On a cold and bitter night, brethren and visitors turned out to witness the installation of Craig Sutton at Stretford with Trafford Lodge No 4379, held at Swinton Masonic Hall. This was Craig’s fourth time as master of a lodge, but his first time in this lodge.
Principal guest for the ceremony was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Malcolm Bell, accompanied by Eccles Group Vice Chairman Patrick Walsh. Patrick welcomed Malcolm to Swinton Masonic Hall by presenting him with the traditional Eccles cakes, which were gratefully received.
Master of the lodge Stephen Rhodes opened the lodge and conducted the initial business as per the summons. Then, entered grand officer Tony Edden to announce the entrance of the principal guest, Malcolm Bell. Stephen welcomed Malcolm and duly offered Malcolm the gavel as per tradition, to which Malcolm swiftly returned.
The master elect, Craig Sutton, was presented for the benefit of installation by Paul Richardson to which Stephen replied that his presentation will be attended to. The installation was performed impeccably by the installing master Stephen Rhodes, who not only performed the ceremony but delivered the tools for all three degrees. The tools of an installed Master were explained by Jerry Lawes.
Following the explanation of the tools, Craig then installed his officers for the coming year. The installation concluded, was the cue for Malcolm Bell to bring the best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and to congratulate the Stephen Rhodes and the installing officers for a wonderful ceremony.
The WM thanked Malcolm for giving the address and was pleased to present two cheques, one to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity for £500 and one to the 1938 (Salford City & Eccles) Squadron Air Training Corps. for £500. Malcolm thanked the lodge brethren for their generous donation saying that it will go to two worthy causes.
The ceremony being ended, all brethren retired to the festive board for good food and camaraderie. Malcom responded on behalf of the grand officers and condoned what he had said in the lodge about an impeccable ceremony and wished Craig an eventful and happy year in the chair.
Craig then presented Malcolm with a bottle of fine whisky to wish him a happy journey home with his Eccles cakes. The evening being ended, all retired to brave the freezing elements outside.