Howard performs his last official duty

Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones was the principal guest at Swinton Masonic Hall to witness the installation of Terry Archer into the chair of Chorlton Lodge No 1387. Howard was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton, Provincial grand officers Stuart Shae and Tony Edden, Eccles Group Chairman Dave Walmsley, Eccles Group Vice Chairman Stuart Boyd and acting Provincial officers Dave Thomas (PrDGDC), Ken Wilson (PrGStwd), Eric Bailey (PrAGSuptWks) and Tom Fredrickson (PrGStdB).

Howard (left) congratulates Terry

Howard (left) congratulates Terry

On entering the lodge in the third degree, Howard was greeted by the worshipful master William Maddocks who offered him the gavel of the lodge. Howard thanked him for his kind greeting but swiftly returned the gavel with thanks. The proceedings of the ceremony then continued with the presentation of the master elect, Terry Archer by Arnold Braddock.

William continued by installing Terry into the chair of King Solomon, ably assisted by his installing officers. The working tools were presented by father and son, Alan Cavanagh (senior) and Alan Cavanagh (junior) and Tony Bailey.

On completion of the ceremony Alan Cavanagh (senior) presented the address to the newly installed master. Terry then invested his officers for the ensuing year. On investing the lodge almoner Richard Cupitt, group chairman Dave Walmsley outlined the duties and responsibilities of this important office and thanked Richard for continuing with this office.

The address to the stewards was given by Ken Wilson and the address to the wardens by Terry Archer. After addressing the brethren of Chorlton Lodge, Howard extended the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master to Terry and congratulated him on being installed in the master’s chair.

Dave Walmsley (left) presenting the traditional Eccles cakes to Howard.

Dave Walmsley (left) presenting the traditional Eccles cakes to Howard.

At the festive board, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, Howard thanked the members of the lodge for their kind hospitality and announced that this was to be his last official duty before his retirement from office. He went on to say how much he had enjoyed his tenure as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and how Freemasonry had played a key part of his life. He was now looking forward to spending more time with his family and travelling.

Howard said that the perception of Freemasonry in the wider community needs to be raised and that we need to speak openly about our organisation. We also need to enjoy the friendship that we share and to convey this in the public arena by dispelling the myths and secrecy.

Howard congratulated the forthcoming promotion of the lodge secretary Geoff Bleakley to that of PrGSuptWks and also a visiting brother John

Howard Jones (left) and Dave Thomas.

Howard Jones (left) and Dave Thomas.

Harrop from Stretford with Trafford Lodge No 4379 on his appointment to PrJGW and looked forward to seeing them at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at the Winter Gardens and extended an invitation to all the brethren to attend.

Finally, Howard paid a special thanks to the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Dave Thomas for his sterling work overseeing the procedures of the evening and paid special tribute to him for extending his tenure of office for another year due the loss of his close colleague and friend John Chute who sadly passed away suddenly.

The worshipful master presented three cheques to Howard totalling £500. £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 to Swinton Masonic Hall and £50 to Ecclesholme, to which Howard gratefully received on behalf of the recipients.

Pictured from left to right, are: Dave Thomas, Eric Bailey, Dave Walmsley, Howard Jones, Terry Archer, John Hutton, William Maddocks, Stuart Boyd and Ken Wilson

Pictured from left to right, are: Dave Thomas, Eric Bailey, Dave Walmsley, Howard Jones, Terry Archer, John Hutton, William Maddocks, Stuart Boyd and Ken Wilson