What do the Beano comic, Teflon, Smarties, Superman, Arthur Scargill and Brian Fallows have in common? The answer is that they all first put in an appearance in the same year. This nugget of information was shared by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Chris Butterfield as he led the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Brian Fallows being exalted into the Royal Arch. This special meeting of Baldwin Chapter No 1398 was moved from its usual meeting place at Dalton-in-Furness to Barrow Masonic Hall to accommodate the 70 members and visitors in a little more comfort.
Joining Chris at the celebratory meeting were fellow grand officers David Grainger, Rowly Saunders, Ralph Walker and Alan Jones, along with group chairman Peter Schofield. Acting Provincial grand officers Steve McClintock and Dennis Laird also formed part of the entourage that processed into the chapter with Chris under the watchful eye of Barrie Crossley.
In detailing Brian’s life, Chris revealed that although Brian was thought of very much as a Daltonian, he was in fact born in the Hindpool area of Barrow-in-Furness. Due to the regular bombing attacks on the shipyard and steelworks in Barrow during 1940 in WWII, Brian was pushed in his pram by his parents to the safer environment of Dalton-in-Furness, to where they eventually moved in 1941. That change of address proved to be most fortuitous as only two weeks later the former family home in Milton Street received a direct hit and was totally destroyed.
An electrician by trade, Brian worked mainly in the local shipyard, eventually taking voluntary redundancy from the position of adult training manager. Not wanting to finish work completely he took up the position of maintenance supervisor with Furness General Hospital where he served for 12 years before his full retirement.
A member of Baldwin Lodge No 1398, Brian was exalted into the chapter in 1968, some 15 months after his initiation into the Craft. Brian became the first principal of Baldwin Chapter in 1985 and also assisted the chapter by returning to that position in 2007 and 2014. His service to the order also saw him hold the positions of director of ceremonies for five years and scribe Ezra for 12 years.
His first Provincial appointment in the Royal Arch was to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Sojourner in 1990, followed by promotion to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 1995. At the October meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter this year he will be further promoted to the distinguished rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra.
During his oration Chris commented: “Brian I am sure there are many Freemasons in this room with whom you have had a positive influence on their Freemasonry and I speak for them all when I say how delighted we are to be here celebrating this remarkable achievement.”
Furness and South Lakeland Group Vice Chairman Gary Rogerson was called upon to read a certificate from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison prior to it being formally presented to Brian by Chris.
To mark the happy occasion, first principal Mike Benson presented Chris with a donation of £200 for the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. Group charity steward Richard Wilcock was on hand to match fund the first £100 of this with a contribution from the group charity account, being a portion of the proceeds raised at the group dinner and dance evening.
The celebrations continued in the Fairfield Suite where a two course meal was enjoyed. Chapter stalwart Brian Davey proposed a very fitting and heartfelt toast to the celebrant.
On behalf of the group Gary presented a lapel badge of the group to Brian who also received a pair of commemorative tumblers from Mike as a memento from the chapter. The evening had proved to be an enjoyable and fitting way to mark Brian’s achievement on having reached the wonderful milestone of 50 years as an enthusiastic member of the Royal Arch.