Craft Masonry of East Lancashire
Craft Masonry of East Lancashire

Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting – 17 November 2011

“Look after each other, love one another and God Bless you all”

 

The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge was held on a tremendously well supported afternoon at King George’s Hall, Blackburn. A thousand brethren gathered in the auditorium and welcomed the Heads of other Orders, Distinguished Guests from this and other Provinces, the Leaders of the Provincial Grand Chapter of East Lancashire, the Acting Provincial Officers of the year and then finally, the VW Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, Bro Harold Woodward, accompanied by present and past Chain Bearers of the Province of East Lancashire.

VWBro Harold Woodward, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge”

 

Following the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge VWBro Woodward received salutations from the brethren assembled and he responded warmly. His first duty then, was to refer to the sad loss of Jack Price:

“Since the last meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge held on 18 November 2010, our RW Provincial Grand Master passed to the Grand Lodge above on 23 October 2011. Those who met with RWBro Jack Price, our beloved Past Provincial Grand Master, all bear witness to the fact that he enriched their lives; that they were made to feel that their worth was recognised and that their contribution was appreciated. Jack ‘walked the talk’; showing that it was more important to make friends with the nobodies than to seek to be a great somebody.

Jack was born on the 3 April 1937 and on the 26 January 1972 [aged 34 years] he was Initiated into Freemasonry in Justice Lodge, No 4632. Two years later [in 1974] he was Exalted in Empire Chapter, No 3803. Little did Jack realise how much Freemasonry was to change and enrich his life; nor could he have imagined just how much, in subsequent years, his leadership would change and inspire the lives of others. He consistently sought to emphasise the indissoluble link between the Craft and the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.

Jack was dedicated to serving those for whom he had responsibility. And therein is a lesson for us all. Learning how to serve is an essential qualification of a great leader and Jack possessed this qualification in abundance. He was Installed as our RWPGM / MEGS on the 18 June 2008 and what an impact he has made and will continue to make. I stress that ‘he will continue to make’ Brethren, because what we leave behind is not engraved on tablets of stone but is enshrined in the lives of others.

His passing to The Grand Lodge above requires us to be committed and dedicated to work together in peace, love and unity, that we might complete his unfinished Masonic work here on earth, to translate his vision for this, our Province, into a vibrant reality. Jack left his mark on his work, a workman who never needed to be ashamed of that which he undertook and accomplished in the name of Freemasonry. Thank you Jack for the quality of your workmanship, for being a man of quality and character and for the example and standards that you set and maintained in your everyday living.

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave; and impossible to forget. Jack, our dear friend and Brother, we will never forget you.

There are others who have made their unique contributions to and through our Order, they too will be remembered for the lives they have lived and for what they have left behind. In addition to Bro Jack Price we have been informed of the death of the following Grand Officers:

WBro Bernard M Rother, PAGDC – 2 February 2011
WBro Fred Kemp, PJGD – 8 February 2011
WBro John D Cook, PGStB – 1 April 2011
WBro Brian Gee, PAGSuptWks – 4 May 2011
WBro Norman H Nash, PSGD – 29 May 2011
WBro Derek Livesey, PJGD – 11 June 2011
WBro Victor F Hodgson, PJGD – 17 June 2011
WBro John A Knowles, PAGDC – 24 July 2011
WBro Kenneth Halstead – 12 November 2011

together with 104 Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and many brethren from private Lodges. They will be sadly missed by both the Brethren and their families.”

The Brethren then stood for a few moments silence to remember departed merit.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge then proceeded with a number of items of business and presentations which will be referred to on page 3 of this report. Then followed Harold Woodward’s address to Provincial Grand Lodge:

Address of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge to Provincial Grand Lodge

This is a special moment for me Brethren, speaking to you as your Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the final time; and I know it is a special afternoon for you, here in splendid numbers to support both this glorious Province and also your colleagues; those who will shortly be appointed or promoted in Provincial Grand Lodge.

The feeling for me on this stage is extremely positive but we are all aware that I am addressing you while we share the recent and inexpressible loss of our Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Jack Price. You should know that he continued to work for you and the Province until a few days before his departure to the Grand Lodge above. He dearly wanted a little more time with us, but God had greater plans for him.

Jack and Dorothy Price at the Salford Flower Festival, 2008

 

The strength and unity with which we supported him to the end and beyond, in some measure demonstrates the depth of love we held for Jack and Dorothy, together with their children, Jonathan and Janet. His second family was always us and, although we have often expressed it, there will always be a tremendous debt of gratitude we owe to Dorothy, who supported Jack and Freemasonry to an exceptional level throughout the years. At the beginning of this Meeting of PGL I stated that, in every capacity in which he served, Jack Price was a singular and exceptional individual who possessed all that was required of a leader: that he had a very large heart, which enabled him to touch all those he encountered with warmth and love. He often asked us to ‘love one another’; in this context he meant the process of nurturing one another for mutual benefit and growth on this earth. Love is a doing process and ‘action’ is what I intend to talk about this afternoon.

Freemasonry may be defined by some as a secular society, but only in the sense that it is not a substitute for religion. Freemasonry is ‘in’ but not ‘of’ the world; a world that would seek us to conform to its standards rather than be transformed by our standards. Freemasonry possesses a unique set of fundamental principles grounded in the values of many religions, ancient civilisations and influenced by many philosophies. If those fundamental principles are true, then Freemasonry is of vital importance and if false Freemasonry is of no importance; what Freemasonry cannot be is moderately important.

We live in a world of shifting values, so often characterised by need and greed. We must never compromise our standards and we must constantly strive to live to a high moral code of conduct; underpinned by the fundamental principles of our Order. It is a time for us to step ‘forward’ and not ‘backwards’, to embrace challenges and convert them into opportunities. Let us be pro-active so that we make a real difference and are welcomed as an integral part of our communities. As men of quality and character we are the conscience of society. There is nothing out there to replace us!

Brethren, there is much activity within the Province with which each of us needs to be associated at one or more levels. From today we have a new organisational structure serving our medium to long term future. Our former seven Areas have reduced to six forming a strengthened base, with the Craft Areas now being co-terminous with those of the Royal Arch and with a consolidated leadership focussed on our future success. At this point, I wish to formally place on record my appreciation for the vital work undertaken by our District Chairmen: those who are retiring, continuing in Office or are newly appointed. Each of them has undertaken / will undertake a key role in ensuring a smooth transition to the new structure. I call upon each of you to give them your full support in the discharge of their important duties [ the Chairmen were then introduced by name and collectively received the acclaim of the brethren].

Redevelopment of Freemasons’ Hall (the headquarters of the Province, the Secretariat and the home to many Craft Lodges, Royal Arch Chapters and other Orders) is to commence in the first half of 2012. The Redevelopment will provide an affordable, impressive and comfortable ‘fit for purpose’ Masonic home for Freemasonry in the City. Salford Freemasons will be looking after their Manchester colleagues for the period of the work, and for that we are most grateful. I refer you to the Provincial Website for the answers to most frequently asked questions regarding the Redevelopment and the interim arrangements: these questions and answers will be regularly updated.

Any society or organisation can be judged by the way it cares for the least fortunate of its members; and so it is with Freemasonry. We have been in Festival mode to raise funds for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution for 2 years and to date just in excess of £750,000 has been donated by individuals, Lodges, Chapters and others. In the present climate, this is very commendable, however only one in six of us has entered into a commitment to make a regular donation / contribution. There are of course other Brethren who have chosen to make ‘one-off’ contributions. To all who have supported the Festival thus far [and in doing so have helped to improve the quality of life of our vulnerable members and / or their dependents] and who will be invited to further support the Festival today, please accept my ‘thank you’. In every Festival that I can remember we have called for commitment from the Brethren, that each shall give in accordance with his means and without detriment to himself or family. I ask you to revisit your commitment to support charity, made at the time of your Initiation into Freemasonry.

Let me remind you that the RMBI operates 17 Care Homes with some 1000 residents and that a donation of £5 enables one such resident to be provided with a single meal. I invite each individual, each Lodge and each Chapter to re-examine their priorities in relation to charitable giving whilst the Province is in Festival mode, please remember that it is your Festival and that its success depends on you.

In this Province, the future health and viability of each Lodge will, in very large measure, be determined by the enjoyment and value its members gain from their regular meetings, rehearsals, committees, social and charity functions. Enjoyment and value are wholly dependent on the contribution each member makes / is allowed to make to those meetings and the quality of the content that is provided. For most Lodges this means that if you are not focussed on your relationship with each other; if you are not embracing mentoring; if you are not doing something about planning and investing in securing its future; if you are not thinking about recruitment; if you are not thinking about costs and if you are unable to showcase the real essence of the many facets of Freemasonry, to your colleagues and to the outside world; then Freemasonry does not have a future. Don’t leave the responsibility for defining and securing the future of your Lodge to somebody else, make sure that you are part of a winning team.

A little thought, time and action to ensure our fellow Brethren are valued, engaged, supported, encouraged and accepted is all that is needed to enhance the quality of the relationship within our fraternity. Brethren do notleave Freemasonry, they leave relationships where they are not valued or cared for, or at worst when relationships no longer exist. Let us become men of value and treat one another with dignity and respect, let us care enough to care.

Windows of opportunity present themselves to us, sometimes only once in a lifetime, and we need to take advantage of them while we can see them. Some of us are leaders, some have special skills, but all of us have a part to play; everyone has something to give. In the end it comes down to attitude and action. There are no free rides and doing nothing is not an option. Success is about being focussed and using our resources effectively, about doing things the correct way, about building bridges and placing stepping stones (not creating obstacles or stumbling blocks) and offering pastoral care (without preaching).

The leaders of the Province and our various Committees continuously work at providing tools to help you prosper and flourish. For example, we have a Strategic Planning Group which has recently restructured the Provincial organisation and is currently looking at the health of the Craft and the Royal Arch generally; developing recruitment and retention initiatives and examining the role of our Grand Officers (who share a wealth of knowledge and experience). As individuals or as a corporate body the responsibility for defining and securing the future of Freemasonry is yours, there are no ‘opt-out’ clauses.

Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Whatever you are; be a good one’. Brethren, whoever we are, let us each choose to follow a path of excellence and quality through this life. As we were so often reminded by RWBro Jack Price :

 

‘Look after each other, love one another and God bless you all.’

 

The full text of the Address by Harold Woodward can be viewed / downloaded HERE

 

Harold Woodward concluded his tenure of Office with a very special task, that of appointing WBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PSGD, APGM, to preside over the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire as Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge:

WBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PSGD – Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge

 

Harold Woodward began, “The translation of our Past RWPGM’s vision into a vibrant and sustainable reality requires the virtue of continuity of leadership at all levels within the Province. He passionately believed that such continuity could be effectively be provided by WBro Derek N Thornhill, when appointed as my successor. And so, Brethren it is with much pleasure that I ask our Brother DC to conduct Bro Thornhill to the Pedestal.

WBro Norman Cope, then brought Derek Thornhill to the Pedestal, accompanied by his Chain Bearer, WBro Paul Aspinall, PAGDC, Chairman of East Ribble District. The Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro Alan H Garnett, then read the Patent of Appointment. This was then presented to Harold Woodward who inspected it and confirmed that it was in order.

“Brethren, Bro Thornhill was Initiated into Cathedral Lodge No 7814, in 1981 and became Worshipful Master in 1985. In addition, he is a joining member of Fortitude Lodge No 64, the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers’ Lodge No 3747, Verity Lodge No 3949 and the Lancashire Scouting Lodge of Allegiance No 6384. He was appointed a Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in 1992 and promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 1997. In 2000, he was appointed by the United Grand Lodge of England to the rank of a Past Assistant Grand Sword Bearer. In 2006, he was appointed an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, with special responsibilities for Blackburn and Accrington Districts and received the rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon in the same year. Bro Thornhill was Exalted into Abbey Chapter No 2529 in 1987 and became the MEZ in 1994. He was a joining member of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers’ Chapter No 3747 and a Founder of Cathedral Chapter No 7814. He was appointed the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 1999 and promoted as an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals with special responsibility for Northern Area No 1 in 2004.

He was appointed by Supreme Grand Chapter to Past Grand Standard Bearer in 2005. He has been the Deputy Chairman and Chairman of Blackburn District over a 9 year period. He was a member of the 2004 Festival Committee for some 3 years and, latterly, has been one of the driving forces behind the negotiations on the re-development of Freemasons’ Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester.

Bro Thornhill, clearly you are more than fully qualified to act as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of this Province, but I must nevertheless formally ask if you are willing to accept the duties of that high office?”

Bro Thornhill stated that he was and the Provincial Grand Chaplain was called upon for prayer, after which Bro Thornhill recited his Obligation as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Following this the Provincial Grand DC escorted Brother Thornhill to Bro Woodward for Investiture. The Provincial Grand DC then proclaimed Derek Thornhill as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge and the brethren gave salutations.

WBro Derek Thornhill, in the Chair, then continued with the business of Provincial Grand Lodge. The next item of business was to re-appoint the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, appointed by Jack Price, who were continuing in Office: WBro Philip G Mountford, PSGD, WBro Martin S Caller, PSGD, WBro Stephen M Blank, PDepGDC, WBro Alexander S McLaren, PJGD, WBro Martin P Roche, PJGD

meeting01.5

The Assistant Provincial Grand Masters shown here with Derek N Thornhill, Harold Woodward and the retiring APGM, Jim Sutcliffe

 

The APGMs were given salutations and WBro Martin Caller responded on their behalf.

The next item of business was the Appointment of WBro Chad Antony Northcott, PProvJGW, as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master

WBro Chad Antony Northcott, Assistant Provincial Grand Master

 

WBro Thornhill said, “I now have great pleasure in the next item on the Agenda, that of appointing WBro Chad Antony Northcott as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. I have known Brother Northcott for approximately 10 years and in that time he has always shown immense energy, enthusiasm and ability in every active position he has held and I am sure this will continue in his new office. So, Brethren, it is with much pleasure that I ask our Brother DC to conduct Bro Northcott to the Pedestal.” Bro Chad Northcott was conducted to the pedestal accompanied by his Chain Bearer Bro Tim Northcott, his younger brother and a Past Master of Arcturus Lodge, No. 7252.

The Provincial Grand Secretary read the Patent of Appointment which Bro Thornhill examined and stated was in order.

“Brethren, Brother Northcott was Initiated into Arcturus Lodge No 7252 on 12 October 1992 and became Worshipful Master in 2000. He is a joining member of Salford Ionic Lodge No 3248, the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Lodge No 3747 and the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 8408. He was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward in 2001, promoted to Past Provincial Deputy Grand Sword Bearer in 2004, Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in 2006, and Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2007. He received his current rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in May of this year.

He was Exalted into the Marquis of Lorne Chapter, No. 1354, in 1993 and became First Principal in 2001. He joined Trinity Chapter 5651 in 2001 where he became the First Principal in 2004. He is also a joining member of Alexandra Chapter No 993, the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Chapter No 3747 and the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter No 8408. He was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward in 2006, promoted Past Provincial Grand Sojourner in 2007 and received his current rank of Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer earlier this year.

He was a Salford District Officer for some 7 years; 5 of these spent as District Secretary. He is the current Communication Committee Chairman and has responsibility for the Provincial Website. Bro Northcott, clearly you are more than fully qualified to act as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of this Province, but I must nevertheless ask you formally if you are willing to accept the duties of that high office?”

Bro Northcott responded “I am Very Worshipful Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge”.

The Brethren were then called to order for prayer after which Brother Northcott recited his Obligation as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. Brother Northcott was then escorted to Bro Thornhill for Investiture, after which he was proclaimed as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and saluted.

The next item of business is the investiture of newly appointed and promoted Officers.

The Provincial Grand Secretary read the names of those to be honoured and theProvincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team escorted each of them to the Pedestal. All in all some 251 brethren received appointment or promotion in Provincial Grand Lodge.

Before Provincial Grand Lodge was closed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge took time to thank three special brethren for the service they had given to the Province:

L to R: VWBro Harold Woodward, PGSwdB – WBro James Sutcliffe, PSGD – WBro H Alan J Garnett, PJGD

 

Derek Thornhill said: “VWBro Harold Woodward, PGSwdB, has served the Province at a senior level in Craft and the RA. He was a Dora in L997 for 5 years, Senior Warden of the Province in 1999 – 2000, became an APGP in the old Northern Area Number 1 for 2 years prior to becoming a well-respected APGM for 5 years in Rochdale and Oldham. In 2009 he became our Deputy Provincial Grand Master. His experience in Human Resources will be missed and the devolution of the secretarial work to the Districts will remain an epitaph to his work and expertise.

Harold has served our PGM’s and our Province well, and maybe now he may have the time to start playing his trombone again. Thank you Harold for your service to this Province, and I am sure that you and Phyllis will both enjoy your retirement.

WBro James Sutcliffe PSGD has served the Province as a District Officer, having been District Secretary, Deputy Chairman, and District Chairman in Rossendale District, in 2005 he was appointed APGM in Northern Area Number 2 moving latterly, specifically at the request of our late PGM, to Salford. As well as holding these important offices Jim has been Chairman of Whalley Masonic Hall since 2000. He is currently Chairman of the 3rd Floor Working Committee, involved in the layout and refurbishment of the new 3rd floor in Bridge Street. I have personally known Jim for over 25 years as we are in the same mother Chapter and, therefore, know the amount of hard work and effort that he has expended and continues to expend, on work for the Province. Thank you Jim for your dedication, commitment, and your friendship.

WBro Alan Garnett PJGD has served the Province as Provincial Grand Secretary/Scribe Ezra for 15 years, and I know that he has been one of the longest current serving Provincial Grand Secretaries / Scribe Es.

Prior to being appointed to those positions he also was one of the first District Officer Royal Arch, in which capacity he served for 3 years, and Prov Organist in the Craft and RA for 4 years and 6 years respectively.

Alan has left an indelible footprint by the positive impact that he has had on the Organisation and Administration, and his efforts, have enhanced the smooth running and operation of the Province over the tenure of his office. Thank you Alan for all your tremendous hard work and dedication and I know that your experience and your immense knowledge will be missed.

Brethren could I please ask you to show your gratitude to the three Brethren for their tremendous service and support to our Province.”

The newly appointed Provincial Grand Secretary (Provincial Grand Scribe E) is WBro (EComp) John Farrington, PAGDC. John has served the Province over many years, most recently as District Chairman for the Rossendale District and as Honorary Secretary of the East Lancashire Masonic Charity.

meeting01.8

WBro (EComp) John Farrington – ProvGSec (ProvGScribeE)


The Festive board

The Festive Board / Banquet following Provincial Grand Lodge turned out to be a most entertaining affair characterised by the constant buzz and sound of lively conversation and merriment. Following the very agreeable food came the toasts, the highlight of which was WBro Derek Thornhill, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge’s, toast to the newly appointed / promoted brethren.

meeting01.9

“You, like I, the newly appointed, re-appointed or promoted Brethren have been recipients of your ranks by the approval of our late Provincial Grand Master and I hope that you will, honour and treasure that thought. Jack Price was sufficiently far sighted to look to the future early enough for us to adapt to it and he set in motion a strategy for making those goals a healthy reality. As the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, together with you, it is my duty to continue that programme in a structured yet friendly manner.

All of you here tonight are committed Freemasons. You may be here as a visitor to East Lancashire and we welcome you with open arms and with brotherly love. You may be here to support your friends who have been on the stage today, or you may just be here to enjoy Provincial Grand Lodge. There are, however, three groups who are here for very special reasons:

Some have been appointed or re-appointed to Acting Office and that accolade reflects your skill and ability, or potential in performing the work of those high positions.

A group of you have received a promotion in Provincial Grand Lodge and this recognises your continued involvement and the impact on your brethren within your Lodges, Districts, the Province or your community. You should be proud that your efforts within Freemasonry have been recognised again for the continued contribution that you are making and I hope will continue to make.

A select number of you have been appointed for the first time to Past Provincial Rank. Let me remind you that we have few of these collars available and these appointments are not given lightly, but are made after much thought and consideration. These appointments have been made on the basis of merit. You are the ones that have not only been recognised for your role and impact thus far, but who we hope will aspire to greater things in the future.

When you return to your Lodge you should consider yourselves as Beacons; being shining examples of all that is good about Freemasonry and help us all to preserve it for future generations.

We are all Ambassadors for Freemasonry and should be proud of how Freemasonry has influenced our lives. As ambassadors, I hope that you will help to showcase Freemasonry to the outside world and inspire all our members to do the same and share the golden thread of Freemasonry with our friends and acquaintances outside the Order.

With anticipation for their future support I ask the newly appointed, promoted or re-appointed Provincial Officers to remain seated whilst, with respect, would the remainder of you please be upstanding and join me, in this very special toast.

 

“Brethren, I give you the future of Freemasonry in East Lancashire: the newly appointed, re- appointed and promoted Provincial Grand Officers”!

 

WBro J Christopher Welton, the newly appointed Provincial Senior Grand Warden (and Chairman of the Education and Development Committee) responded on behalf of all of those Provincial Officers who had just enjoyed the toast to their health:

“Very Worshipful Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, Ladies, Distinguished Brethren and Brethren, It is always a great privilege to respond to the Toast to the newly appointed and promoted Brethren of the Province of East Lancashire and I am conscious that such privilege rests today on my shoulders in rather poignant circumstances. I know I speak for all of us when I say that we fully appreciate the Honour which has been conferred upon us and that it is not just for past services but more for what we will do for our historic and special Province in the future.

The Masonic Province of East Lancashire has a very interesting, exciting and challenging time ahead, particularly during the next twelve months. We have a newly refurbished Headquarters to look forward to, a new Provincial Grand Master to serve and a new style Secretariat to administer the Province. Sir, whatever the challenge, your newly appointed and promoted Provincial Officers stand ready, willing and eager to serve, wherever and whenever we can.

On behalf of all of us, I thank you for your very generous Toast and to you Ladies and Brethren for the way that you have received it.

This was met with tremendous applause from the brethren


Other Business at Provincial Grand Lodge

Earlier in the afternoon, at the Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge welcomed our Distinguished Guests:

“Brethren, no Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge would be complete without our Distinguished Guests from other Provinces and from our own Province. Brethren, you are all most welcome. Thank you for coming to our Annual Meeting to support our Province; I trust that you will have an enjoyable day in East Lancashire.” As he introduced each Delegation the brethren stood and after being received the brethren acclaimed them:

As I introduce each Delegation, I should be most grateful if each Brother would stand until all of their colleagues have been introduced.

Brethren we welcome, from:-

 

Yorkshire, N&E Ridings
RWBro Richard J Anderson, Provincial Grand Master
VWBro Jeffrey Gillyon, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
WBro John MA Davies, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies

 

Yorkshire, West Riding
RW Bro John K Clayton, Provincial Grand Master
WBro Anthony B Brailsford, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Colin Dent, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Donald S Cummins, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master

 

Northumberland
RWBro Peter Magnay, Provincial Grand Master
WBro Michael Daws, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Victor L Wood, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Brian Rudd, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro John Y Chan, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Colin Hume, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Secretary

 

Durham
RWBro N Eric Heaviside, Provincial Grand Master
WBro John Webster, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro David S Hay, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Alan Hall, PJGD, Past Provincial Grand Secretary

 

West Lancashire
RWBro Peter J Hosker, Provincial Grand Master

 

Cumberland and Westmorland
RWBro Norman J Thompson, Provincial Grand Master
WBro Keith Young, PSGD, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
WBro William J Bewley, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro William Douthwaite, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Secretary

 

Isle of Man
RWBro R Keith Dalrymple, Provincial Grand Master
WBro William J Ashton, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies

 

Shropshire
RWBro Peter J Taylor, Provincial Grand Master
WBro John F Norman, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies
WBro Ian W Edgington, Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary

 

Cheshire
WBro Christopher J MacDonald, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Dr Arthur Birch, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Maxwell M Leese, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WBro Brian W Maho, PProvJGW, Provincial Deputy Grand Secretary

 

North Wales
WBro Peter J Sorahan, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Secretary
WBro Steven Jones, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies

 

RMBI
WBro James Newman, SGD, Chairman of the Trustees

 

Special Guests
WBro Chris Connop, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master [Middlesex]
WBro Edward Lord, JP, PAGDC
WBro Frederick Wright, PAGDC

 

From East Lancashire we welcome:

 

The Past Deputy Provincial Grand Masters – Bro Nolan Morrison and Bro Nigel Bramley-Haworth

EComp William J Porter, Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge of the East Lancashire Royal Arch Province.

The Mark Provincial Grand Master, Bro Keith Schofield

The Provincial Prior from the Order of the Knights Templar, Bro David Gallear.

From the Antient and Accepted Rite, the Inspector General of the District of North East Lancashire, Bro David Hawkins

From the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees, the District Grand Prefect for East Lancashire, Bro Alexander McLaren.

From the Order of the Secret Monitor, the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler, Bro Howard Nuttall.

From the Royal Order of Scotland, Provincial Grand Lodge of the Counties Palatine of Lancaster and Chester, the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Ian Clark

and from the Knights Benificient of the Holy City, the Regional Grand Prefect, Bro Malcolm Moreland.”


The next business was to receive and adopt the Accounts of the Provincial Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2010.

ProvGTreas

Bro Robert Frankl, Provincial Grand Treasurer:

 

“VW Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge and Brethren. I have pleasure in presenting the accounts of Provincial Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2010, copies of which have been distributed.

Our gross income for the year fell by just over £6,000 to £133,492. At the same time our overhead costs increased by just short of £3,000. The combined effect of the lower income and increased overhead costs was to reduce the level of surplus we enjoyed in 2009 of £9,776 to a mere £431 in 2010. Our reserves remained virtually unchanged for the year and amounted to £101,816 as at 31 December 2010. Lower gross income and higher overhead costs will feature once again in the current year 2011 and we will suffer a not insignificant deficit.

You may be wondering why the worry lines in my forehead are no more pronounced now than they were when I stood here 12 months ago. The reason is because our reserves are sufficient to fund the expected deficit. For the same reason I shall be continuing what has by now become my usual custom of not rising later on and not proposing an increase in Provincial Dues next year.

I am grateful to our auditors for their diligence and professionalism and courtesy. In past years I have concluded my report by expressing my appreciation for the support given to me by the Secretariat and volunteers. Whilst I continue to be hugely appreciative of them, I am sure they will forgive me if on this occasion I make special reference to our Provincial Grand Secretary.

You will appreciate, brethren, that the Provincial Grand Secretary and I have had to work closely together for quite a number of years. My work with him has always been enjoyable and fulfilling and has helped cement what was already a good friendship. Alan, I hope I haven’t been too much of a pain in the neck over the years, and wish you well on your retirement.

VW Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge and Brethren, I present the accounts of Provincial Grand Lodge for 2010 for adoption.”

The Senior Auditor, Bro Aubrey Rothburn, gave a favourable report and the accounts were approved and adopted.

The Provincial Grand Treasurer and Auditors (Aubrey Rothburn, Roland Adams and Alan Baxendale) were then re-elected. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master thanked all of them commenting on Bro Frankls professionalism, commitment and dedication in the preparation of the budgets and year end accounts. This has been invaluable in providing stability in difficult financial times.


Moving on the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge referred to a number of sporting and leisure activities have again taken place during the summer months. “For many years, it has become customary for us at this meeting to present trophies to the winners of competitions held in the name of the Province.

“The East Lancashire Masonic Golfing Society held their annual competition on 5 July 2011, at Swinton Park Golf Club. The winner was Bro Harold Cooper of Corinthians Lodge No 221. I am delighted to say that he is here today with his Worshipful Master, WBro Brian Smith, to collect the trophy. I am very grateful to the organising Committee for the generous donation of £500 to the EL 2015 Festival which, I understand, now qualifies the Society as a Patron. The Committee Secretary, Bro Alan Banks, has asked me to remind all Brethren that this is a competition open to all members of the Province. Next year’s competition will be held at a new venue, namely, Dukinfield Golf Club on Thursday, 5 July 2012. New and existing competitors will be made very welcome. Our thanks are due to the Chairman, Bro Malcolm Worsley, his Secretary, Bro Alan Banks, the Treasurer, Bro Garth Bogle and the team of organisers.

The East Lancashire Masonic Bowling Association held their Annual Competition on 20 August this year at the Barrfield Bowling Club, Salford, and I place on record our thanks to Bro Brian Robinson, for his unstinting efforts. I am delighted that the winners Bros Ronald Antcliff and William Hamer of Elizabethan Lodge No 7286 are here today, together with their Worshipful Master, Bro Jozef Markisz.

Short Papers Competition: This year I am delighted to present a new Trophy, The Peter Robinson Perpetual Trophy. This Trophy has been donated by the Immediate Past Master of the Manchester Lodge of Masonic Research No 5502, WBro Peter Robinson. As many of you will be aware, earlier this year, Brethren where invited to submit entries for the “2011 Province of East Lancashire Short Papers Competition”, and I am delighted to say that the winner was WBro John Buckley a member of Arthur Sullivan’s Lodge No 2156. The winning paper was entitled “St Edmund’s Church, Falinge, Rochdale: An Appreciation” and was judged by a Panel, which was chaired by WBro Fred Lomax, who later today will be appointed the Provincial Grand Orator. The Paper was judged by the Panel as “illuminating, factual and of sufficient depth to be well received by a mixed Masonic audience”. There was, also, one runner up and two highly commended papers selected from the short list of many excellent papers.

Unfortunately, Bro Buckley is unable to be with us this afternoon, due to a long standing appointment [a Caribbean Cruise, I understand!], but his Worshipful Master, Bro Harold Shonick is in attendance and I ask the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to escort Brother Shonick to me.”

All of the recipients of trophies were conducted to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge for presentation.

The Provincial Grand Secretary gave his Report on various events that have occurred since the last Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge:

Sir, the late RW Provincial Grand Master, the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and you, have officiated at a number of significant events, which include:-

 

The Bi-Centenary of Social Lodge No 62.

 

The Centenaries of
Goulburn Lodge No 3478,
Coronation Lodge No 3479.

 

The 150ths of
Zetland Lodge No 852,
Albert Lodge No 854.

 

Two Amalgamations
the former Stamford Lodge No 6427 and Assheton Lodge No 6467 into Stamford and Assheton Lodge No 6427,
the former Borough Lodge No 1064 and Ashlar Lodge No 4858, into Borough Ashlar Lodge No 4858

 

A Hosted Meeting for Rochdale District, held at St Martins Lodge No 2320 and a visit to Fairway Lodge No 6693.

The Let’s Talk Masonry Conference.

The opening of Clayton-le-Moors extension and a very successful Vienna Proms Concert to raise funds for the Festival

 

10 Personal 60ths of
– WBro Joseph Morton
– WBro Robert S Bell
– WBro Jack Griffith
– WBro Frank M Read
– WBro Peter Swain
– WBro Victor Brown
– WBro Norman Pickles
– WBro Leslie Heaviside
– WBro Arthur B Acton
– WBro Cecil Wood

 

35 Personal 50ths:
– Geoffrey Holme, Milton Lodge No 1144
– John N Murgatroyd, Cribden Lodge No 7285
– Ian J Williams, Calder Lodge No 4564
– Philip J Conn, Stability Lodge No 4293
– Bryan Hartley, Samaritan Lodge No 286
– Derek M Draper, Ashbury Lodge No 1459
– Colin Sanderson, Borough Lodge No 1064
– Ian S Hill, Affability with Villiers Lodge No 317
– Roger K Roscow, Lodge of Relief No 42
– Derek Workington, Fellowship Lodge No 3650
– John H Jones, Duchess of York Lodge No 2482
– John R Evans, Charity Centenary Lodge No 3786
– Keith Lomax, Albert Edward Lodge No 1519
– Charles A Lewis, Internet Lodge No 9659
– Kenneth Tomlinson, Ashlar Lodge No 4858
– Arthur Ashton, Langley Lodge No 3989
– John Mellor, Stability Lodge No 4293
– Leonard Coolican, Limestone Roch Lodge No 369
– Vincent E Miller, Old Mancunians Lodge No 3140
– Peter A Anderton, Fairway Lodge No 6693
– Ian EM Buttress, Vulcan Lodge No 4510 [N&E Riding of Yorkshire]
– John G Durnall, Lodge of Virtue No 152
– Kenneth G Hilton, Tottington Lodge No 7537
– Michael D Bennett, Lodge of Minerva No 300
– Jack Medlock, Hardman Lodge No 1948
– Raymond Robinson, Lodge of Perseverance No 345
– John Johnson, Albert Lodge No 854
– John P Alldred, Brierfield Lodge No 7560
– Wilfred Clough, Stanley Lodge No 2917
– Stanley P Jackson, Sedgley Lodge No 4361
– Leslie D Telford, Limestone Rock No 369
– William Hyde, Lodge of Fidelity No 430
– Alan W Butler, Semper Fidelis Lodge No 3299
– Richard T Needham, Lodge of Hope No 54
– William May, Kershaw Lodge No 3838

 

Amalgamations

We have now held 34 amalgamations (with 43 Lodges erased to create those amalgamations). A total of 96 Lodges have now been erased and we are waiting the erasure of a further 10. This will leave us with 257 Lodges.

 

Membership

The following information relates to the calendar year 2010.

The year commenced with a membership of 7424 [which included 6204 individual members] and we had 175 Initiations during the year.

The year ended with a membership of 7077 [which included 5934 individual members].There was a net reduction in memberships of 346 and a net reduction in individual members of 270.

Thank you, Sir”

A collection then took place for the EL 2015 Festival which raised almost £6,000 including Tax reclaim.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge also took time to offer his sincere thanks to the following for their tremendous assistance in making this Annual Provincial Meeting happen.

The Provincial Grand Secretary, Bro Alan Garnett and his Secretariat for all they do on our behalf. To Mrs Susan O’Neill, Bro Roger Norris and Bro Andrew Holland together with the many members of the extended team, to whom we express our appreciation and gratitude for today’s arrangements.

The Secretariat

Likewise, he congratulated Bro Norman Cope, the Provincial DC and the members of his extended team, for our splendid ceremonial presentation.

WBro Norman Cope, PAGDC, Provincial Grand DC

 

He gave a big thank you to our “ever present” medical team, led by Bro Eddie Barlow. and to stewards from the Blackburn District, led by WBros Paul Aspinall and Joe Lamb, and a number of members of the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 8408. Also to Brothers Eddie Tyler and Brian Bennion and the Charity Stewards, who had efficiently taken the contributions to the 2015 Festival.

He also thanked the sound team Bro John Hesketh and Bro Peter Hegarty, Bro Steve Smith and the Security Stewards, stationed outside this main hall, guarding and securing our privacy and, finally, a very special thank was given to Bro Alan Barlow for the tremendous support he has given to us in the administration of the dinner which we all enjoyed.