WBro Alan H Kirwilliam, PSGD, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area of the Province of East Lancashire, and over Twenty Brethren attended Burnley Masonic Hall for what was, because of a recent illness suffered by WBro Yates, the very low-key, informal celebration of the 50th anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Roland Woodrow Yates PProvGSwdB.

WBro Kirwilliam first extended his personal congratulations and those of Very Worshipful Bro John R Farrington, PGSwdB, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge and, of course, all present this afternoon. WBro Kirwilliam asked WBro Yates how old he was when he was initiated into the then Borough Lodge? Many present were surprised when WBro Yates said “ Forty-Three” When asked about his Initiation ceremony, WBro Yates said there were Eighty members of the Lodge and some on the waiting list!

WBro Kirwilliam then thanked WBro Yates for his service to Freemasonry noting that he had served as Lodge Chaplain for over Twenty years. He then presented a personal letter and certificate from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, noting that it was a very rare occurrence for a Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge to sign a 50th anniversary certificate.

The Master of Borough and Ashlar Lodge, WBro Ron Burrows, on behalf of Borough and Ashlar Lodge, said “it has been a long time since we first met, you were a stalwart of Borough Lodge and continued to be so after the merger with Ashlar Lodge. It has been a privilege to be here at your 50th anniversary.

To conclude the proceedings, a 50 years’ lapel badge, to be worn with pride, was presented by the Burnley and Pendle District Chairman, WBro Bob Allan.

WBro Yates thanked everyone for attending, saying that “not only were they Brothers in the Masonic sense, but were his friends. A lot has changed in Fifty years, some not too good, but we are still here.”

Among those present were two other Brethren who had previously achieved 50 years in Freemasonry, WBro Gordon Spencer and WBro Derek Burrows 

L to R. WBro’s Gordon Spencer, Ronald W Yates, Alan Kirwilliam, APGM, and Derek Burrows.

Article and Pictures

John Wilkinson