The installation ceremony at Torrisholme Lodge No 5245 was in many ways a unique event, as Brian Warrington was installed as the new master by his son Simon Warrington, the master of Barlow Moor Lodge No 4525. Brian is an experienced Mason having already been master of Hand and Heart Lodge
No 4109 in 1987 and has had the pleasure of initiating, passing, raising and installing his son, but it was now Simon’s turn to return the honour. The principal guest and representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison was the familiar and much respected local Mason Keith Kemp, who on this occasion was accompanied by fellow grand officer Dennis Butterfield, Lancaster and District Group Secretary Scott Devine, and acting Provincial grand officer Steve Plevey.
On being introduced to Keith by the lodge director of ceremonies John Bates, the installing master Paul Dent welcomed Keith and his distinguished colleagues into the lodge and wished them a happy and enjoyable afternoon. Keith responded by thanking Paul for his warm welcome adding that he was looking forward to a pleasant afternoon and evening with friends.
Following the presentation of the master elect by Brian Dewhurst, and after Brian had taken his obligation, Paul in a fabulous gesture, asked Simon to take over the ceremony of installation, thereby allowing the familial connection to be maintained. Paul commenced the ceremony of installing his father Brian into the master’s chair in a very dignified and proficient manner.
After assuming the chair of King Solomon, Brian was presented with faultless explanations of the working tools. Brian Dewhurst explained the working tools of an installed master, Mark Ormerod presented the third degree tools, those of the second degree were explained by Paul Marshall and those of the first degree were given by John Fretwell. In delivering the address to the master, Brian Townson the lodge chaplain, gave a very powerful performance, which was mirrored in both the address to the wardens by Richard Routledge, the lodge charity steward and the address to the brethren of the lodge by Keith Kemp. The acting Provincial junior grand deacon Steve Plevey gave the address to the deacons.
On the conclusion of the ceremony, Keith rose to offer the congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to all who had taken part in the installation ceremony. Keith was sure Tony would have been particularly impressed with the work undertaken by both Paul and Simon, as well as that by the brethren who had presented the working tools. Keith reiterated that he had been specifically instructed to communicate Tony’s best wishes to everyone in attendance and that he hoped they would continue to enjoy their Masonry. After being presented with a number of cheques and a list of pledges in aid of charity, Keith was fulsome in his praise for the donations made by the lodge. The beneficiaries of the lodge’s generosity were the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity with £400, Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival with £1,200, East Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity in aid of the Manchester bomb appeal £100, St John’s Hospice £200 and Breast Cancer Research Foundation £200, making a total of £2,100. In addition, the brethren have also donated £500 through the white envelope Gift Aid scheme.
The festival of St John held in the banqueting suite at Heysham Golf Club was well attended, with a delightful menu of soup, cushion of beef and profiteroles, all of which was excellently presented. In making the customary response to the toast to the grand officers, Keith began by bringing his own personal congratulations to everyone who had played a part in the ceremony and affirmed his admiration for the fine standard of work he had witnessed earlier in the lodge room. Particular mention was made of Paul Dent and Simon Warrington for helping to make it such a unique and special Masonic occasion and the brethren who had executed the working tools so admirably; they had done a splendid job.
In drawing the attention of his audience to current Masonic issues, he elaborated on the tercentenary celebrations that have taken place within the group and the Province, with a special thank you to all who had contributed so far to the MCF 2021 Festival. Keith was keen to raise the profile of the West Lancashire branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity (MTSFC), of which he is the chairman This branch has only been operating for just over 12 months but has already organised four events. Participants have included disadvantaged children as well as members from the Help for Heroes organisation. The branch is currently planning for next year. However financial support is critical to its survival. Keith thanked all who have supported the charity so far, either in time or donations and hoped they would continue to do so. In conclusion Keith thanked all present for making the event such a splendid occasion.
Richard Routledge, in proposing the toast to the newly installed master, gave a brief but very interesting history of Brian’s personal life and Masonic career. Of special note was Brian’s interest in carriage driving, a recreational activity with harness and horse, which has caused him to rub shoulders with none other than Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is also a keen carriage driver.
With his usual high standard, John Bates performed the master’s song with impeccable accompaniment from John Heaton. In response, the newly-installed master Brian wanted to particularly thank not just the brethren of Torrisholme Lodge for their encouragement and backing over the years, but also the visitors for attending the installation; it was great to have their support. He ended by thanking both his son Simon and Torrisholme Lodge’s principal guest Keith, for their efforts in making it an occasion to remember.
A further bonus to what had already been an excellent afternoon and evening, was the announcement that the raffle had raised £504 for good causes, with an additional donation from the master’s swindle of £90.
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson.