Greenhill Lodge No 6260 installed Mike Pinion as master at Westhoughton Masonic Hall and as the evening wore on the brethren learnt that their new master is partial to a diet of nuts.
In attendance were a goodly number of 39 members, visitors and special guests that included Stuart Thornber, as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He was accompanied by another grand officer Len Hart, who had seconded Mike’s membership into Freemasonry.
Also, in attendance were the Chorley Group Vice Chairman Peter Allen and treasurer Mike Silver. Many of the other visiting brethren were part of the new West Lancashire rugby team who had come along to support Garry Hacking, the new lodge junior warden and charity steward. Mike Isherwood, the Leigh Group secretary, was the acting Provincial Grand Steward on what was to be his last ‘acting’ engagement of his year in office.
Mike Pinion started his Masonic career in Leigh at Atherton Lodge No 4488 and first visited Greenhill Lodge as a newly initiated brother. It was at that time he met Jim Hudspith who was to install him at this meeting. Mike, a retired draughtsman was installed as master of Atherton two years ago and after a period of time joined Greenhill, so the stage was set for him to take the master’s chair again. Outside of his Masonic activity, Mike enjoys gardening and makes full use of his National Trust membership to visit gardens and places of interest.
Jim assembled his officers and opened the lodge and with the regular business out of the way it was time to receive the honoured guests. Stuart Thornber was welcomed into the lodge room. Then it was down to the main business and the brethren witnessed the installation of Mike with sincerity by Jim with the assistance of his officers.
The working tools in the third degree presented by Craig Horrigan, in the second degree by Martin Davies and the first degree by Daniel Whitacker. All of these presentations being word perfect and superbly delivered.
Len Hart gave the address to Mike as the new master and Jack Bethel addressed the new wardens. Mike appointed and invested his team for the year which saw him swap places with Jim as chaplain. Greenhill Lodge is blessed with junior members who are climbing the ladder with Garry Hacking now occupying the junior warden’s office and Daniel Whitacker with the duties of inner guard. Brothers Horrigan and Davies have been entrusted with deacon’s wands and their roles were expertly explained by Mike Baker, lodge mentor in his address to them.
Stuart Thornber addressed the brethren of the lodge and on the completion of the ceremony, brought the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master along with his good wishes. Mike reciprocated those good wishes and greetings on behalf of the lodge.
His next pleasant duty was to offer Stuart lodge donations totalling a fantastic £2,000, with £1,000 going to Derian House in support of the new facility to support families who are able to stay over at the facility. The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity benefited with a donation of £250 and Wigan and Leigh Hospice are to receive £500. The lodge have also presented £250 the Brookfield Hall. Stuart thanked the lodge for its generosity
The generosity extended further at the festive board with Garry Hacking’s raffle which raised a further £176 for good causes. The meal and harmony were in keeping with Brookfield Hall, whose facilities received praise from Stuart during his response. He also asked the junior brethren who had presented the working tools during the ceremony to stand and receive his praise and acclamation for a job well done. He reminded the brethren of the importance of the MCF 2021 Festival and encouraged everyone to support and wear their jewel with pride. The other very important aspect of the Royal Arch was raised as he pointed out that joining the order is recommended in order to complete the Masonic journey. Stuart also promoted the Provincial website and encouraged everyone to use it as it’s a great way of keeping up with the latest news and events from around West Lancashire.
Installation meetings have that special moment when the installing master proposes a toast. Jim did just that and not only did he propose the health of his very good friend Mike but also mentioned the new master’s fondness for snacking on nuts during the many trips out he organises for the brethren.
The conclusion of this moment was of course the master’s song which was sung superbly and with sincerity by Jim Carey accompanied by Wilf Farnworth on the grand piano. Following which Mike presented Stuart with a floral gift by way of thanking him on behalf of the lodge on the conclusion of a memorable installation meeting.
Story and pictures by Allan Shields.