The Provincial Delegation led by the RW Provincial Grand Master

Tuesday 11th September, 2018, marked the centenary of Kershaw Lodge No 3838. Kershaw Lodge was consecrated at the Parish Church School on Stalybridge Road in Ashton-u-Lyne on Thursday 16th May 1918. It followed on from a period when the new Lodge was steered into existence by a small group of Masons who would become its Founders. According to the minutes of the meeting there were seven Grand Lodge Officers, twenty Provincial Grand Lodge Officers, thirteen Past Provincial Officers, twelve representatives of Local Lodges, nineteen Founder Members, and “visiting brethren too many to mention.” We didn’t quite manage that sort of number last night, but the fifty or so who were present included our Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier RD, JP, DL who led a significant team of the Province’s Acting Officers and Grand Lodge Officers.

The Members of Kershaw Lodge with Sir David Trippier and John Pearson, the APGM for Southern Area

The Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master, Peter Gichero, who is a joining member of Kershaw Lodge. His Mother Lodge being Lodge of Minerva No 300, the Mother Lodge of Kershaw. Indeed, Minerva Lodge has been significant in the history of many local Lodges, so it is entirely appropriate that Peter was in the chair on this particular night. Once the Lodge had been opened the Provincial DC, Dr Simon Archer, brought Sir David, and the rest of the Provincial team into the Lodge. Sir David took the Chair, the Provincial Wardens took their places and, for a short time, Kershaw Lodge was transformed into Provincial Grand Lodge.
It’s at this point in a centenary ceremony that the Lodge gets to celebrate its endurance. Brian Bell is the Secretary of Kershaw Lodge, he had, with some assistance, prepared a short history of the Lodge, and he now presented it to the gathered Brethren. A wonderful story! The first meeting of the founders took place in 1916, the same year that had seen the immensely destructive Battle of the Somme take place in France. WBro Uriah Spencer was elected to chair the group which included two of his brothers and his nephew. As Brian said, in giving his history, it took courage and fortitude to see the Lodge into existence, probably at a time when the Province was none too keen to see a new Lodge established, and when most people in England were more concerned for the welfare of their relatives in France than they were for a new Freemasons’ Lodge.

The RW Provincial Grand Master congratulates Brian Bell, whilst the WM, Peter Gichero, looks on

Rev. Canon Richard Hawkins, the Provincial Chaplain, then gave his oration. Richard is an ex-soldier himself and, as such, was able to give a different perspective of the courage and fortitude that it took to establish a Lodge in the middle of one of the greatest wars in the history of our world, six months before the Armistice was signed. He told us, in a fascinating and very moving talk, that this was effectively the second Jubilee of the Lodge, and he pointed out that it was the Jubilee Laws in the Biblical Book of Leviticus that guaranteed a measure of justice and equality for all. He concluded by making the point that Kershaw Lodge was now in a position to move forwards into its next hundred years, holding fast to the Masonic precepts of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
The meeting effectively closed with two excellent moments. First, Peter Gichero presented Sir David Trippier with a cheque for £1,000.00 to be passed on to the East Lancashire Masonic Charity, as a celebration of Kershaw Lodge’s Centenary. Sir David then went on to explain that on special occasions like this he was able to give out a promotion to one of the Lodge’s brethren. On this occasion he had accepted the advice that this should rightfully go to WBro Brian Bell, the Lodge Secretary. Brian was then taken to Sir David who promoted him to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer. A splendid end to the evening.

Words and Photographs are © Kevin Hall, District Communications Officer. Photographs of this event, taken
at the Social Board, can be found in the Province’s Cloud Photo gallery by going to this web address: