At a regular meeting, the brethren of Vale Lodge No 5256 and their guests celebrated the diamond anniversary of Geoffrey (Geoff) James Morrow initiation into Freemasonry. The principal guest for the evening was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Keith Kemp. Keith was joined on this special occasion by grand officer Jim Wilson, Lancaster and District Group Chairman Neil McGill and the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald.
On entering the lodge, the WM Paul Taylor (who was standing in for Donald Polson) welcomed Keith and offered him the gavel, which he politely accepted. Keith began his address by outlining some of the historical events of 1959, the year Geoff was initiated into Vale Lodge. In November of that year music fans in the UK were listening avidly to ‘Travellin Light’ by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, whilst in the USA it was ‘Mack the Knife’ sung by Bobby Darin. 1959 saw the sale of the first ‘Barbie Doll’, the launch of the first weather satellite, the first showing of ‘The Twilight Zone’ and the first coloured picture of earth, as seen from outer space. In addition, inventors gave us a first look at both the pacemaker and the microchip.
Of great importance however, was the initiation of Geoff Morrow on 25 November 1959, at the Masonic Hall Church Street, Lancaster.
Having completed this section of his address, Keith asked for the celebrant to be placed before him. After making sure Geoff was sitting comfortably and could hear him clearly, Keith embarked on a fascinating and enlightening reflection on Geoff’s domestic, professional and Masonic life. A transcript of Keith’s address can be found by clicking here.
On the conclusion of his address, Keith asked the group chairman Neil McGill to read the commemorative certificate which the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison had caused to be issued, after which Keith presented the certificate to Geoff, saying: “It gives me the greatest pleasure to present you with this 60 year certificate to commemorate this milestone in Freemasonry. Your story is one of considerable commitment to Freemasonry and it has been a great pleasure for me to be able to share it with all the brethren present. On their behalf, I thank you for the last 60 years and wish you good health and continued happiness in all you do in the future. Geoff I extend to you our heartiest congratulations.”
At the end of the meeting, Keith and Geoff left the lodge room together and retired to the festive board.
At the festive board Geoff was presented with a wrist watch from Vale lodge in recognition of both his achievement and service. During a later celebration, back at his lodge on the Isle of Man, Geoff learnt that he had received promotion from the Province of the IOM to the very high rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. A huge honour and one that was well deserved.
Article by Paul Thompson photographs courtesy of Stewart Aimson.