Members of Peel Moat Lodge No 7633 were honoured and delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton at their installation meeting where Brian Cross was proclaimed as worshipful master for a third and ensuing year in his lodge, this being a fifth time that Brian has attained the master’s chair in his Masonic career.
Brian’s previous offices as WM outside Peel Moat Lodge were in back 1986, then again in 1998 both of which were in Ashton Lodge which used to meet at South Manchester Freemasons Hall in Edge Lane, Chorlton. In 2005 Ashton Lodge sadly handed back its warrant and closed.
The meeting held at The Moor Suite Masonic Hall at Heaton Moor was well attended and John was in good company being accompanied by fellow grand officers Brian Hayes and David Durling, along with Phil Gibbs, group vice chairman and other Provincial grand officers and brethren.
Before the installation started the lodge secretary Nigel Paton rose and said that rule 115 had been complied with and as required, had previously applied and read out the special dispensation for the purpose of Brian’s retention as WM. This being due to an unexpected incapacitation of the senior warden Ron Henshall, who had intended on his progression to the masters’ chair. Brian, prior to him opening the lodge, asked for an update of Ron’s health to which it was revealed he was recovering and likely to be home soon from hospital care.
Prior to the proclamation ceremony commencing, Brian rose and asked the lodge members to stand and thanked each of them for their full support and fabulous enthusiasm throughout the year, Brian said it was clearly felt by him that the whole lodge were giving both him and his wife their full and continuous support. He also said that he was for this third time ‘merely holding the fort’ due to the unfortunate scenario of Ron, but would in an enjoyable sense, aid the natural progression of the officers in the lodge.
Director of ceremonies Vin Wren having proclaimed Brian master for a third year, there then followed most excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Dan Welch, followed by Nigel Sharp in the second degree and equally flawless in the first degree by entered apprentice Philip Lowe. Phil Gibbs gave the address to the wardens followed by a most excellent address to the brethren of the lodge by John Hutton.
On completion of the installation, John witnessed, in his words, a most pleasant, superbly well done installation and on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, he passed on congratulations and best wishes to the lodge for a continued happy and healthy year ahead. John also commented that had Tony been present he would have been impressed with the standard of the presentations of the working tools and to see it was clear that the lodge is, in John’s words, ‘doing nicely’.
On behalf of the lodge, Brian thanked John for conveying the wishes of the Provincial Grand Master and said he looked forward to yet another very enjoyable year in the chair as master of his excellent, happy and sociably active lodge.
Brian then had the pleasure of presenting John with a number of very generous contributions enclosed inside an envelope. John, in witty retort said: “Having been taught to be cautious I will open the envelope”. At Brian’s consent he revealed that there were indeed five cheques totaling to an amount of £2,060, those individually being £500 made out in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £500 to the 1st Heaton Vale Sea Scouts, £500 to the 1st Heaton Norris Scout Group, £500 to the ABC Family Group which is a charity set to support families with special needs children and teenagers, more details of this charity can be found at http://abcfamilygroup.com, and finally a donation of £60 was made out to the Friends of Ecclesholme.
John, having exclaimed ‘wow’, immediately congratulated the lodge for their remarkable amounts of generous, charitable giving and went on to thank the members on behalf of all those recipients, both Masonic and non-Masonic who would eventually benefit from their very kind generosity.
Brian added that without the assistance of the charity steward Eddie Pratt along with Peter Beswick, who organise and plan the lodge’s busy and ‘barmy’ fun filled social ‘through the year’ calendar, that they would not be able to give so much as they do to charity.
The evening concluded with a very enjoyable and jovial festive board where John offered his own congratulations to the lodge and conveyed numerous informative subjects in his response which related to the lodge almoner, mentoring, the Provincial Grand Master and his message to enjoyment in Freemasonry and finally the promotion of the idea of ‘gents to dine’, John’s response was clearly well received and applauded.
The installation evening would not have been complete without Peter Beswick’s outstanding rendition of the master’s song ably assisted by the brethren in chorus, we were of course, not to be disappointed.