President’s New Year Message

Dear Brethren

I write this letter during what has become known as the ‘Third Lockdown’. Freemasonry has been suspended for most of us almost continuously since the beginning of March 2020. The problems associated with suspension are well known to you all. The2019 transactions of the Manchester Association For Masonic Research have been delayed and I, as President, offer my apologies for this. However, owing to the diligence of our editor, WBro Ken Olive, I am delighted to be able to attach this letter to the latest volume which covers the work of the Association during the year 2019.

Roger Pemberton

But what of 2020? We have been unable to meet, to hear papers and to enjoy the accustomed question and answer sessions that follow. However, the research has not stopped and we hope to bring you a 2020 volume packed with interesting, original work in the autumn of 2021.

The Association will resume our meetings as soon as we possibly can. We are currently working on our 2021 itinerary and the minute we can confirm dates for meetings and events we will issue a programme.

Now, and this is very important, we need your help. If you have an e mail address (and few of us these days do not) would you please send a simple e mail message to our Membership Secretary, Philip Myers at This will enable him to update his records.

At the moment we are obliged to contact the bulk of our members by snail mail. This is costly and limits the amount of useful information we are able to send. We certainly won’t be bombarding you with e mail messages, but we need to keep costs down and we need to be sure that our members can be contacted quickly, efficiently and to their benefit.

In its history of over 120 years this Association has had to deal with many crises and it has done so successfully.  We can emerge from this present crisis stronger than ever before if we have the resolve to do so. We are building a strategy to increase membership and to ensure that the work we do will be effective in that direction; will be attractive to hear and relevant to a wide audience. We cannot do this without your assistance.

On behalf of the Manchester Association, I wish you all a happier year in 2021; one in which we can once again join together in the fellowship of Masonic Research.

RW Bro Roger Brentnall Pemberton

Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Shropshire

Grand Superintendent for the Royal Arch Province of Shropshire

President of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research

Beyond The Craft

Mark Masons Hall have the following news regarding a series of informative and most interesting presentations and lectures ‘

You will no doubt have seen the various releases of episodes of the “Brother. Beyond the Craft” series of Podcasts, produced in association with Mark Masons’ Hall. These are proving very popular as an interactive introduction to our Orders. A great way for potential Candidates to find out more; a good source of additional information for new members; and there’s even some useful nuggets for those of greater experience.

We have curated this collection of all the episodes which you can share with you members, by email or social media, either as a whole or pick out the items relating to your Order.’ Click here to learn more

Top Hat But No Tails

The January meeting of The Lodge of Silent Temple saw a change of master and president for 2020. Allan Shields was vacating the chair and presidency at the end of what had been a sad year following the passing of stalwart member , John Acaster.

Allan opened the lodge and a eulogy for John was read by Robert Mitchell after which the brethren stood in peace for a moment or two.

He then handed the next part of the proceedings to Peter Robinson, a very good friend of the incoming master and President Right Worshipful Brother Roger Pemberton, Provincial Grand Master of the province of Shropshire.

Roger Pemberton (centre) with IPM Allan Shields (right) and installing master Peter Robinson

Roger Pemberton (centre) with IPM Allan Shields (right) and installing master Peter Robinson

Peter installed Roger in fine style,following which the lodge officers for the year were invested. It’s a busy night for the incoming master and Roger then presented his paper ‘Angelo Soliman, Noble Moor and Mason’

Sold as a slave in Marseille, Angelo became a friend of Mozart, master of the most prestigious lodge in Vienna. This proved a most interesting tale of how a humble slave sold during one of the most controversial parts of African history became a freemason. It was well received with Roger receiving a warm round of applause from his audience.

John Acaster was very much missed at this meeting, but he always advocated that the master of such an old lodge should, in keeping with how things were done at the time Silent Temple was consecrated, wear a top hat.

Lodge treasurer, Peter Nicholson had discovered that John had indeed purchased a top hat for this very purpose and had great joy in presenting it to Roger.

Roger sporting the top hat

Roger sporting the top hat

Now a Provincial Grand Master would of course wear his ‘tails’ at an installation meeting. However the lodge tends to go for a less formal approach but he did look very much the part with the top hat on!

Roger finally closed the lodge and the brethren retired to dine during which he was installed as the President of the association.

A French theme for November

The November meeting had a very French feeling to it as the brethren and visitors to MAMR were joined by Daniel Paccoud and  brethren from one of the French Masonic organisations: GLNF.

This meeting was in the ‘tyled’ environment of The Lodge of Silent Temple No 126 held in a lodge room at Manchester Halls.  The Master, Allan Shields opened the lodge and welcomed the brethren who had travelled from Paris as well as all the other visitors and members.

Part of the lodge business was to elect the head of the Shropshire Freemasons, Right Worshipful Brother, Roger Pemberton as the Lodge Master and President of MAMR for 2020.

Left, Roger Pemberton with MAMR President: Allan Shields

Left, Roger Pemberton with MAMR President: Allan Shields

The lodge was then closed and the stage set for Daniel to deliver his presentation.  He gave a general overview of the different Rites and side degrees practiced by the Grande Loge National Francaise (GLNF). Daniel is the Grand Inspector of the GLNF and provided a fascinating insight into French freemasonry from its origins in the early 1700’s to the present day. His presentation was illustrated with some very interesting and fascinating pictures and was very well presented and well received by all those present.

Following the presentation, Daniel and his colleagues from GLNF took questions from the audience and received a warm round of applause.

Festive board followed the meeting in the Library room; good food was enjoyed by the members in a relaxed and friendly environment. This gave Allan the opportunity to thank Daniel for coming along and providing MAMR with a most comprehensive insight into all aspect of French Freemasonry.

Daniel Paccoud (centre) with colleagues of GLNF

Daniel Paccoud (centre) with colleagues of GLNF