The members of Pharos Lodge No 7421 recently gathered for a celebration of the 50th year in Freemasonry of Robbie Heywood.
The initial business of the lodge was transacted by the WM Andy Curtis, and then it was time to receive the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox, accompanied by Terry Hudson, the Chairman of North Fylde Group Duncan Smith, Vice Chairman Peter Greathead, and Grand Officers Ted Vollans and Neil MacSymons, ably supported by acting Provincial officers.
The WM welcomed Harry Cox and offered him the gavel of the lodge, which was accepted and Harry took the Master’s chair. After salutations from the brethren he introduced the main business of the meeting which was to honour Robbie’s 50 years in Freemasonry. As is the custom, Robbie was seated directly in front of the Master’s chair.
Robert Edmund Heywood, affectionately known as Robbie was born on the 18th November 1941, the only son of Vera and Edmund Heywood, at 45 Meadowcroft Avenue, Cleveleys. He was educated at Highfield College, sometimes locally known as Towers School, then moved to Norbreck Primary school and in 1953, to Baines Grammar School, being in the same class as Ted Vollans. Later he attended the University of Manchester where he attained a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in History.
In 1962 he started as a Graduate Trainee with Williamsons in Lancaster, one of the biggest linoleum companies in the world and was eventually made an Assistant Sales Executive, travelling around the UK. Next he applied for a position in the Civil service, and was offered a job as a Executive Officer at Norcross in War Pensions, and stayed in the Civil Service for the next 26 years. In the 80’s he was promoted to Principal, and moved to Hesketh House. He then took a position in Liverpool looking after all the pensions of the Universities in the UK, travelling to Liverpool everyday for 6 years, eventually retiring for the second time at the age of 56 in August 1998.
He married Wendy on the 15th March 1969, at St Oswald’s Church in Warton, and they were blessed with two beautiful daughters Alexandra in February 1971, and Georgina in 1973, both going to Stanah, and then Elmslie.
Robbie is a fifth generation mason, and his father Edmund initiated him into the Royal Oak Lodge on 24th September 1965. He was installed as WM on Saturday 28th May 1977, and was presented by his father, who also delivered the address.
He joined Pharos Lodge on 5th February 1985, being proposed by his good friend John F Atherton and seconded by Bill Strickland, and he has served as WM twice in 2000 and 2008. He was appointed PPrJGD in 1991, and promoted to PPrJGW in 2003.
Towards the end of the presentation, Robbie received his certificate in recognition of 50 years in Freemasonry from the Group Chairman, Duncan Smith. Harry Cox concluded by wishing Robbie health, happiness and fulfillment in his Masonry.
The WM resumed his rightful place in the lodge and thanked Harry for a splendid presentation.
The lodge meeting was followed by a sumptuous meal and further praise was bestowed upon Robbie. His good friend Ken Holden presented him with a gift of a book on the United States. This special evening was concluded with the Tyler’s toast from Mike Brayshaw.