Lodge Suite commemorates the contribution and impact made by WBro Arthur Osborne, PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
WHEN building student Arthur Osborne was Initiated into St Oswald Lodge by his father on 11 December 1947, no one could have imagined the impact he would make not only on the lodge but on Freemasonry in the Province of West Lancashire.
He progressed up the ladder proving himself to be a most capable ritualist and in 1963 he was Installed as Worshipful Master. The perfection of his work and devotion to Freemasonry were noticed at a higher level almost immediately and within four years of completing his time in the Chair he was appointed as a Provincial Grand Steward. By this time he was also Director of Ceremonies of the lodge and this no doubt held him in good stead, for only three years after becoming a Provincial Steward he was appointed as a Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1971.
He travelled throughout the Province making a lasting impression on the Provincial Grand Master, Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters when he accompanied them on their official visits to lodges.
But despite travelling far and wide he still regularly attended St Oswald Lodge and could often be seen taking an office or simply sitting back and enjoying a ceremony. He was also involved with the Warrington Group holding first the post of secretary from 1969 to 1972 and then vice chairman in 1973-
He held the post of Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for six years gaining great credit and acclaim for the way in which he carried out his duties with meticulous attention at Provincial Grand Lodge. His Proclamations at Provincial Grand Lodge always earned spontaneous applause which came as no surprise to St Oswald members for they often heard him rehearsing his Provincial work during our own rehearsals at the Ram’s Head which he regularly attended and encouraged younger brethren to take an active role in lodge ceremonies.
During that period he also found time to be one of the secretaries of the West Lancashire Masonic Charities Fund.
In 1981 consequent on the resignation of Sir Knowles Edge, Baronet, as Provincial Grand Master the Most Worshipful Grand Master appointed Very Worshipful Brother Alan Fletcher Ferris to be the new Provincial Grand Master for West Lancashire. It was a wonderful day for him and he also made it a memorable day for WBro Osborne and St Oswald Lodge by appointing him as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. WBro Osborne was put in charge of the Warrington, St Helens and Prescot Groups of Lodges and later also took the Widnes Group under his wing.
In 1982 WBro Osborne was promoted to the rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon.
Despite all his Provincial work WBro Osborne had no hesitation in agreeing to become Worshipful Master of St Oswald Lodge in 1990 when we celebrated our 60th anniversary. It was not just a case of being a figurehead for he completed the previous year as Senior Warden (including explaining the Tools of the Second Degree the long way) and then enjoyed being in the Chair to Initiate, Pass and Raise new brethren.
It was not only in Craft that WBro Osborne made such a massive contribution for he was also heavily involved in Royal Arch Masonry and many other degrees. He also served as Worshipful Master of several Lodges including Lathom Lodge which was for Freemasons holding Grand and Provincial Grand Rank and Boteler Lodge No 7367.
He was the inspiration behind the formation of our daughter lodge, the Mersey Valley Lodge of Installed Masters No 9057 of which he became the first Worshipful Master.
WBro Osborne was in what he had decided would be his final year as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master when he was taken ill and died suddenly on 10 March 1992.
The impact WBro Osborne made on Freemasonry in Warrington is commemorated by the fact that the Masonic Hall Company decided to name one of the lodge suites after him. His name is there for all to see as they enter the Osborne Suite and his portrait hangs in the nearby committee room.
Freemasonry in the Province, the Warrington Group and St Oswald Lodge in particular owes much to Arthur Osborne.