Craft Masonry of East Lancashire
Craft Masonry of East Lancashire

Provincial Grand Chapter Meeting – 21st March 2013

“Doing Nothing is not an Option”

The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge began with the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Sir David Trippier, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Officers entering in processional order. After opening the meeting and Festive Board following enthralled and entertained the brethren magnificently. King George’s Hall was almost full to capacity and those present were treated to one of the most memorable Provincial meetings in recent times.

The Provincial Grand Master’s first duty was to re-appoint the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, PGSwdB and then the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters:



Bro Stephen Martin Blank, Bro Martin Paul Roche, Bro Chad Anthony Northcott, Bro Norman Cope, Bro John Christopher Welton


Sir David commented that it had been a privilege and pleasure to work with Brother Thornhill and thanked him got his kindness and friendship. He thanked the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters for their experience, loyalty and, of course, their hard work. The APGMs are shown here with their new colleague, WBro John Pearson and the retiring APGM, WBro Martin S Caller. The PGM placed on record that Bro Caller had carried out his duties impeccably commenting that he will be sorely missed by his colleagues in the Cabinet and more especially by his District Teams and the Brethren of Manchester.

The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies then escorted Brother Arthur John Pearson into the body of the Lodge and the PGM inspected the Patent of Appointment. The Provincial Grand Secretary read the Patent and Sir David then proceeded to invest him:

“Bro Pearson you were Initiated into Westholme Lodge No 9101 in 1988 and Installed as Worshipful Master in 1995. You are also joining member of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers’ Lodge No 3747. You were appointed as the Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar in 1997, Deputy Registrar in 1999 and the Provincial Grand Registrar from 2006 to 2009. In 2010 your services to the Craft were recognised by Grand Lodge when you were appointed Past Assistant Grand Registrar. You were Exalted into Pennine Chapter No 8798 in 1992 and installed as First Principal in 1998. You are a Founder member of Waverley Chapter No 1322 and a joining member of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Chapter No 3747.You have been the District Chairman for Audenshaw since 2009. Bro Pearson you have demonstrated, over many years that you are more than capable of taking on the responsibility of an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of this Province, I must nevertheless formally ask if you are willing to accept the duties of that high office?”



Of course, Brother Pearson accepted that responsibility and following prayer he recited his Obligation as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. The Provincial Grand Master then invested him with the Chain of Office following which the acting Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Simon Archer proclaimed him.

Sir David then continued with the remaining business of Provincial Grand Lodge. The winner of the EL Masonic Golfing Society Annual Competition at Leigh Golf Club was WBro Peter Tonge of the Crescent Lodge of Good Intent, No. 4524. He was present with the Master of the Lodge, WBro Granville Foley, to collect the trophy. Thr society had donated £500 to the EL 2015 Festival which, with previous donations, made the Society a Grand Patron. The PGM took time to thank the retiring Secretary, Alan Banks, and Treasurer, Garth Bogle, who step down after 13 years and 17 years respectively in Office. The new Secretary is Gerry Hodson and Treasurer is Richard Zoltie. The PGM also thanked the Chairman of the Society, Past APGM, Malcolm Worsley. Next year’s competition will be held at Leigh Golf Club on Tuesday 8th July 2014.


The Provincial Grand Secretary, Bro John Farrington, then gave his report:

“I would wish to start by thanking all those who work in the Provincial Office either in a paid or voluntary capacity for all their hard work and continued support during what has been a significant year for the Secretariat. I would particularly like to thank them for the contribution they have made to the planning and implementation of the move of the Provincial Office from Bridge Street to Ashday Lea at Rawtenstall, a move that has gone better than we could have hoped for or expected.

Geographically Ashday Lea is located centrally within the Province and is easily accessible to the majority of Brethren. We have been well received in Rossendale and are most grateful for that. On 23 September we held an Open Day and had over 100 visitors to our “new home”. We are very comfortable in our surroundings, have excellent facilities and things are working well. Before anyone reminds me I know – winter is yet to come!

I would also wish to thank Lodge Secretaries for the contribution that they make to the effective operation of the Province. It is not an exaggeration to state that the Lodge Secretary can either make or break many of our systems, particularly in terms of communication where they play a vital role. In most cases they choose to make them and we are most thankful to them for that.

During the year a Secretaries Handbook has been produced by the Education and Development Committee in consultation with secretariat and we are now in the process of rolling out that information across the Province. Workshops have been arranged on a District basis as we hope that the sessions will be inter active. Susan O’Neill, Andrew Holland and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible when we visit the different Halls.

Since the last meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge Sir you, your Deputy and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters have attended a large number of significant events, which include:

The Investiture of Bro J Christopher Welton as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master at Charity Lodge No 3342, Rochdale.

The 250th celebration of Silent Temple Lodge No 126

The Centenary of the Duke of Connaught Lodge No 3264

The 150th celebration of– St Thomas’ Lodge No 992

The 225th Celebration and Banner Dedication at Naphtali Lodge No 266 and the

Amalgamation of Bury Lodge of Relief No 42


You have also attended Hosted Meetings or made private visits to the following Lodges:

– Pilkington Lodge No 6522
– Anchor and Hope Lodge No 37
– Harmony Lodge No 298
– St Peter’s Deane Lodge No 6531
– Volunteer Lodge No 2905
– Probity and Freedom Lodge No 367
– Pythagaras Lodge No 9248
– Freedom Lodge No 3837
– Queen’s Jubilee Lodge No 2193
– Cribden Lodge No 7285
– Mossley Lodge No 6577
– Royds Lodge No 816
– Samaritan Lodge No 286
– Whalley Arches No 7489
– King Oswald Lodge No 3306
– Huntroyde Lodge No 6385
– Iron Road Lodge No 4964
– Limestone Rock No 369


During the year there have been 4 Personal 60ths celebrations for:

– Bro Neville M Worthington, Felicity Lodge No 4365
– Bro Dennis H Roscoe, Zetland Lodge No 852
– Bro Robert Holder, Langley Lodge No 3989
– Bro James Wallace, Liberty Lodge No 5573


You have attended the Personal 50ths of:

– Malcolm K Worsley, Crescent Lodge of Good Intent No 4524
– John Holt, Prince of Wales Lodge No 1012
– James Adams, Duke of Athol Lodge No 210
– Derek Walsh, St John’s Lodge No 348
– Jeffrey Clubbe, Excelsior Lodge No 4641


In addition there have been a further 35 Personal 50th Celebrations, including that of a Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Nolan Morrison:

– Robert M Hamilton, Lodge of Good Companions No 6005
– Leslie D Berkeley, Scroll Lodge No 7395
– Raymond W Rimmer, Crompton Lodge No 5227
– John P Davies, Lodge of New Hope No 6576
– Brian K Ingham, Pendle Lodge No 4703
– Robert H Rowden, Ben Brierley Lodge No 3317
– Albert M Perry, Peace Lodge No 3792
– Geoffrey M Evans, Felicity Lodge No 4365
– John Whitfield, Kitchener Lodge No 3788
– Albert Shaw, Progress Lodge No 4848
– John K Forshaw, St Bartholomews (West Lancs)
– Leslie Greenwood, Royal Lancashire Lodge No 116
– Richard Burke, Dormer St Margarets No 5588
– Nolan Morrison, Lodge of Integrity No 163
– Brian Herring, Samaritan Lodge No 3336
– Henry J Lyson, Hollingwood Lodge No 2702
– Michael Thompson, Whalley Arches Lodge No 7489
– James Marsh, Lodge of Friendship No 277
– William McLoughlin, Elizabethan Lodge No 7285
– David J Gamble, Lodge of Harmony & Industry No 381
– Alan Standen, Kitchener Lodge No 3788
– Ronald Bird, Mossley Lodge No 6577
– Emil D Salem, City Lodge No 3999
– Clifford J Valins, Carmel Lodge (West Lancs)
– Frank Holt, Saint Chads Lodge No 1129
– Arthur B Wilson, Earl of Lathom Lodge No 2650
– Thomas C Diggle, Marsden within Pennine Valley No 6183
– John Rennie, Tollcross [Scottish Constitution]
– Cyril Bland, Ashbury Lodge No 1459
– Alan L Roscoe, Corinthian Lodge No 3767
– John H Stephenson, Lodge of Confidence No 4295
– John V Malcolm, Lodge of Good Report No 7370
– Jeffrey S Jonas, Chalkwell [Essex]
– Harold P Pendlebury, Semper Fidelis Lodge No 3299
– Denis Hart, Zodiac Lodge No 5207


In March the very successful Let’s Talk Freemasonry Conference again took place at Salford. Plans are in place for this event to be repeated again in 2014.

Sir, it has been a very busy and fulfilling year; that concludes my Report.”

Presentation by VWBro Christopher J Caine, PGSwdB

The Provincial Grand Master then announced the next item, “Brethren, I think that we are now in for a treat. Some months ago at a Quarterly Communication meeting of Grand Lodge, I heard VWBro Chris Caine give an excellent presentation on dementia. Today, he is here with us in support of our 2015 Festival efforts for the RMBI. I know that you will afford him your best attention and I invite him to address the meeting.”

VWBro Caine held the brethren captivated during his brief presentation on the work of the RMBI, particularly in relation to the care of dependants with Dementia. With props and visual aids he explained the lengths that staff at the homes extend to ensure the dignity of all under their care, and in particular the specialist training they receive to support those with different manifestations of dementia.

The applause following the presentation was tremendous. The PGM thanked Bro Caine, “Brethren, on your behalf I would wish to thank VWBro Caine for first taking the time to be with us today; for the obvious work he has done in preparing his presentation and for the inspirational way he has delivered his message. Bro Caine, I am sure that the Brethren feel re-energised by your presence and involvement here today and I thank you for your contribution. I feel sure that it will give a boost to our Festival efforts.”

Following this was the collection for the EL 2015 Festival for the RMBI, during which the Brethren sang ‘Jerusalem’.


The Provincial Grand Master then gave his address, the full text of which is available as a PDF.

One of Sir David’s ambitions was that within 2 years he wished to visit every one of our Masonic Halls. This he completed last month at Bacup and he thanked all the brethren for their warmth and hospitality on his visits. He really has committed himself to the Province and has visited Lodges in every District, multiple times to many Districts. His sponsored slim, ‘a merciless campaign of Gestapo proportions’, driven by Lady Ruth Trippier, raised more than £14,000 for the Festival.

Our contribution of almost £26,000 to the Royal Arch Bi-Centenary Appeal was greatly in excess of what was expected and we have also established a relationship with the Jewish Museum, ‘cementing our support by presenting them with a cheque for £10k’, and, in conjunction with Grand Charity, we made a major donation to the Manchester Cathedral Development Project of £40k.

One of our central strategies focuses on Recruitment, Retention and Retrieval:

“Under this heading, we have seen the development of two new initiatives which we should all welcome. The first was that I appointed John Duckworth as our Provincial Communication Officer. John has been a very senior journalist and has ensured that I have spoken on several radio programmes in the Province thereby increasing our Masonic exposure. Through the good offices of District Communication Officers, we have seen more friendly articles in local newspapers.

The second initiative is that we have seen over the last twelve months a significant growth in the number of Community activities designed to reach out to communities and specifically non-masons.

These have included:
– Open Days in Masonic Halls
– Participation in Country Fairs
– Food Festivals
– Flower Festivals
– Carol Services
– Barbeques
– Remembrance Sunday Services
– Brass Band Concerts and
– Festivals of Music

Some of these events have been attended by Mayors and MP’s. All these events have helped to explode the myths which surround Freemasonry. As you know, we welcome into our fraternity all those like minded people, whatever their race, religion or social position in Society and that we embrace all the fundamental principles of good citizenship. There will have been some who may have questioned whether “Open Days” or Recruiting Stands at Country Fairs would actually work. Yet they have!! This may well be a message for us all, in that we should from time to time challenge our own assumptions. Our assumptions may well be our windows on the world but we need to scrub them off once in a while or the “light won’t come in”. My sincere thanks go to all those who have participated in all these initiatives over the last year and those who are preparing to be involved in similar projects in the future. You are truly, magnificent Ambassadors for the Craft.

On Recruitment, I do appreciate all the efforts that Lodges are making to attract quality candidates. I am delighted to say that although there is a net reduction in our membership, our figures show an improving trend as that reduction is 50 fewer than last year. I said at this meeting last year that thanks to the success of the University Scheme I would select another Lodge to participate in this initiative and I am delighted to announce that Goulburn Lodge in Bolton has been chosen for this purpose. I wish to record my personal thanks to WBro Paul Rose and WBro Henry Bentwood for all their hard work on the University Scheme.

On retention, I am grateful for the enormous work which has been undertaken by our new Provincial Grand Mentor, WBro Alan Kirwilliam. His addresses, organisation of Seminars and the documents that he has produced on this subject have been widely welcomed up and down the Province and this work will be consolidated over the next twelve months. My thanks also go to all the District and Lodge Mentors for their enthusiasm and hard work. It is a labour of love and requires great understanding, conscientious handling and diplomatic skill for Mentoring to work successfully and that should be our joint ambition.”

The PGM then announced three new initiatives:

“The first is that after I sit down, the Provincial Grand Secretary will announce the names of Brethren who have been selected to receive the Certificate of Exceptional Service to Masonry in this Province. Many of you will recall that I said at this meeting last year that the number of Freemasons who achieve this recognition will be strictly limited to twelve at any one time and that the award will be over and above whatever Provincial or Grand Rank has been attained.

Secondly, I have decided to lift the embargo on forming new Lodges provided that the proposed new Lodge has a minimum of thirty members and in our view is perfectly sustainable in the long term and that its formation will not be detrimental to other Lodges in the Area.

Thirdly, I have decided to change the qualifying period for appointment to acting or past Provincial Grand Rank. In the past, this qualifying period has been after a Brother has been Installed in the Chair of his Lodge for seven years. This will now be altered to five years and for subsequent promotions within Provincial Lodge which has been eight years will now drop to seven. Incidentally, precisely the same criteria will apply to the Royal Arch. These changes will be introduced in readiness for the 2015 Annual Meeting and Investiture.

“We cannot stand still and simply let things happen”. Given the rapid pace of society today, doing nothing is not an option. We operate against a “back drop” of many in Society who do not wish to become involved in their communities in any way shape or form. Well we do – and we have much to offer. Above all else, we enjoy ourselves and rejoice in that enjoyment. It is for all of us, each and every one of us, to convey that simple message to those who might consider joining us.”

Three Certificates were presented as follows:


Fred Beadsworth

Bro Beadsworth was initiated into the Lodge of Friendship in 1977. He is currently a Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. He has been a member of the Royal Arch since 1982 and currently holds the rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. Many view Bro Beadsworth as the epitome of a first class mason. An excellent ritualist, quiet in demeanor but always willing to provide help, advice and guidance, particularly to younger brethren. He began his involvement with the Provincial Secretariat supporting the organisation of anniversary events for both Lodges and the individual Brethren across the Province – a role he undertook for many years with his usual thoroughness and commitment. He also assisted in the organisation of Provincial Meetings, particularly the layout of the Lodge Room. Fred Beadsworth has been a faithful and committed servant to Freemasonry for 36 years, approaching and discharging all his duties with dignity and compassion. He has given outstanding service to his District and to the Province over that period of time.


Alan Clinton Johnson

Even though Bro Alan Clinton Johnson is a Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft and a Past Grand Standard Bearer in the Royal Arch he continues with the same drive, enthusiasm and determination that he had nearly 55 years ago. This is a testament to his ongoing dedication to the Order; he is certainly not one to rest on his laurels. He did excellent work as the Amalgamations and Closures Officer in East Ribble; his continued involvement in the development of Mill House and his support for every event which takes place there is evidence of his commitment – all this when he and his wife do not enjoy the best of health. An interesting fact about Bro Clinton’s work is that the newer Brethren in his area, all have a genuine love and respect for him and that others, including senior Provincial Officers and many Grand Officers see him as a true cornerstone of the Fraternity. He is a shining example in his Area and thoroughly deserves the accolade.


Michael Peter Nicholson

Bro Nicholson is a staunch supporter of the Salford District and served the Salford District Team for 8 years in the capacity of Group Leader, a role in which he applied himself well, giving strong support, guidance and assistance to both the Lodges under his care, the District generally and his Assistant Provincial Grand Master. He also served for a short time as Deputy District Chairman. He is a Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden and in the Royal Arch a Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah.

Even today he and his wife, Audrey are regular attenders at and supporters of many Salford events. Bro Nicholson gave 6 years as a Director of the Hall Company where his wise counsel helped Salford through some difficult times. Following his work on the Salford District Bro Nicholson was employed by the Provincial Secretariat. Since his retirement he has continued as a volunteer and during his regular Friday slot makes a valuable contribution to the Secretariat activities. Bro Nicholson is well known and respected across the Province where he has lectured widely and his presence here today after recent surgery demonstrates his determination and continued commitment.


Each Brother received a certificate and a beautiful lapel pin.


Then followed the Investiture of the newly appointed, re-appointed, and promoted Provincial Officers. A total of 185 appointments and promotions in the 2013 Honours List.

Prior to the close of Provincial Grand Lodge Sir David had many thank you’s to make:

Brethren, I wish to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to the District Chairmen and to the Chairmen of the various sub-Committees who work tirelessly throughout the year on behalf of the Province and who are an essential part of the our structure. I also wish to place on record my sincere thanks to the many people involved in organising today’s meeting. In particular, the Provincial Grand Secretary, John Farrington, the Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary, Andrew Holland, the Provincial Office Manager, Susan O’Neill the Administrator, Anne Donnelly, and, of course, all the volunteers, especially Roger Norris for his contribution to this event. Likewise, we must congratulate the acting Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team, for their splendid ceremonial presentation which was most impressive. Many of you are aware of the tragic circumstances that our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Wes Marchant and his wife Liz have been dealing with and I know that you would wish to join me in sending our warmest wishes to them. I also want to thank our Provincial Grand Tyler, Bro Ian Ronson and for those who assist him for their work in preparing the Lodge room.

On your entry to King Georges Hall today you were guided by Stewards from the East Ribble District led by the District Chairman, Bro David Lightbown and from the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 8408. Outside this main hall, guarding and ensuring our privacy are our Security Brethren, under the direction of Bro Steve Smith. Thanks also to our soundmen Bro John Hesketh and Bro Peter Hegarty. My thanks are also extended to our “medical staff” led by Bro Eddie Barlow and to the Charity Stewards, under the direction of Bro Bennion who have efficiently taken our contributions towards the 2015 Festival. And our thanks go to Bro Alan Barlow who has undertaken the task of ensuring our seating arrangements are in order for the Dinner following this meeting – I hope!

The Festive Board

The Festive Board completed a superb day at Provincial Grand Lodge. The brethren and our guests from other Provinces and Orders (listed below) enjoyed a splendid meal, great comradeship and very entertaining toasts following the meal.

The newly appointed Provincial Senior Grand Warden, Bro John Porter gave the toast to the Provincial Grand Master. He refrained from buying Sir David’s book, “Lend me your Ears”, as he didn’t want the facts to get in the way of a good story! But his Father, EComp William Porter, and Wikipaedia gave him a font of information. Sir David was an old boy of Bury Grammar School, MP for Rossendale and Darwen (at the age of 32), a decorated Royal Marine Commando, a Magistrate and a Deputy Lieutenant. “In only 2 years he has stabilised and revitalised our Province, been a breath of fresh air, or perhaps a whirlwind, in both the administration and management of the Province and its institutions. He has visited areas of the Province tirelessly, visiting many Lodges and Chapters and all the Provincial buildings in which we meet. He has set about getting to know, admire and respect him. He has shown us wit, humour, compassion, humility and truth. With such a start, think what we can achieve going forwards”.

In response the PGM thanked Bro Porter for all his kind words, asking him to repeat them if possible :-). He joked that in his own Lodge, Keystone, the DC had remonstrated with the Senior Warden over a particularly long toast he had given for the PGM, after all he was and had been a member of the Lodge for 45 years. So next time the SW said, “The Toast is to Sir David Trippier, and the less said about him the better” 🙂

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek N Thornhill, surveyed the room of “Committed” Freemasons. He congratulated those appointed today to Acting Office, with the hope that they worked to the high standards that those positions demanded. For those promoted he urged their continued involvement in their Districts, Lodges and Communities. And for those first appointments (and increasingly we have less collars available so it really is now a merit based system) he said they were examples of all that is good in Freemasonry. He hoped that all would continue to be Ambassadors for the Craft and work to preserve Freemasonry for future generations.

In response the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Bro David Lightbown, said he was proud to have been given the opportunity to respond. It was an honour and a privilege to be in this position. On behalf of all the newly appointed officers he pledged their allegiance and commitment. They would continue to embrace Freemasonry in the Province, promote it and enjoy it. He was under no illusion that the awards are not just for past performance but also for future performance.


Guests from other Provinces, East Lancashire and other Orders


West Lancashire

– RWBro Peter J Hosker, OBE, Provincial Grand Master
– VWBro Howard Jones, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro S Raymond Martland, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro J Anthony Harrison, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Peter M Taylor, PAGDC, Provincial Grand Secretary


Cumberland and Westmorland

– RWBro Norman J Thompson, DL, Provincial Grand Master
– VWBro Keith Young, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro William J Bewley, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master



– RWBro Steven Adcott, Provincial Grand Master
– VWBro T Ian Cranston, PGSwdB, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
– WBro David J Eshelby, Provincial Grand Secretary


Yorkshire, WR

– WBro D Stuart Cummins, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
– WBro Keith Tolan, Provincial Grand Secretary


Isle of Man

– WBro K Martin Blackburn, Provincial Grand Secretary
– WBro Bill J Ashton, PProvSGW


And from East Lancashire, we welcomed:-

– Our Past Provincial Grand Master: RWBro Paul Rink, OBE
– The Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Nolan Morrison
– And our Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp William J Porter
– Together with our Past Deputy Grand Superintendent: EComp Allan Bennion
– In fact all of the Royal Arch team were out today to support the Craft Province (below)

Within the Mark Order we welcome the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Keith Schofield

From the Order of the Knights Templar, the Provincial Prior, Bro David Gallear

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 also the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree.

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

From the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest, the Grand Superintendent, Glyn Davies

From the Royal Order of Scotland, Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire, the Provincial Grand Master, Jim Adams, BEM

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

We also welcomed our Special Guests from the RMBI:

– VWBro James Newman, President of the RMBI
– VWBro Christopher J Caine, PGSwdB, Trustee & Grand Vice President
– WBro Peter Williams, Head of External Affairs


Au Revoir – Martin Caller