The members of Starkie Lodge No 1070 celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry of Arthur Eaton Helm. This jubilee celebration was attended by over 50 members and guests and proved to be a very moving tribute and special occasion for Arthur.
The principal guest for the ceremony was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Phillip Gunning, who was accompanied by Michael Cox, Alan Southworth, Bryan Henshaw, Phil Stock, Brian Griffiths and Stewart Cranage.
The initial business of the lodge was transacted by the WM Robert Wright who then welcomed Philip and his entourage into the lodge, thanking them all for their attendance on this very special occasion.
After accepting the gavel from Robert and taking the master’s chair, Philip then led the proceedings by firstly inviting Arthur to take a seat on the floor of the lodge and asking him to relax and enjoy the evening to the full. The brethren were then treated to a splendid résumé of Arthur’s life and experience both professionally and in Freemasonry.
Philip started at the beginning as is customary commenting on Arthur’s early life. Arthur, a Southport lad born and bred arrived into the world on 31 August 1930 to parents Tom and Marion. When he started his education he attended Holy Trinity School and then went on to Christchurch and from an early age had an interest in playing the coronet in a number of local brass bands
Arthur was always a keen inventor and he spent many years as a child in and around the arcades in Southport. It was therefore unsurprising that he chose a career in the amusement game industry where he later founded and became Managing Director of Elton Fabrications. This company is well known for inventing and manufacturing new arcade games, especially the classic and still most popular, The Elton Derby Horse Race, which has won numerous awards and licenses worldwide and which today still owns three patents.
Philip continued by saying Arthur was called up to do National Service and spent his time in the RAF but didn’t get to travel and spent all of his time locally where he worked behind the bar in the Officers’ Mess. In 1979 he married his wife Joan who he had met a few years earlier and they settled down in Southport.
Arthur’s business in the amusement industry has taken him around the globe having visited America, Germany, China and Poland, but his happiest memories of his travels are taking holidays with Joan and the family to France, The Emirates and Italy.
Philip said Arthur and Joan have four children; Stuart, Caroline, Andrew and Christopher and are blessed with seven grandchildren and when not spending time with them he can think of nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than walking his dog Millie in the park near to their home.
Talking about his Masonic career, Philip said Arthur was initiated on 4 March 1965 into Starkie Lodge. He became master after just eight years in 1973 and again 29 years later in 2002. In 2003 he received the rank of Past Provincial Deputy Grand Superintendent of Works. Arthur is also an honorary member of Southport Chapter No 1070 and a member of Silver Jubilee Chapter of Installed First Principals No 8818.
Finally, Philip brought the congratulations to Arthur from the Provincial Grand Master and thanked the brethren for his invitation after which he presented Arthur with his commemorative certificate.
This was a very memorable evening for Arthur and the members of Starkie Lodge with everyone enjoying the delights of the festive board.