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The Royal Arch RA Home Page

Province Of East Lancashire

The Masonic Province of East Lancashire was previously referred to as the Eastern Division of Lancashire. On 24th April 1826 the RW Bro John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, Todmorden was installed as the first Provincial Grand Master of the then newly created Eastern Division of Lancashire. He presided until his death in December 1830.

This date was hugely significant because it marked the first mention of our Province in such a formal capacity. However, it was not until 1960 that the Province of East Lancashire was formally established.

On 3 rd November 1899, Lord Stanley MP (later to become the 17th Earl of Derby) was installed as Provincial Grand Master in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Lord Derby presided over the Province for a magnificent 49 years - until 1948, during which time the number of Lodges increased from 113 to 303 and the number of members from 4,829 to 19,000.

On 18 th November 1971 at Belle Vue, Manchester the Right Honourable the Lord Hewlett, Kt, CBE became Provincial Grand Master of this Province. As President of the ELMBI he established the New Walshaw Appeal which led to our own Hewlett Court at Holcombe Brook, near Ramsbottom which provides sheltered accommodation for freemasons and their near relatives. He left office in 1979 and Frederick William Towns became Provincial Grand Master until 1990.

James D Hemsley then took over until 1999 and then Peter Walthall led the province until 2005. Paul J E Rink OBE, took over in 2005 until Jack Price was installed on 18th June 2008. Jack sadly died after a brave period of illness on 23rd October 2011. Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, was installed on February 22nd 2012 and remains the current Provincial Grand Master.The Deputy Provincial Grand Master is currently VWBro Derek Thornhill, PGSwdB. He in turn is assisted by six Assistant Provincial Grand Masters:

VWBro Stephen Martin Blank, PGSwdB
WBro Martin Paul Roche PSGD
WBro Chad Antony Northcott PSGD
WBro Norman Cope PSGD
WBro J Christopher Welton PJGD
WBro John Pearson PSGD

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies is WBro John Griffin, ProvGDC, and the Provincial Grand Secretary is WBro John Farrington, PAGDC

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