Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison was the honoured guest at the installation of Leyland group publicity officer Andy Sumner into the chair of Phoenix Lodge No 9206 held at Leyland Masonic Hall.
Tony was accompanied by no less than five grand officers including Assistant Provincial Grand Master Raymond Martland. Keith Kemp (PAGDC), Leyland Group Chairman Stewart Seddon (PAGDC), Paul Hesketh (PAGDC), Peter Taylor (PAGDC) together with acting Provincial officers, Peter Pemberton (PrSGD), Martin Lockyer (PrJGW), Stephen Lunt (PrSGD), , David Hargrave (PrAGDC), Brian Griffith (PrGStwd), David Bishop (PrGStwd), Peter Harwood (PrGPurs), Tom Fredrickson (PrGStdB) and Peter Lovett (PPrJGW).
The lodge was opened by the worshipful master Henry Causey who conducted the regular business before Keith Kemp announced the Provincial Grand Master and the other distinguished guests, who were received into the lodge and welcomed. The usual honours and greetings being completed Henry went ahead to install the master elect, Andy into the chair of King Solomon.
The tools of an installed master were presented by Mike Pritchard, the third degree tools by Bert Bracegirdle, the second by John Anderson and the first by Steven Grimshaw.
The address to the worshipful master was given by Stewart Seddon. The address to the wardens by Chris Blackwell and the address to the brethren was given by the Provincial Grand Master.
On completion of the ceremony, Tony rose to greet the worshipful master and congratulate him and his officers on a wonderful ceremony and paid particular praise to the installing master, Henry Causey and the director of ceremonies Graham Fish who was Andy’s proposer. Tony wished Andy and the lodge a successful and enjoyable year.
Andy thanked Tony for his kind words and was pleased to present him with a number of cheques to both Masonic and non-Masonic charities totalling £800 to which Tony gratefully received on behalf of the recipients. Following the first rising, Tony and his team retired from the lodge.
At the festive board more than 120 brethren were seated to enjoy a wonderful evening enhanced by good food and companionship. Assistant Provincial Grand Master Raymond Martland proposed the toast to the Provincial Grand Master and wished him a happy tenure in office.
Tony responded and thanked the brethren for their kind hospitality shown to him and his tea. He went on to say how much he had enjoyed a wonderful evening with such camaraderie. He congratulated those brethren who had been offered new appointments and honours and looked forward to presenting them at the Provincial Grand Lodge at Blackpool and extended an invite for all to attend his lodge on that day.
Tony said that we are heading towards the Tercentury year in 2017 and that he is looking forward to the support in the build up to this important milestone in Freemasonry. He expressed the importance of mentoring, retention and retrieval and that we should not be afraid to speak openly about Freemasonry. He said that: “we are all membership officers and mentors and that we should feel free to promote our organisation”.
Tony appealed to brethren that they consider joining the Royal Arch when their time is right and that this is an important side degree which offers an extension to their Masonic knowledge. He also mentioned that the “Talking Heads” presentation is well worth attending which will give an insight to the Royal Arch.
He once again thanked the lodge for their generous donations and said that the Province remains at the forefront of charitable causes and that we are proud of what has been achieved and of the future. He thanked Raymond for his toast and the brethren in the way they have received it.
On retiring from the festive board a presentation of a bouquet of flowers was presented by Andy to both Tony and Raymond and thanked them both for attending his installation which he had thoroughly enjoyed.