Audenshaw District Newsletter Spring 2013, Issue 41 The Golden Jubilee of Parnassus Lodge No 7869 On the 14th of February 2013, more than 50 Brethren assembled to witness Parnassus Lodge, celebrate their golden anniversary. WBro David Thompson read a brief history of the Lodge from its earliest days. Only one Founder still remains WBro Stanley Woollock, who was the Founding Junior Warden at the tender age of 98 he was reluctant to travel so was not in attendance. The name for the Lodge was suggested by Mrs Nora Lewis, the wife of their esteemed WBro Bob Lewis, to be Parnassus, this being the name of a mountain in Greece, and having connections with the Arts & Sciences. WBros Bob Lewis and Frank Barker bore this in mind with their first draft of the Lodge Crest. They incorporated the Lyre to represent Apollo, who was both the director of the choir and the leader of the nine Muses which are depicted by the nine bees.
At 3.30 pm precisely, on the 14th February 1963, 154 Brethren were assembled in the Derby Lodge Room at Bridge Street, to witness WBro Frederick Towns, PGD, DepPGM Consecrate Parnassus Lodge. However, it was during the summer recess of 1972, the Lodge Committee held an emergency meeting at Audenshaw Masonic Hall, to agreed that the Lodge moved from Smallmans to Audenshaw. It also meant changing the day of their meetings to the second Thursday in the month. The process of moving was put in motion and on Thursday, 13th September 1973 they held their first Lodge meeting by Dispensation, at the Audenshaw Masonic Hall. This Lodge has enjoyed many highlights during its history, but one in particular was enjoyed in 1997 when the Founding DC of the Lodge, WBro George W Holliss was promoted to the rank Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden at the half-yearly meeting in May. Despite his tender years of 93, he had accepted the Provincial Grand Masterâ€™s personal invitation to respond on behalf of all the newly appointed and promoted Brethren at the social board following the Provincial meeting. A privilege he thoroughly enjoyed and it proves you are never too old receive an honour in Freemasonry. Furthermore, two brethren have credited Parnassus Lodge with Grand rank, with many other members achieving various levels of Provincial appointments and promotions.
Promotion to PProvSGD for WBro Barry Platt following Golden Jubilee of Parnassus Lodge The Lodge meeting was attended by WBro Norman Cope PAGDC, APGM, who stood in for WBro Blank PDepGDC, APGM , who was away on other Masonic Business. The Worshipful Master offered the gavel to WBro Cope, who on this occasion accepted it, and took the Chair in order to invest WBro Barry Platt with a new rank of PProvSGD, a promotion conferred on him at the Golden Jubilee meeting in February. Unfortunately WBro Platt was unable to attend the meeting in February due to inclement weather at his home in Lincolnshire. WBro Cope congratulated Barry saying the Honour was well deserved. The business of the Lodge being completed, the brethren joined their partners and guests for the social board which, by popular demand, was once again a VERY successful Wine Tasting and Tapas Night enjoyed by all present. The evening went on to raise nearly ÂŁ300 for the Festival.
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Assistant Provincial Grand Master’s Page Masonic Hall Viability Study I am sure you are all aware that, as membership has fallen away after the post-war bulge, the number of Halls in our Province has stayed more or less the same. The Province has not been idle however; our position at Bridge Street has recently been secured (see Circular 115) and Bill Waite has been chairing a review process in Western Area that has resulted in a high degree of consensus about the future of Halls in that Area. The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master (RW ProvGM) has commissioned Viability Studies into Masonic Halls across our Province of East Lancashire. In the Southern Area of Audenshaw, Ashton and Mosley he has appointed Keith Beeston a former Senior Grand Warden of the Province to Chair the Viability Study. Keith is a Burnley Freemason and a retired solicitor.
Masonic Hall Viability has never been more Important RW ProvGM asks Keith to lead the study into the medium and long term viability of our three Masonic Halls. The Letter from the RW ProvGM goes on to say to Keith that “[There should be no] preconceived ideas of solutions and I must ask you to take on the challenge with an open mind and a willingness to consult extensively with the Brethren, through the involvement of their Hall Chairmen and Secretaries at every stage of your deliberation”.
How can you support your Masonic Hall? Keith has in turn appointed David Grimshaw of Ardwick Lodge 2185 to act as the Study’s Secretary on my recommendation.
I have already held a meeting to introduce Hall and Committee Chairmen to Keith and David who are now in the process of visiting each Hall in turn. I am sure that at some stage a more general meeting will take place but this will be arranged by your committee.
Viability of Halls will ensure we can delivery on the founding Principles of Freemasonry It goes without saying that Keith and the Study have my unqualified support and I am sure he will receive full and unstinted cooperation from all the Freemasons, whether Craft, Royal Arch or Other Orders, who meet in any of our Halls.
Sustainable, suitable and safe Halls Within our own Province and those close by we have already seen in recent years Masonic Halls close for many different reasons, most due to a build up of cumulative effects with many causes. I am sure we all want the future of our meeting places to be sustainable, suitable and safe. It is the hope of these Viability Studies to help achieve this for each and every Freemason in the Province.
WBro Stephen M Blank, PDepGDC
Festival 2015 March 2013 With another 9% of Audenshaw Freemasons becoming RMBI Festival Stewards or Patrons we currently stand at 72% of Audenshaw District are at least Festival Steward and have helped to raise over seventy seven thousand pounds. Thank you to all those involved.
£77,535.67 raised by Audenshaw Freemasons Pockets are only so deep! But to put in context the amount of money that is required to become a Stewards of the Festival, it is about the equivalent of the cost of a pint of beer a week. It is clear that we have many reasons to be grateful to those individual Masons who have already contributed on a personal basis to the Festival, we currently have raised through regular direct debts in Audenshaw District £7,519 with the current promised amount £17,194, we can significantly increase this with more Audenshaw Freemasons regularly donating to the Festival by direct debt.
With nearly three quarters of all Audenshaw Freemasons Stewards or Patron we can be proud, can you help to make it 100%
Total Raised in East Lancashire to date: £ 1,300,227.22
Total Raised by Audenshaw Freemasons to date: £ 77,535.67
A visit to British Lodge No VIII – A Red Apron Lodge Red Apron Lodge, Red Apron Lodge!, I hear you say to yourself what is a Red Apron Lodge? well they originally date back to the Freemasons Feast held every year on St John’s Day, which was initially based at the Goose and Gridiron but in 1721, when the first noble Grand Master John, the second Duke of Montagu was elected, the numbers attending meant that Grand Lodge met at Kings Arms Tavern and the Brethren afterwards marched in procession to the Stationers Hall in order to dine. The nineteen Red Apron Lodges where honoured as such in 1815 to distinguish them as having been selected to nominate a Grand Steward for a year. The first known Steward was a Bro Jessiah Villeneau who organised the feast with the assistance of some waiters. Before the union of the two Grand Lodges, in 1813, the number of Stewards appointed appeared to be twelve. They did not always represent a particular Lodge because, previously, the privilege passed between individuals rather than from the Lodge. However, under the new Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England, approved in 1815, a number of the regulations concerning Grand Stewards and Grand Stewards Lodge were framed in a manner which suggests from now on it would see the Lodge nominate a Grand Steward. These being the Lodges, which for the future, would be responsible for nominating a Grand Steward for the year, these nineteen Lodges would become know as Red Apron Lodges, and although the red apron regalia are identical to Provincial Grand Stewards regalia they are in fact quite separate. The 19 Red Apron Lodge of which British Lodge No. VIII is one of are actually normal private lodges but have the privilege of nominating each year a Grand Steward. For the year, a Grand Steward is a Grand Officer and at the end of the year he becomes a Past Grand Steward, but unlike any other Grand Rank, Grand Rank is not retained. However Past Grand Stewards have pride of place in Grand Lodge as they form the first rows of chairs in Grand Lodge. On Monday 17th December 2012 ten officers of Southern Area together took advantage of a rare opportunity to visit British Lodge No VIII by invitation of our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Stephen Blank, who is currently the Worshipful Master of British Lodge No VIII, which was constituted in January 1722. This certainly makes it one of the oldest Lodges in the English Constitution and it is also a ‘Red Apron Lodge’ having the privilege and honour of nominating one of its ranks to become a Grand Steward for the year, currently this honour is with WBro Stephen Blank. This was the Lodge’s final meeting before the Installation and, in addition to the regular business, the Summons indicated that Brother Robert Todd Sullivan was to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
Royal Arch 1813 Articles of Union
Celebrating 200 years of Supreme Grand Chapter The focus of our attention is now moving to the celebration of the Bicentenary of the Royal Arch in 2013; to mark the official recognition of the Royal Arch as “the completion of pure and antient freemasonry”, at the union of the two great English Grand Lodges in 1813, which created the United Grand Lodge of England. We therefore celebrate our official birthday, or to put it another way, the full emergence of the Royal Arch as we know it, 200 years ago. The Articles of Union – Recognises Royal Arch as the completion of pure and antient freemasonry
Illustration: The Articles of Union dated 25 November 1813 signed and with the seals of the two Grand Masters and their commissioners. The last three lines below the signatures and seals are the ratification and confirmation in Grand Lodge’ (namely of the Antients) dated 1 December 1813 and signed by ‘Edward’ Grand Master of the Antients. The large seal to the left centre of the document is also that of the Antients Grand Lodge. This document is preserved in the archives of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London. An identical document with the signature of the Duke of Sussex at its base and the large seal of the Moderns (or Premier) Grand Lodge of England is currently missing.
To fulfil a pre-determined requirement of the Articles of Union. As incredulous as it may sound, late at night after a long day’s ceremonies and lots of food and drink, the Modems retired to reassemble at Freemasons’ Hall and the Antients remained at the Crown and Anchor Tavern and they each opened their respective ‘Especial Grand Lodges’. Here the Articles of Union were ratified and also confirmed with a second signature of each Grand Master applying his Grand Lodge’s seal. The almost identical ceremonies took place in totally separate locations more or less simultaneously, when each Grand Master acted on behalf of his own Grand Lodge. The added text under which each of the Grand Masters signed, reads: ‘In Grand Lodge this first day of December A.D. 1813, Ratified and Confirmed, and the seal of the Grand Lodge affixed’.
The facsimile copy of the Articles of Union belonging to the Antients was subsequently selected for use as the ‘Master’ or official document of the Union and was accordingly handsomely bound in a decorated and embossed velvet cover. The copy was signed by the four signatories of the Antients (it is presumed the Moderns never bothered to sign this document or may never have been asked) and, until recently, it was carried into Grand Lodge at each Quarterly Communication in the special satchel still in use today and on display at the Museum of Freemasonry.
What was happening in England around 1813? What was happening in the England around the time of the official recognition of the Royal Arch as “the completion of pure and antient freemasonry”, well England had recently outlawed Slavery in 1807, We were at war with France (Napoleon) who had been defeated by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Wellington defeated the French forces at the Battle of Victoria in 1813 and only two years after the Union of the two Grand Lodges in England, Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The later 18th and early 19th Centuries were the hot house of the Enlightenment era and with new discoveries from people such as Sir Isaac Newton, Votaire, Jeremy Bentham things where changing fast in England the Industrial Revolution was fast approaching, the first railway journey had taken place in 1804 the first commercially successful steam locomotive started operating in 1812 followed by more in 1813. Starting complex and significant effects on British society.
Mentoring, Education & Development The Lodge/Chapter DC is, I am sure most of you will agree, one of the most demanding of Offices. The preparation, practices, finding replacements for the last minute illnesses or work commitments that prevents an officer from attending, delegating duties to others officers like the ADC or Past Masters. These are just a few of the usual activities of a DC, and it is because of this reason that the Education and Development Committee have focused specifically on trying to Develop DC’s through a series of workshops. The Audenshaw workshop for Directors of Ceremonies was held at Stanley House on 11th March 2013, DC’s, Assistant DC’s and those thinking of becoming future DC’s from the district attended. Under the guidance of WBro Glass and Ferguson, groups were established each going into separate lodge rooms where one session comprised of correct Salutations, Perambulations, etc., whilst the other session highlighted the DC’s responsibility ensuring that all Lodge Officers were aware of their respective roles. With such pressure on Freemasons in our modern life, we have to be ever mind full of the pressures our DC can be under, so ask yourself, do you care? Then ask how can I help my DC, what can I do to show that I care. With the development of Mentors in Freemasonry we hopefully have another Brother and Companion who will be able to support our DC’s and the wider Brethren and Companions.
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Masonic Humour A guide showing an old lady around the zoo took her to the cage occupied by a kangaroo. “And here, madam,” he said, “we have a native of Australia.” “Good heavens,” said the old lady, “and too think that my sister married one of them.” Best-seller in cannibal country: How to Serve Your Fellow Man A bookseller called his clerks into a huddle one morning and cautioned them. “I’ve ordered 300 copies of What an expectant Mother should know and I’m counting on you boys to create a demand for them.”
A publisher’s wife told Harry Smith: “It’s not true that I married a millionaire; I made him one.” “What was he before you married him?” “A multi-millionaire.”
Fellowship Diary 2013 27th March “Mad Moments of a Methodist Ministers Ministry” Rev. Derek Davidson 24th April “My 9 Lives” Janet Bradshaw 22nd May “Manchester Oddities” Keith Warrener 3rd July “Annual Trip “ Southport” 25th September “History of Bellevue” Peter Heaton 23rd October “My Egghead Experience” Betty Hayhurst 27th November “Christmas Crackers” Rev. Derek Davidson 11th December Christmas Lunch
The Fellowship is an organisation for Senior Citizens with connections at Stanley House. This includes wives, widows, close friends and those who have taken early retirement. The meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of the months shown above, at Stanley House, Audenshaw commencing at 2-00 pm.
Building a Sustainable Future for Freemasonry We only have a future if we plan for it. Are you playing your part in the plan? Don’t leave it to somebody else … care to care.
It is very clear that many Masons are talking about recruitment and motivated sufficiently to do something about it. Some Lodges are regularly initiating new members but many others are neither planning for recruitment nor know exactly where to start. Those Lodges who are successfully attracting new members are not doing anything special or clever: Recruitment is Not Rocket Science! According to a report produced by the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), commissioned by UGLE, 50% of people asked did not know what Freemasonry was all about, 49% wanted to know more, 25% of men would consider joining and 40% of men were under the misconception that “it’s not for people like them”, even though it is open to all men regardless of race, religion, colour, political views or socio-economic standing! There has been a decline in membership and competition for people’s shrinking leisure time and money has never been stronger. Freemasonry through lodges must become more innovative and flexible, placing greater emphasis on openness, communication, mentoring and care if we are to grow.
Working towards becoming well known and respected in the community is essential for success. We have known this for many years and have attempted to address it in various ways. As long ago as 1999 this Province introduced the "Changing Times" Initiative which introduced the concepts of Freemasons acting as 'Ambassadors' or Recruitment agents for the Craft and 'Mentoring' becoming a solution for Retention. Vital to success is every lodge looking at themselves, and creating ideas to form a plan, to help lodges every District has now appointed District Recruitment Officers and, at a Provincial level, the Provincial Grand Master has appointed one of his Assistant’s as the Craft Recruitment Tsar who will be responsible for implementation of the strategy from the top downwards. But the most effective strategies are those that also have a grass roots up approach as well.
Are you playing your part in the plan? Don’t leave it to somebody else…
Audenshaw District Diary 2013 Date
Lodge / Chapter
Monday 8th April 2013
Court Lodge No 8896
Tuesday 9th April 2013
Audenshaw Lodge No 4828
Second Degree Ceremony
Friday 12th April 2013
Charity Giving Night 2013, being held at Stanley House
District Charity Steward
Monday 15th April 2013
Provincial Education & Development Team
DC Development Workshop at Ashton Masonic Hall
Jim Stahler District Secretary
Tuesday 16th April 2013
Composite Lodge No 4574
Traditional History Lecture
Wednesday 17th April 2013
Concord Lodge No 757
Saturday 20th April 2013
Mossley Lodge No 6577
Mossley Band in concert for Gt. George at Westholme, Mossley. All proceeds in aid of RMBI 2015 Festival. Tickets £10 (inc. Potato Pie Supper) 7:30pm Start
Garry Errock on 0161 620 8945 or Dave Johnson on 01457 838 660
Friday 26th April 2013
Rose of Lancashire Lodge No
Traditional History Lecture
Wednesday 1st May 2013
Mossley Lodge No 6577 Mossley Masonic Hall
Visit by the RW Provincial Grand Master
Saturday 4th May 2013
Masters and Principals Dinner, being held at Stanley House
Jim Stahler District Secretary
Thursday 23d May 2013
Southern Area Ashton Masonic Hall
Lodge Mentors Meeting 6:30pm Includes hot drink and biscuits
Tony Davis District Mentor
Wednesday 12th June 2013
Southern Area arranged visit
John Pearson District Chairman
Monday 7th October 2013
Tonge Hall Chapter No. 8763
Visit by MEGS
Wednesday 16th October 2013
Supreme Grand Chapter
2013 Bi-centenary Appeal Celebration - London
Thursday 24th October 2013
Iron Road Lodge No. 4964
Hosted Meeting with the Provincial Grand Master
Thursday 21st November 2013
Provincial Grand Lodge
Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting, at King George’s Hall, Blackburn
Jim Stahler District Secretary
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