On 22 April 2024 at Rochdale Masonic Hall a very special meeting was being held by Rochdale Lodge 6721, It was 50 to the day from when WBro David Whittaker PProvGSwdB was initiated into the lodge.

The lodge was opened in due form, minutes confirmed and WBro John Lees ProvGDC was admitted to the lodge to announce that WBro John Curry Assistant Provincial Grand Master was outside the door of the lodge with a deputation of officers. WBro Curry was duly admitted to the lodge and took the chair of King Solomon to preside over the festivities.

The lodge was called off and David’s wife, family and guests were invited into the lodge room to be part of the celebrations. David’s tribute was expertly presented by WBro Peter Rhodes PProvAPGM.

There are families in this country who can trace their ancestry back to Magna Carta and beyond. Sadly not the Whittakers.

But for the past three generations the family has enjoyed a proud history of serving their community as Police Officers, supporting their communities with the good works they have undertaken and cherishing their wives and families.

David is devoted to his wife, Beverley; they have two children, Kathryn aged 54 who lives with them, has severe learning difficulties and at the moment is in respite care and Christopher aged 55, a retired police officer who is married and lives in a small village called Askham, near Penrith but who unfortunately, is not able to join us this evening because he is currently in Dallas celebrating his grandson’s 3rd birthday. Rochdale or Dallas, it must have been a difficult decision for him.

David’s father, Isaac was the village police sergeant in Whitworth for many years. He joined this the Rochdale Lodge No 6721, incidentally the best lodge in the province, in 1950 and was followed by David’s brother Bob in 1967 and David who was initiated in 1974. Bob is here this evening to support David and in company with David, the current members of the lodge are all delighted to see you back here in this lodge room.

David is a career police officer. He joined as a cadet in 1962 and rose through ranks to become a Detective Chief Inspector in the Professional Standards Department before his retirement in 2002.

Thereafter he worked as a part time Planning Enforcement Officer for Rossendale B C until his full retirement in 2006 at the age of 60.

His leisure time interests include walking and classic cars. He is an active member of the West Lancashire Branch of the Long-Distance Walker’s Association where he held the office as Walks Secretary for 9 years. Question – has he persuaded them all to step off with the left foot?

As classic car enthusiasts he and Beverley own a 1959 Morris Convertible and a Morgan Sports Car. They share their interest with David’s brothers Bob and Andrew together with Andrew’s wife Teresa all of whom are here to support David this evening.

In addition to all the other activities in his life David is a dedicated freemason. I am sure our APGM will set details of his masonic career but on behalf of Rochdale Lodge I want to say we are and always have been proud to have him as a member. For as long as I can remember he has worked tirelessly in the best interests of the lodge, he has conducted more ceremonies than I care to remember, whenever someone has been needed to fill a role at short notice not only has he always been the go to person but the quality of his work has been of a high standard and an example for all our members to aspire to.

David this celebration is well deserved, we are all privileged to share it with you, may you have many more happy years in our fraternity and in particular in this the best lodge in the Province.