If there’s one thing that can be guaranteed at Quadrant Lodge No 8044, it’s excellent ritual. The discerning visitor to the lodge will immediately note the crispness of the opening ceremony and the slick floor work, and that’s before David Kenworthy, the secretary, deals with the normal business. This he did with alacrity and in no time at all the lodge was ready to receive the principal guest for the installation meeting.
Representing the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews on this occasion was Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden David Edwards. David, who is shortly to be promoted to the acting rank of Assistant Grand Registrar, was supported by the South Fylde Group Chairman John Robbie Porter. Also in attendance were Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Steven Reid and grand officers Stuart Thornber, John Lee and Roger Perry; accompanied on this occasion by Paul Smedley, acting Provincial Grand Senior Deacon. Grand officer Ian Ward was also in attendance, acting as the inner guard.
Once the customary welcome had been shown to David Edwards and his entourage, the installing officers were appointed and conducted to their places by director of ceremonies, David Lawn. Ian Ward was the installing senior warden, Abdul Benashour was the junior warden and Simon Walker the inner guard. Kevin Frost, the master elect, was then presented by Michael Wenman. The WM, Jason Emsley, then delivered his opening address, after which the secretary read the ancient charges and regulations, to all of which Kevin gave his assent.
With the ceremony running smoothly, Kevin then approached the master’s pedestal where he recited his obligation with calm confidence. After which he was installed into the chair of King Solomon by Jason with the assistance of the other installed masters present. Following this the perambulations, salutations and greetings ensued and fine explanations of the working tools were delivered by Jamie King in the third degree, John Bainbridge in the second degree and Simon Jones in the first degree.
The new WM then proceeded to appoint and invest his officers in the strict Emulation working fashion. That is to say that the newly installed master delivered all of the addresses to his new officers and an excellent job he made of it. This was followed by a heartfelt address to the master by Michael Wenman. The address to the wardens was delivered by Chris Perfect, a stalwart of the Fylde Group Lodge of Instruction No 65 and the excellence again showed. Then the address to the brethren of Quadrant Lodge was delivered by David Edwards in a composed and polished manner.
David was again quickly on his feet to bring greetings from the Provincial Grand Master during which he lavished praise on everyone involved in the ceremony. David described it as Emulation working at its best, particularly noting that all of the long closings had been done faultlessly. He then received cheques and information concerning the sum of £3,000 donated to the following charities: West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity £1,000, Fylde Food Bank £600, Blackpool Carers Centre £330, Blue Skies £320, North West Air Ambulance £250, Brian House £250 and Rosemere Cancer Foundation £250. David thanked the lodge for this ‘fabulous sum’ which he was sure would make a great difference to the lives of the beneficiaries.
The final business was soon despatched and the brethren retired to the festive board and enjoyed a varied four-course meal to suit every taste, such is the accomplished service provided by Lee Munro and his Masonic Catering team. After the meal the customary toasts were proposed. In response to the toast to the Provincial grand officers David thanked the grand officers for their support, particularly the group chairman John Robbie Porter. He also thanked Steve Jelley, Chairman of the Blackpool Group for his support. He went on to congratulate Roger Perry and John Hayfield on their recent celebration of 50 years as Freemasons. Then he congratulated Jason Emsley and the other lodge members on their wonderful ritual and the fine style in which they had delivered so much excellent Emulation working.
David also spoke at length about moves to make a greater connection between Craft and Royal Arch Masonry and cited the formation of the joint cabinet of the two Orders now being pursued at Provincial level. He also spoke of the seven year strategy and its aims, particularly in the importance of retention as a model for increasing membership but also the importance of recognising talent over rank in carrying Freemasonry forward.
The toast to the new WM was proposed by Jason Emsley in which he spoke of the different chapters of Kevin’s career in the aerospace industry. More importantly, however, of his undying love of motor sports, mainly in respect of motorbikes, particularly of his own machine. Jason went on to relate the details of Kevin’s Masonic career since his initiation in 2014 into Quadrant Lodge. He spoke of Kevin’s love of his family, especially his four grandchildren who range in age from four to 16. Jason also presented a table card signed by all those present, a copy of the installation working in preparation for next year and a personal gift of a record of Kevin’s Masonic career so far. This toast was followed by Peter Baldwin singing the master’s song to the accompaniment of Phil Bolton.
In response to Jason’s toast, Kevin thanked all of the lodge officers and members who had made it an outstanding occasion which would last long in his memory. He spoke of the style, aplomb and precise delivery of every aspect of the installation ceremony. He also paid tribute to those who had worked tirelessly in the background to ensure the success of the event, particularly the hall stewards John and Pam Nicholls, Lee Munro and his catering team, David Kenworthy and Tony Hankinson for their administration skills and David Lawn, the long-suffering director of ceremonies. He saved his special thanks until last for his friend and proposer into Masonry, Michael Wenman, who had presented him for installation and delivered the address to the WM.
Kevin concluded his response by presenting David Edwards with a fine bottle of single malt whisky, which David received with thanks, stating that he had enjoyed a brilliant day of excellent Masonry. The evening was then closed by Nick Hudson, who proposed the tyler’s toast.