WBro Peter Douthwaite, District Chairman of Ashton & Mossley District accompanied by his wife Catherine (extreme left)
and their principal guests ( l to r) EComp Eddie Barlow APGP and his wife Linda, WBro John Pearson APGM with his wife Denise and
WBro Gerry Hodson, District Chairman of Audenshaw District
Every year, on the last Sunday in November, the District Officers of the Southern Area come together at one of our Masonic Halls to celebrate the newly Appointed and Promoted Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire. This year it was the turn of Ashton & Mossley District to host the luncheon, so we met at Mossley Masonic Hall under the benevolent eye of our Host, District Chairman WBro Peter Douthwaite and his wife Cath. Our principal guests were, as ever, our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro John Pearson who was accompanied by his wife Denise and our Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp Eddie Barlow with his wife Linda. Making up this illustrious group were WBro Gerry Hodson and his wife Carol. This is really a social gathering for those who will be playing an important part in the lives of our Districts, Lodges and Chapters in the coming year. The high point, though, is the address to the gathering which is given by WBro John Pearson. This is what he said on this occasion.
“I shall start by welcoming EComp Eddie Barlow and his wife Linda who join us for this special occasion. It is an occasion when we welcome everyone who has received an appointment or promotion in Provincial Grand Lodge. These appointments are given in respect of the work that an individual had done in their Lodge or Chapter, for their Hall or for the Community more generally. There are not as many opportunities for gaining honours these days as the number of Freemasons has reduced over the years meaning that there are fewer honours to be given. So those who have received honours should be doubly privileged to receive them and make the most of the opportunities that they give. I should also remind you that this was probably the only free lunch that you will ever get out of Freemasonry.
That event was matched by the District Community Open Day and Fun Day that we held at Ashton in the middle of July. I know that many of you will have been there, there were hundreds of people there showcasing their own groups and communities, their own Charities and causes. I spoke to the Scouts who were particularly glad that they had come along not only because it had given them the opportunity to attract future scouts, but also because it had allowed them to attract three possible adult leaders. Both of these events made us all very proud to be Freemasons, for we had brought that enormous crowd together. So, thank you to all those of you who worked so hard to make both of those events happen.
The last Tercentenary event that I want to talk about was the Tercentenary Service in Manchester Cathedral. I was particularly moved by the sermon given by our Provincial Chaplain, Canon Richard Hawkins. What impressed me most of all was when we had Freemasons representing three great World Religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, who each read a portion of their Holy Law, actually the same reading, in English, Arabic and Hebrew. It was a reading that expressed one of the core tenets of Freemasonry. It was a very moving sermon.
Thank you very much to everyone who has been involved in today’s reception. Thank you to all of you for the work you do for Freemasonry and particularly the Ladies without whom we would not be able to do what we do. If we can’t keep you happy, we have no chance of keeping anyone happy. Thank you very much for your support, we really do appreciate it. Finally, I thank you all for your support and, when it does eventually come, I hope that you all have a very Happy Christmas.”
©WBro Kevin Hall, District Communications Officer for Ashton & Mossley District.
All of the photographs taken at this event are available in a Gallery on Google Photos at the following address https://photos.app.goo.gl/K5SthF8tvudTR1IT2