Sixty-four Brethren, including WBro Alan H Kirwilliam, PSGD, The Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area of the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by Grand Officers, Provincial Officers of the year and a District Delegation, signed the Tylers attendance register of Roses Lodge No. 5140 on Tuesday 16th October2019, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Michael Jameson Squires, PProvDepGDC.
The Worshipful Master of Roses Lodge being absent due to illness, the Chair was taken by the Immediate Past Master of the Lodge, WBro Ronald C W Dempster. The Lodge was duly opened and after concluding the preliminary business of the Lodge, a report was received. The ProvDepGDC, WBro Phil Collier, was admitted and announced that WBro Alan H Kirwilliam, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern area of the Province of East Lancashire, was without and that he demanded admission.
The Worshipful Master welcomed WBro Kirwilliam to the Lodge and offered him the Gavel. WBro Kirwilliam said that he last visited the Lodge in May of this year and on that occasion he had declined the kind offer of the Gavel but, on this very special occasion, he would be kind and accept with all graciousness.
WBro Kirwilliam then announced that the next item of business was to celebrate the 50thanniversary of the initiation into Freemasonry of WBro Michael Jameson Squires, PProvDepGDC. Addressing WBro Squires, WBro Kirwilliam said that 50 years in Freemasonry is a great achievement that is testified by the numbers present this evening and be assured they are all here to support you. The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies was then directed to place Mike Squires in the centre of the Lodge.
WBro Kirwilliam first extended his personal congratulations and those of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of the Province of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier TD JP; the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro John R Farrington and, of course, all present this evening.
As the minutes of the celebrants initiation meeting weren’t available, WBro Kirwilliam invited Mike to inform the meeting of how he came to join Freemasonry and in particular, Cheshunt Lodge 2921, in the Province of Hertfordshire.
Following a short but most interesting explanation, WBro Kirwilliam invited WBro Keith M Harrison, PProvSGW, a very close personal friend of Mike’s, to deliver a tribute to his friend of many years.
WBro Harrison’s tribute explained how a “Yorkshire lad, through and through” had ended up in South East London during his childhood but had returned to his native Keighley in 1955 where he continued his education and eventfully qualified as an accountant. It was in that capacity that he worked in various parts of the country and at age 25 he was working in London.
Mikes father and his fathers’ best friend, “Uncle Joe” were both members of Cheshunt Lodge 2921, in the Province of Hertfordshire, and it was in this Lodge that Mike was admitted in 1969.
Mike’s work decreed that he move back “up North” and it became obvious that the distance to his Lodge made attending impossible. Mike continued to keep his interest in Masonry, visiting Lodges in Skipton and the surrounding areas and eventually joined Noyna Lodge meeting at Colne in 1993. Subsequently Mike resigned from Cheshunt Lodge in 2006.
When Noyna Lodge closed in 2006, Mike joined Colne Lodge 4402 and later Roses Lodge 5140, and by 2015 had attained the Chair in all three Lodges. In addition Mike joined Cana Chapter 116 and is a Past 1stPrincipal. He is a member of Rose Croix and has been conferred with the 30O in that order. He is also a member of Pendleside Lodge of Installed Masters, 9111, and has served as Treasurer on the District Committee and has been a Director of Colne Masonic Hall.
Following the tribute, WBro Kirwilliam described life, culture and music in the “swinging sixties”, including a fact that a small Masonic flag was taken to the moon with the Apollo 11 Astronauts..
WBro Kirwilliam then read the personal letter and certificate from the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and presented the illuminated Certificate and personal letter to WBro Squires who was then escorted around the Lodge by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies to the acclaim of the Brethren.
To conclude the formal proceedings a 50 years lapel badge, to be worn with pride, was presented by the District Chairman, WBro Bo Allan.
WBro Squires, WBro Kirwilliam and the Worshipful Master, WBro Ronald CW Dempster
Following the Alms collection, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies announced that the Worshipful Master had a very pleasant duty to perform. The Worshipful Master presented two cheques for £100 each from both Roses Lodge and Colne Lodge to mark the occasion.
WBro Kirwilliam thanked both Lodges for their very kind donation.
After the cheque presentation, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies asked WBro Kirwilliam if he wished to retire, accompanied by the District Delegation and on the special occasion, WBro Michael J Squires. WBro Kirwilliam having given his assent, a retiral precession was formed and these esteemed Brethren retired from the Lodge to the acclaim of all present.
WBro Squires with WBro Kirwilliam, the Worshipful Master and the Brethren of Roses Lodge
WBro Squires with WBro Kirwilliam, the Worshipful Master, Brethren of Roses Lodge and the District Delegation
The Social Board was a happy and convivial gathering with all the Brethren in attendance clearly enjoying the occasion.
In proposing the toast to his health, WBro Keith Harrison, touched on WBro Squires’ Masonic and Professional life and the contribution that he has made to the community. It was clear from the account provided that WBro Squires well deserved all the accolades that had been afforded to him.
Report by John Wilkinson
© 2019, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.