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From around the District...


The season finale took place on 29th June at Oaklands Hall in Hyde when Illustrious Brother Benjamin Addy 33rd Degree celebrated 60 years as a Rose Croix Mason in Staveleigh Chapter No. 518.

The celebrations were led by the Lieutenant Grand Commander; Most Illustrious Brother David Williamson 33rd Degree and attended by over 70 of Ben’s friends including 8 other Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, 5 District Recorders and the Cheshire Provincial Grand Masters of both the Craft and Mark Provinces as well as past leaders and leaders of several Masonic Orders of which Ben is a member.

Acheiving 60 years as a Freemason is quite an achievement but to celebrate 60 years in a progressive Order such as the Ancient & Accepted Rite is a rare occasion indeed. Having enjoyed a long and distinguished Masonic career in a number of Masonic Orders including the Mark Degree in which Ben served as Pro Grand Master it is unsurprising so many Masonic leaders, past and present, wanted to share in his celebrations on this occasion.

Now in his ninetieth year Ben enjoyed his day immensely. With his usual humility and self -effacement seemed a little nonplussed at all the fuss and attention especially when presented with a framed copy of his official Rose Croix photograph personally signed by the Lieutenant Grand Commander. Ben accepted with good grace and a warm and humerous reply to his toast proposed by the Inspector General for East Cheshire; Very Illustrious Brother Nigel Cooper 33rd Degree.

Most Illustrious Brother David Williamson gave a witty and highly affectionate account of Ben's life both Masonic and non-masonic in the Chapter Meeting which included many personal anecdotes from their respective time together as Assistant Grand Master in the Craft and Pro Grand Master in the Mark.

Very Illustrious Brother Nigel Copoer was able to add his own personal recollections of Ben over the years they have both been Cheshire Masons in proposing the toast to Ben at the dinner.

Ben left school at 15 and was apprenticed as a printer with his apprenticeship interrupted by National Service at 18 when Ben was called up to the 33rd Parachute Field Regiment (Royal Artillery) in which he served in Egypt.

In 1953 Ben became a Hollywood star when in the film “The Red Beret” starring Alan Ladd he played the third man jumping out of the second plane.

Unfortunately illness caused Ben to be invalided out of the army after only 12 months and when Hollywood did not come calling he resumed his studies and took over the printing firm of Clifford Whittaker at 21 becoming his own boss.

Ben was 18 when he met Evelyn and they were married in 1955 and had three children; two boys and a girl. Christopher, the eldest worked with Ben at Clifford Whittaker.

Ben was Perfected in Staveleigh Chapter on Tuesday 7th May 1963 becoming Most Wise Sovereign in November 1972 and receiving the 30th Degree in 1974, the 31st in 1989, the 32nd in 1994 and the 33rd in 2011. He was a founder of Glossop Chapter No. 760 (District of Derbyshire) in 1974 and Toft Chapter No. 897 in 1981, the latter now being the Past Sovereigns’ Chapter in the District of East Cheshire.

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Nigel Cooper (L) presents the cheque to Andy Bailey (R)

At the meeting of Vivat Chapter 1074 on Friday 5 May 2023 in Middlewich The Inspector General for East Cheshire; Very Illustrious Brother Nigel Cooper 33rd Degree, was delighted to present a cheque for £500 to Illustrious Brother Andy Bailey 30th Degree towards the Province of Cheshire 2027 Festival in aid of The Masonic Charitable Foundation on behalf of his London Chapter; Invicta 10.

To add to this achievement Nigel also pledged a further donation of £1,000 from Vivat Chapter 1074 which is his Cheshire chapter and of which he is proud to be a founder.

Andy who is the Festival Appeal Chairman and an Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Craft Province of Cheshire was delighted to accept £1,500 towards the Festival total. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is the national Freemasons' charity built by Freemasons to provide various support functions for Freemasons, their families, and the wider community.

Since its formation in 2016 The Masonic Charitable Foundation has awarded almost £90M in grants to charities, charitable causes, and individuals in need. This equates to nearly £50,000 per day over a five year period or £34 per minute. In fact, since reading this another £20 has been donated.

The meeting of Vivat Chapter saw another of the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters of the Craft Province of Cheshire; Simon Palfreyman, Enthroned as the Sovereign of the chapter in the Rose Croix District of East Cheshire in an excellent ceremony flawlessly performed by Excellent & Perfect Brother Peter Whalley. It also saw one of the Province's communication officers; John Williams, Perfected as a new Prince Rose Croix by Past Sovereigns of the Chapter in the company of over 40 members of the Ancient & Accepted Rite.

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Held over from 2020 due to the Pandemic the formal re-presentation of the Patent to our Inspector General by The Supreme Council took place in Cheshire St. Thomas Chapter 367 on Monday 9th May at The Stockport Masonic Guildhall.

The Patent is the authority given to an Inspector General by The Supreme Council to lead his District and usually lasts for 5 years.

Representing The Supreme Council, Most Illustrious Brother James Thom QC 33o; The Grand Chamberlain, travelled from London accompanied by Illustrious Brother James Smithdale, Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and re-presented the Patent to Very Illustrious Brother Nigel Cooper in front of 50 members representing all of the Chapters in the District.

The Inspector General addressed the meeting, speaking of his pride at having the opportunity to continue the development of the District of East Cheshire and supporting its Chapters. He set out an exciting programme of events and initiatives designed to attract and retain members in a vibrant and enjoyable Masonic Order before delivering an illustrated talk on the History of 10 Duke Street, St. James's; the headquarters of the Order in London.

The meeting concluded with an enjoyable social board at which the District Recorder; proposed the health of the Inspector General on behalf of all the members of Chapters Rose Croix within his District.

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