Members and visitors of Foundation Lodge No 5394 were highly delighted to welcome Brian Hayes as the principal guest, representing the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, to their installation meeting to witness master elect Noel Grubb being installed for the second time, as master of the lodge for the ensuing year.
At the ceremony, Brian Hayes was accompanied by the South Eastern Group Secretary Eddie Wilkinson together with other group officials and Provincial grand officers.
Master of the lodge David Durling opened the lodge and conducted the initial business as per the summons. Then came the expected knock on the door and the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Brian Haye entered the lodge accompanied by Eddie Wilkinson.
Installing master David warmly welcomed Brian to the installation ceremony and hoped that he would enjoy the ceremony. David then continued with the ceremony, ably assisted by the lodge DC, Terry Howard, carried out the ceremony and installed the incoming master Noel in his usual, inimitable fashion.
Noel having been installed, there then followed excellent presentations of the working tools, firstly the installed master’s tools, given in fine style by Eddie Wilkinson. This was followed with the tools of the third degree by Neil Tottle, the second degree tools by Murray Wordsell and the first degree tools by new initiate Lee Rudd.
The address to the master was given by regular visitor Brian Bush of High Peak Lodge No 1952 in the province of Derbyshire and was followed by addresses to the deacons by Terry Howard and the wardens by David Durling, all being rounded off with the brethren given in his usual relaxed manner by Brian.
On completion of the installation ceremony, Brian rose to bring the sincere greetings, best wishes and congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master, Mark Matthews, saying that Mark was aware that Noel was taking the master’s chair once more and wished him and the members of the lodge a very happy, healthy and enjoyable year ahead and also, on Mark’s behalf congratulated installing master David and those officers and brethren who had taken part in producing an excellent ceremony.
In response, Noel rose and thanked Brian for the good wishes he had conveyed and then with considerable pleasure presented him with a series of charitable donations by way of cheques. Firstly, to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity for £2,000 then £500 to Re-engage, a charity for older people, £500 to Prostate Cancer Relief, £500 to SANDS, a charity for improving care for new born babies and finally a further £500 to be split between the South Eastern Group Book Bank and the Light Blue Club, truly an amazing amount for a relatively small lodge.
Brian, being very impressed by the contributions, commented on the remarkable generosity of the lodge brethren and thanked them on behalf of all those who we may never know, that would eventually benefit.
On the first rising, David responded on behalf of the grand officers welcoming Noel to the chair once more and wished both he and the brethren of the lodge a happy and healthy year.
During the festive board, Brian gave the response to his toast, offering his own congratulations to the lodge members, saying he thoroughly enjoyed the installation meeting. He then went on to comment on how we should follow a natural progression taking our Masonry to the next level by joining the Royal Arch and how we should try to bring lapsed Royal Arch Masons back into chapter.
Brian, giving both Mark Matthews’ thoughts and his own, made reference to the use of the Provincial charity fund for distressed Masons and went on to recommend visiting, particularly for significant achievements such as 50th anniversaries to enable younger Masons to see what can be achieved.
Following this Brian reminded everyone about the forthcoming Provincial Grand Ball on 8 March and Provincial Grand Lodge on 8 May. Following a toast to the lodge founders, what had been a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable evening was brought to a close and all parted in excellent spirits.