Two long serving members of Wyggeston Lodge pass away

It is with deep sadness that the Wyggeston Lodge have lost two long serving members, W.Bros. John Rawson and Frank Achurch who have passed away within three weeks of each other.

W.Bro. John Dakin Rawson, a Factory Manager, was initiated at the age of 33 in the Wyggeston Lodge in December 1962 as part of a double ceremony with his brother W.Bro. Richard Rawson. He became Master in 1978 and soon after held a number of offices within the lodge. In 1999, he was promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden. Sadly he withdrew from his masonic activities just shy of his fiftieth year as a Freemason in 2012. He was also a member of the Morley Chapter No.8320. W.Bro. John died on the 26th March 2018 at the age of 89.

W.Bro. John Rawson

W.Bro. Frank William Achurch, a Chartered Surveyor, was initiated at the age of 41 in the Wyggeston Lodge No.3448 in December 1968 and was Master of the Lodge during the 75th Anniversary of its Consecration in 1985.

W.Bro. Frank Achurch

At that time, he wrote the following about the future of the lodge: 

“The Wyggeston Lodge is steeped in tradition, as is to be expected due to its age, but it has not remained static. In order to meet the challenges of modern society changes have taken place in its character and, looking back over the relatively short period since my entry, those changes are amply evident. 

When I first joined the Lodge it comprised 102 Members and was somewhat authoritarian in concept. Certainly Junior Brethren were encouraged to be seen but hardly ever heard! Rarely did they have an opportunity to carry out work during the various ceremonies. Even when one became a Junior Officer one was not expected to take a vocal part at Committee Meetings. The day to day running of the Lodge was quite firmly in the hands of the Past Masters. 

Over the intervening years, due to the wisdom of its Past Masters and the enthusiasm of those who have “climbed the ladder” to the Master’s Chair, differences in emphasis have gradually evolved whilst fully retaining the Wyggeston traditions. 

Today the Lodge is much smaller numbering 57 Members and the less experienced Brethren are encouraged to take an active part in the work. When progression to Junior Officer is attained, then once again the holders of those junior offices are actively encouraged to voice their point of view for the benefit of the Lodge and its Membership. This I believe to be proper progression so that the Lodge is equipped to take full advantage of the times in which we live. 

Every Brother who has occupied the Chair of The Wyggeston Lodge must be a proud man and I am particularly proud to be its 75th Master. I believe we now have a well balanced and very enthusiastic Membership and that The Wyggeston Lodge can confidently anticipate the future knowing that the ideals set down by its Founders will be maintained but that it will continue to change as necessity dictates whilst retaining its justly gained reputation for the excellence of its ritual. 

We can all look forward to the future safe in the knowledge that those who are yet to come will carry the Lodge further to even greater achievement.”

W.Bro. Frank was Appointed Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1990, Promoted to Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1998 and continued in that office for two years. He was Promoted to Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2000 and to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2006. W.Bro. Frank was made an Honorary member of the Wyggeston Lodge in 2014. He died after a long illness on Sunday 15th April 2018 at the age of 90.

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