V.W.Bro. Samuel Wilkinson Kilburn, O.B.E., P.G.J.O. (Sam) celebrated 50 years as a Mark Master Mason at the regular meeting of Halifax Lodge No 706, held at Southwood, Halifax on 12th March.
The meeting was attended by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Steggles and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master V.W.Bro. Robert Corfield, who were greeted on entry by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Barrie Green. Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. James Bramley Morley, who is a member of the Lodge and has also given more than 50 years distinguished service to the Order was also present for the occasion.
V.W.Bro. Kilburn then took the chair of the Lodge and conducted a superb Advancement ceremony for Candidate Bro. Robert Anthony Gill, a member of the Craft Lodge of Harmony No 275. The Provincial Grand Master then invited him onto the floor of the Lodge and gave the brethren the following information before presenting his certificates.
V.W.Bro. Sam was Advanced into the Arts and Crafts Mark Lodge No 979, in Brighton, on 18th January 1964 and held the Chair in 1972. He received his first Grand Rank appointment in 1984 and was promoted to his current rank of Past Grand Junior Overseer in 1999. On returning north he joined Halifax Mark Lodge in 2002. He is also a holder of Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank and is currently a member of Fearnley Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners.
He was initiated into Freemasonry in Thorseby Craft Lodge in 1957, in his home City of Leeds, before moving to London and joining St. Michael’s Lodge. On his return north he joined the Craft Lodge of Probity in Halifax in 2002 and was Master in 2008.
In his earlier life, after leaving the Army in 1946, he took over his father’s grocery shop in Hunslet, Leeds, later opening 2 more grocery shops and becoming the first independent grocer in Leeds to convert to self-service.
He became Secretary of the Yorkshire Area branch of the Grocer’s Institute and in 1961 was appointed as its Chief Executive. This moved him to London where he spent the next 22 years growing and expanding the Organisation and developing it into Research and Training Services for the UK food industry. It is now the leading body in its field as the Institute of Grocery Distribution. His services to the food industry were recognised by her Majesty the Queen in 1981 when he was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Commendation indeed for a grocer’s lad from Leeds.
V.W.Bro. Sam is also heavily involved in the Methodist Church and is a MAD Yorkshire County Cricket supporter.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master then read and presented V.W.Bro. Kilburn with his 50 year Certificate from Grand Lodge and the Provincial Grand Master presented him with a similar Certificate from the Province, thanking him on behalf of the Province and the Order for Marking so well over the last 50 years.