Our Speakers Rev Neville Barker-Cryer

Our Speakers
Rev Neville Barker-Cryer
Past Grand Chaplain UGLE; Prestonian Lecturer (1974); Batham Lecturer (1996/8). The
Revd Neville Barker Cryer is a well-known Masonic author and international lecturer. He is
a member of the oldest Lodge in York and a Past Master and Secretary of Lodge Quatuor
Coronati, and thus has had every incentive and opportunity to learn about the distinctive
contribution York Masonry has made in building the Craft and English Freemasonry. Neville Cryer is also a
senior member of the SRIA, The Royal Order, the Operatives and the Order of Eri. His books include: The
Arch & the Rainbow, Masonic Halls of England & Wales, I Just Didn’t Know That, and more recently —
Cornwallis – the Family History, and York Mysteries Revealed.
This is Neville’s third appearance at our Conference and we are indebted to him for his continued support
and interest.
Chris Powell
Christopher Powell was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset in 1947. He was educated at the
universities of Sheffield and Cambridge (Emmanuel College) and was elected a Fellow of
the Royal College of Organists whilst still a student. In 1973, after five years of research
and supervising undergraduates for a number of colleges in the University of Cambridge,
he moved to Cardiff to join the teaching staff of the Royal Welsh College of Music and
Drama. He remained there for twenty-five years holding a number of senior posts including
Principal Lecturer in Music, Head of Academic Studies and Associate Director of Music. He was also a
member of the Academic Board and of the Governing Body of the College for more than a decade. He
took early retirement on his fiftieth birthday and now spends his time writing and lecturing on a number
of historical topics including freemasonry.
Christopher Powell is a member of two Craft Lodges (Royal Brunswick No.296 in Sheffield and Quatuor
Coronati No.2076 in London) and of two Royal Arch Chapters including one in Scotland. He is a Mark
Master Mason, an Excellent Master, a Knight Templar, a Knight of Malta and a member of the Rose
Croix. He has written a number of articles for AQC and other Masonic publications. His book of lodge
music for Masonic organists 'Easy Lodge Music' published in 2008 has proved very popular. In 2009, he
was awarded the Norman B. Spencer Prize for an essay on the Royal Arch Jewel. He was elected to full
membership of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No.2076, the Premier Lodge of Masonic Research, in November
Hugh S O’Neill
Initiated in Tyrian Lodge No. 253 (Derbyshire) in 1959
Master Tyrian 253 in 1972 and in Lodge of Union No. 38 (Sussex) in 2006
Knights of the Road Chapter No. 3673 (Sussex) 1979 – Z 1983. Royal Sussex Chapter
No. 342 (Hampshire and Isle of Wight)
Founder Disciplina Lodge No. 8889 (Sussex) 1979 (a research Lodge – recently
Other Orders: Mark, Royal Order of Scotland, Rose Croix, Red Cross of Constantine, Allied Masonic
Degrees, Royal Ark Mariners, Knights Templar (No. 2).
Local secretary (All of Sussex) for Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle.
Secretary Lodge of Union No. 38.
Archivist/librarian/curator Lodge of Union No. 38 archives.
Researcher and lecturer in Craft, Mark and RA.
Civilian Occupation: Retired computer consultant.
Aware from an early stage that mindless repetition was and is rampant within Masonry, the need to
know ‘why’ has often been met with a blank stare. Hence my need to find answers and then again to the
multitude of questions that arise from those answers. My hope is to take audiences on voyages of
discovery and to engender interests in new members particularly so as to raise their enthusiasm in finding
out how Masonry tends to make good men better men.
John Acaster
John is now ‘retired’, having spent his working life in banking and school inspection. He is, however, busier
than ever, devoting himself largely to Masonic research. He is passionate about this.
Why? Because England has the oldest and richest layers of records anywhere in the
world, lying largely unregarded. Masons who think Freemasonry has a unique value
ought to seek to know its past. This is the best base by which to understand the present,
to appreciate differences, and from which to guide and safeguard its future.
John was initiated in London 40 years ago. He continues membership of his mother Chapter there. He is
numbered among the founders of Maccabee Lodge No 8947 and of Robert Burns Chapter No 999 in East
Lancashire, and was Senior Warden of the Province in 2006. He is a past President of the Manchester
Association for Masonic Research and arranges their annual programme. In 2007 he was elected a
member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076, the premier lodge of research. In late 2009 he was elected
chairman of Q C Correspondence Circle Ltd, the trading arm of that lodge, which serves 5,500 Circle
members drawn from across the world.
John Acaster Cont…
John will be delivering his first paper to Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, in London on Thursday 12
May. This is entitled ‘Early 17th Century Ritual: Ben Jonson and his Circle’. On Saturday 28 May he will be
presenting a paper to the Third International Conference on the History of Freemasonry at the George
Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia, USA. This is entitled ‘The Royal Arch within
early Lancashire Masonry’.
Kai Hughes
Kai is a former Royal Naval Officer and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the
International Cotton Association, the body that regulates the world’s raw cotton trade.
Since being initiated into Freemasonry in Hampshire in 1985, his Naval career saw him travel
all over the UK and the world. As a result Kai is a member of a number of English Lodges as
well as a member of a Scottish and Irish Lodge. However, since settling in the North West in 1993, his
Freemasonry has become more and more centred on East Lancashire and especially around his Lodges
of Acorn and Rose No.5677, Manchester Shofar No.7441 and Manchester Lodge of Masonic Research
In 1999 he became a founder member of the Cornerstone Society, established by the then Pro Grand
Master, Lord Northampton, to highlight the philosophical basis of Freemasonry and was appointed the
first Provincial Grand Orator for East Lancashire in 2009. In April 2010, he was appointed the Grand
Orator, the first to hold this position in UGLE, and he will be re-appointed later this month.
Kai is a member of the Education and Development Committee but his other passion in Freemasonry are
Masonic jewels and antiques and he is currently the Chairman of the Library and Museum Committee as
well as a founding secretary of a Masonic society and a Lodge for Masonic jewel collectors.
In his ‘spare’ time, he keeps bees and meditates for relaxation and drives fast cars for excitement.
Chris McDonald
Chris is an Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Province of Cheshire. Also, IntendantGeneral for Cheshire in Red Cross of Constantine. Formerly an Assistant Provincial Grand
Master of the Mark Degree in Cheshire, as well as Past President of the Board of Grand Mark
Stewards. He holds Grand Rank in several Orders, and is a senior member in SRIA (grade 9),
Royal Order of Eri, etc.
In Dublin, he is a Past Excellent Chief in Knight Masons, Past Excellent King in Royal Arch, as well as a
member of Grand Masters Lodge. In Scotland he is the fourth generation in a Lodge where his father was
the only member to be at both the bi-centenary and 250th. celebrations.
Chris McDonald Cont..
He retired some 15 years ago as Regional Business Development Manager for a bank; set up a new
'train-set' of a regalia outlet, which keeps him busy & occupied. His Wife, Claire, refers to the business as
'an indulgence'.
Outside masonry, Chris is a Past Chairman of the Chester Business Club & also the local branch of Help the
Aged (which some thought to be self-interest!).
Peter Mason
A member of the Craft, Royal Arch, Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, Allied Masonic
Degrees and the Ancient and Accepted Rite (Rose Croix).
Author of the following publications used by the L&D Group and the Province of
West Lancashire:
An Applicants Guide on Admission into Freemasonry.
Candidates for Freemasonry – Guidance for Sponsors and Suggestions for the Interview.
Freemasonry – Information for Master Mason’s (Copies are presented to every new member after being
Secretaries Guidance Notes – For Lodge Secretaries (Used by the Province of West Lancashire).
DC’s Guidance Notes.
Guidance Notes for Lodge Almoners – Re-written and a new version produced for use by the Province at
the commencement of the Care System.
Guidance Notes for Lodge Charity Stewards (Prior to the new Charity System) and used by the Provincial
Grand Charity Steward to produce a new version at the commencement of the New Charity System.
Guidance Notes for Lodge/Chapter Treasurers.
Guidance Notes for Chapter Scribes and DC’s (Royal Arch).
Guidance Notes for Chapter Recorders (Rose Croix).
Guidance Notes for Lodge Scribes (RAM).
PowerPoint Presentation – What is Freemasonry ? (Lancaster & District Group and the Cumberland and
Westmorland Provincial website).
The ‘Centenary’ Celebration of 128 Years – The History of the Garnett Lodge of MMM’s No 146 produced
for the Centenary Celebration in 2000.
The ‘Hidden Mysteries’ of the 3rd Degree Tracing Board – Illuminated (PowerPoint) presentation
explaining some of the hidden and hitherto unexplained meanings behind the symbols on the 3rd Degree
Tracing Board.
The Beginnings of Freemasonry in Lancaster and District – A book revealing details about the original
members of the first Lodges in Lancaster and District – The Lodge Fortitude, St Johns Lodge (now
Peter Mason cont…
defunct), The Lodge of Economy (now defunct) and the first Royal Arch Chapter in Lancaster (catalogued
by the Grand Lodge Library and Museum in 2007).
Francis Dukinfield Astley – The last Provincial Grand Master of Lancashire ! A delve into Astley’s life and
death and the division of the Province of Lancashire.
The Royal Arch Certificate – Illuminated (PowerPoint) presentation of the Royal Arch Certificate, an
explanation of its symbols with references to the history of the Order.
We’ve always done it that way ! – A talk for Royal Arch Chapters highlighting the many changes made
in the ritual since the Union in 1817 and demonstrates that, contrary to the title, we haven’t always done
it that way. Plus other items of interest.