Tom Bateson was initiated into Holmes Lodge No 2708 in March 1965 and as a result, has now passed that remarkable milestone of 50 years in Masonry. Unfortunately, circumstances dictated that Tom was unable to attend at Hindley Masonic to share this magnificent achievement with the brethren of the lodge.
Such service and dedication however, could not go unrecognised and uncelebrated, so the decision was made to take the occasion to Tom’s home in Hindley. Attending the celebration were 10 brethren, including Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent, Wigan and District Group Chairman Malcolm Taylor, vice chairman Geoffrey Porter and acting Provincial officer Eric Bailey.
Tom was delighted to receive his guests and warmly greeted them. There then followed a trip down memory lane, when Tom recounted, aided by his guests, many stories of Holmes Lodge and in particular the changes he had seen over 50 years, both in Freemasonry and the town of Hindley and its community. In the formal part of the proceedings, Malcolm Taylor read out the words of the Provincial Grand Master from the official certificate to commemorate Tom’s service. This was well received by Tom and the assembled brethren and the certificate was then formally presented by Tony Bent.
Tony stated that he was delighted to be present to share this moment with Tom and said in his presentation that there was nothing amiss in celebrating such an occasion outside the lodge when circumstances required it, and in fact he related that the strangest place he had presented such a certificate was in the Men’s’ Surgical Ward of Leigh Infirmary.
Touched by the occasion, Tom gave a very eloquent response to the presentation and then with the assistance of Tony cut a wonderful cake adorned with the square and compass together with some appropriate words. The cake was then washed down with a glass or two of lemonade graciously served by Tom’s son and daughter.
This was a wonderful occasion for the visiting brethren to witness. Tom was initiated in 1965, served as master of the lodge in 1975 and holds the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon.