The 50-60-70 Show – A Middlesex Mason’s amazing journey through decades of Freemasonry with Alma Lodge, No. 3534

W. Bro Phil Senior as a younger man in his Royal Airforce uniform.

Borrowing from the 1970s television programme with a similar name, which featured Roy Hudd, W Bro Philip Senior PPrJGW became one of probably very few Masons who have been honoured with a 50th, 60th and 70th Anniversary Certificates.

To receive a Certificate at 50 years is something that some of us might aspire to.

At 60 years the odds must decrease tremendously, but to reach a 70th Anniversary in freemasonry is a very special icing on the cake.

The celebration of what can only be considered a rare event took place at the end of April both in Alma Lodge and at the James Terry Court in Croydon where W. Bro Phil resides now aged 95.

W. Bro Paul Huggins APGM first paid tribute to him at the Lodge Meeting held in April.

Due to age and circumstance, W. Bro Phil was unable to attend.

This tribute by W. Bro Paul Huggins APGM is reproduced below;

“Philip was aged 25 years, when he was Initiated into Alma Lodge on 21st February 1948.

He was the 246th initiate.

He was Passed on the 17th April 1948 and Raised to a Master Mason on the 20th November 1948.

He was Initiated, Passed and Raised in the Red Lion Hotel, Hounslow, previously the home of Alma Lodge prior to moving to its current home of Cole Court in November 1961.

He became Worshipful Master on the 18th September 1965.

Phil was Assistant Director of Ceremonies from 1969 to 1974.

He took the office of Charity Steward from 1976 and 1982, and then again from 1989 to 1993.

He was Appointed to the active rank of ProvGStB in 1973, and then was Promoted to PPrJGD in 1978, to PPrGChStwd in 1995 and to PPrJGW in 2002.

Alma Lodge has supported the cause of Charity over the years and played a major role at Garden Parties here in Cole Court.

Phil made a very impressive portable stall with an awning under which was displayed a host of gifts for the famous Alma Raffle.

On each occasion Alma Lodge was the highest money earner.

In Alma’s Jubilee year, Phil was Junior Deacon and participated in a Service of Thanksgiving held at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre without Newgate in the City of London.

This was a service in which Alma Lodge joined with the Royal Rose Lodge to mark the one hundredth and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Albuhera, a Battle celebrated from time to time at Installation Meetings because of the founding association with The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The Service was attended by the then Provincial Grand Master, the Rt W Brother Norman Moore. After the Service a luncheon party was held at the Regimental Depot in the Tower of London.

Although a gentle, quiet and reserved member of Alma Lodge, who did not seek the limelight, Phil has been a committed Freemason who has attended significant elements of Alma’s history.

In keeping with this special recognition of Phil’s 70th anniversary in Freemasonry, he is now the only Member of the Lodge to have witnessed the Jubilee Celebrations as Junior Deacon, and the Centenary Celebrations is 2011 as a Past Master.

So what does this certificate state ?

I quote, “To our well beloved Brother Philip Arthur Line Senior, Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, congratulations on achieving seventy years continuous Membership since your Initiation on the 21st February 1948 in Alma Lodge No 3534.

During this long membership you have given devoted and valued service to Masonry in general and to this Province in particular.

Your contribution to our affairs is highly appreciated by all who know you, and I wish you many more years of happiness in our order.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex on the 21st February 2018, Alastair Mason, Pro Provincial Grand Master.

W Bro Philip Arthur Line Senior, in your absence and in Open Lodge we salute your remarkable achievement.

I will be privileged next Saturday to present this certificate to such a brother, who is truly an inspiration to us all.

However, this was subsequently followed by a trip to James Terry Court, Croydon where W. Bro Paul Huggins was able to present the Certificate in the company of other Middlesex Masons and other Masonic Brethren also residing at James Terry Court.

(FR l to r) W Bro Rodney Crook, PPrGReg(Surrey); W Bro Phil Senior, PPrJGW(Middx); W Bro Bill Newman, PPrGSwdB(Surrey)
(BR ltor) Bro Ron Shannon PPrSGD(Middx), W Bro Paul Huggins, APGM, W Bro Richard Green PPrDepGReg(Middx).

His daughter Chris Donnelly and her partner Henry Stanier were present, together with two Brethren from Alma Lodge and two residents of the home.

Chris said this, “Thanks so much, again, for coming down and for your organisation. Dad was thrilled as you could see. This photo is full of smiles.”

Needless to say the news travelled far and wide within the Senior Family.

These are moments within Freemasonry which are there to be cherished and one of the Lodge Members paying tribute at the Lodge Meeting said that Alma Lodge had been the more enriched by this fantastic achievement and that the Brethren could be proud of being part of a unique and memorable occasion.

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