The tracing-board (one of the three immovable jewels in Freemasonry) is a map where we can design, as we progress in Freemasonry and in life, our future.

In talking about W. Bro Philip Titterton (Pip), I thought this was the most accurate example for this resume of The Man Behind the Apron as his future is, in a way, already written on that map placed on that tracing-board.

Many could think that people become Freemasons – in Pip’s case, it could be said that he was born a Freemason. The son of a Freemason (a Lewis), he attended his first Ladies Evening as a young teenager and it was clear that, when he was ready, he would follow in his dad’s footsteps. Accordingly, in his mid-20s, his father Initiated him into The Lodge of Friendship, No.44.

Masonic events played a prominent role in his courtship of his wife Grace, a scion of the Hewlett family. When their daughter, Stella, sadly Passed Away in 2002 the brethren and families of Friendship 44 gave a lot of support, even travelling to her funeral in South Wales. “Freemasonry and my Lodge helped to give us structure when Stella Passed”.

During this difficult time, Pip found himself developing more intensively the concept of making a good man better. As with us all, Destiny still challenges and in 2022, after a long illness, Grace Passed Away. Once again, the Lodge and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) were there with much-needed support. To prevent himself heading into a very dark place, Pip took his grief to help others in finding ways to help younger masons develop their knowledge, confidence and passion, showing them that there is always a reason to smile.

Bro Titterton is the Area Mentor for Manchester City East and sits on the Provincial Learning and Development Committee. During the lockdowns the Manchester Level Club took Pip on-line to an audience from the UK, Europe and the USA. “New brethren are the future of our Lodges and Freemasonry, and I enjoy helping them uncover and explore the opportunities and rewards it offers. My own relationship with the spiritual and moral aspects of Being advances with my understanding of Masonic ritual and the message I take from our rituals grows and changes as I grow and change.”

Pip is lucky enough to live in the Peak District and when he steps outside his house, he enjoys walking, canoeing (somewhat gently) and gardening. His collection of bow ties is largely inherited – “I have copied my Father’s habits, and this helps me keep his Memory vibrant”.

On being asked what advice he would like to give to young brethren, he said: “No advice needed, everyone is an individual and what’s good for me, may not work so well for another. Just enjoy every moment and treasure it. Freemasonry is a long game – I was a Provincial Grand Steward in 1996, but I couldn’t deliver on that potential until my retirement in 2018 when I started working with the lads of the MLC to develop their Learning Sessions.”

Story by Bro Francesco Toto