Wednesday the 4th of December 2019 saw the final meeting of Earl Ellesmere Lodge No678, which meets at the Farnworth Masonic Hall and was originally consecrated in 1858.

The Lodge was opened in due form and with solemn prayer, following which the WM Ken Tyler offered the gavel to the APGM, John Griffin . This was duly returned with deep regret and sadness. Salutations to the APGM were then given in the usual manner. A number of reports followed, the most notable of which was presented by the Lodge Almoner, Thomas Ryan, after which, the WM invited the Lodge Secretary John Welsby to give brief history of the Lodge. This was delivered in a dignified and at times very moving manner, recollecting at one point that his grandfather was actually WM of the Lodge several decades ago; a very poignant moment for John Welsby. Amongst the 50 or so visitors he also made particular reference to two Masons – again with historic connections to the Lodge – who travelled from London for the occasion.

On completion of the brief history, the WM requested that all the members of the Lodge form a square in the centre and, when so assembled, directed the youngest member, Harvey Clugston, to collect the Warrant and pass it round in order that they may have one last look at it. After one final look, the most senior member, William E Grundy, handed the warrant to the WM who in turn passed it to the APGM, requesting that it be safely returned to UGLE from whence it originated. At this point, the APGM was compelled to inform the Brethren that since the Lodge no longer has a Warrant, sadly it ceases to exist. After a few more thoughtful words and a short poem, the APGM requested that all the visitors quietly leave to enable him to have a few private words with the Brethren of the Lodge. The members then formed two columns at the entrance and with the assistance of the WM, the APGM carried the Warrant out of the Lodge room, the last to leave being the most senior member William E Grundy, who turned out the lights and finally closed the door.

Report and Pictures by Edwin Hardman