25 visiting brethren attend 300th meeting of Prodesse Lodge No. 8678
The visiting brethren included Tony Bent, Stanley Oldfield, Wigan Group chairman Malcolm Taylor, Geoffrey Porter, Stanley Brown and Stewart Blagg. All were present to witness the initiation of a fourth generation mason.
Also present was Jack Lyon, the first candidate to be initiated after Prodesse Lodge was consecrated in 1975.
The worshipful master Brian Rollins opened the lodge and after the minutes were confirmed the two remaining founders - Alan Davies and Eric Draper were proposed for honorary membership.
Brian then asked the lodge secretary Jim Miller if he would assist him and occupy the WM’s the chair in order to carry out the main business of the meeting which was to initiate Jim’s son James.
Jim carried out the initiation ceremony in an excellent and sincere manner, it was clear to all that Jim took great pride in initiating his son into Freemasonry.
At the festive board when proposing the toast to his son, Jim said that the candidates great grandfather and great great grandfather had been members of Sincerity Lodge No. 3677.
Sincerity Lodge is unique in several ways, it celebrated its centenary earlier this year but has worked continuously since 1786. Formerly the Lodge of Sincerity No. 486, it joined the Liverpool and Wigan masonic rebellion. The Liverpool rebellion effectively started in March 1823 when United Grand Lodge (after much correspondence) expelled 26 brethren from several lodges, including some brethren from the Lodge of Sincerity, stating that they had been found guilty of various acts of insubordination against the authority of the Grand Lodge.
The inaugural and the second meeting of the rebel Grand Lodge took place in Liverpool, their next meeting was held in Wigan on 1 March 1824. Lodge of Sincerity was amongst the lodges in Lancashire which revived the Antients Grand Lodge which became eventually the Grand Lodge in Wigan, with the Lodge of Sincerity at its head as Lodge No. 1.
James Miller was to witness the end of the Grand Lodge of Wigan, as the last surviving lodge being isolated and alone, and, as a relic of the Antients of the eighteenth century, it was not recognised by other local masonic lodges. Col JD Murray from Provincial Grand Lodge was approached to facilitate Lodge of Sincerity’s transition back into the fold of United Grand Lodge in 1913. After acceptance, the number of the lodge was changed from No. 486 to No. 3677 and James's great grandfather (who was originally initiated in 1908) was along with all the brethren of the lodge re-initiated, passed and raised to the degree of master mason.