Members of Foundation Lodge No 5394 were honoured and delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton at their installation meeting where Allan Crowe was installed as WM for the ensuing year. Indeed, a second time in the chair for Allan, who during his Masonic career, last presided in the same capacity some 26 years earlier in another Province.
The meeting held at Heaton Moor was very well attended and John was accompanied by South Eastern Group Chairman Mike Adams and other grand officers, Brian Hayes and David Durling and acting Provincial Grand Steward Victor Mambu along with other distinguished Provincial grand officers, group officers and visiting brethren.
The lodge was opened in good form and with good humility by the WM and installing master Terry Howard and it was clear that this was an atmosphere of not only harmonious friendliness but exacting confidence in the work set out for the evening. Terry installed Allan in an outstanding manner, clearly proving to be fully au fait with his responsibility and worked in an exact, diligent manner supported by his officers.
Michael Smithies gave excellent presentations of the working tools to an installed master and also the tools in the third degree, followed by Director of Ceremonies Jeffrey Newbrook who presented the second degree tools and finally, Noel Grubb in his presentation of the tools in the first degree.
David Durling gave an aspiring and excellent unbroken performance of the address to the master, especially as at this juncture the director of ceremonies had, as a result of his perambulations, arrived back in his position in an unfortunate state of undress and in the course of his having to correct his attire during David’s address, there was a of hint silent humour amongst the brethren as Jeffrey appeared to re-dress to his perfected standard. This of course gave a subject for a visitors response later in the evening, which of course was ‘well received’ by the brethren, including Jeffrey.
Group vice chairman Phil Gibbs followed, this time undisturbed, with an address to the wardens and John Hutton completed the addresses in giving a splendid address to the brethren of the lodge.
The business of the installation ceremony having come to a close, John rose at the customary moment in the proceedings and immediately conveyed the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, offering his congratulations to Allan on being installed as WM, wishing him and the lodge good health to enjoy a happy and busy year ahead.
John continued by saying that had Tony been present, he would have also had great pleasure in congratulating the installing master, Terry for the excellent work that he had put into the ceremony and for his previous successful year in the chair. Turning to the officers and brethren of the lodge, John similarly complimented them on the high standard of the ceremony and of the excellent, exacting and friendly manner in which it had been conducted.
Allan then responded to John by thanking him for passing on the good wishes of the PrGM and had much pleasure in presenting a cheque on the behalf of the lodge. John having opened the envelope had much surprise in its contents, he asked Allan’s permission to reveal its content which was a cheque made out for a tremendous sum of £1,000 in favour for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
John said that this was a most generous contribution and clearly had much pleasure in congratulating the members on their generosity and thanking them on behalf of all those eventual recipients, who we may never know, for their most kind, charitable giving.
The sentiments and congratulations on the excellence of the ceremony were re-iterated by Mike Adams in his response in the first rising. He too concurred with the comments that this had been a most enjoyable meeting and similarly wished Allan and the lodge an excellent year ahead.
The evening continued with an enjoyable, friendly and jovial festive board. John, in his response, made references to recruitment, the Masonic care system and Masonic halls, John went on to say he had experienced an immensely enjoyable evening and again, on his own behalf, thanked the lodge members for their kind charitable generosity demonstrated earlier in the evening and for the hospitality which they had extended to him throughout the evening.
Soon after John’s response, group secretary Peter Beswick delivered the masters’ song in his totally unequivocal and inimitable baritone fashion, ably assisted by the brethren at Peter’s direction. Thus concluding a most enjoyable evening where the bread of friendship and the cup of cheer were in abundance.