Members of Hope Lodge No 4003 were honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon at their installation ceremony at Bryn Masonic Hall.
Stewart was accompanied by fellow grand officers David Ogden (group vice-chairman) and Graeme Hughes, and had the travelling support of acting Provincial grand officers from the Leyland Group, Gordon McKay PrAGStdB, Stuart Wilson PrGStdB Ian Smith PrJGD and Derek Robinson PrAGDC, together with local Wigan Group Provincial grand officer Trevor Jones PrGStwd. Also in support was John Selley, group secretary.
The ceremony saw Hope Lodge elder statesman Ted Pearce, the ever-ready stand-in, installing his good friend Bob Roberts into the chair of King Solomon. Ted has stood in as master for the best part of two years, following circumstances that prevented the installed master from attending. Despite his advancing years, and lack of mobility, Ted, assisted by stand-in DC Keith Lomax, led a ceremony that was performed with such skill and finesse as to warrant the lavish praise later bestowed by the visiting dignitary.
Others taking part included Bill Brackley, who delivered a faultless address to the new master and John Lomax who delivered a faultless address to the wardens. Working tools of the three degrees were presented by Joe Rice, John Lomax and Keith Lomax, and as expected, Stewart gave an impeccable address to the brethren.
When the ceremony was completed, as previously mentioned, Stewart was full of praise for a wonderful ceremony and couldn’t get across to installing master Ted quick enough to shake his hand and offer his congratulations. New master Bob responded and was pleased to present charitable donations totalling £900, specifically, £250 each to Ashton Masonic Properties and the Development Group, £100 each to Wigan Hospice and Derian House, and £50 to Wrightington Hospital.
A rousing festive board in an electric atmosphere followed in the usual Hope Lodge tradition during which Rod North performed the ‘Master’s song’, ably accompanied by Frank Laird on the piano. In the fulness of time Stewart once again congratulated the WM on his installation, praising Ted and all who had taken part, and shared the PrGM’s message for the forthcoming year. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by the 50 brethren present.
Bob is an experienced Mason and has served as master of Hope Lodge in 2005. He holds the Provincial rank of PPrSGD and has for many years served the lodge as treasurer. Bob is now retired from his plumbing business and is very much a family man who is devoted to his grandchildren and takes great pleasure looking after them. When time allows, he enjoys his caravan in Arnside and his motorcycle.