Some 74 years ago, a young man called John Pendlebury Price – known to all his friends as “Jack” – started a 7-year plumbing apprenticeship earning just a few shillings per week. It was the start of a long working life. This was just one of the insights provided by his lifelong friend EComp Alan Wolstencroft, PProvGSwdB, who provided an interesting and humorous oration about Jack on the occasion of Jack’s 50th Masonic birthday as a member of the Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Beauty No 344.
This oration took place at Radcliffe Masonic Hall on Wednesday, 20th April 2016, exactly 50 years to the day since EComp Jack Price joined the Royal Arch and some 54 years since he joined Freemasonry. Jack is now a member of that rare group of Freemasons who have completed 50 years service in both the Craft and Royal Arch and his fellow Companions and colleagues turned out in force to celebrate this latest milestone with him.
The oration was given after EComp Roy Fairhurst, PProvGSN, the Chapter Scribe E, had read out the Chapter Summons from 20th April 1966.
The Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp David Dunn, accompanied by the Provincial Deputy Grand Directors’ of Ceremonies EComps Ian Paul and Tony Kenny along with the Royal Arch District Officer, EComp Roger Bowden, were also in attendance. EComp Dunn provided an overview of notable events from 1966 – including the small matter of a football match involving the England football team, the launch of the first British credit card – the Barclaycard – and the birth in October that year of a certain David William Donald Cameron!
EComp Bowden then read out a letter addressed to EComp Price from the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Sir David Trippier, afterwards EComp Dunn then presented him with his Illuminated Certificate of 50 years service. EComp Price was then escorted around the Chapter room to great acclaim from all those present.
The ensuing Social Board was a very happy affair. Jack was presented with a wonderful cake that tasted as good as it looked and with an additional present from the Chapter to mark the occasion.
Was the evening a success? In his response towards the end of the social board Jack stated that the evening had been “probably the most enjoyable” he had ever attended at Chapter of Beauty. It was indeed a most memorable occasion.
© 2016, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.