Over 80 members and visitors witnessed this installation ceremony at Wellington Park, Leyland, and it was Chris Hughes of Leyland St Andrews Lodge No 7391 who had the privilege of being master elect.
Clearly the work ethic of the members of the lodge was high and it was most prevalent with Jeff Lucas the WM and installing master. It was a superlative performance from a past master of the lodge and it was one full of emotion. Jeff had been in the chair of Leyland St Andrews Lodge on numerous occasions before and he actually went on to say later at the festive board that he didn’t know which he was more relieved at, having installed Chris into the chair or having got himself out of it.
Jeff opened the lodge for the final time of his tenure and quickly set about discharging the lodge business. He then admitted Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon into the lodge room along with David Asbridge Provincial Senior Grand Warden and a retinue of acting Provincial grand officers and grand officers from across the Province. It was a colourful occasion with the different regalia on show. Stewart thanked Jeff, and the lodge, for the very warm welcome and then proceeded to introduce David to Jeff. David was the principle guest for the evening and the reason for Stewart being present is that Leyland St Andrews Lodge is his lodge. David then thanked Jeff for his welcome and stated that he was very much looking forward to the evening’s proceedings.
The installation ceremony began and Michael Pinckard presented Chris to the lodge for installation. Chris took the obligation of a master elect before the lodge opened into the board of installed masters. Here Chris then recited the master’s obligation and before long he had been placed into the master’s chair. All the relevant addresses were presented at appropriate points in the ceremony; the working tools in each of the degrees were all presented by junior brethren of the lodge, Andy Ince, Philip Ashton and Alan Welburn for the third, second and first degrees respectively. The stewards and wardens addresses were presented prior to the address to the lodge brethren, which was given by David Asbridge on his first outing as principle guest.
At the end of the installation ceremony David arose from his seat and proceeded to congratulate Chris on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He also stated that, if Tony had been present he would have walked over to Jeff and thanked him for all the hard work that he had done throughout his mastership and for the way in which he installed Chris. Chris presented a number of cheques to David at this point as his first official task so that they could be forwarded to their intended recipients. The cheques were written out for the princely total sum of £2,198 where the breakdown of the recipients is as follows; £1,000 to Freemasons Grand Charity 2021 Festival; £198 West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity; £300 for Teddies for Loving Care; £100 to Friends of Ecclesholme; £200 written out to St Catherine’s Hospice; £200 for Derian House and £200 to the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
At the festive board David gave his own best wishes. He hoped that Chris would have a marvellous year in office and continue to enjoy his Freemasonry as a result. The toast from the immediate past master Jeff highlighted that Chris was an active member of the Leyland Lights, a light blue club, and he had cycled from Leyland to United Grand Lodge of England as part of the team of three for the tercentenary celebrations. It was also pointed out that Chris was the last member of Old Worden Lodge No 5366 to be installed as a master of any lodge – Old Worden Lodge handed in its warrant in November 2013.
Everyone being ‘fed and watered’ they all departed for home having had a wonderful night’s meeting where the quality of the ritual and camaraderie had been second to none, each taking home a special memory of the occasion.