... exclaimed Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Boyington, feigning incredulity. He was addressing W Bro James Alan Fergusson at the well-attended September meeting of Pentalpha Lodge No.974 at Hoyle Court, Baildon. Jimmy had described his early life during the 2nd World War in Batley where his family home had been just a short walk from Blenheim House. He had been educated at Worksop College; on leaving, he had decided to train as a Chartered Accountant, a profession described later in the evening as “requiring all the charisma of a Funeral Director.”
Jimmy gave a brief account of a very successful career in accountancy, rising through the ranks to become a partner in a major firm at the age of 30. He had held various appointments within the profession, including president of the West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants. Jimmy had served on several committees of his professional body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. While a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales he had become a Freeman of the City of London; for many years he had been a Trustee of the Livery Company’s Charitable Funds.
In 1985 he had been appointed the chairman of the Bradford Family Health Services Authority. Four years later, when his firm granted him early retirement, he had seized the opportunity to expand his commitment to the NHS, becoming a member of the Regional Health Authority and the Supervisory Board of the Medicines Control Agency, vice-chairman of the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts and chairman of its Standing Committee for Family Health Service Authorities.
He also found time to be on the Board of Bradford Cancer Support (eight years as its chairman), a Board member of Brunel and Family Housing Association, and chairman of the Leeds General Infirmary Community Chest Appeal. He served as a Commissioner of Income Tax for Bradford. W Bro. Boyington was a little reluctant to mention this particular appointment, but the brethren were reassured when it was explained that this was an independent body appointed by the Lord Chancellor which heard appeals from taxpayers who could not agree their tax assessment with the Inland Revenue.
W Bro Fergusson was initiated into Integrity Lodge No.380 in Morley in September 1968 by W Bro Jack Binks whose son, Richard, later spoke at the Festive Board. He was Worshipful Master in 1984 and retained his membership of Integrity for some 40 years. However, the journey to Morley from Baildon - where he lives with his wife, Jillian – involved crossing Bradford at rush-hour. He, therefore, looked for a more local Lodge, and in 1997 he became a member of Pentalpha, at the time Bradford’s “Medical Lodge”, joining friends from the medical profession he had met while working in the NHS. He was elected Master in 2000 and for some years has been both Treasurer and Organist.
He is also a member of Old Worksopian Lodge No. 6963, Worshipful Master in 1990, and Bradfordians Lodge No. 9886, where he is currently Chaplain. He has been rewarded with the Craft Honours of PGStB, PPSGW (Yorkshire, West Riding) and PPJGW (Nottinghamshire).
In addition he holds Supreme Grand Rank in Chapter (he is a member of both Integrity Chapter No.380 and Pentalpha Chapter No.974); and he is a member of Fearnley Preceptory of Knights Templar No. 39, White Rose Tabernacle of Knights Templar Priests No. 24, St Blasius Chapter Rose Croix No. 407 and White Rose Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No. 1067.
Throughout his life, Jimmy has had a particular interest in classical music, and many Freemasons will know him as an accomplished pianist and organist. He plays for a number of Masonic orders and can frequently be heard playing or singing at Festive Boards.
This impressive Curriculum Vitae came to light during a conversation between W. Bro Fergusson and W Bro Boyington on the floor of Pentalpha Lodge and formed the prelude to the presentation of a certificate marking 50 years loyal service to the Craft. Jimmy was congratulated by W Bro. Boyington and warmly applauded by the brethren.