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1970 S. Birkinhead †

W.Bro.Stanley Birkinhead  (1913-2003)  

Stanley Birkinhead was born in Leigh in Lancashire in humble surroundings and he always maintained a fierce pride in being a Lancastrian.

He left school at fourteen and started work at the local textile mill, literally as the ‘broom boy’. His in-born energy, his honesty and his willingness to succeed in whatever task given earned him the respect and friendship of all with whom he came in contact.

His career path was a continuous success story, at the Bedford Mill, at Courtaulds,British Nylon Spinners and finally for many years at M.H.Spencer Ltd. where he was managing director till his retirement in 1978.

 In his private life he was a committed Christian, initially in the Anglican communion; but later in the 1940’s he transferred his allegiance to the local Methodist Church where he was supported by his beloved wife Marion. He became a local preacher and subsequently a circuit steward and a pillar of the Methodist Central Hall in Coventry after he adopted that City as his home in 1953.  Like his friends the late W.Bros. Bob Heatley and Clifford Holt, he was greatly distressed by the discord which brought friction between Methodism and Freemasonry but to their credit they maintained their allegiance to both.

His main hobby, apart from Freemasonry, was a consuming passion for motor cars and he relished owning and driving a succession of powerful Rovers,Jaguars,B.M.W.s and Mercedes. With his deep knowledge of how these vehicles worked, he could be merciless with the manufacturer who supplied him a new car with any discovered fault.

W.Bro. Stanley was initated into Trinity Lodge in 1956 (introduced by his ‘boss’ W.Bro. T.H.Spencer P.M.) and immediately found a way of life and values compatible with his religious beliefs. Again his progress was steady and significant. He was exalted into Trinity Chapter in 1963, became Worshipful Master in 1970 and then M.E.Z.in Chapter in 1974. He was in the Chair for the special Lodge meeting in November 1971 when the new Masonic premises at Allesley were consecrated.  

He continued to gain recognition by achieving the acting rank of Provincial Steward in 1979, the same year in which he was appointed Provincial Treasurer in the Royal Arch, a post he held for three years. He also served as a loyal and expert Treasurer of the Lodge from 1982 to 1992.

Promotion to P.A.G.D.C. in Chapter followed in 1986, while earlier he had chaired the 1985 Festival Committee for the 200th Moderns Warrant Anniversary celebrations.where he played a substantial part in encouraging the development of closer ties with the Province. His final honours were P.P.J.G.W. in 1987 and P.P.S.G.W. in 1995.

W.Bro. Stanley was a proud but unassuming man, calm but resolute. He was also extremely kind and generous, though only after his death was the full extent of his charitable nature finally revealed. He had a great love of people and the sight of his warm smile and his constant willingness to offer help endeared him to all members of the Lodge

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