On 28th January Cambodunum Lodge No 3953 opened their monthly Zoom meeting with 16 Brethren present including our Liaison Officer.
But this was no ordinary meeting as W Bro. John Warden was celebrating his 50th Masonic Birthday.
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions caused by the Covid Virus John’s certificate from the Provincial Grand Master had to be sent to him by post. John was delighted to receive this and told all the Brethren how pleased he was, mentioning a lovely letter, also received, from W Bro. Robert Cole, APGM for Area 2, in which the APGM promises to visit the Lodge to meet John when circumstances are permitted.
John was initiated into Cambodunum Lodge on 28th January 1971 and was Passed and Raised the same year. Due to work commitments, John had to move away from Huddersfield first to Keighley then to County Durham where he joined The Rose of Raby Lodge No 1650. Eventually, in 1977 John re-joined Cambodunum and progressed through various Offices to be Worshipful Master in 1985.
John is not one to relax, and after going through the Chair, he continued to take offices within the Lodge and is currently the Lodge Chaplain.
We also had two other Brethren celebrating a Masonic Birthday on 28th January - W. Bro. Howard Habron, IPM - 22 years and Bro Arthur Wainwright, SW - seven years
On January 22nd 2021, my blood Brother, W. Bro. H.B. Walker (Brian), will have been a member of Kirklees Lodge for 70 years.
His 21st birthday was on January 6th, 1951.
Our father, W. Bro. Herbert H. Walker was a founder member of Clifton Lodge at Brighouse and a very enthusiastic Mason, also a member of The Royal Arch and The Knights Templars.
He was in the Chair as Master, and he Initiated Brian (a Lewis) on the January 26th 1951.
Brian was Passed on February 23rd, Raised on March 30th and Exalted into the Holy Royal Arch on January 1st 1954.
Brian took to his Freemasonry with great enthusiasm and joined Mirfield Chapter. Becoming Z in Mirfield Chapter No.1102 in 1995. He has now attained the Provincial Rank of PPGSN.
He was a founder member of Woodsmoke Lodge, also meeting in King Street, Mirfield.
He was Master of Kirklees Lodge 4710 twice, firstly in 1985-86 and secondly 1989-90, He has been Director of Ceremonies for 2 years and Master of Woodsmoke Lodge 9317 in 1985.
He donated to the Lodge a large handmade wooden banner which is mounted on the wall behind the Worshipful Master's Chair in the dining room and is shown behind Brian in the photograph below.
THEN and NOW - from 70 years ago, to the present day a member of Kirklees Lodge.
There was a 'live in' Steward and his wife at the Lodge rooms at King Street.
Only Past Masters were allowed in the Bar Lounge, Junior Brethren had to consume their drinks in the entrance Lobby.
If any Junior Brethren set foot in the Past Masters' Room, it was extremely frowned upon and robustly challenged.
There was a full-size Snooker table in the Dining Room.
The WM had his own private reserved Car Parking Space.
At the Children's Christmas Party, which was free to attend, 30 to 40 children would be present, the WM provided all the savoury food with the sweet course donated by the Lodge Wives. All the Christmas presents were paid for by the W. M., a costly affair.
Ritual books were not allowed in the Temple even on Practice nights. You were expected to learn the ritual.
The Master Elect was never allowed to sit in the Master's chair until the day of their Installation. A chair was placed on the floor of the Lodge where the incoming Master could practice.
As a mark of his outstanding achievement of 70 years in Freemasonry, Brian has been promoted to PPSGW. This is no more than he deserves.
As your Brother, and on behalf of the Brethren of Kirklees Lodge, I congratulate you on a remarkable Masonic career.