- Craft Freemasonry
About 1000 Brethren made the trip to Blackburn for the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, held at King George’s Hall. Preparations took place during the day and at lunch-time the Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, accompanied by his Craft Cabinet, was warmly welcomed to the City by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Alan Cottam, who had invited them to the Mayor’s Parlour.
Just before 3.00 pm The RW Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Officers’, entered in processional order and Provincial Grand Lodge was opened.
After salutations the Provincial Grand Master said, “Brethren, since the last meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge held on 21 November 2013, we have been saddened by the death of the following Grand Officers:
– John H Phillimore, PSGD, 5 January 2014
– Sidney Rose, PAGDC, 29 January 2014
– James C Robey, PAGSuptWks, 15 February 2014
– F Dennis Black, PJGD, 27 March 2014
– Kenneth Edwards, PJGD, 6 June 2014
– Barry Wallwork, PSGD, 29 July 2014
– Sir Neil Westbrook, PJGD, 13 August 2014
– Prof Terence Jewitt, PAGSwdB, 31 October 2014
In addition, 58 Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and many Brethren from private Lodges have passed to higher service in the Grand Lodge above. They will be sadly missed by their families, the Brethren of their Lodges and their friends. We offer our sincere condolences to them all.
I ask you to rise in silent tribute in respect of departed merit.”
Sir David then welcomed our Distinguished Guests and Heads of Orders:
“Brethren, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome on your behalf our Distinguished Guests from this and other Provinces. I do thank you all for your continued support and for your friendship which is appreciated. Your attendance enhances our meeting and I hope that you will have an enjoyable day with us here in East Lancashire. Brethren, we welcome from the Province of:
– RWBro Steven Adcott, Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Paul A Massie, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro David V Dyson, PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
Isle of Man
– RWBro R Keith Dalrymple, Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Bill Ashton, PAGDC, Deputy Grand Superintendent
– RWBro Tony Harrison, Provincial Grand Master
– VWBro Howard Jones, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Mark Dimelow, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro John Hutton, PJGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Peter Michael Taylor, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Secretary
– WBro Keith S Kemp, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies
– WBro Malcolm I Bell, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies
– WBro David S Thomas, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies
– VWBro John Rushworth, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Paul Clarke, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro D Stuart Cummins, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro John R Tolson, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Anthony W Llewellyn, PSGD, Assistant Prov Grand Master
Cumberland and Westmorland
– VWBro Keith Young, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro William H Morley, SGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master.”
Sir David asked VWBro Young to pass our best wishes to RWBro Norman Thompson who was recovering well from a recent illness.
There was applause from the Brethren and then the PGM welcomed brethren from East Lancashire:
“Our Past Provincial Grand Master: RWBro Paul Rink, OBE
The Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master’s: VWBro Nolan Morrison and VWBro Dr Nigel Bramley-Haworth
Our Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp William J Porter
Together with our Past Deputy Grand Superintendent: EComp Allan Bennion
From the Mark Order we welcome the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Keith Schofield
From the Antient and Accepted Rite, the Inspector General of the District of South East Lancashire, Bro Royce Batters
From the Order of the Royal and Select Masters, the District Grand Master of Lancashire, Robert Mitchell.
From the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees, the District Grand Prefect East Lancashire, Bro Alexander McLaren. Alex is, of course, also the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree.
From the Order of the Secret Monitor, the new Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler, Bro Frank GH Smith. Congratulations Frank on your recent appointment and on behalf of myself and the Brethren of East Lancashire we offer our very best wishes in your new role. I also send my best wishes to the now retired 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.
From the Red Cross of Constantine, the Intendent-General and Divisional Commander of St John, Dr Nigel Bramley-Haworth.
From the Knights Beneficent of the Holy City, the Regional Grand Prefect, Bro Malcolm Moreland.
We welcome our Special Guests from the RMBI:
VWBro James Newman, President of the RMBI, WBro Peter Williams, the Head of External Affairs and the Chief Executive of the RMBI, David Innes.”
The Provincial Grand Master was particularly delighted to welcome the Worshipful Masters and Wardens of many of our Lodges. He asked them to stand, “Thank you for attending in such large numbers and for the excellent work that you do in your Lodges and Districts. I do hope that you find the day both interesting and enjoyable”
Sir David then re-appointed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Thornhill:
“Derek, we have now worked closely together for three years. Your wise council and support is sincerely appreciated. I value the work that you carry out on my behalf and on behalf of the Province. I am delighted that you have again accepted this appointment and I look forward to the future with your assistance. Thank you for your continued friendship and kindness.”
He then re-appointed the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters.
– Bro Stephen Martin Blank
– Bro Martin Paul Roche
– Bro Chad Anthony Northcott
– Bro Norman Cope
– Bro John Christopher Welton
– Bro Arthur John Pearson
“All of my Assistants have afforded me their support during the last year. I am grateful for their loyalty and commitment and particularly the hard work they undertake in their respective areas. I am delighted that they have accepted my appointments.”
Sir David also acknowledged the District Chairmen, “Brethren, I also want to acknowledge with grateful thanks the work carried out by our District Chairmen, both in supporting their respective APGM’s but also the Lodges within their Districts.” He asked each to stand as their names were called and there was further applause.
The accounts and Auditors reports were received. The Provincial Grand Treasurer reported:
There was a reduction in Dues from Lodges, down from £113,656 to £110,423. That is a smaller reduction than we suffered in 2012, but we cannot sustain such reductions indefinitely; so, although there is no increase in the dues for 2015, I think it will be financially prudent at next year’s meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge to propose a small increase in the dues for 2016. Brethren, I give notice of motion accordingly.
You may recall that there was a substantial reduction in expenditure in 2012, as a result of a reorganisation of the Provincial office towards the end of 2011. We have managed further to reduce expenditure slightly in 2013, so we have still made a surplus of £9,992, which has been carried to our General Fund. But the scope for continuing reductions is now more limited; and that forms part of my thinking for 2016.
During 2013 we moved the Provincial office to Ashday Lea. We completed the necessary building works in 2014. The net cost up to the end of 2013, after offsetting the £12,000 available from our Redevelopment Reserve Fund, came to £8,804, which has been capitalised.
I am grateful to the Secretariat for the ready and able assistance they have given me when I have needed it, especially Fiona Frankl who keeps the Province’s books in good order.
The audit team has changed slightly this year, with Ian Connor joining Roland Adams and Phil Hollinshead. They have carried out a professional and efficient audit, for which I thank them.”
The Treasurer, WBro Ashley Hayman was re-elected and the auditors were elected: Bros Roland Adams, Philip Hollinshead and Ian Connor.
The East Lancashire Masonic Golfing Society Derby Cup was presented:
“Brethren, the East Lancashire Masonic Golfing Society held their Annual Competition on 10 July 2014 at Leigh Golf Club. The winner this year, Bro Harold Cooper of Corinthian Lodge No 221. I am pleased to say that he is here today with his Worshipful Master, WBro Jack Best to collect the trophy.
I am very grateful for the generous donation of £750 to the East Lancashire 2015 RMBI Festival.
I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to WBro Malcolm Worsley, the Chairman of the Society, to WBro Gerry Hodson the Committee Secretary and Bro Richard Zoltie, the Treasurer for organising this special event.
Bro Hodson 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, Leigh Golf Club on Tuesday, 8 July 2014. New and existing competitors will be made very welcome.
I am also able to advise you that in 2015 we hope to reinstate the Provincial Bowling Competition. We are grateful to Bro Geoff Leach, who has volunteered to organise the event and wish him much success.”
The Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro John Farrington, reported as follows:
“Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and Brethren, I am pleased to present this, my third Annual Report, to Provincial Grand Lodge.
The Provincial Office is now well established at Ashday Lea, Rawtenstall; we have been located there for over fifteen months. Things are working well and through the minor works that have been completed the environment is attractive, comfortable, well equipped, and fit for purpose. We survived our first winter in Rossendale without too many problems and are grateful to all those who have assisted us. We look forward to your continued cooperation and support in the future.
At last year’s meeting I advised that in conjunction with the Education and Development Committee a Secretary’s Handbook had been prepared and that the process of rolling out that document was underway. Through 10 meetings in the Districts that process was successfully completed. Whilst feedback was very positive suggestions made by Secretaries during those discussions have been considered and a number have been accommodated in to a revised version of the Handbook which is now published on the Website. I would like to thank Secretaries for their input and for their continued efforts on behalf of their Lodges and the Province. Your work is very much appreciated.
A similar process is now underway to finalise a Scribes Handbook, again working with the Education and Development Committee and it is anticipated that this will be launched during the next year.
A number of other significant pieces of work have also been completed to respond to changes and developments in the Province and the view of the Provincial Grand Master that we can’t stand still!
Before moving on to announce the Lodge and personal celebrations that have taken place during the last year I would like to thank all those who work in the Provincial Office for their continued contributions. As you are aware many are volunteers who give their time freely to ensure that the work of the Province is completed. Without their assistance we would not be able to function effectively. Similarly I am personally grateful for the support of my permanent colleagues – Susan O’Neill, Andrew Holland and Anne Donnelly, who are well known to you all. Together with the volunteers they make up for many, but not all, of my deficiencies! They are a splendid team and I am indebted to them all.
Since the last meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge Sir you, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters have attended a number of significant events, Lodge celebrations and personal landmarks throughout the Province namely:
The Bi-Centenary of the Lodge of Hope No 54 when we welcomed the Pro Grand Master.
The Centenary of Boltonian Lodge No 3716
The 150th celebrations of:
– Alexandra Lodge No 993
– Robert Burns Lodge No 999
– Richmond Lodge No 1011
– Prince of Wales Lodge No 1012
The Golden Jubilee celebration of:
– Old Blackburnians Lodge No 7993
The 225th celebration of Tranquility Lodge No 274
The Amalgamation of Goulburn Menturia Lodge No 3478 and a
Bible-Rededication meeting was held at University of Manchester Lodge No 5683.
You have attended Hosted Meetings or made private visits to the following Lodges:
– Old Boltonians Lodge No 5184
– Lodge of Union No 268
– Manchester Lodge of Masonic Research No 5502
– Roses Lodge No 5140
– Amity & Rossendale Forest Lodge No 283
– East Lancashire Centurion Lodge No 2322
– Horton Lodge No 8528 and
– Milton Lodge No 1144
During the year there have been 6 Personal 60ths celebrations for:
– Bro Philip Thompson, Stamford and Assheton No 6427
– Bro Fred Nicholson, Lodge of Merit No 934
– Bro Eric Chisholm, Imperial George Lodge No 78
– Bro Fred Smith, Rhyddings Lodge No 5205
– Bro Jonathan Lewthwaite, Tonge Hall Lodge No 8763
– Bro Ernest Huchinson, Duke of Lancaster No 4207
You have also attended the Personal 50ths of:
– Barry Pinfield, Keystone Lodge No 363
– Lionel Taylor, Benevolence Lodge No 226
Our Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Harold Woodward celebrated his Personal 50th on 10 June,
In addition there have been a further 30 Personal 50th Celebrations,
In view of the number, I will not read each recipient, but can assure you all that their full details will be included in the Report of this meeting.
In March the very successful Let’s Talk Freemasonry Conference took place at Salford. Plans are in place for this event to be repeated again on Saturday, 28 March 2015. Your support for this event Brethren would be greatly appreciated.”
The next item was to receive a presentation from David Innes, the Chief Executive, of the RMBI for which purpose Provincial Grand Lodge was “called off”. The Provincial Grand Master invited WBro James Newman, the President of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, to introduce David Innes.
David Innes gave an excellent presentation commencing with a short history of the RMBI. He then talked of the 21st Century challenges being met by the RMBI: 17 Care homes looking after some 1100 residents in very high quality accommodation. A further 2000 people being looked after in the community. Residents with an average age of 89. Nursing care, dementia training and care, end of life care – all being addressed at a high level. He also made reference to the excellent address given by VWBro Chris Caine last year
Future plans to offer Day Care both at the homes and at Masonic Halls and centres.
In short, David Innes enlightened the brethren to the tremendous work of the Charity, the awards it was achieving and the costs associated with maintaining the very high standards of the RMBI. Only recently Esther Rantzen had visited Ecclesholme during a trip to our Sister Province of West Lancashire. Esther, who founded Silverline in 2013, had been mightily impressed by Ecclesholme, and the RMBI itself.
The Provincial Grand Master thanked David Innes, “Brethren, on your behalf I would wish to thank David for first taking the time to be with us here today; for the obvious work he has done in preparing his presentation and for the motivational way he has delivered his message. David, I am sure that the Brethren feel re-energised by your presence and input and I thank you for your excellent contribution. I feel sure that it will give a final boost to our Festival efforts. Brethren, again please show your appreciation.
There was loud applause followed by the collection for Charity during which “Jerusalem” was sung. The collection raised, including Gift Aid Relief, well in excess of £6000.
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.
The Provincial Grand Master’s Address to Provincial Grand Lodge
“We cannot be what we need to be by remaining what we are”
During his address to Provincial Grand Lodge the Provincial Grand began by recording a number of thank you’s which underlined the sincere gratitude, he felt on this important occasion. To his Deputy and Assistants, to the Masters and Wardens of Lodges and to all those present today.
He then concentrated his remarks on one individual in particular, our wonderful Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro John Farrington.
“Brethren, this will be the last Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge that John will attend in his capacity as Provincial Grand Secretary. He had originally agreed with my predecessor that he would commit to a contract of three years in that role. Through undue and painful pressure from me, he has kindly agreed to extend his term of office until March next year when he will retire from that role and also his role as Provincial Grand Scribe E at the Provincial Meeting of the Royal Arch. Immediately after that I will appoint him as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, an office he richly deserves.
It is impossible for me to convey to you the debt of gratitude which I owe to John Farrington. He has been an outstanding Provincial Grand Secretary. He is both popular and respected by us all. He is a very able and conscientious administrator. He is a wonderful wordsmith and his quiet charm and diplomacy have ensured the stability of this Province. I have been fortunate to envy and to share his dry sense of humour, which is essential in the office he has occupied.
Above all, I am perfectly sincere in saying that we have become very close friends and this tribute could not be complete if I were not to thank him for the support and guidance he has given me throughout. It has always been a pleasure to work with him and to say that I shall miss him in his current role is a gross understatement but I draw comfort from the fact that I will continue to see him and work closely with him in his new capacity.” This was followed by sustained acclaim.
“At one of these Annual meetings John made a humorous crack at me by describing what it was like working for a former Government Minister. What he doesn’t know is like him and many others, I too had watched the television series, “Yes Minister” many moons ago. The difference between us was that John had the intelligence to realise that it was comedy, whereas I thought it was a documentary.”
Brethren, I am delighted to announce today that next March, I will appoint as Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro Martin Roche, Past Senior Grand Deacon and currently an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of this Province. I will also appoint him as Provincial Grand Scribe E. I cannot believe how fortunate we are in East Lancashire to secure the services of Martin. He is about to retire from the Police Force which will allow him the time to devote to his new office. He has been a huge success as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. His devotion to the Craft and the respect he enjoys from us all, make him a very worthy successor to John Farrington. In fact, they both share two particular characteristics, Martin like John is an excellent wordsmith and he too enjoys a rich sense of humour. Essential if you are working with me! In March he will retire from his position as APGM responsible for the Northern Area, and that role will be taken over by WBro Farrington.” There was further sustained applause.
Sir David then spoke of much that had occurred during the previous 12 months. “I said at our last Annual Meeting that we had vacancies at Hewlett Court. Today, I can advise you that it is full. Last month saw the retirement of WBro Alan Smith as the Chairman of the Hewlett Court Committee and the appointment of WBro Dr Michael Boden as his successor. I wish to record my sincere thanks to Alan Smith for his commitment in that position and to thank him for his hard work in ensuring that Hewlett Court is still a success.
I am also delighted to announce that at long last work has now begun on the renovation of Freemasons’ Hall in Manchester. It has been a long and hard road and thanks to the skill and tenacity of Paul Rose, Martin Caller, Derek Thornhill, and Stephen Blank success is now in sight and we will have a building we can all be proud of.
United Grand Lodge has commissioned several “Focus Groups” to address the challenges facing Freemasonry in the 21st Century. I have been invited to sit on the Focus Group to address the problems of “Retention and Retrieval”. The first meeting will be held shortly.
I am pleased to tell you that over this last twelve months out of approximately 5000 Masons we have a reduction of only around 204 members of this Province. That is a figure which is less than the year before and that figure was also less than the year before that. I am therefore hoping that we are seeing a consistent trend which, I believe, reflects on the success of mentoring in this Province. I pay a warm tribute to our Provincial Grand Mentor; WBro Alan Kirwilliam who over the last year has focused on the important word “belonging” which he and I believe is one of the important ingredients for the recipe of success we all wish to see. On the theme “belonging” he and others have been responsible for organising Workshops attended by District and Lodge Mentors.
As we all know, the year 2014 is significant within this nation as we commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War. It was essential, in my view that we should hold a very special event within this Province to acknowledge the tragedy of more than 700,000 British servicemen and women who lost their lives in that conflict. We also wished to remember that within that number the thousands upon thousands of Freemasons who paid the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country. To that end, my own Military Lodge, East Lancashire Centurion acted as a host to 130 members and guests to hear a presentation on the Victoria Cross by WBro Lt. Colonel Mark Smith who is the Curator of the Royal Artillery Museum in London. Needless to say it was very well received.
With regard to the East Lancashire 2015 Festival, I am pleased to say that we have now raised over £2 million and I am deeply grateful to all those of you who have supported the Festival thus far. The Appeal for our support will terminate in October next year with an enormous Banquet, to be held at the Macron Stadium in Bolton (formerly known as the Reebok Stadium). In repeating my thanks to David Innes for his earlier address, I urge you all to give our appeal a huge push in this remaining 11 months. My sincere thanks go to WBro John Scott and his Festival Committee for all their hard work.
The University Scheme, continues to thrive and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master had the pleasure a week ago of accompanying Paul Rose, who is responsible for the Scheme in this Province, to visit Goulburn and Menturia Lodge in Bolton which is the second Lodge to admit initiates under this scheme. I thank Paul and Henry Bentwood for their hard work and enthusiasm.
At this meeting last year, I commented on the significant growth in the wide range of Community Activities from Open Days in Masonic Halls, Country Fairs, Festivals of Music and Carol Services. That growth has continued unabated with a very successful Flower Festival in Rochdale Masonic Hall in June and a growing number of Masons attending Remembrance Sunday Services up and down the Province which I welcome.
Brethren, we were delighted and flattered to once again be invited to host the Pro Grand Masters Regional Conference in Manchester which was one of only three held throughout the country and as well as the Pro Grand Master himself, it was well attended by many other Provincial Grand Masters.
It was announced at that meeting and has subsequently been confirmed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master HRH the Duke of Kent, that the principle celebration of 300 years of United Grand Lodge will take place on the 31 October 2017. This tercentenary will be held in the Albert Hall in London and the ceremony will be filmed ‘live’ and piped through to each Province at some suitable venue. In this Province, we will also be using that significant year to organise several other activities specifically designed to reach out to our many communities as well as promoting a significant recruitment drive.
I am very proud of the fact that over the last twelve months we have continued to see substantial sums of money coming into the Province from the four Central Masonic Charities headquartered in London. In addition and in conjunction with the Grand Charity, huge sums of money have been distributed with cheque presentations which I have attended to Henshaws School for the Blind, the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, the Parkinson’s Society, Chetham’s School of Music and the Air Ambulance. It is also important that we should remember that every single Hospice in the Province is supported by our Masonic Charities.
My sincere congratulations go to all those Brethren who today will be appointed or promoted within Provincial Grand Lodge. My thanks also go to all those who relinquish their appointment today for their hard work, their enthusiasm and commitment. If I may be allowed to single out one Brother, who retires today and who has worked tirelessly on our behalf during the last few years, it is WBro Wes Marchant. Wes has been a huge success as our Provincial Director of Ceremonies. Despite the tragic loss of his (only) son, Robert eighteen months ago he carried on with his duties displaying an extraordinary fortitude which has been greatly admired by all. He and his wife Liz have our continued sympathy. It is impossible to imagine the strength of spirit required to carry on with what must seem like the trivia of daily life, let alone continue in the demanding role of Provincial Director of Ceremonies. He has been a source of inspiration to us all.”
“Brethren, you will have realised from all that I have said that – once again – it has been a very, very busy but very rewarding year.In preparing this address I have been reflecting on the last three years that I have been privileged to be your Provincial Grand Master. What it has meant to me and what I have learned?
Initially when you are appointed as a Provincial Grand Master you receive a pack from Grand Lodge which gives you useful ideas as to what might help you became successful in your new role. It is very very good and it is very useful regarding leadership but to me there seemed to be just two things missing which I didn’t learn through Freemasonry but from the military – which teaches that “real leadership” is to recognise that you serve the people you lead and secondly the people I have been proud to follow as my leaders in the past have been people who inspired me to be what they made me realise I could be.
Also, when I reflect on what I said in my address twelve months ago I emphasised the fact that we could not stand still; we had to keep moving forward. I believe that passionately! In the end, I think it is important to remember that we cannot be what we need to be by remaining what we are.
As Freemasons, I am acutely conscious of our need to talk openly about our activities, to engage with our local communities and be seen to be decent, upright and responsible citizens who prize kindness and integrity above all else.
In a fast moving society, we must never forget that frequently we are on show – either collectively or as individuals. That people who are not Freemasons will judge us by the way we act and to be specific – the way we react and behave to each other.
I have learnt in life that people may well forget what you said, people may well forget what you did but people will never ever forget how you made them feel.
I have also learnt that it is far easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.
Each and everyone of us in this Hall took an oath that we would do all that we could to live up to the highest possible principles. In my view, it is essential that to honour the memory of those Masons who came before us, who placed their trust in us to continue to embrace and cherish those ideals – we must never ever betray that trust!!
Brethren, I wish every one of you continued success in the year that lies ahead.
“People may well forget what you did but people will never ever forget how you made them feel”
Honours, Awards and Appointments
The annual meeting is a special time for those who have served their Lodge, District, Area or the Province when the Provincial Grand Master is able to express his gratitude and that of the Province for all that they do. It is also the time to appoint or re-appoint the active Officers of the Province. Today was no exception:
Certificate of Exceptional Service
The Certificate of Exceptional Service was introduced in East Lancashire in November 2013, when three awards were made; those being to Bro Fred Beadsworth, Bro Alan Johnson and Bro Mike Nicholson. There will be no more that twelve holders of this prestigious award in the Province at any one time.
This year a further three Brethren are to be recognised for the outstanding contribution that they have made in the Province. To each of them we offer our congratulations on their achievement.
Bro William Raymond Waite, PSGD:
Worshipful Brother William Raymond Waite needed little introduction. He is well known throughout the Province having served as the Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1990/91, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies from 1996 to 2001 and as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Southern Area for seven years from 2001 to 2008. He is a Past Senior Grand Deacon of the United Grand Lodge of England and a Past Grand Standard Bearer in Supreme Grand Chapter.
However, it is for his continuing involvement in a number of important initiatives and activities in the Province that the additional recognition of the Certificate of Exceptional Service to was being conferred today.
Brother Waite is a non-Executive Director of the East Lancashire Masonic Charity where his commitment and business acumen has proved invaluable. He is a regular attendee at meetings and his contributions are always considered and constructive.
Equally importantly has been the support that he has provided for those Halls that might be considering the future. Here the experience that he has gained through his involvement in the project in the Western Area and his overview of the whole Province is of great benefit. The time involved in such activities should not be under estimated.
It will be a rare occurrence for a Brother carrying such high ranks as those held by Brother Waite to be considered for this award. However, in the circumstances the recognition wass well deserved and totally appropriate.
Bro John Willan Hudson, PProvJGW:
Whilst active in a number of Orders this award was being made to recognise the contribution that Brother Hudson has made to the Craft and the Royal Arch in East Lancashire. John Hudson was the Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2008/9. Since that time he has remained active as a Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master.
He was the District Mentor in Burnley and Pendle, even before such a role was formally recognised. The first Provincial Grand Mentor, WBro Martin P Roche acknowledges that the work that was undertaken at that time influenced the themes that he himself later developed.
Brother Hudson has been an active Lodge Secretary in two Lodges and has excelled in the role of District Secretary for a number of years. The respect that he attracts has been and remains a key attribute. As the 2015 Festival commenced Brother Hudson was key in the re-establishment of the Burnley and Pendle Antient Ritual Demonstration Team; he has taken on the time consuming role of Secretary. The Teams success and subsequent donations to the Festival, has made the Team an Honorary Grand Patron, the only such title in the Province
More recently John Hudson has played a vital role in the closure and sale of Nelson Masonic Hall. The manner in which that transaction was concluded and the way that Brethren have been integrated in to their respective “new homes” is considered to provide a model for how such affairs might be managed in the future.
Worshipful Brother Hudson would not seek to claim credit for the successes that he has achieved. Nevertheless, collectively they make him a very worthy candidate for the receipt of this award.
Bro Kenneth Tyler, PProvSGW:
A review of the Masonic CV of Brother Ken Tyler only touches the surface of his many underlying achievements:
Brother Tyler is part of a Masonic Dynasty that began with his father John, and which has continued through 4 generations of the Tyler family. Indeed his great nephew, Robert has been the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer during 2013/14. Ken Tyler is a founder member of two Lodges and one Chapter.
In the whole of his 65 year Masonic career Bro Tyler has fulfilled many offices and has only missed two meetings! One when he was hospitalised and the other when his cruise ship broke down! Whilst both were beyond his control they are a source of great disappointment to him.
The involvement and support of Brother Ken Tyler at Farnworth Masonic Hall enabled the Masonry to move from public house locations to newly converted premises that had previously been a Church.
Through personal representation to Lord Hewlett Bro Tyler obtained permission to start a new Club in Farnworth to be known as the “Masonic Fellowship”. He became the driving force in its development as the first such group under the United Grand Lodge of England and he remains active in the Fellowship to this day. The Fellowship movement is of course now nationwide and we have much to thank him for.
Worshipful Brother Ken Tyler has held the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden for the past 27 years but has never rested on his laurels. Now in his 91st year this award is recognition of past efforts and his continuing commitment to Freemasonry in the Province
Appointments, Re-appointments and Promotions in Provincial Grand Lodge
The Provincial Grand Master re-iterated his thanks to the Provincial Grand Wardens and other outgoing Officers of the year and those continuing in Office for their hard work and support. He then asked the Provincial Secretary to read the names of those receiving honours while the DC’s Team escorted them to the stage.
Highlights included the appointments of WBro Dr Simon Archer as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and WBro Gerry Hodson as Provincial Junior Grand Warden:
WBro John Griffin, a past District Chairman and a Past Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies proudly took over the wand of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The audience of almost 1000 brethren then applauded their friends and colleagues appointed to Past Provincial Grand Rank. The highest honour the Provincial Grand Master can award is Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. This is a rare award (Each Assistant Provincial Grand Master can only make one recommendation). The recipients this year were:
WBros James Abbott, Peter Bibby, Harold Corney, Ronal Coucill, Arnold Ray and Derek Watson
The Full list of Honours is available here.
The following had also been awarded during the year:
WBro Llwyd Thomas was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer at the Centenary celebration meeting of the Boltonian Lodge No 3716
WBro Morten Korch was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden at the 150th Meeting of Robert Burns Lodge No 999.
WBro Leslie Hamer was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works at the 150th meeting of Richmond Lodge No 1011.
WBro John Spencer was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden at the 150th meeting of Prince of Wales Lodge No 1012.
WBro Michael Holland was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden.
And WBro Robert Haworth was promoted to Past Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies on 9 August at Springfield Hospice. Sadly Bro Haworth passed away the following day.
That makes 195 appointments, re-appointments and promotions in the 2014 Honours List.
Before Closing Provincial Grand Lodge Sir David thanked the many people involved in the organisation of the day and the brethren sang the first two verses of the National Anthem:
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save The Queen
The Festive Board
One of the best attended Festive Boards ever was a good ‘barometer’ to measure the health of the Province. Dining was punctuated by mirth, laughter, debate, conversation and enjoyment was all around.
The Provincial Grand Master took wine with many groups, none more deserving tonight that the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremony’s Team:
And the Team from the Secretariat responsible for all other arrangements for the day.
Sir David was well supported today by Companions from the Royal Arch Province – the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp William J Porter, the Second Provincial Grand Principal, EComp David H Thompson and the Third Provincial Grand Principal, EComp Rev Donald Pryce and the Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals. The Provincial Grand Master / ME Grand Superintendent took time during dinner to sit at their table and thank / converse with them personally.
WBro Dr Simon Archer, the Provincial Senior Grand Warden proposed the health of the Provincial Grand Master. When he served as DepGDC it had been a pleasure and a privilege to accompany him to so many meetings. He said that the PGM’s drive was relentless, taking his messages, leading from the front and inspiring us all in this great Province. He was proud to have Sir David as our Provincial Grand Master.
In response Sir David thanked him and was pleased that Bro Archer had learned to use a gavel by banging it, rather than waving it silently like his previously held wandJ. He said that there was no hardship in being the PGM – it was a thrill to meet and greet terrific people. If the truth be known his son had surprised him with the opening bars of a proposed eulogy – “My Father couldn’t stand his own company and preferred to be surrounded by friends with glass in hand” – got him in one J
He finished by saying the Province was in really good heart and the whole day had been enhanced by our guests (who had been partially enticed by the promise of chunky chips at the Festive Board – the inclusion of which on the menu was debated for at least 20 minutes by the Provincial Grand Master, his two Deputies and the Provincial Secretary).
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Thornhill, proposed the toast to the newly appointed, re-appointed and promoted brethren. “These awards are not given lightly and reward service, merit and future work. The recipients are examples of all that is good about Freemasonry and he hoped that all our internal joy is demonstrated and explained openly to the outside world – we should be proud of our Freemasonry and act as ambassadors to let those outside know of the great way it influences our lives.
The Provincial Junior Grand Warden, WBro Gerry Hodson, commented that all had swollen chests and beaming smiles on that stage. The whole experience had been great for all, from the moment they opened their invitational letters. We all recognise that Honours are as much for future endeavour as they are for past achievement. He thanked the Deputy PGM for his kind words and his inspiring toast.
We actively support the local community, good causes and charities
Freemasonry in East Lancashire
We enjoy distinctive meetings not available in other organisations followed by dinner amongst friends
Freemasonry in East Lancashire
Our meetings are mentally stimulating, sometimes challenging, always enjoyable.
Freemasonry in East Lancashire
Many generations bring their younger family members to join us
Freemasonry in East Lancashire