[Taken from W Kneale "Oddfellows Companion and Guide to Douglas, Isle of Man" 1897; issued in conjuction with the Annual Moveable Conference held in Douglas in 1897 -this section contained short pen-pictures of leading Manx Oddfellows]
P.P.G.M. JOHN MOORE was born on the 20th March, 1840 consequently he is now 55 years of age. His connection with Oddfellowship commenced in December, 1861, when became a member of the Loyal Harbour of Peace Lodge, No 2,043. Soon after his initiation, Bro. Moore began to make himself useful to his Lodge, and he quickly passed through all the elective offices, He was appointed treasurer to the Lodge in 1884, which position he now holds, and he is very rarely absent from the meetings of his lodge. He was appointed one of the delegates to the halt-yearly District Meeting in 1884, and has attended every succeeding meeting up to the present time. In 1888 he was appointed D.G.. of the District, and unanimously elected P.G.M. in 1889, and. in 1895, was unanimously appointed one of the Trustees the District, which position he still holds. He attended first A.M.C. at Swansea, in 1895, was also a delegate at Bristol A M.C., the following year, and has also b and Book Examiner. He is Head Master of the Laxey Board School, and takes an interest in the well-being of the inhabitants of Laxey. He works hard for the benefit of his Lodge, and takes a special interest in the Juvenile Branch.
BRO. Jos. G. CORLETT, chairman of the A.M.C. Reception Committee, is 37 years of age. He was initiated a member of the Manchester Unity in the Loyal Mona Lodge in 1884. Since that year he has been almost continually in office. Shortly after his initiation he filled the office of Elective Secretary, afterwards passing through the other offices. He. received the warm congratulations of the members for the able manner in which he had conducted the business of the Lodge. He takes a deep interest in the Juvenile Lodge, and, mainly through his energy, the Juvenile Branch is in a most healthy condition. He is conversant with the rules of our. Order, and in debates is always able to hold his own, and on all occasions is very particular to have law on his side. He is very popular in his own Lodge, and also in the District.. He was elected Treasurer of his Lodge in 1893, which position he still holds. Competition for the chair of the District is. very keen, and very rarely does a member succeed in obtaining the office of Prov. D.G.M. at the first time of asking, yet, in the case of Bro. Corlett, this was so. He was elected P.D.G.M. in 1895, and Prov. G M. in 1896. As P.G.M. he presided over the meetings of the Reception Committee. On. completing his term as Grand Master, his successor, the Rev.. Geo. Paton, moved that Bro. Corlett should still occupy the position of Chairman. This was carried unanimously, and falling in with the wishes of the members, he has ably presided over all the meetings. He was the first to move that the A.M.C. be invited to hold this years meeting in Douglas. He has been untiring in his endeavours to make this the best A.M.C. that has ever been held. The last District Meeting. decided to present our worthy brother with a testimonial, to mark their appreciation of his services. .
[CONTRIBUTED BY BRO. R. CUBBON.]
BRO. W. H. KNEALE was initiated into the Mona Lodge of Oddfellows on the 13th May, 1881. Here he found opportunity for work, and evincing a desire to take part in the management of the Lodge, his sterling qualities soon became apparent to the working brethren. In the following December he was called upon to fill the office of Elective Secretary; in June, 1882, he became Vice-Grand; and, at the expiration of six months, he was appointed to the office of Noble Grand. Bro. Kneale has had the honour of representing his Lodge at the half-yearly meetings of the District on many occasions. In 1893 he became Provincial Deputy Grand Master of the Isle of Man District, succeeding to the office of the Provincial Grand Master in the following year. During the two years he occupied these positions his work was marked with a constant desire to improve the condition of the Lodges under his jurisdiction. Shortly after the completion of his term of office he was elected one of the Lodge Trustees, which position he still retains. He has also been one of the Trustees of the Juvenile Society for a number of years. In 1890 Bro. Kneale was elected President of the Past Grands Lodge, and was presented with a Past Officers jewel. In 1895 he was presented with a Past Provincial Grand Masters gold jewel by the Isle of Man District, in recognition of his valuable services to the Order. His integrity cannot be impeached, and his honesty of purpose has ever been acknowledged. Outside Oddfellowship Bro. Kneale is also well known. In 1896 he was elected a member of the Douglas School Committee, and still continues to take great interest in that work. Bro. Kneale also exercises his power for good in carrying on the work in connection with Sunday Schools, and for the past seven years has been superintendent of the Salisbury-street Wesleyan Sunday School. His labours there have been. crowned with success, as evidenced by the flourishing condition of the school at the present time.
BRO. KELLY is Per. Sec. of the Loyal Tynwald Lodge, which meets at Foxdale. He was born in the year 1842, and is the eldest surviving son of the late Wm. Kelly, wheelwright, of Foxdale, who was a Past Grand and for thirty years a trustee of the Tynwald Lodge. He is a joiner by trade. After working at his trade in Liverpool, Douglas, and America, he finally settled at Foxdale. He was appointed Per. Sec. in 1875. On his election, he found that about one half of the members were not paying contributions in accordance with the graduated scale. He, along with a few others, took a stand against the old-fashioned equal rate, and, although they had a stormy time, they finally won the day. The Tynwald Lodge was almost insolvent, but now they are in a fair way to a state of solvency. The members are now paying 2d. per month in excess of the table and scale of the District, and are determined to have their Lodge in a good sound financial state.
The hand of death removed from our midst last year our worthy and respected brother, Christopher Bridson, who, for over 30 years occupied the position of Prov. C.S. He was also Per. Sec. of the Loyal Victoria Lodge for over 35 years. In consequence of the ability displayed by him the Isle of Man District owes its present proud position. He was a most consistent worker, always having the good of his Lodge and District at heart. He was considered an authority on the working of Friendly Societies. His advice was often sought and freely given to members of the other Societies having branches in the Island. A few years since the District made him a handsome presentation and his Lodge also presented him with a costly watch and chain. He was indeed a power for good in our District. He always carried out the motto of our Order, "Friendship, Love, and Truth." The District has decided to place on his grave a handsome monument.