The Lodge of Hope and Charity No. 377

The Master and his Wardens

MEET THE  Hope & Charity TEAM

THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER : W.Bro Allan Bretherton :

Allan Bretherton WM (thumbnail) 

A high flier - and a diver! 

For 20 years Allan Bretherton, our much-experienced Worshipful Master,  lived a hectic life setting up factories all over the Middle and Far East. As Head of Business for a large engineering company he worked in such diverse places as India, South Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia, and China.

 “Flying became a way of life for me,” he says. “In my best (or worst) year, I had 30 days at 30,000ft and only 34 days at home.”

 The jet-set craziness came to an abrupt end in 2003 when Allan had two heart attacks which led to a triple heart by-pass and he now lives a less pressurised retired life in rural Worcestershire.

 Despite the demands of his job in those heady days, he also found time to  indulge a great passion for - wait or it – scuba diving!

 “I learned it during my time in Singapore,” said Allan, “and after many years reached the highest qualification of British Sub Aqua Club: National Instructor. Less than 200 divers in the world have this qualification. I also served as Vice Chairman of the BSAC from 2000 to 2004.

 “I have dived all round the world and have been fortunate enough to run diving courses and instructor courses for the Joint Services and pseudo military organisations in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and, of course, the UK.”

 He brought an extensive Masonic knowledge with him when he joined Hope & Charity in 2016. He was initiated by his father into an East Lancashire lodge in 1976. Both Wardens were uncles so, as he says, “it was quite a family affair!”

 Having arrived in Worcestershire, he joined Chaddesley Corbett Lodge in 2011, and has been Master of it twice. He joined Hope & Charity because, he says, “you can’t get too much of a good thing.”

 Pursuing that line of thought, he is also IPZ in Royal Arch and MWS in Rose Croix.

 He married Maria in 1973 and they have a son who lives in Aberdeen and works for Siemens, and a daughter, Simone, who lives in Twickenham with her husband Martyn and three children. She works as Group Marketing Director for an American cosmetics multinational. Martyn is Welsh and, says Allan, “we have been known to have the odd disagreement over rugby. He thinks the Welsh can play!”

THE SENIOR WARDEN :  Bro Mike Lewis :

Mike Lewis.JPG (thumbnail)

Masonic career with a 20-year gap

Mike Lewis’s Masonic record is unusual to say the least. Having been a member of Hope & Charity Lodge for 13 years and reaching the office of Junior Warden, business commitments and health problems led him reluctantly to resign. That was in 1989 and last year, after a 20-year gap, he rejoined and once again assumed in the chair he left all those years ago! Now he is Senior Warden and looking forward to the ultimate post of Worshipful Master in 2021.

“I came back because I missed the friendships I made in Hope & Charity,” he said. “At 75 I’m not finding it easy to learn ritual; it won’t stick like it used to, but I’m doing my very best.”

There was more masonic joy for Mike when, at our April meeting last year, his son, Mark, was Initiated into the lodge and dad presented the Working Tools.

“I felt very proud and very emotional and it was an occasion I will never forget,” said Mike.

The finer points of engineering have always been Mike’s strength and for many years as a one-man business based in Hartlebury he specialised in adding modifications to Land Rovers.

Now, in retirement, he uses his engineering skills to indulge his hobby of restoring miniature trains. “I buy faulty stuff on e-Bay and mend it,” he said. “I’ve got a shedful of Hornby products to work on.”

He takes train lay-outs to children’s homes and anywhere else where youngsters can enjoy playing with the models.


THE JUNIOR WARDEN : W.Bro Sean Warner :

Sean’s three great passions : 

Sean Warner, our Junior Warden, is not a man to do things by halves. He has three great passions in his life – motorcycles, classic Hi-Fi, and Freemasonry. So he has – wait for it – 14 motor cycles, countless historic Hi-Fi sets, and is a member of eight Craft lodges plus other Orders.  

Let’s take them one at a time….. 

His motorcycle collection includes modern British, and vintage Japanese models dating from the 1920’s. He rides the less ancient models to get about, rarely using his car except for business. 

His love of all ancient TV and Hi-Fi sets is also his business, and he trades from his shop in Kidderminster.  

Among his most treasured possessions are three cylinder phonographs made by Edison around 1898 and over 700 vinyl 78rpm records. 

His passion for Masonry has, true to form, led to an astonishing involvement in the Orders and he has occupied the Chair no fewer than twenty times. He is a member of eight Craft lodges, two Royal Arch Chapters, KT, Mark, and various other Orders. 

To cap it all, he is in his second year as Provincial Grand Tyler, plus Tyler to 24 Lodges, and is also the Royal Arch’s Provincial Grand Janitor. 

Five meetings a week is not unusual for Sean, which of course, also means five dinners. A year ago he decided to do something about his 15 stone weight. Now he is a trim 11 stone, proving once again that Sean doesn’t do things by halves.