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Celebration of 50 years in Freemasonry
Wednesday 2nd November, saw WBro Alan Whitfield Butler PJGD celebrate 50 years in Freemasonry at Semper Fidelis Lodge No. 3299.
In the world of football, Blackburn Rovers were 1st Division Champions, with Manchester United in 18th place. The now ‘Noisy neighbors’ Manchester City won the Second Division Championship. So that was a brief snap-shot of the world when the birthday boy made his first appearance; what about Thursday 1st November 1961, when Alan joined Freemasonry.
Well, Alan had learnt a little about life, and well hedged his bets by inviting all the Saints to guide his way; yes, it was All Saints’ Day! JFK had been inaugurated, the Berlin Wall erected, and the Vietnam War would commence a month later. Her Majesty, Queen
After sitting his eleven plus exams Alan attended St. Margaret’s Technical School, because of the shortage of teachers due to the war, he attended school for half days. Alan was an accomplished sportsman, playing football and cricket for the South Manchester Boys also joining the Army Cadets, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
On leaving school at fifteen Alan started work at Singer Sewing Machines; unfortunately he did not enjoy the job and left after ten days! He then found employment at GEC, Victoria Bridge, Salford. In 1947 he was called up for National Service, reporting to the South Lancashire Regiment for infantry training. He then transferred to the Royal Corp of Signals, being trained as a Telegraphist. On completion of his training he continued as an instructor, rising to the rank of Sergeant.
Leaving the Army in 1949 Alan decided to go into the textile business, starting work as a warehouseman, progressing to warehouse manager. He then ventured into the sales side of the business. It was during this period, and on a visit to a client, that lead him to being offered a job as Departmental manager of Textile Company; Wadkin and King based in Salford.
Alan continued to serve the Province and in March 1991 he was invited to become Provincial Grand Charity Steward. Alan served on the ELMBI Committee of Benevolence and the General Committee for 14 years, from 1983 to 1996, and was on the East Lancashire Hall Company Committee for three years. Alan also holds Grand Rank in the Royal Arch.
In his final remarks, WBro Ricardo said, ‘Alan has always been a very energetic and happy member of the Lodge, willing to help in any way he could, especially with younger members and visitors, encouraging and giving advice where needed. He is a true and dedicated Freemason and richly deserves the honour bestowed on him today’
WBro James Sutcliffe presented Alan with a letter of congratulations and Illuminated Certificate from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, VWBro Harold Woodward. City Derby District Chairman WBro David Basger presented Alan with a ‘fifty years in Freemasonry’ lapel badge on behalf of the District.
Before WBro Butler was perambulated around the Lodge room, to great acclaim by WBro Harold Cooper ProvDepGDC, he gave a generous donation on behalf of the Lodge to WBro Sutcliffe in aid of the 2015 Festival.
The Lodge closed everyone retired to a buoyant Festive Board where more speeches, heaped with praise were bequeathed on WBro Butler, by his close friend and Lodge Junior Warden, WBro Ralph Payne PProvJGW. WBro Payne informed everyone that Alan and his wife celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary in March and that Alan’s son married his daughter in June. This year has certainly been a time for celebration for WBro Alan Butler PJGD and his family.
Finally, it was also a poignant evening for the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro James Sutcliffe and City Derby District Chairman, WBro David Basger. This was their last official outing before they before retire from their respective office at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting on November 17th. All the Officers from City Derby District wish them well for the future and a happy retirement.
District Delegation headed by WBro Jim Sutcliffe
Grand Lodge Officers from the UGLE and Scotland
WBro Alan Butler with WBro Jim Sutcliffe and District Chairman WBro David Basger
Lodge members with the District Deputation and Grand Officers
WBro Butler, the Worshipful Master and his Wardens
Lodge members and guests
WBro Butler responding to the toast in his honour
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