LODGE OF FRIENDSHIP No.44
SYKES SUITE 5th SEPTEMBER 1997
SOCIAL BOARD 9.45 PM
Initiated November 1957
Lodge meeting to celebrate his 50 years in Freemasonry
Worshipful Master and Brethren all - this is an important year for me and l should very much like you to travel along the stepping stones of my Masonic career.
As a Local Government Officer I used to sit at my desk and realise my limitations of making new friends - increasing social activities.My wife and I discussed the situation and came to the conclusion that if I could join a Free Mason Lodge maybe this would be the answer. Unfortunately I knew nothing about the craft and we had not been to a Ladies Evening.
There was a colleague whom I had known distantly for ten years and whilst not certain, I had a distinct feeling that he was a free mason.
Eventually I was determined to approach him - it was a Friday and I waited until he returned to his office at 12.50 pm after attending a meeting. I approached the subject directly knowing that he was by nature hesitant and pondering in his answer.
After what seemed ages I thought it necessary to say something "If it is not convenient and you are anxious to be in the Staff Dining Room at 1.00 pm, I will see you at a later date”. It was his custom to be seated in his usual place at 1.00 pm with steak and kidney pudding and mash or other items on the menu. Eventually and to my surprise he said he was not hungry; this subject was more important.
Maybe two months later he and I went to King Street, Manchester. To me, Buss' shop and King Street went hand in hand - up to that date I had not met the proprietor Eric Buss who was also the Secretary of the Lodge.
At the interview I had the feeling this was to decide whether or not my face would fit. The only remark concerning free masonry, was the Lodge activities which took place on the first Friday in the month.
The next information I received was to attend the Lodge Committee Meeting at the Temple a week before Christmas 1956.
In front of me at the meeting were Eddy Dixon - Jim Hutchinson (a LEWIS) and I was the third candidate.
In the Chair when it became my turn was Paul Ridgway and at his side was Len Chambers wearing, in his button hole, a beautiful red rose. I discovered this was his custom as his hobby was specialist rose growing.
It was November 1957 when I was initiated, John Ollis now in the chair; also for my 2nd degree ceremony. Harry Frances was in the Chair for my Raising. Among the members - juniors in particular - we decided it was unwise to play cards with Harry. He was a member of the Magic Circle - entertaining us with card tricks at the Social Board - his standard was that of Paul Daniels.
One evening at the Social Board during Harry's year in the Chair he introduced two friends from the Magic Circle. Barnard stood blind folded facing the wall and his beautiful lady partner went around the room asking members if they had any unusual items. Mrs Barnard held up the first object - Barnard said it was an unusual watch -three cornered - instead of numbers there were masonic symbols She asked him the time - unhesitatingly he said 3 00 pm. It was actually 9 30 pm. The owner, Jarvis Taylor, stood up and said the time on the watch was as stated - that day the spring had broken.
We had in the Lodge two elderly members by age and service. Joe Wadsworth was our organist and Arthur Hasleham, a bachelor, entertained us with monologues from Dickens character Uriah Heap. What the two members had in common was the stories about their initiation ceremony. Joe said he could remember being led to the door blind folded and someone whispered in his ear "Brother it is hot in there tonight" The door opened and a hot smoky gush of air came out and there was a crackling sound like a bonfire. It so happened in those days the Lodge used to meet at a Manchester Hotel - in a first floor bedroom - where there was always a large open fire.
It became obvious to me that the only way I was going to learn anything about free masonry was to attend the rehearsals - there was at least one, sometimes two, practice classes a month, as the Lodge met 9 times a year.
Soon I discovered there was a written constitution governing all lodges in the country and abroad. We had our own written bye laws - remnants in the ceremony since 1755 and one other important ‘pointer’. He was only five feet tall - had metatarsus bars on his shoes but it did not stop him charging around the Lodge or practice room demonstrating how he wanted a ceremony to be worked.
Norman Pointer was a long standing Director of Ceremonies Some of his ideas are still with me today. "In every paragraph of the ritual there is one or two key words -to be remembered and the rest will fall into place"
The knocks on the door are related to Coins: Threpenny bit three pennies One shilling and two pennies and two shilling and one penny.
Never criticise but sympathise with a brother who perhaps through business domestic/sickness problems or even he does not possess the little grey cells in order to reach the hoped for standard in the Lodge.
I found it difficult and quite a task to learn the ritual My memory - or the lack of it - became a worry. At the time the "Manchester Evening News" or it may have been the “Evening Chronicle" had a large advertisement for the "Marple Studies, Cheshire'. Eventually the booklet "How to improve your memory" arrived at home. It was by Dr Bruno Faust. Cynically I thought he would be known in his office as Tom Smith After reading it two or three times I came to the conclusion it was like learning a new language "Hooks and Chains" Hanging words onto hooks and linking them together with a chain. Attention - Retention and Action. The book had been in my possession for about three months and became a source of much amusement at home - especially with my two young sons - I put this down somewhere and lost it - so much of memory training.
I was fortunate to occupy the various offices on the floor of the Lodge - giving me a good grounding leading to the Chair.
Moving onto 1968, Arthur Templeman in the chair He reintroduced the idea at the Ladies Evening of having afternoon whist - afternoon tea - cocktails - dinner, dancing and them supper. The whist was a great idea to meet wives and friends - especially when moving from one table to another.
There have been many interesting toasts and speeches - so please excuse me if I now refer to one of them. It was called "Wind" and in my view a masterpiece by Arthur Templeman. Starting with Sailing Ships - Windmills_ going through various wind activities and ending with wind instruments.
Eddy Dixon followed Arthur in the Chair. It was at a Social Board for Charity or maybe his Ladies Evening when we played Bingo. For some time there was much movement on the seats - then suddenly everyone stood up and shouted "Bingo- Eddy was a Director of a Printing Company and had all the cards printed with the same numbers - but in different places.
Up to that time the Lodge had been most conservative. Money, either for subscriptions or for Charity never passed over the counter. It was in the eyes of the giver and the receiver only. I don't think there was even a proper record kept of individual member donations to Charity. So, to me, Bingo was certainly a changing point in 44's activities.
During 1970 I followed Eddy in the Chair. At each Social Board I endeavoured to have a musical evening. At Christmas time we had the Salvation Army Brass Band from Stockport. The Carols were super - my one fear was the roof in the Rhodes Suite might disappear - too much wind.
After passing and raising James Adamson we did not have a candidate for initiation. However we had a demonstration ceremony and my "candidate”- was Eric Buss, a Grand Lodge Officer. At our Ladies Evening my Director of Ceremonies was John Blakemore. He and his wife Joan - both keen gardeners - came on the Saturday morning with a car loaded full of flowers which they used to decorate the dining room.
A beautiful sight never to be forgotten. Ernest Scaddon proposed the Ladies toast - Bill Officer, the Worshipful Master's toast and the Roses song was sung by Harry Withington from Peace Lodge accompanied on the piano by Sidney Horrocks our organist.
It must have been about 1976 when the Lodge went into a steep decline – no candidates That is the reason you see Past Masters going, though the Chair for a second or third time. if there was a vacant office in the Lodge - it was filled by a Past Master for the year or progressible.
For about twelve years we had a problem until Mike Thompson (it may have been Philip Titterton) came knocking on the door.
Since then we are thankful that members continue to introduce new candidates.
Much of what existed 40 years ago still applies today Our Director of Ceremonies is still dedicated, encouraging members, particularly junior brethren to attend the rehearsals - creating the team spirit and maintaining the hoped for standard.
When joining a Lodge there is always an element of doubt
Is Freemasonry what I want? Have I the right temperament to joint in the unique atmosphere created by its members? Will I be happy with my new friends? More importantly will they be happy with me?
To my proposer Sidney Horrocks and seconder Charles Bennett both colleagues I am grateful that they introduced me into the oldest lodge in the Temple and yes brethren I am proud.
Proud to be a member of the Lodge of Friendship No44.
W Bro Fred Shore
A Personal Profile by his son W Bro Philip Shore
William Frederick Shore
Fred was born and raised in Salford with his sister Edna.
He was confirmed and was a chorister at St Thomas' church in Pendleton Salford.
He was always active and was a keen cyclist. 8 or 9 of his friends would go cycling every week all over the county. Two of his cycling friends were interested in woodwork and persuaded Fred to attend night school which sparked a lifelong passion for making things in wood. eg. Furniture/ table lamps/stereo cabinets etc.
At the start of WW2 he volunteered at 18 years of age and later
that year served in many parts of the middle East for the next
5 years. He celebrated his 21st birthday in Palestine for example.
We had strong family links to Shrewsbury and his family were
evacuated there during the war.
He supported Berwick church for many years for example
purchasing new hymn books for all the congregation and making
other charitable donations with the upkeep of the church in
Upon his return from the war he was stationed at Preston
where he met and married his first wife Joyce. They lived in Bolton.
His sons John and Philip are both masons.
John was initiated in Prince Edwin Lodge No 128 in Bury and
latterly joining the Spa lodge No.7609 in Harrogate North Yorkshire.
Philip was initiated into the Lodge Of friendship No 44 with his father
taking part in his son’s ceremony.
After the war Fred worked at the Affleck and Brown department store
in Manchester before moving to work at Manchester Central Library
where he rose to the position of Chief Clerk until his retirement.
He joined the masonic Lodge of Friendship No.44 in Manchester where
he was a valued member for over 50 years. In later years he travelled
by bus or train from St Anne's to Manchester to attend the meetings.
He was made an honorary member when he was no longer able to attend.
He made table lamps/coffee tables and spice racks amongst other things as
prizes for the annual masonic ladies evenings again exercising his love of making
things in wood.
Another passion of Fred’s was ballroom dancing for which he loved to lead a
partner around the dance floor. There were few ladies at the masonic ladies
evenings who were not
whisked around the dance floor to a quick step or waltz or any other ballroom
dance, as he knew them all.
Sometime after Joyce's death he married Renee who was the widow of
W Bro Ron Stubbs who was also a member of the Lodge of Friendship No. 44.
Fred moved to Lytham St Anne's from Bolton when they married.
He suffered in later years from macular degeneration which took his central vision. He gave up driving but became a regular traveller by bus and train.
Fred was a regular attender at Horwich Parish church and when he moved to
St Anne's attended the White Church on Clifton Drive.
His roots were in Shrewsbury and he was a generous supporter of Berwick
church which is in the grounds of Berwick estate which was solely for the purpose
of worship and burial of the workers who were employed by the family estate.
When Renee died he took cookery classes in Bolton and was a good cook at the
end of the courses. His cakes became legendary.. He caught the "early bird train"
every week from Ansdell to Bolton for his course and back again.
His poor eyesight was no barrier to him going and doing what he wanted to do.
He also loved gardening and he grew his own veg which he used in his cooking.
A chance request for an umbrella to be repaired was placed via a local radio station
that resulted in Fred coming into contact with Eva who became a very close friend
for the last 12 years of his life.
The person responding to the request to repair a Harrod’s umbrella was
W Bro Norman Lowe of Prince Edwin Lodge No 128 at Bury and Fred' s son John's
father in law. What a masonic coincidence!.
Fred enjoyed his masonic career and Ladies Evenings and other events at
The Lodge of Friendship over his 50 years plus membership of the Lodge for
which he was justifiably proud. He achieved the rank of Past Provincial Junior
Latterly he sadly developed Parkinsons disease which resulted in him having to
move into residential care for the last 18 or so months of his life.
He was still keen to know what was going on in the Lodge for which his son
Philip kept him up to date.
In summary Fred was a true gentleman.
A husband, father, brother to his sister Edna, grandfather, great grandfather,
mason and true friend to many.
He was the Almoner and district rep for many years on behalf of the
Lodge of Friendship.
A true mason
He lived respected and died regretted.