Dona Conferentes Lodge No 9392 recruits its members from care and charity teams, mainly of West Lancashire but not exclusively so. Brethren who are, or who have been almoner’s or charity stewards, are encouraged to join. Interesting and influential speakers from every part of the charity world are invited to meetings to inform the members of their work.
The lodge was consecrated on 25 September 1991 and it meets four times a year. Meetings are held on the fourth Saturdays in September, November, February and April (installation). As this is a peripatetic lodge, meetings are held at different Masonic halls within the Province; most recently Eccles, Silverdale, Garston and Fleetwood.
In danger of being mesmerised by this itinerary, it was a great pleasure for all present to welcome Provincial Grand Charity Steward Glynn Wrenall who had managed to catch up with the lodge at Fleetwood to represent the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison at the installation meeting.
The lodge business was administered with alacrity by secretary Tony Farrar and the lodge then voted North Fylde Group Charity Steward Jim Gregson as the newest member of the lodge. The WM John Robbie Porter warned Jim that promotion could be rapid in Dona Conferentes Lodge; this being borne out later when he became senior warden Jim Gregson!
Provincial Grand Tyler Frank Kennedy had a busy day ahead when, as director of ceremonies, he announced the imminent arrival of the principal guest and his entourage. Supporting Glynn Wrenall were Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Wilkinson, Past Junior Grand Deacon Peter Elmore, Chairman of the North Fylde Group Duncan Smith, along with several Provincial officers and other distinguished brethren.
Frank Kennedy then led the usual salutations, after which John Robbie Porter asked Glenn O’Brien to continue in his office as senior warden and invited Howard Emmett to act as junior warden. Also, Bob Bennett was requested to continue in his office of inner guard. The master elect Frank Kennedy was then presented by David Brumwell and perfectly placed into the chair of King Solomon by John within a board of installed masters opened and closed in ancient form.
After all of the working tools had been presented in fine style by John, the address to the master was delivered in an excellent manner by Peter Elmore. That to the wardens was delivered with finesse by Alan Whitehead and then that to the brethren was superbly delivered by Glynn Wrenall.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Glynn brought the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master to the new master. He continued by assuring the brethren that had Tony been in attendance, he would have congratulated the installing master and everyone else who contributed to this superb and interesting ceremony of installation. He also commended all of the new officers for taking positions in this important lodge.
Following the meeting the brethren retired to a fine banquet of salmon and prawns followed by chicken supreme, lemon torte, cheese and biscuits, finished off with coffee and mints. The customary toasts followed.
In responding on behalf of the grand officers, Glynn Wrenall began by congratulating Duncan Smith on his imminent promotion to Grand Lodge and hoped that he would have many years to enjoy his new rank. He continued by expressing the importance of the three ‘Rs” – recruitment, retention and retrieval. He advised that Provincial Grand Mentor Giles Berkley was very approachable and was keen to help lodge mentors with any issues that arose. He went on to urge members to support the Provincial website and group websites by providing information and pictures to the group publicity officers as this was a vital means of communication for members. It was also being used to enlighten non-Masons about our important activities.
As the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, he was well placed to advise on the subject of charity. He gave information on the great support received by West Lancashire Masons and their dependents from the four major Masonic charities. He also told of the plans to amalgamate these charities into one large unit which will ensure cost savings and efficiency improvements. He gave information on grants from these national charities and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity to outside bodies such as hospices, disaster appeals and several other recipients. Glynn concluded with an advert for the Annual Charity Stewards Dinner and cabaret to be held on 31 October at Preston Masonic Hall.
Frank Kennedy in responding to the toast to his health thanked everyone for attending, particularly those members who had taken offices for the year. He praised John Robbie Porter for an excellent ceremony of installation and looked forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting of the lodge to be held at Leyland Masonic Hall on Saturday 26 September 2015.