Following the amalgamation of Bridgewater Lodge No. 1213, Worsley Lodge No. 1814 and Egerton Lodge No. 2216 which took place at Elm Bank earlier this year a special dispensation was acquired to hold this event at Swinton Masonic Hall to accommodate numbers. There were 140 brethren who attended the Provincial amalgamation ceremony of Egerton Worsley Lodge No. 1213
After the lodge was opened in the third degree Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp announced the arrival of the Provincial Grand Master, Peter Hosker who demanded admission to the lodge.
Peter was welcomed by Frank Woodcock (WM) who offered Peter the gavel, which he duly accepted. Assistant Provincial Grand Master Jon Clipsham addressed Peter requesting that he conduct the ceremony to which Peter then opened Provincial Grand Lodge.
Peter said that the ceremony would have three objectives, namely, to reflect on the joining of the three lodges, to express gratitude to the work of the three lodges and to accept the need of amalgamation of the three lodges and that this would be demonstrated by prayers, actions, music and words.
Peter then asked the Provincial Grand Secretary to read the certificate of amalgamation.
A wonderful oration delivered by Canon Godfrey Hirst who compared the ceremony of amalgamation to the analogy of that of a funeral and wedding service. He referred to the three lodges with the thread of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater running through them and a proud history of 145, 134 and 126 years that has remained robustly healthy and stable.
He commended the glorious contribution that the lodges have given to this Province and Freemasonry as a whole. He gave thanks for the characters, personalities that have enlivened the ceremonies and enlightened individuals on their masonic journey, most moments of significance having been recorded in the minutes of each lodge. Also recorded will be the faithfulness, loyalty and service of distinguished brethren over many years for which there should be gratitude and rejoicing.
Godfrey concluded that in processions, the corn alone is carried in a golden pitcher, the wine and oil are placed in silver vessels, and this is to remind us that the first, as a necessity and the 'staff of life', is of more importance and more worthy of honour than the others, which are but comforts. This reference would become more apparent when the elements of re-consecration were explained.
Godfrey then stepped away from his rostrum and burst into song with Chris Knowles, Amos Millington and John Hindle, who in magnificent voice sang a fitting hymn for the occasion.
Peter requested that the brethren of the lodge faced the east on the pavement. He then presented the certificate to the worshipful master, proclaiming that they were now amalgamated.
Peter explained the elements of re-consecration and that the vessels containing that of corn symbolises food and nourishment, the wine as a symbol of joyful and cheerfulness, the oil as a symbol of peace and ingenuity, and the salt as a symbol of fidelity and friendship. He then went to each member of the lodge and sprinkled salt on them saying, 'May prosperity and peace attend on this lodge.'
Peter said that it was a great pleasure and honour for him and his Provincial team to attend this wonderful event and invited the worshipful master to return to his rightful place in the lodge.
The brethren were then addressed by Jon Clipsham. Peter entrusted the warrants of the three lodges and the warrant of amalgamation to the WM. He also entrusted the artefacts of the three lodges which included a special gavel that belonged to Bridgewater Lodge and a chalice that had been presented to Worsley Lodge on their golden anniversary.
The WM duly accepted and thanked Peter for entrusting the artefacts to him, stating that he would pass them on pure and unsullied to his successor, and expressed an open invitation for Peter to attend the lodge at any future time.
After the first rising Peter along with his team recessed from the lodge room. Following the second and third risings the lodge was closed and the brethren retired to the festive board to enjoy some liquid refreshment in anticipation of a seven course meal.
In response to the toast to grand officers at the festive banquet Jon Clipsham said it had been 'a privilege and a delight' to share in the lodge’s very special occasion. He compared Freemasonry to that of his second love, scouting, and how it has transformed over the last few years, stating that it was now cool to be a member of the scouts association. He went on to describe the familiarities with respect to mentoring, membership, care and development. Jon referred to the hard work that Peter had done over his years in office and that we should be proud of him as our Provincial Grand Master. He then went on to propose the toast to the health of the Provincial Grand Master.
In his response, Peter thanked Jon for his kind toast and referred back to when he was installed as the Provincial Grand Master in 2008, when Jon was the first Assistant Provincial Grand Master that he appointed. He said that Jon had progressed and is now the senior Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
Peter thanked his Provincial team for their hard work and support that they give him in his busy schedule. He commended the choir who sang in the lodge and thanked Canon Godfrey Hirst for his interesting oration. Referring to the history steeped within the three lodges, he said that they were made to be amalgamated and that should build wisely to be transmitted pure and unsullied. Peter thanked the lodge for their hospitality and expressed how he had enjoyed his visit. The brethren then rose and toasted the health of Egerton Worsley Lodge No. 1213.
In his response on behalf of the lodge, Frank Woodcock said that the lodge members are working well together and that they all get on indicating that the early signs are that the lodge will go from strength to strength.
Each September many Liverpool buildings open their doors to the general public as they take part in the annual Liverpool Heritage Open Days scheme. Members of the public, in organised groups, are allowed entry into many buildings throughout Liverpool which are normally closed to them throughout the year to see the magnificent architectural wonders with which the city is blessed
The Liverpool Masonic Hall in Hope Street is proudly included in the Heritage tours and was open to the public over a period of four separate days. Dozens of visitors to the Hall were given comprehensive tours by Liverpool group chairman Sam Robinson during morning and afternoon sessions. Sam was also able to give a special tour and interview to BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Graham Mack, which was broadcast on his morning show.
Commencing with a video presentation, Sam gave the visitors a comprehensive lecture on the history of Freemasonry as it began in Liverpool and details of the construction and developments of the Masonic Hall. The members of the public were then given a walking tour of the lodge rooms, dining rooms and other areas of interest inside the hall.
The visitors expressed particular interest in the Corinthian suite, the War Memorial and the Egyptian suite which is used for Royal Arch Masonry. They were also interested in the items of lodge furniture and their symbolic relevance. A number of them used the Victorian lift which is rumoured to have been used by Humphrey Bogart in one of his movies. Several visitors were surprised to be informed that the building is not solely used by Freemasons but that the enterprising directors of the hall lease time and space within the hall to outside organisations and individuals as additional sources of income.
Throughout the tours Sam answered and expanded upon numerous questions from the members of the public about Freemasonry in general, its rituals and procedures and about the benefits Freemasonry can give to its members. These open tours prove that there is a most gratifying there level of interest in the Craft from ordinary members of the public.
Further details and information regarding the Hall's facilities can be found on their website at: www.liverpoolmasonichall.co.uk
Southport Masonic Hall was the venue for a centenary celebration for Southport Emulation Lodge No. 3675, and on this occasion the lodge was honoured by presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Peter Hosker
Peter was accompanied by his Provincial team at this marvellous celebration. The team included the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning, Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor, Deputy Provincial Grand Chaplain Godfrey Hurst and Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp as well as many acting Provincial grand officers.
After accepting the gavel from the Worshipful Master, Neil Pacey, the Provincial Grand Master conducted a centenary ceremony.
The centenary warrant was read by Peter Taylor and then it was presented to the Worshipful Master by Peter Hosker, along with a centenary jewel.
The Rev Canon Godfrey Hurst then gave a splendid oration and re-dedication of the lodge which combined the lodge’s history with that of local history.
Neil Pacey then presented several cheques amounting to £10,100 to charities, which were accepted by Peter Hosker on behalf of the lodge. Peter thanked the lodge members and congratulated them on their charitable giving and of raising such a large sum of money.
After the ceremony, a centenary banquet was held. The dining room was full to capacity and a lovely seven course meal was enjoyed by all.
Several speeches of congratulations were given by Peter Hosker, Howard Jones and Philip Gunning, after which Neil thanked everybody for attending the celebration and he said he was looking forward to the lodge’s bicentenary!
The centenary of Litherland Lodge No. 3676 was celebrated at Litherland Masonic Hall in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Peter Hosker, who was supported by the majority of his Provincial team. It was a well-supported event with almost 80 members and guests present
The evening got off to a magnificent start with the Provincial team processing into the temple with other distinguished masons under the direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp.
During the evening, the centenary warrant was read out and presented to the Worshipful Master, Steven Dean, along with a centenary jewel. The lodge members were then permitted to wear their centenary jewels. A splendid oration was delivered by the Provincial Deputy Grand Chaplain, Rev Canon Geoffrey Hirst, after which a short history of the lodge was read out by Derek Parkinson.
After the lodge was closed, the guests and members enjoyed pre-dinner drinks before sitting for sumptuous festive board, and everyone was given a booklet entitled A Brief History in Commemoration of 100 Years of Freemasonry.
Peter Hosker referred to the consecration meeting at the Litherland Town Hall offices 100 years earlier and suggested that while the names of the founders were known, little was known about them. He wondered about their appearance and dress, but thought that under their outward appearance they would have been pretty similar to the lodge's present day members.
Peter referred to the outbreak of the Great War only a year later and the misery of the Spanish Lady, the great flu pandemic, and that one lodge member had lost his life in the conflict. Only a generation later the lodge members would have been embroiled in the Second World War. It was at times like that and during other periods of grief that the lodge members and their families would have received comfort and support from their fellow brethren. He made the point that lodges were more than meeting places and groups of men operating under a franchise, they were more akin to extended families and that no doubt the calamities of life were balanced by the enjoyment of festive boards, ladies' nights and the pleasure of the ritual.
The lodge had endured several years of hardship with falling membership but with the support of senior members of the lodge who had occupied the master's chair on as many as three occasions, the lodge had weathered the storm of the lean periods and anticipated a long future ahead.
He referred to the continuation of the lodge's history which he said: 'Had seen many gentlemen introduced into our wonderful fraternity.' He also said he wondered if, when lodge members were meeting to celebrate the lodge's 200 years of existence - if the then brethren would wonder what the present brethren of the lodge were like.
Peter concluded by referring to the evening as being the 100th birthday party, an opportunity to congratulate the lodge on reaching this notable landmark, but also to wish it well for the future.
Peter Hosker, Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, led an impressive and moving dedication ceremony of Kerneforde Hall, the new masonic home for the lodges and chapters of Warton and Carnforth in the Lancaster and District Group of lodges
Peter was accompanied by a glittering array of illustrious Freemasons from around the Province, including the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and Provincial Senior and Junior Wardens Mark Matthews and Joseph Hall.
The occasion began as a meeting of Carnforth Lodge No. 4951 which had been convened by dispensation.
After admitting the Provincial team the Provincial Grand Master appointed his officers and convened a special meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge for the ceremony of dedication of the lodge room to Freemasonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence.
This included an extremely erudite oration by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, Rev Graham Halsall, which drew attention to the difference between the act of dedication and the state of being dedicated – a theme that would be returned to by Peter Hosker later in the proceedings.
Following the ceremony Peter announced that he had another and very pleasurable duty to perform, that of making special promotions to Provincial office which. The promotions were being made for exceptional dedication to Freemasonry, and in particular to the work in transforming Kerneforde Hall from the dilapidated premises it once was, to the impressive new masonic home in which they now met.
He therefore called for Ian Birnie of Carnforth Lodge and Roger Nevinson of Warton Lodge No. 8411 to be brought forward and was delighted to award them the collar of PProvJGW, congratulating them both on their impressive achievement.
After closing Provincial Grand Lodge there remained just one duty left to perform – the unveiling of the commemorative plaque which will be proudly displayed in the Kerneforde Hall lodge room.
At the dedication banquet held in the excellent Kerneforde dining suite, the response to the toast to the health of the grand officers was given by Howard Jones who went on to propose the toast to the health of Peter Hosker in which he praised Peter for his highly effective leadership of the Province which has included many important and innovative initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of members and in the areas of mentoring and ambassadors for Freemasonry.
In an inspirational and amusing reply Peter praised all who had dedicated themselves to what must have seemed a colossal task when they took over the old 'Cocked Hat Club' and set about establishing the premises they were now enjoying and which would be the envy of many lodges who were not so well blessed.
The 84th Southport Flower Show gets off to a fantastic start with some beautiful weather
The show runs between 15th-18th August and the organisers expect over 70,000 through the gate. Visitors who will see many varied and unusual garden designs and two designed by youngsters in a competition sponsored by the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
The Schools Design-a-Garden Garden Competition is a prestigious event and has been won this year by Natasha Croft, from Charles Saer Community Primary School in Fleetwood, and Sascha Swindells from Our Lady of Lourdes School in Farnworth. Their winning designs were chosen by a panel of judges from West Lancashire Freemasons and the gardening world, and then the designs were constructed into real gardens by a professional garden company so that the exceptional quality of the designs could be seen by the many thousands of visitors.
When asked how she felt about being a winning Natasha Croft said: 'I was gobsmacked, it’s amazing to see the garden.'
Anne Wilkinson, Natasha’s teacher who runs the art club at the school, said that this was the third time the school had entered the completion and the prize money would be used to put Natasha’s garden at the front of the new school when it opens in September.
Sascha Swindells commented about her win by saying: 'I was shocked and thrilled. It is really good to see the garden made up.' Hannah McMahon, Sascha’s teacher said that the prize money would be used to enhance the outdoor learning area and that the children will have a say in what is done.
Each year the competition is held in association with the Southport Flower Show and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. It is open to all primary school children in years 5 and 6 from across the North West and gives a chance for the gardeners of the future to create a garden for the show each year. This year there were 681 entries from school children from 36 schools across Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester and Merseyside.
The two winners, the 10 runners-up, their families and their teachers were all invited to the show to meet Carol Vorderman, the popular TV presenter and Peter Hosker, Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, and President of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity to be presented with their prizes.
Each of the winning schools received £500 to enhance their school grounds and £50 was awarded to each of the winners. The 10 runners-up received £50 for their schools. An extra prize was given this year, HMP Thorn Cross Prison presented the winners and runners-up with a set of reconditioned gardening tools.
Peter Hosker, said: 'We are delighted to have once again had the opportunity of sponsoring this very prestigious competition. As Freemasons we support many community projects and to get children involved to develop a love of gardening is very worthwhile. The theme this year has been pride and it’s been a fine achievement by all who took part.'
The Provincial Ball for West Lancashire has been held for the fourth year in a row at the De Vere Whites Hotel in the Reebok stadium in Horwich. This year's celebration was possibly one of the most enjoyable in its 153-year history.
The re-introduction of a reception for Masters and First Principals was very well received by both the Provincial Grand Master, Peter Hosker, and his senior officers.
The staff at the De Vere Whites Hotel seemed even more friendly and attentive than last year, and the bars in the two reception suites were well stocked and the service was very good.
After the reception over 500 Masters, First Principals, brethren, companions and their ladies from across the Province were invited by the Deputy Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies to take their seats in the Premier Suite for the banquet.
When the brethren had taken their seats Keith Kemp (ProvGDC) asked everyone present to stand to receive the president, vice president, chairman and vice chairman of the 153rd Grand Masonic Ball.
Peter Hosker and his wife Julie then led the Provincial party into the Premier Suite where they took their seats for a sumptuous four course dinner.
After the meal, thanks were expressed to the many people who had helped organise the Ball. Starting with the music supplied by Quayside Jazzmen during the reception, Ray Dainton for providing the piano music during dinner and the Pyramid Band who were providing the music later in the evening. Then all the members of the organising committee were thanked, particularly David Lea (secretary) and Glynn Wrenall (event co-ordinator), and flowers were presented to Alma Lea and Eunice Wrenall.
Before dancing commenced to the Pyramid Band, everyone joined in the Grand March led by Peter Hosker and his wife Julie.
After the Grand March the dance floor filled and a great evening was enjoyed by all.
William Richard Seddon, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master for West Lancashire, celebrated 50 years as a Freemason at Preston Masonic Hall before a packed lodge room at a special meeting of Preston Guild Lodge No. 4408
Not only was Bill’s golden anniversary celebrated, the Lodge's banner was re-dedicated. The banner is traditionally re-dedicated in a year when the Preston Guild is held. This year the Lodge celebrates 90 years of existence and the Provincial Grand Master, Peter Hosker, was present to lead the proceedings.
Peter spoke a few words before the banner was brought into the room, along with the banners of Commercial Travellers Lodge No. 3493 and Forest of Fulwood Lodge No. 6388, with whom Preston Guild amalgamated in 2004.
He then called upon Rev Graham Halsall as Provincial Grand Chaplain to give an Oration, which Graham delivered with his usual sincere style.
Peter then gave an overview of the Lodge history: 'Preston Guild Lodge was consecrated on 20 June 1922, a year in which Preston celebrated its Guild, a fact that was instrumental in deciding the name of the Lodge. This was reinforced with the dedication of the Lodge banner featuring the Victorian Preston Town Hall as its centrepiece on 16 November 1927.
'At the time of the next Guild in 1952 the Lodge marked the occasion and its 30th year anniversary with a presentation of the history of the Lodge by W Bro Pomfret. This was followed by a special festive board at which some 160 brethren dined.
'Having set the format, at the next Guild year in 1972 was marked by the consecration of Preston Guild Chapter and the Lodge celebrated its 50 years anniversary.
'The next Guild year in 1992, was marked by a special demonstration by the Burnley and District Ritual Demonstration Team circa 1759. That was combined with the Lodge's 70th anniversary which was again followed by a special banquet.
'In 2004 the Lodge amalgamated with Commercial Travellers Lodge No. 3493 and Forest of Fulwood Lodge No. 6388, whose banners will in a few moments accompany the Preston Guild banner into the Lodge.
'Preston is now celebrating its 2012 Guild year, and the Lodge its 90th anniversary. It is also Bill Seddon's golden anniversary. Bill has specifically requested that the Lodge continue with the tradition of marking the Lodge's Guild years by, on this occasion, holding a Lodge banner re-dedication ceremony prior to his celebrations.'
The banner was then re-dedicated and handed over to the Lodge Worshipful Master, Keith Jackson.
Peter then said the highlight of the evening had now arrived - to celebrate 50 years of service to Freemasonry of one William Richard Seddon.
Peter continued: 'One of my great pleasures and privileges in Freemasonry is to take the WM's chair and lead the celebrations for brethren who are celebrating 50, 60, 70 and, dare I say it, 80 years of service in and to Freemasonry. I feel that against these landmarks my own service pales into insignificance at a mere 44 years.
As Provincial Grand Master, I had anticipated that my involvement in such celebrations would, sadly, become very few and far between. I say sadly because such celebrations are always interesting and they have invariably enabled me to learn so much more about each celebrant than might otherwise be the case, and in so doing appreciate more completely the rich and fulfilling lives that they have led. As it has happened, during my first four years as ProvGM I have in fact continued to lead the celebrations for many distinguished Freemasons, and I have greatly enjoyed all of them. Tonight I have the pleasure and privilege of leading the celebrations for another distinguished brother, my good friend good friend Bill Seddon, PSGD, PAsstProvGM.'
Peter then asked the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to place W Bro William Richard Seddon before him so that he could address him.
'Bill, was born on 21 January 1941. How appropriate that we are holding this celebration in the 2012 Preston Guild Year, because it is well known that you were born and bred in Preston, and proud of it. I too was born in Preston, and at the beginning of September this year Julie and I attended several of the Guild events. I am so pleased that the Lodge has continued with the tradition of marking the Lodge's Guild years by, on this occasion, holding a lodge banner re-dedication ceremony prior to your celebration. Indeed, I think it was Bill who specifically requested that this been done.'
Peter continued: 'Bill's overriding passion is for his wife Christine and his family, comprising two sons Andrew and David, and three grandsons and two granddaughters.
'However, brethren, unless you are aware of it, you may think that Bill is quite rational and well-adjusted, and yet he has a peculiar interest — some would say a fanciful and dreamlike interest — in Preston North End, where he has been a season ticket holder for 63 years. I suggest that the total money he has spent on season tickets over 63 years would now be sufficient to buy the club outright!
'Christine and Bill have been married for 45 years — but she is still unconvinced of the longevity of Bill's support for a football team, although she accepts that both sons and two eldest grandsons are committed supporters of Preston North End, especially with their second grandson this season being a ball boy at Deepdale for first team games!
'For over 30 years Bill has enjoyed "treading the boards" in amateur dramatics. Bill’s interest is with The Club Players at Broughton and District Club in Broughton, north of Preston, and for 27 of those years he was honorary treasurer of the Club Players.
'In 1990 he became President of Broughton and District Club in its centenary year, and that summer Christine and Bill were able to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace on a gloriously hot summer afternoon.
'Bill, belongs to the Church of Christ Church Fulwood, a member of the Parochial Church Council and Chairman of the Church Hall Building Committee which was originally charged with raising something approaching £120,000 to regenerate the Church Hall! Life has its difficulties — the committee was formed at the beginning of what turned out to be the banking crisis, but despite this much of the money has been raised, including a grant from the WLFC towards the cost of a totally refurbished disabled toilet. A previous application to WLFC in respect of other work had been rejected. If at first you don't succeed…
'Bill attended Harris Primary School in Fulwood and then Hutton Grammar School, and his first day at HGS coincided with the arrival of a new Headmaster, Charles W Lloyd, PAGDC, later Headmaster of Dulwich College.
'In the law, Bill was an old fashioned "Five years man", and served his Articles of Clerkship as a Solicitor with his father, who later introduced him into Freemasonry. Bill passed his solicitors' final examination in November 1961, two months before his 21 birthday. In those days you could not be enrolled as a solicitor until you were 21 years of age and had completed your Articles of Clerkship. Bill’s articles expired on 8 March 1962, so he was able to be enrolled the following month. I can tell you that in 1962, the 1 April fell on a Sunday, so Bill was actually admitted the next day and his first Practising Certificate is dated 2 April 1962 not on April Fools' Day!
'Much to his surprise, at the end of April 2012 Bill received a certificate from the president of the Law Society congratulating him on having been on the Roll of Solicitors for 50 years.
'And so to Freemasonry. Bill was initiated into Preston Guild Lodge on 19 September 1962 by his father, who had been Master in 1959/60. Bill himself became Master in November 1974, just two months after his father's death.'
At this point Peter said: 'I am well aware that becoming Master was both a very proud and a very sad day for you. I invite the Secretary to read out the minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 1962.'
The Secretary then read the minutes of the meeting of 19 September, 1962.
'Bill spent eight years as a Past Master until he was appointed acting ProvJGD in 1983. The following year he was appointed ProvDepGDC. He came into the Royal Arch in 1976, when he was exalted into Preston Guild Chapter later that year.
'In the Craft, Bill was appointed to Grand Rank as PAGReg in 1989, promoted to PJGD in 1997, and further promoted to PSGD in 1998. In the Royal Arch, he became PGStdB in1991, and was promoted to PAGSoj in 2000.
'From 1990 Bill served as joint Vice Chairman of the Preston Group. In those days there were two Vice Chairmen, and Peter reminded Bill that he was his junior vice chairman.
'He was appointed as Assistant to the Grand Superintendent in the Royal Arch from 1993 to 1997, with responsibility for the Chapters in the Preston and Leyland Groups. He relinquished that office on being appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master in May 1997 from which office he retired in 2008. Initially, Bill had responsibility for the lodges in the Preston Group and then from 2003 also for those in the Chorley and District Group.
'Bill also holds high rank in several other masonic orders.'
Peter then invited the Chairman of the Preston Group, Stan Rigby, to read out the certificate in his possession.
After the citation had been read, Peter went on to say: 'Bill, over the years our paths have crossed on many occasions. In the law, where we both practised as solicitors in Preston; in Freemasonry, where you attended my initiation in 1968 in the Preston Group, in the Province, and at Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter; and as friends Bill, you are much loved and respected in every walk of life through which you have walked. I salute you as a man and a mason and I know that everyone will join me in offering warmest congratulations to you on this special night.'
The brethren retired to the festive board where Bill was delighted to be able to respond to the toast to his health.
Provincial Grand Master Peter Hosker paid tribute to Colin Penty Wright describing him as “one of the finest Provincial Grand Masters that this Province has ever known”
Colin, who was Provincial Grand Master for the Province of West Lancashire from 1997 to 2008, died on Friday, 21 September at the age of 76.
Peter said: “At 4am this morning we all lost a very good friend. That good friend was Colin Penty Wright who died peacefully at St John’s Hospice, a place that he knew well. My thoughts immediately go to his widow Kathryn his two sons Stephen and Kevin and the family. And we offer them our sincere condolences.
About two years ago I lead the celebrations for Colin Wright when he celebrated his 50 years anniversary in Freemasonry. Those who were present and who later read my address to him could not fail to realise that this was a man and a Mason of considerable stature, much loved and respected by all. He was our Provincial Grand Master from 1997 to 2008 and he will be remembered as one of the finest Provincial Grand Masters that this Province has ever known. His funeral arrangements are likely to be a private family funeral and a memorial service at a later date.”
Peter was on the Northern Tour with other leaders of the Province. They attended the Lancashire Group Dinner on the evening of Colin’s death, where Peter paid tribute to Colin at the dinner and brethren stood in memory of departed merit.
Colin was initiated into Poulton Hall Lodge No. 6647 in December 1958 and became its Worshipful Master in 1974. He also enjoyed membership of Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7755 (WM in 1990), Lathom Lodge No. 2229 (WM in 2001), Poulton le Sands Lodge No. 1051 and was a founder of Plantagenet Lodge of Installed Masters No. 9357 (WM in 1992).
His exaltation into the Royal Arch came in 1965 in Sandylands Chapter No. 502 and was First Principal in 1977. He was also a member of Setantia Chapter of First Principals No. 7755 (First Principal in 1996) and Senatores Chapter of Installed First Principals No. 8966.
Colin’s talents were soon recognised by the Province and he was invested as the Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 1979. Seven years later he was appointed as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and then served as Deputy Provincial Grand Master from 1995 to 1997.
In Grand Lodge he was made a Past Assistant Grand Registrar in 1988 and as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master was promoted to the rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon in 1988 and when he became Deputy Provincial Grand Master was invested as a Past Grand Sword Bearer.
Colin served the Royal Arch as the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 1983 and became Deputy Grand Superintendent in 1993. In 1984 he was made a Past Assistant Grand Sojourner and served as Grand Sword Bearer in 1994-1995.
On 2 July 1997 Colin was invested as Provincial Grand Master for the Province of West Lancashire and was head of the largest Province under the United Grand Lodge of England until 12 June 2008. He also served as Grand Superintendent in and over the Royal Arch Province of West Lancashire at the same time.
Over 80,000 people are expected to visit Southport Flower Show this year, to see the gardens designed by two youngsters in a competition sponsored by the West Lancashire Freemasons
The prestigious David Bellamy School Garden Competition has been won this year by Jessica Simpson from Ashbridge Independent School in Preston and Mia Hodkinson and Emma Chapman who made a joint entry from Stanton Road Primary School in the Wirral. The competition is held each year in association with Southport Flower Show and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, and gives a chance for the gardeners of the future to create a garden for the show each year. It is open to all primary school children in years 5 and 6 across the North West, and this year’s competition was entered by 276 children across Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester and Merseyside.
The two winning designs, chosen by a panel of judges, were once again constructed by a professional garden company and were there for all to see when the show opened on Thursday 16 August.
The two winners, their families and their teachers were invited to the show to meet Professor David Bellamy OBE and be presented with £500 to enhance their school grounds, and a £50 gift voucher for themselves.
The head teacher, from Ashbridge Independent School, Hilary Sharples, said: "This is the first time our school has entered the competition and we're extremely proud that one of our students has won - it is fantastic to see the garden come to life at the show. This is a great competition giving children the opportunity to link their design skills with a love of wildlife and horticulture - encouraging creativity while also helping the planet.”
Ashbridge Independent School plan to use the £500 to develop an area within their grounds which will encourage bees and butterflies to visit the school and nursery, and also to extend the wildflower meadow for the youngest children in the baby unit.
Peter Hosker, Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, and President of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity said: ”We are delighted to have once again had the opportunity of sponsoring this very prestigious competition. As Freemasons we support many community projects and to get children involved in gardening is very worthwhile.”