Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Howard Jones attended his last installation meeting of King’s Lodge No 3101 as DPrGM. Howard has been a member of King’s for many years and has served as its WM on two occasions, the first in 1983 and the second time in 1995. The members of the lodge applied for a dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master so that Howard could attend the meeting just before he retires as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
Howard was accompanied by Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, Bryan Henshaw, who was the principle guest at the meeting held in Litherland Masonic Hall. Howard and Bryan were accompanied by eight grand officers and several acting Provincial Grand Officers who were attending the meeting to witness the installation of Gary Thornhill into the chair of King’s Lodge.
On entering the lodge in the third degree, Howard was greeted by the worshipful master Colin Robinson who offered him the gavel of the lodge, saying: “I offer you the gavel of the lodge for the last time.” Howard thanked him Colin for his kind greeting but swiftly returned the gavel with thanks, saying: “I would not like to waste the time you have spent learning the ritual so I will hand the gavel back to you, although I hope it will not be the last time I hold this gavel!” The proceedings of the ceremony then continued with the presentation of the master elect by Haldene Eccles and Tom Ryan.
Colin continued by installing Gary into the chair of King Solomon, ably assisted by his installing officers. Colin presented the working tools in all three degrees and contented himself that Gary was well acquainted with them both operatively and speculatively.
Gary then invested his officers for the ensuing year. Prior to the completion of the ceremony, Howard delivered the address to the newly installed master. He then escorted Ken Bradley the lodge director of ceremonies to the secretaries table where Ken gave the address to the Wardens.
Bryan gave the address to the brethren of King’s Lodge. At the end of the installation Bryn gave greetings on behalf of the PrGM to Gary. He also congratulated Colin for his work in installing Gary as WM. Prior to taking his seat Gary presented Bryan with two cheques totalling £750 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity,
At the festive board, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, Bryan extended his own congratulations to Gary and congratulated him on being installed in the master’s chair for the third time.
He also said: “I am honoured to be accompanied by so many grand officers, especially Howard who is on his last official duty before his retirement from office at PrGL in Blackpool.”
Bryan thanked the members of the lodge for their kind hospitality. He then spoke about the key messages the PrGM wanted his representatives to discuss – 3Rs: recruitment, retrieval and retention, the WLFC, The Royal Arch, the tercentenary, Masonic halls and publicity and PR.
At the end of the evening Gary presented Howard with a card from the brethren of King’s Lodge, thanking him for his work as DPrGM and a bottle of fine wine and some chocolates for Howard’s wife Pat. This was followed by a rousing rendition of ‘He’s a jolly good fellow’ and prolonged acclamation for Howard.