A young Robert Brian Pierpoint (to give him his full Sunday name) was initiated into Dormer Lodge No 4389 in December 1967. 50 years on, more than 60 brethren assembled in the McCausland Suite at Widnes Masonic Hall to celebrate Brian’s golden anniversary in Freemasonry.
The WM Eddie Coulthard asked the secretary to read the dispensation, after which Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Ian Halsall, entered the lodge to announce that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton stood without and demanded admission. The WM said he would be honoured to receive him and Kevin was duly processed in, accompanied by grand officers Sam Robinson, David Redhead, Roy Ashley and Derek Williams, along with the Widnes Group Chairman Neil Pedder. Also in attendance were acting Provincial grand officers Robert Williams and Alfred Dickinson, as well as Provincial deacons Brian Davies and Walter Pritchard.
Eddie Coulthard welcomed Kevin to the lodge and offered him the gavel, which on this occasion he gladly accepted. Kevin said he was pleased to see so many brethren in the lodge to witness the celebration of Brian’s 50 years in Freemasonry.
Kevin started by saying: “Before we begin this part of the ceremony can I please thank you for your invitation and for allowing me to take part in this evening’s proceedings. It is without doubt one of the privileges of an APrGM to take part in jubilee celebrations.” Kevin then asked Ian Halsall to place Brian on the floor of the lodge and ensure that he is made comfortable.
Brian was born 25 March 1936 in Wavertree, to parents Dorothy and Robert Pierpoint. Brian’s father was an established corn merchant working in the Liverpool Corn Exchange building. In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, Brian and his family moved to a newly built house in Ringwood Avenue, Bowring Park. At the beginning of the war Brian and his mother moved to Witherslack, just outside Kendal. On returning to Liverpool, Brian attended Knotty Ash Infant School from 1941 to 1944. Because of the war, Brian only attended school in the morning, along with his gas mask, ready for gas mask drill in the playground, which took place every day. From 1944 he attended Prescot Grammar School until 1952.
On leaving school, Brain turned down the offer of a pupillage in the architects’ department at Liverpool Corporation, because he had an interview for a trainee surveyor’s position at a branch of a major construction company based in Liverpool. In 1952, he started work as a junior quantity surveyor placed in the site surveyor’s office, on a large new housing contract at Speke. At the same time, he attended the Liverpool College of Building, on both day release and evening classes, were in 1957 he completed the National and Higher National Certificates in Building. He subsequently qualified as a chartered quantity surveyor in 1958.
Brian met his future wife Margaret in May 1958, at a Merchant Navy officers dance at Atlantic House, Liverpool, after
which he offered to take her home to Huyton (which she accepted) in his first car, a 1948 Morris Eight Series E. Their courtship was interrupted when Brian was called up for National Service in the Royal Navy, but they kept in touch constantly by correspondence.
He completed his basic training at HMS Raleigh Naval Barracks, Plymouth and from there he was posted to HMS Mercury in Petersfield, where he was assigned to the Joint Intelligence Section of the communications branch, to learn to speak Russian and code breaking techniques. From there he was drafted to HMS Eastbourne, based in Malta and visited many ports in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. His naval life culminated with a short Fisheries Protection patrol in Iceland waters at the end of the 1960’s.
Prior to being discharged from the navy, Brian had proposed to Margret when they met in London during shore leave in 1960. They eventually married on 2 March 1963 at Roby Parish Church. The service was officiated by his uncle Canon Robert Barrow a retired vicar of Hale Parish Church and they spent their honeymoon in London.
Brain and Margret have been blessed with two daughters, Karen and Andrea, as well as two sons, David and Stephen. They have also presented Brian and Margret with four lovely grandchildren Laura, Christopher, Aislinn and Cara Mia.
Brian is a keen golfer and supporter of Everton Football Club and thankfully both his sons are avid supporters.
After Brian’s demob, he returned to work as a chartered surveyor with Unit Construction Company Limited in Speke. He was promoted to chief quantity surveyor in 1962 and became a director in 1965. In 1975 Brian was presented with a gold watch for 25 years of loyal service with the company. In 1981 the company was taken over and Brian decided to resign his position and started his own company with a former colleague. The company went on to carry out several major contracts throughout Merseyside. In 1985 he joined a firm of legal construction consultants as an executive director and became involved in major multi £1,000,000 disputes throughout the world. Following his successful passing of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators exams he qualified as a charted arbitrator in 1997. In 2001 Brian was obliged to retire at 65.
Brian having no wish to embark upon retirement he once again set up his own company of legal consultants, as an advocate in arbitrations and adjudications. In 2013 he hung up his boots to enjoy retirement and cruising holidays abroad with Margaret and have since visited many countries around the world. They now regularly visit his eldest son and family in Germany.
Brian’s interest in Freemasonry began when he discovered his grandfather was an Irish Freemason initiated into Lodge Erin No 463 in Shanghai, China in 1927.
Brain’s Masonic career began when a business friend Harold Winstanley, who was present at the meeting, proposed him and was seconded by George Richards. On 1 December 1967 he was initiated by WM Percy Floyd into Dormer Lodge at the Masonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool. In February 1968 he was passed to the second degree and in March was raised to a master Mason by the same team of officers.
He enjoyed every one of the progressive offices until being elected WM. He was installed by George Richards in 1974 and carried out a number of double first and second degrees in his year as master. After a year as IPM he was appointed lodge chaplain for two years, following which he took up office as charity steward in 1978, a position he filled until he was appointed treasurer in 1983, serving in this office for 23 years until 2006, when he was again installed as WM. It was in 2008 that the lodge moved premises to Widnes Masonic Hall. He became director of ceremonies from 2013 to 2016.
The Province recognised his abilities and was appointed to PPrJGD in May 1986, further to this he was promoted in October 1992 to the very high rank of PPrJGW.
In Royal Arch, Brian was exalted into King’s Chapter No 3101 on the 13 December 1993 and later joined the Liverpool Epworth Chapter No 5381, on the 20 May 1996, both meeting at the Masonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool.
He became first principal in King’s Chapter in 1998 and first principal in Liverpool Epworth Chapter in 2001, again having previously served all the progressive positions in both chapters. He held the office of scribe Ezra in Liverpool Epworth Chapter for nine years from 1999 to 2008 and was director of ceremonies in both chapters from 2009 to 2014.
He was appointed to the acting rank of PrGSwdB in April 2004 and was then invited by the former Liverpool Wellington Group to be captain of stewards at the April 2008 Provincial Grand Chapter meeting held at the Guild Hall Preston.
In April 2009 he was promoted to Prescribe. He is group representative for both lodge and chapters in Widnes and Liverpool. He has been a board member of Widnes Masonic Hall since 2008 and a shareholder representative of Liverpool Masonic Hall since 2012. He also holds a very high rank in another Masonic Order.
Brian has served as a volunteer administrative officer with the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, working one day a week since 2008 to the present day, both at the former charity office in Liverpool Masonic Hall, Hope Street and in their new home at Paramount Business Park in Wilson Road, Huyton.
He has been nominated to be the secretary of the WLFC’s newly adopted lodge, the Athenaeum Lodge of Installed Masters No 9368, presently meeting at Urmston Masonic Hall. The lodge was recently rescued when it was about to hand in its warrant. One of Brian’s first jobs involved inviting all WLFC volunteers and trustees (past and present) to join this new lodge, with a view to the lodge moving to a new venue for meetings at the Liverpool Artist’s Club in Eberle Street, Liverpool, with effect from their first installation in September 2018.
To celebrate his 50 years in the Craft and to mark the special occasion, the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison had caused a commemorative certificate to be produced in recognition of his long and dedicated service to the order, which was read by group chairman Neil Pedder. Kevin then presented the certificate to Brian, wishing him many more years of health and happiness in Freemasonry and extending the good wishes of the PrGM, together with fondest wishes from the members of the Widnes Group. Brian thanked the brethren for their loyal support over the last 50 years.
The lodge was then duly closed with the brethren assembling in the Alan Locke Suite for the festive board. The menu consisted of tomato and basil soup, followed by roast turkey complete with all the trimmings, roast and new potatoes with a selection of vegetables, a choice of Christmas pudding or trifle, and in some cases, both, followed by coffee/tea and mints. The alms plate raised £160 and the following raffle raised £200 for the charities.
The toast to the celebrant Brian, was proposed by Brian Davies the lodge secretary, a brother and companion for many years. Brian responded to the toast to his health saying how much he had enjoyed the evening and thanked the brethren for the very generous way in which they had received the toast. He then extended a big thank you to Kevin for the magnificent manner in which he had conducted the ceremony. Brian then thanked the grand and Provincial grand officers and all the brethren for attending on this special occasion and supporting him in completing 50 years in Freemasonry, with special thanks to Brian Davies for proposing the toast.
Presentation gifts to Brian at the festive board were given by the WM Eddie Coulthard, including a Masonic 50 year’s lapel badge on behalf of the lodge, while Widnes Group Chairman Neil Pedder presented a commemorative engraved whisky tumbler showing the old Widnes Runcorn Silver Jubilee Bridge. As the evening came to a close, Eddie Coulthard presented a cheque to Kevin for the MCF 2021 Festival and a bouquet of flowers to both Brian and Kevin as a special thank you to their wives, Margaret and Sue, for allowing their presence on this auspicious occasion.