Last night, Wednesday 17th of May, Maccabee Lodge had something really special to celebrate, the 50th anniversary of the Freemasonry of W. Bro. Michael.
Everyone has a different reason for joining Freemason, it could be as simple as a family tradition, to have extra time out with our friends, or simply something we always wanted to do to join one of the most illustrious fraternities in history. When this happens a journey begins, mysteries start to be unveiled and brotherhood became an important part of us suddenly we wake up one morning and we realize we have spent 50 years in our Freemasonry.
This is what happen last night in Maccabee Lodge 8947 for W. Bro. Michael Colin who join Freemasonry in 1973 and never looked back since.
After the Lodge was opened and the minutes confirmed, W. Bro. Lee Gridley Prov.Dep.G.D.C. was admitted and announced that Mark Davies, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Manchester East Area, demanded admission.
W. Bro. Colin joined his mother Lodge Carmel Lodge 7835 (West Lancs) in 1973, one of the most significant years in the United Kingdom as the population endured power cuts, the three-day working week, and the oil crisis. Leeds United won the Premier League but lost in the F.A. Cup against Sunderland which is not so important for a huge Rugby fan as Michael, coming from a Rugby tradition. It was then that a young brother named Michael Colin decided to change his life and the life of many others joining Freemasons. A charitable man who never stopped helping others in need, becoming a pillar in society. In the year 1980 Michael along with 19 other Freemasons got together to form a new Lodge. A Lodge with new ideas, and a fresh style. Over the years the founders have resigned or gone to the Grand Lodge above leaving only two of the Founders left in the Lodge Michael and W Bro Lawrence Rickless.
Michael received his Provincial Honours in 1988 and he has always been an exemplary Mason in Craft and he totally deserves this tribute.
W. Bro. and Provincial officer Ian Paul, done a speech to Michal, talking about his life since, at a young age, moved with his parents to Manchester, becoming with the time a chartered accountant, a brilliant father and husband, and a committed Mason.
He got married to Ann who passed away in the early 90’ of cancer leaving Michael with his three daughters, before meeting and getting married to Denise who passed away as Ann, of cancer in 2012. Is a few years later that W. Bro. Ian Paul’s wife, introduced her best friend Sue to Michael. They got married in 2014 and they share lots of nice things together including 7 children between the two of them.
After presenting W. Bro. Colin with his illuminated Certificate, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Mark Davies, requested the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremony, W. Bro. Lee Gridley, to let Michael sit in the middle of the Lodge while he was doing a speech to him. Many kind words for a kind man who dedicated his entire life to his family, to charity, and to his other big passion: Freemasonry.
After the speech, the Provincial Deputy Chairman, W. Bro. Ed Beaman, presented to Michael a badge for his 50 years anniversary in the Freemason.
Michael responded to the speech and felt emotional talking about one of our members who suddenly passed away last year, W. Bro. Cliff Valins, a lifelong friend with who he shared many memories. At the end of his speech, he presented a check of £250 to go to the provincial charity.
At this point of the ceremony, the Lodge was called off and all the member’s wives, partners, and families were welcomed into the Lodge room.
W. Bro. Davies asked W. Bro Lee Gridley – Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies – to place Michael in the center of the Lodge and once sat comfortably, he began by remembering the year in which Michael was initiated into Carmel Lodge 7835 (Sadly now closed), in 1973.
An enjoyable night to remember, to keep deep in our hearts and, eventually to brighten the nights when we feel lonely, always remembering that Masonry gave us a Sacred bond with our brethren and friends such that we are never lonely, we always have family, we always will be Freemasons.
Story by Brother Francesco Toto