It’s a rare occasion to install a new master these days, and it’s even rarer when the new master has a full set of light blue officers following in his footsteps. In truth, Carnarvon Lodge No 2376 actually have more lined up, with three other light blue Masons waiting to join the ladder on their journey to the master’s chair.
With nearly 50 brethren present, the lodge was opened by David Robinson and with everyone settled he welcomed a handful of principal guests, including Sylvester During Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden who was representing the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and five grand officers and three acting Provincial grand officers.
One special guest was Derek Upton, who is the father of tonight’s master elect Chris Upton. Following past masters taking the wardens chairs, Derek stood and presented his son as master elect in a touching proposal.
Chris, having taken the required oaths needed for the master’s chair, was superbly installed by David Robinson, who had clearly put a lot of effort into learning the ritual and who later thanked Jeff Lucas for all his help personally. Jeff, a good friend of the lodge and member of Leyland St Andrew’s Lodge No 7391, also stepped in as director of ceremonies to support the lodge after their own DC was out of action following a broken foot.
Following the installation of Chris, the third degree working tools were presented by Graham Roberts, Fellow craft Stuart McGrath then delivered the second degree tools with Kieran Taylor-Bradshaw completing the set with the first degree tools. All three brethren gave the ritual with great skill and understanding.
It was now time to install his officers, and for the first time in many years for Carnarvon Lodge, each officer on the ladder was taken by new light blue Masons. Appointed as wardens were Adam Dennett and Kieran Taylor-Bradshaw. Appointed as deacons, Michael Kipping and another. Appointed as inner guard Ewan Farquhar with David Boardman, Stuart McGrath and Daniel waiting to step onto the ladder in the coming years.
A special mention to Graham Roberts and Allan Scott, who at the grand age of 87 still show the young ones how it’s done for delivering the ritual to the new wardens and Mark Humphries Past Provincial Grand Steward for delivering the address to the stewards of the lodge.
With everyone invested and installed into their new offices it was time for a big surprise. Chris’s father Derek Upton stood once again and made his way to the west where he gave the address to the master. Standing to receive the address, Chris watched his dad deliver the ritual perfectly with a proud grin on his face. It has been a great year for the Upton family, with Chris also receiving an OBE during the summer from the King’s Honours List.
Following the father and son special moment, the address to the wardens was presented by Phil Kavanagh who continued the great ritual being put on show by the Carnarvon Lodge members. It was great to see so many of their members joining in to make the event even more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Sylvester then took his place on the lodge floor and delivered an inclusive address to all the brethren of Carnarvon Lodge, acknowledging each member of the lodge who took part and which was a perfectly presented with great style.
Accompanying Sylvester were five grand officers; Derek Upton, Tom Jackson, John Lee, Eric Picton and group chairman Peter Allen, as well as acting Provincial grand officers Neil Ward, Paul Wharton-Hardman and group vice chairman David Bishop.
Before closing the lodge, the newly installed master stood to present Sylvester with cheques from the lodge totalling £650 and the money donated was to be sent to the Alzheimer’s Society, Hollys Hearts, Sparkle Bean and the Chorley and the Leyland Food Bank Appeal. Sylvester thanked the lodge brethren for their generosity.
This year it was decided to announce early the main charity that would be getting the donations at the next installation so that brethren know who they are supporting. For the next year Carnarvon Lodge will be donating to Holly’s Hearts who create heart-warming memories for children with cancer.
It is also worth mentioning that certain members of Carnarvon Lodge have been doing charity work outside of the lodge as well. Michael Kipping has raised over £12,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society by completing the 214 Wainwrights walks this year. Chris had also raised £1,612 for Queenscourt Hospice and over £10,000 for Sparkle Bean.
On closing the lodge, Chris stood again to thank everyone and invited them to join him at the festive board. A special thank you was also given to Doug Little who had graced the installation ceremony with his musical prowess.
The festive board was lively, full of cheer and good conversation. A special version of the summons was passed around for everyone to sign and there were lots of sentimental toasts given and mention of the lodge’s trip to Jersey in April where his father Derek lives.
To end the evening, members and guests were entertained by Brain Flynn who sang the Master’s Song and following the tyler’s toast, Chris gave a final thank you and good night before everyone left happy.