Joe celebrates diamond jubilee

A magnificent evening was held when 72 brethren and friends of Joe Brine PJGD, converged on the Royal Clifton Hotel in Southport to celebrate his 60 years of Craft Freemasonry.

Sadly Joe’s mother lodge, Hamer Lodge No 1393 in Liverpool, is to hand in its warrant towards the end of 2015, so Joe invited several of his friends from that lodge to celebrate with him in this ceremony hosted by County Palatine Lodge No 2505 of which Joe has been a member for the last 10 years.

The presentation was conducted in a most sincere yet convivial way by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Robert Wright, who is also a member of the lodge. There were 14 grand officers in attendance including John Moore and Christopher Hamilton. The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies for the night was Mark Barton. Both he and John Moore are also members of County Palatine Lodge.

Christopher Hamilton (left) looks on as Joe Brine (right) is congratulated by Robert Wright.

Christopher Hamilton (left) looks on as Joe Brine (right) is congratulated by Robert Wright.

At the festive board, Michael Braham delivered the toast to Joe in a very warm and humorous manner. Joe was then presented with a bouquet of flowers for his wife Marjorie, a 60 years lapel pin badge, a bottle of whisky for himself and a signed caricature by fellow lodge member Paul Hardman. Each guest had a printed menu booklet, which described the public and Masonic life of Joe in words and photographs. This was in itself a tour de force produced by Eric Morris. All who attended agreed that it was a very successful evening.

Joe has had a most illustrious Masonic career as well as a highly successful professional one. He was born in Liverpool in 1930 and in 1940 was evacuated to North Wales. It was at this time he developed a great interest in the Boys’ Brigade and this was the beginning of a life-time attachment to the group, during which he achieved many honours and medals.

In 1946 he took on a six year apprenticeship with Watson’s, in Liverpool working on distinguished marques such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and MG. There then followed two years of National Service with REME and whilst stationed near London he took part in the rescue operations during the devastating east-coast floods of 1953. He was then posted as a member of BETFOR, which was a force helping to keep Yugoslavia and Italy apart within the Allied Military Government of the Free Territory of Trieste.

In 1961 Joe was appointed an engineering technician at Riversdale College in Liverpool. In 1964 he obtained the position of lecturer in Automobile Engineering eventually moving up to dean of faculty of Automobile and General Engineering at South Mersey College, Liverpool.

Having played football at non-league level, including being a member of the victorious Burscough team which won the Liverpool Senior Non-League Cup in 1955-56, he moved on to qualify and officiate in the central league as a referee. The central league was formed for the reserve teams of the major football league clubs. He then moved on to the Football League Linesmen’s Panel and spent several successful years running the line at many of the top-flight games.

In 1980, as lodge charity steward, Joe applied to the West Lancashire Masonic Educational Institute and was eventually appointed secretary. In 1999 he became Provincial Liaison Officer to the RMTGB at which he served until 2013, dealing with 375 cases on behalf of 635 children of this and other Provinces here and abroad. He was also joint secretary of the West Lancashire Masonic Golfing Society for over 25 years.

Pictured left: Joe responds to his toast, pictured right: Joe’s caricature by Paul Hardman.

Pictured left: Joe responds to his toast, pictured right: Joe’s caricature by Paul Hardman.

Over the years Joe has worked tirelessly for Freemasonry within the Province and beyond and in 2005 was honoured for his work with promotion to the grand rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon.

In congratulating Joe, Robert said he has excelled as an exceptional example of a man, who has genuinely dedicated himself to such pursuits as to enable him to become respected in life, undeniably useful to mankind and an exemplary ornament of our institution in this 60 years of dedicated and selfless service; fully exploiting and exercising the potential that lay within the compass of his attainment.