The installation meeting of the Lodge of Good Fellowship No 5901 saw David Radford attain the master’s chair in an excellent ceremony and on this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of Ian Greenwood as the principal guest.
After transacting the administrative business of the lodge, the acting DC, Alan Duffin, retired from the lodge before returning to announce the presence of Ian Greenwood, attending as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison. Ian entered the lodge in due form accompanied by fellow grand officer, Keith Beeston, the Preston Group Chairman Steve Bolton and acting rank officer, Alan Howarth to be formally welcomed by the master of the lodge, Mike Fitchie.
Following salutations, Mike invited Paul McCann to assume the master’s chair for the ceremony of installation. The master elect, David Radford, was presented to Paul by his father, John Radford.
The visitors were then treated to a superlative ceremony at which Paul installed David, as the seventy fifth master of the lodge, in a full and faultless ceremony.
The working tools of the third, second and first degrees were presented in an exemplary manner by Mike Fitchie, Peter Donnelly and Ted Richards respectively. The installation ceremony concluded with David being addressed as master by his father, John.
The lodge officers were then appointed, with Ted Richards and Ray Birkbeck being invested as senior and junior wardens respectively. On appointment, their duties were explained by David and, when installed in their respective chairs, were addressed by Alan Duffin. Alan, in turn, was duly invested as the lodge director of ceremonies. As it was the first time he had been appointed to this position in the lodge, he was addressed by honorary member of the lodge, Bryan Green. The final address to the brethren of the lodge was given by the principal guest, Ian Greenwood.
At the conclusion of the proceedings Ian brought the greetings and congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master, in particular, commending the work of Paul McCann as installing master and all those who had a part to play in the ceremony. He went on to wish David and his officers an enjoyable and fruitful year in office.
David in turn, thanked Ian for his generous comments on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master and presented three cheques as donations from the lodge. The first, for £500, was in support of Masonic Charitable Foundation. The second, for £250, was in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the final cheque, for £250, was in support of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
The meeting continued with Alan Duffin presenting Mike Fitchie with both a Founders Jewel and a Past Master’s Jewel for him to wear with pride as the retiring master. He thanked him for all the work he had done in the name of the lodge during his year in office.
Later in the evening, in response to the toast to the grand officers, Ian thanked the brethren for the toast to his health, reminding them that ten years has elapsed since he had attended the lodge as the Provincial Grand Master’s representative. On his own behalf, he congratulated David on attaining the master’s chair, wishing him a fine year in office and continuing good health to enjoy it. He also commended him on his discerning nature, being a supporter of Burnley! He went on to applaud the faultless performance of Paul McCann as the installing master, saying what a pleasure it had been to witness such work.
Moving on, Ian informed the brethren that the new care structure was operational and working well. He noted that across East Africa over 20 million people are on the brink of starvation and that the Masonic Charitable Foundation has been among the first to respond by making an emergency grant of £100,000 to the appeal. He went on to remind everyone that they are all almoners at heart and should support and assist the lodge almoner in his duties. He thanked lodge member, Peter Fish for all his, mostly confidential, work during his time as the Preston Group Care Officer. He also congratulated him on his impending high promotion at the next meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge.
Continuing, Ian mentioned the series of five programmes entitled, ‘Inside Freemasonry’ to be broadcast by Sky Television in the near future. He prompted brethren to support the Provincial Grand Master by accepting his invitation to attend the impending meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge.
Ian concluded by thanking Alan Howarth for his support as an acting officer and Steve Bolton for his invitation to ‘represent’ at the earlier installation meeting.
The brethren were then treated to a delightful rendition of the master’s song given by Stuart Corless accompanied by John Whittall on the piano.
Continuing the theme of good fellowship and to further support the Masonic hall, the ladies of the lodge, and their friends, shared the occasion by holding their own dining function in an adjacent room during which, a raffle raised over £120 that has been added to the ladies’ charity fund. The ladies of the lodge have other fund raising events planned and will make a decision as to who the recipients will be when the final total is known at the end of the year.
The proceedings were interrupted for a short time by the entrance of David in his role as master of the lodge. He had great pleasure in presenting Ian’s wife, Gwyneth, with a bouquet of flowers by way of compensation for letting him out with the lads.