Brethren of Anderton Lodge No 8470 and their many guests celebrated the installation of Ian Higham into the chair of King Solomon for what is to be the lodge’s 50th year since its consecration in 1973.
Ian is one of the longest-standing members of the lodge, having being initiated into Freemasonry in Anderton Lodge in December 1987, and he volunteered to undertake the duty of WM in the lodge’s golden year and to lead a full season of celebration.
What is notable is that Ian was installed as master in 1997, on the occasion of Anderton Lodge’s 25 years milestone and again takes up the position for its 50 years anniversary. And of course, the lodge members are all looking forward to him doing the same for the 75 years celebration!
The night was a joyous festivity with a great attendance of grand officers, demonstrating the high regard in which Ian is held, with Anderton Lodge further honoured to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master Peter Lockett accompanied by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Gary Smith and group chairman Peter Allen. There was also an ‘international’ flavour to the evening with the Past Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East, John Samuel Miller attending in the delightfully colourful formal dress of his Province.
The ceremony was worked in excellent form by director of ceremonies Ian Banks with Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Gary Smith working the necessary ritual impeccably throughout the entire evening.
Fine contributions were made to the ceremony by the brethren of Anderton Lodge. Particularly pleasing was the number of ‘light blue’ brethren taking office and working pieces during the ceremony, with Jason Halstead moralising the third degree working tools, Serdar Pazarlioglu those of the second degree and Damian Brindle delivering his first piece of ritual with the first degree working tools.
But the high point of the evening without doubt was the contribution made by brethren with a close connection and history to Ian. It made the evening far more special for its sheer personal and brotherly feel.
Ian was presented for installation by David Kavanagh, who seconded Ian’s proposal into Freemasonry. Further involvement in the evening was delivered by John Robson, giving the address to the master, this being particularly poignant with it being John who proposed Ian into the craft back in 1987.
A sincere and warm response was given by Peter Lockett following the conclusion of the ceremony, noting the personal nature of the workings and the contributions from brethren with such a close personal connection to Ian.
Following the closure of the meeting, the brethren retired to a wonderful festive board where fine food, good company and hearty chat was enjoyed by all, culminating in a heartfelt and touching delivery from John Dutchman-Smith, again reflecting the long-standing brotherly love that has been enjoyed over the years and still permeates this fine lodge.
As this was also a ladies to dine night, Ian took the time to visit the ladies dining with his wife Valerie, ensuring that they were having a wonderful time, which of course they were.
The evening could not have been more enjoyable. The lodge demonstrated that it has strong bonds. The long-standing brethren very clearly demonstrating the strong and fine foundation upon which it has been built and their commitment and application to being involved in that very future.
If ever any man considered joining Freemasonry, then there is not a finer advertisement than within the Chorley and Leyland Group, demonstrated on evening by the brethren of Anderton Lodge.