It was the meeting of St. Georges Lodge Number1170 on the 21st of November 2022 at Manchester Hall.
The night was all about one of Manchester Masonry’s most enduring characters, the Rt. Reverend John Snape, WBro. Snape is a fourth-generation Freemason, so the evening would prove to be a heartfelt walk down memory lane for him.
The Lodge was opened in due form, after which the Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies, WBro Kenny Greer, announced that the Assistant Provincial Grand, Master WBro Mark Davis, accompanied by a Provincial deputation was outside the door of the Lodge, and he demanded admission.
The Worshipful Master WBro Robert Hammersley was delighted to receive the Assistant Provincial Grand Master and his deputation. As is customary, he offered the gavel to the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who was delighted to accept it on the special occasion.
WBro Peter Tootell then delivered a heartfelt tribute to WBro Snape, explaining that he had been close friends with him for over 30 years.
WBro Peter Tootell read the following tribute.
Johns Grandfather was an Army Chaplain, and he fought at the 1916 Battle of the Somme and, post-war from 1918, was an RAF Chaplain in Northumberland. Johns Great Grandfather Joseph Snape had a printing business in Chapel Street Salford and was Mayor of Salford from 1909 to 1910.
In 1873 Joseph was initiated into Derby Lodge, becoming Worshipful Master in 1883. Joseph gained the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon.
Joseph Snape had three sons, Worshipful Brother Walter Snape and Worshipful Brother Dr Harold Snape, both Initiated by Josephs Father and Arthur Snape, who did not become a Mason.
Johns Father, Reverend Harry Snape, was initiated into St Georges in 1951 and was promoted to Provincial Grand Chaplain in 1967. Harry retired to Oxford, gaining Grand Rank, becoming Acting Assistant Grand Chaplain in Craft, Third Principal in Royal Arch and 32nd Degree in Rose Croix. At the age of 81, he joined the Knights Templar.
Now to John, who was educated at a boarding school in Oxford and then onto a public school in Shrewsbury. John then went to Corpus Christie, Oxford, to study History and Social Humanities. He served in the Cold-Stream Guards, seeing action in Kenya during the local Mau-Mau war and the Cypriot conflict.
In 1959 having signed on for six years, he became a Subaltern. But in 1961, following an accident that resulted in a spinal fracture, he was incapacitated for six months. John was medically discharged with formal thanks along with the usual good soldier and gentleman.
John then joined his fathers printing business in Salford. In 1965 the printing company was dissolved, and John joined the Co-op [CWS], assisting with Public Relations.
The late Dean of Westminster Abbey, Edward Carpenter, sponsored and recommended John to be Primus [American Archbishop] of the Free Episcopalian Church with the responsibility to rebuild a Church in New Jersey, USA. John, is this blue highlight correct or does something need to be added?
John was then asked to oversee 5 Churches in Cincinnati, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, spending six months a year in the USA but had to return to the UK to nurse his wife, who was very poorly, passing away in 2005.
Johns youngest son Reverend Dr Daniel Snape, lives in Boston, USA, and his eldest son Julian Snape is a businessman and is anti-establishment!
John officially retired aged 70 some 12 years ago and was then awarded an Honorary Bishopric for services and personal sacrifices in the USA.
On the 20th of November 1972, John was initiated into St Georges, and he served the Lodge as Senior Warden for four years and Junior Warden for five years. He has lost count of the number of times hes delivered the Charge, and whilst he has never served as Treasurer, he has been our Chaplain since 1985. John served in the Alexandra Chapter 993 as Scribe E from 1979 to 1984 and Z in 2001. He was a recorder in William Horrock Rose Croix in Blackburn from 1979 to 1986, attaining his 18th Degree.
John is an avid reader of modern History covering 1945 to date, titles such as the Rise of a Superpower = China, and he has very recently finished reading Winston Churchills 2nd World War 7 Volumes. His favourite English author is Ken Follett.
John is a Member of the Royal Meteorological Society, recently receiving a silver medal for 25 years of Membership. To keep in touch with the USA, John subscribes to Time Magazine. John also enjoys photography as a pleasant past-time that mixes well with cycling on his e-bike when the weather permits.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Mark Davis, then paid the following tribute:
WBro John Michael Walter Snape, as we have just heard, you were initiated into St Georges Lodge No.1170 on the 20th of November 1972 and installed as its Worshipful Master in October 1977 and again in October 1997 and have been the resident Chaplain in St Georges Lodge since 1985.
Your first Provincial appointment was to the rank of Past Provincial Deputy Grand Standard Bearer in 1985, promoted to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 1992 and to your current rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1999.
You were exalted into the Alexandra Chapter No.993 on the 14th of March 1977 and served as its First Principal in 2001. You are currently a member of Limestone Rock Chapter No.369, where you hold that very important office of Almoner.
John, it is clear from what we have heard this evening that you have demonstrated throughout your life the true qualities of a model Freemason not only within the boundaries of Freemasonry but your business life and, more importantly, your family life, which you should be justly proud. I hope the evening celebration will make you realise how much you have made a difference and contributed to society as a whole.
WBro Snape was then presented with his illuminated certificate and was paraded around the lodge to receive the acclaim of the brethren.
WBro Mark Davis then instructed the District Chairman, WBro Paull OCarroll, to present the coveted 50 Year lapel pin to John.
All the brethren then attended the social board where more toasts were made to WBro John Snape, and his son-in-law, a Freemason, made a presentation.