A social club for all new and existing Freemasons who are not yet of a Provincial rank was launched recently in the Leyland and District Group. This group of masons are known as ‘Light Blues’ and there is a growing number of clubs across the country being set up to enhance camaraderie, create and build friendships and to widen an individuals’ masonic journey.
The Leyland Group’s club was 18 months in the making when they at last got their ‘Light Blue’ club off the ground. The seed had been sown and it was Neil Ward who volunteered to take the idea forward within the Group. Neil spent a number of months researching and gathering as much information about the format and structure of the club before he set about gathering a social committee to run the club. One of the first topics on his agenda was to name it. A few names had been submitted before everyone agreed upon ‘Leyland Lights’.
Finally, and following a great deal of hard work and planning, the launch night arrived. There was good interest shown both from within and outside of the group with a good number of light blues and lodge mentors attending the event. Neil welcomed everyone to the event and gave a brief overview of the clubs’ structure and aims. He introduced John Anderson Events Secretary who gave an overview of the type of events that were on the horizon ranging from masonic, visiting other lodges and other groups, to social outings down to the pub or to race nights. He pointed out that this was the members’ club with ideas to be submitted by its members.
Neil then announced an event to mark the Tercentenary Celebration of Freemasonry in 2017. The Leyland Lights had put together a small team of cyclists who would be cycling from Leyland masonic hall to United Grand Lodge in order to raise funds for the celebration’ fund. Two of the team are members of the committee in Craig Statters and Chris Hughes and they cycled in to the meeting in their new cycling shirts.
There were also a number of attendees of Provincial rank at the event which were bolstered by the attendance of a number of senior Provincial Officers including Tony Harrison Provincial Grand Master, Peter Taylor Provincial Secretary, Mike Threlfall Provincial Membership Officer, Chris Blackwell Leyland Group Chairman, Mike Pinckard Leyland Group Vice Chairman and Dave Bishop Leyland Group Secretary. Also present were Wayne Haslam club secretary and Nigel Monks club treasurer.
Tony had been informed about the launch night by invitation and was only too happy to come along to support the launch. Tony said that he was pleased that a new club of this ilk had been created in Leyland and commented that the Province of West Lancashire was close behind the university lodges of Oxford and Cambridge and London’ Metropolitan in leading the way of light blue club formation. He went on to say that the Leyland Group had a wonderful masonic centre and he hoped that the members continued to support the building in any way they could and to more importantly, enjoy Leyland Lights. He thanked Neil for taking on the difficult task and his team for assisting in the efforts to create the club. He also thanked Andy Sumner for taking the helm as Chairman of the club and wished everyone the best of health and good luck for the future.
At the end of the formal introduction of the club a less informal approach was adopted and everyone mingled for an opportunity, over drinks, to make comment or simply meet with senior and group officers present and the committee too. The evening and the event was deemed to be a successful one with everyone looking forward to a successful Leyland Lights social club.