The brethren and guests of Fleetwood Lodge No 3711 gathered at Fleetwood Masonic Hall to support Brian Crawford on his installation into the chair of King Solomon. Brian is a Fleetwood town councillor and has been a keen supporter of the ‘Fleetwood Back on Track’ to get the train line to Fleetwood reinstated.
The lodge was honoured to have Stuart Thornber as its principal guest, having stepped in after Tony Hough, the North Fylde Deputy Group Chairman, sadly passed away earlier in the year. Stuart was suitably supported by fellow grand officers Harry Cox, the North Fylde Group Chairman Peter Greathead, Keith Jackson, Ted Vollans and Neil MacSymons, together with distinguished acting Provincial grand officers Reverend Canon John Hall, Jason Dell and Terry Murtagh.
The immediate past master George Brooks opened the lodge and dispensed with the early business in his own style, after which Stuart Thornber and his supporting retinue entered the lodge room and were formally welcomed by George.
The master’s chair was then passed to Chris Carnell for the start of the installation. Chris asked Andy Curtis to occupy the chair of the senior warden, Jonathan Moss to occupy the chair of the junior warden and Jason Dell to act as installing inner guard.
Brian was presented for installation by Jason Dell and after Brian had reaffirmed his obligation, Chris installed him in a sincere ceremony. The reins of the installation were then passed back to George Brooks to complete the ceremony.
As the new master, Brian closed each degree by virtue; the brethren were readmitted into the lodge room and the presentations of the working tools were expertly delivered by brethren; the explanation of the third degree working tools being given by Mark Blundell, the second degree tools by Jason Dell and those of the first degree by Steven Bozorth. Nick Cutting delivered the address to the wardens; the address to the master was presented by Jason Dell, leaving the address to the brethren of the lodge in the safe and experienced hands of Stuart Thornber.
Fleetwood Lodge is the only lodge in the North Fylde Group that holds a Hall Stone Jewel, marking the lodge’s contributions to the Million Memorial Fund for the construction of a new Freemasons’ Hall, London and as a commemoration of the Freemasons who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War 1. George excelled in delivering the address as the jewel was passed on to the new master of the lodge.
To complete the ceremony, a relieved George Brooks uttered those immortal words: “WM, that completes the ceremony of your installation”, at which point Stuart rose to congratulate Brian on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and moved to thank George for all the hard work that he had put into the ceremony. He also moved across the to the secretary’s table to shake the hand of and thank Chris Carnell for his contribution to the evening.
After the lodge was closed by Brian the brethren retired to the dining room to continue the festivities and enjoy some well-earned refreshments and good company.
Stuart opened his response to the toast to the grand officers by acknowledging Tony Hough who originally had been invited to the evening’s installation as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Stuart spend some time in reminding the brethren of the great contribution that Tony had made to Freemasonry. Stuart then brought his own congratulations to the new master and his installing officers, George and Chris. Stuart singled out for praise the brethren who did such a sterling job in presenting the working tools and George for his wonderful presentation of the Hall Stone Jewel address.
Next Stuart talked about the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and urged the brethren to support it and wear their steward’s jewel with pride as a token of what they have donated to the appeal. Stuart rounded off his response by saying if brethren had not yet taken the ultimate step and joined the Royal Arch, to make contact with their lodge’s Royal Arch representative and complete their journey in Freemasonry.