The installation meeting at Swinton Lodge No 6100 proved to be an emotional event for master elect James Allison. James was following in his father’s footsteps some 18 years later since his father Eric occupied the chair of Swinton Lodge.
The principal guest on this occasion was Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton, supported by the Chairman of the Eccles Group Dave Walmsley and group vice chairman Stuart Boyd along with acting officers Craig Sutton PrAGDC and Stephen Rhodes PrGStwd. Also present were grand officers Tony Edden, Peter Roberts and Alec Neilson. Dave Walmsley presented John with the traditional Eccles cakes in appreciation of his attendance.
On entering the lodge in the third degree, John was welcomed by worshipful master Allan Roberts who swiftly offered the gavel to John who promptly returned it with the assertion that the lodge was already in very capable hands.
The master elect was presented to the installing master Allan Roberts by Neil Pearson. The installation ceremony continued up to the point of placing the new master into the chair of King Solomon. The installing master made his way to the lodge entrance to escort inner guard Eric Allison to the pedestal. Eric, who is the father of master elect James and has vision impairment, was keen to place his son into the chair which he duly did at an emotional point in the proceedings.
The working tools of all three degrees were presented by Neil Pearson. The address to the worshipful master was given by Ray Lucas. The address to the wardens was delivered by Peter Roberts and that to the deacons by Norman Wilkinson.
On conclusion of the ceremony John congratulated James on reaching the chair of King Solomon and extended the greetings and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master. He also congratulated installing master Allan Roberts and the officers who took part in the ceremony for their fine work under the watchful eye of director of ceremonies Tony Edden. At this point newly installed master James, on behalf of the lodge, presented John with a cheque in the sum of £200 payable to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival to which John gratefully received.
The festive board continued with great camaraderie accompanied with a wonderful meal. John responded to the toast to the grand officers and expressed his gratitude for the hospitality shown to him and that he had thoroughly enjoyed the evening. He extended his own best wishes for the forthcoming year and that he hoped that the lodge would attract new members to this long established lodge. John also spoke of the many different aspects of the change process in Freemasonry where the Province of West Lancashire was having significant influence and praised David Winder for his exceptional leadership of the preparations for the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival.
Story and photographs by Tom Fredrickson.