The installation meeting of St Augustine’s Lodge No 9018 held at Swinton Masonic Hall, threw up a couple of surprises. The master elect, Andrew Markland, had to withdraw due to work commitments and so his brother, Robert Markland kindly offered to remain in the chair for another year. The next glitch was that the installing master was to be Terry Watson, but unfortunately Terry had to be taken to hospital. Up stepped lodge secretary, Tony Edden who kindly offered to take the office of installing master on this occasion.
The minor problems having been resolved, the lodge was opened by worshipful master Robert Markland who greeted the principle guest Stuart Shea supported by grand officers, Dave Walmsley (Eccles Group Chairman) and Tony Edden.
Robert handed over the gavel to Tony Edden for the installation ceremony. Master elect substitute, Robert was presented to Tony for the benefit of installation by Brian Kilduff. Tony asked the necessary questions before continuing with the ceremony. Robert was then proclaimed into the chair of King Solomon for the second year in succession.
The address to the worshipful master was given by Tony Edden. The address to the wardens was presented by John Hood and the address to the brethren by Stuart Shea.
On conclusion of the ceremony Stuart rose and extended the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated Robert. He thanked him for standing in for his brother and for taking the chair of King Solomon for the second year in succession. Stuart also thanked Tony Edden for also stepping in at the last minute and wished Terry Watson a speedy recovery.
Robert presented Stuart with a cheque, in the sum off £120 to the MCF 2021 Festival and £120 to the Swinton Masonic Hall which was gratefully received.
At the festive board, Stuart gave the response to the toast to the grand lodge officers and thanked all the brethren of St Augustine’s Lodge for making him feel so welcome and said how much he had enjoyed the evening. He congratulated the lodge on how they had adapted at late notice with two of the main offices being withdrawn at such late notice.
Stuart congratulated lodge member Brian Kilduff on his forthcoming promotion to PPrGSuptWks. He spoke of the care system and charity, also the celebrations for the Tercentenary.
John paid tribute to the team who had performed a terrific installation and had showed a lot of work that had been put in and thanked installing master Tony who had stepped in at the last minute.
He concluded by thanking all at the social board for their warmth and friendship. Stuart was presented with a bouquet on behalf of the lodge by Robert.
Story by Tom Fredrickson, photographs by John Harrop.