Personal 50th Celebration of WBro. Barrie Simkin PProvJGW

It was a very special evening for the Lodge of Naphtali on Thursday 7th March as they celebrated the personal 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro. Barrie Simkin PProvJGW
After opening in due form, the Lodge was pleased to receive the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro. Peter Rhodes PAGReg together with the District Chairman Doug Smith PProvJGW and members of the District team.
After receiving the gavel from the WM WBro. Ian Clarke, WBro. Rhodes opened the proceeding by giving a very interesting account of life in 1969. Many brethren were surprised to hear that it was 50 years since the first Lunar landing, the first test flight of Concord or the investment of the Prince of Wales.
The Lodge Secretary WBro. Trevor Jewitt then read the minutes for Wilton Lodge No.1077 for the date that WBro. Simkin was initiated.
A very good friend of WBro. Simkin’s, WBro. Alan Botterley (who was in fact the WM at WBro. Simkin’s initiation) then proceeded to give a tribute. WBro. Botterley explained that WBro. Simkin had been initiated into Wilton Lodge in March 1969, passed in May and raised in November of the same year. After serving in many of the important offices of the Lodge he was installed as WM in 1984. Although WBro. Simkin had performed a number of important charitable roles on behalf of Wilton Lodge he is remembered for the work that he had completed in support of Hewlett Court in which he put his love of Classic Cars to good use.

Unfortunately, Wilton Lodge was forced to close in 2005, but being the committed Mason he is WBro. Simkin joined St Lukes with Old Masonians Lodge No.4294 followed by Naphtali. It was interesting to note that many of the old friendships between the members of Wilton Lodge still exist and these old friends continue to meet up at least once each year.
The District Chairman WBro. Doug Smith then read a letter from the Provincial Grand Master Sir David Tripper which thanked WBro Simkin for achieving 50 years in the Craft. A 50-year certificate was then presented to WBro. Simkin by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Peter Rhodes.
WBro. Simkin then perambulated the lodge to the applause of all present.
Before closing the Lodge, the Rochdale District Chairman WBro. Doug Smith presented WBro. Simkin with a lapel badge marking his 50 years of service to Freemasonry.
The celebration continued at the Social Board where an excellent meal was enjoyed by all present. WBro. Simkin’s son (himself a Master Mason) who had traveled from his home in Richmond, Virginia, USA.  made a very moving speech which praising his Father’s contribution to Freemasonry.

Report and Photographs by WBro. Ken Rowlatt – Rochdale District Communications Officer.