Bonjour Jim

In May 1965 James Glaister was initiated into Baldwin Lodge No 1398 and in 2015 he returned to the lodge in Dalton-in-Furness to remember that memorable evening.

At the time of his first introduction to Masonry, Jim was a serving police officer with Barrow-in-Furness Borough Constabulary. A few months later he transferred to the Essex Police and subsequently joined Daen Ingas Lodge No 7951 in Maldon. After 25 years police service he retired as a Detective Inspector and he then entered theological college and eventually was ordained into the Church of England taking up a parish in Felixstowe. Following his retirement from the church Jim moved to France where he still lives.

His progress in Masonry had seen him attain the chair of Daen Ingas Lodge. He later became chaplain of the Province of Essex and he then rose to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Chaplain. Following his move across the channel Jim eventually resigned from his lodges as he could no longer get to meetings.

In 2014 he re-joined Baldwin Lodge and was then made an honorary member. This gap in continuous membership meant that there could be no formal recognition by the Province when he returned to Baldwin Lodge to recall the day of his initiation. Nonetheless the lodge felt it only right that such an anniversary should not go unheralded. At the meeting, master of the lodge Dave Grove explained to the assembled brethren who Jim was and why he had made the trek from France to Dalton-in-Furness. He then handed over to the lodge secretary David Sear who gave a résumé of Jim’s life and Masonic career.

It is the custom of Baldwin Lodge that the original gold jewels of past masters are recycled. On this occasion David was able to point out to Jim that he was wearing his past master’s jewel because, by coincidence, it had originally belonged to Joe Wills who had proposed Jim as a member. It proved a quite poignant moment.

Jim then responded. His words were heart felt, sincere and left no doubt as to the importance he placed on his membership of the Craft which had begun 50 years ago in the same lodge room. The reaction to his response was one of sustained acclaim.

Pictured from left to right, are: Chris Woodburn, Steve McKellar, Jim Glaister, Carl Hallows and Darren Stainton

Pictured from left to right, are: Chris Woodburn, Steve McKellar, Jim Glaister, Carl Hallows and Darren Stainton

Following the meeting there was time for Jim to swap tales about characters in the lodge and the wider community before he was wished bon voyage.