The meeting of ‘Perfect Points’ took place at Ridgmont House in Horwich. The Chorley researchers had chosen John Belton to deliver his talk, ‘Build your own inexpensive Masonic library’. John is an established Masonic author as well as being a member of The Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 and also a member of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research. He was joined by John Acaster, a past master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge and the speaker secretary for the Manchester association.
Perfect Points had asked John Belton to talk about this subject because it is one of the group’s aims to encourage and help its own members to research and deliver their own material. Having a source of material to read up on is invaluable for developing a paper; in addition to which we all have questions relating to our Masonry, so having a library of books to refer to is of great benefit.
John Belton started by saying: “There are always constraints to any physical library – or rather there have been. It may be sheer physical shortage of shelving, marital disapproval of an invasion of books into the home or simply budgetary constraints. But relief and help are at hand. It’s good to have lots of books to read, but where will we store them? And oh! when your latest book lands on your door mat to be greeted with the comment, “Oh no! Not another book darling!” Of course there is a cost involved when purchasing books and the main question can be which books do we need to read?”
During his talk John gave an insight into various web-based libraries along with a handout containing links to these various sites where brethren can download books and in most cases, at no cost! He encourages the use of a computer for storage. John also explained the process that goes on in the background when a book is ordered which also proved interesting.
John proved that the internet is a valuable tool for Masonic research. Earlier that day he used one of the websites he had previously mentioned and realising the meeting was at Horwich, had discovered information relating to the history of Horwich Lodge No 2324 including the famous ‘Horwich Lodge picnic!’ He read a very short paper put together using the information he had obtained, showing it really is easy and completely cost free to find out some interesting facts! John is based in Derby, so would have known little about the town he was visiting that evening, or the lodges that meet there.
In conclusion John reviewed some of the books he felt were ‘worth a read’ including ‘Freemasons at work’ by Harry Carr. John Acaster then reviewed two books that he felt the brethren may enjoy and benefit from reading; both by the same author, Bernard Jones. They are compendiums of information for both Craft and Royal Arch Masons. He also went on to mention the work done by the Manchester association and what they have in store this year.
Following the meeting and a question and answer session, the brethren retired for a supper of homemade chicken and ham pie followed by apple crumble and some good old fashioned regulation school dinner custard! They had, after all, just had their lesson in the library! As part of the tradition held at Perfect Points suppers, there was a free raffle and the prize was won by David Harrison, the past chairman.
The next meeting of Perfect Points will be taking place in October so look out on the website for announcements nearer the time.