Alan Griffiths

Alan Griffiths with the tracing boards he painted and presented to the lodge

Alan Griffiths with the tracing boards he painted and presented to the lodge

 Alan Griffiths was DC for 23 years

THE set of Tracing Boards on view at all our meetings are unique, having been designed and painted by WBro Alan Griffiths, concluding the task he set himself as he approached the chair for the first time of seeing the lodge fully equipped.

Basing his work on the Tracing Boards of Great Sankey Lodge No 5939 but with added embellishment, he set about the task of providing tracing boards with his usual enthusiasm and determination even though he had no previous experience of painting in oils. He designed the boards, which he had made by Bro Dennis Wrench, and then started his intricate oil painting task. The result is a wonderful piece of art which will be used in the lodge for many decades to come and constitutes one of the many items of lodge furniture which he has either made or presented to the lodge during his long and distinguished career. Whilst in the chair he set himself the task of raising funds to provide items which the lodge had previously borrowed from other lodges, such as the Wardens’ Columns and the Emblems of Mortality

Following his Initiation in December 1958 and his Passing and Raising early in 1959, he had the distinction of never having been out of office until 2011. Being a church organist and choirmaster at the time of his Initiation, he was appointed lodge organist in 1960 and continued in that role until he became Inner Guard nine years later. He progressed until he became Worshipful Master in 1974 and after his year as IPM he became Assistant Director of Ceremonies. He worked with Director of Ceremonies, WBro Jim Ashall, until Jim’s sudden death in February 1980. He took over as DC and was thrown in at the deep end as within succeeding months after Jim’s death he had to cope with a visit from Lord Daresbury, the lodge’s 50th anniversary and the Installation ceremony.

He served as Director of Ceremonies until May 1992 when he agreed to help the Lodge by going into the Chair for a second time.

In an attempt to address the perceived decline in lodge membership, a specially convened meeting of the lodge in 1995 to discuss remedial measures, resulted in WBro Griffiths being asked to take over again as Director of Ceremonies. He continued until 2008. He then served as secretary until 2011.

In 1995 he also resurrected and edited the lodge newsletter, COMPASS, which he computer sets and prints. Alan was also a lodge auditor for more than 20 years,

His work for the lodge, for the Warrington Group and the Province was recognised in 1978 when he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon and progressed to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1984. Six years later he achieved Grand Rank as a Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

WBro Griffiths has a meticulous eye for detail and his organisation of rehearsals and lodge meetings left nothing to chance, with members knowing a year in advance of work allocated to them and with reserves appointed to cover each task in case anyone is unable to fulfil a job at the last minute due to sickness, etc.

In December 2008 WBro Griffiths celebrated the 50th anniversary of his initiation into Freemasonry. More than 90 brethren attended to hear Assistant Provincial Grand Master Dennis Rudd delivery a lengthy and interesting dissertation on the life and times of WBro Griffiths who he said had made an outstanding contribution to Freemasonry. WBro Griffiths was presented with a special certificate signed by the Provincial Grand Master…a certificate he had designed for such special anniversaries for the Province of West Lancashire.For the social board he produced a special booklet and menu which included details of his Masonic career along with a copy of the summons from his initiation.