At the installation meeting of Newton Lodge No 6288, over 40 Masons celebrated David Whitmore’s proclamation of his second consecutive year in the chair of King Solomon. Kevin Poynton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master was the principal guest and he was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Dennis Rudd, Jack Forsyth, Gordon Amos, Derek Hunt and Chris Eyres (group chairman). They were supported by acting Provincial officers Ian Lynch, Chris Todd and Peter Whalley.
The lodge was opened by David and the usual administration undertaken. The director of ceremonies Charles Carr announced that Kevin was without and demanded admission. David replied that the lodge would be honoured to receive him. Kevin was admitted with due ceremonial style and accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers. David welcomed Kevin saying that he was delighted to welcome him and all the distinguished guests, wishing that an enjoyable evening would ensue.
Kevin on his own behalf, and on behalf of the distinguished guests and all visitors, thanked the WM for his very warm welcome, adding he too was looking forward to an enjoyable evening.
At this point in the proceedings Charles proclaimed David Whitmore as the WM for the ensuing year. The working tools of the third degree were explained by Bob Bingham, the second degree working tools by John Wright and the first degree working tools by Jim Stubbings.
Next, David had the pleasurer of appointing and investing his officers for the ensuing year. The junior deacon’s duties were explained by Norman Pritchard and the tyler’s duties by Stan Churm. The address to the junior warden was given by Chris Eyres and the address to the brethren by Kevin Poynton.
Charles explained that this completed the ceremony of the proclamation. This was the prompt for Kevin on his own behalf and on behalf of Tony Harrison the Provincial Grand Master, to congratulate David on being elected as WM of Newton Lodge for the fourth time, saying he hoped that he and all his officers and brethren would have an enjoyable year, wishing them good health to enjoy it to the full.
David thanked Kevin for his kind words and good wishes and presented Kevin with cheques for £200 for West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £200 for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (Ponseti Fund), £200 for Macmillan Cancer Support (St Helens Branch) and £666 to Warrington Masonic Hall Company with an expression that £100 is to go to the Museum Fund, totalling £1,266 in donations. The WM explained that the additional £666 was raised during the David Ogden’s winter Masonic break to Eastbourne in February, in which Vic Charlesworth, Alan Greggs, Gordon Archer, Mike Ryder and David Whitmore all participated.
Kevin thanked David for the most generous donations, saying it was a credit to all the members and guests who had generated such a magnificent amount for charity, particularly from such a small lodge. He stated it would give him great pleasure in forwarding the donations to the beneficiaries and thanked everyone on their behalf. He immediately handed the cheque for £666 over to Chris Eyres. Chris thanked David and the members for their generosity saying he would see the brethren’s wishes were complied with.
Kevin went on to congratulate Bob Bingham, John Wright and Jim Stubbings for their excellent presentations of the working tools.
Following the meeting 43 members and guests enjoyed an excellent four course banquet including wine which was followed by tea and coffee. A raffle was held which raised £133. On this occasion the master’s song was replaced by ‘Bless this Lodge’ sung by Norman Pritchard, accompanied by Keith Dickinson.
David, on behalf of the members, presented Kevin and Chris with bouquets of flowers, which took Kevin by surprise. Both Kevin and Chris thanked David and the members, saying they both had enjoyed the evening very much. At the close of the evening everyone said they had enjoyed the meeting and the festive board. The visitors extended good wishes to all members of Newton Lodge and hoped they would have a successful year ahead.