At the age of 80, Brian Buckle may have been forgiven for sitting on the side-lines with his feet up. Not a bit of it! Showing the spirit and tenacity which saw him rise to the rank of head master of two schools in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Brian has taken on the mastership of Semper Fidelis Lodge No 4428 at St Anne’s.
Brian was initiated into Old Guisborian Lodge No 7793 on 25th April 1969. Having worked his way through the relevant offices he was installed as master of that lodge on 28th November 1981. That was the month that the film ‘On Golden Pond’ was released starring Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn. In the same period British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was getting on rather well with American President Ronald Reagan.
Anyway, back to the main event before the correspondent of these chronicles is accused of reading too many David Winder scripts! Brian was well supported on the evening with principal guest Roger Perry representing the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Accompanying Roger was Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Steven Reid, chairman of the South Fylde group Ian Ward, along with group vice chairman John Robbie Porter, and several other grand and acting Provincial officers. One acting Provincial officer and member of Semper Fidelis Lodge, George Coulter (a mere whippersnapper at 84 who has completed 62 years as a Mason) was seen later running around the banqueting suite serving wine to all – he and Brian are veterans to be proud of and cherished!
Before the reader gets the impression that everyone in the lodge is getting on a bit however, the installing master David Lucas, who is much younger at 58, carried out an exemplary ceremony of installation, directed by Steven Carr and assisted by installing officers Peter Rowan, Roger Walker and Mike Hornby. Fine explanations of the working tools were delivered by Julian Hale, Peter Baxendale and Bob Chesters. These were followed by several excellent addresses by John Sharples, Steven Reid, Ian Ward, Dave Barr and Roger Perry. As would be expected from this fine lodge, there was strength in depth in this installation team.The business of the lodge concluded, the brethren retired to the banqueting suite for a sumptuous five course meal. This was followed by the traditional toasts.
In his response to the toast to the grand officers Roger Perry congratulated Semper Fidelis Lodge for staging an excellent ceremony of installation. He observed that the standard of ritual was first class and showed just how much hard work had gone into the preparation for the evening. He also thanked the lodge for the splendid meal that they had provided. He went on to talk about the arrangements that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent was leading for the tercentenary celebrations. He further spoke of the work carried out by Ian Ward and the other group officers, most of which was carried out in the background but nonetheless vitally important to keeping the wheels of administration turning. Roger concluded by reminding everyone that the most important thing was to enjoy their Masonry.
David Lucas proposed the toast to the new master with some informative insight into Brian Buckle’s previous experience as a school teacher, head master and Freemason. He charted Brian’s Masonic career including his appointments as a Provincial officer in the Province of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, rising to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden. David’s toast was followed by a rumbustious and entertaining rendition of the master’s song by Rev Canon Godfrey Hirst.
Replying to the toast to his health, Brian complemented David and his team for the very fine ceremony, adding that he was proud to receive such an excellent installation. He continued describing his life in Freemasonry by picking up where David had left off. He described his arrival in the northwest and his search for a suitable lodge to join before meeting former lodge secretary Mike Taylor and having found Semper Fidelis Lodge, immediately knowing his search was over. At the end of a wonderful evening the final toast was proposed by the new tyler Paul Minton whose father Frank had been tyler of the lodge for many years.