In a packed Roman Suite within the Liverpool Masonic Hall, George Brian McLoughlin (Brian) celebrated 50 golden years in Masonry. The principal guest for the evening Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Dimelow, was on this occasion accompanied by Bob Povall Liverpool Group Chairman. The gavel was then taken up by Mark, who asked for Brian to be placed before him, thus setting the scene for a very fascinating and enlightening reflection on Brian’s domestic, professional and Masonic life.
The research carried out by Mark was exemplary and this made the evening a thoroughly enjoyable event. Starting with Brian’s date of birth; not as straight forward as most, commencing just prior to midnight on 21 January 1942 and completed minutes later on 22 January, which became the date of registration. As was the case in those days Brian’s father, George, was not present for the birth, but with good reason, he had been sent to the Western Desert to join the fighting there and it was not until 1946 that each would first set eyes on each other.
A true ’Scouser’, born in Liverpool to two Liverpudlians’, Brian would later have a sister and both had the good fortune in seeing their parents live to a ripe old age, Dad sadly passing away aged 91, and Mum at 93. During the war period the young Brian and family lived with his maternal grandparents in Wavertree Village, before moving in 1946 to the Penny Lane area. In 1948 it was back to Wavertree until Brian married in 1964.
Mark told of Brian’s schooling, first at Northway Primary then onto Quarry Bank Grammar, with holidays spent at Llanberis, North Wales. It was here that Brian developed his love of fishing. At 16 he took up an apprenticeship with Dunlop’s, and not long after completion of this, he moved to the Automatic on Edge Lane as a draughtsman. He continued with his studies and achieved his Higher National Certificate in Mechanical and Structural Engineering.
Moving ever upwards through various companies, Brian eventually expanded his skill base as a design draughtsman, project engineer and after a further spell of retraining, to become an architect. This enabled him to eventually set up his own practice as a design consultant. With expanding business interests by the early 1980s he had become director of a building company, a partner in a travel agency, in addition to being the sole proprietor of the design consultancy. In 1985 Brian designed a condensation strip to be used in buildings securing five patents on it, and set up another company to market the product. He then made the wise move of handing over the marketing aspect and settled for receiving royalties from the product.
From this time until his retirement he concentrated solely on the consultancy where he worked on design, specifications, supervision, and negotiations of architectural projects mainly locally and in the capital but also in such places as Ireland, Mali and Cyprus.
One project that was found particularly interesting, not because of its design but more its historical importance, was right here in Liverpool, the drawing of plans and refurbishment of the Western Approaches, below Derby Square, to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. He did consider, but declined, the offer to become involved in a similar project at Bletchley Park.
Mark Dimelow explained that he had reached the conclusion of Brian’s working life and would now cover the family and social aspects beginning with the meeting, whilst working at Dunlop’s, with his future wife, Barbara, at Wavertree Recreation Club, where he was a member of the tennis section. It is actually more accurate to say that he met her again as they had known each other as children but had lost contact when her family moved to Kent for a period of some eight years.
They married at Elm Hall Methodist Church in Penny Lane, and after a honeymoon in Dublin got their first home together in Long Lane, Wavertree. Through work they moved to Ashton in Makerfield and it was whilst there that Barbara’s uncle Eric Poole proposed Brian as a candidate to Stanley Lodge. As more time, both work and leisure, was now being spent in Liverpool the couple decided to move back there, eventually settling into the Childwall area. Brian and Barbara raised three children, two still in the United Kingdom, with one in Australia, and now have seven grandchildren in total whose ages range from two to twenty eight.
It was here that Mark thought it appropriate to talk of Brian’s involvement within Freemasonry, for after all, the evening is a celebration of a golden jubilee as a Mason. As previously mentioned Brian was proposed by Eric Poole, and seconded by Jim Houghton with the result that he was initiated, by WP Barton into Stanley Lodge No 1325 on the 27 February 1967. Brian had a choice to make that evening, thankfully the right one, for performing at the Cavern Club was the famous Chuck Berry.
Brian went onto to serve all of the progressive offices and was installed into the master’s chair by Percy Barton on 26 October 1981, and enjoyed a happy and successful year as master of the lodge, carrying out all of the degree ceremonies, more than once. Brian and Barbara hosted a very successful Ladies Night on 24 April 1982 at the Centre Hotel, and repeated this at the Gladstone Hotel, when he was next in the chair in 1996/97. The two Ladies’ Night venues were in fact the same hotel, the one just behind Lime Street station, which is now called the Liner.
Brian has served the lodge in an exemplary manner over the years, and was, amongst many other things, the director of ceremonies from 1985 until 1992, then occupied the wardens’ chairs for the four years prior to becoming master for the second time in 1996. He has variously been the group representative, lodge preceptor, DC again in 2005 until taking over as secretary in 2007, a position he relinquished in October 2015 when the lodge elected him to be its master during his golden jubilee year.
In November 1986 he had been among a number of brethren who were asked by the then PrGM, Alan Ferris and his Assistant, Norman Dainty, to join the ailing Wilma Lathom Lodge in an attempt to resurrect its fortunes. Brian did this in his usual whole hearted fashion, serving as ADC and preceptor for the first four years and from 1990 to 1997 as lodge secretary. It was early in 1989 that he received a letter from the Province which informed him of a first appointment to the prestigious rank of Provincial Grand Steward. Subsequently he was promoted to the rank of PPrGSuptWks in 1993 and later to his current high rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2000.
In the Royal Arch Brian was exalted into Red Triangle Chapter No 3874 in 1982, serving as its first principal in 1988 and Scribe E from 1996 until 2006 when he resigned from the chapter. He currently holds the very high rank of PPrGSN
Addressing him Mark said; “Bro Brian, you have served Liverpool Freemasonry with exceptional dedication, starting in 1986, for six years as group walk organiser; organising the charity walk and increasing the number of walkers and consequently the sponsorship. 1990 to 2000, you were captain of the lecture team. At the request of the then group chairman, W Bro Dainty, you organised and instructed a team of brethren to deliver the lectures of the three degrees as practiced in the early eighteenth century. From 1997 to 2002, you were group ball secretary asked by the then group chairman Harry Jones to re-establish the group ball as the major social activity in the group social calendar, while at the same time organising the Gala Night Celebrations, which included dining and dancing, at Hope Street to see in the New Year. Between 1998 and 2005 as group social secretary, overseeing and advising on the various social functions, and from 2007 for three years acted as group liaison officer; appointed to implement a communications system to encourage greater interaction between lodges and chapters within the group and to publicise special events. For the 6th Liverpool Group you were Vice-Captain of Stewards at the Provincial Grand Chapter Meeting hosted by the group in 1992.
Brethren, throughout his 50 years of membership of our order, by his significant contribution to this distinguished lodge in particular and Liverpool Freemasonry in general, WBro George Brian McLoughlin PPrJGW of the Province of West Lancashire has proved himself to be a man of great integrity, commitment and dignity, and this evening he celebrates his golden jubilee in Freemasonry. Brethren, I am sure that we all wish him, and his dear wife Barbara, the very best of good health and happiness for many years to come.” Mark then asked the group chairman Bob Povall to read the commemorative certificate which the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison had caused to be issued. On receiving his certificate Brian said: “It is a great pleasure to be here this evening and to have so many friends from other degrees in attendance.” In conclusion he remarked that it had been ‘a very happy journey.
Mark responded by saying: ‘Bro Brian, may I conclude the proceedings here in the lodge room this evening by offering you my warmest personal congratulations on achieving this wonderful milestone in your Masonic career. I know that both you and Barbara have had a number of health problems and I wish you both the very best for many years to come. You should know that I consider it both a privilege and a pleasure to be here this evening and to have been able to take part in such a happy and rewarding evening.’
At the festive board which followed the brethren present were treated to an excellent meal, fitting such a glorious occasion.