On Thursday 31st March, 40 brethren gathered at Mill House Masonic Hall in Clayton-le-Moors to celebrate WBro Robert Pye’s 50th anniversary in Freemasonry and of his membership of the Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519.
Following the opening of the lodge and the usual business, WBro John Farrington APGM accompanied by a District delegation, were admitted under the guidance of WBro Andrew Taylor ProvDepDC. WBro Farrington was offered the gavel by the Worshipful Master WBro Graham Mangham PProvDepGDC and he was delighted on this occasion to accept.
Following the introduction of the brethren of the delegation, WBro Pye was seated in the centre of the Lodge. WBro Farrington asked WBro Keith Lomax PProvGSwdB to deliver his tribute to WBro Pye…. His tribute can be read here. Following his tribute WBro Lomax made a presentation to WBro Pye on behalf of the Lodge.
As is customary at these celebrations, Wbro Farrigton proceeded to highlight some of the events that happened in 1966 the year Wbro Pye was Initiated into Freemasonry. This included the fact that Harold Wilson was elected as Prime Minister on a huge majority and Edward Heath was the Opposition leader. The Americans had 500,000 troops in Vietnam but Cassius Clay refused to go to wat as a conscientious objector. The Barclay Card was introduced and the BBC began broadcasting in colour. The music scene was dominated by bands such as the Beatles and the Hollies, and of course England beat West Germany in the World Cup.
WBro Farrington was then delighted to present WBro Pye with his illuminated certificate and personal letter from The Provincial Grand Master which he was pleased to read to the assembled brethren.
WBro Pye was then perambulated around the lodge to the acclaim of the Brethren, and to complete the ceremony WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman paid his own personal tribute and presented WBro Pye with his lapel badge marking his 50 years in Freemasonry.
WBro Farrington indicated he would like to retire from the Lodge accompanied by the District delegation and on this occasion WBro Pye. The remaining business of the lodge was concluded and all brethren retired to the Festive Board.
The Festive Board was a very happy occasion. WBro Farrington spoke in his response about the important work of the Lodge Mentor and referred to the latest edition of Freemasonry Today which highlighted some excellent examples of the work of the Mentor. He also spoke about the forthcoming Tercentenary and how the celebrations were underway in the Province to celebrate this landmark. WBro Farrington also proposed a very sincere toast to the Worshipful Master as they had shared many masonic memories from their association with the Rossendale District. WBro Mangham was delighted to respond in the same manner.
The toast to the celebrant was given by WBro David Anderson PProvSGW who spoke fondly of his personal association with WBro Pye to whome had been friends for over 40 years. He also made reference to the fact that WBro Pye had conducted his 1st and 3rd Degree Ceremonies in 1978 and how they had worked closely together as Lodge treasurer and secretary for a number of years. Finally he made reference to whilst WBro Pye may have moved to Carlisle he still attends the Lodge meetings and practices and remains a very committed member of Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519.
In his response, WBro Pye thanked everyone for their company on this very special evening and how he had made many friends over the years. He spoke of his early years as a lodge member and interestingly how the Lodge was named after His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Grand Master in 1875, even though the Lodge brethren original wanted the name ‘Clayton-le-Moors Lodge’
This was a wonderful celebration of 50 years in Freemasonry and everyone present is very much looking forward to assembling in 10 years time to celebrate WBro Pye’s 60th!
© 2016, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.