Warm mince pies Christmas cake, white and red wine in abundance and raffle prizes galore. The Chairman and Secretary of the Canons Close Committee, WBro more “Canons Close Christmas Meeting”
“Did you know, our 3 year old Grandson Max can demolish a Hollands meat and potato pie in no time at all?” I remarked to the Provincial Grand Swordbearer. “Really?” he replied disinterestedly, as we sat in the traffic jam outside Hollands Pies Factory in Baxenden. In the 20 minutes it took us to drive through Baxenden, I continued to regale WBro Dredge with little anecdotes about Hollands Pies in my ongoing attempt to educate him (a Southerner) about such Northern delicacies.
Our journey had started in Oldham at 3.30 pm – plenty of time, or so we thought, for the hours drive to Clitheroe to attend Priory Mark 693 Lodges Banner Dedication (a ceremony I was quite looking forward to having never seen one before in all my 21 years of Freemasonry). Oh how wrong we were ! An accident on the northbound A56 at Haslingden resulting in its closure caused a tailback on the M66 which added another 2 hours to our journey. We weren’t the only ones of the Provincial Deputation stuck in the jam – several never made it, including the RWPGM who was stuck in traffic for 4 hours and eventually had to give up and return home.
Fortunately Priory were aware of our collective predicament and wisely put the meeting back half an hour to 7pm by which time the majority of the Deputation had managed to arrive. We finally paraded into the Lodge 10 minutes later accompanying our two APGMs WBro Gerald Noel Howard Young and VWBro David Hedley Thompson. In the absence of the PGM, WBro Gerry Young APGM accepted the Gavel and took the Chair of the Lodge and proceeded to introduce the 22 strong Provincial Deputation.
He then went on to the main business of the evening, the Dedication of the Lodges new banner which had kindly been donated by WBro Cyril Kennerley PAGDC. Those of us who know Cyril will know that he’s had a torrid time with his health over the last couple of years having been in and out of hospital where he still is, so, unfortunately, couldn’t be with us tonight. WBro Young asked the Lodge Secretary to pass on thanks to WBro Kennerley for his kind donation together with the best wishes of the Province. Moving swiftly on to the main business of the evening, the APGM then requested the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies WBro Mike Porter to form a Banner Escort.
Taking Cyrils place as Donor in the Banner Escort was WBro John Whitney PGJD who was joined by WBro John Rimmer PPGJW as Banner Bearer, supported by the Lodge Deacons and the rest of the Provincial DC Team. They all subsequently paraded into the Lodge where WBro Young proceeded confidently with the Banner Dedication Ceremony.
Following the Ceremony, the WM of the Lodge WBro Ronald Howell PPGSO was reinstated into the Chair of King Solomon and thanked the APGM WBro Gerry Young for attending with the Provincial Team, who shortly thereafter all retired in recession from the Lodge to rousing applause from the Lodge Members and their Visitors.
The evening concluded across the road at the Swan & Royal with a superb meal attended by 57 Brethren who all agreed they had (eventually !) had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Finally, thanks must go to WBro John Rimmer the Lodge Secretary for organising the whole evening in Clitheroe having moved the meeting from the Lodges usual home in Whalley to accommodate not only Lodge Visitors but the large Provincial Team attending. Thank you also WBro Eric Bond for the pics !
Hollands Pies has been going since 1851 you know….
Words: WBro Garry Errock PGStB ProvAGSec
On Friday 7th December at Bury Masonic Hall the Annual Xmas Dinner and Brass Band Evening took place.
44 Brethren and their partners were in attendance.
Dinner was served by caterers Fine Dine who did us all proud in serving a superb 4 course meal.
Afterwards, the Tottington Public Band played Christmas Carols and we all had a great sing-along.
The usual raffle followed and to end the proceedings, we had a storyteller who regaled us with 3 different stories.
Janet and I would just like to thank all who attended this event.
Words & pics by WBro T.Stewart Mills PProvGSO
On Sunday December 2nd at the Printers Arms in Denshaw , Saddleworth the 4 Mark and RAM Lodges based in Mossley (Rose of York 1010 and Mossley 1381) once again joined forces to hold their annual Sunday Social.
A total of 28 Brethren with their Ladies and friends braved the foul weather to enjoy a couple of hours together.
Following a brief warm welcome from organiser WBro Garry Errock, everyone tucked in to enjoy a sumptious 3 course lunch and much banter ensued.
The remaining half dozen squares on a Double Chance Draw Card were sold with the lucky winner of the £20 initial prize being WBro Les Morgan of Mossley RAM 1381. This was followed by the usual raffle and in total the grand sum of £150 was raised for the 2021 Festival.
Everyone agreed it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and we are all already looking forward to next years event – booked for 1st December 2019 !
Words & pics by TSM
Last night at Middleton Masonic Hall saw the 3 Mark Lodges based there holding a joint Open Evening.
In attendance was the PGM RWBro Alexander Sillars McLaren together with his Deputy VWBro John Hartley Smith and Assistant WBro Gerald Noel Howard Young. They were accompanied by a large Deputation of the Acting Provincial Officers of the year.
They all welcomed the 19 Craft Members who had been invited who were given an excellent presentation on the Mark Degree by the Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro David Rainford.
This was followed by a superb 3 course buffet at which a total of 71 dined. A raffle was held and “thank yous” were given for all the hard work put in by the 3 Lodges particularly the main host Lodge, Friendship 1459.
Let’s hope enough was done to convince some of the 19 Craft Masons to join this great Degree !
Words & pics by WBro T.Stewart Mills PProvGSO
Latest winners of the £20 prize are WBros:
Ron Wadeson – Turton RAM 1300
John Welsby – F.W.Broadbent RAM 1132
Colin Bodimeade = Manchester Keystone 745
Peter Faulkner – Friendship 1459
Eddie Barton – Union 171
Bernard Percy – Fabric 939
Tony Cleworth – Temperance 56
Congratulations to all and good luck to all other entrants in the main draw next May !
Double Chance Draw Cards available from your Fellowship Representative.
After fourteen years of excellent service, Dennis Scowcroft has decided to retire from the Canon’s Close Managements Committee as Site Manager. It was impossible to persuade, blackmail or tempt him in any way to continue.
Dennis will be a big loss to the Committee since he brought such knowledge and expertise to the job. Organising and planning the work and ensuring costs were always scrutinised to give us the most competitive price for a quality job.
Both the Committee and the ELMBF are grateful for all his efforts on their behalf.
We wish him a long and happy, well earned retirement.
I have asked John Welsby if he will take over the responsibility. He will have a hard act to follow but coming from a similar background to Dennis, with a good knowledge of all the trades and with an initial helping hand from Dennis, I am sure we will survive.