Two of the remaining founding members of Longridge Lodge, Thomas Blackburn and Trevor Wadsley marked the lodge’s 50th anniversary at Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, Garstang, by revealing to members and guests the secret to how the town got its own masonic fraternity.
Seventy guests, including current and past members and those from other lodges heard 26 Masons from Longridge and the surrounding area met under the chairmanship of the late Walter Carefoot to consider forming of a lodge in the town where they lived and worked.
Longridge originally fell in the masonic province of East Lancashire, but 20 of the 26 were members of lodges in the province of West Lancashire and were adamant a newly formed Longridge Lodge should be included side of the county, leading to lengthy talks between the two. An agreement was finally reached and the Masonic Lodge of Longridge, No 8077 in the Province of West Lancashire, was consecrated on April 18, 1966 at the Masonic Hall, Saul Street, Preston.
To mark the anniversary, a cheque for £8,077 raised by Longridge Freemasons - representing the lodge’s administrative number - was presented to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity to benefit charities locally and worldwide, wherever there is a need.
Guests were also given the opportunity to take home a copy of the lodge’s history - which will also be available in Longridge Library and the Heritage Centre - compiled by Longridge member James Gibson.
Mr Wadsley said: “I am very proud of what the lodge has achieved, and that it is still active and energetic after 50 years. It’s encouraging to see we still have a number of young members who continue to enjoy Freemasonry and are committed to helping others through friendship and charitable activities.”
Colin McNamee, the lodge’s 50th Worshipful Master said: “The 50th celebration dinner was not only a symbol of success for the lodge through the money raised for local charities, but it also marked a significant milestone in our history.”