Top Photo – Seated Centre – WBro Peter G Hewitt and Bro John Ashworth . Members of the Provincial Deputation together with members of the Lodge.
Bottom Left Photo – Bro John Ashworth being presented with his 50 year certificate by WBro Peter Hewitt APGM.
Bottom Right Photo WBro Hewitt and Bro Ashworth taking wine at the social board.  

Bro John A Ashworth, PProvGStB, Worshipful Master

On Tuesday 9th February, Liberty Lodge 5573 was pleased to receive WBro Peter G Hewitt , PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by a Deputation of Rochdale District Officers, Acting Officers of the Year and several Rochdale District Grand Officers.

This visitation was to celebrate and mark the personal 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of Bro John Anthony Ashworth, PProvGStB.

WBro Hewitt opened the celebrations by giving an amusing and informative insight into what life was like in 1966.  WBro Kevin Hooson, PProvSGD, the Lodge Secretary, then read the minutes of the Lodge meeting held on the 8th February 1966, which recorded the Initiation of John by his father WBro Norman Ashworth, PProvJGW, who, regrettably, passed to the Grand Lodge Above shortly after this occasion.

A tribute was delivered to John by his long-time friend and fellow lodge member, WBro Harry Bell PProvSGD, who not only described John’s dedication to Liberty Lodge and Freemasonry in general but also took the opportunity to publicly acclaim him for his voluntary work at Rochdale’s Springhill Hospice and for the other community activities John supports.  WBro Bell revealed to those present John’s little known act of heroism when he put his own life at risk in an attempt to rescue a father and son who were being washed out to sea off the Dorset coast.  He then read citations from the 3 certificates for Bravery awarded to John.

Finally, after a personal letter of congratulations from Sir David Trippier, RW Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire was read out in open lodge by the District Chairman, WBro Peter Rhodes, following which WBro Hewitt took great pleasure in presenting John with a richly deserved Illuminated Certificate to mark this very special occasion.

The celebrations continued at the Festive Board and concluded when, after making a very warm and heart felt speech, John was presented with a large canvas print showing his father, WBro N Ashworth, dressed in Worshipful Masters regalia.