Members and visitors alike of Davyhulme Lodge No 3715 were delighted to welcome Gareth Jones as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master to their installation meeting at Urmston Masonic Hall where the WM and installing master, Howard Carr was to install Darren Gregory for the ensuing year.
Howard entered into Freemasonry through the group membership scheme and had been elevated to be the first of those candidates, in the South Eastern Group since the schemes’ inception, not only to have served a year as WM but moreover, to be the first to install a successor.
Having opened the lodge and efficiently expedited its business up to the point where lodge director of ceremonies, Albert Braithwaite retired and re-entered with a small in number, but very grand retinue of grand officers, where Gareth Jones was accompanied by Mike Adams (group chairman) and Brian Hayes.
The installation ceremony commenced in which Howard excelled in a very commanding fashion to install Darren Gregory in a very definitive and exacting manner. Darren having been installed, there were then presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Graham Bailey, followed by the working tools of the second degree by Bill Kirk and finally those in the first degree by Keith Lewis. An excellent address to the brethren was given by Tom Sharp, a senior figure of Davyhulme Lodge, who had himself previously presided in the masters’ chair in 1963, then more recently in 2013 having installed Howard as master.
On completion of the ceremony, Gareth rose to convey to Darren and members of the lodge, the congratulations and good wishes for a happy and healthy year ahead from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Gareth said that if Tony had been present, he felt sure he would have marvelled at the skill and breadth of the ceremony and congratulated each of those individuals of the lodge for their excellent work clearly illustrated throughout the meeting.
In response, Darren rose to thank Gareth for those kind wishes and immediately presented a donation to Gareth by way of cheque for the sum of £100 being made in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. Gareth responded to the presentation by thanking the lodge members on behalf of the charity and moreover, on behalf of those who we may never know who will ultimately benefit from the kind generosity of the members of the lodge.
The first rising brought greetings from Mike Adams and on behalf of the grand officers Mike similarly congratulated Darren on his forthcoming year as master and more particularly of, as he said, an old and distinguished lodge. Mike welcomed Darren as a new ruler of the Craft and similarly wished all the members of the lodge a very happy and healthy year, he hoped that Darren would enjoy his year and thanked the members of the lodge for their work to which he expressed pleasure on behalf of the grand officers in being present.
The business of the lodge having closed, it was followed by an excellent festive board which continued into the evening where Gareth offered his own congratulations to the lodge and expressed his pleasure to be in attendance at the installation which was an absolute delight to experience and in particular on a personal note, the warm welcome he had received. The final toast of the evening having been made, it concluded an enjoyable meeting.