Sixty-Two Brethren, including WBro John R. Farrington, PSGD, The Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern Area of the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by Grand Officers, Provincial Officers of the year and a District Delegation, signed the Tylers attendance register of Marsden within Pennine Valley Lodge No. 6183 on Tuesday 24th May 2016, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry of WBro Francis Stuart Jackson, PProvJGW.
WBro Stuart Jackson with WBro Farrington, visitors and the Provincial and District delegations
The Worshipful Master of Marsden within Pennine Valley Lodge, WBro Peter Clegg, opened the Lodge and after concluding the preliminary business of the Lodge, received a report. The ProvAGDC, WBro Andrew Procter, was admitted and announced that WBro John R. Farrington PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Northern area of the Province of East Lancashire, was without and that he demanded admission.
WBro Farrington was welcomed to the Lodge and was offered the Gavel. WBro Farrington replied saying it was always a great honour and a privilege to be offered the Gavel of a Lodge and that on this special occasion, he would accept.
WBro Farrington, together with WBro James Sutcliffe, PSGD, PAPGM were then saluted in due form. WBro Farrington thanked the Brethren for their Salutations and said he was delighted to see so many Brethren in attendance and that he was looking forward to this special evening. Remarking that on the last 50th Anniversary Celebration he had attended, the Celebrant, who was travelling some distance, had been delayed by traffic and had only arrived in time for the Festive Board; it was with no little relief that he was pleased to see WBro Jackson in attendance.
After introducing the Provincial and District Delegation, which included Provincial Officers of the year and Grand Officers, WBro Farrington announced that the main business of the evening was to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of WBro F Stuart Jackson, PProvJGW. WBro Jackson was then placed in the centre of the Lodge.
WBro Farrington first passed on the very best wishes of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, and those of the District Delegations, Grand Officers and all the Brethren present.
The Lodge Secretary, WBro Richard Sagar, PProvJGD, informed the assembled Brethren that WBro Jackson was initiated into Marsden Lodge No. 3978 on the 16th May 1966 and proceeded to read extracts of the minutes of the meeting held on that date.
WBro Farrington then invited WBro Ian Greenwood to address the meeting.
WBro Greenwood took the floor and gave the following tribute.
Stuart, we have been friends for many years, starting when we entered Nelson Grammar School in the same year. The Lodge has afforded me the privilege of relating your service to the Lodge over the 50 years of your membership and to briefly mention your participation in other Orders and Degrees. As we have heard from the Secretary you were initiated into Marsden Lodge on the 16th May 1966. In 1972 you commenced your extensive service by your appointment as Secretary, an office you held for 3 years until your appointment as Junior Warden in 1975. This was followed one year later when you were Installed as Worshipful Master.
I have seen the list of Officers you appointed, this included many stalwarts of Marsden Lodge, including your father as Treasurer, Harry Collinge as Secretary. Harry was a personal friend of mine as he was Secretary of Nelson Cricket Club for many years. Other names to recall are Harry Brown, Keith’s father and Harold Sagar, our present Secretaries father. Among the Stewards you appointed was a certain Malcolm Bywater, who is here with us this evening.
The healthy state of the Lodge at that time was exemplified by the amount of work that you carried out during that year as Worshipful Master, when you carried out 2 Initiations, 4 Passings and 2 Raisings. One of the Brethren raised that year was Richard, our present Secretary.
Your service to the Lodge continued with your appointment as DC for 1 year, Charity Steward for 4 years, Almoner for 6 years and Mentor for 5 years and finally you took the chair again in 2005 prior to the Amalgamation with Pennine Valley Lodge. In addition to your service in the Lodge you found time to be the Founding Secretary of Pendleside Lodge of Installed Masters prior to the Consecration of the Lodge in 1984 and continued to act as its Secretary for 4 years until you were installed as Worshipful Master in 1988.
Naturally the extensive service you carried out was recognised by the Province with your first appointment as Acting Provincial Assistant Grand Pursuivant in 1981 followed by promotions to PProvJGD in 1985, PProvGSwdB in 1993 and to your present high rank of PProvJGW in 2003.
As you would expect a committed Freemason such as yourself would not limit your activity to the Craft alone. You have an equally active involvement in The Holy Royal Arch having been exalted in Borough Chapter in 1974 and taking many Offices in that Chapter. You have received several Provincial appointments culminating in the high rank of PProvGSN. Also in the Royal Arch you were a Founder of the Red Rose of Lancashire Chapter which is for Police Officers.
I do know from my personal experience that one Order in particular that is dear to your heart and that is Knights Templar. You are a Past Preceptor of Plains of Tabor Preceptory meeting at Colne and where you are currently the Registrar. In that Order you hold the exceptionally high Rank of Past Great Registrar. You have an involvement in many other Orders such as Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, Allied Masonic Degrees, HRA Knights Templar Priests and Red Cross of Constantine. There are far too many to detail your specific involvement in these on this occasion. Stuart, I would finally on behalf of the members of Marsden within Pennine Valley Lodge congratulate you on attaining your Golden Jubilee and thank you most sincerely for the extensive and dedicated service that you have given to the Lodge over the last 50 years.
Following this fascinating insight into the Masonic career of WBro Jackson, WBro Jeff Bradshaw was invited to give a personal tribute to WBro Jackson.
WBro Bradshaw took the Brethren on an amusing and informative tour leading from WBro Jackson’s love of Land Rovers and Amateur Radio through Camping and Caravanning holidays and ending at the Brightlingsea Sailing Club, a tribute that could only have been given by a long standing and very good friend.
WBro Jim Sutcliffe, PSGD, Past APGM, then referred to a number of significant events and other interesting facts relating to the year WBro Jackson was initiated, following which WBro Farrington took the floor of the Lodge and presented WBro Jackson with firstly, a personal letter from The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier and secondly an illuminated certificate, which WBro Farrington read to the assembled Brethren.
WBro Paul Thornton, ProvJGW, the Chairman of the Burnley and Pendle District, then presented WBro Jackson with a Lapel Badge to mark his 50 years in Freemasonry. WBro Jackson was then paraded round the Lodge to the enthusiastic acclaim of all the Brethren present.
WBro Jackson receives his certificate from WBro Farrington alongside the Worshipful Master, WBro Peter Clegg.
Following the Alms collection, WBro Farrington thanked all that had been involved in the evenings celebration.
The Acting Director of Ceremonies then asked if WBro Farrington wished to retire accompanied by the Provincial and District delegations and on this occasion WBro Jackson. WBro Farrington having given his assent, a retiral procession was formed and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by WBro Jackson and the Delegations retired to the acclaim of the Brethren.
WBro Jackson with WBro Farrington, the Worshipful Master and the Brethren of Marsden within Pennine Valley Lodge.
The Festive Board room was at capacity and the assembled Brethren enjoyed a meal which was as close as was possible to the meal enjoyed on the night of WBro Jackson’s initiation, Black Pudding with a mustard sauce, Gammon and Pineapple followed by Fresh Fruit and Ice Cream.
The Festive Board was ably managed by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and the usual toasts were honoured. In response to his health WBro Jackson thanked the Brethren for their support and good wishes, so generously expressed during the evening.
All in all a wonderful celebration of this memorable achievement of a popular and respected friend and Freemason.
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