John Robson was proclaimed WM of Silverdale Lodge No 6926 in the presence of Assistant Grand Registrar David Edwards, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews. David was accompanied by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Wilkinson, grand officers; Peter Mason, Stephen Gregory; David Kavanagh; David Holland, John Wrennall and Neil McGill together with the Chairman of Lancaster Group Scott Devine and group vice chairman Chris Larder. Acting officers in attendance were Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Larry Branyan and Provincial Grand Steward Andy McClements.
John was proclaimed master by the lodge director of ceremonies Carl Horrax. The third degree working tools were presented by Julian Webb, the second degree working tools were presented by Richard Parker and the first degree working tools were presented by Clark Kent. The WM then appointed Stuart Thompson as senior warden and Richard Parker as junior warden. The address to the wardens was given by Stephen Fox and the address to the brethren of Silverdale Lodge by David Edwards.
A list of donations made by the brethren of Silverdale Lodge over the past year was presented to David Edwards who reported that a total of £2,335 had been given to Masonic and non-Masonic charities. David thanked the brethren of the lodge for their very generous donations.
The organist was Peter Wood and the Master’s Song was performed by Chris Isherwood. A total of 53 brethren attended the festive board at Silverdale Golf Club. The raffle raised £273 in addition to £251 from the charity plate. The toast to the WM was given by Stephen Fox who was John Robson’s proposer into Silverdale Lodge.
John Robson was born in 1943 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. His father was half Irish and was employed as a civil servant and his mother was a nurse from Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness. During the early stages of World War II, his parents were living in Croydon, Surrey and due to heavy bombing, his mother was evacuated to High Wycombe.
After the war his parents moved to Dover where John had his early schooling and was a member of the local church choir. His mother wanted to return to Barrow and after his father managed to arrange a transfer in 1952. John resumed his education at Ocean Road Primary School on Walney Island before moving to Barrow Grammar School.
John’s early career was in the Civil Service working in Manchester, Barrow, Bootle and Liverpool. Following home study he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor working for the Valuation Office and at Bolton Borough Council. He later went into private practice in Bolton where he became a partner in charge of estate agency in a firm that grew to 13 branch offices which were sold to Halifax Building Society in 1986. Not wishing to retire at 43 years old, John moved into fuel retailing and took tenancies of four petrol stations in Bolton, Stockport and Manchester where he remained until retirement in 2003.
John married his first wife, Shirley, in 1965, the daughter of a prominent Leyland Freemason, with whom he had two children, Eleanor born in 1970 and Matthew born in 1972 who later gave him a granddaughter. During this marriage he lived in Liverpool, Chorley and Bolton. He married his second wife Kathryn in 1996 and has a stepson Nick from whom he has inherited two more granddaughters, one grandson and a great grandson. Kath and John lived in Sale for several years, later moving to Bolton in 2001 and Silverdale in 2004.
John is a former member of Horwich, Westhoughton and District Round Table. He was introduced to Freemasonry by Shirley’s father and was initiated into Anderton Lodge No 8470 at Westhoughton in 1975. Several members of this lodge who were fellow members of the Round Table attended John’s installation ceremony at Silverdale in 2023. John was WM of Anderton Lodge in 1983 and WM of Coronation Lodge of Westhoughton No 7258 in 2002. He was a founder member of Phoenix Lodge of Installed Masters No 9206 and later joined Silverdale Lodge and Westmorland Lodge of Installed Masters No 7111 in the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland. John is a grand officer with the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
In Royal Arch, John was exalted into Horwich Chapter No 2324 in 1983 and was first principal in 1997. He has been a member of other chapters including the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter of West Lancashire No 8516 and is still a regular attender at Horwich. John more recently joined Sandylands Chapter No 5702 and Cumberland Westmorland’s Installed Principals’ Chapter No 8071. In West Lancashire, John has the rank of Past Assistant Grand Sojourner.
In 2008, the Provincial Grand Master Colin Penty Wright appointed John to the post of Chairman of Chorley and District Group. John held the post for 5 years and thoroughly enjoyed his time in office despite the commute from Silverdale to the Chorley area. John was honoured with election as an honorary member of 3 Craft lodges and a Royal Arch Chapter within the group during this time. John is also a member of other Masonic Orders.