Robert Wright, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by Frank Umbers Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman had a very pleasant duty to perform recently when they visited the home of Edward (Ted) Gregson in Clayton le Wood near Chorley to celebrate his magnificent achievement of 50 years in Freemasonry.
A very warm welcome awaited Robert and Frank who were accompanied by Francis Aspinall secretary of St Michael’s Lodge No 5756 and lodge almoner Walter Taylor. Following tea and coffee offered by Ted’s wife Margaret the reminiscing began with Ted saying how much he had enjoyed Freemasonry over the years and how important it was to him that individual lodges keep to their traditions as laid out by their founders, as this makes visiting so rewarding.
Ted very much misses attending St Michael’s Lodge this is due to an accident at work whilst employed by the prison services where he was responsible for instructing young inmates of the advantages of farming. Ted was a member of a team employed by HM Prison and Probation Service at Wymott and Garth Prisons near Leyland. The farm provided training as part of the rehabilitation of young offenders teaching them traditional farming techniques in growing cabbages and cauliflowers etc all to be consumed within the prison service. Later the farm took on animal husbandry with cattle, sheep and pigs. Ted had to leave the service following an injury to his back caused by a kick from a passing cow which has left him incapacitated and unable to stand for long periods of time. Looking back at his time at the farm Ted said that the prison service has been very good to him.
Ted joined Masonry on 4 April 1967 and was passed to the second degree in October 1967 following which he was raised to the third degree on the 1 February 1968. Ted was WM of St Michael’s Lodge in 1982 and again in 2008. Ted served the lodge as DC from 1990 to 1995, subsequently becoming chaplain in 1995 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2007 serving as almoner. Ted currently holds the very high rank of PPrJGW.
Frank then had the honour to read out the 50th certificate on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison following which Robert was extremely pleased to present the certificate to Ted extending his warmest congratulations.
Walter then had the pleasure of presenting a beautiful bouquet of flowers to Margaret from the members of the lodge and thanked them both for their hospitality.
Article and photographs by Barry Hewitt.