Brethren of Warton Lodge No 8411 were honoured to welcome the Provincial Junior Grand Warden Peter Stuart Allen as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, together with the Lancaster and District Group Vice Chairman Neil McGill. Also in attendance were grand officers John Robson, Steve Gregory, acting Provincial grand officers Steve Plevey, John Eccles, Stewart Aimson and group secretary Scott Devine.
The master elect Evan Beswick having been presented by the presenting officer Owen Madden, the installation ceremony was duly conducted with competence and sincerity by the immediate past and installing master Frank Senior, assisted in an equally superb fashion by the other officers of the lodge. It is worth noting that the master’s collar with which Evan was presented, was a collar that had been offered to the lodge by Evan in appreciation of his being installed as master of Warton Lodge for a second time. Special mention should also be made of the lodge director of ceremonies Bill Manderson, who’s intention it is to step down as DC of the lodge after many years of unstinting service and is currently training his apprentice Richard Escolme (Jnr) to take over.
The brethren who packed the delightful Kerneforde Hall in Carnforth were particularly impressed by three terrific presentations of the working tools by brethren of the lodge. The working tools of the third degree were given by Jim Stewart, those of the second degree by Fred Fox and the first degree tools were presented by Barry Marwood. The address to the new master was given by Bob Skelly, that to the wardens by Tony Dickinson and to the brethren by Owen Madden, all of which were delivered in excellent fashion. As is becoming the custom at installations, the acting Provincial grand officers in attendance were also called upon to contribute to the ritual. The address to the deacons and that to the stewards were provided in a most capable manner by Steve Plevey and Stewart Aimson respectively.
The close of the ceremony marked the cue for Peter to bring greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He felt sure that had Tony been present he would have been proud of the quality of the proceedings and would have offered his personal congratulations to the installing master and the officers who had contributed to such an excellent occasion. He would have also expressed his appreciation to Evan for taking the chair of the lodge for a second time.
Peter was delighted and impressed to receive notification of donations made to charities and good causes, during Frank Senior’s tenure as master, in excess of £4,000. These included £1,200 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, £1,001 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 to Morecambe Bay Rescue, £250 to RAFA, £500 to Warton Church, £250 to Warton Lodge widows and £500 to Carnforth Masonic Hall, together with a number of donations made to Unique Kids, Masonic sporting charities, Lancaster and District Group Walk and the Warton Church Christmas Tree appeal.
The festival of St John was attended by over 40 members and guests who enjoyed a superb banquet at the Kerneforde Hall. Following the toast to the master by Frank Senior, the master’s song was delivered in an excellent manner by Fred Fox with musical accompaniment by David Tattersall. In what has become a tradition at Warton Lodge on installation evenings, the lodge secretary Phil Newby, a skilled wood-turning craftsman, presented Evan with a ‘heavy maul’ on a wooden stand, a presentation he has made to the new master for many years. The wood Phil uses to make the maul comes from an oak tree that was cut down at Hazelwood Hall in Silverdale, a nursing home where the WM Evan used to work, but now sadly closed.
The charity coffers were further boosted by a magnificent sum of £291 raised from the raffle, together with £30 procured from the ‘masters’ swindle.
Article written by Paul Thompson. Photographs courtesy of Stewart Aimson.