The Province has lost one of its most illustrious brethren with the sad passing on the 11th October of Tom Wilkinson. He was born Thomas Dodd Wilkinson lll on 11-1-28 in Bridge St, Brough where he lived for 86 yrs. He left school at 14 and started work in the family business Wilkinson Bros which was established in 1810 in the same building, six generations earlier!. Tom’s apprenticeship was interrupted in 1946 by 3 yrs national service in East Yorkshire guarding prisoners of war. Back at the Outfitters in 1954 Tom took over the business with his father Tom ll.
In the same year Tom married Elsie Grieve of Middleton-in-Teesdale, sister of the well known mason and singer Arnold Grieve. They went on to have four sons Tony, Ian, Stuart and Mark.
In the sporting world, Tom was a keen follower of horseracing and snooker. In the mid 1950’s Tom was crowned Westmorland snooker champion, something he liked to remind his sons of!
A very successful business finally came to an end in March 2019 when Tom retired at 91 having made his final trip to Leeds to pick up some shooting suits.
Tom’s big passion outside of family and business was Freemasonry. Initiated into Uter Pendragon Lodge in 1953, he was Worshipful Master in 1964. He was DC of his lodge for 21 years. In the province he was Prov ADC and Prov DDC, jobs which he enjoyed enormously, all part of his love of meeting people. In Grand Lodge he attained the very high rank of PJGD, of which he was very proud. 65 yr certificate. In his own words, one of his best jobs was chairman of the Penrith Group of Lodges for 13yrs which enabled him to work closely with his very good friend Harry Hogarth. In the Royal Arch, Tom was a member of Winder Chapter. He was ME in 1972. He was Prov 3rd and 2nd PGP in 2003/4, often telling his son Stuart “ it’s a pity it only lasted a year”! 50 yr certificate. In the Mark he was a member of Eden Valley Lodge 888 and attained the very high rank of PGJO recently receiving his 50th certificate from the PGM during a home visit. In all a member of 15 lodges all of which he supported wholeheartedly. Tom recently received news that his son Stuart was to become the new ProvSGW, he was proud of this.
Brethren, we shall miss him.
Submitted by W Bro Stuart Wilkinson ProvSGW.