A perusal of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) ‘Nuggets’ provides details of the marathon which has been underway within the UGLE Universities Scheme. ‘Eagled eyed’ readers will have seen a photograph containing John Stanley, who, amongst his various duties, is a member of Lodge of Peace and Unity No 314 based within the Preston Group.
John is the Provincial Universities Scheme Officer for West Lancashire and in liaison with the regional and national organisers of the DKW Cup Relay, he helped to oversee the carrying and relaying of the trophy within our Province. After it arrived in Liverpool from Chester, then eventually moved up to Preston and Lancaster, before John transported it to Durham Masonic Hall a week later, to hand over to their Provincial Grand Master John Arthur. The cup is named after David Kenneth Williamson, a Past Assistant Grand Master, the founding president of the Universities Scheme.
Outside his various commitments in Freemasonry, John Stanley taught medieval and modern history for 27 years in secondary schools, his particular speciality being ‘International relations in the 20th century.’ He also taught A level Government and Politics. Whilst completing his MA in history at Lancaster University, he completed his thesis (25,000 words) on his selected subject: ‘Freemasonry and the middle class in Lancaster 1789 – 1914’. During his career as a teacher, John was an examiner at A Level for the OCR Board and an examiner for the International Baccalaureate. (IB). In addition, John has written several IB textbooks for Cambridge University Press, on topics such as The Cold War, Civil Rights in the USA, Germany in the 20th century and on the development of Democratic States.
The lodge is fortunate to have John as a member, as he already holds positions in various lodges and chapters in the Lancaster area. Needless to say, John provided an illuminating talk, referred to in a previous article, via Zoom during the recent lockdown.
Emerging from the experiences of the last months, the lodge has reflected on further aspects in its final assessment of the situation. Previous articles have made mention of Zoom meetings, which have been facilitated by the selfless assistance of John Lee, who fulfilled a role of ‘studio producer’; many will be fully aware of John’s responsibilities and commitment to Freemasonry in the Province and beyond. The lodge also wishes to show its appreciation to David Edwards, who provided excellent speakers in amongst the novel ingredients attaching to a Zoom meeting.
One is always aware of the pressures of the ‘day job’; over and above this, the lodge has been grateful to David for his valuable contributions, which have been made in addition to his various Masonic roles including the position of Secretary for Blackpool Group, as well as shouldering a responsibility for the various legal and compliance issues attaching to Masonic halls in the Province of West Lancashire.
A highlight of the months, as the lodge emerged from lockdown, was the annual golf fixture which this year was held at the magnificent venue of Lancaster Golf Club, courtesy of Ian Douglass. 2021 is the 70th anniversary of the fixture. The trophy was donated to the lodge by Frederick Treasure, who was the WM in 1952. His son John, another distinguished Freemason in the lodge and a past captain of Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club has, until few years ago, arranged this annual fixture. Sadly, John Treasure passed to higher service.
Against the spectacular background of Ashton Hall, the players ‘teed off’ into the distance, in pursuit of birdies, eagles and perhaps, an albatross or two, and after coming into view at the ninth green, then disappeared off around the remainder of the course to appear sometime later on 18th green and eventually the magic hole, the 19th.
The players overcame the challenges of the course as well as the blustery wind conditions. Success on the course was awarded to David Winder, closely followed by Ian Douglass and Paul Darlington.
The 19th hole provided an enjoyable meal, which was attended by the golfers together with the non-golfers of the lodge along with one or two guests in attendance, which was also an opportunity for everyone to actually converse face to face after what has been a period of social isolation.