Craig Wood had a very busy Saturday morning at Salford Masonic Hall as his year as Master of HBS Council No. 234 was coming to a close, he still had some work to do.
Opening up for the last time and welcoming Mervyn Wilson, the head of our order in East Lancashire, the District Grand Prefect, he started work on a very busy agenda.
A knock on the door came which announced that there was a candidate to admit. Under the watchful eye of Acting DC and newly appointed Deputy District Grand Prefect, Graham Newton, Philip Moore was admitted by Craig and the council officers as the latest recruit into East Lancashire District.
The lecture was delivered with sincerity by Barry Smethurst from Saddleworth Council No. 281 following which Mervyn presented Phil with a gridiron lapel badge and the ritual book of the degree.
Craig barely had time to draw breath before he commenced with the installation of the council’s new Master – Nigel Bramley- Haworth.
We witnessed another fine ceremony very well delivered by Craig as Nigel was installed in fine style and congratulated by Mervyn on its conclusion.
With Nigel now at the helm the rest of the officers for the year were invested and the council business concluded.
Craig could now relax and enjoy the festive board and a glass of Brown Ale!
Perseverance council No.42 celebrated a milestone of 100 years of service at its November meeting held at Mill House Masonic Hall, Clayton- Le- Moors, Blackburn.
These events are very rare in The Allied Degrees as the Most Worthy Grand Master, Tom Jackson was quick to point out that. It will not be until 2034 that another council will celebrate such an achievement. He was joined at the meeting by the head of our order in East Lancashire District Grand Prefect Mervyn Wilson along with his West Lancashire counterpart Paul Snape and Joseph McCollum from the West Midlands.
Mervyn was well supported with his team of Acting Officers as well as a good delegation from neighbouring West Lancashire. In total over 50 brethren were in attendance which is the highest attendance in the Council’s 100 years of existence comprising of a total of 390 meetings and 748 ceremonies.
The council was opened by the current Master, Stephen Barritt who was very pleased to receive Tom Jackson accompanied by the Grand Director of Ceremonies and did not hesitate to offer the gavel to our Grand Master.
Of course Tom eagerly accepted it and was warmly welcomed with the customary salutations. He congratulated the members on this achievement and gave his best wishes for the future.
He then invited the council Secretary Stephen White to present a history of the council. On 29 November 1921, 13 Brethren petitioned the then Grand Master, Col Charles Warren Napier-Clavering, and as a consequence the Lodge of Perseverance was consecrated at 4pm on 27 May 1922 at Richmond Terrace, Blackburn. The ceremony was conducted by FW Broadbent, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Lancashire, Eastern Division assisted by R Verney Clayton Provincial Grand Secretary.
Just to put things in perspective at that time there were no mobile phones, no tablets, and no computers and of course no internet. There was no Soviet Union which was formed in December of that year. There was political unrest and at the date of the petition we were just three and a half years from the end of the First World War. The country was emerging from a depression.
Of the 13, several were solicitors two were ex Majors both of whom worked in a cotton mill. Eight of them served as Master of Perseverance Lodge of Mark Master Masons from which Lodge this Allied Council had originated.
The Council started with a flourish. At the second meeting no fewer than nine members had the degree of St Lawrence conferred upon them, there were two more at the third meeting and another at the fourth. At that same 4th meeting 12 became Knights of Constantinople, and the 5th meeting saw 10 become Grand Tilers of Solomon.
On 9 March 1929 12 members became Knights of Constantinople, and the same 12 became Grand Tilers of King Solomon. There was also an Installation, all in 1 hour 15 minutes.
The following meeting in July 1929 was a special meeting and saw the first ceremony of Red Cross of Babylon. 13 members conferred.
In March 1933 there was a visit from the Grand Master, Dr Charles Herbert Perram who took part in the ceremony of the Red Cross of Babylon, as the Illustrious Sovereign in the Court of Darius. He also acted as M E President in the degree of Grand High Priest which followed. Three brethren in the former and five in the latter no doubt had very happy memories of the occasion.
The Grand Master must have enjoyed himself in March 1933 because he returned in May 1935, and acted, as King Solomon in Grand Tilers and President in Grand High Priest. There is reference in the minutes of October 1942 that a dispensation for a change of date was not necessary because of the Emergency regulations issued on 23 September 1939. This is the only reference in the minutes to World War II, and all regular meetings were held as they were scheduled.
At the time of the consecration there was only one District which now has been split into East and West Lancashire in its time the council had moved to Rishton, before settling at Mill House which is close to both Blackburn and Accrington. Membership numbers have gone up and down over the years and recently the future of the council has been steadied with a large influx of joining members and now has a candidate to admit at its next meeting so the future is looking bright, Tom Jackson concluded that the council can now look forward to the next 100 years.
There was another important item of business: District Deputy Grand Prefect, Peter Hegarty had stepped down following his promotion in the Craft to Assistant Provincial Grand Master, it was time to appoint and invest Graham Newton, a member of Perseverance council, as his successor.
Tom invited Mervyn Wilson to take the chair and perform this duty with the help of his Senior and Junior wardens who were like wise placed at their stations. An escort was formed and Graham was duly presented, obligated and invested. Likewise Trevor Parvin was appointed as District Secretary to fill the role previously for filled by Graham.
Graham was warmly applauded and congratulated before Mervyn invited the Master Stephen Barritt to resume his rightful place. The next meeting being the installation the next Master was selected who is to be Allan Shields who will take up the baton from Stephen in May and lead the council into the next 100 years.
With the council closed the brethren retired to the festive board for fine food and good company which sealed a perfect end to this memorable and unique meeting.
Story and photos by AM Shields.
Council History courtesy of Stephen White. Secretary.
This year’s meeting was conducted in the usual exemplary manner by the Grand Master, with all present showing full support of the Grand Team. The Grand Master installed a new Deputy Grand Master R.W.Bro. Ian Bailey, and a new Grand DC, V.W.Bro Glyn Goddard. Not forgetting the other recipients of Grand Rank including those from East Lancs. Photos show Shaun Higson P.G.Std.B. and Fraser McCord G.Stwd. in front of the big chair and together with Stephen Gregory P.G.I.G. and our current Dep.Dist.G.Pref. Peter Hegarty.
The Grand Master, M.W.Bro. Tom Jackson, thanked all those who had made some rather circuitous travel arrangements to get there due to the vagaries of Avanti West Coast trains. He also gave a plug for the Centenary celebration meeting of Perseverance Council on Wed 9th November, saying it would be the last chance to see a Centenary of an Allied Council for some 12 years.
Rochdale Masonic Hall was once again the setting for the East Lancashire District meeting which took place Saturday 19th of September.
There was a good attendance with many of the brethren traveling from far and wide to share the day with the Head of our order in East Lancashire, Mervyn Wilson along with his Deputy Peter Hegarty, District Officers and members of his Councils.
As the DC’s team rehearsed to perfection upstairs as those arriving were greeted with bacon butties and coffee down stairs prior to assembling in the lodge room.
Mervyn opened District Grand Council and welcomed his distinguished guests, visitors and District Members. It was good to see the room full and each of the District’s 11 councils all well represented.
With all of the administrative proceedings dealt with, Mervyn proceeded to invest and appoint his team for the new year, starting with his Deputy, Peter Hegarty, Wardens: Martin Caller as his Senior and John Rimmer as the Junior Warden.
Mervyn congratulated and thanked all of the brethren appointed at the meeting and looked forward to working with them.
Mervyn then delivered his address to the meeting thanking every one for their attendance and saying how much he was looking forward to the year ahead. He congratulated the brethren who would be receiving grand ranks later this year as well as welcoming the heads of other orders who were in attendance.
With all of the business concluded he closed the meeting and the brethren retired to the dining room for the festive board.
Rag Pudding and Lancashire caviar was on the menu, that’s a meat pudding and mushy peas to those not local to Rochdale which was served with hand cut chips.
It falls upon the Senior Warden to propose a toast the the health of The District Grand Prefect. Martin Caller, Senior Warden had done his research in preparation for the toast he had to deliver. Mervyn’s parents were from both East Lancashire and Yorkshire and Martin had discovered some Yorkshire traditions involving ferrets making his toast very entertaining!
The brethren of East Lancashire headed off to Derby Masonic Hall Saturday 20th August accompanying Mervyn Wilson and his Deputy Peter Hegarty to see the investiture of Steven Barratt as head of the order in the District of East Midlands.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master, Thomas Jackson was the distinguished guest who would later invest Steven Barratt in a most sincere ceremony assisted by his team of Grand Officers.
Derby masonic hall is a most interesting venue to visit – It was once the training centre for Rolls Royce engines who of course powered the famous world war two aircraft including the Spitfire fighter which was the star of the battle of Britain!
So the visiting brethren had lots to look at and admire as the hall is full of very interesting memorabilia. In the dining room there is an example of a Merlin Engine. This was fitted to not only the Spitfire but also the Hurricane,Defiant,Whitley,Wellington and Fulmar class of aeroplane.
This particular engine saw active service and was peppered with enemy fire.
The meeting was well attended and those present enjoyed a perfect display of Allied Ritual. Steve Barratt was absolutely delighted to be invested as the head of the East Midlands following which he proceeded to invest his Deputy, Ralph Hitchin along with his team for the year ahead.
Following the meeting the brethren retired to the dining area, many sharing a drink and a chat out side in the sunshine on the lawn before enjoying a superb meal together.
Our Grand Master was in superb form, entertaining as ever and of course he presented Steve with a baby’s dummy appended to a green ribbon as he is the newest District Grand Prefect to join the ranks! It was a nice touch that Steve’s investiture could be shared by his Father who was present throughout the day!
We all wish Steve the very best in his new role as head of Allied masonry in the East Midlands.
Dear Brethren of East Lancs, The Annual District Meeting of East Lancashire will be held at Rochdale Masonic Hall, Richard Street, Rochdale OL11 1DU, on Saturday 10th September 2022 commencing at 11.00am, brethren are to be seated by 10:45am. Following the meeting luncheon will be served at 1.00 pm. The District Grand Prefect for East Lancashire, is looking forward to your support and seeing you there. Please book in by simply using the forms available in the Summons section of the website.
The dining fee is £25. The menu consists of Black Pudding with a mustard sauce OR Homemade Mushroom Soup, Lancashire Rag Pudding, Chips and Lancashire Caviar and Fresh Fruit Salad with Cream, coffee and tea. A glass of wine / soft drink is included with the meal.
Tea or Coffee and Bacon Baps will be available at a small charge from 9.00 am to 10.15 am For those who are available, you are also invited to attend the Installation meeting of Shuttleworth Council 50 (Dist.G.Sec’s Council), also at Rochdale Masonic Hall, 6.30pm on Friday 9th Sept’ 2022. The summons for this meeting is also available on the website. Please book in directly with me. Yours sincerely and fraternally, Graham WBro Graham Newton P.G.J.D. District Grand Secretary
Herbert Barrington Slater Council No 234 held their July meeting at Salford Masonic Hall and this turned out to be a very busy meeting.
Not only did the council receive not one but two District Grand Prefects, Mervyn Wilson the head of East Lancashire also brought along 12 of his District Officers as part of a team visit.
West Lancashire’s Paul Snape was also among the distinguished guests who had all come to see the council host a convention of the Grand High Priest.
It’s not every day that an Allied Council will work this ceremony, so it was no surprised to have 34 Allied masons attending, eight of which would later be received as Grand High Priests.
The meeting was opened by Master Craig Wood who was then delighted to receive Mervyn and his team along with Paul Snape who processed in the room in fine style.
Mervyn introduced his team who were given a very warm Welcome.
The council business was conducted smoothly by Craig who declared his successor Nigel Bramley – Hawarth as his successor to be installed in December.
The lodge room next door had been prepared for the Grand High Priest Ceremony and the necessary tent erected. There was a little overcrowding during the ceremony but all eight candidates were received in a spectacular ceremony lead by Mark Goldsworthy, the District Grand Chaplin.
Mervyn congratulated Mark and Steve Graham who had been the representative candidate for what was a truly brilliant display of Allied Masonic ritual.
Following the meeting the members, visitors and candidates shared a drink and reflected on the proceedings in the bar followed by a superb meal at the festive board.
Brethren had travelled from other Districts in particular West Lancashire: Mervyn mentioned the special friendship that we share with our neighbours when he responded to a toast at the festive board.
Every one enjoyed the day and the candidates able to tick this most sought after degree off the list!