The members of Fairhaven Lodge No 5076 witnessed Stuart Hiley being raised in a fine ceremony at the Palace, St Anne’s. The ceremony was conducted in the presence of his brother David Hiley, a Provincial officer from the Province of Cheshire, his father Bryan Hiley, a Provincial officer from the Province of Norfolk and Ian Ward, Chairman of the South Fylde Group, all of whom agreed that he had been raised in an exemplary manner.
The fortunes of this fine lodge have blossomed in recent years with a steady flow of new members taking office and new faces regularly adding to the workloads of mentor Neil Curtis and director of ceremonies Peter Robinson as they guide each new member through their early months of membership. The lodge has at least four more ceremonies to factor into its future meetings as David Arrow and Melvyn Grey are yet to be passed and raised.
Philip Low, master of Fairhaven Lodge, invited Norman Prue, a stalwart of the Fylde Group Lodge of Instruction No 65, to take the chair for the ceremony which included the traditional history. Norman is known to enjoy performing the raising ceremony and this certainly showed in the style and expertise of his delivery.
Stuart demonstrated maturity and confidence throughout as he was expertly guided through the ceremony by senior deacon Andy Harwood.
The remaining officers, who were all master Masons, discharged their duties to the highest order of excellence, particularly Mick Steel who explained the third degree tools. A welcome pack from the South Fylde Group was presented to Stuart by John Robbie Porter, vice chairman of the group, who congratulated Stuart on becoming the newest master Mason.
With the remainder of lodge business being completed, the members retired to enjoy a hearty meal at the festive board. Charity steward Terry Stevens-Lewing was pleased to announce that they had raised £205 plus gift aid; a sum that will constitute sponsorship for their guest organist Tony Jenkins who is undergoing medical treatment. Tony is raising money for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and Blue Skies Hospital Fund by having a hair cut which will remove his signature pony-tail. This will take place at the Palace on 11 April. A further £32 was later raised in a ‘heads and tails’ raffle.
At the end of the evening Alan Brotherton sang, unaccompanied, Fairhaven’s unique song to the visitors ‘Welcome in 5076’ in a note perfect manner.