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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 2014/2015

Tuesday, January 6th St. Martin's Lodge No. 2320
Tuesday, January 27th Benevolence Lodge No. 226
Wednesday, January 28th Roch Valley Lodge No. 5120
Tuesday, February 10th Liberty Lodge No. 5573
Tuesday, February 24th Charity Lodge No. 3342


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 Royds , former DeputyProvincial Grand


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.’


Rochdale’s Man of the Year - 2014

WBro. Harry Bell

WBro. Harry Bell was the ‘Rochdale Man of the Year 2104’ on Friday 28 November at a luncheon held in aid of Springhill Hospice. Harry who was one of 50 nominees was crowned the Man of Rochdale and was honoured for his continued charity fundraising spanning many many years and his contribution to The Springhill Hospice.

Speaking about winning the award, Harry said: “I don’t believe it. I am honoured and absolutely flabbergasted because everyone who has come to this event today does exactly what I do for the Hospice. “I didn’t expect this at all and had no idea that I would win.”

Harry was particularly pleased that the Guest Speaker was Sir David Trippier our PGM for East Lancashire.

In following the photographer, Harry, proud as punch could be seen polishing the silver Plate rigorously trying to erase the finger prints.

Harry has been fundraising for Springhill Hospice since it opened its doors in 1989, He has also worked with the Scouts and received a long service medal, He works for the Roundtable, the 41 Club and the Freemasons through Liberty Lodge 5573 in aid of the Hospice.

The company, H Bell and Sons, is now run by Harry’s son and daughter, who also do work for the Hospice.

Harry added: “I have to thank everyone for their support and thank the people who voted for me because I really didn’t expect it.” He the received the award from last year’s winner John Whyman.

The winner was greeted with a huge cheer by those present and it was a very proud moment for Harry's friends.

The celebrations went on for quite a while, well into the evening.



Royd’s Lodge No 816 have a ‘Bit of a Bash’ and raise £400

Bro. Lee Jackson gets the Karaoke going

At a recent social gathering of Royd’s Lodge which was hosted by Bro Lee Jackson and his wife Jackie on behalf of the Worshipful Master Bro. Mario Lopresti & his wife Sheila.
The entertainment was provided by W Bro John Alexander in his own unique style & along with approx. 40 guests including some of Johns family who where there to celebrate his 70th birthday, all had a very enjoyable afternoon & early evening!

Jackie Jackson & John Alexander

£400 was raised by the way of a raffle and a Golden envelope which contained a gift voucher provide by Alexander the Jewellers, this being eventually claimed by Debbie MCRae the wife of our Junior Warden Bro Stuart MCRae.
The proceeds will be split between Pendleside Hospice Burnley & Springhill Hospice Rochdale.

Debbie McRae & JohnAlexander



Littleborough, Remembrance Day – 9th November 2014

At the Remembrance Day Parade held in Littleborough on the 9th November, Freemasons from Rochdale and Littleborough united and walked through Littleborough to mark the sacrifices made by the men who gave their lives for King and Country.

The weather was kind and it helped to swell the number of people in attendance.

Prayers were given and wreaths laid. Our own wreath was laid by WBro Lionel Taylor on behalf of all local Masons.



Recruitment Initiative in St Martin’s Chapter No 2320

St Martin’s Chapter No 2320, hosted an event aimed to encourage Master Masons to join the Royal Arch. The Speaker for the evening was EComp John Bramley PAPGP, (West Yorks).

The Chapter attended to its business and after closing invited two Master Masons “Russell Mark Perks, and Jonathan Coomer” into the Chapter Room.

EComp John Bramley PAPGP then gave an excellent presentation on the Holy Royal Arch. He explained about the Officers of the Chapter, their robes and regalia and also the carpet and tools of the Chapter. He then explained the many connections and differences between the Chapter and Craft Masonry.

After the presentation several questions were asked which were answered and discussed.

Both the Master Masons attended the Social Board after the meeting and an excellent night was had by all that attended.

Hopefully this type of event may become an annual event in the Rochdale District with the hope it will help boost the membership of the Royal Arch.

Aubrey Oldham,
DORA Eastern Area (Rochdale & Bacup)



About 1000 Brethren made the trip to Blackburn for the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, held at King George’s Hall
A full report of the meeting appears on the PGLEL website.

Some of the Brethhren who received Honours

Acting Ranks
ProvGReg - Michael Church-Taylor, Charity Lodge No.3342
ProvAGChap - Stuart Kilpatrick, Royds' Lodge No.816
ProvAGDC - Joe Galvin, Lodge of Benevolence No.226
ProvGStwd - Tony Gillard, Lodge of Probity and Freedom No.367

Promotions and First Appointments
PProvJGW - Ian Warrington, Lodge of Naphtali No.266
PProvGSuptWks-  JackWiggett, Lodge of Benevolence No.226
PProvDepGDC - Robert Howarth, Lodge of Harmony No.298
PProvDepGDC -Tony Moulton, Lodge of Benevolence No.226
PProvSGD - Stephen Lawlor, Royds Lodge No 816
PProvSGD -Aubrey Oldham, Royds' Lodge No 816
PProvSGD - Douglas Smith, Keystone Lodge No.363
PProvJGD - Keith Davenport, Roch Valley Lodge No.5120
PProvAGDC - Karl Adderley, Liberty Lodge No.5573
PProvAGDC - Alan Whatmough Lodge of Hope No.54
PProvAGSwdB - Alex Broadbent, Keystone Lodge No.363
PProvAGSuptWks - Michael Cooper, Charity Lodge No.3342
PProvAGSuptWks - Bill Coward, St Martin's Lodge No.2320



Springhill Hospice receive a cheque from the Grand Charity

Doug Smith Rochdale District Charity Steward, Julie Halliwell, CEO Springhill  Hospice
and Peter Hewitt, Rochdale District Chairman

Rochdale District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt, presented a cheque to Julie Halliwell the CEO of Springhill Hospice (Rochdale) from the Freemason’s Grand Charity for the sum of £3,304.

WBro Hewitt remarked ‘The Freemasons in East Lancashire are thrilled that the Freemason’s Grand Charity has continued to provide this vital funding to our local hospice. The care, compassion and support they provide to the community is outstanding and we are delighted that we are able to show our continuing dedication to their cause’.

Freemasons and their families raise all the donations from the Freemasons to hospices.

It is done with the aim of assisting hospices in their vital role of helping those affected by terminal or life limiting illness.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the hospice, Julie stated “We are always grateful for the generous donations we receive from the Freemasons. We are continuing to expand the services we offer. Donations like this are not only very welcome but are vital in enabling us to continue our work.”



Remembrance Day Sunday 9th November 2014

The Freemasons of Rochdale joined the Remembrance Parade in Rochdale's magnificent Town Hall Square on a brilliantly sunny Sunday morning.

The Freemasons were led by their District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt, accompanied by the District Secretary, WBro R Ian Clarke, Deputy Chairman, WBro Alan Barlow and WBro Harry Bell, the Banner Bearer, and twenty-five other masons representing Lodges in Rochdale. There were also a large number of masons in the assembled crowd.

The parade was assembled at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Mere Street at 10.15am and left there at 10.30 turning left into Drake Street before turning right into Manchester Road, then right into the Esplanade and along Town Hall square to the Cenotaph.

The parade passed the saluting stand before assembling at the cenotaph. At precisely 11.00 am the Last Post was sounded followed by a single gun salute. The service of Remembrance was conducted by Cannon Shackleton in which wreaths where laid by all the organisations in the parade including the Rochdale Freemasons.

The Parade then re-assembled and  moved to the rear of the Town Hall  for the March Past

Lest We Forget – Rochdale Freemasons Help with Poppy Appeal

Founded in 1921, the Royal British Legion is not just about those who fought in the two World Wars of the last century, but also about those involved in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fighting for the freedom we enjoy today.

This year, due to the Legion’s co-ordinator having an unfortunate accident, the Rochdale branch of the British Legion urgently needed help with the selling of poppies, at short notice.  They required Poppy Appeal Collector volunteers at two sites: Morrison’s Kingsway superstore and Asda’s Town Centre superstore.

Many freemasons rose to the challenge this year in helping to man both sites in the days leading up to Remembrance Sunday.   Rochdale District chairman Peter Hewitt said: “It is a great honour and privilege for our team to be able to assist the Royal British Legion at such short notice. He went on to add "The Poppy Appeal 2014 has one key message: Live On – to the memory of the fallen and the future of the living. Monies raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to The Royal British Legion's welfare work providing through life care to anyone who is currently serving in the British Armed Forces, who has previously served and their families. “God Bless them All”.

In addition, the Freemasons would also like to take this opportunity to thank the fantastic generosity and support of the people of Rochdale and all the courteous and efficient staff, at both superstores, who were extremely helpful and welcoming.


Eastern Area Cabinet Meeting - !5th October 2014

The October Eastern Area Cabinet Meeting took place at Middleton Masonic Hall on 15th October 2014 and was hosted by the Oldham District with WBro Chris Welton, APGM, presiding.

WBroWelton updated the District Officers on recent developments and initiatives within the Province before inviting all the Officers to report on their own activities and future plans for their respective Districts.

WBro David Dunn, the Oldham District Chairman introduced Bro David Jones as a new member of the Team.  David will act as assistant to the Communications Officer but with special responsibility for developing social media as a means of increasing information supply.

The pending retirement of WBro Ken Davies, MBE, was announced by Rochdale Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt and Peter paid tribute to Ken’s enthusiastic and charismatic contribution as District Charity Steward over the past 4 years.  Ken’s successor was announced as being WBro Doug Smith with the change-over of office taking place from the 1st November 2014.

Lively discussion ensued a great number positive ideas for the future of each District.

Of particular interest were reports from WBro Chris Henthorn, District Festival Representative, supported by WBro Steven Graham, District Charity Steward, who jointly gave summaries of their recent and planned visits to the Oldham District Lodges to encourage the efforts of all brethren towards the EL 2015 Festival.  This was followed by WBro Peter Rhodes, Rochdale District Festival Representative, a very passionate supporter of the Festival, reporting on his visits to lodges where he has stressed the importance of individuals to see whether they are able to help further in their efforts towards the Festival.

Both Districts have a number of Festival fund raising events planned for the months ahead possibly culminating in an Area Quiz Challenge between the two Districts!


‘Masonic Ciphers’

The WM, WBro Robert Codling accompanied by
the Deputy District Chairman WBro Alan Barlow

The District Team visited Keystone Lodge No 363 on Thursday 20th October as part of the team’s programme of visits throughout the year.

After opening the lodge, the District Team were admitted and introduced by the Deputy District Chairman WBro Alan Barlow, who was leading the team on this occasion as the Chairman was on other Masonic business.

The main item on the summons was a presentation - ‘Masonic Ciphers - The Enigma within Freemasonry’ by the WM WBro Robert Codling PProvDepGReg. The lodge was called off for the presentation and he WM handed out a sheet to the brethren showing the Masonic code and showed several slides, in which the code was used. He noted that the code is shown on the third degree tracing board and can be seen on many gravestones of masons in the 19th century, it is also on many coins and medals. The lecture was very interesting and enlightening for which he received an ovation.

The lodge was then called to labour and the lodge business continued before the lodge was closed in peace and harmony.

On retiring to the dining room we eagerly awaited the delights of the forthcoming festive board, and we were not disappointed.

The District 2105 Festival Representative WBro Peter Rhodes gave a short talk on the status of the 2105 Festival, in which he impressed upon the brethren the need to continue to support the festival and especially to make personal donations if they had not done so.

This would allow the lodge to hold a certificate to commemorate that all the brethren of the lodge had made a personnel donation.

A Raffle was drawn and surprise, surprise, the winning ticket belonged to a member of the District Team WBro Ian Warrington the District Almoner.

Also with the Team on this meeting was WBro Ray Milligan a Provincial Junior Grand Warden who replied to the visitors toast telling the brethren that this was his last visit with the team and how he had thoroughly enjoyed the visits throughout the year. He said that anyone who is to receive a Acting Provincial appointment should join the District team on their visits as they will meet many new friends and enjoy the hospitality of the lodges in the district. He then proceeded to tell a few stories about some of his Masonic to which had the brethren roaring with laughter. He then thanked the JW for his toast and the brethren for the way that they received it.

The Tyler's toast brought another excellent evening of Masonic fellowship to a close



Many a true word spoken in jest “

L to R - WBro Ian Dugdale DC, WBro Alan Barlow Dep District Chairman,
Bro David Jones WM, Bro Chris Holloway and WBro David Enrtwistle

The Rochdale District team, on this occasion headed by the Deputy District Chairman WBro Alan Barlow visited Hope Lodge No 54 on the 8th October accompanied by three Acting Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire. WBRo Michael Church-Taylor, the Provincial Grand Registrar, WBro Ray Milligan, Provincial Junior Grand Deacon and WBro Ken Greer Provincial Grand Steward.

Another very special visitor to the lodge was WBro David Entwistle of Old Boltonians Lodge No 5814,the Uncle of the brother to be passed to the second degree.

The lodge was opened in due form and the minutes of the previous meeting read and approved.

The WM, Bro David Jones then invited the DC, WBro Ian Dugdale to take the chair of King Solomon. The candidate Bro Chris Holloway was asked the usual questions before retiring from the lodge.

The lodge was opened in the second degree and the candidate admitted. WBro Dugdale performed a superb ceremony of passing, The tools of the degree were explained by WBro Graham Adamson. The candidates Uncle and visitor WBro David Entwistle gave a delightful explanation of the second degree tracing board that was acknowledged by the brethren.
The lodge was then closed on peace and harmony.

The Festive Board was a delight, The Deputy District Chairman WBro Alan Barlow replied to toasts 4 and 5.

The toast to the candidate was given by his seconder WBro John Entwistle, Bro Holloway gave a splendid reply which was appreciated by the brethren to a rapturous applaud.

In replying to the visitors toast, WBro Ray Milligan explained that as an Acting Provincial Officer he had been invited to join the district team on their visits during his year of office and said what a privilege it had been, and he had met many new friends. He recollected many of the visits and said his most memorable was a visit to Bacup. He explained that his own lodge, Royds’ No 816 meets at Todmorden and invited the brethren to visit and they would be made most welcome.

The raffle was drawn and the DC said ‘I wonder which of the District Team will win’.

The WM drew the winning ticket and surprise, surprise it was The Provicial Steward WBro Ken Greer.  - many a true word spoken in jest!

An excellent evening was drawn to a close with the Tylers Toast



A Triple bi-pass

L to R: WBro Simon Rogers IPM, Bro John Rochelle, Bro Stephen Carroll, Bro Martyn Beever,
Bro S Buckley  WM, WBro Peter Rhodes Lodge Mentor and WBro Ken Greer DC.

The District Chairman accompanied by members of the District Team visited The Rochdale Lodge No 6721 on the 22nd September to observe what a most unique ceremony carried out with military precision.

There had been several practices for the ceremony at which the logistics had been agreed, fortunately the DC is a Logistics Manager and the IPM was a member of HM Armed Forces!

The lodge was opened in due form, the minutes were confirmed and a dispensation authorising the concurrent Passing of Three Candidates. The WM then invited the IPM to take the chair of King Solomon.

An alarm was sounded and Inner Guard examined the three candidates. The two Deacons accompanied by the Lodge Mentor each attended on the candidates. The ceremony was carried out with great propriety, the movements around the Lodge by the Deacons and candidates were a spectacular site to behold. The working tools were presented by the Lodge Mentor with absolute clarity of expression as was the Tracing Board, which was presented by the Director of Ceremonies.

The newly passed brothers then retired from the lodge after saluting the WM.

The business of the lodge was then continued with the notification that an Initiation was due at the next regular Lodge meeting.

There was a report and the three brothers were then readmitted to the lodge.

All further business was concluded and the lodge closed in peace and harmony.

The Brethren enjoyed an excellent festive board.

The District Chairman then replied to toasts 3,4 & 5, he congratulated all the brethren of the lodge on the ceremony and said it was unlikely that such a ceremony would be seen again. He noted that three of the District Team had taken part in the ceremony (who says that District Officers never do anything)

The IPM gave the toast to the candidates and Bro Martyn Beever gave the reply on behalf off all three candidates, he thanked everyone present for which he received an ovation.

A raffle was held and the first prize went to the IPM and the second to one of the candidates, Bro Stephen Carroll.

An unusual and spectacular evening was drawn to a close by the Tylers Toast.


A busy meeting at P & F

L to R - WBro Peter Hewitt - District Chairman, WBro Stephen Oxley - DC, Bro Andrew Evans -WM,
The Candidte Bro Robin Dallow, WBro John Lees - IPM and WBro John Ling the candidates proposer.

The District Chairman accompanied by members of the District Team visited Probity & Freedom Lodge No 367 on Thursday 12th of September.

After the lodge was opened and the minutes of the previous meeting approved the Ancient Charge No 3 was read.
The District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt and the members of the team were admitted.

A ceremony of Initiation then took place for which the WM, Bro Andrew Evans, invited the IPM, WBro John Lees to conduct the ceremony, which was carried out with decorum and sincerity.
There then followed the annual business meeting of the lodge for the forthcoming year.

The Worshipful Master, Treasurer, Tyler, Auditors and the Lodge Director for the Rochdale Masonic Buildings were balloted for.

Correspondence was read and the accounts passed. The IPM, WBro John Lees then made a proposal for a new member to the lodge, which was seconded by the WM, Bro Andrew Evans.
The Lodge was then closed in due form, the District Chairman and the district team retiring form the lodge after the second rising.

The brethren themselves then retired to the dining room to enjoy the festive board which on this occasion the main course was delicious battered fish chips and mushy peas, which was obviously enjoyed by all present.

Because of the length of the meeting the Alms collection was taken at the festive board and combined with the raffle and the proceeds were given to the 2015 Festival.

In this Lodge the raffle tickets are not sold by the deacons but you have to approach the JW to buy your tickets.



The APGM WBro Chris J Welton accompanied by District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt and the
District Team visited The Lodge of Harmony No. 298 on Wednesday 3rd September

L to R: WBro Colin Chew ADC, Bro Stephen Newman SW,  WBro Edwin Cheadle APGP , WBro C J Welton APGM,
WBro Eric Kirkbride WM, WBro Bernard Percy IPM and WBroBro Peter Hewitt the Rochdale District Chairman

The Lodge was opened in peace and harmony and the Minutes of the last regular meeting were approved after which there was a report.

The APGM WBro C J Welton together with a District Delegation was without and demanded admission.

The APGM was welcomed by the WM, WBro Eric Kirkbride to whom he offered the gavel which, on this occasion, he courteously declined and then proceeded to introduced the members of the District Delegation.

A eulogy was delivered in the memory of WBro Robert (Bob) Edwin Howarth who recently passed to the Grand Lodge above and the brethren stood to order as a mark of respect.

Extracts of Minutes of Meetings held in July, August and September 1814 and July, August and September  1914 were read.

The lodge was opened in the second and third degrees by the WM.

The Traditional History in the third degree was given by the IPM, WBro Bernard Percy, the third degree Tracing Board was given by the ADC WBro Colin Chew and the third degree Tools were presented by the SW Bro Stephen Newman to the recently raised brethren.

The brethren applauded the excellent delivery of the above.

Harmony Lodge hold their meetings in the smaller of the two Lodge rooms in the Rochdale Masonic buildings and it was a joy to see that the brethren filled the Lodge Room. The Festive Board was a noisy affair, good food, good company and companionship.

The APGM WBro C J Welton responded to the toasts 3, 4 and 5.

A raffle was drawn the winner being WBro John Ashworth the Honorary Organist of the Lodge.

The toast to the visitors was given the JW WBro Alan Barlow, the response by WBro Phil Shannon, I.P.M. of Albert Lodge No 854 who meet at Shaw Masonic Hall. The evening came to a close with the Tyler’s toast.  Another evening of good food, good fellowship and good fun in Rochdale.



Elizabeth (Betty) meets Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

Elizabeth surrounded by her boys, Peter,Norman and Alan.

Maundy Thursday 17th April 2014 will be forever remembered in the Stancliffe family

Our Lodge Mentor W.Bro Alan Stancliffe (Lodge of Harmony 298) and his brother W.Bro Norman Stancliffe (Lodge Secretary Cathedral Lodge 7814) and third brother Peter went to Blackburn Cathedral with mum Elizabeth.
Mum who was 102 years young on Friday 22 August 2014 was one of the recipients of the Maundy Money.

Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by HRH Philip Duke of Edinburgh presented 88 recipient men and 88 recipient ladies with the traditional gift from the Monarch.
Elizabeth (known as Betty) was amongst many, chosen because of her Christian service to the Church and Community

What a remarkable lady Elizabeth is having brought up a family, now lives in accommodation provided by the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund Ltd at Prior’s Close Blackburn where she frequently bakes for events for the elderly residents!!

Photo by kind permission of The Lancashire Telegraph



96 and in Great Form

The WM of Harmony Lodge No 298, WBro Eric J Kirkbride PAGDC along with his wife Barbara and the Lodge Almoner visited WBro Tom Ironmonger at Ecclesholme RMBI care home in Eccles.

W.Bro Tom Ironmonger was 96 on Friday 18th July and a visit was arranged for the 23rd July 2014.

What a joy to see him in his room 17 at Eccleshome Masonic Care Home (run by RMBI, who our Provincial Festival 2015 is supporting) He was presented with a card and a bottle of red wine, which was eagerly received!!

We reminisced and he specially asked that we convey his good wishes to all the brethren of the Lodge of Harmony 298.


GEORGE RAISES £1000 for the 2015 FESTIVAL 

George on his 1927 Scott Flying Squirrel

Sunday 8th June saw the world’s largest gathering of Vintage & Veteran Motorcycles in the world.

The ‘Banbury Run’ hosted by the UK Vintage Motorcycle Club is staged each year. Any motorcycle built prior to 1930 may qualify and apply for entry.

W.Bro George Pilch, Charity Steward of Liberty Lodge No5573 Rochdale, a seasoned Motorcycle rider was delighted to have been accepted to enter into this year’s run. 

Not only did George seize this opportunity to take part he was quick to turn it into a Charity event to help support the 2014 Festival Appeal.

Over 600 Motorcycles from all over the World took part this year. George’s entry was on his 1927 Scott Flying Squirrel, a Motorcycle severely lacking in modern day suspension aids. (Ouch)

George set himself a target of £1,000.00 to be begged, borrowed, stolen or otherwise extracted from all his friends at his place of work, his Golf club, his Lodge, his Vintage Motorcycle club and any other unsuspecting passers-by who were unlucky enough to come his way.

His is not unaccustomed to tearing around the countryside (Slowly) on old motorcycles, his previous charity run events which supported among others the 2009 Festival Appeal included ‘Lands’ End to John O Groats’ and a later ride taking in the 5 Capitals of the UK, namely London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast and Edinburgh. Both runs were completed on his 1953 BSA A10 Golden Flash motorcycle.

George is happy to announce that his target for this year has been met and the money raised will be donated to the 2014 Festival Appeal. He is however not so happy to announce that at his age his poor bottom cannot take too much more of this kind of punishment from old Motorcycles with no suspension.



Friday 6th – Sunday 8th June
Flower Festival
Rochdale Masonic Buildings
The Opening Ceremony by Lady Ruth Trippier


Flower Festival Programme

The Flower Festival was opened by Lady Ruth Trippier at 10.00am on Friday the 6th June before a distinguished audience

Lady Trippier cut a blue ribbon to officially open the festival accompanied by a Trumpet Fanfare by members of the greater Manchester Police Band

Lady Trippier and Sir David were then escorted around the Masonic Buildings by Mrs Pamela Crabtree the event organiser

The buildings were resplendent with magnificent flower arrangements to take your breath away.

Below are a few pictures to whet your appetites

Flower Festival Stewards ready for action


The PGM with distinguished guests.
L to R: WBro Peter Hewitt, Rochdale District Chairman,The Mayoress of Rochdale Mrs Beverley Price,
The Mayor of Rochdale Cllr Carol Wardle, Lady Ruth Trippier, Sir David Trippier PGM,
Mrs Pamela Crabtree, WBro Christopher Welton APGM and Mrs Welton


 Lady Trippier cuts the Blue Ribbon and declares the Festival open            


Members of the Greater Manchester Police Band


Mrs Pam Crabtree the Festival Organiser with Sir David Trippier PGM


A Festive Board


The Senior Wardens Chair

The Worshipful Masters Chair


The Chapter Room

Home Produce Stall.









Tuesday 27th May 2104 was a very special day for WBro Lionel Taylor
as he celebrated 50 years as a member of the craft.

The Lodge was opened in due form, the minutes approved and other business transacted.

An alarm was given and the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, WBro Wesley Marchant PAGDC, announced that The Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, was without and demanded admission.

The Provincial Grand Master VWBro Sir David Trippier (centre front)  with WBro Lionel Taylor
pictured with the Provincial Deputation and members of the The Lodge of benevolence No 226

The Provincial Delegation was admitted and the WM welcomed the PGM and proffered him the gavel. On this occasion the PGM accepted and introduced the Provincial Delegation who accompanied him.

He then asked that the ‘Birthday Boy’ be seated in the centre of the Lodge where he then addressed WBro Taylor. He remarked that he had been a friend of WBro Taylor for many years but warned that he would be revealing more intimate expositions at the Festive Board.

The PGM noted that several events had taken place in 1964 the most notable was the appearance in court of the Great Train Robbers and the retirement of Sir Winston Churchill for the House of Commons.

The RWPGM Sir David Trippier RD, JP,DL presenting the certificate to 
WBro Lionel TaylorPGStB and the WM, Bro Christopher Hajikakou

The PGM then presented WBro Taylor with a certificate celebrating his 50 years in the Craft.

The WM, Bro Christopher Hajikakou, then presented the PGM with a donation of £500 to the East Lancashire 2015 Festival.

A collection for Good Causes was then taken after which the RW Provincial Grand Master and the Deputation retired from the lodge before it was closed.

The Brethren were joined at the Festive Board by the ladies and an excellent Festive Board was enjoyed before the PGM addressed the Ladies and Brethren, relating some recollections of 1964 which he shared with WBro Taylor and said that one item that he vividly remembered was the film ‘Zulu’ which he has seen many times
In his reply WBro Taylor spoke of some of his memories in freemasonry over the past 50 years than thanked the PGM for his kind remarks before presenting an enormous bouquet of flowers to his wife for her support over many happy years.

The brethren were then entertained throughout the meal by George Galway accompanied by a Pianist.

A wonderful evening ended with memories for all present to cherish and especially WBro Lionel Taylor to remind him of the very special birthday he celebrated today.



District Team visit Samaritan Lodge No 286
at ‘Holmroyd’ in Bacup

The District Team visited Samaritan Lodge No 286 at the Masonic Hall in Bacup on the 20th May. We received a very warm welcome from the members of the Lodge in the bar before entering the Lodge room.
The Lodge was opened in due form and it was interesting  to note the differences in ritual worked by the Samaritan Lodge. After the lodge was opened the first item was to read the summons after which the minutes were confirmed.

The WM then introduced the District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt who in turn introduced the members ofthe Team, which on this occasion included the new Royal Arch DORA, EComp Aubrey Oldham, and the recently appointed District  Almoner WBro James Gartside.

The Lodge was then opened in the second degree and a presentation and Explanation of the Second DegreeTracing Board which was given by WBro Peter Marsh PProvDepGDC the IPM. The delivery was given withthe tracing board stood in front of the Senior Wardens chair and could be clearly seen by all present,

WBro Peter Marsh PProv DepGDC showing  the way the
Second Degree Tracing Board is explained in Samaritan Lodge No 286

WBro Marsh’s explanation was superb and animated, I have no doubt that this was the best I have seen and when completed he received an ovation.

The Lodge was then closed in the second degree and work continued in the First degree.The WM then informed the brethren that two past masters who have been ill will not be attending future Lodge meetings.

The District Representative, the Almoner and the Charity Steward then gave their reports.

Following the Almoners report, The Junior  Deacon Bro Joseph Trochan gave a heart rending account regarding the work of the ‘The Grand Charities’ of which he is personally involved.  The District Almoner, WBro James Gartside thanked Bro Trochan for his revelations which highlighted the tremendous work of the ‘The Grand Charities’.

The lodge was closed in due from with the charity collection taken during the singing of the closing hymn.

The Festive board was an excellent meat platter accompanied by roasted potatoes, egg mayonnaise and coleslaw followed by a healthy fruit salad and finally a superb cheese board.

The Brethren relaxing with coffee after an excellent meal.

The toasts were observed which was followed by a raffle with the most unexpected results.

The Deputy District Chairman drew the first prize ticket and the winner on this occasion was the District Communications Officer. The second prize was drawn by the  DC WBro Michael Holt,
The visitors Toast was given by the JW and on this occasion WBro Phillip Rawnes of Prudence Lodge No 219 replied finishing with a Lancashire dialect  monologue  which received loud applause.

The final toast of the evening was the Tylers toast followed by the Tyler’s song which was given a hearty rendering by all present.

WBro Andrew Marsh WM,  WBro Peter Hewitt District Chairman and WBro Peter marsh IPM.

The team enjoyed a super evening, and are already looking forward to the next visit.



The Rochdale District Hosted Meeting 2014
held at Todmorden Masonic Hall

Following the re-structuring of the Areas/Districts within our Province that brought the Lodges of Bacup & Todmorden into the Rochdale District, the 2014 Rochdale District Hosted Meeting was held at Todmorden under the Banner of Prudence Lodge No 219, with14 of the lodges represented.

The APGM, WBro Christopher J Welton PJGD with the  WM and the Officers of Prudence Lodge No 219

Previous hosted meetings have all been held at the Rochdale Masonic Hall.

The Lodge was opened in due form and the minutes of the last regulars Lodge meeting were confirmed and the correspondence read followed by the passing of the accounts.

An alarm was given and the PProvDepGDC, WBro Harold Cooper, entered the Lodge room and announced that the APGM, WBro Christopher Welton and a District Deputation was without and demanded admittance.

The WM WBro Kenneth Lambshead welcomed the APGM and salutations were suitably accorded.

The APGM introduced the deputation which included WBro Ed Cheadle APGP, WBro Peter Hewitt, District Chairman, several district officers accompanied on this occasion by WBro Michael Church-Taylor the ProvGReg, WBro Stuart Kirkpatrick the ProvAsstGChap and WBro Kenneth Greer a PGStwd.

The next Item on the summons was to pass to the second degree of a Fellowcraft Freemason Bro Martin Andrew Ross who had been initiated in November 2103.

Bro Ross answered the usual questions put to him in an exemplary manner and duly received the test of merit before retiring from the Lodge.

The Lodge was then opened in the second degree, an alarm was sounded and the candidate re-admitted to the lodge. An excellent ceremony was conducted by the WM, the working tools were presented by the IPM WBro Clive Hartley and the Charge in the second degree was given by Bro John W Cockcroft the acting senior Warden for the Ceremony.

The newly passed brother then retired from the lodge.  A report was heard and Brother Ross was re-admitted.

The APGM, WBro Christopher J Welton PJGD with members of the Provincial Delegation
with the  Members of Prudence Lodge No 219

Brother Martin Holland was then presented with a Grand Lodge Certificate by the APGM.

The WM of Royds Lodge No 816, Bro Mario Lopresti that also meets at Todmorden was introduced to the APGM and presented him with a cheque for over £300 for the 2105 Festival which had been raised at an Italian Evening the previous weekend.

Reports were then heard and other business transacted before Alms were collected.

The WM than proceeded to close the lodge and after the second rising the APGM and the District Deputation retired from the Lodge.

The APGM, WBro Christopher J Welton PJGD congratulates WBro Ken Lambshead PProvGSuptWks
the Worshipful Master of Prudence Lodge No 219

The Social Board was excellent and with brethren from 15 lodges present somewhat noisy.

The toasts were given and the APGM replied to toasts 3, 4 & 5 before congratulating the WM and members of the Lodge, especially the Secretary WBro Brian Smith, for the work they had done to make this such a marvellous and memorable evening.

A raffle was drawn with five prizes, the APGM drew the second ticket and returned the bottle of red wine to the lodge to be drawn at their next social board. WBro Ken Greer, ProvGStwd and WBro Ken Davies, MBE, District Charity Steward also drew a prizes.

The evening was a resounding success and will be remembered by all that were present.

Over £1000 raised in support of the 2015 Festival

The Rochdale Lodge No 6721 has taken the request of our PGM, Sir David Trippier to support the 2105 Festival to heart. The Lodge is a Grand Patron of the Festival and every member of the lodge has made a personal contribution and we have received a certificate on reaching this landmark from the PGM.

To continue with our efforts we held a Bond Night on the 3rd May at the Rochdale Masonic Buildings and raised over £1000.

We were delighted that the PGM, Sir David and Lady Trippier gave their support and attended the event.

The Greater Manchester Police Swing Band entertained us in the ballroom. The GMP Swing Band are superb and had many feet tapping to the music and they received much applause throughout their programme which started with the James Bond theme and ended the evening with New York, New York to rapturous applause and a standing ovation.

The unsung star of the evening was the drummer,
WBro Simon Rodgers who is the IPM of The Rochdale Lodge No 6721

Meanwhile, in the lounge a Casino was in full swing, with several Black Jack and Roulette tables raising the money for the festival.

A finger buffet was enjoyed midway through the evening.

A raffle was held, the tickets being either bought or purchased with the winnings from the casino. The prizes consisted of a flat screen TV, and ‘X Box’, a box of wine,    and a massive cuddly teddy bear.

The person who won the most chips in the casino was also presented with a bottle of Malt whisky

A fantastic evening enjoyed by all present.




L to R: WBro Alan Barlow (District Deputy Chairman), WBro Gary Whitelegg (Worshipful Master), Bro Jean Louis Kinndjock (Candidate),
WBro Tony Heanly (Master-in-the-Chair) and WBro Peter Hewitt (District Chairman)

On Wednesday 30th April Roch Valley Lodge had the pleasure of receiving into their Lodge the Rochdale District Team and two Acting Officers of the Year under the leadership of WBro Alan Barlow, Deputy District Chairman.
The District Team were welcomed by the WM, WBro Gary Whitelegg and WBro Barlow kindly introduced the individuals to the brethren who, with the two Acting Officers of the Year, totalled TEN in number. 

The main focus of the evening was a Raising Ceremony for Bro Jean Louis Kinndjock and, being a Past Masters Evening, the WM invited WBro Tony Heanly, PProvJGW, to conduct the Ceremony.  The work of WBro Heanly was greatly appreciated by all concerned none more so than Bro Kinndjock.

The Social Board was conducted with dignity and good humour by the DC for the evening, WBro Peter Hewitt (District Chairman!). 

The JW in proposing the Toast to Provincial Officers commenced the Toast by reminding everyone that earlier in the day WBro Chris Welton, APGM for Oldham & Rochdale, had been appointed to the rank of PJGD at the a Annual Investiture Meeting of Grand Lodge in London.

WBro Barlow responded to the Toast to Provincial Officers, and informed all present of forthcoming events that are scheduled for the Rochdale District.

The newest member of the District Team, WBro Aubrey Oldham (DORA) made an instant impression in the Rochdale District by winning a bottle of Single Malt Whiskey in the raffle.

A wonderful evening all round and a very special occasion for Bro Kinndjock!


200 years old and still going strong

Hope Lodge No 54 - Bi-Centenary Celebrations

Wednesday the 9th April 2104 was a very special and memorable day for the brethren of Lodge of Hope No 54 as it was the bi-centennial celebration of the Lodge. The planning for this event had taken place over many months and the result was an astounding success.

The lodge room was filled to capacity with over 150 brethren present

The lodge was opened in due form and the minutes of the previous meeting confirmed.

A report was sounded and a deputation form Atholl Lodges were admitted.

A short history of the Atholl Lodges was given and an appreciative applause was shown by the brethren.

A second report was sounded and the Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, RWBro Sir David Trippier RD,JP,DL accompanied by other Provincial Officers were admitted. The brethren afforded salutations to the PGM to which he responded.

A third report was sounded and the Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes accompanied by other distinguished Brethren were admitted. The brethren afforded salutations to the Pro Grand master to which he also responded.

A short history of the Lodge was given by WBro C Graham Adamsom PProvSGW to which he received an appreciative applause.

The Bi-Centenary warrant was read by the Grand Secretary VWBro C Nigel R Brown prior to the  Pro Grand Master presenting it to the WM, Bro David Jones, and the brethren of Hope Lodge No 54.

An Oration was then given by WBro, the Rev’d David J Halford, PAGChaplain, ProvGChaplain

The WM than presented bound copies of the Lodge History to The Pro Grand Master and the PGM.

A donation to charity of £5400 was presented to the PGM Sir David Trippier by the WM Bro David Jones.

A collection to Charity Donations was taken, before the lodge was closed in due form.

The Brethren of Hope Lodge No 54 with their distinguished guests

The MW Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes and
The WM Bro David Jones holding the Bi-Centenary Certificate and
theThe Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, RWBro Sir David Trippier RD,JP,DL

The Festive Board was an excellent and lively affair enjoyed by all the brethren, The first toast, The Queen, The Duke of Lancaster was proposed by the WM, Bro David Jones.

The second toast was to The Most Worshipful The Grand Master, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, and was also proposed by the WM.

The third Toast was again proposed by the WM, and was to The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master, the RW Deputy Grand master, The RW Asst Grand Master and the Grand Officers Present and Past.  In replying to the toast, The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master,  Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, addressed the brethren relating some anecdotes from the past and ending by congratulating the members of Lodge of Hope No 54 and expressing his support and good wishes for the future following which he received a standing ovation.

The fourth Toast was to the Provincial Grand Master  for East Lancashire, RWBro Sir David Trippier, was proposed by the WM.  In replying, Sir David addressed the Brethren saying how proud he was to be a Rochdale Freemason and to congratulate members of the Lodge of Hope on attained this Bi-Centennial occasion, he continued by relating certain memories relating to his appointment as PGM which had the brethren roaring with laughter before again congratulating the brethren of the Lodge of Hope on attaining this landmark meeting. As is the custom in Rochdale he, too, received a standing ovation.

The final toast of the evening to the Lodge of Hope No 54 was proposed by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Oldham & Rochdale Districts of East Lancashire, WBro Chris Welton.  In addressing the Brethren saying how proud he was to represent the Area and made a few remarks regarding some of the facts that had been given in the Lodge regarding the past two millenia. He then congratulated the WM and brethren of the Lodge of Hope Lodge on attaining their landmark 200 years of history. The reply on behalf of Lodge of Hope was given by the WM who thanked all the brethren who had attended this memorable bi-centenary meeting.

An excellent evening was drawn to a close by the Tylers Toast which was delivered in full by the Lodge Tyler, WBro Alan Whatmough, followed by ‘May the evenings transactions bear the mornings reflections and here’s to our next merry meeting’

The RW Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier.
The MW Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes and The WM Bro David Jones


District team visits Liberty Lodge No 5573

L to R – WBro Peter Hewitt, District Chairman.  WBro Ed Cheadle APGP,  Bro Nigel Coles, WM.
Bro David Clancey, The newly passed brother and WBro Victor Howarth his proposer and IPM.

The District Team visited Liberty Lodge No 5573 on Tuesday 8th April as part of the ongoing scheduled visits to Lodges in the Rochdale District of the Eastern Area.

The team consisted of the Chairman, WBro Peter G Hewitt, APGP WBro Ed Cheadle, Deputy Chairman WBro Alan Barlow, 2015 Assistant District Festival Representative, WBro Peter Rhodes, District Mentor WBro Ian Warrington, and the District Communication Officer WBro Dave Garnett. Accompanying the ‘Team’ were two of the Rochdale District Acting Officers of the Year, WBro Ray Milligan Provincial Junior Grand Deacon and WBro Ken Greer, Provincial Grand Steward.

The Lodge was opened and the team were welcomed by the IPM, WBro Victor Howarth to which the District Chairman thanked the Master in the Chair  for the very warm welcome.

The main business of the evening was the passing of Bro David John Clancey who had been initiated on the 13th September 2013. The ceremony was conducted by WBro Victor Howarth (IPM) who was the proposer of Bro Clancey. It was very enjoyable to witness and carried out with great dignity.

The festive board was excellent, The District Chairman in responding to the toasts 3, 4 & 5 thanked the brethren of Liberty Lodge for their warm welcome, their continued support of district events, and he reminded them of the forthcoming Flower Festival in June.

The toast to the candidate was given by his proposer, and Bro Clancey responded with a short but excellent reply.

The Lodge 2015 Representative, WBro Kevin Hooson, then said a few words and passed the ‘2105 Collection Glass’ around the brethren, he then invited the newly appointed District Assistant Festival Representative, WBro Peter Rhodes, to address the brethren.  Peter assured the brethren that he would always to available to help and advise with respect to the 2015 Festival and in whatever way he could.

A raffle was then held with proceeds to the Festival, and the lucky winner was the Provincial Grand Steward, WBro Ken Greer.

It was another super evening enjoyed by all present and we all look forward to the next merry meeting.



The Rochdale District Team visited Charity Lodge No 3342

WBro Peter G Hewitt, Rochdale District Chairman. WBro Derek Linney, WM  and WBro David St Hillier Bisson

The Rochdale District Team visited Charity Lodge No 3342 on the 26th March to witness a Lecture by WBro David St Hellier Bisson PProvDepGReg.

It was an unusual meeting due to the fact that several of the members of the lodge were not able to be present due to other recommitment's, the result being that apart from two offices all the other offices were taken by lodge substitutes.

The minutes were read and approved after which the WM welcomed WBro Peter Hewitt along with members of his delegation which he then introduced.

The lecture that was given by WBro Bisson was to have been a lecture entitled ‘Preparing the candidate for Initiation’, but WBro Bisson actually gave a lecture that he had prepared and researched himself. It explored the facets of the Initiation Ceremony as we know it today and compared them with the past. For example, in Charity lodges the candidate used to wear a white linen suit, abandoned many years ago.  He also explored the reasons for the cable of tow and why the candidate was slipshod. WBro Bisson raised some fascinating and interesting theories which set the brethren thinking.

The lodge then concluded Any Other Business and the Lodge was closed in peace and harmony.

The festive board was very enjoyable and the WBro Hewitt replied to the toasts 3,4 and 5 and took the opportunity to remind the brethren of the forthcoming Flower Festival that will take place in June.

The reply to the visitors toast was undertaken by WBro K Greer, an Acting Provincial Steward of the year.

A raffle was held and the lucky winner was WBro Francis Healey.



Visit to Lodge of Friendship No 277

L to R  - WBro Ed Cheadle APGP, the WM of Friendship Lodge No 277, WBro Roger Fielding,
Bro Dennis Brierley, who gave the lecture, and  Rochdale District Chairman,WBro Peter Hewitt

The Rochdale District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt, and several of the Rochdale District Officers visited The Lodge of Friendship No 277 on Wednesday 12th March.

The Lodge was opened in the first degree and the WM, WBro Roger Fielding welcomed WBro Hewitt and asked that he introduce the District Team to the brethren.

WBro Hewitt, in introducing the team, noted that on this occasion we had been joined by WBro Ed Cheadle, the APGP for the Rochdale District, and WBro Ray Milligan an acting Provincial Junior Grand Deacon of the Province of East Lancashire.

The main item on the summons was to receive a Lecture entitled “Freemasonry Then and Now” (The lighter side of Freemasonry) which was delivered by Bro Dennis C Brierley a member of Anchor and Hope Lodge No 37, which was consecrated in October 1732 and is one of the oldest lodges in existence.

Bro Brierley’s address was very interesting and held the brethren spellbound.  Judging by some of the antics which he related that took place in bygone days, the masons of today are very dignified,sensible and sober.!!

The WM, WBro Fielding thanked Bro Brierley for a very entertaining, informative and interesting lecture.

An excellent lecture well recommended



Wot a reet good neet!

The Brethren of Roclyffe Lodge with the visiting Brethren

The  Rochdale District Team made its third visit to Roclyffe Lodge No 5198 on the 27th February. Bacup Masonic building ‘Holmroyd’ is cold forbidding house elevated above the road, but the welcome you receive is warm and inviting. But what a difference to Rochdale, no bar staff, no catering staff and no waitress service.

The Lodge was opened in due form and the main item on the summons was an explanation of the working tools in the first degree which was given by Bro Robert Drobny being the first time he has delivered ritual before visitors,  He was obviously very nervous (but we've all been there).  His delivery was given facing the District Team members and he must have been like facing court martial, but it was brilliant!

The reports of the Lodge Officers were delivered before the Lodge was closed in peace and harmony.

Whilst we regrouped in the bar, the lodge members were preparing a festive board fit for a King. The Lodge members served delicious soup - carrot and peppers, followed by Fresh salmon, roast ham, roast beef, potatoes, tomato’s, beetroot and an enormous salad. This was followed by fruit pie and cream with the largest cheese selection known to man!

It was a sight to behold, the member of the lodge dressed in a red and white apron, the sort seen in a kitchen as he collected the dirty dishes before he started with the washing up.

After the toasts, District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt reiterated that the District team always looked forward to visiting Roclyffe Lodge for obvious reasons, the ritual, the friendship, and noted that the atmosphere in the dining room was electric and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

The WM addressed the Brethren and than announced that the Lodge was to support the Flower Festival with the sponsorship of three flower arrangements.

The toast to the visitors was afforded and the Brethren of Roclyffe gave a another superb rendering of their visitors song, the words of which are in Lancashire dialect.

The raffle was drawn and the prize,a fine bottle of wine was claimed by the District Team member WBro Ian Warrington

Reflecting on the night, the visitors had a great night and the Brethren of Roclyffe Lodge always have a super time and enjoy their masonry to the full but, after all, isn’t that what its all about !



An Installation and a Surprise !

The Rochdale Lodge Installation meeting on the 24th February was a truly momentous affair.  The lodge was opened in the first degree and the minutes passed.  Unusual at an Installation was the balloting for three new members plus notice of motions for another two new members.

There was a report and the APGM, WBro J Christopher Welton PProvSGW  who, together with two Grand Officers, sought admittance.
The APGM explained that he was attending the Installation to witness this special occasion in which a ‘grandfather’ was to present the Master Elect and his ‘grandson’ for installation, and another surprise which he would be shared with the brethren later.

This was followed by a second report when WBro Peter Messum, PAGDC, the Representative of the RWProvincial Grand Master, also sought admission. Salutations were then afforded to WBro Messum.

The Lodge was opened in the second and third degrees and all Masons below the rank of a Past Master retired from the Lodge.
The Ceremony of Installation as conducted by the WM, Bro Simon Rogers, was superb and every member of the Lodge present took a part in the Ceremony.
The investment of Officers took place the final Address to the Brethren being given by WBro T V Young PProvSGW who is 94 years of age and the grandfather of the new Worshipful Master. The address was perfect, clear and concise for which WBro Young received an ovation.

The Reports from the Almoner, the District Representative and the 2015 Festival Representative were given followed by the proposal by the Secretary to donate a total of £2300 to various charities.
This included a donation £1200 to the 2105 Festival.  The WM then presented a cheque for this amount to the Representative of the RWPGM.
The APGM, WBro J Christopher Welton then addressed the Brethren and reminded them that he had a surprise, which was the presentation of a Certificate to celebrate the fact that every subscribing member of the Rochdale Lodge had made a personal donation to the 2015 Festival.
The Lodge was then closed in due form.

The Festive Board was a merry affair, good food and good company, the song to the master was sung by Bro John Ashworth accompanied by WBro Eric Kirkbride PAGDC on the pianoforte.
A raffle was held and the APGM, WBro Welton was one of the lucky winners!


L to R, Bro Mark Taala- SW,   WBro Peter Hewitt - District Chairman, WBro J Christopher Welton APGM,   
Bro Scott Buckley - WM,   WBro Tom Young,    WBro Peter Messum - Representative of the RWPGM, 
WBro Eric Kirkbride and Bro Matthew Brearley – JW


L to R, WBro Peter Rhodes - 2015 Festival Representative, .WBro J Christopher Welton - APGM presenting the Certificate
to Bro Scott Buckley - WM, and WBro Peter Hewitt - District Chairman



An Explanation of the Second Degree Tracing Board

The Rochdale District Team visited Probity & Freedom Lodge No 367 on the 13th February 2014

The Lodge was opened in due form and the District Team were admitted.

The Worshipful Master, Bro Andrew Evans, welcomed the District Chairman and his team,
who  on this occasion were accompanied by two Provincial Acting Officers, WBro Michael Church-Taylor, Provincial  Grand Registrar and WBro Kenny Greer, Provincial Grand Steward.

The Lodge was then opened in the second degree and WBro Joe Galvin of Benevolence Lodge No 226 gave a superb explanation of the Second Degree Tracing Board.
It was delivered with such eloquence and depth of feeling that the brethren were spellbound!

The Festive Board was a very lively and friendly affair accompanied by an excellent meal which included that favourite Lancashire dish of ‘Beef Steak Pudding’ which was prepared and served by the staff of the Rochdale Masonic Buildings in fine style

A raffle took place and the ticket was drawn by The District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt,
the winner being WBro Hewitt himself!

The toasts 3,4 & 5 were given followed by a reply from the District Chairman.

The toast to the Visitors (after a very excellent rendering of ‘Join us in Harmony’) was given and the replied to by WBro Christopher Hajikakou the WM of the Lodge of Benevolence No 226.

The full version of the Tyler's toast was given by WBro John Lees.

Another splendid evening of Masonic Fellowship

LtoR - WBro Joe Galvin, Bro Andrew Evans -  WM, WBro Peter Hewitt the District Chairman



Harmony Lodge No 298 Installation
Monday 5th February 2104

LtoR : WBro Bernard Percy PProvJGD - IPM, WBro Roger Norris PJGD - The representative of the PGM,
WBro Eric Kirkbride PAGDC , WM, VWBro Harold Woodward PGSwdB, and WBro Peter Hewitt PAGDC - Rochdale District Chairman

The Installation meeting of Harmony Lodge No 298 will certainly be remembered by all the 84 brethren who were present. one of whom had travelled from Singapore ! The master elect is a well loved and respected mason in the Rochdale District and as a result many of his friends attended his installation.

A Grand Lodge Officer, and having previously been in the chair of Harmony Lodge in 1984  exactly 30 years to the date, WBro Eric Kirkbride PAGDC was a popular choice as master elect.

Having served as the Rochdale District Chairman 2005 - 2010 he was supported by all the District Officers who served under his chairmanship.

Harmony Lodge as the name suggests, has a very musical installation where hymns psalms and chants form part of the ceremony, and at one point in the ceremony a portion of Mozart's opera the Musical Flute is performed.
The Installation ceremony was carried out by the WM, WBro Bernard Percy with a superb command of the ritual and for all present it proved a not to be missed installation.

WBro Kirkbride’s friend and colleague of long standing  VWBRo Harold Woodward who is a Past Deputy Grand Master  of the Province of East Lancashire presented WBro Kirkbride  to the WM  for the benefit of Installation.
The Festive board was a lively and enthralling affair and many tributes were paid to the members to the members of the Lodge who made this a memorable day.                                                             
In the adjacent lounge next door Mrs Barbara Kirkbride hosted a meal for 31 ladies of the Lodge who were dined and entertained.

A day of true masonic fellowship


District Team Enjoy a Passing Ceremony
Followed by a Hot Curry

The Rochdale District Chairman, Peter Hewitt accompanied by members of the District Team visited St Martin’s Lodge No 2320  as part of their programme to visit each lodge in the district at least once a year.
The lodge was opened in due form and after the confirmation of the minutes of the previous meetings, the minutes of the lodge meeting 100 years ago were read.

This meeting was a very special one for Bro Jeremy Reilly as he was passed to the rank of a Fellow Craft Freemason. The ceremony was carried out by the WM Bro Anthony James with great dignity and sincerity.  The Senior Deacon directed the candidate around the lodge with diligence and candour. As a result the ceremony was most enjoyable and memorable, especially by Bro Reilly.

The District DORA, WBro Paul Holt, then presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro Paul Wainwright which he delivered in his own inimitable style with clarity and conviction.

Reports were received for the District Representative, the Almoner and on behalf of the 2015 Festival Representative. The lodge was then closed in peace and harmony.

LtoR : Rochdale District  Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt, WM Bro Anthony James
and candidate Bro Jeremy Reilly

The festive board was indeed a treat to behold, poppadums, chutneys and samosas to open the meal , followed by  Chicken Jalfrezi  with nan bread and fries concluding with fruit salad and coconut ice-cream.

The toasts were honoured, and  the final one to Bro Reilly was given by his proposer WBro Charles MacMillan. Bro Reilly gave an excellent response which was followed by an ovation from the brethren.

A raffle was held and the winner of the draw was WBro Raymond Milligan ProvJGD, an Acting provincial Officer of the year,  on buying his ticket he remarked that it was the same number as his lodge Royds 816 and maybe his luck may be in - you can imagine his surprise when the ticket 816 was drawn.

It was a evening to be remembered by all present, especially the candidate Bro Reilly who is now awaiting his next ceremony albeit with some trepidation.


The Rochdale District 2014 Quiz Night

 The Winning Team  -  Benevolence Lodge ‘A’ Team

Twenty-five teams of Rochdale masons and their friends enjoyed the fourth “Fun Quiz” evening at Richard Street on Friday 31st January 2014.
The questions and answers were posed by WBro Chris Henthorn aka “Chris Britten” but it was our own WBro Ken Davies’ presentation that kept all the brethren and their ladies laughing and attentive for the whole evenings’ proceedings. No mean feat! He was even seen taking on the role of a cricket batsman at one point but declined to comment when asked about this.

The ‘Wooden Spooners’ -  Friendship Lodge ‘D’ Team

During an interval from all of the efforts of thinking, Martin and his staff served up delicious snack meals of either Beef Steak Pie or Chilli both served with lashings of chips to keep all the quiz participants brains working on top form.

After this break it was back to the rest of the quiz which ended with the overall winners of the Silver Trophy being declared as Benevolence Lodge ‘A’ Team.The winners of the prestigious ‘wooden spoons’ were Friendship Lodge ‘D’Team.

The Quiz Master – ‘Chris Britten’– better known as WBro Chris Henthorn

In presenting the Rochdale District Committee trophy to the winners WBro Peter Hewitt, the District Chairman, commented on what a successful and enjoyable evening it had been and that he hoped everyone would come back next year to compete for the trophy once again. A raffle was held for the prizes, donated by a number of brethren.

Overall the evening raised £ 700, which will be donated to the East Lancashire 2015 Festival
WBro Ken Davies rounded off the evening’s proceedings by thanking everyone for coming and for their generosity, and announcing the date for the next quiz night – January 30th 2015.

Views of the crowded and noisy Ballroom.


Crafty Companions

Members of the ELRADT awaiting their just deserts at the Festive Board.
Seated at the top of the table is EConp John Cavanagh, and extreme right EComp Graham Rawlinson

The District Chairman accompanied by several members of the District Team and two acting Provincial Officers visited St Chads Lodge on the 15th of January to witness a presentation by the East Lancashire Royal Arch Demonstration Team entitled ‘Crafty Companions’. Another visitor was the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal of the East Lancs Provincial Grand Chapter, WBro David H. Thompson, PJGD.

The Lodge was opened in due form and several items of business concluded and the Lodge called off for the presentation.

EComp Paul Aspinall, APGP, welcome everyone to the presentation and then called upon the leader of the ELRADT, EComp John Cavanagh, to introduce himself and give a short précis of the demonstration that was to follow. He stated that the members of the team were acting out the roles of the Chapter Officers as described in the ritual, e.g., King Solomon, Hiram Abiff, Hiram King of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar, to name just a few.

Each character appeared in turn and told a few facts about themselves. The Brethren were encouraged to join in with comments, for example Nebuchadnezzar certainly raised a few boo’s. On completion of the demonstration EComp John Cavanagh introduced each of the Brethren/Companions who had taken part. WBro Graham Rawlinson, DC of St Chad's Lodge, was amongst the team. The team were afforded an extremely well deserved round of applause for the excellent demonstration.

The Lodge was returned to labour and the business concluded and closed down.

The festive board was a vociferous affair, with the Brethren discussing the demonstration that had just taken part. A raffle was held with three draw prizes, the winner was EComp John Cavanagh. The second prize of a bottle of vintage port was drawn by Provincial Grand Steward, WBro Ken Greer, with the third prize going to the Second Provincial Grand Principal, EComp David Thompson.

Another excellent night in Rochdale, the presentation by the ELRADT which I am sure will be a topic of discussion amongst the 70 brethren present for some time to come.


New Year’s Eve saw 133 Masons, wives and friends gather at Richard Street for the annual ball, organized by the Rochdale Social Committee.

After an introduction by W Bro Bernard Percy, secretary of the committee, an excellent six course meal was enjoyed by all. The Buildings management team are to be commended on the quality of the food and service provided.

Whilst coffee was being taken the guests enjoyed a riotous fifteen minutes or so playing with the compulsory rocket balloons. To see an APGM (no names) acting like a big kid is a refreshing sight to behold!!
Before dancing could commence W Bro Ken Davies put into practice the lessons he had received, last year, from assistant manager Sue Hawkes and swept up the resultant debris.

The ever popular keyboard and vocal duo ‘Saremma’, Pete and Yvonne Shaw, then kept the dance floor full for the next hour with a non-stop programme of music to suit all tastes. The place was absolutely buzzing.

Peter Hewitt, the Rochdale District Chairman, took the floor and thanked the organisers and those who had helped set up the room along with the staff and ‘Saremma’.

His lovely wife Sandra, assisted by W Bro Percy, drew the raffle with a dozen excellent prizes being won, W Bro Ray Lancashire taking the ‘star’ prize of two free tickets to next year’s ‘do’.
The excellent sum of £635 was raised for good causes.

‘Saremma’ then returned and took the revelers through to midnight, Big Ben and Auld Lang Syne, after which dancing continued till carriages and everyone merrily drifted away thinking of next year.


15 Festival receives fantastic boost from the
Freemasons of Todmorden

On Thursday 9th January 2014 Royds Lodge No 816 had the pleasure of receiving APGM, WBro J Christopher Welton, at their regular meeting at the Todmorden Masonic Hall.
This was the first meeting of the Lodge since the Installation Meeting in December and the newly appointed Officers showed their skill and competency in transacting the Lodge Business in a most accomplished manner and with polished ceremonial.

L to R: WBro Stephen Lawlor, SW, WBro J Christopher Welton, APGM, Bro Mario LoPresti,WM,
Bro Sturt MacRae, JW, WBro Geoffreey Howarth, DC.

In 1989 one of the past masters of Royds Lodge, WBro Charles Henry Broadbent, very suddenly and unexpectedly died leaving a wife Marjorie. One of the members of Royds Lodge, WBro Geoffrey Howorth, a friend and near neighbour of Marjorie, did all he could to help Marjorie over the years after Charles’s passing and he was surprised to find that Marjorie left a sum of money in her Will with the instructions that it should be distributed to Charities that Geoff felt would be worthy recipients.
WBro Howorth therefore duly presented WBro Welton with a cheque for £10,000 for the EL 2015 Festival to the acclaim of all the brethren. WBro Welton was amazed at the sum of money presented and thanked WBro Howorth on behalf of the 2015 Festival Committee.
At this meeting WBro Welton was accompanied by the Rochdale District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt, and he too was presented with a cheque this time in the sum of £300 from the brethren of Royds Lodge and a cheque for £100 from the Todmorden Masonic Association both by way of sponsorship for the forthcoming Rochdale District Flower Festival to be held in June 2014. WBro Hewitt expressed his sincere thanks to the members of Royds Lodge and the Todmorden Masonic Association for their wonderful generosity.

L to R: WBro J Christopher Welton, APGM, Bro Mario LoPresti, WM, Bro Geoffrey Howarth, DC.

A raffle was held at the Social Board that following the meeting at which the Worshipful Master, Bro Mario LoPresti, ensured he made a lasting impression on his APGM by announcing that the winning ticket was that of WBro Chris Welton.


50 years a Freemason

WBro Allen Clarke celebrated his 50 years as a freemason and a member of Napthali Lodge No 226 on Thursday 2nd January 2014.  WBro Chris Welton, the APGM, conducted the event and was supported by five Grand Officers, the District Chairman, members of the District Team and 3 Acting Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire.

The Lodge was opened and all items of business on the summons were completed before the ProvDepGDC,  Dr Simon Archer, entered the lodge and announced that the APGM, accompanied by a delegation, demanded admittance.

On entering the lodge the WM, Bro Bohdan Lisnyj, welcomed the APGM and offered him the gavel, the APGM accepted and occupied the chair of King Solomon. He then proceeded to introduce members of the Delegation.

L to R - WBro Eric Kirkbride, WBro Ed Cheadle APGP, WBro Rev’d Donald Price,WBro Allen Clarke, WBro Chris Welton APGM,
WBro Ian Clarke (son), WBro Peter Hewitt Rochdale District Chairman and WBro Dr Simon Archer,PDepGDC

The APGM said he was delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of WBro Allen Clarke, and requested that WBro Clarkehe be seated in the centre of the Lodge. He gave a short synopsis of events of the year in which WBro Clarke was born.

Several memorable events of that year included the first Micky Mouse cartoon, and the first appearance of Rice Crispies.
He then invited WBro Clarke’s son, Ian, to deliver a tribute history of his father.

WBro Clarke is a Heywood man who had a keen involvement with the Scout movement in Heywood & forged many friendships.

National serviced beckoned in October 1945 when he opted for the RAF and was involved in a bomber squadron (Lancasters), and subsequently with a conversion unit of transport command (DC3 Dakota’s) 
WBro Clarke’s Masonic career commenced on 2nd January 1964. 

He was Proposed by WBro A Driver, Seconded by Bro F Kempster and Initiated, Passed & Raised at the Victoria Hotel, Heywood, prior to the Lodge moving to Richard Street in 1965. 

WBro Clarke was involved from day one & took part in learning the various Addresses, Charges, Tools & especially the Second Tracing Board which he has presented for many years.  After a long wait on the ladder he was Installed as WM in 1979. He has always been considered “DC friendly” and whenever called upon was more than willing to step into the breach and perform ceremonies for other Masters being considered a perfectionist when it came to rituals. 

His thirst for Freemasonry continued and he was exalted in to Naphtali Chapter in November 1965 and eventually taking the office of Principal Sojourner for 6 years subsequently being installed as 1st Principal in 1982.

Other Masonic interests included being a member of the Roberts Mark Degree & Prince Royal Ark Mariner Degree. 

An active member of the Rochdale Fellowship where he spends many happy hours & has been involved on the Committee for over 8 years. 

The highlight of WBro Clarke’s Masonic career transpired when he was Installed in the Chair for the second time in December 1998 giving him the rare honour of installing his son, Ian, in the Chair as a Lewis in December 1999 making this his proudest moment of his Masonic career. 

Outside of his Masonic life, Allen’s main interest has been golf, having played to a high standard in his mid years with music also being a very fond passion with his extensive library. The APGM then presented WBro Clarke with an Illuminated Certificate from the PGM, after which he was conducted around the lodge to the applause of the assembled company.

WBro Allen Clarke addressing the brethren

The Festive Board was a  jolly affair and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.  The toast to the ‘Birthday Boy’ was proposed by his long time friend, WBro David Norbury, PProvJGW. WBro Clarke’s reply was a delight to hear after which he again received a standing ovation. 
The final toast was the Tyler’s toast followed by ‘Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again.

Rochdale Masonic Social Committee
Children’s Christmas Party 2013

On the 21st December, Rochdale Masonic Social Committee again hosted another very successful Children’s Christmas Party. Over fifty boys and girls aged between three and ten years of age were entertained by Dazzle the Clown, who’s magic tricks had some of the parents impressed.

After the entertainment, all the children enjoyed a traditional kids Christmas dinner of burger and chips followed by cookies and cakes thankfully donated by Bro. Kevin Williams. After filling themselves up with goodies, the children joined in with more dancing and party games.

Much excitement and a little singing followed as Father Christmas arrived to deliver presents and a selection boxes to all the children. This concluded another fantastic family event at Rochdale with everyone going home looking forward to Christmas.



Grand Charity £2,800 Springhill Hospice Support

Rochdale District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt presenting
a cheque for £2800 to Robert Clegg, CEO of Springhill Hospice
(picture Rochdale on Line)

The District Chairman, WBro Peter Hewitt presented a cheque for £2800 to  Robert Clegg the CEO of The Springfield Hospice at the ‘Man of Rochdale 2013’ Dinner  which was held at the Rochdale Town Hall and attended by the Mayor and 200 local business men. The response from the audience was extremely encouraging and appreciative of what the Freemasons do for the Hospices in particular

Nine hospices in the Province of East Lancashire have received donations from The
Freemasons’ Grand Charity, totalling £23,515.

239 adult and children’s hospices across England and Wales have received a total of
£600,000. Since 1984, £10.5 million has been donated to hospices by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. All donations are raised by Freemasons and their families and aim to assist hospices in their vital role in helping those affected by terminal or life limiting illness.

Speaking about the donation to Springhill Hospice, Peter Hewitt said: “Every year Freemasons all over the country work together to provide funding for hospice services. The care provided by our local hospices is exceptional, but financial support is fundamental to ensuring a continued good service. We recognise the vital role hospice plays within our community here in Rochdale and that is why we are so happy to continue with our support in 2013”.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need, having donated more than £100 million since 1981. The Charity provides grants totalling nearly £8 million each year in the areas of: medical research; support for vulnerable people; youth opportunities; hospice services; air ambulances; and disaster relief, as well as providing assistance to Freemasons and their dependants in financial need.

The Grand Charity is continuing a commitment to charitable support that began nearly
300 years ago in the earliest days of organised Freemasonry. The Grand Charity aims to:
• Make a significant difference to people in real need
• Help the wider community by funding vital projects
• Support issues of concern to Freemasons and their families




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 Day Care patients.

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.

Local Freemasons showing festive gifts to some of the Springhill Hospice Day Care staff. 

Front LtoR : Sister Pat Harding,   Douglas Smith, Ken Davies, Bernard Percy,  Lynne McOwen, Day Care Assistant.   
Back  L to R : Staff Nurse Debbie Johnson,  Creative Therapist Anwen Maitland,    Day Care Hairdresser Hazel Mills. 



Birthday Boy celebrates Three Birthdays

Thursday 19th December was a very special day for WBro Barry Pinfield, not only was it the celebration of 50 years as a member of the craft, but also 35years as a member of Keystone lodge and also his 78th Birthday.

The RWPGM Sir David Trippier RD, JP,DL presenting the certificate to 
WBro Barry Pinfield PProvGSwdB

The lodge was opened, minute’s approved and other business transacted. An alarm was given and the Provincial Dep. Director of Ceremonies, WBro Harold Cooper, announced that The Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Sir David Trippier, was without and demanded admission.

The PGM is a member of Keystone Lodge and this was to be a very special 50th celebration for WBro Barry Pinfield.

The PGM began by introducing the members of the Provincial Delegation who accompanied on this visit. He then asked that the Birthday Boy be seated in the centre of the lodge and addressed WBro Pinfield. He remarked that he had been a friend of WBro Pinfield for many years said would be very flattering but there would be more revealing expositions later at the Festive Board.

The PGM noted that several famous and well-known individuals were born in the same year as WBro Pinfield, the most notable being the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley.

The PGM then presented WBro Pinfield with a certificate celebrating 50 years in the Craft after which the Provincial Dep DC escorted WBro Pinfield around the lodge to the acclaim of the brethren.
The Provincial Deputation retired from the lodge before it was closed.

The Provincial Deputation with WBro Barry Pinfield

The Brethren were joined at the Festive Board by the ladies and an excellent Christmas Fayre was enjoyed before the PGM addressed the Ladies and Brethren and revealed some recollections he shared with WBro Pinfield. 
In his reply WBro Pinfield spoke of some of his memories in freemasonry over the past 50 years than thanked the PGM for his kind remarks.

The PGM than presented WBro Pinfield with a splended wristwatch to celebrate the special occasion.

The brethren were then entertained by Ms Freda Farnworth accompanied on the piano by WBro Ian Raynor, who sang festive songs and carols with the brethren and guests joining in. The finale came with the 12 days of Christmas where each of the 12 tables represented one of the 12 days, each standing with suitable gestures to represent their verse.

A wonderful evening finally ended with memories for all present to cherish and especially WBro Barry Pinfied to remind him of the three special birthdays he celebrated today.


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