The attainment of 50 years in Freemasonry by Robert (Bob) Donald Fisher was celebrated in his mother lodge, Temple Lodge No 1094 and later in his secondary lodge, Sovereign’s Peace Lodge No 8911. Wirral resident Bob Fisher is a well-known and popular figure both in Freemasonry and without. His sense of humour and fondness for telling jokes led him to stand up appearances on TV in “Old Scousers Telling Jokes”. He is often called upon in lodges to give the toast to the visitors for this reason.
The premier celebration took place in Temple Lodge. The lodge was opened according to Bottomley ritual by the worshipful master Christopher Walls, ably assisted by his two wardens, Andy Roberts and Steve Walls, who then welcomed Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Dimelow. Mark was accompanied by fellow grand officer Tom Lovatt, with Liverpool Group Vice Chairman Bob Povall and lodge members Arthur Merrill and John Percy acting as Provincial Deacons. Mark and his colleagues had the pleasure of hearing eight proposals for joining members to the lodge and five new candidates being proposed for membership, a sure sign of a healthy and thriving lodge in the coming years.
Accepting the gavel of the lodge from the WM, Mark Dimelow took the chair and directed that Bob Fisher be placed before him. Mark then paid tribute to Bob. He commenced by outlining the details of Bob’s parentage and upbringing during the second world war in the Norris Green area and his education up to the age of 16 at Alsop High School.
Bob has held a lifelong interest in boxing, having started the sport at a young age. He was a leading light in the administration and encouragement of police boxing at national, regional and local level.
Bob started his working life as a ship’s purser but decided that he needed a job with better prospects and joined the police at the age of 19. For the major part of his police career, Bob served as a traffic officer and reached the rank of sergeant. He served in the city centre and also in the Main Bridewell and the Licensing Department. At one time Bob was privileged to serve with Norman Dainty, then an inspector and later to be the founder of Sovereign’s Peace Lodge, which Bob would also join on retirement. Bob credits Norman with giving him a timely warning which avoided a traffic accident which may have resulted in his death. On retirement from the police Bob continued in the law, working for local solicitors where his training and knowledge of traffic policing was put to good use.
Although fully retired from professional employment Bob continued to contribute to the general good by taking on voluntary work for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, North West Air Ambulance and as a welfare officer for the National Association of Retired Police Officers.
A strong and rightly proud family man, Bob married Stephanie 50 years ago, celebrating their golden wedding in July 2014. They were blessed with three sons who have each provided them with a total of five grandchildren. Ever outgoing, Stephanie and Bob have enjoyed their travels throughout the world and especially enjoyed Cyprus, Paris, Las Vegas and Tenerife.
In Freemasonry, Bob was initiated into Temple Lodge in 1965 and after having served in all of the progressive offices he was elected to the WM’s chair in 1971. Subsequently, Bob served as DC, chaplain, treasurer, preceptor and was elected WM for a second time in 2011. His service to the lodge was acknowledged by the Province with an appointment to the rank of PPrSGD in 1983 and a promotion to his current rank of PPrGSuptWks in 1995. He continues to take an active part in lodge affairs and was appointed as almoner for the current year. Bob is also a member and office bearer in Sovereign’s Peace Lodge and continues to be active in both his lodges despite the recent onset of ill health and caring for Stephanie who is also not well at present.
Mark reminded Bob that on the day he was made a Mason he was charged to be respectable in life, useful to mankind and an ornament to the society of which he was on that day made a member. Mark continued: “All present today are in no doubt that you have fulfilled those obligations on every count, we congratulate you on a wonderful achievement, your jubilee celebrating the 50 years of your membership in Temple Lodge.”
Mark Dimelow then called upon Bob Povall to read the scroll issued by the Provincial Grand Master which he did and Mark then presented it to the celebrant. Mark said: “Throughout the 50 years of his membership of this ancient and distinguished lodge as well as his contribution to Freemasonry in general, Bob has proved himself to be a man of great integrity and commitment.” The brethren assembled concurred with these remarks with an accolade. Bob thanked Mark for his kind words and the members and guests of Temple Lodge for their congratulations.
Later in the evening Mark proposed the toast to Bob’s health, congratulating him on his 50 years in Masonry and saying he was pleased to note Bob had now been officially ‘certified’, In response Bob thanked everyone for their support and friendship over the 50 years, concluding with a special thank-you to Mark for all the work he had obviously put in preparing for this unforgettable evening. The celebrations concluded with Bob being presented with a pocket watch from the lodge members as a memento of this special occasion.
Bob’s attainment was also marked in Sovereign’s Peace Lodge where he has been a member since 1991. He has served in many of the lodge offices throughout his membership and has been a stalwart supporter, not only in the lodge but also in many of the lodge social events. Bob hopes to be elected WM this year. In a separate celebration, current WM David Southward had much pleasure in congratulating Bob on his achievement. He reiterated the remarks passed by Mark Dimelow at the earlier celebration and listed Bob’s contributions both in Temple Lodge and in Sovereign’s Peace Lodge. This drew an ovation from the assembled brethren. David then presented Bob with an inscribed hip flask on behalf of the members of that lodge who hold him in such high esteem.