At the installation meeting of the Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters No 7755, David Williams was installed as the master of the lodge. The principal guest on this occasion was Derek Parkinson accompanied by a galaxy of grand officers, the Preston group chairman, Steve Bolton and acting rank officer, Alan Howarth.
Following the administrative business of the lodge, the director of ceremonies, Jon Selcoe requested permission to retire from the lodge for a short time. He returned to announce the presence of the principal guest of the evening who was admitted in due form accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers. The worshipful master, Howard Linaker welcomed Derek, and, as of right, offered him the gavel of the lodge. Derek warmly responded in kind, thanking him for the warm welcome before returning the gavel feeling assured that the lodge was in good hands.
Those attending the installation witnessed an excellent ceremony as Howard, assisted by the lodge DC, installed David in an exemplary manner that was greatly appreciated by all the visitors present.
David was presented as the master elect by Bill Huck who also had the privilege of addressing David as the newly installed master towards the end of the installation ceremony.
The address to the wardens was delivered in an excellent manner by Jon Selcoe with the working tools of the third degree, second degree and the first degree being presented in an equally excellent manner by Mike Threlfall, Mike Jones and Peter Nicholson respectively. The address to the brethren was given by the principal guest, Derek Parkinson.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Derek brought congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, wishing David good health for an excellent year in office. On behalf of Tony, he congratulated the installing master Howard Linaker, for all the hard work he had obviously put in to ensure his successor was placed in the chair in an exemplary manner. He continued by congratulating all those that had taken office, wishing them well for a successful year and concluded by complementing all the membership for supporting such a fine lodge.
In response, David’s first duty as master was to present Derek with a cheque for £250 in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. In turn, and on behalf of the ultimate recipients, Derek thanked the lodge for what was indeed a very generous donation; particularly as the lodge only meets three times per year and all the members already make charitable donations through their other craft lodges.
Later in the evening Derek, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, said it was a delight to be in the company of so many grand officers. He continued by thanking Alan Howarth, for his support and for all the time and effort he is contributing during his year as an acting rank officer. He congratulated all those present, who were to receive Provincial honours at the May meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge. He made particular mention of lodge member, David Asbridge, who is to be invested as the Provincial Senior Warden at the meeting.
Having brought the congratulations of Tony Harrison in the lodge, he now on his own behalf and on behalf of the grand officers, congratulated David on attaining the chair of Setantia, wishing him well during his time as master of the lodge.
He went on to congratulate the lodge on the excellence of the ceremony, in particular mentioning the work of Howard Linaker as the installing master and those that played such an excellent part in the ceremony. He continued by thanking the DC, Jon Selcoe, for his excellent work in running the ceremony and the lodge secretary, Phil Cragg, for his work in preparing for the occasion and the contribution he makes to the Province as the Preston Group Publicity Officer.
Returning to the May meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, Derek was pleased to say that the meeting and the subsequent celebratory banquet would both take place within the confines of the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, thus avoiding the necessity of travelling between venues. On the subject of events, Derek, reminded the brethren of the forthcoming Grand Lodge tercentenary celebrations. He encouraged everyone to give them their utmost support, in particular, the church celebrations being held in Warrington and Lancaster at which the Provincial Grand Master will be in attendance.
Moving on to charitable giving, Derek thanked the lodge for the donation made earlier of £250 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. He thanked those who used the Gift Aid envelopes to enable the charity to claim back any tax previously paid on the donation. He informed the brethren that this tercentenary year, the Grand Charity would be making an additional 300 grants available He was pleased to say, eight of the grants, totalling £79,000, would be made to non-Masonic charities within West Lancashire with the largest of the eight grants being £25,000. The decision as to which charities would benefit would be as a result of a public vote within West Lancashire with the charity gaining the most votes receiving the £25,000 grant.
Derek concluded his response by thanking the lodge for the hospitality and warmth of his reception and to everyone for their attendance and the camaraderie it instils.
As part of the celebrations, the brethren were treated to a delightful rendition of the master’s song by Ray Beech accompanied by John Whittall on the piano.
Howard then had the pleasure of proposing the toast to the health of David as the new master. Much to the embarrassment of David, Howard had researched his subject well and gave almost a “This is your life” presentation that was enjoyed by all present.
David responded by thanking the lodge for the honour of taking the master’s chair. He thanked all who had a part to play in the ceremony and making what had been an important day for him so enjoyable. In doing so, he thanked all the participants by name in an excellent response that was made without notes and concluded with David thanking his guests and the brethren for their attendance and Ray and John for their contribution of the master’s song.
The evening closed with Preston master, Merrick Wilding, presenting David with his ‘Preston Masters’ Badge’ and welcomed him to that fine band of brothers known as the ‘Preston Masters’ 2016 – 2017. He informed David that the badge identifies him as a current master in the Preston group and is a badge he can wear with pride. However, Merrick went on to add, that should another Preston master find David within the portals of Preston Masonic Hall not wearing his badge, it would result in an instant fine of £2. The said fine would be used to further swell the ‘Preston Masters’ Charity’ fund for distribution later in the year. Merrick concluded with a big smile and whispered in David’s ear that forgetfulness can be a very expensive business, especially as Preston masters’ can appear from out of the woodwork at the most inconvenient times.