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Rochdale District Latest News


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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

Tour De Province 2016 for the ELMC

Read Peter’s Report On His Bike Ride Here

Samaritan Lodge No.286

WBro Michael Holt PPAGDC Worshipful Master

On Tuesday 18th February, Samaritan Lodge No.286 was pleased to receive WBro Peter G Hewitt, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by a Deputation of Rochdale District Officers, together with several Grand Lodge Officers.

This meeting was the final meeting of Samaritan Lodge and at the conclusion of business WBro Hewitt was to receive the Warrant of the Lodge from the Worshipful Master, WBro Holt.  

After the usual opening of the Lodge, the secretary WBro Peter Marsh PProvDepGDC delivered a brief history of Samaritan Lodge. WBro Marsh explained how the Lodge had received it's first warrant in 1792 at Keighley in the County of West Yorkshire, later moving to Accrington in Lancashire and then finally to Bacup. He went on to explain that during it's long history spanning 224 years, like many lodges it had experienced it's fair share of difficult times. However, through the good management and ingenuity of it's Masters and members it had always managed to survivor and negotiate the many difficulties it had been experienced during it's long history. 

WBro Hewitt then addressed those present. He stated that although many Brethren would quite rightly feel that the evenings proceedings were a very sad occasion in the history of the Lodge, they should not forget that this final meeting could be seen as an opportunity for Brethren to celebrate the outstanding work the Lodge and it's members had achieved throughout its 224 year existence.  He explained that the average life of a Lodge during the early part of the nineteenth century was less than 25 years. For Samaritan to have continued working for 224 years, should be seen as a fine achievement reflecting the dedication and commitment of it's many members. If one considers the hundreds of new masons the lodge has initiated into Freemasonry  and that these masons will in turn have spread the word of Freemasonry in this and other Provinces then one begins to appreciate the beneficial effect Samaritan Lodge has had on our great fraternity. 

The lodge was then closed for the final time by the Worshipful Master and his Wardens after which WBro 
Hewitt received the Warrant from the Worshipful Master WBro Holt. 


The photograph shows from left to right WBro Peter Hewitt PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Bro Terry McDonald, WBro Peter Marsh PProvDepGDC, WBro Michael Holt PProvAGDC - Worshipful Master, WBro Bryan Hartley PProvDepGSuptWks, Bro Edward Wade, WBro Andrew Marsh PProvSGD - DC  

The evening was concluded with a very enjoyable meal where quests and members relaxed together in a very informal atmosphere. Finally the catering staff were presented with gifts in recognition of the work that they had carried out for many y .

As one member commented, perhaps the empty warrant case says it all  !!! 


The PGM of East Lancashire visits the Provincial Meeting of the Province of the Isle of Man

On September 23rd the Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, RWBro Sir David Tripper, together with East Lancashire Masons and their wives visited the Province of the Isle Of Man.  The East Lancashire party attended the Isle of Man Provincial meeting at which Sir David Tripper presented RWBro Keith Dalrymple PGM with a cheque for £1,000 for the refurbishment of the Wardens Chairs; a lasting reminder of the strengths and bonds between our two Provinces.

The following day the party were treated to a trip around the island followed by a visit to an ancestral home.
The group travelled home on Sunday 25th with so many pleasant memories of a very enjoyable meeting and weekend. 


The photograph shows from left to right
WBro Bernard Forbes MM, WBro Brian Horne PAGDC, WBro David Greenhalgh   PProvDepGReg , WBro Kevin Horne PAGDC, RWBro Sir David Tripper PGM, RWBro Roger Mathews (Northern Ireland), WBro Bill Aston  PAGDC (IOM),  WBro John Farrington  APGM, WBro  Shaun Higson  PProvDepGReg,  WBro Ivan Eastwood   PDepGSuptWks



Rochdale Masonic Social Committee

The Presentation of a Cheque for £1,000


The photograph shows the Chairmen of the Rochdale Masonic Social Committee, WBro Ken Greer and Secretary, WBro Bernard Percy, presenting a cheque for £1,000 to Julie Ward, the Operations Director for ELMC.

The money had been raised at the Queens Official 90th Birthday Celebration held at the Masonic Hall, Richard Street on the 11th June 2016.


Why support the Blossom Appeal?


On Christmas Eve, 2013 Patricia was diagnosed with breast cancer and as you can imagine this was news that had a major impact on us, the family and our friends. During the period from that date and up until November 2015 we spent many hours together as Patricia under went surgeries, chemotherapy, radiology and many visits to see her specialists. During this time we received much support from breast care charities, Liberty Lodge 5573 brethren, their ladies and ladies of the brethren from other Lodges within Rochdale Masonic Buildings. This support made a world of difference to both of us and we decided that at the first opportunity we would try and give something back to help others who would face the same difficulties now and in the future. We decided to hold a summer event for the Lodge on August 21st.2016 in the form of a Garden Party. The WM John Ashworth and the brethren decided that all monies were to be given to the Blossom Appeal, a small charity which covers North Manchester and Oldham Hospitals. These were the hospitals which treated Patricia and whose expertise, care and support were unmeasurable.

The garden was prepared during the spring and the plants, flowers and infrastructure were carefully monitored and developed so as to be just right for our guests. Members of the Lodge came and erected the marquees in appalling weather. The day before the event, the big marquee was located near the top of some very large trees in next door's garden whilst the smaller one was trying to break in through the front door. Again the A team arrived at a moment's notice and everything was repaired and put back in its proper place. Whilst this was going on the ladies were cooking and preparing the house for visitors the day after.

On the Sunday we had more rain until about 12:00pm, only two hours to go before 90 people were to arrive. At 1:50pm the clouds parted and we had glorious sunshine until 6 pm when the last of the guests departed. Right on cue the rain started once again and lasted for another twenty four hours.

On the day £1600 was raised with donations over the following week adding another £170. The Lodge at their following management meeting made up the total to £2000.

Patricia presented the cheque to Tinna Quinn, vice chair of the appeal, at the Lodges Social board at the October meeting. This event was a giving night and so ladies and guests were treated to a buffet followed afterwards by an informative talk by the Charity's representative.

Our grateful thanks go out to all for your kindness,support and help in allowing us to give something back, that something will make such a difference to other patients yet to be diagnosed.

Kevin and Patricia Hooson
Liberty Lodge 5573

The Picture shows WBro John Ashworth , Tinna Quinn (Vice Chair Blossom Appeal) receiving a cheque from Patricia Hooson .


Roclyffe Lodge No.5198

Worshipful Master - WBro B.J.Gilman PProvJGW


On Thursday 29th September, Roclyffe Lodge No 5198 was pleased to receive The Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Peter Hewitt, PSGD, accompanied by a District Deputation.
This was a very special occasion for the Lodge as it was to celebrate and mark the 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of Bro Neil Aked who had been initiated into the Lodge on the 28th September 1966.

The proceedings were commenced with the Lodge Secretary, WBro Alan Butterworth reading a short extract from the Lodge Minute Book for the 26th Sept 1966.  WBro Hewitt then continued by giving the Lodge an explanation of what life was like in the year 1966. Many of the anecdotes discussed proved to be very amusing for both the younger and older members of the Lodge. WBro Hewitt went on to describe how Bro Aked had moved around the country in the employment of firstly Martin's Bank and then later Barclays.  After a posting to Kendal in 1970 he was transferred to the West Country in 1984 where he settled until his retirement in 1994.  

Despite his career requiring him to relocate on numerous occasions, Bro Aked never lost contact with Freemasonry.  He joined Lodges in both Kendal and the West Country but he never forgot his roots and throughout remained in contact with his mother lodge Roclyffe Lodge No.5198.  

The celebration was brought to a close by WBro Hewitt presenting Bro Aked with an Illuminated Certificate and reading out a personal letter of congratulations from the RW Provincial Grand Master.

The photograph shows from Left to Right  - Bro Aked , WBro B.J.Gilman, PProvJGW,  WM and
the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Peter Hewitt, PSGD.


The Queen’s Official 90th Birthday Street Party Celebration

To help celebrate the official 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, Rochdale Masonic Social Committee (RMSC) organised an Indoor Street Party at Rochdale Masonic Buildings on the 11th June 2016.  The Buildings were splendidly decorated with bunting & Union Jack regalia and over one hundred guests attended all of whom were ‘royally’ entertained by the 30 strong Greater Manchester Police Concert Band.

Rochdale District Charity Steward, WBro Kenny Greer, welcomed all present to what he felt was sure to be a fantastic celebratory evening and announced that all monies raised were to be donated the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. He then took great pleasure in welcoming Alison Emmott, a Manager at Hewlett Court, who was accompanied by four of Hewlett Court’s residents, our principal guests for the evening.

WBro Greer then introduced Jonathan Taylor, Principal Conductor of the Band who began proceedings with a trumpet fanfare of the first two verses of the National Anthem and continued with both traditional and modern scores. A medley of songs from the rock group Queen being a particular favourite.

During the interval a splendid buffet was served up by the Rochdale catering staff suitably attired in Union Jack shirts and a short quiz was held relating to the Queen, devised by the Deputy Charity Steward, WBro Tony Gillard. The customary raffle was then drawn for prizes consisting of a Kindle HD6, a food & drink hamper and several bottles of spirits and wines.
Two of the guests were celebrating their birthdays that evening, Mr Glyn Williams, 89 & Mrs Joan Durne, 71,  in addition to Patricia, 73, one of the band members!! All were given a huge round of applause.

The Band commenced the second half of the evening with Holyrood which is a traditional marching piece, Crown Imperial which was written for the Queen’s Coronation followed by medleys from the Sound of Music and James Bond themes. The music progressed to familiar favourites - The Last Night of the Proms, Fantasia, British Sea Songs, Pomp & Circumstance (during which hundreds of balloons were released from above) concluding with Jerusalem. As an encore the band performed the Dambusters theme which rounded off a fantastic evening.

District Chairman, WBro Peter Rhodes took great pleasure in announcing the residents of Hewlett Court as winners of the quiz, winning a box full of goodies for their return journey. He thanked all the RMSC members for their hard work in organising the evening, the Band or entertaining us and everyone for attending and making it such a memorable occasion.  Finally he announced that over £1,000 had been raised for ELMC.


Rochdale Masonic Social Committee

Foodbank Appeal

After the major flooding that occurred in Rochdale over the Christmas period last year, the Rochdale Foodbank were forced to continue their operations from temporary accommodation. The flooding resulted in a loss of almost 7 tonnes of food which included much of the food previously donated by Rochdale Masons. Damage to the premises on South Parade amounted to a figure in excess of £1,500. During the clear up operation over 100 volunteers were employed at various times.  It was only last week that the Foodbank was able to return to its refurbished premises.

To support the Rochdale Foodbank through these difficulties the Rochdale Masonic Social Committee made an application to their Flood Relief Committee and were successful in being awarded a grant of £1,000. In addition to this grant, individual members together with Lodges of Rochdale were once again generous in providing the equivalent of ten boxes of tinned and none perishable food to the FoodBank.

The RMSC would like to thank all the Brethren and Lodges who donated. Any further donations are always appreciated.




Early on Saturday 30th April 2016 at The Rochdale Masonic Buildings, Bro Peter Shipton, Senior Warden of The Rochdale Lodge 6721 will commence his epic journey of cycling round the Province of East Lancashire. Peter was part of the 12 man team that participated in ‘Le Tour de Province’ last year which raised over £2,000 towards the 2015 Festival.

This year Peter has decided to ride solo and has set a personal target of raising £500.00 for the ELMC. During his journey Peter will visit all of the Masonic Halls within the Province. He aims to complete the ride of nearly 200 miles within two days ending back at Rochdale sometime late afternoon on Sunday 1st May.

His friends and family will be on hand to support him during the weekend as he rides through the Eastern Area, on to the Northern Area and finishing day one in Bolton. Day two will see Peter complete the Western Area, on to Bridge Street via Salford, before riding through the Southern Area heading back towards Rochdale via Shaw and Middleton. is the address of the ‘Just Giving’ page which has been created if anybody wishes to support Peter and sponsor him in his epic journey.



Lodge of Naphtali No 266
Worshipful Master: Bro Gary Chadderton

“Talking Heads - The Next Step: Into the Royal Arch”
a presentation by members of the
Metropolitan Grand Chapter

After opening their regular meeting on Thursday 7th April, the Lodge of Naphtali were delighted to receive VWBro Derek Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB, Dep PGM together with other principal officers of the Province including: WBro Peter G Hewitt, APGM,  WBro Chris Welton, APGM, WBro John Pearson, APGM, EComp Paul MA Rose, PAGSoj, DepGSupt, EComp David H Thompson, PAGSoj, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal,  EComp WBro Donald Pryce, Past 3rd ProvGPrincipal,  EComp Len Hayes, APGP,  EComp Paul Aspinall, APGP,  EComp David Basger, APGP and WBro Martin Paul Roche, PSGD, PAPGM, ProvGSec

The main item of business for the evening was introduced by VWBro Ian Currans, PGSwdB, Asst Metropolitan Grand Master. Bro Currans explained that the Presentation entitled  " Talking Heads - the next step into the Royal Arch", was specifically aimed at non-Royal Arch Masons and also those Companions who have left the Order but may be interested in rejoining. He went on to explain that this educational initiative is a key element within the “Initiation to Exaltation” Masonic journey and had so far been presented over 140 times throughout England. It introduces the Holy Royal Arch (or Chapter) to new Master Masons or indeed re-introduces the Order to Craft Masons who might have been members, but who found it difficult to understand and had lapsed, or those for whom it simply did not "click".

“Talking Heads” is presented as a short playlet of an encounter between two craft lodge members; one an experienced Past Master (and Royal Arch Companion) WBro Ian Clark, SLGR, and the other a Master Mason WBro Mike Baker, PAGDC, curious to know more. It covers the history of the Order, explanations of the regalia, links to the Craft, why the Royal Arch is the climax and completion of pure Ancient Freemasonry, the time and financial commitments involved in being a member, how to discover more and how to find a Chapter to join.  It also covers questions ranging from idle curiosity "why is it a separate Order?" to more personal speculations such as “what is the Master Mason in the 21st century missing by not being a member of the Royal Arch?” The presentation itself was narrated by WBro Kevin Saunders, LGR.

This special meeting was attended by over 100 East Lancashire Masons and it is hoped that it will inspire non-members of the Royal Arch to seriously consider joining the order and in so doing progress their own personal Masonic journey.

The picture shows the WM Bro Garry Chadderton, (centre) the IPM WBro Godfrey Lawrence (1st on Left )
the Senior Warden Bro Andrij Korolczuk (far right) and the Junior Warden Bro Alexsander Capewell (2nd from Left )
of Naphtali Lodge together with WBro Ian Clark SLGR  (2nd from Right ) WBro Kevin Saunders LGR.  (3rd from Right)
WBro Mike Baker PAGDC (3rd from Left )

The montage shows three pictures taken at the Social Board.



The Rochdale District Quiz Night 2016

Fifteen teams of Rochdale Masons and their friends enjoyed what has now become the annual ‘Fun Quiz Evening’ at Richard Street on Friday 11th March 2016. The Rochdale Masonic Social Committee would like to thank all those who came along and made it such an enjoyable evening.

WBro Kenny Greer welcomed all competitors to Richard Street and wished them all luck before introducing the ‘Quiz Master’ for the evening, WBro Chris Henthorn. His presentation and delivery kept all participants laughing and attentive during the whole evening’s proceedings. The music quiz was particularly enjoyable taken from the theme tunes of comedies from the 1960’s through to the present day.

During the interval, Martin’s staff served up a delicious supper of Meat & Potato Pie and either Chicken or Vegetable Curry with rice, all served with a huge mound of chips to keep the participant’s brains working at their maximum.

Part two of the quiz then commenced which ended with the overall winners of the Silver Trophy being declared as ‘Ian’s Ringers’ who won it for the second year in succession.

The winners of the prestigious ‘Wooden Spoons’ would have liked to remain anonymous, but seeing that the ‘Roch Valley 2’ team members included our very own Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Peter Hewitt and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, WBro Ken Davies, there was never a chance of their wish coming true!!

A raffle was held for the prizes donated by the Brethren.

In presenting the Rochdale District Committee trophy to the winners, in addition to a case of wine, WBro Peter Rhodes the Rochdale District Chairman commented on what a successful and enjoyable evening it had been and hoped to see all present come back next year to compete for the trophy once again, with special thanks given to WBro Chris Henthorn for the excellent manner in which he had conducted the evening.

The evening raised £535.00 which will be donated to the Rochdale Building Committee.



Lodge of Harmony No 298
Personal 50th Celebration of WBro Tom Rawnsley

It was a very special evening for The Lodge of Harmony 298 on Wednesday 2nd March as they celebrated the personal 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Thomas Rawnsley PProvGSuptWks.

After opening in due form, the Lodge was pleased to receive WBro Peter G Hewitt PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by deputation of Rochdale District Officers and Acting Officers of the year.

After accepting the Gavel from the Worshipful Master, WBro Stephen Newman, WBro Hewitt was given honours by all present, after which WBro Rawnsley was placed on the centre.

WBro Hewitt offered the best wishes of the RWPGM, DepPGM and District Chairman and then delivered a most interesting account of WBro Rawnsley’s Masonic career, which began on 27th January 1966 when he was initiated into Unison Lodge 4051. The Secretary then read extracts from the minutes of that evening along with further extracts WBro Rawnsley’s ‘Passing’ in February 1966 and ‘Raising’ in August 1966. WBro Rawnsley remained a member of Unison Lodge 4051 until 1999 when he became a joining member of The Lodge of Harmony 298, becoming WM in 2004. WBro Hewitt recalled the work WBro Rawnsley put into the sensory garden at Springhill Hospice in 2006/7 and the fact that this garden is still enjoyed by many to this day. WBro Hewitt then asked WBro Eric Kirkbride, PAGDC, to deliver a personal tribute to WBro Rawnsley.

WBro Kirkbride explained how WBro Rawnsley had been a Sea Cadet as a boy when war broke out, and that he had been in the same class as his late wife, Lillian, who was just 8 days younger than him. They were engaged at 18, just before he was conscripted into the Navy, where he recalled being stationed at Chippenham, where a young Philip Mountbatten (Prince Philip) was stationed, and WBro Rawnsley recalls a young girl called Elizabeth giving her bodyguard the slip and spending time in the local pub with Philip.

When WBro Rawnsley and Lillian celebrated their golden wedding in 2007, he dedicated a banner to the Lodge, which is still used to this day.

WBro Rawnsley was then presented with his richly deserved Illuminated Certificate by WBro Hewitt who also read a letter of congratulation from the RWPGM, Sir David Tripper, after which he was paraded around the Lodge to great acclaim by all present.

The celebrations continued downstairs at the Festive Board, where an excellent meal was enjoyed by all present. WBro Ken Davis then presented WBro Rawnsley with a beautiful gold plated Fob Watch on behalf of all the Brethren of the Lodge after which WBro Rawnsley offered his heartfelt thanks for making it such a special and memorable night for him.



Rochdale Masons attend the
Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting
of County Down
in Belfast

Back Row L - R: WBro Chris Hajikakou, WBro Bill Aston, Deputy Superintendent IOM, WBro Shaun Higson, PProvDepGReg,
WBro Kevin Horne, PAGDC, WBro Brian Horne, PGADC, WBro David Greenhalgh, PProvDepGReg.
Front Row L - R: PGM of the Province of County Down RWBro Roger Matthews,
MWBro Douglas Grey, Grand Master of Ireland and WBro Jim Sutcliffe PAPGM

East Lancashire Masons together with the Deputy Superintendent of the IOM, WBro Bill Aston, attended the Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting of County Down at the Le Mons Hotel in Belfast on the 30th January.

WBro David Greenhalgh, PProvDepGReg  (a personal friend of the PGM of the Province of County Down, VWBro Roger Matthews)  traveled to the meeting in the company of East Lancs masons  - WBro Jim Sutcliffe, PAPGM, WBro Brian Horne, PGADC, WBro Kevin Horne, PAGDC, WBro Shaun Higson, PProvDepGReg  and WBro Chris Hajikakou.

After the Masonic meeting the visiting party was entertained as ‘personal guests’ of the PGM at a dinner in the evening. 

The following day the group had the opportunity of visiting the Titanic Museum and took afternoon tea in the reconstructed Titanic dining room.

The event turned out to be a very enjoyable one which cemented the relationship which already exists between the Province of East Lancashire and the Province of County Down.


Samaritan Lodge No.286

WM – WBro Michael Holt PPAGDC

On 16th February, members of the District Team, led by the District Chairman WBro Peter Rhodes attended the regular Lodge meeting of Samaritan Lodge No 286 at Bacup Masonic Hall. On a very cold and wet evening the District Team received a warm and genuine welcome by the Lodge brethren in the bar downstairs before the meeting started. An equally warm welcome was extended to WBro Rhodes in the Lodge room by the WM, WBro Michael Holt, and after the customary introductions, the business of the evening commenced.

The Brethren of Samaritan Lodge opened and closed in full in all 3 degrees along with an explanation of the working tools in each degree. The tools, presented by Bro. Edward Wade, WBro. Peter Marsh and Bro. William Marsh were all excellently delivered. The District Chairman, WBro Peter Rhodes congratulated the Brethren on what was an excellent and sincere ceremony.

The Festive Board afterwards was a relaxed, jovial and friendly affair, complemented by an excellent meal and a few songs. 


Liberty Lodge 5573

Bro John A Ashworth, PProvGStB, Worshipful Master

On Tuesday 9th February, Liberty Lodge 5573 was pleased to receive WBro Peter G Hewitt , PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by a Deputation of Rochdale District Officers, Acting Officers of the Year and several Rochdale District Grand Officers.

This visitation was to celebrate and mark the personal 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of Bro John Anthony Ashworth, PProvGStB.

WBro Hewitt opened the celebrations by giving an amusing and informative insight into what life was like in 1966.  WBro Kevin Hooson, PProvSGD, the Lodge Secretary, then read the minutes of the Lodge meeting held on the 8th February 1966, which recorded the Initiation of John by his father WBro Norman Ashworth, PProvJGW, who, regrettably, passed to the Grand Lodge Above shortly after this occasion.

A tribute was delivered to John by his long-time friend and fellow lodge member, WBro Harry Bell PProvSGD, who not only described John's dedication to Liberty Lodge and Freemasonry in general but also took the opportunity to publicly acclaim him for his voluntary work at Rochdale’s Springhill Hospice and for the other community activities John supports.  WBro Bell revealed to those present John’s little known act of heroism when he put his own life at risk in an attempt to rescue a father and son who were being washed out to sea off the Dorset coast.  He then read citations from the 3 certificates for Bravery awarded to John.

Finally, after a personal letter of congratulations from Sir David Trippier, RW Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire was read out in open lodge by the District Chairman, WBro Peter Rhodes, following which WBro Hewitt took great pleasure in presenting John with a richly deserved Illuminated Certificate to mark this very special occasion.

The celebrations continued at the Festive Board and concluded when, after making a very warm and heart felt speech, John was presented with a large canvas print showing his father, WBro N Ashworth, dressed in Worshipful Masters regalia.

Top Photo - Seated Centre - WBro Peter G Hewitt and Bro John Ashworth . Members of the Provincial Deputation together with members of the Lodge.
Bottom Left Photo - Bro John Ashworth being presented with his 50 year certificate by WBro Peter Hewitt APGM.
Bottom Right Photo WBro Hewitt and Bro Ashworth taking wine at the social board.  


Greater Manchester Police
Concert Band
Richard Street .
29th January 2016

A concert organised by the Sales and Marketing Committee of the Rochdale Masonic Building Co. Ltd saw more than 150 guests entertained by the 30 strong Greater Manchester Police Concert Band.

The concert was staged in the large lodge room where the audience was enthralled by a wide range music which started with a trumpet fanfare and was followed by both traditional and modern scores.  It closed with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem and as an encore the band played the Dambusters theme to provide Tommy Spencer with yet another flying lesson.

Both guests and band members were served with a choice of refreshments at the interval when raffle tickets were sold raising more than £500.00 for the victims of the recent floods.

Building on the success of the evening, the Buildings Committee are hoping to stage a similar event next year, when it is hoped that the Police Band will perform some of their other musical themes such as jazz or swing band configurations.



The Investiture of
WBro Peter Graham Hewitt, PAGDC
Assistant Provincial Grand Master
RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL
Provincial Grand Master
Wednesday 27th January 2016
at the Masonic Hall Richard Street Rochdale

On the 27th January the WBro John A Harrop PProvJGD, Worshipful Master and Brethren of Roch Valley Lodge No. 5120 were delighted to host the Investiture of WBro Peter G. Hewitt as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire by the Provincial Grand Master RWBro Sir David Trippier.

After opening the Lodge in the First Degree, the Brethren were delighted to receive the Provincial Grand Master accompanied by a Provincial Deputation and it was a mark of the esteem and respect in which WBro Hewitt is held that his Investiture was supported by over 145 Masons from across the Province  

WBro Harrop presented the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who then conducted the Investiture and paid tribute to WBro Hewitt in a very warm and sincere ceremony.

The celebrations were continued at the Social Board where a hearty meal and an evening of fellowship were enjoyed by all.

WBro Peter Graham Hewitt PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL Provincial Grand Master

WBro Arthur John Pearson PSGD, WBr Norman Cope PSGD,  VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill JP PSSwdB, 
WBro Peter Graham Hewitt PAGDC,  RWBRo Sir David Trippier RD JP DL PGM,   WBro Chad Anthony Northcott PSGD, 
WBro John Christopher Welton  PJGD,   WBro John Richard Farrington PSGD.

RW PGMSir David Trippier, WBro Peter Hewitt the District Deputation and the Master and Brethren of  the Roch Valley Lodge.

The Social Board




WBro Harry Bucknell Celebrates 60 Wonderful Years in Freemasonry

Harry receiving his Illuminated Certificate from WBro Peter Hewitt

On the 28th December 2015 WBro Harry Bucknell, PProvDepGSwdB, at the age of 97 and an Honory Member of Roch Valley Lodge No 5120 celebrates his 60 years in Freemasonry.
A private party was arranged for Harry at the Four Seasons Care Home in Littleborough, where he now resides, by kind courtesy of the Owner/Manager of the Care Home, Mrs W Collinson.

Brethren from his Lodge and Harry’s two daughters, gathered at the home on Thursday 14th January where a his fine achievement was recognised.  WBro Peter Hewitt, APGM, took great pleasure in referring to Harry’s fantastic support and the wise council that he had given to his beloved Lodge over six decades.

WBro Hewitt addressing WBro Bucknell

Extracts from the Minutes of Roch Valley Lodge dated 28th December 1955 were read out by WBro Colin Farrow and WBro Alan Grime read a personalised letter of congratulation from the RW PGM, Sir David Trippier.

WBro Hewitt then presented Harry with both the letter and an Illuminated Certificate that he could hang on the wall of his room by the side of his 50th Certificates for both Craft and Royal Arch.

WBro Michael Lucas presented Harry with his 60th Lapel Badge and WBro Tony Heanley asked all present to join him in a Toast to WBro Harry Bucknell for his wonderful achievement. 

Harry with his daughters Valerie and Sheila and Lodge members

Harry responded suitably and extended an invitation to all present to join him in 10 years’ time when he would be celebrating his 70th birthday in Freemasonry.
The Four Seasons Care Home very kindly provided a finger buffet which was greatly enjoyed by all.



The Lodge of Probity and Freedom

Worshipful Master  - Bro Steven Holmes

On Thursday 14th January the Lodge of Probity and Freedom were pleased to receive a deputation from the Rochdale District, lead by the District Chairman WBro Peter Rhodes.

The occasion was the passing of Bro Peter Fitchett who had been initiated into the Lodge during 2015.

In addition, the Lodge was pleased to welcome WBro Jeff Antrobus , from the Luz De Murcia Murcia Lodge No.91 based in Spain.  WBro Antrobus is currently the Provincial Grand assistant Treasurer in the Province of Murcia, which forms part of the Grand Lodge of Spain. Prior to moving to Spain,  WBro Antorbus was a member of Tudor Lodge No.467 of Oldham and holds the rank of Past Provincial ADC in the Province of East Lancashire. 

The ceremony was conducted by the officers of Probity and Freedom in a very sincere manner and the evening was concluded with the usual good fellowship at the social board.

Senior Warden - Gareth Unsworth , Worshipful Master - Steven Holmes , Candidate - Bro Peter Fitchett,
WBro Jeff Antrobus Pro Gr Ass Treasurer ( Province of Mercia ) Junior Warden - WBro Greg Bradley



Rochdale District Social Committee New Years Celebration

The New years celebration organised by WBro Bernard Percy and his team was once again a great success.  This year, the annual event was supported by 130 guests. After the usual 5 course meal, the guests were entertained by the well known duo Saremma. It can be seen from the attached photograph that everyone enjoyed a great start to the New Year.

The District Social Committee would like to take the opportunity of thanking everyone for their support during 2015 and to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New year .



Rochdale Masonic Social Committee
Foodbank Appeal


Individual Members together with the Lodges of Rochdale were once again very generous in providing support for the annual foodbank appeal. This generosity resulted in a donation of £250 as well as a delivery of ten boxes of tinned and none perishable food to the Rochdale Food Bank on 21st December.

Food Bank manager Steve Field said, " this donation is gratefully received as we approach the most difficult time of the year for some families in Rochdale"

The RMSC would like to thank all the Brethren and Lodges who donated and would be pleased to receive further donations should any further items be made available.


WBroTony Gillard presenting the cheque to Steve Field of Rochdale Food Bank and is supported by WBro Kenny Greer



Children’s Christmas Party
Rochdale Masonic Social Committee

On the 19th December 2015, Rochdale Masonic Social Committee again hosted another very successful Children’s Christmas Party.

Sixty Two boys and girls aged between three and twelve were entertained by Dazzle the Clown and his vanishing rabbit.

After the entertainment, all the children enjoyed burgers and chips followed by cookies and cakes.

After filling themselves up with goodies, the children joined in with more dancing and party games. Father Christmas then made a spectacular entrance to deliver presents and selection boxes to all the children. This concluded another fantastic family event at Rochdale Masonic hall with everyone going home looking forward to the Christmas period.

Members of the Social Committee would like to thank all the staff and helpers on the day and wish them a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




Rochdale Freemasons Provide Hospice Gifts.

The Freemasons of Rochdale continued their annual Christmas tradition by paying a visit to the Springhill Hospice to deliver a number of festive gifts for patients.

The money raised by lodge members had been donated to help to provide Christmas gifts for the local men and women who are in receipt of Hospice services.

Chief Executive Julie Halliwell said, "It's a wonderful gesture to think about others at this special time of the year. I know that our patients really appreciate these gifts and we extend our thanks to the Freemasons of Rochdale Todmorden and Bacup for their kindness.”

After the presentation a small team of Freemasons then hand delivered the ‘Christmas Goody Bags ' to the homes of patients throughout the Borough of Rochdale.


Back Row - Bernard Percy -District mentor, Peter Rhodes - District Chairman, Doug Smith - Deputy District Chairman, Kenny Greer - District Charity Steward.
Front Row - Dr. Charlotte Barber, Clarece Gillis - Nursing Assistant , Rebecca Davies - Staff Nurse , Sheila Johnson - Director of Clinical Services, Gemma Renshaw - Staff Nurse, Julie Halliwell -CEO.






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