Celebrating 300 years

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

10 June 2015
Report of the Board of General Purposes

The minutes of the meetings of the Quarterly Communication of 11 March 2015 and of the Annual Investiture of 29 April 2015 were confirmed.

Annual Dues 2016 

A resolution was approved that a Board recommendation that the annual dues (including VAT) payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every Lodge for the year 2016 shall be:

Dues 2015

Fees 2016

A resolution was approved that the Board recommendation that the fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation to:

Fees 2015

Contribution to Grand Charity

A resolution was approved that the Council of the Grand Charity’s request that for 2016 the annual contribution remain at £17 in respect of each member of a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached, was approved. 

Prestonian Lectures

2014: 1814: Consolidation and Change

The Lecturer, Dr M.A. Kearsley, had informed the Board that in addition to the three official deliveries to The London Grand Rank Association; Egerton Worsley Lodge No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire); and Temple of Athene Lodge No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex), the Lecture was also delivered on 46 other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Kearsley for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection. 

2015: Wherever dispersed – the Travelling Mason

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2015 is Prof R. Burt. Five official Prestonian Lectures for 2015 have been or will be given under the auspices of: Royal Standard Lodge No. 398 (Montreal and Halifax); Shepherd's Bush Lodge No. 1828 (London); Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No. 4538; (Warwickshire) Torbay Masters Lodge No. 8227 (Devonshire) and Worthing Lodge of Installed Masters No. 9860 (Sussex).

2016: The Board has submitted a nomination to the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund and they have appointed Dr R.A. Berman as Prestonian Lecturer for 2016. Dr Berman states that the title of his Lecture will be: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England.

Arrangements for the delivery of the Lectures to selected Lodges will be considered by the Board in November and applications are now invited from lodges. Applications should be made to the Grand Secretary, through Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Secretaries.

The Board desires to emphasise the importance of these, the only Lectures held under the authority of the Grand Lodge. It is, therefore, hoped that applications for the privilege of having one of these official Lectures will be made only by lodges which are prepared to afford facilities for all Freemasons in their area, as well as their own members, to participate and thus ensure an attendance worthy of the occasion.

Amalgamation

The Board had received a report that King Oswald Lodge No. 3306 had resolved to surrender its Warrant in order to amalgamate with Bank Terrace Lodge No. 462 (East Lancashire). A resolution that the Board recommendation that the Lodge be removed from the register in order to effect the amalgamation was approved.

Erasure of lodges

The Board had received a report that thirty-five Lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The Lodges are: Lodge of Sincerity No. 292 (West Lancashire); Architect Lodge No. 1375 (West Lancashire); Marlborough Lodge No. 1620 (West Lancashire); Beckenham Lodge No. 2047 (London); Mitcham Lodge No. 2384 (Surrey); Randle Holme Lodge No. 3261 (Cheshire); Murdoch Lodge No. 3480 (Warwickshire); Lodge of Amity No. 3845 (Warwickshire); Milton Lodge No. 3849 (Yorkshire, West Riding); Gordovic Lodge No. 4061 (Cheshire); Garrick Lodge No. 4246 (Cheshire); Hanwell Lodge No. 4676 (London); Tadorne Lodge No. 4735 (Surrey); Linacre Lodge No. 4823 (West Lancashire); Lombardian Lodge No. 4887 (West Lancashire); Caxton Lodge No. 5093 (Warwickshire); Wansbeck Lodge No. 5171 (Northumberland); St Cuthbert Lodge No. 5294 (Cumberland and Westmorland); West Twyford Coronation Lodge No. 5674 (London); Grey Friars Lodge No. 6080 (Warwickshire); Optima Lodge No. 6101 (West Lancashire); Abbey Lodge No. 6425 (Cumberland and Westmorland); Chedelintone Lodge No. 6508 (Oxfordshire); Maghull Lodge No. 7190 (West Lancashire); Bromley Lodge of Good Fellowship No. 7242 (West Kent); The Forester Lodge No. 7503 (Worcestershire); Cherrywood Lodge No. 7530 (Surrey); Lodge of Orleans No. 7955 (Middlesex); Arthur Hollins Lodge No. 8785 (Middlesex); Ernehale Lodge No. 8806 (Nottinghamshire); Tenwarden Lodge No. 8858 (East Kent); Sure and Steadfast Lodge No. 9326 (West Lancashire); Chypping Walden Lodge No. 9617 (Essex); St George and St Andrew Lodge No. 9677 (Cumberland and Westmorland) and Lodge of Renaissance No. 9724 (Warwickshire)

A resolution that the Board recommendation that they be erased was approved.

Grand Lodge Accounts for 2014

The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge  for  the year ended 31 December 2014 were approved.

Election of Grand Lodge Auditors

The re-election of Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, as Auditors of Grand Lodge was approved.

The Freemasonsʼ Fund for Surgical Research

A talk was given by J.A.H. West, Chairman of the Trustees of the Fund.

Expulsions from the Craft

Fifteen brethren were expelled from the Craft.

List of new lodges for which Warrants have been granted

11 March 2015

9906 Musket Pike and Drum Lodge, Staffordshire
9907 Universities Lodge of Staffordshire, Staffordshire
9908 Albert Edward Court Lodge of Research, South Wales
9909 Newent Daffodil Lodge, Gloucestershire
9910 Spirit of Rugby Lodge, Durham

30 April 2015

9911 Lodge of Uniformed Services, Cumberland and Westmorland
9912 Bundle of Sticks Lodge , Sussex
9913 Nigeria Centenary Lodge, Nigeria

Quarterly Communication

A Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge is held on the second Wednesday in March, June, September and December. The next will be at noon on Wednesday, 9 September 2015. Subsequent Communications will be held on 9 December 2015, 9 March 2016, 8 June 2016 and 14 September 2016. 

The Annual Investiture of Grand Officers takes place on the last Wednesday in April (the next is on 27 April 2016), and admission is by ticket only. A few tickets are allocated by ballot after provision has been made for those automatically entitled to attend. Full details will be given in the Paper of Business for December Grand Lodge.

Supreme Grand Chapter

Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held on the second Wednesday in November and the day following the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge. Future Convocations will be held on 11 November 2015, 28 April 2016 and 9 November 2016.

Published in UGLE

The Ormskirk Masonic Hall was filled to capacity to celebrate the 75th anniversary in Freemasonry of Ernest Richard McKay (Richie) who has reached the wonderful age of 103 years and is the oldest mason in the Province of West Lancashire

Maghull Lodge No. 7190 welcomed 67 members and guests to this auspicious occasion. The regular meeting was opened by WM Peter Yearsley with a very warm welcome to all attending. After the usual lodge business was completed, Malcolm Bell, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, entered and informed the brethren that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning was without and demanded admission.

Philip then entered in a colourful procession led by Malcolm. Philip was accompanied by Frank Umbers Ormskirk and District Group Chairman, Grand Officers Roy Worthington and Jim Charnock, along with other Provincial and acting Provincial Grand Officers.

Having accepted the gavel Philip asked Malcolm to place Richie before him. It was with great enthusiasm that Philip said how much he had been looking forward to the evening and having the privilege of celebrating with, and telling, Richie’s story.

Richie was born on 6 November 1910 in the military town of Aldershot, where the family lived in the barracks. His father was in the army and served in the South African war where he was promoted to the rank of captain in the Royal Field Artillery. Philip said that looking back to the beginning of this decade, George V became King of England, and other famous people born in the same year included Jacques Cousteau, Mother Teresa and David Niven.

On the outbreak of the first world war Philip said Richie’s family moved to Hillsborough in Sheffield and then a further move to Aintree when his father was posted to the Royal Army Ordinance Corps in Bootle.

It was here that Richie experienced every boy’s dream of riding in a first world war tank. Richie attended Longmoor Lane Secondary school.

On leaving school Richie gained employment at a colliery and shipping agents, on the magnificent wage of five shillings a week, until the business closed following the general strike. By this time Richie had joined the territorial army and decided as a job to join the regular Army.

Having joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders he found himself in Jordan, a short time later at the start of the second world war he was posted to Alexandria with the rank of warrant officer II. Richie also saw action in Tobruk which was under siege by Rommel, before returning to Cairo. Whilst there, Richie having joined Freemasonry in 1939 spent time visiting many lodges.

Philip continued saying that on receiving a commission to lieutenant, Richie was posted back to England. In 1943 he was promoted to captain in the royal army service corp. In 1944 together with his company Richie arrived in Normandy just after the D-Day landings where in the port of Dieppe he and his men assisted in the unloading of supplies for the front.

In 1945 Richie returned to the UK and on the 9 May married Betty Nuttall who was the daughter of one of the founders of Maghull Lodge. Betty and Richie were blessed with two daughters, Allison and Lindsay.

After the war Richie remained with the NAAFI working from the head office in York as the head of supplies for the north.

In 1958 Richie started his own business the Lancashire Embroidery Company with a factory in Kirkby and a work force of 30, being a major supplier of embroidery work to all the armed forces. Richie’s daughters both joined the business and retired in their 60s. Richie continued working and only retired at the age of 97 when the firm was sold!

Richie enjoyed many caravanning holidays with Betty, particularly in the south of France. Sadly Betty passed away just a few years ago but he said that he is still well looked after by his daughters.

Richie enjoys a very active life which includes walking and his greatest love playing golf. He is a member of Ormskirk Golf Club which he has enjoyed for 58 years and has the honour of a challenge cup named after him. Philip said that Richie described his life in these terms: 'If I am not working, I am playing golf'. On his 100 birthday not only did he receive a telegram from the Queen, he also received letters from two of the greatest golfers of all time, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (who incidentally is a mason).

Richie was initiated on 12 March 1939 into Lodge of the Holy City – Jerusalem No. 1372, Scottish Constitution, and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on 19 October. He was also exalted into United Services Royal Arch Chapter No. 631 on 15 October 1942 Cairo, being made a life member in 1946.

Richie attended the consecration meeting of Maghull Lodge No. 7190 at the Adelphi Hotel on 25 November 1952, as a guest of his father-in-law and a month later Richie was proposed and admitted as the first joining member of the lodge.

In 1965 Richie became WM and during his year in office he performed multiple ceremonies. At this time the meeting room closed down and the members made the decision to move to the Ormskirk Group. Richie said that it was the best move they ever made. Whilst working Richie had the honour of designing and presenting a magnificent 50 year anniversary banner to the lodge.

Being a frequent visitor to Lathom Abbey Lodge No. 6286 Richie joined on 1 April 1979 and has been a loyal and regular attendee ever since. Richie was promoted in 1989 to PPrGSupWks in recognition of 50 years in Freemasonry. On the 19 October 1999 Richie received further promotion to the rank of PPrJGW. Richie also holds high ranks in other masonic orders and Philip read out a letter of congratulations from Peter Connolly a PrGM in one of those Orders as Ritchie has been a member for 74 years in that Order.

During the evening Philip read out several letters of congratulations including one from the present WM of the Lodge of the Holy City – Jerusalem, also one from Steven Reid, Philip Gardner and Peter Hosker the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of West Lancashire.

Philip then asked Frank to read out the celebration certificate before he formally presented it to Richie. Philip concluded by saying that he hopes to be in office long enough to see Richie celebrate his 80th anniversary.

At the exceptional age of 103 years Richie stands proud in a lodge that can only admire his fortitude and longevity. He retains a remarkable recollection for ritual, often playing a very active role in the proceedings.

Richie has met every challenge presented to him and remains very committed to Freemasonry. Every mason in the Ormskirk Group wish Richie the very best for his continued masonic career and hope he has many more years of active service in the Craft.

Further celebrations continued at the festive board when Richie had the opportunity of warmly thanking everyone for their support and good wishes. He was then presented with a bottle of his favourite tipple and a 75 year lapel pin from the members of Maghull Lodge. This presentation concluded a most memorable and emotional evening.

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