Number 4281 in the register of the United Grand Lodge of England
Izaak Walton Lodge of Freemasons
May meeting There have been many high spots in our Masonic life this year and May proved to be no exception to the rule. Brother Paul Walters was passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft and as usual, the ceremony demanded the perfect delivery of two big pieces of ritual - the Working Tools and the Tracing Board. Bro Frank Pearson, SW and Bro Mike Carthy, SD didn’t disappoint, delivering these two complicated pieces perfectly, enhancing the ceremony immeasurably and leaving a very special visitor, RW Bro John Lockley, the Provincial Grand Master, suitably impressed. The Provincial Grand Master had found time in a packed schedule to attend and present a certificate to W.Bro Roger Yates, marking his fifty years in Freemasonry. Roger was initiated in Cyprus in Apollo Lodge 7886 in Limassol - which quite recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. He came to Izaak Walton in 2001 after a long career in the RAF and Ministry of Defence. Adding to the celebrations, there was a gift and letter from Roger’s Mother Lodge. Roger recounted to the brethren that on joining the Lodge, he was unconvinced that progress to the Master’s chair was something he wanted to do, but the then Director of Ceremonies, Peter Kelsey, managed to convince him that the journey was well worth the effort. And so it proved, with Roger taking the chair in 2012. He has also since been appointed PPrAGDC in Provincial Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge certificates It’s always a bit special to receive your Grand Lodge certificate after becoming a Master Mason. The icing on the cake is when it’s presented and explained by the Provincial Grand Master! Brothers Jonny Howorth and Steve Spennewyn were the lucky recipients of their “passports to Masonry” at our May meeting. Extra meeting Normally, at this time of year our thoughts would turn to a break in Masonic activity and perhaps to holiday planning. This year however, we have an additional meeting on June 12th to initiate Peter Westwood. This is a very special occasion and one which no doubt, you remember from your initiation.  So please try to attend if you can and support Peter as he makes his first tentative steps in Freemasonry.  
We are thinking about…….. Gerald Bates, who has unfortunately experienced no respite from his health difficulties. After another recent spell in hospital he is now, at least, back home with his family. Despite his diagnosis he remains cheerful and would welcome the chance of talking to as many of his Lodge friends as possible. You can reach him on 01785 284655. Brett Willats, who while recovering from an operation to improve knee mobility, developed blood clots after leaving hospital. Prompt action and a few days back in Hospital have brought the issue under control but his mobility has been temporarily affected. Brett has commented that the care he received from the staff at County Hospital was exemplary and the food was of a very high standard. Those of you who know Brett’s sense of humour will now be wondering if he’s being serious - especially about the food!! We look forward to the pleasure of his company later in the year. Ray Barnett is still making progress and keeping in touch with all that’s happening in the Masonic world, through regular attendance at a monthly luncheon, attended by many of his friends. Bob Mallen organises these parties, so if you fancy coming along, having some banter and a pleasant couple of hours in Ray’s company, let Bob know! Slater’s Brewery in Stafford played host to 28 of us as we set out to discover the secrets behind their award winning Ales. Finding out how hops, yeast and malt barley were combined to produce such tasty beers, the visitors were led through the whole process. Despite technology playing its part, brewing is still very much “hands on”, with Slater’s own brewer deciding when the product has reached the highest peak of perfection. Tasting of the product was of course an essential part of the tour in order to appreciate the subtleties of taste and strength! Congratulations to Ian Whatmough for organising a very successful evening and a special thanks to all who attended.