"A Story of Royal Arch Success" - ME Grand Superintendent Visits Unanimity Chapter, No. 4130



"Despair to Discovery" at Huntroyd Chapter of Installed Principals, No. 6385




On Wednesday, 22nd September 2010, A Joint Convocation of Oldham and Rochdale Districts was held at the Rochdale Masonic Buildings under the banner of the Hollingworth Chapter No.2702.  Over 80 Companions attended the Convocation.

The Chapter was opened and the minutes read and approved, Officers who had not been at the Installation were then Installed.

A report was heard and the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, Excellent Companion Wesley Marchant, Past Grand Standard Bearer was admitted.

He announced that the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion Allan Bennion, Past Grand Sword Bearer, the Second Provincial Grand Principal, Excellent Companion William J. Porter, Past Grand Standard Bearer, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, the Reverend Donald Pryce, Past Grand Standard Bearer, the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, Excellent Companion Ed Cheadle, Past Grand Standard Bearer, together with the other Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, seeked admission.

The Provincial Delegation


The Provincial delegation was admitted to the Chapter to music provided by the Rochdale District Chairman, Excellent Companion Eric Kirkbride, who was standing in as the organist for the evening. The Deputy Grand Superintendent, The Second and Third Grand Principals were placed in the chairs of Z,H & J.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Principal together with the three Hollingworth Chapter Principal’s, the Second & Third ProvincialGrand Principal’s, the Rochdale & Oldham District APGP and APGM


The assembled Companions then witnessed a total of 28 Companions of Oldham and Rochdale Districts Chapters present a ‘Commentary on the Holy Royal Arch Ceremony’, This presentation gave a most interesting and informative insight into various parts of the exaltation ceremony. 

An exemplary Valedictory Address was then given by Excellent Companion Fred Whittingham, Past Provincial ScribeN.

The work in the Chapter Room was followed by a superb social board, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all present.  During the evening, an alms collection and a raffle raised around £500 for Masonic charities.


A Very Enjoyable Festive Board


The Rochdale and Oldham District Chairmen


The event had been co-ordinated by the Oldham and Rochdale District Officers Royal Arch, Excellent Companions Paul Holt and Stuart Booth, together with the Chapter Scribe E, Excellent Companion Dr. Mike Boden and the Chapter DC, Excellent Companion Peter Hawksworth. 


Their efforts made the evening a great success and a night to be remembered by all present.



Hutchinson Chapter – George Old 50th Celebration

EComp George William Dashwood Old PProvGSN (PProvSGW) celebrated 50 years in Royal Arch Masonry on Wednesday 2nd June 2010.

George Old with Michael Landriau

EComp Michael Landriau, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Northern Area Number One, accompanied by a deputation from the District was in attendance and led the celebrations. Also present were EComp Derek Thornhill PAGStB (AProvGM) and EComp Phillip Old PAGStB, George’s Son.

George with Provincial Delegation

George with the Chapter Members


EComp Michael Landriau welcomed everyone and introduced the District team and several of the Acting Officers present. He then invited EComp Phillip Old to lead the tributes to his father George.

Phillip gave a lengthy and interesting resume of not only his father’s Masonic and military service but also that of his grandfathers, Captain George Old MSM, great-grandfathers and other members of the Old family going back to 1809 and the Masonic burial of Lieutenant General Sir John Moore in Corrunna where an ancestor was a pall bearer. He also explained how his father came to have the unusual middle name, Dashwood, as his Grandfather, George’s father, had served in Ireland with Lord Dashwood during the rebellion of the 1920’s.

EComp Michael Landriau then spoke warmly of George saying he was a true “gentleman and mason” an ever-present member who would assist anybody and never criticise but offer help and support to everyone. He then read a congratulatory letter from EComp Jack Price, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, before presenting George with his illuminated 50th Certificate. EComp Catlow the First Principal then presented George with a decanter and bottle of whisky from the Chapter.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies EComp Gerry Hodson, then perambulated EComp Old 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 3 Principals

Top Table

The Festive Board




"A Special Day in a Special Mason's Life"

Fred Kemp - a Celebration of 50 Years in in the Royal Arch





A Man, a Mason, a Marathon

Ex-Comp Richard Johnson was the man and the mason. Salt Lake City was the venue for the marathon on Saturday 17th April starting at 06:15am! Richard has been visiting the USA for several years on business and having met up with the Freemasons in Utah joined Rose Croix over there. They have 2 big meetings every year in April and November, which he regularly attends to take part in the ceremonies. The meetings last from Thursday through Friday to Saturday morning! In April 2007 Richard noticed that the Salt Lake City (SLC) Marathon was run on the Saturday. Having always wanted to take part in a marathon he decided that he would take part in 2008 if the two events coincided. They did and after some intensive training he entered that year.


They do say “No Pain, No Gain”, so Richard decided that if he was running a marathon some charities should gain. As Richard was First Principal of Fidelity Chapter at the time he donated the money raised from sponsorship by East Lancs masons to the Charity Stewards Charity of the Year. Richard challenged the Chapter that whatever was donated he would double, if the Chapter from its funds would redouble, and they did. It was his way of celebrating 25 years in Masonry, the total of £520 was given to the District Charity Steward with a challenge to him to find matching funds to redouble again, which he did!

Richard is also a member of lodges in West Lancashire and raised money for other charities such as Lifelites, who raise money for IT equipment for children’s hospices. Brigantes Lodge in Kendal raised £1250 and another £500 plus was raised at Richards workplace and other degrees Richard is in. In the USA Richard raised $3500 for Children’s Learning Centers courtesy of the generosity of Utah Masons. Richard’s time in that first marathon in 2008 was 6 hours 12 minutes, one of the slowest but he beat maybe 75 other participants.

2 American masons said they would enter with him in 2009 if he did it again. He did, but they didn’t! Richard again raised some money for Lifelites and US charities. As Richard was Master of Unanimity Lodge No.113 in Preston that year he raised over £300 for the West Lancs festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF). For East Lancashire with the help of other chapters and lodges Richard raised over £1000 again for the Charity Stewards Charity of the Year. This year’s time was a slower 6 hours 17 minutes.
In 2010 the same 2 American Masons said they would enter (one did the half-marathon, the other had a priority engagement), so Richard did it for a third - and maybe last - time. If this was to be the last Marathon then Richard thought why not push the boat out. Staying as Master of Unanimity Lodge 113, he challenged the other Preston Masters to see if together they could become a patron of the W Lancs festival in the last 3 months it was running. This they managed, and with side degrees chipping in made £2600 for the MSF.

From the Blackburn and District lodges and chapters a total of £475 has been raised, again for the Charity Stewards Charity of the Year, which this year is the Young Carers of Blackburn and Darwen, a project that offers advice, information and support for carers under the age of 18, with Gift Aid this total will be over £600. Lifelites again has benefited to the tune of over £900 and £950 was raised for the Children’s Learning Centers in Utah. A total sum for 2010 of £5000 raised for charity in both the UK and USA. Sadly the time was slower still at 6 hours 47minutes, but Richard did manage to finish before they reopened the roads for vehicular traffic (just!). Although completing the course in the slowest time of the 3 attempts, he actually felt the best of the 3 years on the Sunday afterwards.


Richard arrived back in the UK on Monday 26th April just in time for his Chapter meeting at Blackburn where he proudly showed off his medal.

T T  Retires

EComp Trevor Thomas, known affectionately to all as T T, has retired from his position of Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, with responsibility for Central Area 2, at the last meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter held on 18th March 2010 in Blackburn.

Trevor has held positions of responsibility in Bolton District for many years being a past District Chairman. If this is his last position of note then he will be sadly missed but it is said that, “You can’t keep a good man down.”

To mark this momentous occasion the wives and partners of those comprising the Bolton and Bury District Committees brought along those who are totally dependant on them to the Red Lion at Hawkshaw, to give Trevor “A Reet Good Send Off.”  And ‘a reet good do it were too’ with a splendid evening being had by all, with good food, interesting and entertaining company which was crowned when Philip Mountford APGM accompanied by his wife Josie presented Trevor with a watch that we were assured actually works. The evening would not have been complete without a special floral tribute to Christine, his wife, who has ensured for years that when Trevor turns out to a meeting he is always smart and has everything that he needs with him.

May Trevor and Christine, hopefully, enjoy more time together but if he is called upon once more to take up the cudgel it is certain he will jump at the opportunity.

Building of the Temple

Wednesday 10th March saw a very entertaining and interesting demonstration for Hutchinson Chapter in Darwen. The chapter was visited by The Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter from West Lancashire who gave a demonstration of setting up the Chapter room and an explanation of the Chapter furniture entitled “building of the temple”.
The visitors from Provincial Stewards Chapter numbered nearly 20 companions along with their AProvGP. Also present at the meeting were EComp Donald Simpson, AProvGP, Principals from other Chapters within both the Blackburn and Accrington Districts and District Officers. In all some 60 Royal Arch Masons enjoyed the evening.
The evening started off with Companions sat in an empty Chapter room. The delegation from West Lancashire then proceeded to “dress” the chapter with the banners and chapter furniture, explaining as they went the significance of the items.
Finally once the Chapter room was complete Hutchinson Chapter was duly opened in due form by the three Principals. After the usual greetings, the chapter was rededicated by Ex-Companion the Reverend Alan Knox.
The First Principal of the Provincial Stewards Chapter then presented a gavel to Hutchinson Chapter to mark their visit, explaining that the gavel had been manufactured from 3 different woods, ash, elm and oak by a member of their chapter.

After the meeting the festive board was enjoyed by all in a relaxed atmosphere.



Bolton District Joint Convocation 18.2.10

 Freemasonry is for enjoying not enduring

All those who attended the Joint Bolton and Farnworth Joint Convocation of Royal Arch Chapters at Bolton Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 18th February 2010, under the banner of St George’s Holy Royal Arch Chapter, No. 1723, could not have done anything but enjoy the evening. From the opening to the closing of the Chapter followed by the Festive Board it was an evening of excellence and delight appreciated and enjoyed by all who were in attendance.

The Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Allan Bennion, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation including the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals, EComps William J Porter and Rev’d Donald K Pryce, were in attendance and all agreed on the excellence of the evening and the enjoyment which it had given to all present.

The deputation and visitors were welcomed by E Comp Donald Fairclough of St George’s Chapter. This was followed by an explanation of “The Jewel of the Order” presented by 10 Companions of the District.

The convocation was co-ordinated by Bolton and District Officer Royal Arch, EComp Keith Doyle, ably assisted in the administration by the Scribe E of the Chapter, EComp Alan Moss.

There was a presentation on behalf of St George’s Chapter to EComp Allan Bennion for the benefit of the 2015 Festival, for which the Chapter Companions were warmly thanked.

If ever there was an example of sheer excellence needed to entice Freemasons into The Royal Arch this was it. Whilst there were some serious messages conveyed at the Festive Board the remainder was one of fun and lighted hearted pleasure. During the evening the 90 or so Companions present raised the excellent sum of £500.00 for Masonic Charities.

Sadly this was the last official appearance in Bolton of EComp Trevor Thomas, AProvGP, prior to him stepping down from the role on 18th March 2010. All present wished EComp Thomas well for the future and his well earned retirement, if such a thing exists.

EComp Bill Porter (centre) and EComp Stuart Hughes (right)

Chapter Amalgamation

Sixty fine Companions enjoyed a superb Amalgamation Convocation with members of Fidelity Chapter, No. 274, Fraternity, No. 1697 and Cribden Chapter, No. 7285, at the Masonic Hall Rawtenstall on Tuesday the 19th January 2010. The Convocation opened in due form. The Deputy Grand Superintendent was admitted accompanied by the Provincial Deputation, introductions were made and the Third Provincial Grand Principal recited an opening prayer.

The Deputy Grand Superintendent addressed the Companions, the Provincial Grand Scribe E read the certificate of Amalgamation, the Third Principal then delivered an oration, the Companions of the Amalgamation Chapter gathered round the pavement and were sprinkled with salt be the Deputy Grand Superintendent.

The Third Provincial Grand Principal recited Exodus 30 Verses 7 and 8 whilst swinging the incense burner, which caused a great number of coughing fits amongst the Companions, the Amalgamation was affirmed and the Companions sang “Let Us Have Harmony”.

The Deputy Grand Superintendent delivered the Charters and Certificates of Amalgamation to MEZ, EComp Paul Cartwright.   Alms were collected which raised a considerable sum, after which the Deputy Grand Superintendent retired in due Masonic order.

This excellent Convocation was followed by an equally superb social board. During the social a raffle was held raising an equally substantial amount. The money raised at the convocation and the social board was donated to the RMBI 2015 Festival.

Deputation with the APGM, Alex McLaren, Officers and Companions

Deputation with the Officers and Companions

The Amalgamation Charter

Fidelity Chapter - the Principal Officers