Stanley Raymond Martland
Ray was invested on 23 February 2010 as A.Pr.G.M, the ceremony for which was actually held at his own Lodge, Peace Lodge No 2269, and this was the first time in our Province that this has taken place. A very high honour indeed.
Ray is Wigan born and bred and attended Up Holland Grammar school where his favourite subject was music and he had intended becoming a Music Teacher but, brethren, ended up in engineering instead becoming a chief draughtsman at the age of 23.
Music has always been his passion and he started piano lessons at seven years old, playing the organ at Wigan Parish Church at the age of 15. Played the Clarinet at 17, and the tenor saxophone at 18, later forming a six piece dance band playing at many Masonic Ladies evenings. Trad Jazz is a particular favourite of Ray’s.
He met his wife to be, Carol, whilst still at school and they were married in 1965. Travelling is important to him and Carol, with Venice being a firm favourite with them both.
Ray went into business at the age of 25. Over the years he and his business partner ran three factories manufacturing metal pallets and was so successful was able to retire at 48!
Turning to his Masonic career, Ray is a very active Mason. He was initiated into Peace Lodge in 1973 and became Master in 1986. Continuing his love of music, he has played the Lodge organ for over 30 years. In 1987 he was appointed Charity Steward and served for 11 years, progressing to Group Charity delegate for Wigan circa 1994 and served in this capacity for 11 years. Ray was appointed to the rank of Provincial Grand Steward in 1991 and promoted to the rank of Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1997. Further promotion was achieved to Acting Grand Rank attaining the level of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies of England in 2001.
In 2002 Ray became the first ever Provincial Grand Almoner which is a role he carried out for 6 years being responsible for introducing the Care Structure.
Also a Royal Arch Mason, he was exalted into Peace Chapter No 2269 in 1977 serving as organist and eventually becoming the Provincial Grand Organist in the Royal Arch for 3 years. Appointed Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals in 2008.
The pinnacle of his Masonic career to date came in February of last year when he attained the honour of becoming the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Leyland & District Group & The Chorley Group.
It was only three years after joining the craft that the Mark Degree beckoned, and in February 1976 Ray was advanced into Murray Mark Lodge No 490 and was almost immediately appointed the lodge organist, which is an office he held (with a short break!) for 27 years and still found time to become Worshipful Master in 1985.
Music continued to play (excuse the pun) a large part in Ray’s life and in 1986 he was appointed Provincial Grand Organist and two years later was the founding organist of Philidelphia Lodge of Installed Masters No 1646. He also tickled the ivories for 11 years as honorary organist of Rose and Thistle Mark No 158 and in the same capacity for four years in Westhoughton Mark 1006, and if that wasn’t enough he joined Adoniram Mark No 552 still playing the organ!
In 1992 his many talents were recognised by the Mark Province of West Lancashire, when he received promotion to Past Provincial Grand Master Overseer and the following year he received the acting Grand Rank of Grand Steward.
In the early nineties, the Mark 2000 Festival was the main focus for fundraising and Ray was appointed Area Organiser for this Festival and in 1998 was promoted to Past Grand Junior Deacon. The following year he was re-appointed Provincial Grand Organist for a further four years, finally becoming a Very Worshipful Brother with the very high rank of Past Grand Junior Overseer.
The natural progression for any Mark Mason is the Royal Ark Mariner Degree, and in 1992, Ray was elevated into Mount Ararat Lodge No 158 and not surprisingly was appointed organist which is an office he still holds to this day.
Ray is a founder of Leyland Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No 1002 and was installed as Worshipful Commander in 2000 receiving his provincial appointment in 1997.
Well brethren, I am sure that Ray will bring to the Group the benefit of his vast Masonic experience and he will guide us well over the forthcoming years.