A very full lodge room at Bury on Thursday 28 September was ample proof of the affection and respect held by both the brethren of Egerton Lodge and their visitors for WBro Stanley Reynolds, PProvDepGDC. The occasion was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stanley’s initiation into freemasonry.
After the lodge had been duly opened by the Worshipful Master, Bro J Craig Hindle, the Acting Provincial Grand Director of Cremonies, WBro Dr Simon Archer, was admitted who announced that the APGM, WBro Norman Cope, PSGD, together with a District Delegation, were without. The delegation were duly admitted and WBro Cope was invited to accept the gavel of the lodge, which he was especially pleased to do as this would be his last outing to conduct a 50th celebration as APGM. WBro Cope was pleased to introduce, WBro Stephen Holland, Deputy District Chairman; WBro Gerry Russell, District Secretary; WBro Alan Kirwilliam, Provincial Grand Mentor; EComp Roger Bowden, DORA; WBro David Kyme, Acting ProvGStwd; WBro Steve Flanagan, ActingProvAGDC and WBro Mike Sutton, ActingProvGStb. Also in attendance were WBro Phillip Mountford, PSGD, PastAPGM and WBro Mike Gibbons, JP, PSGD, PastAPGM.
Once Stanley had been seated in the centre of the lodge, the minutes of the meeting of Egerton Lodge at which WBro Reynolds had been initiated were read by WBro Barry Etchells, Lodge Secretary, after which an emotional tribute was given by WBro Alan Botteley, a life long close friend of Stanley Reynolds.
WBro Botteley opened his tribute by saying that had he not been asked to give the tribute, then he would have asked for the honour. Stanley was born on 02 January 1930, subsequently attending St John’s School, Church Central School and Bury Technical College, leading to him being an apprentice at Thompson & Brierly. His career was interrupted by two years National Service after which he married his wife, Freda. He became self employed in 1960 and worked with his son until his retirement in 1998.
When Bury Masonic Hall was refurbished and extended in the mid 1970’s Stanley was responsible for all of the resplendent joinery work, including the paneling of the walls, the fitting of doors and the fitting of the bars, all of which still appear to this day as tribute to his work..
WBro Botteley completed his tribute with the words, ‘You have been, and still are, someone who we all respect and should take as an example to follow to the best of our abilities. Not only as a Mason but as a true gentleman’
A beautiful framed copy of the Arms of the Lodge was presented to Stanley by WBro Botteley.
WBro Stanley Reynolds with Worshipful Master, J Craig Hindle and his Arms of the Lodge
WBro Cope gave a brief outline of Stanley’s history in Egerton Lodge, which proved to be quite impressive. As is the norm at such celebrations, WBro Cope enlightened the gathering of events at the time of Stanley’s iniation. Donald Campbell was killed on Coniston Water; the Forsyth Saga was first shown on BBC2; Jeremy Thorpe became leader of the Liberal Party; Parliament voted to Nationalise British Steel and the British National Front was founded.
A typical TV would have cost £400 (£7200 in today’s money), an average car would have cost £950 and the average wage was £891.
WBro Cope then read a letter of congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master and presented Stanley with an Illuminated Certificate signed by Sir David Trippier, RWPGM.
After WBro Archer had paraded Stanley around the lodge, the celebration was concluded by WBro Steve Holland presenting Stanley with a 50 lapel badge on behalf of Bury District
The Social Board
The social board was a festive treat with the best of atmospheres and great food.
WBro Norman Cope responded resplendently and the highlight of the evening. Martin Stott gave the most hilarious of toasts to Stanley Reynolds who had made it known that he would like a new mobile. I’m not sure he meant the giant inflatable phone which Martin presented him with. A beautiful cake was also presented.
Stanley responded to his toast with equal humour and the great degree of honour that you expect from him. It was a pleasure to hear him speak and recant stories of Egerton Lodge from 50 years ago.
The evening was in all a great success and will be spoken of for many moons to come.
Thanks must be given to the members of Egerton Lodge who clearly did their homework, put the work in and made the evening just splendid.
Report by Gerry Russell and Leigh Rickett. Pictures by Leigh Rickett
© 2017, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.