Wednesday, 09 January 2019 13:43

New Year Honours 2019

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

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

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.

He is also a member of United Services Lodge No. 3183 in Gibraltar, Goffs Oak Lodge No. 7169 in Hertfordshire and Navy Lodge No. 2612 in London, alongside a number of side orders.

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

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.

Steven Leigh

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

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.

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Tuesday, 09 January 2018 10:55

New Year Honours 2018

A number of Freemasons have been honoured in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018

Sir Andrew Charles Parmley

Andrew Parmley was appointed a Knight Bachelor for his services to Music, Education and Civic Engagement.

Andrew served as Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2016/17 and is currently the principal of The Harrodian School in West London. He has been an elected Member of Common Council since 1992, and was elected Alderman of Vintry Ward in 2001.

To celebrate the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary celebrations 130 Grand Masters from all parts of the world attended a reception at Mansion House on 30th October 2017, where they were welcomed by Andrew in his role as the Lord Mayor of London at the time.

John Allan Hunter

John Hunter, lately chair of the Argentine-British Community Council, was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the Anglo-Argentine community in Argentina in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Honours list.

The Diplomatic Service and Overseas Honours List is in recognition of truly exceptional and outstanding service to Britain internationally and overseas.

John was Chairman of the Argentine-British Community Council from 2013 to 2016. The Argentine-British Community Council was founded in 1939 and its mission statement reads: ‘The object of the Argentine British Community Council is to promote the welfare of the Argentine British Community in Argentina.

‘With that end in mind it will assure the closest coordination and cooperation amongst its members, and the social, cultural and welfare entities of the Community. It will endeavour to assist and conduct all activities within the spirit of the Constitution and the Laws of the Argentine Republic, strengthening in this way the links between the Community and the country.’

John is currently Worshipful Master of The Pampa Lodge No. 2329 which meets in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is also the Assistant District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of South America – Southern Division.

John Mervyn Cornish

John Cornish was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Stewkley, Buckinghamshire.

After moving to Stewkley in 1963 to a rented farm, John joined the Stewkley Village Hall committee in 1967 and 20 years later took on the role of Chairman. John has always considered the Hall to be his main hobby and during this time as Chairman, worked tirelessly raising money to ensure it stayed a viable community asset including two major refurbishments.

John is a member of Leighton Cross Lodge No. 6176 and in 2013, was named Past Provincial Grand Pursuivant for Bedfordshire.

PAUL ANTHONY WATSON

Paul Watson was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for voluntary services to veterans. He is the Vice Chairman of the Lee-on-Solent Branch of the Royal Naval Association.

Paul was initiated into Pendenis Lodge No. 7520 in Cornwall in 1985 whilst serving in the Royal Navy. Paul would later move to Bristol where he became a joining member of Jerusalem Lodge No. 686 in 1989, before going on to become a founding member of the Lodge of Seafarers No. 9589 in South Gloucester in 1995.

Paul eventually moved to Hampshire and joined Fareham Lodge No. 8582 in 2011, where he is currently the Lodge Caterer and Lodge Almoner. Paul was named Past Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight in February 2018.

Professor Christopher Liu OBE

Professor Christopher Liu was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to Ophthalmology.

Christopher is a Senior Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton and has worked there for more than 20 years.

He was the first surgeon in the UK to learn a pioneering technique that involved restoring sight through the reconstruction of a new eye using a small plastic lens and one of the patient’s own teeth. Christopher also founded the Sussex Eye Foundation, a registered charity with an aim to create a state-of-the-art eye facility for the South East of England.

Christopher is a Past Master of Royal Clarence Lodge No. 271 and last year, was named Provincial Senior Grand Deacon for Sussex.

Do you know other Freemasons who were honoured in the New Year Honours list? Please let us know by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017 00:00

OBE for James Newman

James Newman, Deputy President and Chairman of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), as well as a member of the Three Counties (No. 9278) and Old Wellingburian (No. 5570) lodges in the Province of Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire, has been named in the New Year’s Honours list, having been appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)

The citation reads: ‘For services to Business, the Economy and Charity in Yorkshire.’ James, a chartered accountant by profession, said, ‘Naturally, I am absolutely delighted to be honoured in this way and particularly pleased with the “charity” part as it reflects my work at the RMBI [Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution] and will assist in my work for the MCF going forward.’

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014

A number of Freemasons have been honoured in HM The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014

David Mark Spofforth, OBE

After graduating from Durham University and training in the City, Mark joined the family practice in Sussex where he has worked for 30 years, including two periods as Managing Partner.

He is the immediate Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants having served on Council for 18 years and chairing various committees, and served on the Takeover Panel. Mark spent 6 years making weekly broadcasts on local BBC Radio on financial matters, wrote a monthly column for Accountancy Age on practice management, and has lectured internationally on accountancy topics, including at the 2010 World Congress of Accountants.

His international experience includes a 6 year period on the International Accounting Education Standards Board, a standard setting body of IFAC, and visits to regulators and other professional bodies on every continent. He is now a Technical Advisor to the IFAC Board.

Away from professional life Mark has a partner, Veronica, and a son and a daughter. Mark’s daughter Gemma has recently retired as an elite swimmer, having competed in the Beijing and London Olympics; in August 2009 she became World Champion and continues to hold the World Record for the 100m backstroke event. His son, Peter works for a Corporate Finance company in the City.

Mark is currently Junior Warden of the Chartered Accountants Livery Company, and has also been Master of the Horners, another City Livery Company. He is a governor of Sion School in Worthing, and is Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust.

Peter Clive Crawford Pitt, MBE

Peter travelled the world accompanying widows of fallen soldiers on pilgrimages to military memorials close to where their husbands had been killed. He said the trips were a 'frightening experience' for the women but offered some form of comfort.

He was thrilled but surprised to have been honoured. 'I thought I was far too old for it,' he said.

'I'm 80 now and thought when you get to my age you don't get these things.'

In church the organist congratulated Dr Pitt on his MBE saying, 'I have never heard of anyone getting the OBE and the MBE at the same time.'

'How come?' I said. 'Over Bloody Eighty and the MBE!'

Dr Robert David Taylor Sillett, MBE

'It has been a great honour for me to have been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours. The citation is for services to the community and helping others.

'All my many friends in Freemasonry both Provincially, Nationally and Internationally have been very supportive of one aspect of my work since retirement in 2001. It was very clear to me at the time that there was a void in my life that needed filling. Raising money for Down Syndrome Education International has been one area and I thank all those Freemasons who have helped me raise a lot of money through my presentations in several degrees.

'Serving the needs of others was constantly in my mind during my professional career at Christ’s Hospital. My challenge on retirement was to continue this ambition in as many areas as possible. I shall continue to focus my mind on helping those in need bearing in mind those prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln ‘No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child’.'

Richard Brian Sutherland, MBE

Richard, honorary chairman of the board of trustees at Birtenshaw School, has been awarded an MBE for services to education and the community in Bolton.

He is a Past Master of Anchor and Hope Lodge No. 37 and Supera Moras Lodge No. 3326. He is also a Member of Antiquity Lodge No. 146.

The Birtenshaw school moved to its new multi-million pound site, in Bromley Cross, in September 2012 and Mr Sutherland was instrumental in bringing the building of the new school from dream to reality. At that time, after 21 years serving Birtenshaw as trustee and six years as chairman, he stepped down from the role and a plaque was unveiled to reveal the school hall would be known as Richard Sutherland Hall as a mark of his commitment.

Richard, who retired as Chief Executive of Bolton Health Authority in 1994, said 'I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity of working at Birtenshaw. The MBE belongs to Birtenshaw and the other charities who have put up with me for so many years.'

Maj (retired) David Malcolm Davies, BEM, TD*

David lives in Porthcawl and has been branch secretary of SSAFA Mid Glamorgan for 12 years, and a caseworker in the Bridgend division. He was previously a teacher and also worked in the accounts department of a law firm until retirement last year.

He has 5 very busy grandchildren and his hobbies include reading, gardening, walking and charity work.

Graham Phillip Ellis, BEM

Father-of-three Graham, of Puffers Green, Harlow, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds after more than 30 years of fundraising for a number of different charities.

His first challenge was the London Marathon in 1981 and just last month he completed a 100 km trek in one of the toughest terrains in the world, the Sahara Desert. The chartered surveyor was in the desert when the letter informing him of the honour arrived at his home.

He said: 'I have been fundraising for so long that I thought I had missed out on something like this so I’m chuffed. I’m half expecting for there to be some mistake!

'It’s lovely and my family are very proud. The letter arrived while I was in the Sahara so I got home and saw the letter was there from the Cabinet Office. It has been more than 30 years of fundraising and I am pleased to be recognised. It’s really nice.'

Graham, who has five grandchildren, added: 'I have been well supported throughout the years; it has been great. The Sahara was fantastic, an amazing experience and very tough. It’s kind of hard to put into words really.'

The British Empire Medal was reintroduced in 2012 to reward sustained, local contribution and innovative, high-impact work.

Joseph John Gildea, BEM

Landlord Joseph has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his tireless charity work.

For over 10 years Joe has raised in excess of £107,000 in memory of his daughter Angela, who died from breast cancer when she was just 32 years old.

Since 2002 Joe and his regulars have been raising funds for the Countess of Chester Breast Care Unit, with regulars jumping out of planes, climbing mountains and even racing around Chester Racecourse dressed as turkeys in the annual Turkey Trot.

In September 2012 Joe's pub, nicknamed ‘the little pub with a big heart’, was voted the most charitable pub in the UK by trade paper The Morning Advertiser. He recently retired, but hopes to continue with charity work.

Andrew Harold Osborne, BEM

'I am deeply honoured to be awarded this decoration.'

'I was appointed a trustee of the Faversham United Municipal Charities by the Faversham Borough Council in 1970 and subsequently a co-opted trustee by my fellow trustees. 

'In 1970 the Charity was in a sorry state with little and often misused funds, and trustees who had closed the almshouse chapel, demolished the spires and whose main aspiration seemed to be to demolish the remainder of the building or hand it over to the Council and close the charity.

'I am proud to have been a member of a revitalised board of trustees who under the guidance of Harry Woodman, their new clerk, succeeded in turning around the finances of the charity and saving the building and its endowments for the benefit of Faversham. In 1987, 16 new modern almshouses were added to the estate.

'Last year the final step in this transformation was achieved with the agreement of the Charity Commissions to a new trust scheme which swept away the previous outdated and obsolete trusts and amalgamating the 32 separate charities under one modern scheme called Faversham Municipal Charity 2010.

'This new scheme is still bedding down and I hope to remain a trustee to see this work completed. The next major task is to remodel the old building to provide all units with separate bedrooms, improve disabled access, thermal and sound insulation and generally bring the flats up to a high standard to last for the next 150 years.'

Other brethren to receive honours included Sir Roger Gifford (Knight Bachelor), Lt Col Victor Joseph Garth Matthews (OBE), Paul Victor Dedman (MBE) and David Malcolm Davies (BEM).

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