Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, Chris Butterfield led the celebrations at Barrow in Furness Masonic Hall as John Thomas ‘Jack’ Fawcett marked his 50 years as a member of the Royal Arch. A lifelong Barrovian, Jack is well known and respected in the town.
Having started off working for a coach building company he had later, with two partners, formed one of the largest coach building concerns in the North West and had also invested in land in the town.
His wife Sheila is a piano teacher of great renown and Jack can be relied on to sing the ladies song at functions with accompaniment from Sheila.
Jack was exalted into Semper Sursum Chapter No 5622 in 1965 and the intervening years have witnessed him playing an active part in the chapter. He was first principal in 1970 and again in 1999. His initial Provincial appointment was as an acting steward and since then he has risen to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.
One of his proudest moments was exalting his son Dean, the present director of ceremonies of the chapter, into Semper Sursum in 1995.
Accompanying Chris Butterfield on the evening was Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barrie Crossley along with other acting Provincial officers in the person of Provincial Scribe Nehemiah, Tony Hall, standard bearer, John Bates and stewards, Steve Fox and Bob Stafford.
Others in attendance included Past Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals David Grainger, past group chairman Rowley Saunders, group vice chairman Peter Schofield and group secretary Barry Hadley.
A certificate marking the milestone signed by the Grand Superintendent was read out by group chairman Alan Jones before it was formally presented to Jack by Chris.
Just making his first steps in his Royal Arch career was Phil Renney who was presented with his Grand Chapter certificate by first principal Barry Fitzgerald during the evening.
Afterwards, quite appropriately, 50 members and guests enjoyed the festive board where further tributes were paid to Jack.