The installation of a new master is a wonderful ceremony and is the highlight of a lodge’s calendar and, when it is conducted in the manner that St. David’s Lodge No 2950 installed its new master, it is an occasion that will live long in the memory.
Lodge master Ken Bradley and his officers opened the lodge and conducted the routine business of the evening before director of ceremonies Dave Jones retired for a short time and returned to announce that David Anderton, representative of the Provincial Grand Master was without and sought admission. David, accompanied by fellow grand officers Syd Ford and Howard Griffiths was duly admitted and welcomed into the lodge. It added to the enjoyment of the brethren of St. David’s to see Howard, the present group chairman and Syd, the past group chairman in the lodge.
The officers for the ceremony of installation were then duly placed with Rob Jones occupying the senior warden’s chair, Roy Newall remained in the junior warden’s chair and Graham Lewtas undertook the duties of inner guard.
The lodge was opened in the second degree and Ken asked for the presenting officers Dave Jones and David Brighouse to present master elect Colin Clark. The lodge was then opened in the third degree and Ken stood to offer his thanks to the officers and brethren of the lodge for all their help and support during his year of office. At this juncture he requested all those below the rank of an installed master to retire for a short while.
Colin was installed into the chair of King Solomon by Ken in a manner that was not just excellent in ritual but also with sincerity and warmth. Those who had previously retired re-entered the lodge and Colin proceeded to appoint and invest the officers for the ensuing year. The placing address to the senior warden was delivered by Rob Jones and that to the junior warden by Ken. Dave Jones addressed the deacons and lodge secretary Dave Brighouse addressed the stewards. Ken continued his efforts by delivering the address to the newly installed master with Hughie O’Neil presenting the address to the wardens. It then fell to David Anderton to conclude the addresses by delivering the address to the brethren of St. David’s.
At this point David stood to offer Colin the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master who he said ‘hopes Colin enjoys his year of office and that the brethren continue to enjoy their Freemasonry’. He went on to offer his own congratulations, not just to Colin but to all those who had taken part in the ceremony and offered Ken a special word of congratulation for a job well done.
The charities were then honoured before a cheque in the sum of £100 was presented by Colin to David in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, for which and on behalf of those who would benefit, David offered his thanks to the brethren.
It was then time for the grand officers to retire before the remaining lodge business of the evening was conducted, which happily included a ballot for a new initiate. The lodge was closed and the brethren gathered in the custom that is unique to West Lancashire, to toast the new master of the lodge.
Concluding a wonderful evening, an excellent meal and a convivial festive board was then enjoyed in the spirit of this proudly ‘Welsh’ lodge of West Lancashire Freemasons.