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THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

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THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by Tony Bennett on 10.11.12 22:06

EXTRACTS FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT

A further 33 visits have been held, which include a celebration of a Lodge’s 275th, a celebration of a Lodge’s 150th], 19 Installations and other visits, 4 Amalgamations, 3 Bible Dedications, 1 Golden Jubilee, 2 visits to Past Provincial Grand Warden’s Lodges, the Dedication of a new Lodge Room and the opening of the Sensory Gardens at Rochdale.

Amalgamations

We have held 23 amalgamations (with 33 Lodges erased to create those amalgamations). A further 51 Lodges have been erased and we are awaiting the erasure of a further 13 in December 2007, with 20 more to be erased in the New Year. The great majority of brethren have now found new and happy homes to practice and enjoy, their Freemasonry. This gives a
total of 117 Lodges closed and we now have 289 Lodges remaining out of the original 406.


Membership

The following information relates to the calendar year 2006.

The year ]commenced with a membership of 9657 [represented by 7561 individual members],ended with a membership of 9022 [6990 individual members], and included 197 Initiations.

This resulted in a net reduction in memberships of 95, which is 1% and a net reduction in individual members of 375, which is 5%.”

EAST LANCASHIRE MASONIC CHARITY

A collection on behalf of the ELMC was then taken.

ADDRESS OF THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER OF THE PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF EAST LANCASHIRE, held at King George's Hall, Blackburn, 29 November 2007


“Brethren, just two years have passed since I had the pleasure of addressing you at our Annual General Meeting and Brethren, right at the outset, I cannot let this moment pass without expressing the heartfelt thanks of both Marlene and me for the absolutely superb way in which you have supported us through a very difficult time.

The very many expressions ofgoodwill and good wishes for my recovery have, without question in my mind, had a very direct influence on my state of health today. I still have someway to go and will not be free of medication until early next year. Brethren I feel that we have fought this disease together and your care and concern have been literally life changing for both of us. From the bottom of our hearts, Marlene and I, thank you and look forward to the continuing support of you all - our extended family.

Now Brethren, my Address to you each year should explain how we as a Province are progressing against the strategic objectives we set ourselves over two and a half years ago - can it really be that long since my Installation! The restructuring of our Province continues apace. Brethren, I have repeated my message on many occasions. I do not see this as bad news, in fact, to the contrary; this is a natural progression to a size of Province that provides a healthy and an enthusiastic base of stronger Lodges which will accommodate the smaller number of brethren. We are well on our way to my own target of 200 Lodges, hopefully stronger and fitter to meet the challenges of Freemasonry in the 21st century.

After 2 years of strenuous effort by a great number of Freemasons our East Lancashire Masonic Charity and its Community Fund are beginning to be an established part of Masonic life in the Province. Nearly £80k has now been allocated to a number of Community Fund projects and, at the moment, £48k remains to be allocated. Well done - your generosity has enabled us to become involved in some exciting projects which are not only financed by the Community Fund and Lodges themselves, but which involves the active participation of Brethren.

You have built two sensory Gardens; you have helped to fund and construct a new scout hut; you have funded an outreach therapist for patients unable to attend a Cancer Centre; you are about to refurbish a kitchen in a Community Park and we have introduced the Teddies for Loving Care to 4 more Hospitals; you mentor 15 disadvantaged teenagers, who have been abandoned by their parents and given no goal posts between which to lead their lives.

Brethren, the latest edition of the Deacon has just been released and in it is an article by a young Freemason on his experiences as a Mentor, to one of these youngsters. It moved me so much that I have asked Brother Joseph Banks to attend Provincial Grand Lodge today in order that he might read his article to you. It is at the very heart of service to our communities. Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, please escort Brother Banks to the platform?”


Brother Joseph Banks then read his letter.

“When I was first asked to write this article, I thought – no problem. How hard can it be to write about my experience as a Mentor over the last year?


How wrong I was. You see, when I sat down and started to put something together I realised that over the past year, being part of the Mentoring Project, has been one of the hardest things I have ever done.


To explain more I need to give you a brief background of who I look after. I will call him Simon [not his real name]. I was first introduced to Simon seven months ago and have been meeting him once a week ever since.


Simon lives in a children’s home after being thrown out by his mother when she sided with his stepfather after he had beaten him with a belt and the police became involved. He has little contact with his real father. Simon had been in and out of different homes for over 16 months when we were introduced. We meet once a week for an hour or two and I try to introduce a bit of normality into his life.


This can range from going to the cinema or can be as simple as just going for a walk. We try to talk about any problems he has and see if I can help in any way.

This is a boy who has been abandoned by his entire family and help can be as simple as sitting and listening to him over a burger.

What always strikes me, when we talk, is how can we live in a society where children like Simon are simply abandoned and left to fend for themselves? There are 145 male children waiting to get on the Mentoring Project and only about 42 male Mentors currently volunteering. These numbers are for the Bolton area alone and if you take this across the country then it adds up to a huge number of children in need of help, the majority of whom just need a guiding hand and to have a role model in their lives.

When people ask me why I am on the Project, it can be hard to answer. It is usually a thankless task and dealing with Simon has more downs than ups but what I do know is that if I were not in his life, he would be in juvenile detention or in a permanent drunken state (and believe me it happens). And therein lies why I do it. If I can make a change in his life and help him make a start in life just by meeting him once a week then what better sense of satisfaction can there be?

I believe I was asked to write this article in order to encourage other Masons to maybe look at volunteering. What I will say is that since becoming a Mason nearly two years ago, I have seen the immense amount we donate to charity. The problem is it is not money these children need but someone’s time and guiding influence. So I would ask you to consider that if you have a spare hour or two a week, give someone a chance they might not otherwise have.”

The RW Provincial Grand Master continued by saying:

“All these and other examples of our Brethren reconnecting with their communities are a quantum step forward and are now beginning to place the public perception of Freemasonry in a wholly different light - and brethren ask those involved - it can be great fun also.

I feel so proud of what you are all beginning to achieve and I trust that over the next year we will embark together on a further range of projects which will bring our Freemasonry into the lives of those communities where we live and work.

So having spent 2 years rejuvenating our Charity and, perhaps, reminding ourselves of the important part it should play in our lives, we are now ready to move on to address a new initiative connected with recruitment, retention and retrieval.

Brethren in this area some of our Freemasonry needs to evolve and do some of it very quickly. You will all know this little book - our ritual. Brethren, I strongly believe that when this book is used wrongly and our new members are introduced into our Order incorrectly, it can be the scourge of our Freemasonry. On the other hand, used correctly and new members introduced with care and attention, it could produce the answer for which many of us are searching.

Use this book the way our forefathers intended it to be used and it is a valuable item of beauty and content - used incorrectly, it becomes an item of fear and trepidation.

Come with me on two separate journeys. We welcome a new brother and what is the first thing we do? We present him with this book - don’t we and then we inform him that he has to learn it – “oh ‘and by the way you will do the first degree tools next month at our Installation, whether you like it or not.”

Unfortunately a significant minority see this approach to this little book as a mantra which is to be chanted with almost religious fervour. A deep belief that allows our ritual in their Masonic world to be learnt and practised in only one way - that being the way it has always been done. In my opinion, this method can make the air in our Lodge rooms stale and stifled, where there is anxiety and trepidation.

Here, a new mason is not present to be made a better man, but to propagate a society and assist them to continue the bloodline and, I am afraid, a damning indictment of some of our colleagues. They are so fervent in their drive to get new men through the door, they are at times blind to the situation that can turn that new Mason around and for him to go back straight through that door and never be seen again.

It can be a lonely place. Indeed, a threatening and challenging environment which surely is inconsistent with an organisation that considers itself a fraternity; a place of brotherly love.

Compare this to the path that Brethren trod over 200 years ago. Here Freemasonry was practised in a different manner. The Right Worshipful sat at a table in Lodge surrounded by the Brethren running a question and answer session. This not only tested knowledge but also reinforced and reminded each of the brethren of the fundamental features of the ritual.

Features that, when known, and understood, would I imagine, have assisted so much in the learning of that ritual. Brethren, we still have many Lodges when, without a Ceremony, are content to Open and Close and, perhaps, throw in the reading of the odd By Law for good measure just to pad out the evening. God forbid that we actually have a dialogue in a Lodge meeting involving the content and meaning of the ritual and which does not have to be memorised.

Can you imagine, in Lodge, the Worshipful Master saying: "I am going to put aside the summons for a moment and call off whilst we have a discussion on the relevance of the charge after initiation as it relates to standards of life and work in the 21st century?” ]

But, I wonder Brethren, whether sometimes that is exactly what we should be doing and by that means helping the Brethren of the Lodge to understand just exactly what it is that they have joined.

I personally believe that the single greatest influence on the loss of Masons and their lack of engagement, lack of belonging, lack of worth, is a fear of ritual and all that it brings with it.

So what are the alternatives?

Brethren, now come with me on a different journey, perhaps where the beauties of this book are unleashed. A Brother, just initiated a few moments previously, is welcomed back to the Lodge and sat next to the senior member of the Lodge. At the Social Board, he is placed next to the Master. The evening is his; he has joined a place of brotherly love.

A few weeks after his Initiation, he meets with the Lodge Mentor, or another suitable Brother, to go through the Ceremony in order that he begins to understand its teachings.

A Brother who has missed a meeting or two is telephoned by his Lodge mentor who enquires if every thing is OK and then told that we all look forward to welcoming him to the next meeting.

A new Brother who, when handed the Ritual by his Mentor, will be asked if in time if he may wish to take part in the ceremonies. In addition, he is assured that he will be asked to do no more than he can handle, but emphasise that the commitment to memory and the satisfactory delivery is one of the real pleasures of Masonic life. Brethren, if you don't believe me, ask one of your colleagues who did the First Degree Tools for the first time or a Master who has successfully Installed his successor.

A Lodge where, on evenings of no Ceremony, the Brethren agree to have a lecture in which the relevance of the words of the Ritual are explained in language everyone can understand.

Districts, where new members of Lodges are introduced to each other and gather for evenings of Masonic learning, or, perhaps, visit a Lodge which is holding a Ceremony, which they can witness - getting together and experiencing that special fellowship.
Brethren this is 21st Century Freemasonry and the basis upon which mentors across the Province can now lead.


During the last year, our Education and Training Committee and District Mentors across our Province, have been working on a new Mentors Manual, which is available to all Lodge mentors from today. Presentation evenings have already been held in one or two Districts and these will be continued until all Lodge Mentors have had the opportunity to understand their new and enhanced role.

Let us keep the words and the great tradition of this little book, but make its words sing by helping our Brethren to understand what it all means. This is going to be the focus of our mentoring for the next year. Could it also be possible that the side effect of all this would be Freemasons, who can walk out into the world and when asked what Freemasonry is can verbalise the principles and tenets embodied in the book. Speak of Freemasonry in the every day common language of the man in the street and his family, not just what the Fraternity is, but also why it is, and, so important of all, what it means in today's world.

So where does this take us?

Perhaps, Brethren I expect too much, but a place where new masons are presented with a Freemasonry populated with men who know what they are part of, understand the basics of the narratives and the stories that all combine to weave a Masonic fabric of fable and fact, of allegory and actuality.

A Freemasonry where members immerse the newest Masons in an understanding, supportive, guidance and nurture led network. Freemasonry, where the learning of ritual is not the rite of passage but a large part of an appropriate understanding of the order leading to the way we live our lives.

Brethren if you enjoy something you want to experience it again and again - you will stay – and that will lead to retention of our members. Brethren, if you enjoy something you will want to tell your friends about it, which in turn, will lead to more recruitment.

Challenge a man and give him new enjoyable experiences and a dimension to his life and you fire his imagination and desire to quench that hunger for knowledge, self improvement and service – Brethren all the good things that this little book can do.

So In officially launching our new Mentors Programme today, I thank most sincerely all who have contributed and, in particular, the Past APGM Malcolm Worsley, who started the work and Robert Mitchell, the current Chairman of the Education and Training Committee, and all the many Brethren who have contributed to the initiative so far.

Brethren, this is an honest and sincere attempt to provide assistance to Lodges and Chapters across our Province, to deal with the important issues of recruitment, retention and retrieval. The Committee has worked with great diligence and the meetings they have already held in some Districts, have been very well received.

But there is one crucial element that your Province cannot provide; only you can provide. If you want to embrace this initiative, my appeal to you all, is to ensure that your Lodge has the right Mentor and that is not always the case at the moment.

I do not believe that I exaggerate, if I say, that perhaps, the most important element in the future of your Lodge is the quality of your Lodge Mentor. Choose him well, a Brother of stature and standing in the Lodge, a Brother with empathy and a good understanding of the Order, and Brethren above all a passion for the future wellbeing of the Brethren in the Lodge.

So Brother Mitchell you and your team have fired the imagination of your colleagues, you and your team now have the very considerable challenge of firing the imagination of the whole Province.

Brethren, before closing my address, I want to thank all those have been involved in today’s proceedings. You all give so much of your time freely and voluntarily and I want you to know that it is sincerely appreciated. May I also add my own personal thanks to our Provincial Grand Secretary, Alan Garnett and his team at Bridge Street for all that they do for us throughout the year. Thanks also to the other teams – to my Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Norman Cope and his team for the wonderful way in which they have presented this Provincial Grand Lodge – to Brother Roger Norris – to Brother Eddie Barlow and his medical team – to the Stewards from the Blackburn and Rossendale Districts who guided you into the Hall today – and to Brother Arthur Renshaw and his security team. This meeting could not function without you all and I do thank you.

So Brethren return to your Lodges with renewed energies. You all know that in our Freemasonry we have something very special in this troubled world. If we can present our message in the right way, both to ourselves and the public at large, I remain convinced that there are many men out there looking for what we enjoy. Please, be determined to do something because for the future of our great Order doing nothing, I put it to you, is not an alternative.

Brethren, thank you for listening so patiently.

[Applause]

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Brethren, I will now continue with the Investiture of the Acting Officers, Past Ranks and promotions.

Provincial Grand Secretary will you please read the names of those to be honoured?”

INVESTITURE

ProvSGW.................... Stuart Hughes ......................................................................................... 78
ProvJGW..................... Paul Aspinall ....................................................................................... 4111
ProvGChap ................. The Rev’d Jack Thompson, PJGD...................................................... 3005
ProvGTreas................. Robert Frankl, PAGDC ....................................................................... 1798
ProvGReg ................... John Pearson...................................................................................... 9101
ProvGSec.................... Alan Garnett, PJGD ............................................................................ 1147
ProvGDC..................... Norman Cope, PAGDC....................................................................... 5118
ProvGSwdB ................ David Dunn ......................................................................................... 6163
ProvGSuptWks ........... Philip Atkinson .................................................................................... 4293
ProvDepGChap........... The Rev’d David Halford..................................................................... 3317
ProvDepGReg............. David Norbury ....................................................................................... 266
ProvDepGSec ............. Kevin Horne, PProvJGW .................................................................... 5118
ProvDepGDC.............. Nigel Pickering .................................................................................... 8825
ProvDepGDC.............. David Bristol, PProvGSwdB................................................................ 6538
ProvDepGDC.............. Martin Roche, PProvDepGSwdB........................................................ 1144
ProvGAlm.................... Brian Horne, PAGDC.......................................................................... 6768
ProvGChStwd ............. David Geldard, PProvJGW................................................................. 5573
ProvSGD..................... John Belton ......................................................................................... 9659
ProvSGD..................... Christopher Creelman......................................................................... 6384
ProvSGD..................... David Rothwell .................................................................................... 2320
ProvSGD..................... Les Westbrook .................................................................................... 7968
ProvJGD ..................... Roy Castle .......................................................................................... 9397
ProvJGD ..................... Stuart Corless ..................................................................................... 8825
ProvJGD ..................... Tony Crystal........................................................................................ 8855
ProvJGD ..................... Brian Harrison ..................................................................................... 6603
ProvAGChap............... Stewart Longworth, PProvDepGSuptWks .......................................... 1634
ProvAGChap............... The Rev’d John Winstanley ................................................................ 1147
ProvAGReg................. Bernard McDermott............................................................................. 4403
ProvAGDC .................. Clifford Brickles ................................................................................... 3326
ProvAGDC .................. Christopher Byrom.............................................................................. 7224
ProvAGDC .................. Brian Hill.............................................................................................. 9092
ProvAGDC .................. Duncan Holmes .................................................................................. 4295
ProvAGDC .................. Terence Marney.................................................................................... 992
ProvAGDC .................. Barry Platt ........................................................................................... 7869
ProvAGDC .................. Garth Routh ........................................................................................ 5118
ProvAGDC .................. Michael Squires .................................................................................. 4402
ProvAGSwdB.............. Antony Taylor...................................................................................... 6575
ProvAGSuptWks ......... Brian Wilson.......................................................................................... 152
ProvGOrg.................... Paul Bowen......................................................................................... 3867
ProvGStB .................... Harold Cooper....................................................................................... 221
ProvGPurs .................. Frank Smith, PProvDepGSuptWks ....................................................... 298
ProvAGPurs ................ Brian Robinson, PProvGSuptWks ...................................................... 7968
ProvAGPurs ................ Jeffery Ward, PProvJGW.................................................................... 4858
ProvGStwd.................. John Astbury ......................................................................................... 999
ProvGStwd.................. James Beninson ................................................................................... 816
ProvGStwd.................. Philip Berry.......................................................................................... 7306
ProvGStwd.................. Robert Chapman................................................................................. 4553
ProvGStwd.................. Paul Collins ......................................................................................... 8948
ProvGStwd.................. John Entwistle......................................................................................... 54


ProvGStwd.................. Robert Graham..................................................................................... 191
ProvGStwd.................. Dennis Heskett.................................................................................... 4138
ProvGStwd.................. Stuart McLeod..................................................................................... 6538
ProvGStwd.................. Terry Pelling........................................................................................ 9061
ProvGStwd.................. Michael Roberts .................................................................................. 8461
ProvGStwd.................. Kenneth Rowlatt.................................................................................... 367
ProvGStwd.................. Peter Sellers ....................................................................................... 1083
ProvGStwd.................. Paul Sellers......................................................................................... 4661
ProvGStwd.................. Paul Thornton ..................................................................................... 5713
ProvGStwd.................. Matthew Walton .................................................................................. 3140
ProvGStwd.................. Gregory Wood..................................................................................... 4595
ProvGTyler.................. Ian Ronson, PProvGSuptWks............................................................. 3326


PROMOTIONS

PAST PROVINCIAL SENIOR GRAND WARDEN

Harry Eddleston, PProvJGW ..................................................................................................... 345
Howard Nuttall, PProvSGD...................................................................................................... 7885
Ron Spencer, PProvJGW........................................................................................................ 3140
Allen Steele, PProvJGW.......................................................................................................... 4524
John Stewart, PProvJGW........................................................................................................ 4828
Fred Whitworth, PProvJGW..................................................................................................... 8688


PAST PROVINCIAL JUNIOR GRAND WARDEN

Duncan Ferguson, ProvDepGDC ............................................................................................ 7285
Stephen Jackson, PProvGSwdB ............................................................................................. 5206
Derek Lee, PProvGSuptWks ................................................................................................... 1055
Harry Lord, PProvGSwdB........................................................................................................ 4703
Frederick Madders, PProvGSwdB........................................................................................... 3838
Keith Walker, PProvGReg ......................................................................................................... 266
George Wright, PProvDepGSuptWks...................................................................................... 3005


PAST PROVINCIAL GRAND SWORD BEARER

Edward Barlow, PProvDepGSwdB .......................................................................................... 5969
David Biggs, PProvSGD .......................................................................................................... 7560
Peter Faulkner, PProvJGD ...................................................................................................... 3716
Brandon Fowden, PProvDepGSwdB....................................................................................... 2322
Brendan Harte, PProvSGD...................................................................................................... 1083
Len Hayes, PProvGSuptWks..................................................................................................... 204
Jim Kirkham, PProvSGD.......................................................................................................... 4111
Chad Northcott, PProvGSuptWks............................................................................................ 7252
William Pye, ProvSGD............................................................................................................. 5040
David Williamson, PProvSGD.................................................................................................. 8301


PAST PROVINCIAL GRAND SUPERINTENDENT OF WORKS

Leon Ashton, PProvJGD.......................................................................................................... 7885
Alan Barlow, PProvSGD ............................................................................................................ 298
Michael Birks, PProvSGD........................................................................................................ 3329
Peter Blackhurst, PProvDepGSuptWks................................................................................... 3786
Garth Green, PProvSGD ........................................................................................................... 277
Allan Gregson, PProvSGD....................................................................................................... 7814
Allen Hever, PProvSGD............................................................................................................. 854
Kenneth Hirst, PProvJGD ........................................................................................................ 7560
Gordon Hobbs, PProvSGD...................................................................................................... 1519[


Trevor Jewitt, PProvSGD........................................................................................................... 266
Alan Kirwilliam, PProvSGD...................................................................................................... 8825
Andrew Lewis, PProvSGD....................................................................................................... 7657
Raymond Marks, PProvSGD ................................................................................................... 6023
Albert Nutter, PProvDepGSuptWks ......................................................................................... 4767
Barry Rhodes, PProvSGD ....................................................................................................... 1218
Rodney Ward, PProvDepGSuptWks ....................................................................................... 5039


PAST PROVINCIAL DEPUTY GRAND REGISTRAR

Barry Axford, PProvJGD.......................................................................................................... 9101
Walter Bramall, PProvDepGSuptWks...................................................................................... 8529
John Briggs, PProvJGD............................................................................................................. 381
Steven Briggs, PProvSGD....................................................................................................... 8235
John Cavanagh, PProvDepGSwdB ......................................................................................... 3615
Anthony Cross, PProvSGD...................................................................................................... 5140
Ian Crowe, PProvSGD............................................................................................................. 9604
Keith Doyle, PProvJGD............................................................................................................ 1723
Ken Edwards, PProvSGD........................................................................................................ 1458
Derrick Fielding, PProvJGD..................................................................................................... 3787
Harris Frazer, PProvAGDC...................................................................................................... 7441
David Garnett, PProvAGDC..................................................................................................... 6721
Martin Gilbert, PProvJGD ........................................................................................................ 1798
David Greenhalgh, PProvSGD ................................................................................................ 5573
Tom Haworth, PProvAGDC ..................................................................................................... 5206
Victor Hindle, PProvJGD.......................................................................................................... 3326
Jack Holding, PProvJGD ........................................................................................................... 363
David Holt, ProvAGSwdB ........................................................................................................ 3949
Paul Holt, PProvAGDC ............................................................................................................ 1129
Stephen Horridge, PProvDepGSwdB ........................................................................................ 633
John Howard, PProvAGDC...................................................................................................... 6522
Terence Kakoullis, PProvSGD................................................................................................. 6603
Alan Langham, PProvSGD ...................................................................................................... 5917
Ian Lewis, PProvJGD............................................................................................................... 4848
David Lightbown, PProvSGD................................................................................................... 3949
Ian Lord, PProvSGD ................................................................................................................ 1697
Allan Low, PProvJGD ................................................................................................................ 462
Peter Manning, PProvSGD.......................................................................................................... 37
Karl Mason, PProvJGD............................................................................................................ 5040
Alexander McLaren, PProvDepGSwdB ................................................................................... 3342
Philip Myers, PProvSGD.......................................................................................................... 5118
Jack Pitt, PProvAGDC ............................................................................................................. 2322
Harold Potts, PProvSGD.......................................................................................................... 5205
Nigel Renshaw, PProvDepGSwdB ............................................................................................ 266
John Richards, PProvSGD ...................................................................................................... 7370
Ronald Singer, PProvJGD ....................................................................................................... 7968
Leslie Taylor, PProvSGD......................................................................................................... 3837
Trevor Thompson, PProvDepGSwdB ...................................................................................... 1147
John Titterton, PProvSGD ........................................................................................................... 44
Michael Williams, PProvSGD................................................................................................... 1218
Len Worrall, PProvJGD............................................................................................................ 5504


PAST PROVINCIAL SENIOR GRAND DEACON

Simon Archer, PProvGStwd..................................................................................................... 5119
Francis Atherton, PProvAGDC ................................................................................................ 3317
Alfred Blackburn, PProvGStwd .................................................................................................. 934


Stephen Callaghan, PProvGStwd............................................................................................ 4641
Keith Chapple, PProvAGSuptWks ........................................................................................... 1030
Randall Cockshoot, PProvAGStB.............................................................................................. 993
Graham Creswell, PProvGStB................................................................................................. 3921
Graham Davies, PProvAGSwdB.............................................................................................. 7594
Trevor Downham, PProvJGD .................................................................................................... 269
John Ellis, PProvAGSwdB ....................................................................................................... 8688
Mark Gray, PProvGStwd.......................................................................................................... 2156
Robert Hathaway, PProvAGPurs............................................................................................. 4315
Alan Highton, PProvGStwd...................................................................................................... 6232
Colin Hill, PProvAGSwdB .......................................................................................................... 210
Christopher Lamb, PProvGStwd.............................................................................................. 5198
Robert Levy, PProvGStwd....................................................................................................... 8855
Michael Maunders, PProvAGDC ............................................................................................. 7560
Martin May, PProvAGStB ........................................................................................................ 3838
Alan McGovern, PProvAGDC.................................................................................................. 6467
Keith McLeod, PProvAGStB .................................................................................................... 2363
Robert Newman, PProvAGDC................................................................................................. 6667
Bob Paton, PProvAGDC.......................................................................................................... 5140
John Rimmer, PProvAGDC ..................................................................................................... 3479
John Scarr, PProvGStB ............................................................................................................... 54
William Sharp, PProvGStwd .................................................................................................... 8561
Derek Smith, PProvGStwd....................................................................................................... 5969
Jack Sunderland, PProvGStB.................................................................................................. 4848
Melvyn Taylor, PProvGStwd ...................................................................................................... 934
Jack Threlfall, PProvAGDC...................................................................................................... 4295
Kenneth Topping, PProvGStwd ............................................................................................... 4403
Graeme Wilkinson, PProvGStwd ............................................................................................. 1064
Ivor Williams, PProvAGDC ...................................................................................................... 1459
Arthur Yates, PProvAGDC....................................................................................................... 2156


PAST PROVINCIAL JUNIOR GRAND DEACON

Neil Bergmeier, PProvGStwd................................................................................................... 5771
William Brown, PProvAGDC.................................................................................................... 3299
Guiseppe Cavaleri, PProvAGDC ............................................................................................. 8542
Leslie Chadderton, PProvAGDC.............................................................................................. 1773
George Langlands, PProvGOrg............................................................................................... 3479
Alan Lomas, PProvAGDC........................................................................................................ 1634
Ken Rothwell, PProvAGDC........................................................................................................ 283
Edward Smethurst, PProvGStwd*......................................................................................... 5332


* Currently a Past Provincial Grand Steward, and now a Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


Tony Bennett
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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by aiyoyo on 11.11.12 15:29

I am surprised in this day and age that freemasonry continues and that people are still willing to be subjected to a ritual to be indoctrinated or should I say brain washed.

What are they supposed to do for their Brethren that the Society or Church can provide as support?

It's like a cult really that no Government Authority is regulating. Dangerous really without guidelines.

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by aquila on 11.11.12 15:48

Half of my family were Scottish (they're all passed away now). Working class (protestant) miners. It was normal as I understand to be a mason in those days, you didn't need to be from a privileged background. I can remember my Mother telling me how when she was a young girl they were thrilled to attend the Masonic Ball. It was the highlight of the village. I think the photographs still exist somewhere in a photo tin (not in my possession) of the Masonic do's. My uncle (now deceased) a policeman of not a junior rank was a mason. I am proud to say that the men in the rest of my family all declined to become members when invited except for my Brother who joined up and then left almost immediately (he's a fast learner and I think he did it for traditional reasons rather than any belief in the brotherhood).

It's an elitist organisation whether you are rich or poor. I'm very proud of the men in my family who turned their backs on it.

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by PeterMac on 11.11.12 15:57

@aiyoyo wrote:I am surprised in this day and age that freemasonry continues and that people are still willing to be subjected to a ritual to be indoctrinated or should I say brain washed.
What are they supposed to do for their Brethren that the Society or Church can provide as support?
It's like a cult really that no Government Authority is regulating. Dangerous really without guidelines.
At one level it is just a dining club, where you wear an apron with your Dinner Jacket, and have a particular Grace before Meat, and say and do some funny things to show that you are part of the group. That is what most masons will tell you. (Round Table has its own Grace, and the Aims and Objects are read out before dinner.)
At another level it is "networking" getting to know the influential people in a particular area,
And from that it is a way of 'easing the wheels" of commerce, getting contracts, getting jobs for your friends, even if not for yourself, and so on
And from there comes more highly organised network of power with its tentacles into local government.

From there the more senior and thrusting ones go on to Chapter, Arch, Mark and Rouge Pelican, depending which Rite they are in. These can be thought of as area and region, for want of a better explanation. So at each stage they are in contact with many more like minded and junior people.
That's when it starts getting worrying

By then they are unlikely to admit that they are Masons at that level. The secrecy become vital.
And it is only then that they are taught the name of the Great Architect of the Universe.
And it isn't God !

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by Tony Bennett on 11.11.12 16:13

@PeterMac wrote:At one level [Freemasonry] is just a dining club, where you wear an apron with your Dinner Jacket, and have a particular Grace before Meat, and say and do some funny things to show that you are part of the group. That is what most masons will tell you. (Round Table has its own Grace, and the Aims and Objects are read out before dinner.)
At another level it is "networking" getting to know the influential people in a particular area,
And from that it is a way of 'easing the wheels" of commerce, getting contracts, getting jobs for your friends, even if not for yourself, and so on
And from there comes more highly organised network of power with its tentacles into local government.

From there the more senior and thrusting ones go on to Chapter, Arch, Mark and Rouge Pelican, depending which Rite they are in. These can be thought of as area and region, for want of a better explanation. So at each stage they are in contact with many more like minded and junior people.
That's when it starts getting worrying

By then they are unlikely to admit that they are Masons at that level. The secrecy become vital.
And it is only then that they are taught the name of the Great Architect of the Universe.
And it isn't God !
This is a truly excellent and brilliantly concise, as well as wholly accurate, summation of Freemasonry by PeterMac, in just 152 words. I commend it to all. And Peter is right about the last but; the higher levels of Freemasonry acknowledge Satan or Lucifer as the one they call 'The Great Architect'.

The very title, 'The Great Achitect', refers to the profession of someone who can only design and create buildings using the raw materials that someone else has created in the first place.

That explains why Freemasonry's supremo is not called 'The Great Creator'.

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by aquila on 11.11.12 16:25

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@PeterMac wrote:At one level [Freemasonry] is just a dining club, where you wear an apron with your Dinner Jacket, and have a particular Grace before Meat, and say and do some funny things to show that you are part of the group. That is what most masons will tell you. (Round Table has its own Grace, and the Aims and Objects are read out before dinner.)
At another level it is "networking" getting to know the influential people in a particular area,
And from that it is a way of 'easing the wheels" of commerce, getting contracts, getting jobs for your friends, even if not for yourself, and so on
And from there comes more highly organised network of power with its tentacles into local government.

From there the more senior and thrusting ones go on to Chapter, Arch, Mark and Rouge Pelican, depending which Rite they are in. These can be thought of as area and region, for want of a better explanation. So at each stage they are in contact with many more like minded and junior people.
That's when it starts getting worrying

By then they are unlikely to admit that they are Masons at that level. The secrecy become vital.
And it is only then that they are taught the name of the Great Architect of the Universe.
And it isn't God !
This is a truly excellent and brilliantly concise, as well as wholly accurate, summation of Freemasonry by PeterMac, in just 152 words. I commend it to all. And Peter is right about the last but; the higher levels of Freemasonry acknowledge Satan or Lucifer as the one they call 'The Great Architect'.

The very title, 'The Great Achitect', refers to the profession of someone who can only design and create buildings using the raw materials that someone else has created in the first place.

That explains why Freemasonry's supremo is not called 'The Great Creator'.

Thank God there are souls that can't be persuaded. It all starts off as a boys club, an affiliation, a chance to network and then it gets ugly. Thank God there are decent men who turn their backs on it and live on their own wits without the need for a satanic crutch.

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by jd on 21.04.13 2:38

The Young Peoples Committee
Chairman:
WBro Paul G Chadwick
Appointed Members
WBro Peter Cole
WBro Edward G Smethurst
WBro H Nigel Pickering
WBro Roger Tinker

This Committee organises events for younger persons who are beneficiaries of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and also ensures that on the occasion of their birthday and at Christmas they are remembered by way of a monetary gift.

THE YOUNG PEOPLES COMMITTEE - A 25 year personal perspective from both a Committee member and a former beneficiary by Edward Smethurst.
As I write this article, I see that I am getting old! and that the 16 October 2006 will mark, not only my 38th birthday but also the 25th Anniversary of my association with the Young Peoples Committee.

On the 16th of October 1981, my life radically changed forever when my father was tragically and suddenly killed in a house fire on my thirteenth birthday. As you would expect, this left a huge hole in my life. This date also triggered my first involvement with the warmth and fraternity of the craft and with the Young Peoples Committee, an organisation which so positively demonstrates the values of Freemasonry, and which in my own experience makes a real difference to the lives of its beneficiaries.

http://www.elmc.co.uk/pages/Young_People's_Committee/YP_Com.asp

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by tigger on 21.04.13 6:34

I note three Reverends in the investiture list. ? pray2

It looks as if the Mafia is a rather moral organisation compared to the aims of the true Masons.

PeterMac's definition is spot on of course. I also think the lower orders who will barely climb the ladder of degrees and not attend all meetings, are very useful in small ways. It definitely pays to have contacts in high places as well as in low places.
The more the merrier, hence the recruiting drive we see here.

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Re: THE SMETHURST FILES 7. The speech at the Annual Meeting of Edward Smethurst's Grand Masonic Lodge 29 November 2007 - A gathering of the Worshipful Masters & Grand Masters

Post by PeterMac on 21.04.13 7:13

@tigger wrote:. . I also think the lower orders who will barely climb the ladder of degrees and not attend all meetings, are very useful in small ways. It definitely pays to have contacts in high places as well as in low places. . .
They are all admitted to the Third degree, which is where most of them remain.
And they do attend all dinners / meetings. There are usually only five or six, during the winter months.
Masons plan their yearly diary round those meetings, which is relatively easy since they are known a year in advance.
They would only NOT attend for reason of serious illness or injury.

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