W Bro. Graham J Smith, PPGStdB - 50 Years in Freemasonry
My first introduction to Freemasonry was being co-opted by my Dad to help to clear up Fitzwilliam Street Masonic Hall after Installations, Cinderella Dances, Ladies Nights & Children's Christmas Parties gradually attending all those events as I grew up. This meant that I became familiar not just with the premises but the many men involved in the Craft with my Dad, Trevor Smith who had joined the Lodge of Truth No 521 in the 1960s while I was still in education.
I was educated at Mirfield Grammar School & proudly graduated from Leeds University in 1967 with a BSc Hons in Agriculture. Later that year, I started work with an Agricultural Company in Lincolnshire, as a Technical Adviser. Weekdays in Lincolnshire & weekends in Huddersfield was the result.
It was 1969 when I expressed an interest in joining the Lodge, so my Dad started the application process. When I reflect on why my interest was aroused, I believe that I had seen nothing but good being demonstrated.
On Friday 1st May 1970, I was initiated into the Lodge of Truth, No 521. It was an exciting event, but I know I was anxious. However, I can still clearly remember things that happened that night. My Dad proposed me. Brother Richard Hollas was my seconder & I am delighted to say that we have remained friends throughout the years. I am immensely proud that on that evening there were 3 generations of Smiths present, my Grandfather, my Dad & myself - a unique occasion in the history of the Lodge, as far as we can trace.
Over the years, I made steady progress through the various offices & on the 1st December 1978, having driven through the freezing fog from Lincolnshire, I was honoured to be installed into the Masters' Chair by the late Worshipful Brother Fred Broadbent. This was followed by many enjoyable years rolling by & eventually I was privileged to be appointed Acting Provincial Grand Standard Bearer. Subsequently, I was awarded the rank of Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer.
I can honestly say that I have enjoyed all the time I have been in the Craft, having met countless numbers of people with whom I have enjoyed the best of Fellowship.
Over the years, I have seen many changes both within the Craft but also in life in general. I believe that one important principle I always try to practice is that of tolerance & to accept the maxim that 'Nothing is Forever'.
I am really proud to have reached the landmark of fifty years in Freemasonry & wish to record my sincere thanks to everyone who shared & helped me on my journey, especially Margaret, my wife of 43 years.