The members of Hale Lodge of Fellowship No 3799 celebrated their centenary with a very special meeting attended by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison.
Tony Harrison was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton and the Provincial team and a host of other grand and acting Provincial grand officers. With a total of 68 brethren attending to witness the celebration.
The WM of Hale Lodge of Fellowship, Neil Pedder (Widnes Group Chairman) opened the meeting and conducted the initial business of the lodge. With the initial business complete, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp announce that the PrGM Tony Harrison stood without and demanded admission. Neil announced that the brethren would be pleased to receive him.
Tony was processed into the lodge room by the Provincial team in full splendour with the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer David Kenworthy and the Provincial Grand Standard Bearers, Stuart Wilson and David Pallister making the procession majestic and colourful.
Keith introduced Tony to Neil who gave him a very warm welcome and invited him to accept the gavel, which on this occasion he willingly accepted. Tony took the chair and invited his Provincial officers into their respective positions before opening Provincial Grand Lodge. In his opening address to the lodge, Tony expressed his pleasure at leading the celebrations for what is a magnificent occasion and a wonderful achievement for the lodge in attaining its centenary.
Salutations were then given to Tony, followed by salutations to grand officers and then Provincial grand officers. Tony then requested Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor to read out the details on the centenary warrant. The warrant was then delivered into the hands of Tony who took great pleasure in presenting it to WM Neil Pedder.
After the presentation, Tony requested Rev Canon Godfrey Hirst (Provincial Grand Chaplain) to deliver an oration. In his oration Godfrey gave the assembled brethren an interesting account of the history of the Hale Lodge of Fellowship. To read the full text of Godfrey’s oration, click here.
Lodge of Fellowship was consecrated on 1 September 1917 in the presence of the then Provincial Grand Master Sir Arthur Stanley with the ceremony taking place at the Masonic Rooms in Victoria Street, Widnes. The first WM was Dr Creighton Hutchinson.
In 1977 some members of Lodge of Fellowship and other members from Widnes lodges met to discuss the formation of a new lodge. After many discussions it was decided to call the new lodge, Hale Lodge No 8813.
In 2007 following discussions with regard to the future of both lodges, it was decided to amalgamate and take the name of Hale Lodge of Fellowship in order to preserve the original number of Lodge of Fellowship 3799. In a sense the ‘daughter’ lodge had returned to the ‘mother’ lodge. A new crest was made up of a compilation of both lodges. The church depicted is St Mary’s Parish Church in Hale Village.
At this point in the procedure, Tony instructed the Provincial Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp to present Neil Pedder to him. This brought a total look of surprise to Neil’s face as he was presented to Tony, which turned into a look of shock when Tony appointed him to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in recognition of all the work he has undertaken for the group as its chairman, and Hale Lodge of Fellowship over the years.
The oration by Godfrey was followed by a dedication prayer after which Tony closed Provincial Grand Lodge and invited Neil to resume his chair, the lodge officers then resumed their positions.
Neil thanked Tony for a wonderful ceremony and then had a pleasant duty to perform by presenting Tony a cheque for the Freemasons Grand Charity 2021 Fesitval to the value of £1,000.
With the centenary celebration complete, Tony retired from the lodge accompanied by grand officers and escorted by the Provincial team. The final lodge business was transaction by Neil, before he closed the lodge and all retired to the Alan Locke Suit for a splendid meal at the festive board. During the festive board raffle was held which raised a total of £312.00 for the charities.
Kevin Poynton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, proposed the toast to the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Kevin was pleased to be in attendance at the only centenary meeting this year, and thanked Tony for bringing enjoyment to Freemasonry, particularly with his permanent smile. He also congratulated Tony for introducing the new care plan which has been such a success that it is to be rolled out across other Provinces.
Tony then responded to the toast to his health by proposing the toast to the Hale Lodge of Fellowship and the officers and brethren for all their work in planning the centenary celebration. He made mention to all brethren to try and encourage new members to Freemasonry. He also encourages those members who had not yet committed to the 2021 Festival to make a donation of just £6 a month and not to forget that this Province receives approximately £1,000,000 from FGC per annum for charitable purposes.
Neil responded to this toast by saying it was a privilege to have the opportunity to thank Tony and the Provincial team for making this celebration an evening to remember. He also thanked his officers, brethren and visitors hoping that they had had an enjoyable evening. Finally, Neil on behalf of the lodge members, presented a bouquet of flowers to Tony for his wife Maureen.