The members of Norley and Langtree Lodge of Antiquity No 178 were proud to host the celebration to commemorate the outstanding contribution to Masonry of one of its elder statesman Arthur Prescott, who was initiated 50 years ago.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent was delighted to attend the meeting at Pemberton Masonic Hall to celebrate with Arthur his achievement of 50 years service in Masonry. Tony was accompanied at this very special event by fellow grand officer and Wigan Group Chairman Malcolm Taylor and supported by Malcolm Bell, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and fellow acting officers Alan Ireland (PrAGPurs) and Howard Morris (PrGStwd), together with group officers Geoffrey Porter and Chris Reeman.
The lodge was opened for business, following which the APrGM and distinguished guests were received into the lodge and warmly welcomed by the WM Brian Sharples, who had no hesitation in offering Tony the gavel, and was delighted when he retained it on this very special occasion to conduct the proceedings.
Tony stated that he was delighted to be at Pemberton to celebrate a very special occasion, the 50th jubilee of a very well respected Mason. He then recounted a concise digest of what was happening in the world in 1930 when Arthur was born and in 1965 when he joined the Craft, before talking about the career of the celebrant.
Arthur was born in Sandy Lane, Hindley in April 1930, (coincidently the same day that the Krakatoa volcano erupted and emerged from the sea), to his father George, a blacksmith and mother Ellen. He spent all his life in Sandy Lane, first moving next door and then five doors down from his original birthplace. He attended Castle Hill Primary School and then Argyle Street Secondary Modern, leaving in 1944 at the age of 14 to take up an engineering apprenticeship with Naylor Bros of Golborne as a plater.
Following National Service from 1951 to 1953 at RAF Conimesely serving as an airframe mechanic, he returned to Naylor Bros for six months, before going to work for AGB Altons in Parr, St Helens. He quickly gained promotion to shop foreman and worked there until 1964 when he took on the role of sub postmaster at Castle Hill sub post office until his retirement in 1986.
In the meantime, he married Mavis in February 1955 and they had a daughter, Sandra born in January 1960. Sadly, Mavis passed away in 1994. Arthur was a boy scout as a youngster and also a keen chorister, joining All Saint’s in 1944, before joining the choir at Wigan Parish Church where he is still a member, having received a medal for 60 years service. Singing has always been a great passion and he has graced many a Ladies’ Evening with his fine voice, including, to her great delight, at his own wife’s special night in 1996.
In Freemasonry, Arthur was initiated into Norley Lodge No 7319 in November 1965, and became worshipful master in 1978. In Provincial Grand Lodge, Arthur was appointed to the rank of PPrSGD in 1988 and was promoted to PPrJGW in 1996. He was lodge almoner for 22 years from 1979 until 2001. In Royal Arch, Arthur was exalted into Wigan Chapter No 2326 in April 1971, was first principal in 1983 and served as auditor and group representative. He holds Provincial rank of PPrAGSoj.
Tony was absolutely delighted at the chance to honour such a worthy Mason and invited Malcolm Taylor to read out the certificate from the Provincial Grand Master which Tony subsequently presented to Arthur. At the end of the proceedings, Tony invited Arthur to retire with him after the first rising and they joined together in saluting the WM as they left the lodge.