Thursday, 16 April 2015 01:00

PGM unveils 19th century tracing cloths

The members of Stretford with Trafford Lodge No.4379 were joined by many guest from around the Province, foremost of these was the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison who had been invited to attend the meeting of the lodge to officially unveil the three Masonic tracing cloths that were purchased in 1872, 1873 and 1889 by Architect Lodge No.1375 which met at Swinton Masonic Hall up until it surrendered its warrant in 2014.

The lodge was opened by John Harrop the worshipful master of Stretford with Trafford Lodge. John was a member of Architect Lodge and was WM of Architect Lodge on two occasions. After completing the normal lodge business, which included a ballot for a new member John opened the lodge in the third degree. As soon as the lodge had opened in the third degree The inner guard announced that the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp requested admission. Keith was admitted and announced that the PrGM stood outside the lodge and demanded admission. John said he would be delighted to receive him.

Tony entered the lodge accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Hutton, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp, six grand officers, Eccles Group Chairman, David Walmsley and four acting Provincial grand officers Ian Lynch PrSGD, Eric Lynch PrAGASuptof Wks, Tom Fredrickson PGStdB and Ken Wilson PrGStwd.

John welcomed Tony on behalf of the members of Stretford with Trafford Lodge and promptly offered him the gavel. Tony said he was delighted to be present at this unique occasion, but swiftly returned the gavel, saying: “I have no idea what John planned to do during the evening so it was better placed in his hands”.

After salutations were given to Tony John resumed labour in the first degree. Patrick Wilkinson gave an excellent explanation of the first degree working tools.

John then asked Tony to officially unveil the first degree cloth, which Tony said he was delighted to do. The electric motor then slowly revealed the restored cloth to the brethren as the cover was rolled up.

John then asked Robert Macmillan to give a short talk about the first degree tracing cloth. Robert said the story of the Architect Lodge floor cloth tracing boards began 139 years ago when the lodge was formed. The floor cloths each measure approximately 7ft x 4ft and the first degree painted floor cloth had been a personal purchase by Samuel Studd who presented the cloth to Architect Lodge in October 1872. Samual was installed as WM of the lodge in 1874. Robert continued his talk by saying: “A picture paints a 1,000 words and this is true of these tracing cloths” He then gave a brief explanation of the painting.

John thanked Robert for his talk and resumed work in the second degree.

The senior warden of Stretford with Trafford Lodge then gave an explanation of the second degree working tools.

John then asked Tony to officially unveil the second degree cloth, which Tony said he was delighted to do. The electric motor again slowly revealed the restored cloth to the brethren.

John then asked Robert Macmillan to give a short talk about the second degree tracing cloth. Robert started his talk on the second degree floor cloth by saying the cloth was purchased by the lodge in October 1889 for the sum of £9 10s. He said that this cloth was very different to most second degree tracing boards in that its major focus was the staircase leading to the middle chamber. He went on to further describe the detail in the rest of the painting.

John thanked Robert for his talk and resumed work in the third degree. The lodge secretary Mal Walters  gave an explanation of the third degree working tools.

John asked Tony to officially unveil the third degree cloth, which Tony said did and the cloth was revealed to the brethren.

John again asked Robert Macmillan to give a short talk about the third degree tracing cloth. Robert started his talk by saying the cloth was purchased by the lodge in October 1873 for the sum of £6 10s. He said: “This cloth was very dramatic as the artistic message seems to concentrate on what can only be described as the symbolic death and resurrection of man”. Robert continued with further revelations about the painting and concluded by saying that: “The artist is saying that death is not the en, it is just the beginning of a wondrous spiritual journey of discovery”.

John once again thanked Robert for his talk and then closed the lodge in the third and second degrees and resumed labour in the first degree. After the communications from Grand lodge were read, John Hutton gave greetings on behalf of the grand officers. John said he would like to thank all the brethren who had taken part in the meeting and all the lodges and brethren that had contributed to the fund to restore the three floor cloths to their former splendour. He said special thanks went to the members of Architect Lodge who had donated the cloths to Swinton Masonic Hall so that brethren and visitors to the hall could enjoy the beautiful paintings for many year to come.

After the meeting was closed the brethren adjourned to the dining room for a very enjoyable meal. After the meal John Hutton proposed the toast to the Provincial Grand Master. Tony replied to the toast by thanking the WM for the invitation to attend this special evening, for the hospitality and work he had witnessed in the lodge by all those brethren who took part. He thanked all the acting Provincial officers for their support. In conclusion Tony thanked the brethren for their donations to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity saying: “We are about to go into festival and although I do not have details for you now, I know that the WLFC needs your support as its donations will fall dramatically when we go into the festival, so I urge all lodges and chapters to give as much as they can to the WLFC”. He concluded by thanking the members of Architect Lodge who had so kindly donated the three floor cloths to Swinton Masonic Hall.

 

On a lovely early summer evening all roads led to the magnificent Liverpool Masonic Hall situated on Hope Street and nestling between the two cathedrals

The architectural splendour within the area is worth a visit in itself, but to have the opportunity to also enter the hall was an invitation not lightly spurned.

Inside the hall St John of Jerusalem Chapter No. 203 was holding its regular meeting in the majestic Egyptian Suite, the last of the current season, but with exceptional purpose.

The three principals opened the very well attended meeting and warmly welcomed all their visitors, including John Hutton, who is a Past Second Provincial Grand Principal, Sam Robinson the Liverpool Group Chairman and their fellow officers from Supreme Grand Chapter, Steve Walls, Dave Potts and Graham Bradshaw and thanked them for their attendance and support.

The first item for the evening was the exaltation of another candidate into the chapter, Andy Ward of Childwall Lodge No. 5235, following in the footsteps of his brother Jason who was exalted at the previous meeting. The ceremony was carried out in transcendent manner by first principal Graham Hamilton Taylor who was ably assisted by his fellow principals Geoffrey Cuthill and Ian McFall, under the watchful eye of the DC, Bill Bell, and as expected an absolutely consummate rendition of the complete mystical lecture by John Leisk. In years to come Andrew will look back and reflect on how fortunate he was to have undergone a ceremony of such high standards and fully appreciate the underlying work that had gone into it.

Following on from the ceremony John Hutton was invited to take the floor to make a rather special presentation to the chapter. To fully understand and appreciate the full extent of the presentation made by John the history of St John of Jerusalem Chapter No. 203 needs to be understood.

This chapter, the oldest now meeting at Liverpool Masonic Hall, formerly operated under sanction of an Athol (Antient Lodge) Warrant issued in 1792 numbered 276. The first recorded minutes for an exclusively Royal Arch meeting within this lodge date from 25 March 1796, when a Lodge of Emergency was called at Lewis’s, Richmond Street, Liverpool by the worshipful master for the purpose of the Royal Arch Masons members of this lodge to form themselves into a chapter.

After the union of the two Grand Lodges on 27 December 1813 and the subsequent re-numbering exercise in 1814 Lodge No. 276 became No. 348 and was known as Mariners Lodge No. 348 until the meeting of 19 September 1816 when it was unanimously agreed that the name of the Mariners Lodge thus be expunged and the Union Lodge was adopted in its stead.

Holy Royal Arch Masonry is regularly carried out by the lodge as it sees no need to change, after all it still holds its original warrant issued in 1792 entitling it to perform all masonic degrees. During the early 1820’s the lodge, at this time known as Ancient Union becomes embroiled in the ‘Liverpool Rebellion’, resulting in the expulsion of a number of brethren. Those lodge members remaining probably thought it expedient that if they wanted to carry on with their Royal Arch masonry and to help maintain concord with United Grand Lodge, reached the decision that a Royal Arch Charter should be applied for. Contact was made by the lodge with Supreme Grand Chapter resulting in the granting of a Charter to Ancient Union Lodge for the formation of a Holy Royal Arch Chapter to be known as St John’s of Jerusalem, which was subsequently issued on 11 November 1824. (The lodge and chapter both renumbered 245 in 1832 and again as 203 in 1863)

Sometime during the period when it operated Royal Arch masonry under the Athol warrant a set of sojourners jewels were in use. Those three original jewels being in the form of a crow, a pick and a shovel and bear the identification Lodge 276, therefore dating their first use between 1792 to 1814, but probably later than 1796.

With the fairly recent loss of one of the original jewels, the pick, John Hutton on hearing of this offered to make a replica to replace it, and thanks to his tremendous good will, he also made another complete replica set so that the two remaining original jewels can now be kept securely without the risk of damage or further loss.

Now, over 200 years after their first use John Hutton presented the chapter with a new set of Sojourners jewels replicating those originals. John accompanied the presentation with a lecture entitled ‘The Working Tools of a Royal Arch Mason’ which he had previously written and presented a number of years ago when he was first principal of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter of West Lancashire No. 8516. This was greeted with great applause.

On retiring to the adjoining banqueting suite the companions enjoyed an excellent festive board, the main meal being pan fried duck. The festive board was as interesting as the meeting and much enjoyed by all. The evening closed with the chapter presenting John with a bottle of vintage port, and a book about life in Egypt at the time of the Pharaoh's, a very apt gift considering the surroundings of the Egyptian dining room.

The three Principal’s thanked everyone for their attendance and looked forward to seeing them all again at the installation ceremony this coming October.

The members of Senatores Chapter of Installed First Principals No. 8966 had been looking forward to receiving members of the East Lancashire Demonstration Team who were delivering a demonstration entitled ‘The rise and fall of the twelve tribes of Israel’. Little did they know that the meeting would be the venue for the investiture of the Second Provincial Grand Principal and an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals

Following the appointment and investiture of John Hutton as the 91st Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of West Lancashire at a meeting of his mother lodge, Peter Elmore was asked to succeed him as the Second Provincial Grand Principal, with David Randerson being asked to take the position of Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals left vacant by Peter’s promotion.

The meeting date of Senatores Chapter made it the obvious meeting for the Provincial Scribe Ezra to request permission from the three principals of the chapter to host Provincial Grand Chapter in order to hold the investiture of two companions who are members of Senatores Chapter of Installed First Principals. 

After the chapter was opened Ian Higham the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies announced that the Grand Superintendent Peter Hosker, demanded admission.

The first principal Derek Parkinson said he and his fellow principals would be delighted to receive him. Ian then announced the arrival of the Grand Superintendent accompanied by the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra Peter Taylor, the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah Stephen Brereton along with 13 grand officers entered the chapter in a very colourful procession.

After Ian introduced Peter to Derek Peter accepted the sceptre from him and occupied the first principals chair.

Peter then appointed his officers and opened Provincial Grand Chapter. Peter then explained to all the companions the reason for the meeting, saying: 'John Hutton has recently retired as my Second Provincial Grand Principal and was recently been invested as one of my Craft Assistant Provincial Grand Masters.

'Since 2007 John Hutton has served the Royal Arch Province of West Lancashire. He has occupied these offices with much credit to himself and advantage to the Province. Indeed, he has enhanced these offices with his kind and generous demeanour and his enthusiasm and dedication for the Royal Arch. I publicly express my sincere thanks for all his good work. In his place, I have invited Comp Peter George Elmore to become my Second Provincial Grand Principal.'

Peter then addressed Peter Elmore, saying: 'You became a Freemason in 1978 when you were initiated into Kirkham Lodge No. 6615, becoming its WM in 1986. In 1992, you were appointed in Provincial Grand Lodge to the acting rank of ProvGStwd, and in 1996 you were promoted to PProvDepGSuptWks. In 2001 you were promoted to be an acting ProvDGDC, an office you held with distinction for three years until 2004. In 2004, you were promoted to PProvJGW. In Grand Lodge, you hold the rank of PAGDC, which you were appointed to in 2005.

'In 1986, you were exalted into the Blackpool Chapter of Fellowship No. 7692, becoming its first principal in 1992. You are a founder of Tithebarn Chapter No. 8446. You are a joining member of Provincial Grand Stewards' Chapter No. 8516 and a joining member of Vale Chapter No. 5256. You are also a joining member of this Chapter, Senatores Chapter of Installed First Principals, becoming its first principal in 2010.

'In 1999, you were appointed in Provincial Grand Chapter to the acting rank of ProvGStwd, and in 2003 you were promoted to PProvGSwdB. In 2004 you were promoted to be an acting ProvDGDC, an office you held with distinction for three years until 2007. In 2006, you were appointed as the vice chairman of the South Fylde Group. You were vice chairman for just one year because in 2007, and you were appointed by my predecessor as AtoPrGPs, with responsibility for the North and South Fylde Groups and the Blackpool Group.

'I re-appointed you in 2008. In Supreme Grand Chapter, you hold the Grand Rank of PGStdB, which you were appointed to in 2008. During your six and half years as a Royal Arch Assistant, you have contributed much to this wonderful Order, you have been a role model for others to follow and you have been a popular leader.

'You are well qualified and experienced to become my Second Provincial Grand Principal.'

Peter Elmore then confirmed he was willing to accept the office. Peter asked the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra to read the patent of appointment.

Peter Elmore recited the obligation, after which Peter Hosker invested Peter as his Second Provincial Grand Principal, to which the companions gave acclamation.

Peter’s Father died when he was only six years old, he attended the masonic school for boys in Bushy from 1955 to 1963. Leaving school he started work in the NHS where he worked for 37 years. When he retired he was the Deputy CEO for Corporate Affairs at Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is a Justice of the Peace, an office he has held for 13 years.

Peter married Rosie in 1970 and they have been happily married for 43 years. Rosie was a head teacher and enjoyed her teaching career until she was forced to retire 10 years early as she suffers from MS.

Peter hobbies and interests are varied and include: reading, gardening, cooking and entertaining and, of course, football. Peter is a Shrewsbury Football Club supporter and shareholder. He also goes to Manchester United as Rosie is an ardent supporter - she has even named her mobility scooter Fergie!

Peter says he is excited by the new appointment and looking forward to his time in office but he knows it will be challenging. Rosie said he has been floating in mid-air since he was asked if he would accept the office by Peter Hosker.

Peter then asked Ian if David Randerson was in attendance. Ian said he was and Peter asked him to place David before him, so that he could invest him.

Peter then addressed David: 'You became a Freemason in 1989, when you were initiated into Quadrant Lodge No. 8044, becoming its WM in 1998. You are a joining member of five other lodges. In 2002, you were appointed as an acting Provincial Steward, and in 2005, you were promoted by my predecessor to be acting Provincial Junior Grand Warden. In Grand Lodge you hold the rank of PAGDC.

'You were exalted into Quadrant Chapter No. 8044 in 1993, becoming its first principal in 2006. You are a joining member of this chapter, Senatores Chapter of Installed First Principals. You were appointed by my predecessor as vice chairman of the South Fylde Group in 2007, and then reappointed by me the following year. You were appointed by me as Group Chairman in 2009. You have therefore held Group Office for six and half years. Having been a group chairman myself for five years, I am well aware of the work and demands involved in this office. On the other hand, the experience of being a group chairman is extensive. I have enjoyed working with you, and your thoughtful and challenging approach to your work have made you an excellent group chairman.

'In Provincial Grand Chapter, in 2010, you were appointed to acting Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, and in 2012, you were promoted Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah.

'You are well qualified and experienced to become an AtoPrGPs but I must ask you in the Provincial Grand Chapter whether or not you are ready and willing to take on the duties and responsibilities of that office.' David confirmed he was willing to accept the office. Peter then invested him.

David went to Barnsley Grammar school. He then studied at Manchester University where he attained a first class honours and Master’s degrees in graphic design. Leaving University he started his own graphic design business with Manchester Business School as his first customer.

He has been married to his wife Anne for 30 years. Anne works in the family business as does Anne’s daughter Julie who is one of David’s two step children. The other is Stuart who works in a printing company based in Blackpool. They have four grandchildren and four great grandchildren which the both love to spend time with.

David enjoys caravanning and walking Bailey his black Labrador other hobbies include watching most sports although he no longer plays football he supports his home town club Barnsley and Bolton FC.

David says he is looking forward to his new role, but most of all he hopes he will have fun with the new companions he meets while doing it.

Peter then closed Provincial Grand Chapter and asked Derek if he would return to his chair and take the sceptre back. Ian formed the recession and the Grand Superintendent accompanied by his officers recessed from the chapter.

Derek carried out the rest of the chapter business which included a ballot for two joining members. He then asked John Cavanagh the East Lancashire Demonstration Team narrator to introduce the team and conduct the demonstration entitled ‘The rise and fall of the twelve tribes of Israel’.

The team then enthralled the companions with their demonstration which was delivered in a sincere but light hearted manner. Following the demonstration which lasted around 30 minutes Derek thanked the team for the skilful demonstration. He said he had learned a few things he had not known, as he was sure many other companions had as well. The temple was filled with acclamation as over 100 companions showed their thanks to the team for their wonderful demonstration.

The companions assembled in the main dining room in Cleveleys Masonic Hall for the festive board which was enjoyed by all.

Following the normal toasts after the meal Derek thanked the East Lancashire Demonstration Team again for their magnificent demonstration, saying that they undertook the work without payment and travelled to many Provinces each year to deliver demonstrations in both lodges and chapters. Derek concluded by presenting a cheque to John Cavanagh for £100. Derek also thanked the two AtoTGPs from West Lancashire - Norman Clarke and David Thornton who had travelled to Cleveleys to support the team.

In his response John thanked Derek and his co principals and companions for their hospitality and the donation, which would go towards the donations to charity made by Chapter of Friendship No 44 of which all the demonstration team are members of in East Lancashire.

John said the team had greatly enjoyed their visit to Cleveleys as it had been: 'A game of two halves, with the first half comprising the two investitures – at this point the score was two – nil to West Lancs' He continued 'the temple was full and was the largest audience the team have delivered their demonstration to and we hope they enjoyed it as we certainly did – you could say the companions got three for the price of one!'

John concluded by thanking all the companions for their kind comments and acclamation.

He said the team were giving another demonstration at Cleveleys Park Lodge No 7540 on 14 March 2014 entitled ‘The crafty Companion’. 

John Hutton was invested as the 91st Assistant Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire at a meeting of his mother lodge Pendlebury Lodge No. 8177

After the lodge was opened in the third degree by the WM Trevor Dickenson, the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Neil MacSymons announced the arrival of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones, who was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning and the senior and junior Provincial Grand Wardens Mark Matthews and Joe Hall, along with the Rev Graham Halsall (ProvGChap), Peter Taylor (ProvGSec), David Walmsley (Eccles Group Chairman), Patrick Walsh (Eccles Group Secretary) and Jonathon Platt (ProvGStwd).

Trevor said he would be delighted to receive Howard. After welcoming Howard into the lodge, Trevor offered him to gavel which Howard accepted saying: 'On this occasion I am pleased to accept the gavel as I have been asked by the Provincial Grand Master to invest John Hutton as one of his assistants.'

Howard then asked Phillip Gunning to assist him to open Provincial Grand Lodge by acting as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Mark Mathews to continue to act as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and Joseph Hall as Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Neil MacSymons to act as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and Patrick Walsh as Provincial Grand Pursuivant.

Howard then opened Provincial Grand Lodge and salutations were given to Howard. John Hutton retired from the lodge and Howard announced that the next business was to invest John Hutton as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and that it was an honour and a privilege to carry out this duty on behalf on the Provincial Grand Master Peter Hosker, who was unable to attend as he was attending the Provincial Care Team’s dinner in Leyland.

A deputation was then formed to bring John back into the lodge to which Howard welcomed him in. Howard read out Johns’ masonic history from when he was initiated into Pendlebury Lodge in 1971 and was installed as worshipful master in 1978. Howard said that his service to Freemasonry both in the Craft as well a Royal Arch was exemplary and that his CV was highly commendable.

John was asked if he was willing to undertake the responsibilities and duties of the office of Assistant Provincial Grand Master, to which John replied, I am. Peter Taylor then read out the certificate of office signed by the Provincial Grand Master.

John then knelt and took the solemn obligation of an AsstProvGM. Howard invested John with the chain of his office and thanked him on behalf of Peter Hosker for accepting this important office. 

Howard closed Provincial Grand Lodge and invited the worshipful master back into the chair of King Solomon and thanked him for allowing the investiture to be performed before the installation meeting.

John was born in Eccles in 1945 and soon moved Little Hulton to be brought up in a working shop/bakery environment. Similarities between Ronny Barker's Open All Hours and the Hutton’s family business were not too far apart. Bread, cakes and pies were under manufacture before school and Saturdays morning’s football could commence.

After leaving school at 15 years a position in the family firm was swiftly turned down in favour of an apprentice in engineering. Starting work at 5.00am and finishing at 11.00pm didn’t seem quite right!

Day and night school brought a change in career to a technician apprentice finishing as a Scientific Engineer working with Electron Microscopes and other large vacuum instruments.

After a few years of traveling around the country, overseas and marriage to Anthea a new position was sought at Manchester University, Department of Botany and Zoology. New skills, knowledge, promotions, and take overs saw John responsible for teaching, research and developments in one of the UK’s largest Electron Microscopy Units and a title of Senior Experimental Officer.

Although early retirement from University Departmental life happened in 1996, an active interest in research, development of unique equipment and histology glass knives continues at slower pace with his own scientific glass and engineering company.

John meet his wife Anthea dancing in Bolton and they married in 1968 and after a series of moves finally settled in Bolton. Anthea gave up her career as a University administrator after the birth of their daughter Clare. Today Clare is happily married and has provided two grandchildren Ben and Harry.

John’s hobbies include tennis, travel and seeing his grandchildren. Travel for both work and pleasure has taken Anthea and John to such places such as America, Canada, China, Greece, Europe and Egypt.

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