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
APGM Visits 2014/2015
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 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.’
The Freemasons of Rochdale joined the Remembrance Parade in Rochdale's magnificent Town Hall Square on a brilliantly sunny Sunday morning.
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.
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.
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.
The WM, WBro Robert Codling accompanied by
The District Team visited Keystone Lodge No 363 on Thursday 20th October as part of the team’s programme of visits throughout the year.
L to R - WBro Ian Dugdale DC, WBro Alan Barlow Dep District Chairman,
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.
An excellent evening was drawn to a close with the Tylers Toast
L to R: WBro Simon Rogers IPM, Bro John Rochelle, Bro Stephen Carroll, Bro Martyn Beever,
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 unusual and spectacular evening was drawn to a close by the Tylers Toast.
L to R - WBro Peter Hewitt - District Chairman, WBro Stephen Oxley - DC, Bro Andrew Evans -WM,
The District Chairman accompanied by members of the District Team visited Probity & Freedom Lodge No 367 on Thursday 12th of September.
The APGM WBro Chris J Welton accompanied by District Chairman WBro Peter Hewitt and the
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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 !
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact
WBro David Garnett, District Communications Officer for Rochdale District.