The District of Cumberland and Westmorland held it’s District meeting at Cleator Moor. Heading to Cumbria was a small delegation from our district including Deputy District head Peter Hegarty, representing Mervyn Wilson, District Secretary Graham Newton and Jack Lyon.
Peter said ‘it was a great meeting’ hosted by the Head of the province Eddie Crosby who also had in attendance the Grand Master’ Thomas Firth Jackson and John Hale, Past Deputy Grand Master. Eddie in his eighth year as the district’s head, also welcomed many other brethren from all around the country. He said it was great to be back to a real meeting, the last one had to be done by zoom due to covid restrictions being in place.
On the 20 th . November 2021 early, no very early two West Lancashire Allied Masonic Degree Masons made their way to the Capital to attend the District of London annual meeting. After quite an uneventful journey Worshipful Brother Raymond Lamb Past Grand Standard Bearer, Deputy District Grand Director of Ceremony and Worshipful Brother Ernie Gavan Past Grand Standard Bearer found a coffee house for an intake of caffeine before making their way Mark Masons Hall in St. James’s. On entering they met up with Worshipful Brother Paul Waring Grand Sword Bearer and Worshipful Brother John Pearson Past Grand Standard Bearer friends from their neighbouring District of East Lancashire. As instructed, they made their way into the Lodge Room to take their seats. At 10.45 am the District Grand Prefect Right Worshipful Brother Colin Robert Woodcock M.B.E. entered in processional order. The District Grand Prefect opened District Grand Council and a moment of remembrance was observed for those of our Brethren that had been called to a higher service. When items of a domestic nature were completed The District Grand Prefect introduced the Distinguished Guests including Worshipful Brother Raymond Lamb representing the Right Worshipful District Grand Prefect for West Lancashire Brother Paul Snape, and Worshipful Brother Paul Waring representing the Right Worshipful District Grand Prefect for East Lancashire Brother Mervyn Wilson. The Deputy District Grand Prefect Very Worshipful Brother Steven John Warwick Past Grand Registrar was reappointed and the other District Officers appointed and invested. The District Grand Prefect addressed the meeting and after a
collection for charity closed district Grand Council. The District Grand Prefect then retired from District Grand Council. After an aperitif, or two, we repaired into the dining room where a delightful four course luncheon was enjoyed by all. The usual toasts were well received as were the responses. After a visit to the bar area and a few drinks with friends, new and old, our intrepid travelers made their way to the railway station for the long journey back to Lancashire, getting home at a surprisingly reasonable hour.
David Lamb Council 197 answered the District Secretaries call to host a ceremony. Not having any of their own members waiting on ceremonies, WBro Marc Goldsworthy, council Director of Ceremonies, worked a flawless ceremony of Grand High Priest for seven candidates from other Councils. The meeting was attended by 26 Allied masons including the DGP and his Deputy, who all had a great evening of masonic fellowship followed by a substantial meal.
The first visit of Mervyn Wilson’s new team of District officers took place at Salford on Monday 18th of October with a trip to James Edward Glover No 137.
There are some familiar faces in both the District team and the membership JEG council as Mervyn was also the Master with an installation to perform and Allan Shields, council Secretary, is also the District Senior Warden. The District Treasurer Jeff Huddart, is also the Council money man, so every one was kept busy.
A thorough rehearsal organised by DC Chris Welton meant that the visiting team entered the lodge room in fine style and were made most welcome.
Also in attendance was the Deputy head of the District – Peter Hegarty who was on home soil being the Salford District Chairman. Mike Green another Salford mason was also right at home as the District Junior Warden.
With the opening council business concluded Mervyn appointed his installing officers including both District Wardens, with Allan occupied as Senior Warden, Graham Newton, District Secretary kept a watchful eye on the Secretarial duties.
Master Elect Davis Pestel who has endured a patient wait to take the chair due to covid, as well as a change in succession plans . He was installed in fine style by Mervyn and the Installing Officers then warmly greeted by every one in attendance. He installed his new officers for his term as Master and concluded the Council meeting in order to start the festive board.
In equally spectacular style Mervyn and David paraded out accompanied by the district team with warm acclamation.
Time for refreshment with many people taking the time to enjoy a much needed catch up following the suspension. Plenty to talk about! The good spirits carried on at the dinner where a most excellent meal was served up by the new hall chef and the catering team.
Saturday September 20th saw the re awakening or ‘restoration’ of Shuttleworth Council No.50 at Salford Masonic Hall.
The council surrendered its warrant to the Head of the order in East Lancashire, Mervyn Wilson, in December 2020, as numbers had dwindled in the main due to an aging membership. Mervyn however was determined not to let the council fade away and our District Secretary, Graham Newton had a great idea to ensure the council could be restored.
It was to become a ‘special interest’ council – all of its members are, or have been involved in the administration of the Districts in our Order in some way. The membership is drawn from all around the country.
Mervyn opened the council with the assistance of his District Senior Warden, Allan Shields and Junior Warden Mike Green, under the watchful eye of District Deputy DC Martin Murray.
He then installed Thomas Auber as the first master following the Re awakening of the council. Tom then invested his new officers who took their rightful places.
All the business conducted the council was closed allowing every one to retire to the bar. They were greeted by canapes served by the new catering team at Salford. This was followed by a most delicious meal. The brethren were getting to know each other and enjoying the harmony and conversation. Tom was flush with gifts and presented Mervyn with a rather fine bottle of gin.
It is hoped that others who hold or have held the office of District Grand Secretary or Assistant District Grand Secretary will join in the future and share their unique perspective on our wonderful order. Meetings will be held around the country, the next takes place in June when Dan Heath, the Assistant Grand Secretary will be presenting a paper.
The day was enjoyed by members and visitors alike – Shuttleworth is now awake and faces a bright new future.
District Grand Prefect Mervyn Wilson greeted over 70 Allied masons from his own district as well as visitors from all over the country when he opened the District meeting.
Its better than zoom he said, as he greeted one and all to the first full meeting back since the pandemic.
Many careful steps had been taken to ensure the safety of all those attending but these were subtle and did not spoil the day in any way.
Attendance was good with all 11 councils represented and the officers of the year present were invested by Mervyn.
It was also a chance for Mervyn to congratulate Peter Hegarty on becoming his Deputy.
Following the post meeting refreshment the brethren enjoyed a meal of Rag Pudding and Lancashire Caviar. (That’s mushy peas by the way!). It was a great chance to catch up and enjoy the company after the long suspensions to our meetings due to the pandemic. Mervyn was warmly toasted and his response was well received. He mentioned some exciting meetings on the way, with the return of Shuttleworth Council in two weeks time as well as team visits to James Edward Glover in October and HBS next year.
The brethren departed with memories of a great meetings and lots of great and exiting things to come!
September and October are busy months and the summons for the District Meeting (Sept11th), the Restoration meeting of Shuttleworth Council No 50 (Sept 25th ) and Matier ‘B TI (Oct 2nd) are all available to down load from the summons section of our website.
Allied masonry resumed with the first meeting of Constitution Council No. 183 at Accrington with three very important ceremonies: an induction, and an installation as well as the confirmation on post of the new Deputy District Grand Prefect.
Council Master Richard Frazer-Bastable was the man to start things going by opening the council and welcoming the head of the order, District Grand Prefect Mervyn Wilson as the principal guest.
12 members were joined by six visitors some of whom were the acting officers of the year, all of whom were greeted warmly. Richard then handed the proceedings over to Graham Newton, District Secretary to induct our latest recruit Mark Rowe in fine style and blowing away lock down cobwebs to deliver a great ceremony assisted by Bill Pickup who explained the St Lawrence Lecture to Mark perfectly.
Graham has acquired some pretty impressive ‘pull up’ banners which illustrate perfectly the history of the Order, the degree of St Lawrence as well as the other four making up the order. The banner was proudly on display as the brethren entered the festive board room and bar.
One down two to go as Richard resumed his rightful place in the chair to install his successor as master, David Sharpe. David is an experienced mason who enjoyed this very special ceremony which was well worked most sincerely by Richard.
And finally…. Part three commenced when Mervyn rose and requested that Peter Hegarty was presented to him for this long awaited chance to invest him with his collaret as his Deputy.
Peter has been in office since May 2020 however the suspension due to covid had prevented his confirmation taking place until now. Peter received a round of applause following his confirmation and warm welcome to the team by Mervyn
Jobs done David Sharpe closed the council and it was off to the bar for a catch up and a superb buffet festive board.
During the meal Mervyn updated every one with all the good news surrounding the Allied Masonic degrees in East Lancashire which include the District meeting Saturday 11th September and the re launch of Shuttleworth Council later that month on the 25th, this website will contain all the details needed to book in to the great events coming soon.
It also gave the latest recruit Mark a chance to meet and chat with the members of his new lodge and following a toast made to welcome him, he thanked everyone for a warm introduction to our most interesting order.
New Master Dave also received a welcoming toast from his installing officer Richard, following which he thanked every one for attending and looked forward to his year in office.