New Sanctuary Lodge No 6604 held its annual installation meeting at Cleveleys Masonic Hall with 44 brethren and guests in attendance. The brethren were delighted to have as their principal guest Assistant Provincial Grand Master Duncan Smith, who was accompanied by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters; Harry Cox and David Randerson, together with fellow grand officer Jim Woods. The North Fylde Group had a full contingent led by the chairman John Cross.
The history of the lodge starts at its consecration just after the Second World War. Many new lodges were consecrated in the years after the war, in fact 1,200 new lodges were formed. The move of the Ministry of Pensions to Cleveleys meant that the members of Burton Court Lodge No 3864 needed to find a new Masonic home and with the help of Thornton and Cleveleys Lodge No 3854 New Sanctuary was formed.
The master elect Delwen Hernen, or Del as he prefers to be known, is one of the army of hardworking Blackpool taxi drivers. Del owns and drives his own cab and is now in his 11th year of cabbing.
A keen clay pigeon shooter since his early 30s, he possesses a number of shotguns. Unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury and a recent operation to rectify this he has not been able to shoot for a couple of years and it looks like it will be quite a few months yet before he can shoot again. But he is as keen as mustard to get those clay pigeons back in his sights.
Del’s wife is vice chair of a local charity, ‘Kindness Counts UK’, that provides resources to schools and communities to help combat and reduce bullying, mental health issues and the anti-social behaviour that sometimes follows. When time allows Del can be found by his wife’s side supporting the charities’ events.
In an installation that showed the best qualities of Masonry ‘teamwork’ the lodge was opened by the master Chris Williams who, on completing the normal business of the lodge, opened to the third degree. This saw Assistant Provincial Grand Master Duncan Smith formally enter the lodge and he was offered the gavel of the lodge, which with a grin on his face Duncan returned to Chris to start the installation.
Chis asked for the assistance of Mark Heelis of the Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity No 6544 to act as installing senior warden, Philip Cole to act as installing junior warden and Mike Gibbons to act as installing inner guard. It was then up to Ian Winnard, Del’s proposer into Freemasonry, to present him for installation.
The gavel was then passed to Damian Davenport who opened the inner workings and installed Del with the upmost sincerity. During the inner workings the services of Mark Heelis were called on again, this time to present the working tools of an installed master.
Once the board of installed masters was closed the gavel was passed to Alan Dean to complete the installation which saw Jon Davis of Thornton and Cleveleys Lodge deliver the third degree working tools, David Boswell of Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity deliver the second degree working tools and Keith Carter deliver the first degree tools.
Completing the installation, the address to the master was given by Ian Winnard, with Alan Albiston addressing the wardens. The final address to the brethren of the lodge was given by Duncan Smith. At the conclusion of the ceremony Duncan once again rose to his feet to bring the greetings of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, Philip Gunning.
The festive board brought much joy with a well-earned repast and the new master Del was serenaded by the dulcet tones of John Darrel’s rendition of the master’s song. A raffle that raised £503, was a good omen for the start of Del’s year and with everything complete it only remained for the evening to be brought to a fitting end with the tyler’s toast delivered by Tom Egan.