Sadness and Celebration
This evening, Wednesday 4th January 2017, Radcliffe Masonic Hall was witness to both sadness and celebration.
Sadness for the closure of Progress Lodge No. 4848 and celebration of the lodges marvellous history and achievements.
The Worshipful Master with WBro Cope, Grand Officers and District Officers
Progress Lodge was consecrated in December 1926, this consecration overseen by the area APGM who handed the first WM the warrant for the lodge. It was founded out of necessity. The Lodge of Faith No. 344 was over whelmed with members and membership requests and so the Faith requested a sister lodge be founded, the request was duly accepted. Progress No. 4848.
Progress by no means lived in the shadow of Faith. It strived and succeeded in becoming as independent as any Lodge in the district as you can see from the patronages below. It bore many fine upstanding masons and was a credit to the province.
There is an awful lot more history to this lodge which I just do not have the space or expertise to comment upon but trust me, Progress No. 4848 was a great bastion of masonic tradition.
But what of the evening. It was a true celebration of the life of the lodge. The area APGM WBro Norman Cope PGSD represented the PGM and was witness to the last opening of the lodge after which the business of the lodge was conducted expertly. A history of the lodge was given by WBro Colin Clarkson PProvJGD followed by the WM WBro Trevor W M Hodgson PProvJGD handing the lodges warrant to WBro Cope. It was pointed out that as the then area APGM gave the warrant to the first WM of Progress so the last WM returned the warrant to the current area APGM.
For those wondering, the warrant is sent to United Grand Lodge where it will be archived in an air conditioned storeroom and well looked after.
Once the business of the evening had concluded the brethren retired to the social board. Here the sharing of stories, laughter and reminiscing could be heard. WBro Cope spoke a few well placed words considering the rather eloquent poem he intended to read had been hijacked the lodge secretary, WBro Jack Sunderland PProvSGD and read in open lodge. Oops!!!!!!
APGM, WBro Norman Cope addresses the Brethren at the Social Board
The Final Worshipful Master of Progress Lodge, WBro Trevor W M Hodgson
Let me just list some of the current patronage of Progress No. 4848
The Royal Masonic Institute for Boys.
The Royal Masonic Institute for Girls.
The East Lancashire Masonic Fund.
The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
The New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
GRAND VICE PRESIDENT : The Royal Masonic Association.
VICE PRESIDENT : Grand Charity Festival 2004.
GRAND PATRON : RMBI 2015 Festival.
VICE PATRON : ELMC.
The lodge has worked tireless for the good of charity and the local community.
The evening was a splendid send off for Progress Lodge No. 4848 and I thank all the members of the lodge for allowing us to visit and join them on this most poignant of evenings.