Over 50 Brethren, including VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, JP, PGSwdB, the Deputy Grand Master for the Masonic Province of East Lancashire and WBro John R. Farrington, PSGD, The Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area of the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by Grand Officers, Provincial Officers of the year and a District Delegation, signed the Tylers attendance register of Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge 1504 on Thursday 11th January 2018, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro William T K Black

WBro Black with VWBro Thornhill, WBro Farrington, WBro Carter, The Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, and the Worshipful Master and the Provincial and District Deputations.

The Worshipful Master of Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge, WBro Stanley Smith, PProvDepGSwdB opened the Lodge and after concluding the preliminary business received a report. The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Andrew Taylor, was admitted and announced that VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, PGSwdB, JP, accompanied by WBro John R. Farrington PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area and a Provincial Delegation was without and that he demanded admission.
The Brethren stood to order as VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill, accompanied by WBro John R. Farrington, and the Provincial Delegations were welcomed into the Lodge; the Provincial Senior and Junior Wardens occupied the Warden’s Chairs. VWBro Thornhill was offered the Gavel by the Worshipful Master. VWBro Thornhill replied saying it was always a great honour and a privilege to be offered the Gavel of a Lodge and that on this special occasion he was pleased to accept it.
VWBro Thornhill was then saluted in due form. VWBro Thornhill thanked the Brethren for their fraternal Salutations on behalf of himself and WBro Farrington and said he was very pleased to see so many Brethren in attendance and to see the Lodge so full.
After introducing the Provincial Delegation, VWBro Thornhill announced that the main business of the evening was to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of WBro William T K Black. WBro Black was then placed in the centre of the Lodge by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
WBro Bill Dallas was then invited to give a tribute to WBro Black.
WBro Dallas informed the meeting that WBro Black had been initiated into Lodge Gorebridge Dundas No 1039 on the 8th January 1958 and they had met through their involvement with the Caledonian society.
Leaving school, Bill attempted to join the Police as a Cadet but was advised by a Police Sergeant to take an office job. So, he took a clerking position with a firm who supplied surgical instruments and orthopaedic appliances to the National Health Service. Bill soon found that he didn’t really like office work so, he started an apprenticeship with the same firm as an artificial limb and orthopaedic appliance maker.
National Service called, and Bill joined the Royal Navy as a stoker/mechanic and once he had completed his time he returned to his trade with the same firm as before.
Bill couldn’t settle indoors, so left the firm and took employment as a driver for a while before taking up employment as a foreman with Remploy in Gateshead before moving up the river to Newcastle on Tyne and worked on artificial limbs for the Ministry of Pensions.
In 1960 he married Margaret and had to live in ‘digs’ for a couple of years because of the difficulty in obtaining housing. This spurred Bill on and on the 30thAugust 1962 he joined Burnley Borough Police. He served on beat duties, and then in the control room. He became relief coroner’s officer and the village police constable in Simonstone. He retired at his pension age of 55. After a few months of retirement, he took part time employment as a delivery driver but after 2 years he retired full time to work in his allotment and enjoy his Masonry.
When he was asked why he joined Freemasonry, he replied – ‘interest, inquisitiveness and curiosity’ and he tells us that his mates had joined the Lodge whilst he was doing National Service mates. When asked why Gorebridge Dundas he told us – it was the only one in the village!!!
After being invited to several Lodges by villagers in Simonstone and a number of ‘bobbies’ he started to feel he should join a local Lodge so on the 3rd April 1980 he joined Red Rose of Lancaster. Bill then proceeded through all the offices of the Lodge and became Worshipful Master in 2001and again in 2011.
WBro Dallas concluded by saying, “Bill, sixty years is a long time in Freemasonry and I know that Red Rose Lodge No 1504 are proud to have been part of more than half of that time.
The members of Red Rose of Lancaster 1504 and all your friends in Freemasonry congratulate you, and we look forward to many more years in your company”.
VWBro Thornhill thanked WBro Dallas for the tribute and then referred to some of the significant events and other interesting facts relating to the year 1958, the year WBro Black was initiated, at one point having the Brethren singing the songs of the day.
VWBro Thornhill then, with the permission of the celebrant, read a congratulatory letter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland and on their behalf presented WBro Black with a Diamond celebration certificate. VWBro Thornhill then read the personal letter and illuminated certificate from the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and presented them to WBro Black, who was then presented to the Lodge by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies to the acclaim of the Brethren. To conclude the formal proceedings a 60 years lapel badge, to be worn with pride, was presented by the District Chairman, WBro Paul Thornton.

WBro Black receives his certificate from VWBro Thornhill alongside the Worshipful Master, WBro Stanley Smith.

Following the Alms collection, VWBro Thornhill thanked all that had been involved in the evening’s celebration.
The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies then asked if VWBro Thornhill wished to retire accompanied by WBro Farrington, WBro Thornton, the Provincial Delegations and on this occasion WBro Black. VWBro Thornhill having given his assent, a retiral procession was formed and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Thornhill accompanied by WBro Farrington, WBro Thornton, the Provincial Delegations and WBro Black, retired to the acclaim of the Brethren present.

WBro Black with VWBro Thornhill, WBro Farrington, WBro Carter, The Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, and the Worshipful Master and Brethren of Red Rose of Lancaster Lodge.

The Social Board was a happy and convivial occasion, enjoyed by all in attendance. Toasts were well received and appropriately acknowledged particularly those to the Worshipful Master, WBro Stan Smith, who was delighted that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master had taken the trouble to discover his interests outside Freemasonry. And to WBro Black, who to the surprise of the Brethren was left “almost” speechless when called on to make his response. A rare occurrence indeed?
John Wilkinson