Members of Lodge of Equity and Appleton No 1384 prepared to celebrate yet another golden jubilee in the Widnes Group. This time it was Ron Dennett who had the opportunity to share his achievement with the lodge brethren and group.
The brethren of the lodge were delighted to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton to the lodge accompanied by Widnes Group Chairman Derek Williams, along with other distinguished guests and visitors. In accordance with tradition the celebrations started once the worshipful master Chris Douglas had opened the lodge. Chris then offered the gavel of the lodge to Kevin Poynton and on this very special occasion he accepted and took the chair of the WM. Kevin opened his address by thanking the brethren for inviting him to the lodge and to take part in the celebrations, he then asked for Ron to be placed in the middle of the lodge so he could be addressed properly.
Ron was born in February 1932 to Emma and Charles Dennett and was their second child, in total Ron had five siblings but due to various reasons, Ron is the sole survivor. The large family grew up and had their family home in Cholmondeley Street, Widnes. As an early teenager and much to the displeasure of his father, Ron can remember using the old West Bank Docks in Widnes as his regular playground and quite often ran errands for the local ship crews.
Ron’s school life began at West Bank Council School again in Widnes before moving on to the Central School in Kingsway, Widnes. Ron continued his education by attending evening classes at the old Widnes Technical College and gained qualifications in the Ordinary and Higher National Certificates with endorsements in Mechanical Engineering. As was the custom, Ron left school at the very tender age of 14 and began his long career. Aged 15 he got an apprenticeship at H T Watson as a fitter and turner. At the age of 15 he changed employers to T Lewis Booths again in Widnes as an apprentice mechanic, then at 16 he moved to McKenzie Bros as an apprentice blacksmith; Ron’s father Charles had been employed for many years at McKenzie.
Ron met his wife Doris at a local youth club in Widnes and they married in March 1953, this coming year they will have been married for 62 years. Over the years they have been blessed with two children and subsequently five grandchildren who they are very proud of. In the early 1950’s at the age of 21, his Majesty invited Ron to National Service duties in the Royal Air Force. Ron trained at RAF Padgate and was transferred to RAF Wharton near Preston as a blacksmith in line with some of Ron’s skills learned as a civilian. Returning as a civilian, Ron continued at McKenzie Bros until he was 26 and then decided to have a slight career change. He moved to the Everite Company as a trainee draughtsman and then on to other roles and jobs including maintenance engineer and works engineer. For the final part of his career he moved to Liverpool City Council as a Heating and Ventilation Engineer where he stayed for 19 years until his retirement in 1991.
Ron played both rugby league and union for Naughton Park Rangers, the Old Wid’s and the I C I Rugby Union teams. Although he has long hung up his boots his main interest is in supporting of his favourite rugby league team, the Widnes Vikings. Ron is a season ticket holder in the south stand, He also follows the team to the away games on the supporters’ coach.
The first introduction to Freemasonry for Ron came when he worked at the Everite, a number of his colleagues and friends where members of local lodges in Widnes. He approached Eddie Hughes’s father to join Bold Lodge No 7583, he was informed that Bold Lodge was a new lodge and that there would be a waiting list to join. After being advised accordingly Ron spoke to Jim Mash who was a member of Lodge of Equity No 1384 and joined on the 1 April 1965. Ron was initiated together with Leslie Knight, a local police officer at a ceremony that had well over 100 brethren attending. At this time Lodge of Equity had over 140 members and it was regular for joint ceremonies to take place. Ron was installed as worshipful master of Lodge of Equity in February 1980 and was very proud to have almost 200 brethren and ladies present to celebrate his ladies night.
Ron has held many different offices in the lodge over the many years he has been a member. They include charity representative, assistant director of ceremonies and director of ceremonies. Ron is always on hand to assist in various ceremonies including installations, he is a very handy brother who can be looked on for guidance as well as filling in when an office is left empty. For his commitment to Freemasonry and the Lodge of Equity, Ron was appointed Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 1990 and then promoted to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in 2002.
Finally, Kevin brought the congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and again thanked the brethren for his invitation. In accordance with tradition, Kevin then asked group vice chairman Neil Pedder to read aloud the commemorative certificate from the Provincial Grand Master, after which Kevin presented the commemorative certificate to Ron. A standing ovation marked the end of the address and presentations to Ron in the lodge.
To further the celebrations, the brethren were invited to the festive board; his friend David Clews proposed the toast to Ron’s health and his achievements. David talked about how they knew each other and the various church functions and great times they have had together. Towards the end of the evening beautiful bouquets of flowers were present to Kevin and Ron, who gratefully received them to pass on to their wives. Neil Pedder then presented a 50 year lapel pin and lead crystal whisky tumbler to Ron, cut with Ron’s name, the Widnes Group name and Ron’s 50th anniversary date. Ron was also presented with a gift certificate from the lodge as a small token for the hard work and long term commitment Ron has shown to the amalgamated Lodge of Equity and Appleton No 1384 and to Freemasonry.