Over 60 Masons attended the installation meeting of North Shore Lodge No 7916 to witness Tony Lea install his son John Lea into the master’s chair.
The principal guest attending was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Derek Parkinson who was admitted to the lodge accompanied by group chairman John Turpin plus fellow grand officers Harry Cox, Ian Robertson, Peter Bentham, David Thomas. Acting Provincial grand officers James Finnegan and Stuart Alcock-Williams were also in attendance.
Derek graciously declined the offer of the gavel and thanked the lodge for a warm welcome.
WM Michael Shakespeare presented Derek with cheques for various well deserving causes. These were: £500 Teenage Cancer Trust, £450 Alzheimer Society, £100 Donna’s Dream House, £225 7th Blackpool Scouts, £250 Willow Garden Project, £1,100 Blue Skies Victoria Hospital Fund and £600 Blackpool Polar Bears. Derek thanked the lodge for the generous donations.
Michael Shakespeare invited the installing officers to occupy their respective positions. Robert Sims as installing senior warden, Ormerod Green as installing junior warden and Emmanuel Adeoye as installing inner guard. Finally inviting Tony Lea to occupy the master’s chair to install his son John Lea into the chair of King Solomon in a very emotionally charged ceremony.
The master elect John Lea gave his qualifications for the master’s chair and the ceremony was conducted under the experienced direction of Ron Strangwick, director of ceremonies of the lodge.
The address to the WM was given by Michael Shakespeare and Peter Wilson gave the address to the wardens. Derek Parkinson concluded the proceedings by giving the address to the brethren of North Shore lodge in his usual fine style.
The installation ceremony being completed, Derek brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulating John on being installed and saying how much a pleasure it was to witness the special occasion of him being installed by his proud father, Tony.
Derek also thanked the immediate past master Michael Shakespeare for his work and the retiring director of ceremonies Ron Strangwick for his work on the day and for all his previous work as director of ceremonies. Special thanks were reserved for the three brethren who gave the working tools. Andrew Fraser, Derek Haigh and Scott Jones.
After a drink at the bar the brethren made their way to the festive board enjoying a well earned three course meal and an occasional glass of wine.
The newly appointed director of ceremonies Michael Tax valiantly took control of the proceedings and after the toast to the grand officers, announced Derek Parkinson as the principal guest of the evening.
Derek thanked John Turpin for the kind invitation to attend the installation meeting and for the support from the grand officers attending. He also thanked the acting Provincial grand officers James Finnegan and Stuart Alcock-Brown for their attendance.
Congratulations were given to Emmanuel Adeoye on recent appointment to Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon at Provincial Grand Lodge.
Derek congratulated all the brethren involved on a wonderful ceremony, observing that it’s not every day that a father has the opportunity to install his son into the master’s chair. Something both will remember for a very long time.
Derek thanked the lodge for their generous donations during the year. In addition to the 7th Blackpool Scout Group receiving a donation, another Scout group in Blackpool has received a minibus from the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity for its use and for the use of other genuine charitable and well deserving organisations. A qualified driver would be needed and usual safety precautions applied.
He advised that other grants are available, and the brethren were urged to nominate deserving causes to their group chairman.
The good news of the day was that more people are joining Freemasonry than are leaving and brethren were urged to use the Pathway scheme when attracting new members and the ‘Solomon’ website for Masonic information suitable for inquisitive Freemasons and new prospective Freemasons.
Derek also suggested that there is no reason why lodge meetings have to retain the ‘meeting then festive board’ procedure, why not try adapting to the needs of the members? Have the meal first then conduct the business of the lodge, so enabling working members to have a meal after their working day.
After a humorous joke about golfing, Derek thanked the senior warden for the toast to the grand officers and the brethren for the way they had received it.
The IPM Michael Shakespeare proposed the toast to the WM, including in his toast numerous references to the pop group of the 60’s and 70’s, The Who.
The master’s song was sung by David Harrison and accompanied by James Coupe. David brought his own particular style to the song and the brethren joined in boisterously on the chorus. By this time there were numerous variations of the song being rendered.
John Lea explained that he is an avid fan of the group ‘The Who’ and thanked Michael for the toast and reserved special thanks for his father Tony on the way he was installed.
After announcing a varied programme of charity events during the forthcoming year John concluded his toast by presenting Derek with flowers for his wife Joan and a special bottle of unknown beverage for him to enjoy at a later date.
Festivities continued at the bar long after this writer had retired for the evening.