The PrGM Tony Harrison was pleased to appoint and invest David Walmsley an Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting held at Blackpool. David will have particular responsibility for the Eccles and South Eastern Groups, succeeding John Hutton who retired from office at the same meeting.
David was born in Preston and on leaving school, gained a cadetship with the Lancashire Constabulary. His first posting was to Eccles and for the next 30 years he served in various roles, latterly specialising in forensic sciences and major crime investigation before taking retirement from the force in 2001. He then worked as a community safety advisor for the local authority in Salford, assisting witnesses in the criminal justice system, until he took final retirement in 2012.
He and his wife, Sandra, were married in 1975 and have two children. Their son Mike is a senior manager in the construction industry as well as following in his father’s footsteps as he is also the chief officer of the Greater Manchester Special Police Constabulary. Their daughter, Claire is a travel consultant and lives with her family in Essex. They have one granddaughter and another grandchild expected shortly.
When time permits, David and Sandra enjoy walking both locally and in the Lake District. They have travelled extensively and particularly enjoy cruising, having visited the Mediterranean, the Far and Middle East, the Caribbean and South America plus other exotic destinations. David admits that he particularly enjoys their trips to Essex, where he receives intense instruction from his granddaughter on the duties of a perfect grandad!
David’s Masonic career has been as equally busy and varied as his professional history. He was initiated into Broad Oak Lodge No 7239 in 1978, serving in several offices within the lodge including a stint as director of ceremonies for eight years. He also served as master on three occasions and as if this wasn’t service enough, he returned to the chair for a fourth time in 2013, some four years after the lodge had amalgamated to become Trafford Park Broad Oak Lodge No 4486. He received his first Provincial appointment as PrGStwd in 1994, rapidly gaining promotion in Provincial rank and he now holds his present grand rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, which he received in 2015.
In the Royal Arch, he was exalted into Egerton Chapter No 2216 in 1989 and served as the first principal in 1998. He was appointed as Provincial Grand Steward in 2004, promoted in 2008 to PPrGSN and received the grand rank of PGStdB in 2017.
At a local level, David has given exemplary service to the Eccles Group, occupying the group offices of minutes secretary, secretary, vice chairman and chairman across a span of 16 years. He is succeeded as Eccles Group Chairman by Stuart Sutherland Boyd, who was the chain bearer at David’s investiture.
On learning of his appointment, David admitted that he had regarded the honour with ‘a great deal of pride, tempered with a little trepidation’ but was very grateful for the opportunity it afforded him to be of further service to the Province.