Radio Millennium spring a surprise on celebrant John

The evening was set for a busy lodge meeting at Radio Millennium Lodge No 9709 as director of ceremonies Peter Harding took his place in the masters’ chair to pass Giles Brocking to the second degree. Where after followed a full presentation by the immediate past master Robert Murphy, of three master Mason’s certificates to the three most recently raised brothers in the lodge.

Mike (left) presents John with his certificate.

Mike (left) presents John with his certificate.

Continuing with lodge business, the WM Peter Greenhalgh announced, ‘any other business’, when secretary Doug Couse announced that the principal guest of the evening, Mike Adams (group chairman), would like to make an addition at this point. Mike rose and having initially congratulated the lodge on an excellent ceremony and other work carried out in the lodge during the evening, he similarly congratulated Giles Brocking for his excellent responses and demeanour throughout his passing ceremony ably guided of course by the ‘stand in’ senior deacon for the evening, John Youldon

The reason for Mike rising was to bring to the attention of the brethren and the celebration the 50 years in Freemasonry of John Youldon. Mike commenced his address by saying he was delighted to be visiting Radio Millennium Lodge on such a very special occasion and especially to celebrate John’s very admirable 50 years as a Freemason.

Mike said that John’s Masonic career started many miles from Manchester, in fact it started in Surrey at the aptly named, Welcome Lodge No 5055 in the Province of Surrey, where in September John will be revisiting to celebrate his 50 years of being a Mason. Mike continued by saying: “However, as you John have been a member of Radio Millennium Lodge, in this Province of West Lancashire, it is the wish of our Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, not to allow this recognition to go unrecognised.

Hopefully on that future occasion and in the Province of Surrey he will get the full, ‘This is your Life’ in his mother lodge, and all the appropriate trimmings that go with it. However, Mike said, that on this evening, before he presented the certificate, he thought it right, having sought permission to allow him to colour the picture for the brethren on John’s life both in and outside of Freemasonry.

John was born on 18 July 1939 and is married to Sandy, who he met on his 50th birthday. They have two children, Richard and Allison and also step daughters Louise and Debbie. John and Sandy have two granddaughters by Richard and Allison and two grandsons. John attended John Ruskin Grammar School in Croydon, but was more into sport than education, borne out by him winning the title ‘Athlete of the Year’ in 1953 and in one of the sports, was the cross country champion winning the ‘Victor Ludorum’ (Latin meaning ‘the winner of the games’) trophy. Whilst at the school John also joined the 1st Queen’s School Army Cadet Force.

John’s 50 year certificate.

John’s 50 year certificate.

Upon leaving school, John started work with a city insurance company, but eventually left there to join the family engineering business. In 1958 John joined the 10th Parachute Regiment in the Territorial Army. In 1960 John got married and on returning from honeymoon he found his national service letter on the door mat and three days later reported to the Royal Engineers in the North London Postal Service and spent two years as the adjutant’s clerk. Being de-mobbed in 1962, John worked for the church publishers, but was soon contacted shortly after by the Ministry of Defence and started a government service role in 1963.

John’s Masonic career began at the age of 26 and as a Lewis he was initiated into Welcome Lodge on 20 May 1965 by his father. He eventually occupied the WM’s chair in 1984 and then took office as secretary for six years and as the treasurer for a further 10 years. He holds the Masonic rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in the Province of Surrey.

He has also been a member of Good Neighbour Lodge No 8378 in Kent, Surrey Installed Masters Lodge and in the Royal Arch, a member of Welcome Chapter and also Mozart Chapter. In 2008 John moved north to live in Manchester and joined Radio Millennium Lodge in April 2008 as a joining member and since then has become a valued member holding several offices.

Mike’s short address to John was concluded by Mike’s comment: “So there you are John, 50 years gone in just over five minutes, quite a story and very well done to you on your remarkable service to Freemasonry.” Continuing Mike said: “John, you came to Manchester and you got involved in the South Eastern Group for which we are most grateful.” Mike then said he had great pleasure, to first of all read the certificate, as signed by Tony Harrison and then presented it to John on Tony’s behalf passing on his personal congratulations and best wishes for continued health and happiness and of course reiterating the worthy celebration of John’s attainment of 50 years in Freemasonry.

John’s Masonic pocket watch.

John’s Masonic pocket watch.

At the conclusion of Mike’s presentation, John rose and in a heartfelt manner responded by saying, quite amusingly, he was quite literally expecting a nice quiet evening with a little bit of stand in work as a deacon, he was most certainly surprised, and as he put it, ‘a little embarrassed’ but had very much enjoyed the unexpected part of the evening put towards him, John said he was also very much enjoying his membership of Radio Millennium Lodge of which he finds it to be a very friendly, relaxed style of Freemasonry with good camaraderie.

The business of the lodge concluded, the evening continued at the festive board well into the evening where further congratulations and presentations, including a Masonic pocket watch from the lodge members, were made to John. And so the cup of cheer and the bread of friendship having been enjoyed by the numerous attendees brought the evening’s festivities to a close.