The Worshipful Master and officers of the lodge looking resplendent in their new aprons [From L to R: Warwick Davenport (Charity Steward), Allan Bennion (Inner Guard), Robert Frankl (Treasurer), Royce Batters (Junior Deacon), Alan Garnett (Senior Deacon), Malcolm Worsley (Senior Warden), Nigel Bramley-Haworth (WM), Sir David Trippier (IPM), Paul Rose (Junior Warden/Almoner), Donald Pryce (Chaplain), Norman Cope(DC), Martin Roche (Secretary), Andrew Sykes (Organist) and Wes Marchant (ADC)]
The Lodge of Fortitude No 64 held its Installation meeting on Friday 12 May. This very old lodge, which was warranted in 1739, has for many years been the lodge of the senior members of the Province who are asked to join at the invitation of the Provincial Grand Master at the time. The May meeting saw the outgoing master, our Provincial Grand Master no less, install his successor, VWBro Nigel Bramley-Haworth, our past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, in splendid style.
Special though the ceremony was, it was not the only special thing about the meeting. Lodge of Fortitude is one of very few lodges in the country that by long standing tradition wears aprons that are not of the standard design. This has been mentioned in works by the late Neville Barker Cryer whilst the current Deputy Grand Secretary, Graham Redman, in a recent book, states “the Officers of Lodge of Fortitude No 64 (East Lancashire) have aprons ornamented with silver lace on both the outer and inner edges of the light blue border”. The lodge possessed a full set of aprons for every officer, but sadly these very old aprons had, for the most part, deteriorated to such an extent that they were unwearable. The lodge therefore resolved to commission a new set of aprons from DMC Regalia and these new aprons had their very first outing at the installation meeting. And how splendid they looked!
Also looking splendid was the newly refurbished Museum Dining Room at Manchester Hall to which the lodge members retired for a very convivial luncheon. In 22 years this fine old lodge will celebrate its own tercentenary and the aprons should still be in excellent condition at that time – which is, sadly, more than will probably be the case in 2039 for many of its current members!

The Worshipful Master and Immediate Past Master checking on the quality of the wines!

Lunch in the splendid surroundings of the Museum Dining Room