The Masonic Temple, Kingsway, Widnes was the venue for the celebration of Anthony Graham Platt, (known as Graham), of 50 years in Freemasonry as a member of Lodge of Equity and Appleton No 1384.The WM Geoffrey Enright opened the lodge in due form, completed the domestic business including Investiture of any brethren not present at the Installation.
Assistant to the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies David Boyes announced the admission of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Andrew Whittle with several other distinguished Masons. The WM greeted Andrew and offered him the gavel of the lodge which he accepted.
Andrew started the celebrations by asking the DC to please place Graham on the floor of the lodge before him and ensure that he is comfortable. Some very famous people were born in 1944 including, Danny DeVito the movie actor, Diana Ross the singer, Jerry Springer the TV show host, George Lucas the film director, Michael Douglas the movie actor, Jimmy Page the guitarist, Gladys Knight the singer, Gary Glitter the singer, Joe Frazier the boxer, Frank Sinatra the singer and probably the most famous of them all Anthony Graham Platt.
Graham was born in April 1944 at Widnes Maternity Home to his parents Harold Platt and Kathleen Platt. Graham’s father Harold worked at the family foundry business, Thomas Platt & Sons in Widnes, and his mother Kathleen had been a school teacher. Graham attended Kingsley Junior School, which at the time was in Lancashire, for one year and it was whilst here that King George the VI would pass away and the young Queen Elizabeth would accede to the throne.
He attended the Kings School in Chester as a junior at the age of eight when the time came Graham moved up to the senior section of Kings School and whilst here, he would go on to obtain his GCE’s and ‘A’ Levels. He also excelled at sport and was a member of the schools rowing squad, in fact he is very proud of the fact that he rowed in the Kings first eight for 3 years. However, the downside of success was that the school eight would compete in regattas against teams of superior age and ability such as the British Olympic Trial Boat.
Graham went to study Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University as by this time he had decided to follow his father into the family foundry business, a decision he said was of his own choice as his father had given him the option, but he felt an element of loyalty and being the only boy a necessity if the firm was to continue. Following University Graham started at the family business Thomas Platt & Sons Limited in Widnes and after the usual opportunity to understand how the family business worked, he would run the industrial thermal insulating side of the company until the business was forced to close as a foundry in 1977, due to the falling demand in the United Kingdom and the de-industrialisation of the country. Graham did continue the family business in a separate premises buying in castings and machining them himself until finally retiring in 2011 and closing the family business after 73 years of trading.
At the age of 54, Graham would eventually marry the love of his life Sally on the 17 October 1989 in the Oakland Pub in Cheshire. Graham and Sally have enjoyed their married life and have jointly found pleasure in the hobby beekeeping. Graham is a committee member of the Cheshire Branch of British Beekeepers and spends a lot of his time teaching people who wish to keep bees. He delivers about seven weeks of class-based theory in the early part of the year, followed by practical teaching and assistance throughout the trainees first summer of being a beekeeper.
Graham was initiated into Appleton Lodge No 6468 at Widnes Masonic Hall on 13 March 1973 by his father Harold who was the WM and to make sure it was a family affair uncle Reginald was senior warden, uncle Wilfred was junior warden and cousin Tom was the junior deacon leading him around the lodge room. Graham was passed to the degree of a fellow craft on 13 November 1973 and raised to the sublime degree of a master Mason on 10 September 1974.
Graham rose through the progressive offices of the lodge and was installed as WM on 8 April 1986, and all throughout he has been a valued and active member of the lodge. Appleton Lodge would amalgamate with its mother lodge, Lodge of Equity No 1384 in 2008 and Graham continued with his uninterrupted Masonic membership, which has now lasted for 50 years. Graham’s services to his lodge were recognised by the Province of West Lancashire when he received his first appointment to Provincial rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon on 23 May 2005.
Andrew ended by saying: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everybody present that we are absolutely delighted to see you here this evening to celebrate your 50th anniversary as a Freemason and even more so that you have allowed us to celebrate your special evening with you.
Graham such is the importance of your own golden jubilee that our Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews has caused a certificate to be struck to mark this wonderful achievement which I shall now ask the Mersey Valley Group Deputy Chairman David Atkinson to read the contents of the certificate.”
To read Andrew’s full script, click here.