Service of Remembrance
Over 150 freemasons, their families and friends, together with several past and present members of the armed forces and youth groups gathered for the annual Service of Remembrance held at The Clarendon Suites, Edgbaston. Members of the Royal Arch Lodge Representatives' group, as well as enthusiasts from the Jewels of the Craft Study and Collectors Circle, all of whom were meeting in the building that morning, also attended.
The congregation was greeted by the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey, who observed that he was the first PGM who had not experienced active service since the Second World War. He had throughout his teaching career always been determined to ensure that younger generations were made fully aware of the unselfish sacrifices made by those who were being remembered, and trusted that this would long continue.
This moving Service, which commenced with messages from five different faiths, was conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan and Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplain W Bro Paul Wheeler. The Bugle player was W Bro Norman Blackburn.
Wreaths and tributes were placed by the PGM and other senior members of the Province, as well as leaders of different orders and several other groups from the congregation, spanning several generations, including former and present servicemen who are members of Lodges in Warwickshire.
(l-r) W Bro Ian McCloskey, W Bro Ken Wilkinson, W Bro Paul Wheeler, Bro Senior Aircraftsman Adam Wills, W Bro Stuart Cappell, Bro Major Steven Reynolds, W Bro Lynn Harris, W Bro Raiff Burton, W Bro Harry Hunjan, W Bro John Cowan, W Bro Sailesh Panchmatia together with members of the Cubs.
Severn Street Sponsors for London 2012 Olympic Hopeful
The Directors of Athol Masonic Buildings Ltd
Shouts at the Television
One of the most senior members of the Province, W Bro David Old, was honoured to receive his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate from RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master.
This momentous occasion took place at David's Mother Lodge, Perseverance 4622, of which he was Master in 1975 and 1990.
W Bro David Old (r) with the Provincial Grand Master
In the course of a relaxed and informative repartee between David and the PGM (during which at times it was difficult to determine who was leading the conversation!), David's extensive involvement with freemasonry was unveiled. In the Craft, this included service as Provincial Grand Secretary for five years, and subsequently as Assistant Provincial Grand Master for six years.
During this time he was also very active in the Holy Royal Arch, being Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for five years, after which he held office as Third and Second Provincial Grand Principal, subsequently becoming Deputy Grand Superintendent in 2006, from which office he will retire in June.
David is also a member of several other orders and Masonic activities, all of which he supports enthusiastically, in many of which he holds senior positions.
Having qualified as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, David became Assistant City Treasurer at Birmingham City Council and subsequently Head of Financial Services at Birmingham International Airport PLC, as well as acting as a Consultant to major firms within his profession.
His main hobby is Rugby football, although his participation is now restricted to being relegated to shouting at the television set and from the Clubhouse Bar! He was the Skipper and President of Handsworth Rugby club and Treasurer for 20 years. He enjoyed winter sports and skiing in Austria, now a far off dream.
David is married to Jan, they have 3 daughters and are proud grandparents of Eleanor, Adam and Isabelle.
Kind weather for the Masonic Service which was held at Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham enabled the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Philip Hall to organise a full procession into the Synagogue.
The Chief Minister, Rabbi Yossi Jacobs, led the service, having warmly welcomed everyone present into the Synagogue (which was modelled on King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem) on behalf of the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation.
He was assisted by W Bro Cantor Henry Black, W Bro John Cowan (the Provincial Grand Chaplain) and Bro Rabbi Shlomo Odze.
Senior members of the Province also delivered prayers, readings, psalms and biblical extracts, with the Choir adding to the sense of occasion throughout.
An address was given by Hertfordshire freemason Bro Rabbi Meir Salasnik, who talked about Jewish names, his reasons for becoming a freemason, and the attributes and similarities of Judaism and freemasonry, and their respective support for society.
After the service, refreshments were enjoyed by all present, which included the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Anita Ward.
(l-r) Philip Hall, Henry Black, Meir Salasnik, Yossi Jacobs, Shlomo Odze
Warwickshire Freemasons in Procession
Assembled at the entrance of the Synagogue
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, being escorted into the Synagogue
The Service gets under way
The Synagogue Choir under the direction of Keith Rowe
W Bros Ron Davis and Harry Owen open the Ark, with W Bro Sir Bernard Zissman offering a Prayer for the Royal Family
The Bard helps back
Shakespeare Lodge 284 witnessed a unique event in its 208 year history when W Bro Gordon Capstick (pictured below left) was presented with his 60 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate by RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, at a superb meeting which was combined very successfully with a social evening.
W Bro Gordon Capstick and The Provincial Grand Master
Having been born in Lancaster, Lancashire, Gordon was educated at Sedburgh School in Yorkshire, after which he entered the Royal Air Force in 1942 at the age of 19. He joined Bomber Command, training on Wellington Bombers, and eventually very fittingly on Lancasters. After the war in Europe had ended, he was posted to Canada for engagement in the Japanese conflict, which luckily for him finished with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atom bombings shortly before he completed his conversion training on Mitchells and Liberators.
Being demobbed in 1947 and accepting a Graduate Apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering, Gordon was initiated into Rowley Lodge 1051, in Lancaster, by his Father. He married Doreen in 1951, subsequently being blessed with their daughter Jayne, following which he accepted a posting with his company to India in 1955. It was during that time when Gordon became extensively involved with freemasonry, joining several different Orders, four others (in addition to the Craft) in which he has received 50 year Service Certificates. He attained high office in the Knights Templar as Vice Chancellor for the Sub Continent of India, which entailed organising meetings for members located thousands of miles away from each other.
Following his tour of duty in India, Gordon returned to England with Doreen and Jayne in 1965 and continued his career, moving around the country in senior management positions with the giants of his industry. The family eventually settled happily in Kenilworth, where Gordon was able to pursue his love of golf, becoming Captain and Director of Kenilworth Golf Club, together with his continued involvement with local Masonic activities.
In token of Gordon's service in the RAF, the collection (by gift aid) was for the RAF Benevolent fund, and amounted to £300, for which Lodge Almoner W Bro Robert Pearce thanked all members and guests for their generosity