A number of Freemasons have been honoured in HM The Queen’s New Year Honours list 2019, which recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom
Charles Pearson was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to West Mercia Police.
Charles has been a special constable for 45 years, holding the rank of a Sergeant, serving his community in Shropshire with postings to Bridgnorth, Much Wenlock and presently, Church Stretton. In May 2014, he was awarded the Freedom of Much Wenlock for services to the local community, with 40 years police service in the town of Much Wenlock.
He was initiated into Caer Caradoc Lodge No. 6346 in Shropshire in 1997 and joined West Mercia Lodge No. 9719 three years later, where he is the current Master.
In 2012, Charles was named Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon for Shropshire and in 2017 was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works.
Thomas Clive Johnson
Clive Johnson was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal (QFSM) for Distinguished service to Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.
Clive joined the Westmorland Fire Service as a Retained Firefighter in 1968 and was based at Staveley where he lives. In 1974, the Fire Services of the region amalgamated and then became the Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service.
Clive continued his service at Staveley until he retired on 31st May 2018, having achieved the high rank of Station Watch Manager. To mark his retirement having completed 50 years of exemplary service, he and his wife Julie were invited to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty.
He was initiated into Eversley Lodge No. 4228 in 2001 in the Province of Cumberland & Westmorland. In 2016, he received Provincial Honours when he was appointed Provincial Senior Grand Deacon.
Bill Edward Bowen
Bill Bowen was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community of Oswestry in Shropshire.
This included actively serving in The Lions Club of Oswestry for 44 years and being honoured in the Lions Clubs International organisation as District Governor which necessitated training in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii.
Bill also served as Churchwarden at the Parish Church of St. Oswald for 25 years, followed by 14 years as a licensed local minister in the Church of England. He also organised a Christian Men's Fellowship Breakfast for 22 years and served as Chaplain to the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital for 15 years. In fact, he is still serving in all these different organisations.
Bill was initiated in 1986 into the Lodge of St Oswald No. 1124 in Oswestry in the Province of Shropshire and was made Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in 2014.
Michael Goldthorpe was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Naval Personnel.
Michael served in the Royal Navy from 1978 until 2010, reaching the rank of Commander. His most recent activity has been as CEO of the Association of Royal Navy Officers and the Royal Navy Officers Charity.
He was initiated into Pinner Hill Lodge No. 6578 in Middlesex in 1989, although the lodge has since been erased. Michael is also a member of Fortitude Lodge No. 6503 in the Province, where he is their current Master, and was appointed Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in 2018.
Francis Wakem QPM
Francis Wakem was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to victims of crime.
This involved working with the charity Victim Support, which provides emotional and practical support to victims of crime, since it was founded 30 years ago, originally as a serving police officer and later as a volunteer.
Francis remains an active volunteer in Wiltshire and in London where he serves on committees dealing with governance of the charity.
Francis was initiated into Corsham Lodge No. 6616 in Wiltshire in 1976 and went on to serve as Provincial Grand Master in the county for over 10 years (March 2004 - October 2014).
Frank Handscombe was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Judo in the community in South Molton, North Devon.
Frank is a 4th black belt and has been involved with South Molton Judo Club for 38 years, where he has served as chief instructor and principal.
Frank was initiated into Temple Bar Lodge No. 5962 in Hertfordshire in 1961 and later joined Loyal Lodge of Industry No. 421 in Devonshire, where he gained Provincial honours including Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2005 and Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2006.
In 2009, he was given Grand Lodge honours when he was named Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Trevor (Tex) Calton
Army Cadet Force Major Tex Calton has been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the annual New Year Honours list.
Tex enjoyed a successful military career of 26 years with the last eight serving as the Bandmaster of the famous Black Watch Regiment. He retired from teaching music in schools at the end of 2013 and now serves in the Army Cadet Force in the rank of Major, as National Music Advisor.
Tex became a Freemason in 1988 when he joined Phoenix Lodge in Berlin. On being posted to Tern Hill, near Market Drayton, he joined St Mary’s Lodge No. 8373 in 1992. Tex was given Provincial honours in Shropshire when he was named Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in 2014.
Cheshire Freemason Steven Leigh was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to local businesses and the economy in Yorkshire.
Steven has had an impressive business career, including the flotation of his company to a full listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1993, and running it as Chief Executive.
Steven will celebrate 50 years as a member of the Lodge of Harmony No. 4390 in November 2019, a month after taking the Chair of the Lodge as Master for the second time (previously in 1976). He was also Director of Ceremonies from 1978 – 1983, following in the footsteps of his father, George Leigh, who was Director of Ceremonies of the lodge for many years.
Reg Dunning was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to education and the community in Sandbach, Cheshire.
Reg has been a Governor of two local schools for over 40 years concurrently and has been the parade marshal for the Royal British Legion in Sandbach for over 60 years.
92-year-old Reg is an honorary member of Penda Lodge No. 7360 and Sanbec Lodge No. 8787 in Sandbach. He joined Freemasonry in April 1955 when he was initiated into Kinderton Lodge No. 5759 in Middlewich.
Tony Brian Arthur Rowland
Tony Rowland has been awarded an MBE for services to undertaking and the community in Surrey.
Tony is a Funeral Director who has supported bereaved families through their grief for 65 years and has done voluntary work for many local charities and community projects. He became an apprentice at the age of 15 in 1953 and is now, at the age of 80, still working full-time.
Tony is a member of Croydon Sincerity Lodge No. 7575 in Surrey, where he was made a Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2016.
Brethren who settle down for a little early evening TV before dressing up and setting off to lodge should not snooze off over the coming weeks or months, or they may miss a television special
Shropshire's W Bros Allan Caswell and Colin Bolton form the Red Team in an unmissable episode of Bargain Hunt. The pair are members of Caer Caradoc Lodge 6346 in Church Stretton.
Filmed recently at Oswestry Showground, Allan and Colin were (possibly unwisely) given £300 and let loose on the best buys to be had, all under the watchful eye of expert John Cameron. In October they will see how their three purchases do at auction in Whitchurch. We are delighted to hear that if they make a profit, it will be donated to Shropshire's 2019 Grand Charity Festival. Slightly worryingly, however, no one seems very clear about whether the 2019 Festival is expected to pick up the tab if they make a loss!
Wedding present for Grand Charity
When Shropshire mason Andy Gough married Maria at St Peter’s Church, Rushbury, near Church Stretton, wedding presents were notably absent – instead they had asked guests to make a charitable donation, raising £1,000.
The couple donated the money to Shropshire’s 2019 Festival Appeal in aid of the Grand Charity. Maria, whose husband is a member of Caer Caradoc Lodge, No. 6346, said, ‘Without any hesitation, we both agreed that our wedding gift donations should go to Freemasonry, which has come to mean a lot to us both.’
Stepping up to the challenge
On Monday, 4th April and Wednesday 6th April a band of brave walkers completed a forty-five mile hike from the Masonic Hall at Constitution Hill, Wellington to the Masonic Hall at Brand Lane, Ludlow
Apart from twenty minutes of sustained hail and rain at Ironbridge the walkers enjoyed sunshine and warm weather all the way. On the first leg, Wellington to Wilderhope Manor YHA, the walkers were Roger Pemberton DepPGM (Roden Lodge No. 6243), Robin Richardson Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Bruce Allwright, Colin Edwards and Mrs Edwards, Colin Albrow and Mrs Albrow, Peter and Cerys Brerton and Scott the Dog (all Lodge of the Marches No. 611).
This leg took ten hours including a short break at Much Wenlock. The walk proceeded via Wrekin College to Hadley, Ketley, Lawley, Madeley, Ironbridge Much Wenlock, the Wenlock Edge, Presthope, Easthope, and Wilderhope. We couldn’t have managed without the wonderful assistance of W Bro Glyn Condliffe who provided us with coffee and biscuits at strategic points on route.
The second leg, walked by Roger Pemberton and Andrew Henderson (WM Caer Caradoc Lodge No. 6346) took in the magnificent countryside of the Corve Dale including the two highest points in Shropshire, Abdon Burf on the Brown Clee and the Titterstone Clee before travelling down to Farden, Knowbury, Ledwyche and Ludlow. This section also took 10 hours. Many thanks to John and Joy Alban-Davies for providing a shower and changing facilities before the Deputy PGM travelled into Ludlow for second time that day to attend a meeting of the Lodge of the Marches.
At the car park near the Police Station, VW Bro Roger was met by senior members of the Lodge, W Bros, Keith Armstrong, Arnold Packer, Graham Simister, John Alban-Davies and George Loades each of whom carried the maul on the short walk to the Brand Lane Masonic Hall.
At the meeting, W Bro Brian Hardy, the WM of the Lodge of the Marches presented VW Bro Roger Pemberton with a cheque for £5,000 for the 2019 Festival Appeal in aid of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and at the Festive Board the brethren donated a further £424 in cash and cheques as sponsorship of the walkers.
The Deputy PGM thanked the brethren for their wonderful hospitality and very generous donations to the Festival Appeal.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master did not walk home from the meeting; the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro John Norman very kindly gave him a lift.
We all know that white weddings can be eye-wateringly expensive and the real cost may turn out to be double the first number you might think of!
When Bro Andy Gough and his bride-to-be Maria started to plan their wedding, they decided on three crucial features: the wedding was going to be white, it had to be local so that their family and friends could attend, and they wanted charity to benefit. So began a most unusual story as members of Andy’s lodge and their partners turned their hands to wedding planning.
No need to hire a wedding limousine, a photographer, pay for flower arrangements or wedding invitation cards – the Caer Caradoc Lodge No. 6346 family simply rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in. Andy’s mum made the wedding cake and a local pub turned its premises over to the couple for the day.
On Saturday, 9th May 2015, Andy and Maria tied the knot before fifty family members and friends at St Peter’s Church in the quiet parish of Rushbury, near Church Stretton. Later on, over two hundred guests joined the happy couple at the nearby Swan public house to keep the celebrations going. Something was still missing though.
Wedding presents were conspicuously absent – no attractively gift-wrapped boxes and packages in sight. Instead, there were some envelopes. Both Andy and Maria had asked their guests to make a charitable donation in lieu of giving them wedding gifts, so raising £1,000 towards the Shropshire 2019 Grand Charity Festival.
As Maria explained: 'Andy and I couldn’t believe how much help and kindness we received from lodge members and their ladies in making our wedding day so special and memorable – it was fantastic.
'Without any hesitation, we both agreed that our wedding gift donations should go to Shropshire’s 2019 Festival Appeal. Freemasonry has come to mean a lot to us both – Andy really enjoys the meetings – his enthusiasm just keeps growing. I enjoy the social side - it’s not just that the ladies get together for supper on lodge nights, but that everyone really cares. Shortly before our wedding I had to go into hospital for an operation – during my recovery someone from the lodge called me every day to wish me well – it cheered me up no end!'
It was straight back to work after the wedding – Andy who runs his one-man plant management and services business is busy working on the M54 extension to the new Jaguar Land Rover factory. Maria, who occasionally drives a coach, is also devoted to her job as a minibus driver for Shropshire County Council, transporting Special Needs children.
With a small amount of feminine persuasion, Andy consented to taking a week off in December for a belated honeymoon break in Turkey. And where did they find their holiday of a lifetime? Where else but in the pages of Freemasonry Today!
On the 28th May 2012, W Bro Terence Osborne Haunch celebrated 70 years of being a mason
The occasion was marked by a lunch at the Longmynd Hotel, Church Stretton where Terry was presented with not one but two 70 year Certificates. The forty guests, including five present and past Provincial Grand Masters, heard of a remarkable man and a Masonic journey which led him to a career at Grand Lodge.
RW Bro Robin Wilson, Provincial Grand Master of Nottinghamshire, into whose Province WBro Terry was initiated in 1942, presented their certificate first. RW Bro Peter Taylor, Provincial Grand Master of Shropshire then presented a certificate on behalf of the Province to which Terry moved in 1996. He then detailed Terry’s extensive Masonic career including the many Orders of which he is a member, and remembered his time as a Prestonian Lecturer.
Terry was initiated into Vernon Lodge No.1802 together with his brother Douglas in the midst of the Second World War. He soon found himself on a troop-ship ending up in Khartoum. It was there three years later that Major TO Haunch, following a conversation with a brother officer and Mason, took his 2nd and 3rd degrees. Terry recalled trying to give proofs that he had been initiated and luckily still had the receipt of his dues to Vernon Lodge which his father sensibly suggested he take with him just in case!
After the war Terry qualified as an Architect and worked in local government. A big change beckoned and in 1966 his place of employment became Great Queen Street. After 6 years as Assistant Librarian Terry was appointed Grand Lodge Librarian and Curator of the Museum where he distinguished himself for ten years until his retirement in 1983.
W Bro Terry moved to Church Stretton in 1996 to be near his family. His brother lived next door to W Bro Frank Stewart, a member of Caer Caradoc Lodge and Chapter No 6346, and not long afterwards Terry found himself a joining member of both. He is also a member of the Shropshire Installed Masters Lodge No.6262. Terry’s academic background did not go unnoticed and he soon became a mainstay “lecturer” around the Province and beyond, especially in demand to give talks when a Lodge or Chapter did not have a Candidate. What a privilege it was to hear those talks because the range and depth of Terry’s Masonic knowledge is profound. Visitors to his house were also aware that Terry keeps his own not inconsiderable Masonic library there, and he has been a constant source of information, encouragement and advice to Shropshire’s Masons ever since his arrival there.
Now 94 years of age, Terry has understandably had to curtail his Masonic activities somewhat but he remains in reasonable health and we hope for many more years of his fellowship and perhaps another certificate!