Bryn Lodge No 6553 were proud to host the celebration to commemorate the outstanding contribution to Masonry of one of its elder statesman, Cyril Metcalf, who was initiated 50 years ago. Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Tony Bent, was delighted to attend the meeting at Bryn Masonic Hall, to celebrate with Cyril his achievement of 50 years’ service in Masonry. Tony was accompanied at this very special event by fellow grand officers Stanley Oldfield, Malcolm Taylor and David Ogden (Wigan Group vice-chairman), and supported by Barry Fitzgerald, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and fellow acting officers Peter Ridehalgh, Alan Johnston and John Bimpson. Chris Reeman was also present in his capacity as group charity steward.
The lodge was opened for business, following which the APrGM and distinguished guests were received into the lodge and warmly welcomed by worshipful master Phil Barr. Phil, who had only been installed at the last meeting, 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 back in Bryn Lodge to celebrate a very special occasion, the 50th Jubilee of a very well respected man and Mason. 50 years’ service in any capacity and in any walk of life is a living testament to a man’s commitment and is, in itself, a commendable achievement, one which is thoroughly deserving of recognition. In the last 50 years the world has changed in so many ways, and with those changes our lives have been altered and ordered in a manner, which earlier generations would certainly not be able to recognise. It is in this changing world that Freemasonry has shone out like a beacon of morality and consistency, adapting where necessary, but never surrendering those tenets, which form the cornerstones of our Order and afford Freemasonry its enduring excellence in both its character and its practice. Cyril Metcalfe has lived through these challenging times and throughout has remained a true Mason, holding on to those ideals, which were inculcated into him 50 years ago. Tony then recounted a concise digest of what was happening in the world in 1936 when Cyril was born and in 1967 when he joined the Craft, before talking about the career of a remarkable man and Mason.
The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies then placed the celebrant before the APrGM and the minutes of Lyndsay lodge from February 1967 were read. Tony then outlined Cyril’s personal and Masonic history.
Cyril was born in September 1936 in Rainford, the son of George and Margaret Metcalfe, both of whom spent their lives in the village. He attended the Rainford Church of England Primary School until 1947, passed the 11 plus and attended Upholland Grammar School until 1955. Following Manchester University and with a degree in Civil Engineering, Cyril took up an appointment with Manchester City Council as a graduate trainee in the City Engineer’s Department. This gave a useful insight into the workings within the various sections of the Engineer’s Department and the interaction with other Departments of the City Council. On completion of the two years training he was appointed to a permanent post and worked on various projects including sewage works, airport and highways. Through further studies and experience he became a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (MICE). In 1974 the re-organisation of local government led to the establishment of the Greater Manchester Council and Cyril was appointed Chief Assistant Engineer in the County Engineer’s Department dealing with major highway planning work in the Greater Manchester area. In 1986 the Greater Manchester Council was abolished. A major highway consortium was set up under the Manchester City Engineer’s Department to continue with the works in the Manchester, Salford and Wigan areas, which Cyril worked on until his retirement in 1993.
Cyril married Edna Glover at St Luke’s church, Orrell in 1960, and their union was blessed with two sons and four grandchildren. Unfortunately, Edna passed away in 2002 after a long illness. In his younger days, Cyril was a chorister at Rainford Parish church, and a keen campanologist. He also played rugby and cricket. Cyril’s youngest son, Ian, emigrated with his family to Australia in 2006, and Cyril visits when he can, enabling him to enjoy the climate, and to indulge his love of cricket by watching England play at Melbourne and attending the Australian Grand Prix.
In Freemasonry, Cyril was initiated into Lyndsay Lodge No 1335 at Tower Buildings in February 1967, and became worshipful master in 1977. He served as ADC from 1980 to 1983 and as DC from 1984 to 1990. He was almoner from 1995 to 1999, and joined Bryn Lodge in 1997 when Lyndsay and Bryn Lodges were amalgamated. In Provincial Grand Lodge John was appointed to the rank of PPrSGD in 1988 and was promoted to PPrJGW in 1996.
Tony then congratulated Cyril and addressed him as follows: “We acknowledge your achievement in this ceremony this evening and are proud to be able to share this landmark with you. You may look back on the last five decades with no little satisfaction that the foundation stone placed in the north-east corner of Lindsay Lodge in February 1967 was well and truly laid.” Following his address, Tony invited David Ogden to read out the certificate from the Provincial Grand Master and Tony presented the same to Cyril. Tony invited Cyril to retire with him after the first rising and they joined together in saluting the WM as they left the lodge.
A fine festive board followed the proceedings, with great food and wine, with further toasts, wine takings, kind words and fond memories.