When Elaine Baker’s mother passed away, Elaine discovered an Aladdin’s Cave of Masonic memorabilia which had belonged to her father, Ronald Hargreaves and her paternal Grandfather, Gilbert Hargreaves. Both were members of Calder Lodge No. 4564 which meets in Padiham, Lancashire.
Elaine knew very little about Freemasonry and her father had never spoken to her about his membership, but Elaine was keen to do the right thing with the Masonic Regalia and memorabilia and contacted the current Calder Lodge secretary, W Bro Ian Allison. W Bro Ian went the extra mile to help Elaine and researched the masonic careers of both Father and Grandfather. He was able to provide copies of the minutes relating to the initiations of both Brethren and fill in some of the gaps relating to the various items which Elaine had discovered.
The vast majority of the items unearthed by Elaine related to Calder Lodge in Lancashire, but one thing seemed completely out of place – a 1934 copy of the Dinbych Chapter No. 1177 By-Laws!! The family have no recollection of either Ronald or Gilbert ever having visited West Wales, never mind joining the Chapter in Tenby, although it is known that Ronald was a member of The Red Rose of Lancaster Chapter No. 1504 which also meets in Padiham Masonic Hall.
The copy of the Dinbych By-Laws predates both Ronald or Gilbert’s membership of the Craft and how it came to be amongst the Regalia remains a mystery. However between them they have preserved a small slice of West Wales Masonic history and thanks to Ronald’s daughter Elaine, that little piece of history is on its way back to the current Scribe Ezra of Dinbych Chapter, E Comp Tony Upham.
As can be seen from the photo above there were a large number of documents, as well as a number of aprons and jewels. The Dinbych By-Laws are in the bottom right corner of the picture. The envelope contains two letters sent to Ronald Hargreaves in 1957, one informing him that he was being considered for membership and the second saying that he had been accepted, but his actual initiation didn’t take place until two years later in 1959.
I am sure we would all like to send our heartfelt thanks to Elaine Baker for taking the trouble to get in contact and return this precious piece of Masonic History to Tenby “where the sun always shines!”
Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary
Province of West Wales