Members of Composite Lodge No 5382 held the first Craft meeting at the newly designated meeting place in the South Eastern Group, located at the Davenport Hotel near Stockport. The meeting was Composite Lodge’s installation at which members and visitors were honoured and delighted by the attendance of Gareth Jones, acting as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master.
Gareth was in good company being accompanied by Mike Adams (group chairman) and Brian Hayes with other group officers, Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren to witness the proclamation ceremony of Peter Jowitt being retained as master of the lodge for a second and ensuing year.
Secretary Bryan Lees commenced proceedings by reading out a special dispensation from the Provincial Office, indicating that request from the lodge members to meet at the new location had been acceded by the Provincial Grand Master. Following on from this, and in compliance with the lodge by-laws, a lodge ballot proved favourable towards the new meeting place, and accordance with the Book of Constitutions rule 141(i), a notice of motion was appended by the brethren of the lodge.
Peter initially started off the business proceedings of the evening, where in the juncture of the meeting, Alan Kennedy, director of ceremonies rose and amusingly announced: “The present incumbent wished to stay in the masters’ chair for a further year with the hope of getting it right a second time around”, to which the brethren responded with delightful amusement, Alan then proclaimed Peter as worshipful master for the ensuing year.
There were excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by John Young, then in the second degree by Brian Taylor and exceptionally in the first degree by Alan Kennedy, who by his own amusement, had an the advantage of a 24 inch gavel. Peter having installed his officers, this was followed on by Gareth, who gave an excellent address to the brethren.
On completion of the proclamation ceremony, Gareth then rose to bring the greetings, congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Gareth said that Tony was aware that Peter was taking the masters’ chair for the second time and wished him and the members of the lodge a happy and healthy year ahead.
In response, Peter rose and thanked Gareth for the good wishes and on behalf of the lodge members presented Gareth with a charitable donation, by way of a cheque for £150 made out in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, plus in addition, the lodge members have also made a further donation £150 towards South Manchester Gateway Club, which is a Mencap Charity. Gareth gave grateful thanks to the lodge on behalf of those who will eventually benefit from the very kind generosity of the members.
There was sheer camaraderie at the enjoyable festive board which continued throughout the evening and in his response to the toast to grand officers, Gareth initially passed on his own congratulations to Peter concurring with Tony Harrison’s wishes and also to the lodge members for their excellent work during the evening.
Gareth continued by congratulating those brethren who had instigated and actuated the ‘genesis of a new era’ at the new Davenport Hotel meeting place, the meeting had clearly been a success. Group secretary Peter Beswick, being the prime mover had clearly brought arrangements together and away from the Heaton Moor meeting place which had closed its doors.
Gareth also commented on the ‘faces of change’ in Freemasonry, clearly at this meeting there had been change and then he referred to the Freemasonry Today publication. He said: “Doesn’t it make you proud to be a Freemason, knowing we are associated with the changes in recent medical research where we learn that the Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund funded £200,000 towards the first ‘non-beating heart’ transplant in Europe.”
Gareth also commented on the care structure, Freemasonry in the community and the forthcoming tercentenary. Gareth also said that the new Provincial website was fully operational as well as our own South Eastern Group website which can be found at www.seastern.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk
The evening continued with Peter Beswick giving his excellent inimitable voiced masters’ song with much panache, very ably accompanied by Geoff Bowles on the piano. The evening festive board toasts and music concluded a most enjoyable meeting.