Higher Degrees ~ September 2018

Four Brethren from the North East Lancashire District travelled to London on Monday 17th September 2018 to receive promotions to the 30°, Grand Elected Knight Kadosh, Knight of the Black and White Eagle at the Higher Degrees Meeting held at the Grand East, 10 Duke Street, St. James’s:

Ill.Bro. Jim Bradley, 30° – Emmanuel Chapter No.447

Ill.Bro. Alan Jones, 30° – Accrington Chapter No.364

Ill.Bro. Bob Norris, 30° – Mark Wilkinson Chapter No.194

Ill.Bro. Graham Wood, 30° – Bury Chapter No.435

As usual, the ceremony was followed by a drinks reception and an excellent festive board at the Royal Overseas League along with Ill.Bro. Jack Aston 32°, the District Recorder for the North East Lancashire District.

2018-09-17 17.59.30

Congratulations to all four newly promoted Brethren, we hope that their further advancement in the Order will give them much satisfaction and that they will treasure the happy memories of this special occasion for many years to come.

Posted in District, Higher Degrees, Supreme Council, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Five Lancashire Chapters celebrate their Centenaries in Grand Style

Monday 30th July saw an event unique in the history of the Supreme Council 33° for England and Wales – the centenary celebration of 5 Rose Croix Chapters at one meeting.

The background to the event was unique and still leaves us with some unknowns. Warrants for five new Chapters were issued on the same day, 18th April 1918, all the Chapters to meet in the same District, the North Western District, which then comprised Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland. Those five Chapters are still extant and meeting in 3 of the 4 current Lancashire Districts:

Manchester Chapter No. 193 (Middleton, SE Lancashire)

Mark Wilkinson Chapter No.194 (Darwen, NE Lancashire)

Walter M Hamilton Chapter No.195 (Eccles, SE Lancashire)

Col. JD Murray Chapter No.196 (Pemberton, SW Lancashire)

James D Murray Chapter No.197 (Padiham, NE Lancashire)

So far as anyone is aware, there have never been as many as 5 Chapters warranted on the same day, either before or since this particular case, and certainly not in one District.

And what circumstances prevailed that 5 Chapters could be erected in one District at a time when the country was still at war, with the outcome uncertain? It is also somewhat unusual to have 2 Chapters named after the same (living) individual, especially when there was already a Murray Chapter No.177 in the Manchester area named after him.

Fast forward 98 years and the Inspectors General with responsibility for the 5 centenary Chapters got together to discuss options. 5 separate celebrations seemed a big imposition on Supreme Council and would lack the impact and scale that a single celebratory event would achieve. In the end, the Grand Secretary General of Supreme Council came up with the solution; the Supreme Council’s ‘private’ Chapter, Morning Star Chapter No.33 would hold its Enthronement meeting, by dispensation, in Lancashire (we had already designated Brookfield Masonic Hall in Westhoughton as the ideal venue) and bring together the members of all 5 centenary Chapters plus as many Princes from the Lancashire and neighbouring Districts as could be accommodated at one ‘stellar’ event.

And so it proved. There were present: Five members of Supreme Council, supported by the Grand DC, a Deputy Grand DC and the Grand Tyler, other members of Morning Star Chapter including the Most Wise Sovereign, E&P Bro Sir David Wooton (better known in other circles as the Assistant Grand Master in the Craft), the Sovereign-elect, E&P Bro Professor George Boys-Stones, 9 Inspectors General, 3 Past Inspectors General and 9 District Recorders. The Sovereigns of all 5 centenary Chapters were present and were well supported by members of their own and other Chapters in each of the 3 Districts.

Following a superb Enthronement ceremony, V∴Ill∴Bro David Hawkins 33°, Past Inspector General for the North East Lancashire District, gave a brief history on the subject of life and Freemasonry in 1918.

The Sovereign Grand Commander, M∴P∴Bro Alan Englefield 33° then took the floor and presented each of the centenary Chapter Sovereigns with their Chapter’s Centenary Warrant, authorising the wearing of a Centenary jewel.

The festive board comprised an excellent 3-course dinner with the customary toasts, plus an additional toast to the health of V∴Ill∴Bro Nick Bosanquet 33° the Grand Director of Ceremonies who was retiring after this evening’s special event after 10 years in office.

Table Card 1-4Table Card 2-3

Months of planning and preparation resulted in a fantastic – and unique – event, which will be fondly remembered by all those who took part for many years to come.



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Data Protection Policy and Data Protection Notice

The Data Protection Policy and Data Protection Notice for the District Of North East Lancashire are now available from the Downloads section of the website.

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Annual District Meeting for 2018 hosted by James D Murray Chapter

The Annual Meeting of the North East Lancashire District was held at the Masonic Ballroom, Rochdale on Saturday 2nd June 2018, under the warrant of James D Murray Chapter No.197 in its Centenary Year.

Over 80 Rose Croix Masons attended the meeting, including the Inspectors General from 8 neighbouring Districts, most of whom were accompanied by their District Recorders and enthusiastic members of Chapters from their Districts.

The usual arrangement for our District Meetings is for the host Chapter to Perfect a Candidate. On this occasion, WBro Stephen Ryder, a Past Master of Abbey Lodge No.2529 in Whalley, was duly Perfected by the Most Wise Sovereign of James D Murray Chapter, Illustrious Brother John Hudson 31° assisted by Sovereigns and Past Sovereigns from Chapters across the District.

 Our own Past Inspector General, Very Illustrious Brother David Bouic Hawkins 33° acted as Prelate throughout the meeting and the Third Point was conducted by the Inspector General for North East Lancashire, Very Illustrious Brother David John Biggs 33°.


Our newest Prince, E&P Bro Steve Ryder (R) with members of James D Murray Chapter No.197

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The catering team at Rochdale provided an excellent luncheon of Tomato Soup, Roast Ham in Parsley Sauce with Seasonal Vegetables and Fresh Fruit Salad to finish, much to the enjoyment of all present, as the photos* above show.

*Photos courtesy of the District Recorder, Illustrious Brother Jack Aston 32°

Posted in District, Social, Uncategorized | 3 Comments