Derek Parkinson was delighted to lead the celebrations and tributes to Peter Owen on his achieving 60 years membership of Freemasonry. The evening was held at Garston Masonic Hall at a meeting of Garston Lodge of Installed Masters No 9403, or GLIM as it is affectionately known.
The lodge was opened by the WM Keith Lewis and the routine business of the evening conducted before Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Mark Barton announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Derek Parkinson was without and demanded admission.
Derek accompanied by other grand officers as well as Garston Group Chairman John Murphy were duly admitted and welcomed into the lodge by Keith, who offered Derek the gavel which, on this special occasion, he was pleased to accept and retain. Derek said: “Such events are amongst the most enjoyable duties and responsibilities of holding a senior office within the Province.” He then asked Mark Barton to seat Peter before him and he then delivered a detailed account of Peter’s life, both domestic and Masonic.
Informing the gathered brethren that Peter was born in Liverpool on 10 September 1926, Derek expanded on other events of this time including the introduction by Henry Ford of the eight-hour, five-day week, the discovery of penicillin and the founding of the National Garden Scheme. Peter’s early life and education was within the Fairfield area of the city where he first attended Birchfield Road County Primary and Secondary Schools, before attending Old Swan Technical College at the age of16.
At technical college he gained his National Certificate in auto electrics before joining Joseph Lucas industries as an auto electrician and diesel engineer where he continued to work until his retirement in a senior management role in 1985.
But, as Derek pointed out it wasn’t all work. In his younger days Peter played football and badminton and it was whilst playing badminton at his local Methodist Church that he met Doris Burrows. Doris was a quiet, caring young woman and Peter ‘fell’ for her and they started going out together. Unfortunately, their courtship was interrupted when Peter was called up into the Royal Air Force. After his basic training he was posted to India where, due to his engineering skills he was put in charge of the motor transport section.
Following his demobilisation in 1948, Peter proposed to Doris and they eventually married on the 7 March 1953. They moved in with Doris’s parents before buying their own home in the same street, prior to moving to Huyton where they brought up their three children, Robert, Peter and Allison. Derek went on to say that sport and football in particular have always been of keen interest to Peter and he has followed his team, Everton, on many continental journeys including attending the 1985-86 European Cup final in Rotterdam with his two sons.
Peter began his Masonic life when he was initiated into Stoneycroft Lodge No 5714 on 18 May 1957. He became WM of his lodge in 1971 and again in 1999. Unfortunately, after unsuccessfully trying to amalgamate, the lodge closed in 2009. However, he continues his Craft Freemasonry here within GLIM. Derek continued by saying that Peter was also a member of Stoneycroft Chapter No 5714 where he served as first principal no less than three occasions, he is now an active member of Abercromby Chapter No 3699. His Masonic life also includes membership of another Masonic Order, reaching the very senior position of Special Representative for the Garston Group.
Before asking the group chairman to read the jubilee certificate, Derek informed the brethren that Peter holds the ranks of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft, Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in the Royal Arch and high rank in other Masonic Orders. A wonderful record of achievement and service.
Derek’s final words were to say: “It’s a great honour and privilege to say thank you Peter for all you have done for Freemasonry and achieving this marvellous milestone in our order.”
As you would expect, a very warm and enjoyable festive board followed the formal proceedings where Peter made a poignant response to the toast to his health as well as a considerable personal donation to the charities.