Temple Lodge No 1094 which was consecrated in 1866 has celebrated a very special evening at the Roman Suite in Liverpool Masonic Hall, which ranks with any in its long and distinguished history. The worshipful master Christopher Walls opened the lodge assisted by senior warden Andrew Roberts and junior warden Stephen Walls.
Brethren were then invited to stand in respect of departed merit in regard to John Chute, who was present at the last meeting of this lodge in his capacity of Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies at Bob Fisher’s 50th celebration.
A ballot for eight joining members from the recently closed Sure and Stedfast Lodge No 9326 was taken which proved in favour, after which these new members were admitted into the lodge room and greeted with worthy accord. A further ballot took place regarding four candidates for admission, all of which proved in the affirmative, with one of these, John Healy to be initiated at this meeting.
The lodge was then pleased to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Dimelow, accompanied by Vice Chairman of Liverpool Group Bob Povall, who had come to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Henry Lloyd Hughes, who had been initiated into Temple Lodge in 1955.
The evening continued with the admittance of John Magnus Healy, who was initiated into the lodge in the correct manner as laid down according to the tradition of Bottomley workings. The working tools of this degree were presented and explained by the junior warden Steve Walls, after which John was then escorted to the senior warden’s pedestal where the charge was delivered to him in a fine manner by Andy Roberts. The newly initiated brother was introduced to Stan Merrill, the mentor of the lodge, who would be only too pleased to offer help and support on his Masonic travels.
The gavel of the lodge was then presented to Mark Dimelow, who took over the running of the lodge. Mark congratulated and welcomed John Healy into Temple Lodge and said that the ceremony he had just participated in was the same as that taken in 1955 by Henry (Harry) Lloyd Hughes. It was now that we would celebrate those 60 years spent by Harry in Temple Lodge. Henry Hughes, or Harry as he is better known, is Welsh having been born in 1932 at Colywn Bay, the middle of three children, older brother Donald and younger sister Connie, born to master baker John Richard (Jack) and Morvyn. In 1938 the family moved to Liverpool where his father opened the family bakery in Mill Lane, Old Swan, although the building still stands today it is sadly no more a bakery.
Harry was educated at Northway County Primary and Highfield Secondary School, leaving at age 14, which was usual at that time. As head boy during his final year, having been presented with his final school record card, he noted that the headmaster had commented with ‘he behaved himself’. Harry joined the family business working with his father and elder brother Donald and attended the first full time course at the Bakery School in Byrom Street, Liverpool for two years, qualifying as a baker. He continued his studies working hard to become not only a master baker but a master confectioner too. The business was a true family business, his sister Connie worked in the front shop of the bakery while the men toiled over the hot ovens in the rear.
In 1952 Harry received the call to National Service and has the rare distinction of being that ‘square peg’ that was placed in a ‘square hole’, for he was immediately dispatched to Woolwich Military Hospital as a corporal cook where he spent his entire service.
Indeed, he became something of a hero and legend to the ‘other ranks’ when, having sent up from the kitchen a dinner to the officers’ mess, he was summoned to explain why a dish cloth had been discovered in the cabbage. He was informed by an outraged sub-lieutenant that; ‘the meal isn’t fit for pigs’. To which Harry is reported to have replied: “But it’s not meant for pigs sir, it’s meant for the officers.” There is no record of what occurred after that. However, Harry completed his National Service, not in the glass house and returned to the family business.
In 1956 whilst making deliveries in the family business van, Harry called at the ‘Johnsons Radio Music Store’ in Allerton Road to collect a recording of Chopin he had ordered and was immediately enraptured by the young lady behind the counter. Now Harry has always been a quiet, gentle man, but is a bit of a dark horse really and having spotted Olive was not about to let the grass grow under his feet. He asked her to a jazz concert to see Humphrey Littleton at The Empire which she agreed to. So enthusiastic was Harry to get to the theatre to secure tickets, he jumped in the van and by sheer co-incidence, set off following a fire engine on an emergency call along Smithdown Road towards town. So intent was he on getting to the theatre, he failed to notice the police motorcyclist behind him and the subsequent £10 fine for exceeding the speed limit, not bad when you only earn £9 a week. Harry still says today that it’s the best £10 he has ever spent, Olive being worth every penny.
Olive and Harry married in 1957 and soon moved to Widnes to open a second family bakery and shop where Harry continued to practice his gift until he retired in 1998. They had two sons, Robert and Martin and have two grandchildren, Ginette and Thomas.
In his younger days, Harry was a member of The Liverpool Barber Shop Singers who performed at the festive board 10 years ago on the night the lodge celebrated his 50 years as a Freemason. Having retired, he has pursued his long time interest in horse racing and enjoyed a new found sport of swimming, something he didn’t learn until he retired when fate had a twist, for he had a swimming lesson at his old school, now Highfield Secondary Modern.
Both keen lovers of the theatre, Olive and Harry have been known to attend twice in one day, along with their other love of taking to the floor for a spot of sequence dancing. Harry has always taking a great pride in his appearance with never a hair out of place – this must surely be due to Olive’s keen eye as she has always trimmed his now silver locks. In return, Olive enjoys nothing more than breakfast in bed prepared by Harry. Sadly, in recent years both Olive and Harry have not enjoyed the best of health, but true to their characters and their generation, they have been resolute throughout in their support for each other which allowed Harry to still attend the lodge whenever circumstances permit, family first.
Harrys’ connection with Freemasonry in general and Temple Lodge in particular started when he was 15 years old, when his father John Richard Lloyd was initiated into Temple Lodge in 1947. Teddy Theobald was a salesman and supplied yeast and flour to the family business and proposed John as a candidate for Masonry. Ted had seen Harry grow into a young man whom he, like his father, recognized as having the qualities of a Freemason and in February 1955, having been proposed by his father, seconded by Teddy Theobald, Harry was initiated into Temple Lodge. Such was the enthusiasm to join the lodge at that time that he was initiated alongside Joseph Stother. A strange co-incidence, for his father John had been initiated alongside Walter Stother, Joe’s father in 1947. Harry and Joe’s journey of enlightenment into Freemasonry continued as they were passed and raised together.
The lodge was of a considerable size at that time, (103 members) and progress was slow while work and family commitments prevented Harry from continuing to climb the ladder which was the poorer for the lodge. Unfortunately as already mentioned Harry’s wife is not in good health and his attendance at the lodge was determined by her needs, family first. However, Harry did attain the important role of senior steward, an office he held throughout his first 50 years as a Mason and until in recognition of his service to the lodge he was elected as an honorary member of the lodge in February 2013, his 58th anniversary of being initiated into the lodge. In 2009 his service to the lodge was recognized when the Provincial Grand Master appointed Harry to the rank of Past Provincial Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works.
Mark added that it was so obvious to see the high esteem Harry was held in amongst the brethren of the lodge and how he still enjoyed nothing more than to fulfil the duties of senior steward at the installation ceremony looking after the principal guest and other distinguished brethren
Mark finished by adding that Harry was an unassuming man of great integrity and honour and it had been a privilege to be invited to share this evening with him. It was pleasing to note the upturn in the health of Olive, which had allowed Harry to be present and true to Harry’s nature he had insisted on a quiet ceremony without the flamboyance of full dress. Mark then invited Bob Povall to read the official illuminated address from the Provincial Grand Master to celebrate Harry’s 60 years, which Mark then presented to him. Mark said how delighted he had been to visit Temple Lodge again and commended Chris Walls, Andy Roberts and Steve Walls on the excellent way they had carried out the initiation ceremony, the whole being expertly supervised by the director of ceremonies Robb Fitzsimons. Mark handed the gavel back to Chris and in due course processed out of the room accompanied by Harry Hughes.
On closing the lodge, the brethren went into the adjoining banqueting suite to toast Harry and the new initiate before enjoying a very pleasing festive board.