The occasion of a 50th Celebration within Freemasonry is a special occasion, not just for those who know or are involved with the celebrant but for everyone who is able to attend the occasion.

On Wednesday 18th October 2023, the members of Three Shires Lodge met at Mossley Freemasons Hall to celebrate the 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of Worshipful Brother Alan Lawton, Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, The Reverend Canon Richard Whishaw Hawkins, Past Senior Grand Deacon, accompanied by a Southern Area Area Delegation, was admitted. The Master of the Lodge, David James Hoyle, Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, offered the APGM the Gavel, on this occasion, the APGM accepted the Gavel and took his place in the chair. The APGM then introduced the members of his delegation to the brethren within the lodge. He noted that, unusually, on this occasion, there were two APGMs in attendance, the second one in attendance being Mark William Davis, Past Senior Grand Deacon and APGM for the Manchester Area. The APGM went on to explain that Mark was there to present a more personal tribute to the celebrant.

The APGM asked the assembled brethren questions dated from key points in Alan Lawton’s life; these included the year he was born as well as dates from the 50 years he spent in Freemasonry, including the year he was initiated, the year he became Master of his Lodge. Brethren attending the meeting were invited to give answers to these historical questions, which included some portentous news events as well lighter queries about cinematic films and popular songs from the day. After mentioning significant points in Alans’ career as a Freemason, the APGM then invited his counterpart from the Manchester Area to deliver his more personal commentary on Alan. The APGM for the Manchester area explained that he was doing this as the son-in-law of the celebrant.

The occasion was a special one for all who attended, and it was a fitting tribute to a long and distinguished career in Freemasonry.