Bro Michael Slater celebrates 50 years as a Mason

On Thursday 16th December 2021, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Keith Robert Beaumont PSGD attended the Lodge of Unanimity No.339 to present a certificate marking 50 years of membership in the craft of Bro Michael Slater. Michael was born in Manchester in 1945 and was schooled at Wellacre Boy’s School in Flixton Manchester and Lostock Open Air School Lostock in Bolton.

Michael’s occupation, after moving to our province, was as a Meat Inspector/Slaughter House Manager at Penrith UDC 1966 to 1974 at the public Slaughter House on Ullswater Road and Frank Jackson’s causality Slaughterhouse.

In 1974, he joined the Staff at Edinburgh University in the Pathology Department at the Royal Dick Veterinary College as their Chief Mortician, responsible for the Post Mortem Room and complexes, he also taught undergraduates post mortem techniques reminding them of basic Pathology, Anatomy and Meat Inspection requirements, he has performed post mortems on all farm animals except birds and Fish, and was responsible for the post mortem on Edinburgh zoo animals which included Lions, Tigers, Giraffes and Rhinos including the last elephant at Edinburgh Zoo.

He gained a Meat Trades Diploma (4yr Course) Salford University Manchester Meat Inspectors Certificate (2Yr Course) Aston University Birmingham Food Hygiene Diploma with Distinction.

Michael played cricket for Penrith 1st X1 and 2nd X1 and 3rd X1 you won the Cumberland Junior Cup with the team.

Michael served on the Markets Committee, Penrith UDC and Penrith Cricket Club Committee, was Secretary of the Carlisle Branch of Association of Meat Inspections and was a member of the National Association of Meat Inspectors Council.

Michael is also a Member of Bilston Church of Scotland, in Bilston Midlothian. He married Lorna Elizabeth (from Musselburgh) on 11 March 1967 and have been together for 54 years, and have 2 Children Steven Michael (Born Penrith Cottage Hospital) and Kevin John (Born New hospital Penrith).

Michael’s Masonic career started when he was initiated into the Lodge of Unanimity on Thursday 16th December 1971, proposed by W Bro  M M MacMillian PPrSGD and seconded by  W Bro W D Burns PPrJGW, he was Passed on 16th March 1972 and Raised on the 21st September 1972.

After moving to Edinburgh, he affiliated to the Lodge of Journeymen Masons No 8 in 1977, a Lodge that is unique in masonry having no charter which practices Freemasonry by Law, he was overwhelmed, when at his Installation on 8 December 1985, when a minibus arrived from Penrith.

In May 1991, Michael was invited to join the Royal Order of Scotland, in 1997 after assisting in the office of the Royal Order of Scotland (Voluntary for six months) he was persuaded to join the staff and he became the Grand Clerk which was a new position assistant to the Grand Secretary,

As the Grand Clerk, Michael attended a number of official deputations of the Grand Lodge of the Royal Order, he has attended all Scottish Provincial Grand Lodges and the majority of English and Welsh Provincial Grand Lodges including the Provincial Grand Lodges of Belgium, The Netherlands, Rhineland, Finland, Sweden, USA and Bermuda. Michael is a member of many Lodges in the Scottish Constitution including: – Journeymen Masons No 417, St John Kilwinning Precatory Great Priory SC, Red Cross, Secret Monitor and is a Founder Member of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Edinburgh.

Michael is also a Honorary Member of the Following Lodges in the Scottish Constitution:- St James Operative Lodge No 97, The Lodge of Edinburgh Mary’s Chapel No 1, Peebles Kilwinning No 24, St Stephens No 145, St Kentigem No 429, St Leonards No 1283, Services Lodge No 1291, Scotia Rega No 1345, Brotherly Love No 1428, Lodge of Ogan Smith, Ogan Nigeria No 1758 (Named after a Past Master of No 8 and past SGM of Scotland).

Michael’s Father in Law John Wilson was a member of Lodge St. John Fisherrow No 112 SC and your Wife’s Grandfather William Cockburn was a member of Lodge St. Kentigern Penicuik and West Linton No 429 SC.

Michael thoroughly enjoyed your short time in 339, made many friends and has a lot of happy memories with the Brethren of 339, Unfortunately due to your employment he moved to Edinburgh but has never been forgotten and is still extremely proud to be a Member of Lodge of Unanimity No 339.

W Bro Keith Beaumont finished by saying “Brethren, Bro Slater has dedicated his Masonic life to Lodge of Unanimity No 339 and Lodges in the Scottish Constitution and He has been fully supported by his wife Lorna and I know he in turn Michael has supported Lorna in her interests. Brethren Freemasonry inculcates only the purest principals of piety and virtue, yet within that parameter it allows us to honour our own which, I sincerely hope, we have done this evening? 

For anyone to be an active member of any organisation for 50 years is an achievement and one that should be recognised.  We in Freemasonry assembled here this evening are paying tribute to you Bro Michael Slater as it is written in the Volume of the Sacred Law which is open in front of me, in the 21st verse of the 25th chapter of the gospel according to St Matthew, Well done thou Good and Faithful Servant”.

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