ROYAL ARCH NEWS - 2009
EComp Laurie Clapham, a member of Manchester Commonweal Chapter No. 5332, celebrated 50 years in Royal Arch Freemasonry on Monday 14th December 2009.
EComp Stuart Hughes Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Manchester accompanied by a Deputation from the District was in attendance and led the celebrations. Also present were, EComp David Basger District Chairman, accompanied by three members from Supreme Grand Chapter.
EComp Stuart Hughes welcomed everyone and then invited EComp Warwick Davenport to lead the tributes to Laurie. EComp Clapham was proposed into the Chapter by their famous organist, EComp Roland Middleton. Laurie was born at the same location as his present address in Smedley Lane, then a nursing home, attended Stand Grammar School, Whitefield where Clive of India had attended, though many years before!
Laurie gained employment in 1945 with Joseph Holts Brewery in Manchester, where his father was the Head Brewer. After returning from National Service in 1949 Laurie continued his employment in the Brewery business working at Samuel Smith’s in Tadcaster, before returning to Joseph Holts in 1961. After his retirement he became a Councillor in the City of Manchester, his father had also held that distinction before him.
EComp Stuart Hughes spoke warmly about Laurie, then reading a congratulatory letter from EComp Jack Price, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent before presenting him with his illuminated 50th Certificate. EComp David Basger also made a small presentation to Laurie on behalf of the District.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies EComp Gerry Hodson, then perambulated EComp Clapham round the room to spontaneous applause from everyone present.
Finally, with the Chapter closed everyone retired to a very enjoyable Festive Board which ended a splendid way to celebrate 50 years in Royal Arch Freemasonry.
The Deputy Grand Superintendent EComp Allan Bennion accompanied by a Deputation from Provincial Grand Chapter, was in attendance to celebrate 100 years of continued existence of Townley Parker Chapter No. 1083, on Thursday 3rd December 2009 at Freemasons’ Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester.
Accompanying the Deputy Grand Superintendent was, EComp William Porter the Second Provincial Grand Principal and EComp Stuart Hughes Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Manchester, acting Third Provincial Grand Principal for the evening. Also present were EComp Martin Caller Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the District, accompanied by a further three Assistant Provincial Grand Principals from East Lancashire and the 2015 Festival Chairman, EComp David Thompson a Past Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals. EComp Gerry Young the District Chairman for Starkie was in attendance supported by other District Officers.
With a full Chapter room MEZ EComp Ronald Coucill welcomed the Deputy Grand Superintendent and the Delegation to the meeting.
The Oration on the evening should have been given by the Past Third Provincial Grand Principal EComp Jack Thompson unfortunately EComp Thompson had been admitted to hospital earlier in the week. The Deputy Grand Superintendent and everyone present send their best wishes to Jack. In the absence of EComp Thompson the acting Third Grand Principal on the night EComp Stuart Hughes gave the Oration. This was delivered with affection and was both interesting and informative.
EComp Eric Cropper the Chapter Treasurer was the next Companion to speak, giving a brief history of the Chapter. Townley Parker Chapter was consecrated on the 10th July 1909, at the Grand Hotel Manchester. The most notable founding member being EComp Robert Verney Clayton who served the Province as the Provincial Grand Secretary from 1908 to 1929 and as Provincial Grand Scribe E from 1908 to 1930. It is also said, that EComp Clayton purchased the land in Bridge Street and donated it to the ELMBI for building of Freemasons’ Hall.
Another long standing member was Exalted into the Chapter on the 4th December 1986, this is EComp Wesley Marchant PGStB and is the Provincial Grand Chapter, Director of Ceremonies, who has since become the highest ranking member in modern times.
There was a surprise in store for EComp Cropper, the Chapter Treasurer a position he has held for eleven years and a member of the Chapter for thirty five years. The Deputy Grand Superintendent promoted him to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. The Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies, EComp Andrew Holland then perambulated EComp Cropper round the room to spontaneous applause from everyone present.
The Deputy Grand Superintendent EComp Allan Bennion addressed the meeting and presented to the newest member of the Chapter, Comp Brent Jefferson his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate, giving him a very detailed explanation.
The Deputy Grand Superintendent was then presented with a truly generous cheque to the 2015 festival for the sum of £1,080, matching the Chapter number. Seeing the Festival Chairman was present, this was promptly handed over to EComp David Thompson who responded with thanks.
Finally, with the Chapter closed everyone retired to a magnificent Festive Board which ended a splendid way to celebrate 100 years of Townley Parker Chapter No. 1083.
In 1927 Bolton Wanderers were at the height of their power as one of the leading Football League Teams having won the FA Cup 3 times in 5 years. This was the year when they acquired a supporter aged 5 years of age, who is still an ardent supporter and in recent years a dedicated sufferer.
In 1959 a television set cost 63 guineas and the Old Age Retirement Pension was £4.00 per couple per week. Bolton had 9 cinemas and amazingly the Gas Council stated that the price of Gas was too high. Henry Cooper fought Joe Erskine for the British Heavy Weight Crown.
On 17th November 1959, Gordon Ernest Brooking, who was that 5 year old, by now a member of Menturia Lodge No 6023, was exalted into St John’s Chapter No 348 and 50 years later to the day E Comp Brooking celebrated his personal 50th Anniversary in the presence of the Assistant to the Provisional Grand Principals, Ex Comp Trevor Thomas accompanied by a District Delegation including Ex Comp Philip Mountford and Ian Thornton.
During the evening Ex Comp Thomas, after giving a potted history of Ex Comp Brooking Personal and Masonic Life presented him with an illuminated scroll and letter of congratulations from The Provincial Grand Superintendent, Jack Price. One of the stories told about Ex Comp Brooking was of the time when he went to a Masonic Celebration in London and the Master’s Chain which he had in his possession was impounded by The Metropolitan Police. He had to attend the event chain less, much to his embarrassment.
E Comp Brooking became 1st Principal in 1977 and Provincial Grand Steward in 1979. He has attended 186 meetings of the Chapter out of a total of 200.
Another Bolton Freemason who has stamped his mark on local freemasonry.
The photographs show E Comp Trevor Thomas accompanied by the 1st Principal Philip J Lawton presenting E Comp Brooking with his illuminated Certificate.
Amalgamation of Menorah and Ark Chapters
On Tuesday 13 October 2009 at Freemasons’ Hall, Bridge Street, Menorah Chapter No. 4849 and Ark Chapter No. 6594 amalgamated to become Ark and Menorah Chapter No 6594.
Also present in the Deputation were a further four Assistant Provincial Grand Principals, together with ECompanions Martin Caller, Stephen Blank Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and the Provincial Grand Scribe E Alan Garnett.
The certificate of amalgamation was read by EComp A Garnett and presented to MEZ EComp Elliot Moss by the Deputy Grand Superintendent (shown here).
EComp Joe Glass presented a Menorah to the MEZ EComp Elliot Moss for use at the social board. On behalf of the newly amalgamated Chapter, the MEZ EComp Elliot Moss gave a donation to the Deputy Grand Superintendent.
50 years to the day!
The District team visited Unity Chapter No 298 on the Thursday the 8th October 2009 to celebrate with EComp Donald Spencer PProvGScN, his 50 years as a member of Unity Chapter No 298. Apart from the District Communications Officer all the members of the District team present were members of the Chapter.
The Chapter was opened and the minutes confirmed. Unity Chapter is now in its 202nd year and extracts from the minutes of 8th October 1959 were read by the Scribe E, E.Comp Nigel Love. The next item on the summons was the celebration of the 50th Anniversary in Royal Arch Masonry of EComp Donald Spencer PProvGScN.
The Past Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp Peter B Messum then addressed the Chapter. EComp Ian Warrington the District Mentor and also a member of the Chapter gave a tribute to EComp Donald Spencer PProvGScN. after which the Provincial DC E.Comp Andrew Holland escorted Donald around the Chapter Room to a very warm ovation. The Past Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp Peter B Messum then presented a letter and certificate from the Most Excellent Grand Superintendant Jack Price. (See left). The remaining Chapter business being concluded the Chapter was closed in due form.
After the festive board (in true Rochdale style) the toast to the birthday boy, EComp Donald was proposed by the PAPGP. In replying to the toast EComp Donald gave an account of his years in the Chapter and spoke of his exaltation which was worked by his Father. The reply to the toast was received with resounding applause.
The last item of the evening was to congratulate the DC for the evening, the Provincial DepGDC. EComp Andrew Holland who was celebrating his 50th Birthday that very day with a resounding chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to You’
Ecomp’s Peter Messum, Peter Tomlinson, Donald Spencer, Alan barlow, Arthur Kershaw and Andrew Holland
Ecomp’s Ian Warrington, Peter Messum, Peter Tomlinson, Donald Spencer, Alan barlow, and Arthur Kershaw
EComp Jack Griffiths 50th,
Good Companions of Commemoration Chapter, No 6005
On Wednesday 7 October 2009 EComp Jack Griffiths celebrated 50 years in Royal Arch Masonry. A Provincial Delegation led by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Allan Bennion attended the ceremony.
EComp Griffiths is pictured (below, left) with, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, the Second Provincial Grand Principal EComp William J Porter and the Third Provincial Grand Principal, EComp the Rev'd Donald Keith Pryce. Below, right, Jack is shown receiving his certificate from the Deputy Grand Superintendent EComp Allan Bennion.
On Tuesday 6 October 2009 The Borough and Thursby Chapter No 1064 Burnley had their official Amalgamation Ceremony at Nelson House Burnley with a full Chapter room attended by a Provincial Delegation led by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Allan Bennion.
Members of the Chapter with the Provincial Delegation
On the 6 October 1931 the Borough Chapter No 1064 was consecrated and exactly 78 years later the Chapter combined with the former Thursby Chapter No 3855 to form The Borough and Thursby Chapter No 1064. With over 40 members the new Chapter should prosper for many years.
Pictured from left to right Second Provincial Grand Principal EComp William J Porter, EComp John Fletcher Second Principal, The Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Allan Bennion, EComp Daniel McPherson Parker First Principal, Third Provincial Grand Principal, EComp the Rev'd Donald K Pryce and EComp Martin Whittaker Third Princiapal
Presentation of 50th Anniversary Certificates, Bolton
Just to show that life still goes on during the summer break, E Companion Trevor Thomas, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals accompanied by colleagues, has been out and about presenting anniversary certificates to Companions who have completed 50 years in Royal Arch Masonry.
Excellent Companion Harold Aspin, who has reached the grand old age of 94 years and is an honorary member of Concord Deane Chapter No 37 was presented with his certificate at his home in Cleveleys by E Comp Thomas who on this occasion was accompanied by David Ward a Past Principal of the Chapter.
By comparison, at 83 years, a sprightly Joe Thornley, a companion of Rectitude Chapter Number 5197, received his recognition from the province at his home in Farnworth from E Comp Thomas. On this occasion Trevor was accompanied by E Comp Keith Doyle, District Officer Royal Arch, E Comp Dennis Dixon IPZ of the Chapter and E Comp John Schofield 2nd Principal and Almoner.
EComp Cyril Winterbottom's 50th - St Martin’s Chapter, No 2320, Rochdale
It was 50 years to the day when the Chapter was opened in due form and the minutes read and approved. The Principal officer EComp Peter Messum PGStB, PAPGP then addressed the chapter and introduced his deputation which included the Rochdale District team.
The birthday boy was seated in the East and EComp Messum spoke of events which had occurred in 1959, and enquired whether anyone could tell him the price of petrol - it was 4/9d or 23p a gallon. He then gave a history of EComp Winterbottom’s masonic career both in lodge and chapter.
The Third Principal EComp David Acton then gave a personal tribute to EComp Winterbottom after which
EComp Messum presented Cyril with an illuminated certificate and a personal letter from the ME Grand Superintendent EComp Jack Price.
The festive board was spectacular affair, after all it is Rochdale.
MEZ, EComp Coward then presented Cyril with a bottle of rum to remind him of his national service days in the navy. He was then presented with a lapel badge to mark his 50 years as a member of St Martin’s Chapter.
No matter what it is very special to those who are involved.
Chapter of Meribah No 350 was consecrated in 1825 and it has not, since then, seen anything that those who attended, the Installation Ceremony on 8th April 2009 saw on that day in Farnworth. As far as the Chapter is concerned this is unique. It may not be unique within the annals of Grand Chapter but it is an event that happens but rarely. Meribah Chapter has Three Principals who are all called Tyler.
Regular readers will remember that in December 2008, W Bro Kenneth Tyler celebrated, at the age of 86, his 60th Anniversary in Freemasonry. So at a time when most masons have retired to the back benches, swathed in Provincial Grand Lodge Blue, Ken has decided to take on the role of 1st Principal of the Chapter once more. To assist him are his two great nephews Jason Paul Tyler as 2nd Principal and Robert Tyler as 3rd Principal. To make the job complete Jason and Robert’s father, John Kenneth Tyler rejoined the Chapter on that day, just in time to see his sons installed.
Congratulations to all the Tylers involved and it is hoped that the Chapter has a successful year.
At the present time Farnworth Lodge No 5301 also has the Tylers in the three principal offices. Jason Tyler is the Worshipful Master whilst his brother Robert is Senior Warden and their father, Jack is Junior Warden. Just for good measure Ken Tyler is Secretary of the Lodge of which he has been Worshipful Master 4 times.
Freemasonry in Farnworth has a lot to be grateful to the Tylers for, especially their commitment which we hope will continue.
The Chapter Room at Radcliffe Masonic Hall was extremely full when over 90 Companions were in attendance for the District Joint Convocation hosted by Derby Chapter No 1055. The Deputy Grand Superintendent, accompanied by the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principal, supported by all five Assistants to the Provincial Principals and the District Team, were all treated to a superb explanation of the Royal Arch Jewel preceded by the opening address and concluded with the valedictory address all given by junior companions from each of the six Chapters in the District.
The Social Board was a splendid affair and was a fitting conclusion and “swan song” for E.Comp David Thornton the DORA who had co-ordinated the whole evening and who was due to stand down two week later at Provincial Grand Chapter after six years in post.
Amalgamation of Concord and Deane Chapters
On 9th February 2009 at Bolton Masonic Hall, Concord and Deane Holy Royal Arch Chapters amalgamated to become Concord Deane Holy Royal Arch Chapter No 37.
E Comp Robert Collins as MEZ, accompanied by E Comp James Parker as H and E Comp Peter Faulkner as J, is seen here receiving the warrant from E Comp Bennion.