On the 12th of April at the Lodge of Amity and Rossendale Forest No.283, over 50 Brethren, including the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Alan Kirwilliam, accompanied by a large deputation along with many Masonic visiting friends, celebrated the 50 years Masosnic service of WBro Derek Smith. The celebration was due to take place in September 2020, but for reasons, well known to us all, this had to be postponed.
A wonderful tribute, delivered by his friend of 50 years WBro Stuart Rayton can be found here.

This much appreciated testimonial set the happy and positive tone for the evening, continued by the APGM‘s recollection of what life was like in 1970 and by Derek’s memories of how he came to join Freemasonry and the night of his initiation. After presenting Derek with his personal letter of congratulations from the newly invested Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Robert Frankl, WBro Kirwilliam read and then presented Derek with his illuminated certificate, signed by Sir David Trippier, who was the RW PGM in 2020.

Derek was acclaimed by all present, after which, the District Chairman, WBro Dave McGurty, officially presented Derek with his 50th Lapel Pin and a gift, a bottle of his favourite tipple, Cognac. The Chairman thanked him for all that he has done and continues to do for Freemasonry in the District.

The Festive board was a very lively and happy occasion, expertly organised by the Lodge. Derek, responding to the kind toast to him from WBro Steve Barton, replied with some amusing anecdotes and thoughts from his over five decades of service before lastly thanking everyone in attendance for their support.
This was an appropriately celebratory occasion for this much appreciated man and Mason, who continues to contribute so much to his Freemasonry.