Yorkshire Mason’s Risk Life and Limb to Pay Respect to George Spencer, a Popular Freemason!

In 1930 Sgt Major Joseph Spencer and his wife Lily were based at the Cavalry and Infantry barracks in Edinburgh.  Joseph was a Sgt Major in The Cameronians and Lily was a Housewife and Weaver when she became pregnant.

Lily wanted her baby to be born back home in Skipton; and in 1931 a bouncing baby boy called George came into the world.  Little did they know that their bundle of joy would become a life-long Freemason.

After schooling, George began his working life at 14 in the Clifton Colliery where he worked until National Service called.  He joined the Royal Army Pay Corps and was then posted to Singapore in the Scottish Rifles.

Sgt George Spencer was de-mobbed in 1953 and became a time-keeper at Thornybank Colliery in Accrington.  He married farmer’s daughter Mary Bailey, whom he met at a dance hall in Nelson.

George’s Masonic career began way back in November 1962 when he was initiated into ‘Fower Nowt One’, the colloquial name for the Royal Forest Lodge No 401 in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.  However, in 1966 he was moved to the new National Coal Board computer nerve centre in Lowton near Leigh, where he was responsible for the payroll, pensions and accounting for the whole of the NCB.

He retired in 1984 and joined The Lodge of Truth in Leigh in 1985, and was also an active member of Chapter.  But tragedy struck a few months later when Mary died.

As well as developing his Masonic career, George was a golfer and a School Governor.

George always maintained a varied and active life until 2009 when he suffered a stroke whilst on a Caribbean cruise.  He was transferred to St Lucia and subsequently flown home.  George now resides at Holcroft Grange in Culcheth.

It shows the regard and esteem in which he is held; that, as a tribute to this popular mason, 17 members of ‘Fower Nowt One’, their own Assistant Provincial Grand Master D. Stuart Cummins, accompanied by the Lodge Liaison Officer, W Bro Roger D Newhouse, risked life and limb crossing the Pennines and the Border guards, to pay their respect to this very popular Freemason and his 50 years in Freemasonry.

West Lancashire APGM Tony Bent who led the ceremony, has known George since he joined Leigh group.  When addressing George in his summing up, he said, “50 years’ service in any aspect of life is a commendable achievement.  Your membership of the Craft has seen the greatest changes in the way our Order presents itself to the world and the way in which we, as Masons, are making the world at large much more aware of what we stand for – and believe in.  You may look back on those years with pride and no little satisfaction; that the foundation stone placed all those years ago, was well and truly laid.”

The Photograph shows W Bro George Spencer with the delegation from “Fower nowt one”, together with W Bro Stuart Cummins APGM (Yorks, WR) and W Bro Roger Newhouse (Royal Forest’s Liaison Officer).

For further information contact roger.newhouse@lineone.net


Posted in Area 3 on March 11th, 2013 by David Clough

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