Wednesday, the first of June2022 saw the Centenary Meeting of the Duke of Lancaster Lodge No 4207, held at Ashday Lea Masonic Hall, Rawtenstall.

Originally Consecrated on the 31st of May 1921 at the Albion Hotel, Piccadilly, Manchester, Lodge meetings were subsequently convened at two further venues before relocating to Ashday Lea in 2003. In fact, the majority of its time was previously spent at Bridge Street, Manchester, where it was based for 73 years. From the above Consecration date, it may be queried why the present meeting was not held in 2021. Regrettably this had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

On a happier note, it is pleasing to report that the present meeting was the first major duty in the Western Area for our new PGM, RWBro Robert Ian Frankl.

With respect to the meeting itself, the WM opened the Lodge in due form and this was immediately followed by the knocks of a ‘report’. The Provincial Grand DC, WBro John Curry was granted admission and having greeted the WM, proceeded to inform him that the PGM, RWBro Robert Ian Frankl, accompanied by a Provincial Deputation and Past Grand Officers, was in attendance without and that he demanded admission. He also requested the assistance of the Lodge Deacons. Permission duly granted, on entering the Lodge and the Deputation having taken their places, the RWPGM was introduced to the WM, Bro Mike Lomax, who expressed his delight in welcoming RWBro Frankl to his Lodge on this special occasion. He also took great pleasure in offering him the gavel, which was gratefully accepted.

On taking the chair and following the appropriate salutations, the RWPGM’s first task was to introduce the Provincial Deputation, which was followed by a brief history of the Lodge, read by WBro Brian Daber. He was accompanied by the Lodge’s oldest member WBro Gordon Neale (d.o.b. 1929) who gave some personal recollections – he actually knew one of the founder members! An excellent oration was delivered by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, WBro Russell Conn, after which the Provincial Grand Secretary, WBro Chris Wildman read a transcription of the Centenary Warrant, the actual Warrant not yet having been received from London.

This notwithstanding, the RWPGM directed that the transcript be placed on the floor of the Lodge and at the same time commenting that it was perhaps appropriate that we should be celebrating this event on the eve of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The WM then made a presentation to the Province of East Lancashire Festival Appeal 2026 of £500, which was gratefully received, with more to be said on the subject at the Festive Board. The RWPGM then had the pleasant task of promoting one of the Lodge members, WBro Jack Ball, to the rank of PProvGSwdB, which promotion was duly applauded by the Brethren.

The main business having been completed, the RWPGM expressed his wish to retire. The Provincial Deputation formed a column, the gavel was returned to the WM and the Brethren asked to stand whilst the RWPGM took his place in the column, which then retired from the Lodge to the applause of the Brethren.

The Lodge was subsequently closed in due form.

Needless to say, the Festive Board was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Report by Edwin Hardman, Photos by Geoff Guy

© 2022, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.