First time in the chair for Craig

Lodge of Harmony No 220, has over its many years, developed a rich history of memorable evenings, adding to that history will no doubt be the recent installation of Craig Robinson. The meeting, which took place at Garston Masonic Hall, was managed by lodge director of ceremonies Mark Mellor, with installing master Gary Mason, delivering an installation ceremony of true merit.

Geoffrey Porter (left) offers his congratulations to Craig Robinson

Geoffrey Porter (left) offers his congratulations to Craig Robinson

The meeting was opened by Gary and the officers of the lodge and as is customary, the regular business was conducted, which pleasingly included the ballot for a new initiate. Mark then announced that Geoffrey Porter, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, sought admission. Geoffrey, accompanied by fellow grand officer Phillip Taylor, Garston Group Chairman John Murphy, Provincial Senior Grand Deacon Eric Bailey and past Provincial grand officers, were all duly admitted and welcomed by Gary.

With Ken Wagner undertaking the duties of senior warden, Wyn Jones those of junior warden and Wally James occupying the position of inner guard, the lodge was now ready to install Craig into the chair of King Solomon. Presenting officers Ken Bradley and Jim Corcoran, duly presented Craig, whereupon Gary delivered the ceremony, including the presentation of the working tools in each degree, with consummate ease and a smile.

In appointing the officers for the ensuing year, it was particularly pleasing to see five ‘light blues’ invested by Craig to their respective offices of senior deacon, IG and stewards, ensuring the progression not just of the ‘younger’ brethren, but also the lodge.

Ken Bradley then delivered a superb address to the newly installed master, with Wyn Jones producing an equally fine address to the wardens. The honour then fell upon Geoffrey to deliver the address to the brethren and his presentation was of corresponding merit, a fitting conclusion to the ceremony.

Gary Mason (left) receives a well earned thank you from Craig Robinson

Gary Mason (left) receives a well earned thank you from Craig Robinson

This of course was Geoffrey’s opportunity to offer the congratulations of Tony Harrison, whom he said, had expressed his best wishes to Craig on achieving the office of WM for the first time. He continued by saying that had he been present, he had no doubt that Tony would have also offered his congratulations to Gary and Mark for their work this evening, together with his desire that we all continue to enjoy both our Freemasonry and good health.

It was now Craig’s pleasant duty on behalf of the lodge, to present Geoffrey with a cheque in the sum of £1500, in support of the MCF 2021 Festival. In accepting the cheque and on behalf of those who would benefit, Geoffrey thanked the brethren for such a magnificent contribution to charity.

With the conclusion of the ceremony, the brethren rose as Geoffrey and the other distinguished guests retired to enable the lodge to conduct the remaining business of the evening.

As is our West Lancashire custom, the brethren gathered to toast the newly installed WM and Geoffrey took the opportunity to offer his own congratulations to Craig. He continued by congratulating Gary, Mark and the lodge secretary Tom Jones, for all their hard work in ensuring a successful evening. He also expressed his thanks to all who had, on only this his second visit to Garston, given him such a warm welcome.

The brethren then assembled in the hall dining room, where an enjoyable festive board added further to the evening’s celebrations. In his response to the toast to grand officers, Geoffrey said that the last time he had visited Garston was many years ago and that he was most impressed with the developments made in the Masonic hall. He continued by thanking the hall chairman and the directors for all their hard work in making the building such a warm and welcoming place in which to meet and enjoy our Freemasonry.

A ‘Chorley raffle’ was held, raising the magnificent sum of £138, which the lodge brethren donated to the hall development fund, it was gratefully received by the hall chairman  Mal Yates.

Pictured from left to right, are Eric Bailey, Phillip Taylor, Geoffrey, Craig, John Murphy and Gary Mason.

Pictured from left to right, are Eric Bailey, Phillip Taylor, Geoffrey Porter, Craig Robinson, John Murphy and Gary Mason.