Manchester Association for Masonic Research
Have you visited the ‘American Patriot Mason’ Exhibition at Bridge Street
For over a hundred years the Manchester Association for Masonic Research has been a focus for offering Masonic knowledge and is now the North’s leading research association. The Association was born in 1909 from a desire to share knowledge and gain understanding of freemasonry. It was formed to serve Lancashire East, and West, and Cheshire. Founders were drawn from each of those Provinces, with a President from Derbyshire working in Manchester. The Earl of Derby was the leading patron, and the then Dean of Manchester was one also. Vice-presidents included the charismatic Manchester chief librarian Henry Sutton, Henry Watson (who famously founded the music library bearing his name), the Boltonian Grand Treasurer of UGLE Major John Booth, and Roderick Baxter and Fred Broadbent, both trenchant northern commentators and historians.
It encourages brethren to broaden their Masonic knowledge and each year publishes its Transactions which are circulated to a worldwide membership. If you are interested in just listening to high quality talks or even doing some research yourself, help is always at hand.
The Manchester Association for Masonic Research (MAMR) celebrated its centenary year in 2009. its solid foundations have led to a century of published MAMR Transactions. Each volume contains at least four talks and there are many gems among the collection. They largely await appreciation. Sad to say, the brethren engaged and interested in these things over the years have been characterised more by modesty than by marketing.
MAMR arranged a programme for the Centenary Year which enlisted the leading Masonic historians of England, Ireland and Scotland to Manchester, each speaking to their own strengths. The centenary itself was celebrated in May. After a memorable guided tour of Chethams Library in the morning, the 120 ladies and brethren listened to a series of exemplary speakers, starting with the Prestonian Lecturer John Wade (one of our own members) and ending with Bob James from Australia, an exponent of wider fraternalism and ‘mateship’. Prof. Susan Mitchell Sommers from Pennsylvania spoke about integration of Jewish communities via freemasonry. Our own Fred Lomax delivered a presentation about women masons. The unspoken theme of the day was that of ‘inclusion’. Drinks and a banquet followed. Everyone attending was delighted. A reprint of MAMR Transactions Volume 1 provided a souvenir, while Volume 99 will ultimately record the past year.
The MAMR has many members, some of whom are 'experts' on varied aspects of Masonic Ritual, History, Regalia, Music, Events and so on. Should you be undertaking research, have a question about Freemasonry that you are seeking an answer to or need direction on where to start looking for answers, then please contact the Secretary, WBro John Astbury - Email: email@example.com . He will forward your request to the appropriate person who will be in touch, trying to be as helpful as possible.
President WBro Dr Richard Johnson PPrGSwdB (Cumberland &Westmorland), PPrJGD (W Lancs)
Treasurer WBro Anthony D Costello PAGDC