The members of Anchorsholme Lodge No 5854 gathered for a celebration of the 60th year in Freemasonry of Tommy Skinner.
The initial business of the lodge was transacted by the master Ivan Hicks who in turn welcomed Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox, offering him the gavel of the lodge. This was duly accepted and Harry took the master’s chair. He introduced the main business of the meeting which was to honour Tommy Skinner’s 60 years in Freemasonry. As is the custom, Tommy was seated directly in front of the master’s chair.
Thomas McMaster Skinner, affectionately known as Tommy, was born on Monday 30 April 1928 in Govan, Glasgow. He went to Drumoyne Primary School and then Govan High School, afterwards gaining employment with the Scottish Machine Tool Company. At the age of 18 he was called up for National Service with the Royal Army Service Corps.
After three years he returned to Govan and to the Scottish Machine Tool Company. Whilst on holiday in the Isle of Man he met Helen Dempster, a young lady from his home town and they married in 1951. They have a daughter Irene, who in turn has had two sons. Around the time of his marriage Tommy changed employment to join Rolls Royce Aero Division.
On 27 March 1956 he was initiated into Lodge Saint Columba No 729 in the Scottish Constitution, proposed by his father Donald and seconded by his brother William. At this juncture Harry asked the secretary to read a précis of the minutes of that meeting.
He was passed on 11 September and raised on 23 October 1956 and advanced into one of the side degrees in January 1957. In the 18 years as a full member of the lodge he held various offices although work prevented him from attaining the position of master of the lodge. In 1974 he moved house and joined Lodge Nitshill No 1478, serving as assistant secretary and assistant treasurer.
In 1994 he emigrated south with Helen to Cleveleys and in May 1994 joined Wyre Lodge No 7704, serving the lodge in various capacities including assistant secretary and lodge auditor. He has been greatly indebted to the late Bill Linkison and Harold Counsell for their kindness and warmth of their welcome into West Lancashire Freemasonry.
He joined Anchorsholme Chapter No 5854 in 2000 and Anchorsholme Lodge in 2009, still holding the offices of auditor and steward at the age of almost 88 years.
In conclusion Harry Cox congratulated Tommy and wished him good health and happiness for many years to come. Chairman of North Fylde Group Duncan Smith read the certificate from the Provincial Grand Master and Harry presented it to Tommy. The brethren showed their appreciation in the traditional way.