Amongst the guests at the installation meeting of Barrow Lodge No 3928 were the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger, the two Provincial Grand Wardens and Furness and South Lakeland Group Chairman Peter Schofield.
Also supporting Tony at the installation were eight other acting Provincial grand officers, all of whom were all under the watchful eye of Provincial Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp.
The ceremony at Barrow-in-Furness Masonic Hall saw David Ingham proclaimed master as he had agreed to continue in office for a further year to aid the lodge in its succession planning.
It proved to be a tremendous occasion with proper decorum being shown at all times, but there was still room for an appropriate smile or two during the proceedings. In a nutshell it was what the Provincial Grand Master continually advocates – enjoyable and fun.
Despite being somewhat foreshortened, there was still plenty of well performed ritual to be appreciated. The working tools of the three degrees were delivered in exemplary style by three of the junior members of the lodge in the persons of Allan Ritchie, Dan Moyes and Michael Cosgrove. They later received much praise for their efforts.
The acting Provincial grand officers were also called into action and added to the enjoyment of the occasion. Provincial Senior and Junior wardens David Asbridge and Peter Allen, acted as installing wardens and addressed their opposite numbers in the lodge as to their duties when they were appointed. David followed this up and gave the address to the wardens.
Provincial Grand Steward Keith Halligan took to the floor to outline the responsibilities of their role to the newly appointed stewards. Group mentor Kieron Mullan and group charity steward Richard Wilcock were called upon to address their counterparts in the lodge as to what was expected of them in their positions. And, keeping up the good work, Tony orated the address to the brethren of the lodge.
To mark the occasion, master of the lodge David presented Tony with a cheque for £850 in favour of the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. As is the present custom in the Furness and South Lakeland Group, the first £200 of this was match funded from the group charity account. This brought the total donated by the lodge as sufficient to make them Vice Patrons of the Festival. Richard presented them with a certificate acknowledging this.
During the course of the day, Tony paid tribute to the efforts of lodge director of ceremonies Frank Keeling MBE. Frank’s ready smile had helped set the tone for a wonderful installation meeting.
At the meeting, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies David Cole introduced Tony to ‘Masonic Ted’ the latest member of the Provincial team. David’s wife Jackie is a dab hand at knitting and other such crafts. She had employed these skills to dress a teddy bear in full acting Provincial officer regalia. The other acting Provincial grand officers of the group are convinced that there is an uncanny resemblance between Ted and David!
Following the installation meeting 90 members and their guests enjoyed a superb four course meal in the Fairfield Suite.
In responding to the toast to his health, which had been proposed by David Grainger, Tony Harrison expressed his thanks for the hard work of secretary Tony Cassells – a willing worker, or glutton for punishment depending on your outlook. Tony is also the secretary of Hindpool Lodge No 1225.
The proposition of the toast to the health of master of the lodge David was given by lodge stalwart John Quiggin who also gave an excellent rendition of the master’s song.
On the face of it, meetings where the master is being proclaimed may lose a little in comparison to a full-blown installation. This was far from the case at Barrow Lodge where Tony, in describing the occasion, used the words superb, wonderful, pleasant and most especially enjoyable.