Volunteers with St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, took time out recently to say thank you to the Masons for the donation of a new ambulance which will be based at the charity’s Denton unit.

Masons Barry Heal, David Rainford and Alex McLaren hand the keys to David Styles, District Manager and SJA volunteers.

The new ambulance is one of over 50 vehicles which are being handed over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in a phased programme from October 2017 and throughout 2018.

The vehicles have been secured thanks to a capital grant by the Mark Master Masons through their Mark Benevolent Fund to the Order of St John with the specific aim of providing new ambulances, treatment centres and support vehicles to St John Ambulance, the Order’s operational arm in England and the Islands.

The Denton vehicle will be put to use at events in the county as volunteers deliver life saving first aid to members of the public.

Alex McLaren, Provincial Grand Master at the Mark Master Masons in East Lancashire, said: ‘We’re delighted to be able to support St John Ambulance and the life saving work that they do.’

Darren Clark, Chair of the Greater Manchester County Priory Group, said: ‘The donation of this vehicle is wonderful news for the county and will significantly help enhance patient care and contribute to more lives saved locally. We’re immensely grateful to the Mark Master Masons in the East Lancashire Province and to the Mark Benevolent Fund for their generosity and we look forward to seeing the positive use made by local St John Ambulance volunteers of the vehicle in the future as they continue the charity’s life saving mission.’


Rugby ends in a tie !

WM RWBro Bob Clancey (PGM North & East Yorks) spotted at the recent meeting of Rugby Football Lodge No.1965, proudly sporting his East Lancashire tie !

RWBro Alex McLaren, PGM East Lancs, Worshipful Master RWBro Bob Clancey, PGM North & East Yorks, VWBro Stehen Holt PGMO

Not that anyone noticed of course…

St John Ambulance Handover

The Mark Benevolent Fund are Supporting ST Johns Ambulance and in partnership with the charity have pledged £3,023,700 for a two year programme to provide up to 52 replacement state of the art ambulances and support vehicles. The first of these Ambulances was to be donated to East Lancashire, and on the 17th July, the PGM, RW Bro Alex Mclaren and his wife, Leslie, attended the Presentation and Dedication of the vehicle in London.

The vehicle had to be fitted out with all the lockers and equipment before it could be used and on the 4th April the PGM formally handed the keys to David Styles of the St John Ambulance.

The Provincial Grand Master hands over the keys to David Styles

The Ceremony took place at the Northern Headquarters, St John House, Stockport, more “St John Ambulance Handover”

Goulburn 680 – is this a first ??

Wednesday 28th March saw a Provincial Team arriving in the bowels of the Old Bill restaurant in Oldham to support RWBro Alexander Sillars McLaren, Provincial Grand Master in his visit to Goulburn Mark 680.

WBro Andy Hickson ProvGStwd, WBro Steve Lawlor ProvAGDC, WBro Garry Errock ProvAGSec and RWBro Alex McLaren PGM

Lodge meetings here start with drinks in the basement bar followed by a trek upstairs to the first floor Lodge Room (complete with Glitter Ball for the post Lodge disco !). more “Goulburn 680 – is this a first ??”

Rock Night raises £815 for ELMBF !

Saturday 24th March was the rearranged date for the appearance of the Idol Frets Rock Band at Littleborough Cricket Club.

Some 80 people packed the Club for the concert arranged by George Scaife our Provincial Grand Charity Steward, to raise funds for the East Lancs Mark Benevolent Fund. Respected local rock band the Idol Frets played a sizzling set of rock covers during a fantastic evening of classic tunes.

A curry supper was also provided to keep the customers satisfied and a raffle was held to help relieve pockets, purses and wallets.

Provincial Grand Charity Steward George Scaife AGDC announces the total raised !

George’s efforts managed to raise an amazing total of £815 for the evening !

Rock on Bro !

Pics courtesy of TSM


Brethren of the Royal Ark Mariners Lodges based at Westholme, Rose of York 1010 and Mossley 1381 this morning announced their plans to build a life-sized replica of Noahs Ark in the car park at Mossley Masonic Hall. Sponsors are needed to raise funds for the East Lancs Mark 2021 MBF Festival.

The idea is the brainchild of the latest member of Mossley RAM, Bro Olof Pirla who has just relocated to Mossley from Greece. Bro Pirla has 20 years experience working in the wooden shipbuilding boatyards at Piraeus in Greece and has offered to put his expertise to good use!

“I have 20 years experience working in the wooden shipbuilding boatyards at Piraeus in Greece” explained Armenian born Bro Pirla “before that, I was goatherd in mountains of Armenia” he added, “while tending my goats, I had dream of building Ark as tribute to Armenia’s greatest man, Noah. People there say I crazy man, so I move to Greece. In Greece, I tell my colleagues in Piraeus of my dream. They too say I crazy man, so I move to Mossley. Now I feel right at home”

“When I come to Westholme, I see all trees around and think – our building materials! I see large car park, I think – our boatyard!”

Plans were formulated following a recent meeting of the Royal Ark Mariners of 1010 and 1381 and after several bottles of the obligatory rum, all agreed it was a great idea.

Second in command on the build will be aptly named Mariner, WBro Rowe who also has some experience in this area. “I built a model yacht in 5th form woodwork class years ago” he said “unfortunately it sank on it’s maiden voyage at Salford Docks, but I think I know where I went wrong” he went on to explain.

Construction will start during the summer recess and it is hoped the Ark will be complete within 12 months. Disruption will be kept to a minimum (the Ark will be large enough to accommodate cars in the meantime).

Sponsorship forms will be distributed shortly and sponsors will be asked to donate per square cubit completed or by a simple fixed sum. All Sponsors will be guaranteed a place in the Ark for themselves and their partners in the event of the next flood of biblical proportions.

Mossley Ark Build Sponsor Form

Rugby Football Lodge of MMMs 1965 – Dedication of the Lodge Banner.

Kick Off 6.30.

What a night ! RWBro Bob Clancey PGM of N East Yorkshire and WM of the Rugby Lodge got proceedings underway. With around 80 Mark Masons present, the night was bound to be informative, entertaining and very different from a normal Lodge meeting.

The PGM of East Lancs RWBro Alexander Sillars McLaren and a Deputation of Provincial Officers, which included the Deputy and both Assistants, were in attendance. The PGM was offered the Gavel and on this occasion took the Chair of Adoniram.

The new Lodge banner had been donated by WBro Peter Brookes-Tee and he was honoured by being in the Delegation presenting the banner to the Lodge and the PGM.

The banner was duly dedicated and revealed to the Brethren. During the dedication, WBro Peter Hargreaves the Provincial Deputy Grand Chaplain provided us with an excellent oration explaining the meaning of such banners, not just to Masons but to society in general.

The social board got off to a rousing start with the Lodge Banner wafting in the breeze in a corner of the room. The DC wielding his red and yellow cards with wild abandon, and blasting away on his whistle. There were early baths for WBro Gerry Young APGM for not having a drink in his hand at the appropriate moment. In a first for the Lodge, a new joining member WBro Steve Spooner PPGMO was red carded early doors after only just stepping onto the pitch as a new joining member.

The JW WBro Steven Graham, invited all the guests to return on a future occasion and he allegedly offered to pick up the bill. Yet again the poor JW (well he will be poor if he pays the meal bill for North and East Yorkshire) fell foul of the DC with the cat joke. A good night was had by all with excellent work in the Llodge and good old banter at the dining table. Proving once again Mark Masonry is the friendly degree !

WBro Mark Rowe ProvDepGSwdB