Members of Lodge of Great Endeavor No 3597 paid a visit to past master of the lodge John Wash at his Brookfield nursing home in Lymm, Cheshire. The purpose of the visit was to present John with his 50 years in Masonry certificate and to show him a recording of the actual lodge meeting that was conducted by the AProvGM Barry Jameson.
The background to the visit started in February 2023 when the regular meeting of Lodge of Great Endeavor was scheduled to honour John and to present a retrospect of his life and his 50 years in Masonry, this was to be given by Barry Jameson, unfortunately, John was taken ill and hospitalised the day before the meeting.
It was planned to reschedule the meeting for the following month but John unfortunately remained in hospital, as more information became available regarding John’s health, it became clear that he would not be attending any lodge meeting over the next few months and beyond. The members of the lodge in conjunction with Barry Jameson decided that there would be a meeting to honour and pay tribute to John and his life in Masonry.
The May meeting was scheduled to be an ’empty chair ceremony’ which of course John would not be present at. The presentation and address given by Barry Jameson were recorded by Neil Thomas so it could be shown to John at a later date. That meeting was well attended and celebratory mugs were distributed as per John’s wishes.
John Tyrer, Warrington Group Vice Chairman and member of the Lodge of Great Endeavour arranged with the nursing home for the use of a private room, sandwiches and refreshments for the presentation. It’s a credit to the staff at the home for not only their cooperation but the extra effect to make it an excellent tea party at their own expense.
The visit took place in June 2023 and 11 members of the lodge gathered to take tea and celebrate John’s 50 years in Masonry. John, who it has to be said, was looking in good health and had put on a little weight, was shown the recording of the lodge presentation ceremony and as you would expect from John, he had one or two corrections to the information therein.
John Tyrer then read the contents of the certificate and passed on the greetings and congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews to John, he also read a letter from the Warrington Group Chairman Andy Barton, congratulating John and offering his apologies for not attending as work commitments prevented him from doing so.
The day continued with John regaling everyone with his tales as leader of the council and his daily working life many years ago. A member of staff popped in to ask if everything was okay and invited the brethren to attend their monthly coffee morning which was to raise funds for a specialist mobility chair, after she had left the room, the members present without hesitation proposed and seconded a donation of £100 towards the chair. When they informed the staff of the donation the staff were extremely grateful.
Article and photographs by Dave Goddard and Neil Thomas.