Fallowfield Lodge No. 3693 celebrates its centenary meeting

The centenary meeting of the lodge was held in the Westbourne Suite at Urmston Masonic Hall and was very well attended. The Worshipful Master Andrew Davies requested the secretary, Ron Spragg to read out the special dispensation before opening the lodge.

The lodge members and visitors alike were then most pleased to receive an expected knock on the door from the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp announcing that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones was without and demanded admission.

The lodge room rose and were pleased to receive Howard accompanied by John Hutton (AsstProvGM) Mike Adams (group chairman) and grand officers Chris McNab and David Durling, along with his provincial team entered the temple in a magnificent, colourful procession

Keith introduced Howard to Andrew and acceded to Andrew’s request to accept the gavel of the lodge and he took his place in the chair of King Solomon.

Howard commenced his introduction and remarked on certain centennial dates which liaised with the same year as the Fallowfield Lodge's inception. The comparisons were that on the same evening as Fallowfield had been consecrated there was a famous boxing match taking place in Paris, France, between the two American boxers Jim Johnson and Jack Johnson. Similarly in that same year, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe made a debut, and composer Benjamin Brittan was born.

Howard opened Provincial Grand Lodge and called upon the acting Provincial Grand Chaplain Godfrey Hurst to give an oration to the lodge. Godfrey started his oration by a reference to the game of poolsticks, where in the era of the lodge commencing its era, where youngsters, from a bridge over a river, would throw sticks into the water and see whose stick would reach a designated point first would be the winner. In the era of a lodge, the sticks would represent people and the flowing water represents change, and so his oration flowed with many references and very interesting analogies. Godfrey then related his oration to the lodge banner and gave a very interesting interpretation of the lodge's Latin motto ‘Quadrage Simus Septimus’ and its ordinal numeric reference.

On completion of Godfrey’s presentation, Howard thanked him for a very interesting and thought provoking oration. Howard called the brethren to the attention of Godfrey for a prayer of re-dedication after which, Howard closed Provincial Grand Lodge and handed the gavel back over to Andrew Davies.

Having resumed his position, Andrew asked the secretary Ron Spragg to read out the minutes of the consecration meeting as recorded on the lodge's minute book. It started ‘at past 4 o'clock’ continued by an interesting dialogue including tools presented in the three degrees by Bro Wilmslow and a presentation of 10 guineas towards the lodge charity account. The lodge closed at 6.20pm.

On completion of the ceremony, Andrew rose to thank Howard along with the Provincial team for making the evening such a special occasion, and handed over a number of envelopes containing charitable donations. Howard was absolutely delighted to receive the donations made out in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. One was for £1,500, one for £1,000 and the third donation was made out in favour of the Urmston Masonic Hall fund for £1,193 - a total of £3,693, that being the number of the lodge.

Howard thanked the lodge on behalf of all those who, through the charity, would eventually benefit by such kind generosity and was equally pleased to see the same generosity towards the Urmston Masonic Hall fund.

ProvGDC Keith Kemp then commandeered the proceedings with excellent precision and the provincial team exited in the same inimitable, magnificent colourful procession.

The lodge having closed, the celebrations were continued at the festive board and there was an exceptional event of joviality and concord.

David Durling produced a centenary table card which had interesting points of information relating to Fallowfield's consecration year. Just a selection of those, some of which we take for granted today were as follows: potato crisps were produced commercially for the first time, stainless steel was invented in Sheffield, the first Chelsea Flower Show was held in London. The UK had a Liberal government, the suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of King George V horse at the Derby race and to compare against current day communications, news reached London of the failure of Captain Scott’s 1912 polar expedition.

Howard in his response to the toast to his health congratulated the lodge and commented in saying ‘well done to the founders and well done to the members’. He then offered his own toast to the lodge.

The memorable occasion may have ended, but the history encompassing the lodge founders, clearly making an impression on the minds of the proud lodge members for them to recall in their own Masonic years ahead.

In readiness for the meeting, the lodge produced a centenary booklet containing lodge information and historical notes. The booklet written and assembled by Sylvester During with the researched assistance by members David Emmett, Dalphon Lusack, Cliff Bevan, Sahr Kondeh and Andrew Wallace who all spent hours trawling through the numerous minute books to build the story about the lodge’s existence, produced an excellent conjoined effort which is available to view by clicking here.

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