Persevering for over100 years
Perseverance Council No 42 is one of the oldest in our district and recently celebrated its centenary.
The next meeting on was the installation when Allan Shields was installed as Master in fine style by Steve Barritt.
In attendance was the District Grand Prefect Mervyn Wilson who presented Allan to the Master for Installation. All this under the guidance of his Deputy , Grahan Newton who acted as DC.
Its always worth persevering with things: This council was low on numbers 12 months ago but has been boosted by many joining members including another three at this meeting and there is a candidate to induct at the November meeting.
Busking in Babylon
Friday, 31st March 2023 was the Date of the Michael Edward Herbert Council (MEH) No. 160 meeting, on this occasion at Middleton Masonic Hall. The MEH Council meets under the jurisdiction of the District of East Lancashire, but, as you may be aware, this is a Council for Grand Officers from both the East and West Lancashire Districts. As an aside, this mirrors the Timothy John Lewis Council No. 190 for District Officers of both East and West Lancashire, which meets under the jurisdiction of the District of West Lancashire. I think that this arrangement demonstrates the close working relationship between the two Districts.
For those with a geographical inclination, Middleton, although now part of the Greater Manchester conurbation, is historically a Lancashire Township, its name being derived from being the centre of a number of early settlements. It was originally an ecclesiastical parish of the Salford Hundred – also known as Salfordshire. Salford being one of the sub divisions of the historic County of Lancashire.
And so, I made my way to Middleton MH, which was a first for me, having never attended any meetings at this location. Lighter evenings made the journey reasonably pleasant, if you can ever think of driving up the M6 and M62 etc at workers going home time pleasant! No hold ups however, (but see comments below about my return journey) meant that I arrived at Middleton MH in good time. Good car parking meant that there was no driving around to look for a suitable parking spot.
The Hall is a relatively modern and attractive facility, with an upstairs Lodge Room and downstairs dining room. A very comfortable, roomy premises for a Masonic meeting and for meeting up with old and new friends.
RW Bro Mervyn Frank Wilson, DGP for East Lancashire, has given an extra purpose to this particular meeting of MEH Council in the annual calendar, by arranging for Grand Officer members to perform the ceremony of Knights of the Red Cross of Babylon; and on this occasion there was the excellent number of 13 Candidates attending to receive the accolade.
The WM, Very Worshipful Brother Geoffrey Catterall, opened the Council, and then welcomed Right Worshipful Brother Wilson, and offered him the gavel. The DGP, thanked the WM for the honour, but then paused to consider the amount of work to be undertaken later in the evening, and, deciding that discretion is the better form of valour, tactfully returned the gavel to the WM.
Salutations were then given, first to the DGP for East Lancashire and then to the DGP of West Lancashire.
The preliminary business being concluded, the WM adjourned the Degree of St Lawrence the Martyr, and the Candidates were asked to leave the Council for a short time. The DC for the evening, W. Bro. Shaun Higson, then busied himself, setting up the Council for the Red Cross of Babylon Ceremony. It is fair to say that the Candidates were well and truly invested into the Degree, the whole of the team playing its part in the ceremony, but it is worth recording that W. Bro Fraser McCord, as Thrice Illustrious Sovereign, gave an excellent and very animated performance in the Persian Court, in a true lilting Scottish accent (pity the candidates couldn’t understand his brogue – I jest Fraser!!!!). However, the candidates fully understood his next gesture when, on completion of the ceremony, he offered each of them a miniature bottle of the Highlands’ finest, each miniature being edged with a purple ribbon. What a wonderful gesture from an excellent Mason.
The WM then resumed the Council in the Degree of St Lawrence the Martyr. Important items of business remained to be conducted, including to elect a WM and Treasurer for the ensuing year. Unfortunately, the current Senior Warden, W. Bro Trevor Jewitt, is unwell and unable to be Installed as Master at the next meeting; but cometh the hour and cometh the man, as English cricketer Cliff Gladwin once uttered, and RW Brother Mervyn stepped up to the crease and agreed to be nominated. There being no other nominations (would anyone dare?) he was declared Master for the ensuing year to great acclamation. W. Bro Jeff Huddart was then nominated and subsequently declared Treasurer, again to acclamation.
The Council being closed, the WM and both DGP’s retired, and Brethren made their way to the dining hall to enjoy a social drink and dinner. A goodly crowd of Mason’s delighted in exchanging pleasantries and honouring the formal toasts. It is true to say that Mervyn should be proud of the efforts of his team in ensuring that the Candidates were well and truly invested on this occasion, and we look forward to a similar occasion next year when the Brethren of MEH can again strut their stuff.
To close, I said earlier in the piece that I had a pleasant journey to Middleton MH, but the same cannot be said of my return home. Unfortunately, a large section of the M6 had been closed at 9pm and this caused me to get home somewhat later than intended. The upside is that I visited many areas of Greater Manchester and its surrounds that I hadn’t seen for some time – always look on the bright side of life I say!
PS, one of the Brethren present at the meeting played in a professional rugby league match in the 1980’s between Wigan and Huddersfield, which entered into folk lore as ‘The Battle of Fartown’. No kidding, and you can view it on YouTube if you’re interested (other social media outlets available etc. etc.). You need to be warned of scenes of violence if you are of a sensitive disposition, and you might need subtitles to understand the Lancashire and Yorkshire dialects. The Brother concerned acted as a Persian Guard on the occasion of the afore mentioned ceremony, and you can be sure he had no problem with his prisoner!!!
Words by Wigan Warrior
Photographs by the Rochdale Hornet.
Goulburn makes it a double
One of our oldest councils is Goulburn having been consecrated in 1915 and continues to meet to this day now based at Radcliffe near Bolton.
The March meeting had two very important items of business, the first being to admit Bro Andrew Booth as the latest member to join the district. Shaun Higson took the chair to induct Andrew as a Brother of St Lawrence in fine style and assisted by council officers and visiting brethren which included our Deputy Graham Newton.
The next item on the summons was to install Ivan Millington as the Master for the ensuing year and this was again a fantastic ceremony this time performed by Adrian Hunter.
Welcome to our order Andrew was the cry as he received his collar of office from Ivan!
East & West Lancashire head North
Saturday 4th March, East and West Lancs visited the District of Northumberland & Durham, en masse as the photo shows.
The meeting was presided over by the District Grand Prefect RWBro Danny Guy and guest of honour was the Grand Master MWBro Tom Jackson.
Following a very efficient meeting, cheques were presented to the Craft PGM and the Mark PGM for their respective charities. Both expounded their admiration and support for the Allied Degrees.
It was also great to see Ernie Gavan sporting his ‘cancer recovering’ new hair style.
A Busy Saturday Morning For Craig
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!
Persevering for 100 years
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.
Grand Council 2022
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.
Lancastria Welcomes A New Member
At he recent meeting of Lancastria Council No. 154, the District welcomed a new member – Bro Joe Simon.
The Deputy Dist.G.Pref. Peter Hegarty was in attendance to witness the Master David Dunn admit Bro Simon to both St Lawrence and the Knights of Constantinople in fine style.
Following a very successful meeting the brethren enjoyed a very fine meal in the surroundings of Manchester Hall.
District Grand Meeting 2022
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.
2022 District Meeting
Dear Brethren of East Lancashire:
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,
WBro Graham Newton P.G.J.D.
District Grand Secretary
HBS Council No 234 Share A Gazebo With Eight Candidates.
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!
St Lawrence Council Had A Busy Night
The June meeting of Rochdale St Lawrence Council No 122 was another busy night of Allied Freemasonry and the second Council that had met at Rochdale in the same week.
Not only was it the installation but the induction ceremony for Bro Stan Bibby. This was all to take place under the watchful eyes of our head, Mervyn Wilson, accompanied by his Deputy and a deputation of his Acting District Officers of the year.
Master of the Council Graham Rawlinson was the man with lots of work to do. Having opened the council he then received Mervyn and the team who processed into the lodge room in fine style and made most welcome.
First task to induct Stan Bibby with the help of his officers. In a most sincere ceremony capped off by perfect delivery of the lecture by the Junior Warden Roger Fielding.
Stan was greeted and welcomed by Mervyn at the end of the ceremony and presented with a grid iron lapel pin.
Next David Ogden, Master Elect was presented and installed by Graham as the new Master of the Council. Again another great ceremony conducted by the council for David who then proceeded to invest his team for the next year.
With all the business done and dusted everyone was ready for refreshment at the festive board where good food and friendly company was enjoyed by the members of the council and the visiting team.
The next outing for Mervyn and his team of officers takes place Saturday 9th of July at HBS Council – Salford. This promises to be equally busy with the ceremony of Grand High Priest taking place. The summons for this meeting will appear very soon.
A New Master And Member at JEG with a bit of a Mark theme.
James Edward Glover Council’s June Installation meeting was a busy one!
Not only was a brand new Master to be Installed but they had a candidate. So lots to do. The council travels around and meets twice per year, the installation is in East Lancashire and the outgoing Master David Pestell had chosen Rochdale to host the meeting. The second meeting is held at a West Lancashire venue.
His first task was to invite the Director of Ceremonies, Adrian Hunter to take the chair to introduce Barry Heal to the order and the Council in particular. On hand was Mervyn Wilson, the head of the East Lancashire District and Immediate Past Master of this Council along with Alexander Sillars McLaren, his predecessor.
Barry was inducted as a Brother of St Lawrence in fine style and made most welcome. He mentioned later that night he had been keen to join the order and was among familiar faces as Barry is the East Lancashire Provincial Almoner in The Mark Degree.
Following the ceremony it was David Pestell’s job to resume the Master’s chair and install Brendan Harte as his successor, Brendan is another hard working Mark Provincial Officer as he holds the office of Charity Steward.
He was presented by our current Head Mervyn, with our Past Head Alex acting as Senior Warden and David Thompson, APGM in The Mark Degree as the Junior Warden. Alex of course is a Past PGM in East Lancashire Mark. So a very ‘Mark’ feeling to the ceremony.
Following a full ceremony Brendan appointed and invested his team for the year and concluded the council business then it was off to the festive board where the members, distinguished guests and visitors enjoyed a fantastic meal and great harmony.
East and West Travel to Leeds
Brethren from both Lancashire districts headed over to Leeds to see The Most Worthy Grand Master Tom Jackson install Brian Butterfield as the head of the order in Yorkshire.
Castle Grove Masonic Hall was the splendid venue for this occasion with its wood paneled lodge room and magnificent dining area, the scene was set for an enjoyable day.
Mervyn Wilson, District Grand Prefect for East Lancashire was with his counterpart Paul Snape from West Lancashire as well as both Deputies, Peter Hegarty from East and newly appointed Mark Barton from West. Other acting officers and visitors made up a good number from both districts.
The lodge room was as expected packed with Allied Masons eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Grand Master, at the head of the procession was another East Lancashire member, Paul Waring, with the Grand sword.
Brian was installed in a most sincere manner by the Grand Master following which he then installed and invested his Deputy and officers of the year.
Following the conclusion of the meeting the brethren enjoyed good company and fine food in the dining room. The Grand Master was in good form and in an entertaining mood as he presented Brian with a baby’s dummy suspended from a green ribbon to remind him he is the newest of all of the District Grand Prefects!
Under Starter’s Orders!
Monday 23rd May, was the date chosen by the Master, RWBro Thomas Auber and the venue was his hometown of Newmarket in Suffolk (or is it Cambridgeshire, there was some discussion about that at the dining table).
This was the first midyear meeting of Shuttleworth Council, which is open to anyone who has held the office of Dist.G.Sec. or Dist.Assist.G.Sec. The aim is to foster and develop good relations with Districts around the country. Judging by the attendance and the general buzz of conversation throughout the evening the Council is off to a flying start. There were 47 brethren there, including some distinguished guests, including our Dist.G.Pref. RWBro Mervyn Wilson, looking very dapper in his new suit as you can see the photos, to witness the Assistant Grand Secretary, WBro Dan Heath who gave an interesting and fact filled talk about the work done on our behalf at Mark Masons’ Hall. The Council also balloted for four joining members and two Honorary members and is now composed of brethren from 13 different Districts.
This was followed by a regular meeting of Icknield Council 209, who hosted our meeting, where they admitted two new members to the Order. The ceremony was carried out in fine style much to the delight of the Grand Master.
We were then treated to a very enjoyable festive board. The Director of Ceremonies gave us the traditional Newmarket start of “we are under starters orders, and we’re off!” . Any Allied Masonic Degrees brother is entitled and very welcome to attend Shuttleworth Council .
Details of future meetings will be on the website including the next meeting which will be the installation at Rochdale Masonic Hall on Friday 9th September 2022.
14 Knights at MEH
The April meeting of MEH (Grand Officers) Council 160, at Bryn Masonic Hall saw a fabulous Red Cross of Babylon ceremony by the members of MEH including the DGPs of East Lancashire and West Lancashire and a few invited guest ritualists. Every office was filled and 14 Knights were admitted to the Degree in fine style. The high number due to a roll over from Covid times.
There were 45 in attendance and the meeting was followed by a wonderful meal and fraternal fellowship. Sadly three of the candidates escaped before the group photo was taken.
Welcome back HBS. A New Master, 3 candidates and 2 joining members!
Herbert Barrington Slater Council No 234 had not met for close on two years due to the pandemic, but what a come back meeting took place Saturday at Salford Masonic Hall.
Lets start with an installation. Acting Master and District Secretary, Graham Newton opened the lodge and welcomed its distinguished guest, the head of the order in East Lancashire; Mervyn Wilson.
It was now time to start adding some members to the council as Ivan Millington and Nigel Bramley Howarth were welcomed aboard.
With the all the council business now out of the way Peter Hegarty, the Deputy Head presented Craig Wood as Master Elected ready to be installed. However Craig was on crutches having torn ligaments an injury so things were just a little bit different, he had waited two years for this and very determined to get in the chair.
A fabulous ceremony ensued conducted by Graham and Craig was pleased to appoint his new team of officers for his year in the chair.
It was now time to once again swell the numbers with some new members, three candidates this time – Nigel Dunlop, Paul Joynson and Steven Graham who were all admitted in a fantastic ceremony of The Degree of St Lawrence The Martyr delivered by Craig as his first duty as new master.
As the end of a first and eventful meeting back neared, Mervyn congratulated both Graham and Craig for the work done and welcomed the new members to the order by presenting them with a grid iron lapel badge.
Council business complete the brethren enjoyed a hearty meal downstairs at the festive board which gave the chance for the new members to really get to know their new lodge mates and enjoy the harmony and conversations.
Meeting ‘Down South’
The heads of both Lancashire Districts – East and West, Mervyn Wilson and Paul Snape accompanied by their Deputies and a good delegation of Lancashire brethren made the long trip down to Croydon for the Surrey District meeting.
Paul Snape begs the question which comes first – your tie or collarette? The meeting was enjoyable and following which the Lancashire contingent were made very welcome at the festive board.
Thanks to Paul Snape for the photos and article.
Cumberland Day Out
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.
District of London Annual Meeting
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.
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
Magnificent Seven at David Lamb
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.
Team Talk At JEG
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.
Wakey Wakey Shuttleworth!
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 everyone 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.
2021 District Meeting
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!
AMD ON Tour
East and West Lancashire District teams are back out on the road. ‘On Tramp’ visiting the East Midlands District meeting being held at Derby.
Pictured are (centre) Mervyn Wilson and Paul Snape who head up the order in East and West Lancashire respectively accompanied by their Deputies and members of the District teams.
Allied is back in East Lancashire with three
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.
2021 District Meeting
This years meeting will take place at 11 am on Saturday 11th of September at Rochdale Masonic Hall.
A copy of the summons and the East Lancashire member’s dining / booking form can be downloaded from the ‘summons ‘ area of the website.
We are back!
Our District Grand prefect is pleased to resume our meetings, his letter confirming a resumption of Allied Masonic business can be read here:
Save the Date of the 11th of September 2021 for our District meeting which will take place at Rochdale. Summons now available on our summons section.
Also pop back for some information regarding Shuttleworth Council which will be holding a special meeting on Saturday 25th of September. The summons is now available in the summons section.
East Lancashire District Meeting 2020
Due to the current pandemic this year’s district meeting took place on the now familiar zoom format where the brethren can join in on line. Indeed a total of 55 members of East Lancashire district tuned in at 11 am to attend the meeting.
The meeting room had opened some 15 minutes before which gave the brethren a chance to greet one another and engage in some entertaining banter.
Every one was glad of the chance to catch up with one another following this very long and continued period of suspension of normal meetings.
With every one now on mute, The District Grand Prefect Mervin Wilson opened the meeting with a welcome and thanks for attending. You can listen to a portion of his address by clicking on this link:
The meeting took the same format as it would have done in the lodge room which included the re appointment of the District team.
Further documentation (the Minutes of last year’s meeting, the District accounts, the Permission letter from Grand Council, the List of District appointments/promotions) relating to this meeting can be found on the pass word protected page.
Click here to visit the documents page
(please contact your Council Secretary for the pass word or web.amdel@gmail stating your credentials.)
He also thanked John Crawford who retired as District Treasurer after 11 years of service to the District of East Lancashire.
It was then announced that the District would be making a donation of £1500 pounds which has been raised by the Allied members in favour of the 2021 East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund. Its worth pointing out that members of the Allied Degrees are also members of the Mark Degree and the head of East Lancashire Mark Masons, Alex Mclaren was on hand to thank the brethren for donating this significant sum of money.
Mervyn then gave his address to the brethren following which he closed the meeting with his best wishes to one and all!
You can read the address here:
Appointment of the Deputy District Grand Prefect
The District Grand Prefect has been pleased to appoint WBro Peter Hegarty PGJD as the new Deputy District Grand Prefect for East Lancs. This ceremony should have taken place at the regular meeting of Constitution Council, Tue 19th May. Due to the general suspension of all Masonic activity, this meeting has been cancelled.
The Office is, however, effective from that date and the investiture will be marked at a future meeting when it is deemed safe to go out again and sit amongst our friends and Brothers as we used to do.
I am sure we would wish to congratulate Peter on his preferment and offer him our very best wishes in his new role.
Peter is looking forward to visiting all our Councils, when the general suspension has been lifted and Allied meetings resume.
Out and about in the North East
Team Visit to Shuttleworth Council
The District Team have been out in force again, recently! Visiting Shuttleworth Council in Colne. Thanks to Bob Summers for the photo.
New Deputy District Grand Prefect
Mervyn Wilson, District Grand Prefect, has with great pleasure announced that Peter Hegarty will invested as his deputy at the meeting of Constitution Council No 183 on the 19th of May at Accrington.
The heads of both Lancashire districts headed down south to Southampton to attend the investiture of a new District Grand Prefect.
At the end of their travels and in need of refreshment they, in true Allied style entered a hostelry. Well a hotel in any way! The next day they attended the meeting along with the Grand Master who performed the investiture in fine style.
Our DPG out and about again!
Mervyn Wilson (front second from the left) has been out and about on his travels again.
This time in Burton-on-Trent visiting the District of West Midlands.
If you haven’t spotted our DGP in the photo, he is the one with the “glow in the dark” socks.
He is joined by colleagues of East Lancashire as well as Paul Snape, DGP West Lancashire (Centre) with some of his own district officers.
Looking to complete all your degrees?
Herbert Barrington Slater Council No.234 will be working The Knights of Constantinople as well as Grand High Priest at the February meeting:
Saturday 22nd February at Salford Masonic Hall. All brethren who are looking to take either or both of the degrees mentioned will be made most welcome. The summons will appear in the ‘Summons ‘ section. or Email email@example.com for more information and book in.
Flying the flag for East Lancashire!
The Dist Grand Prefect RWBro Mervyn Wilson on his travels around the country flying the flag for East Lancs. This time in Croydon for the Dist of Surrey annual meeting.
At Last – Wayne makes it into the chair of HBS!
Wayne Kilford had waited two years to become the Master of Herbert Barrington Slater Council No 234. Having served his year as Master, Allan Shields was all set to place Wayne into the chair at the Installation meeting last December, however Wayne was overseas in the Faroe Islands with his work.
A second year as Master was not a problem for Allan however he did greet Wayne with open arms on the cold Saturday morning at Salford this time around. Allan welcomed the members and visitors present which included the head of the order in East Lancashire, District Grand Prefect Mervyn Wilson as the distinguished guest.
Allan then proceeded to install Wayne following which he immediately was appointed in the role of Council Secretary.
Wayne thanked everyone for a most enjoyable ceremony and concluded the council business.
Then it was down to the bar area where hot soup and sandwiches were served. Good food and conversation followed. Mervyn thanked the council for putting on a good meeting and said how much he had enjoyed the meeting and festive board.
The new master was suitably toasted and Wayne responded by thanking everyone as well as how much he is looking forward to the year ahead.
If Saturday Masonry is for you the HBS is the place to be!
Installation meeting of Michael Edward Herbert Council
The Installation meeting of Michael Edward Herbert Council 160 took place on Fri 29th November at Chorley Masonic Hall. There were 41 Allied masons present to witness RWBro Paul Snape DGP (WL) being installed into the chair of this prestigious Council. The ceremony was carried out in an exemplary style by WBro Tony Alderton. With the added honour of a visit from the Grand Master, MWBro Tom Jackson.
Membership of this Council is open to Grand Officers from any District and moves it’s meetings around both East and West Lancs. The next meeting is at Middleton Masonic Hall on 29th May 2020 when it is hoped to stage a Red Cross of Babylon Ceremony, to which any Allied Mason is entitled to attend.
from left to right, RWBro Mervyn F Wilson District Grand Prefect, MWBro Thomas F. Jackson Grand Master, RWBro G. Paul Snape District Grand Prefect (West Lancs) Worshipful Master, WBro Tony Alderton Installing Master.
Grand Council 2019
Tuesday 22nd October saw 25 Allied members from East Lancashire travel to London and attend the annual Grand Council meeting in support our District Grand Prefect, Mervyn Wilson and the Most Worshipful Grand Master Thomas Firth Jackson.
East Lancashire was honoured with four appointments or promotions; WBro Ivan Millington appointed as Grand Steward, WBro Peter Hegarty promoted to Past Grand Junior Deacon, WBro Gareth Jones appointed as Past Grand Standard Bearer and WBro Stephen Bolton appointed as Past Grand Inner Guard.
The day started off in the first class lounge at Piccadilly Station, Manchester where WBro Trevor Parvin , Assistant Secretary tried his best to herd us on to the 10.15 train to London.
The meeting was, as expected, organised in a very professional manner and followed by a very nice meal and wine in the Connaught rooms next door.
Just time for a drink in a local hostelry over the road then a train back home.
The District Grand Prefect is delighted with the amount of support from the members of our District and would encourage anyone who has not been before to put the 27th Oct 2020 in your diaries and give it a go. It is definitely a Grand day out.
More information, photos and the Grand Master’s address to the brethren can be found on the Grand Allied web site. Click here
Allied merchandise now available!
District Meeting 2019
Rochdale masonic hall was the venue for the 2019 District meeting, which saw over 100 brethren in attendance. Many had traveled along way to join Mervyn Wilson, the head of the East Lancashire district and many of its members. Brethren had travelled from Kent, London, and Surrey in the south as well as Yorkshire, the midlands as well as a suitably large raid from neighbouring West Lancashire with their head, Paul Snape.
Mervyn welcomed everyone to Rochdale and then proceed to appoint and invest his officers for the year. Trevor Jewitt unfolded and delivered his final report before retiring after six years as District Secretary with thanks from Mervyn fo all his hard work. The ceremony and processions was perfect and wonderful to see all done under the watchful eye of District Director of Ceremonies Chris Welton.
Following a successful and enjoyable meeting the brethren retired to the lovely surroundings of the dining room to enjoy a drink and a tasty meal.
Dine with me at David Lamb
David Lamb Council No 197 inducted a TV star at the August Council meeting!
Come Dine with me has recently featured Matt Phillips from Manchester, many will know him to be a very good Mason, but in the show he was given the opportunity to show off his skills in the kitchen.
Matt was inducted during a fine ceremony by Council Master Duncan Ferguson , assisted by his officers and visitors seconded into office for the meeting. One of those taking part was Dennis Schiff who had proposed Matt into the Allied Masonic Degrees.
Following the meeting Matt could enjoy the meal without having to cook it on this occasion, that task had been suitably performed by the catering staff at Asdale Lea, Rawtenstall. He was made most welcome into his new surroundings and is looking forward to completing the other degrees the order has to offer.
Travel arrangements to travel to Grand Council – October 22nd
Please see the itinerary posted in the ‘Summons’ section . Train travel is being arranged for the brethren who wish to visit. Click here.
9 Grand High Priests
Herbert Barrington Slater council, No234 held its July meeting at Salford and the main business was to work the degree of Grand High Priest with a staggering nine candidates.
Council master Allan Shields welcomed the visitors and swiftly dealt with the regular council business before inviting John Green to take over and work the ceremony.
The candidates were asked to leave the room while the members prepared the lodge with the appropriate fixtures and fittings suitable for use during the ceremony.
John, who was assisted by Shaun Higson and HBS members , delivered a fine ceremony word perfect which concluded with a fantastic rendition of the lecture by Fraser McCord.
Following the meeting the brethren retired for soup and sandwiches at the festive board. It is hoped that this ceremony will become a regular fixture and a warm welcome from HBS No 234 awaits any brother who is looking to take this particular degree in the future.
Rochdale enjoys a first class ceremony
Thursday 19th June 2019. Rochdale St Lawrence Council 122 held their Installation meeting with Dist Secretary WBro Trevor Jewitt, representing the District Grand Prefect. 24 members and visitors enjoyed a first class ceremony conducted by the WM Tony Gillard, who had travelled all the way from Bedfordshire to install Bro Bernard Percy into the chair.
The meeting was followed by a most delightful summer meal produced by chef Lesley at Rochdale Masonic Hall, where the festive board was enjoyed by all present in a most convivial manner.
JEG Installs our District Grand Prefect as its master
Not every council can boast that ‘The Chief’ is their Master but the June meeting of James Edward Glover No 137 saw RWBro Mervyn Wilson installed into the chair of the council.
The council travels throughout East Lancashire and other local Districts to hold its meetings and this installation was held at Middleton Masonic Hall in Manchester where the members and visitors were made most welcome.
Out going master George Turner was at the end of a two year spell in the master’s chair which concluded by him installing his successor in fine style and with sincerity.
The meeting was well attended by the council members which also included the Past District Grand Prefect, Alex Mclaren. Following the meeting they retired to the plush dinning room and enjoyed good harmony and excellent food.
The next meeting of JEG takes place in October and will be an opportunity to see our District Grand Prefect work the Degree of St Lawrence as a new candidate is waiting in the wings!
A New Council is consecrated
The Grand Master MWBro. Thomas Firth Jackson and a delegation of Grand Officers were present for this very special occasion .He was accompanied by a galaxy of District officers including RWBro. David Malcolm Cordell, District Grand Prefect Yorkshire District and RWBro. Mervyn Wilson who is the District Grand Prefect for East Lancashire but also the first Master of the new council – Saddleworth Council No 281
The Council was consecrated in fine style by Thomas Jackson and the team following which Mervyn was installed as it’s very first Master by David Cordell. Mervyn then proceed to invest his officers for the first year.
On the conclusion of the ceremony the Grand Officers formed a procession and were joined at the festive board by all of the members and officers of the new council.