The Middle Years
Throughout the late Sixties and early Seventies the Lodge continued to enjoy some success by attracting a number of candidates for initiation and joining members. For example in the Summons for the February 1970 Lodge, it was written that Bro. Sqdn. Ldr. John Kenneth Williams was raised and Bro. Thomas Gareth Evans was due for raising, also in the September Lodge 1971 Mr. Derek Boyer Fry was initiated with Bro. Dewi M Lewis- Jones waiting to be raised. It was from the latter part of this period that the number of candidates for initiation began to decrease year on year.
Considerable work was carried out during 1974 to improve the facilities at Hawarden by constructing a new dining room at Hawarden Masonic Hall and this resulted in a letter from W.Bro. John Hewitt, Secretary of the Masonic Hall Company Limited and Former Secretary of Mossley Lodge, inviting eight members of Mossley Lodge to the opening of this building on 23rd October 1974.
The Lodge itself was extremely active with very few Meetings not having candidates for Initiation or passing or raising. Also there were regular Social Events including Ladies Nights’ and Christmas Parties for the children and grandchildren of the Brethren.
In 1982 the Lodge on two occasions entertained four residents of Queen Elizabeth Court, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution’s Home for Brethren and/or their wives at Llandudno.
At the November 1989 meeting of the Lodge, which was the 25th anniversary of its Consecration, the Lodge was honoured by a visit of the Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Team. During the visit Bro. Geoffrey Thomas Smith was passed to the Second Degree and the Working Tools were presented and explained by Rt. W. Bro. The Rt. Honourable The Lord Kenyon. At this meeting the Worshipful Master presented a cheque for £2000 to Lord Kenyon towards the 1996 Festival.
It is to be noted that it was in September 1991 that the Provincial Secretary wrote to all Lodge Secretaries requesting that all members complete a pro-forma with their personal details including their wives Christian names and their home telephone number. This was done in order to begin a computer based data base of all members in the Province.
At the January 1992 meeting of the Lodge the Worshipful Master, on behalf of the Lodge, congratulated Bro. Martin Kilshaw on his being promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and also his being made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List.
W.Bro. Cyril Muir Jones, PPGStdB, who joined Mossley Lodge in November 1969 and been Worshipful Master in 1979 celebrated his 90th birthday by inviting all Lodge members to a Dinner Party and this was referred to by the Secretary in the Third Call in the October 1992 Meeting. At the February 1997 Meeting, the Lodge was again honoured with the visit of the Right Worshipful Provioncial Grand Master who came to present a Long Service Certificate to W.Bro. Cyril Muir Jones PPGStdB in recognition of him having been a Freemason for 57 years. The Rt. W. Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Ian Lawrie Mackeson Sandbach said that before presenting the Certificate he would like to make reference to the new Coat of Arms which is displayed on the Certificate and also on the Provincial Banner. The Coat of Arms consists of the Lion of Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire and Anglesey, the Goat of Merionethshire, the Double Headed Eagle of Caernarvonshire and the Chough of Flintshire, all of which were well established at the time that W.Bro.Muir-Jones was initiated. The Rt. W.Provincial Grand Master then presented his Certificate to him.
A tragic event occurred at the September Lodge Meeting when, during the Initiation of Mr.Ian Peter Fraser, W.Bro. Edgar E. Noden PPJGW was invited to deliver the Charge in the North East Corner. W.Bro. Noden had just begun to explain the significance of placing the Candidate in the N.E.Corner of the Lodge when he collapsed in the Master’s Chair. An ambulance was summoned immediately, the Lodge was cleared at 7.43pm and W.Bro. Dewi Lewis-Jones, PPGSupW and W.Bro.S.A.Ragsdale, PPAGDC did everything possible to resuscitate W.Bro. Noden. Despite their efforts and those of the ambulance crew W.Bro. Noden failed to respond. He was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital where he was officially certified dead.
At the next meeting of the Lodge a demonstration of the First Degree was worked with Bro. Ian Peter Fraser as Candidate. At an appropriate point in the ceremony when W.Bro. D.G.Roberts was requested by the Worshipful Master to explain the significance of placing the Candidate in the N.E.part of the Lodge, the secretary informed Bro. Fraser that the official ceremony to complete his Initiation into Freemasonry was now about to be worked. After the explanation of the N.E.Corner had been given the ceremony was continued with as normal and Bro. Fraser completed his somewhat protracted Initiation and was admitted as an Entered Apprentice.
At the September 1997 Lodge Meeting, Bro. George Ellison a member of Quator Coronati Lodge No. 2076 gave a talk on “Masonry in the Middle East”.
It was reported at the Lodge Meeting held on September 1998 that a cheque for £12000 had been presented to Deeside Community Hospital towards its Scanner Appeal.
At the 2003 Installation meeting the Worshipful Master requested the Brethren Stand to Order to mark the passing of W. Bro. J.Kilshaw, PPJGW. This marked the end of an era as W.Bro. Kilshaw was the last surviving Founder who was still a Subscribing Member of the Lodge.
During the Autumn of 2004 informal discussions took place between Mossley members and members of Ewloe Lodge No. 7447 which culminated in a meeting on the 8th November 2004 in which representatives of both Lodges discussed the difficulties they were facing. They both had seven meetings per annum and there was poor attendance in both cases, at each meeting.
W. Bro. W.J.Hewitt explained that at the time Ewloe Lodge had 24 members but that they could only rely on 12 members regularly attending meetings and “ three or four casually” attending.
W.Bro.D.V.Hughes stated that Mossley Lodge had 15 full members and one honorary member with W.Bro. T.D.Dudley helping as Tyler. Of the 15 members 4 didnot attend, there were 2 Master Masons one of whom is the Junior Warden and one visits his son in Australia every January February and March, so did not wish to progress.
Discussion then ensued as to a “pattern” of meetings that would be satisfactory to both Lodges.
It was agreed that as a suitable pattern might be :-
Mossley meeting on the last Friday in September, November, January with the Installation on the last Saturday in March.
Ewloe meeting on the fourth Tuesday in October, the third Tuesday in December, the fourth Tuesday in February with the Installation on the fourth Tuesday in April.
All members of both Lodges would be asked to attend both sets of meetings.
Discussion then centred on the views of Provincial Grand Lodge, the financial aspects of this arrangement with regard to Hawarden Masonc Hall. The caterer who had already been approached was happy with such an arrangement.
The Provincial Grand Master gave his blessing to the proposal and both Lodges moved simultaneously to amend their By-Laws.
This arrangement lasted for a period of time with varying degrees of success, with stalwarts of each Lodge attending and supporting each other’s Lodge meetings. Eventually Ewloe Lodge handed in its Warrant; eight members of Ewloe Lodge became Joining Members of Mossley Lodge.