The members of Monton Progress Lodge No 6361 were delighted to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox as their principal guest at the installation of Bill Walker into the WM’s chair held at Elm Bank Masonic Hall.
Harry was accompanied by grand officers Eccles Group Chairman Dave Walmsley and Tony Edden, supported by acting Provincial officers Jerry Lawes PrGStwd, Jim Finnegan PrGStwd and John Harrop PrJGD.
Harry was welcomed into the lodge by the worshipful master John Brailsford who then continued with the ceremony of installation. Master elect Bill Walker was presented to the WM by John Wrigley. Bill was installed into the chair of King Solomon for the second time by his immediate past master John Brailsford ably supported by his installing officers. The working tools of an installed master were presented by Jerry Lawes. The third degree tools were presented by Bill Reynolds, the second degree tools by John Inskip and the first degree tools by Alan Brown.
The address to the worshipful master was given by Alan Brown, the address to the wardens by Jeff Livesey and the address to the brethren by Harry Cox.
On completion of the ceremony Harry Cox brought the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated all those brethren who had taken part and wished the newly installed master an enjoyable and eventful year. He congratulated installing master John and his officers on a well worked ceremony.
As his first duty, Bill presented Harry with a wonderful cheque in the sum of £1,100 as a donation to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity to which Harry thanked the lodge for their generous donation.
At the festive board Harry responded to the toast of the grand officers by thanking them for their support and that of Dave Walmsley. Harry expressed how much he had enjoyed his visit to the Eccles Group and that he looks forward to returning in the near future. He said that the Provincial Grand Master sends his best wishes and he hopes that the master and the lodge members have a good year ahead.
Harry thanked Dave for his gift of Eccles cakes that are a tradition of the Eccles Group and was looking forward to having them for his supper. Harry went on to impress the importance of the Masonic halls and that we should also now be looking forward to the tercentenary to celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry. He mentioned the new care system and how it would benefit all. Harry concluded by thanking the brethren for their hospitality and wished the lodge members well for the future.
The evening ended with a rousing rendition of the master’s song sung by all present at the festive board.