accompanied him.
The next item of business was the Initiation Ceremony of Mr Jonathan North. The Ceremony was conducted by the Worshipful Master and the initiate had the pleasure of being escorted throughout the Ceremony by his grandfather, WBro Malcolm Jackson who had been invited to take the office of Junior Deacon for this rather special occasion.
At the second rising WBro Welton took the opportunity to congratulate the Lodge for a wonderful Ceremony and which was executed to the traditional high standards that we have all come to accept from The Lodge of Benevolence.
During a very enjoyable Social Board the Toast to the newly initiated brother, Bro Jonathan North, was proposed by his father, Bro John North. Son Jonathan responded in an excellent manner. Quite a family occasion.
The winning raffle ticket, that was drawn by our APGM, was held by W Bro Ian Warrington, the Rochdale District Mentor.
A most enjoyable evening all round.
Tripe, Onions and Black Puddings
The Members of Burnley and Pendle Antient Ritual Demonstration Team
with President, WBro Martin Roche, APGM
The Rochdale District Installed Masters Lodge No 9211 at their January meeting invited The Burnley and Pendle Antient Ritual Demonstration Team to perform an authentic Initiation Ceremony as conducted in 1759.
The lodge was opened in due form the minutes confirmed prior to Receiving WBro Martin Roche, PSGD, APGM for the Northern Area accompanied by WBro Peter Hewitt PAGDC and a District Deputation.
The WM welcomed WBro Roche and proffered him the gavel.
WBro Roche thanked the WM for the extremely warm welcome but on this occasion declined to accept the Gavel. He spoke of the imminent presentation and hoped that everyone present would enjoy the spectacle.
The 1759 Lodge Room
The lights in the lodge were extinguished and a member of the team entered to give a short précis of the year 1759 in Burnley where tripe, onions and black puddings were local delicacies, King George ll was the monarch, General Wolfe had defeated the French at Quebec and the composer of the ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’, George Frederick Handel, a freemason, died.
The Tyler entered the room and lit the candles prior to the arrival of the brethren and the WM, referred to as ‘Worshipful’. The lodge was opened and the minutes were read by the secretary, one brother sent his apologies as he was recovering from falling off his horse on the way home from their previous meeting. The Tyler certainly carried out his duties by continually filling the pewter mugs of the brethren with ale from a pitcher.
The most important item of business was to initiate (WBro) Eric Kirkbride. The candidate was led into the room, not with a blindfold but, wearing a hood. Certain details of the ceremony were certainly recognisable today (In the meantime the Tyler was still filling the mugs of the brethren) The room was a ‘U’ shape with the WM, the SW and the JW in the places they occupy today. The Tyler was within but sat at a separate table. Singing played an important part of the ceremony and toasts to King, the Grand Master, etc., were taken. After the demonstration WBro Kirkbrde confessed it was a fantastic experience and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
The festive board was excellent, The main course was delicious Steak and Kidney Pie, and thankfully not Tripe and Onions.
We were privileged to have two previous APGM’s for the Eastern Area present, VWBro Harold Woodward, PGSwdB a Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and also WBro Alex McLaren, PSGD.
A Cheque was presented to WBro Martin Roche, the President of the Burnley and Pendle Antient Ritual Demonstration Team for £400 which was to be donated to the 2105 Festival. WBro Roche stated that the Demonstration Team had raised in access of £8000 for the 2015 Festival and asked for an appreciative round of applause for the team.
A raffle was held which raised over £250.
An Excellent evening of nostalgia, theatre and performance which will be remembered by all who were present.
The First Visit of 2015
L to R : WBro Charles Macmillan, DC, APGM, WBro Christopher J Welton,
Bro Anthony James, WM and the District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt.
The APGM for the Eastern Area, WBro Christopher J Welton, accompanied by the District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt and eight members of the District Team visited St Martin’s Lodge No2320 on the 8th January.
The Lodge was duly opened and several items of business were transacted prior to the Delegation entering the Lodge. The Worshipful Master, Bro Anthony James, welcomed the APGM,and offered him the gavel. On this occasion the APGM declined the offer before introducing members of the delegation. He said he was pleased to welcome in the delegation for the first time two Acting Provincial Officers of the Year, WBro Joe Galvin, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and WBro Tony Gillard, Provincial Grand Steward.
The Main business on the summons was to give a demonstration of the first degree ceremony, which was executed with great decorum. A visitor to the Lodge and past master WBro Andre Klosowicz played the role of Candidate. Reports from the District Representative, the Almoner and 2015 Festival Representative were received.
Before leaving the lodge the APGM said how much he had enjoyed the demonstration and thanked all the brethren that had taken part.
The Festive Board was a very enjoyable affair which included amongst the brethren visitors from the West Riding of Yorkshire, In replying toasts 3,4,and 5 the APGM reported on the Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge and the District. He said that the news that he was to retire as APGM in the Eastern Area and take the post of APGM in City Derby District had been circulated and how he would miss his many friends and colleagues he had made in both Rochdale and Oldham. He then remarked that the festive board had been a delight and many of the items on the menu were his particular favourites.
A raffle was drawn the proceeds of which had raised £140.
Visiting and encouraging Lodge families to keep in touch
L-R: W Bro David Bell, IPM of Cathedral Lodge No 7814, SW of Lodge of Perseverance No 345 Bro. Clive Owen,
WM Cathedral Lodge No 7814, W Bro Malcolm Roe, (at the time) WM Lodge of Perseverance No 345
WBro Chris, WM Lodge of Benevolence No 226 and W Bro Laurence J. Yarwood, WM Lodge of Antiquity No 146
WBro Chris Hajikakou the WM of Benevolence Lodge No 22 visited Perseverance Lodge No 345 who meet at Blackburn to attend their Installation .There was an event planned for the following month and Chris expressed a wish to attend and watch the proceedings.
W Bro David Bell of Cathederal Lodge No 7814 had the idea of the Lodges getting 'closer'; Chris thought about that but didn't think that it would go beyond a good idea. David thought otherwise and the lodges have now built up a rapport between them. Cathedral Lodge has now been brought into the 'family' circle.
W Bro Laurence Yarwood of the Lodge of Antiquity had been visiting Benevolence as a casual visitor and has also visited the Blackburn lodges; his main purpose of which is to encourage closer ties with relative lodges.He is hoping to maintain his visits to the other lodges when he leaves the chair of King Solomon. Antiquity Lodge No146 is the mothers lodge of Benevolence Lodge No226 which is the mother lodge of Perseverance Lodge No345, which in its turn is the mother Lodge of Cathedral Lodge No7814.
The Lodge of Benevolence No 226 has two daughter lodges, which in turn have many daughter lodges and as a result there is a ‘family’ of twenty eight lodges spread over Darwin, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Burnley and one in Waddington in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Benevolence Lodge originally was formed in Blackburn in 1797, moving to Littleborough in 1845 before finally moving to Rochdale in 1977.
The New Year's Eve Ball at Richard Street.
One thing we like as much as happy endings is new beginnings, so this New Year's Eve Party, organised by the Rochdale District Social Committee went off with a bang and the best start to the New Year.
The New Year's Eve Ball saw over 130 Masons, wives and friends gather at Richard Street to commence the celebrations.
After an introduction by WBro Bernard Percy, Asst District Charity Steward, an excellent six course meal was enjoyed by all. Whilst coffee was being taken the guests enjoyed playing with the compulsory rocket balloons. Before dancing could commence new District Charity Steward WBro Doug Smith's initiation induction was to sweep up the resultant mess.
The Keyboard and Vocal Harmony Duo 'Saremma', with Pete Shaw and Yvonne Johnston, then kept the dance floor packed for the next hour with a non-stop programme of music to suit all tastes.
The raffle in aid of the 2015 Festival was held with a sixteen excellent prizes being won: WBro Ray Lancashire's wife, Barbara, taking the 'star' prize of two free tickets to next year's 'do'. The excellent sum of over £1000 was raised.
WBro Smith, took to the floor and thanked everyone involved in making the night happen with particular thanks to WBro Bernard Percy and 'Saremma'. Our good wishes were also passed on to Josh, a member of the Masonic Hall staff, who was leaving that night to start a new career with BMW.
'Saremma' then returned and took the revellers through to midnight, Big Ben and Old Lang Syne, after which dancing continued until carriages at one. At the end of the evening WBro Smith wished everyone a great and prosperous New Year and safe journey home.
Freemasons Provide Hospice Gifts
Back Row (L to R) Danielle Wood, Janet Froggatt, Doug Smith, Stephanie Thompson, Tracey Marriott,
Kath Basquill and District Chairman Peter Hewitt.
Front Row (L to R) Sandra Hewitt and Chief Executive Julie Halliwell
The Freemasons of Rochdale continued their annual Christmas tradition by paying a surprise visit to Springhill Hospice to deliver a number of festive gifts for Hospice patients.
The money raised by the lodge members has been donated to help to provide Christmas gifts for the local men and women who are in receipt of Hospice services. Chief Executive Julie Halliwell said, "It's a wonderful gesture to think about others at this very special time of year. I know that our patients really appreciate these gifts and we extend our thanks to the Freemasons of Rochdale Todmorden and Bacup for their kindness.”
After the presentation a small team of Freemasons then hand delivered personally the ‘Christmas Goody Bags ' to the various homes of the patients throughout the Borough of Rochdale.
The gifts were very well received by all.
Childrens Christmas Party 2014
In the run up to Christmas, the Rochdale Masonic Social Committee at Richard St. staged the children’s annual Christmas party on December 20th. Ken Davies aka Father Christmas, again this year, ensured the children were not disappointed.
Around 50 children with ages ranging from four to twelve years old, accompanied by their parents or relations, packed into the Masonic hall to take part in all manner of games and entertainment, prior to the much anticipated arrival of Santa himself
Dazzle the clown, performed in his trademark hilarious style, entertaining the youngsters and their mums, dads and grandparents in equal measure. All of which teased and tantalised until Father Christmas arrived to loud cheers and applause. With the help of his elves, he dispensed gifts and good cheer to every boy and girl at the party before, finally, due to it being his busiest time of year, he had to take his leave.
District Charity Steward WBro Doug Smith thanked Party organiser WBroTony Gillard for all his tremendous hard work in making the day possible and so enjoyable. WBro Gillard in turn thanked all the helpers, paying tribute to his wife Lesley for her organisational skills and unstinting assistance in making the party such a success.
Tony said how grateful he was that lodges which meet at Rochdale, Todmorden and Bacup, had been so generous with their donations and support. Seeing the delight and enjoyment the party brings to all the children and accompanying adults makes it a very worthwhile occasion.
If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact
WBro David Garnett, District Communications Officer for Rochdale District.
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