St John’s Lodge No 2825 meets at Blackpool Masonic Hall and is one of Blackpool’s oldest lodges, being consecrated in 1900. Due to WM Nick Osborne’s illness, past master Anthony Rigby occupied the chair of king Solomon for the ceremony.
With the brethren having been assembled, the installing master proceeded to open the lodge and dispense with the routine business of the afternoon. Proceeding swiftly onwards and on a report, the director of ceremonies Jonathan Selcoe, announced that the principal guest, grand officer John Lee, accompanied by Blackpool Group Chairman Steve Jelly and fellow grand officer David Edwards, escorted by acting officers Bob Marsden, John Bainbridge, Geoff Diggles and Russell Forsyth requested admission. Anthony said that he would be pleased to admit them and they processed into the lodge room. John Lee was welcomed into the lodge by Anthony who hoped he would enjoy the afternoon.
The installing officers proceeded to occupy their respective positions. Bob Bennett as installing senior warden, Peter Green as installing Junior Warden and Steve Smith as installing inner guard. The ceremony of installation commenced with the presentation of Dominic Earnshaw as master elect of St John’s Lodge to installing master by his grandfather John Earnshaw, watched by his uncle and senior warden Malcolm Davis.
Dominic was then duly installed as the WM of St John’s Lodge in a fine and entertaining display of Masonic ritual. Martin Bleeker delivered the working tools of a master Mason, Jonathan Selcoe delivered the working tools of a fellow craft Freemason and John Todd delivered the working tools of an entered apprentice Freemason.
Following on in fine style, Dominic confidently appointed and invested the officers of the lodge, then Bob Bennett gave a heart-felt emotional address to the master followed by a perfect address to the wardens by Neil Winckley. Culminating with an eloquent address to the brethren of the lodge by the principal guest John Lee. At the conclusion of the ceremony, John thanked all those who had participated in the proceedings, congratulating Anthony Rigby on a sincere and faultless ceremony.
In reply, Dominic presented John with cheques for the charities totaling £4,000 which consisted of four £1,000 cheques to: North West Air Ambulance, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Leeds General Hospital and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. A cheque for £200 was also given to the Masonic Hall Fund.
At the close of the ceremony, the brethren retired to the dining room for a fine festive board. The master’s song was sung by John Cartwright accompanied by organist John Wall.
Gordon Ivett, Blackpool Group Publicity Officer.