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.

Left to right, John Rimmer, Peter Hegarty, Mervyn Wilson & Martin Caller

Mervyn congratulated and thanked all of the brethren appointed at the meeting and looked forward to working with them.

Mervyn & Peter (front) with the new team for 2023

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.

Ferret expert and Senior Warden Martin Caller

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!

Every one enjoyed the festive board

Derby Day

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.

Brethren of both East and West Lancashire assembled prior to the meeting

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.

Steve Gregory (left) and Ivan Millington with the Merlin Engine on display

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.

Grand Master Tom Jackson (left) with Steven Barratt

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 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,
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 & Craig with the candidates

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!

The brethren relax at the festive board

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.

Stan (left) with Graham

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.

David Ogden

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.

Mervyn (centre) with Peter Hegarty (far left) and his team of District Acting Officers for 2022

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.

Left to Right – Barry Heal, Brendan Harte, Mervyn Wilson

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.

JEG Members & Visitors enjoy good food and great company

East & West Travel to Leeds

Left, Mervyn Wilson with Paul Snape

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.

Left, Peter Hegarty with Mike Barton

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.

Brethren from East & West Lancashire on the steps of Castle Grove Hall

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.

Tom Jackson, Grand Master receives a warm welcome from his District Grand Prefects

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!

The superb dining room at Castle Grove Hall

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).

Tom Auber (left) with Tom Jackson Grand Master

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.

Dan Heath, Front row Right with the distinguished guests and the Grand Master – Centre

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 New 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.