The brethren of West Lancashire Century Lodge No 2349 were extremely honoured to have Philip Gunning, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, in attendance as its principal guest at its annual installation ceremony.
Master elect Ian Fell, who was born in Kendal, Westmorland, in 1958 and attended Kendal Catering College, moved to Blackpool in 1978 and started working in his career in hospitality at the town’s Doric Hotel. After a time working away for Thwaite’s Brewery, Ian returned to management.
In 2011, Ian changed career and started working in care work, eventually joining Blackpool Victoria Hospital working on the Haematology Ward E, caring for patients and dealing with blood cancer and related medical conditions. In Ian’s words: “It was the most rewarding job experience I’ve had in my entire career.” Ian unfortunately had to retire in August due to the effects of long COVID.
Ian was initiated into West Lancashire Century Lodge in 2015. Having worked his way up through all the offices in the lodge he is looking forward to his year as WM. With the support of his partner Karen, Ian had the ambition of visiting every lodge on the Fylde Coast. It is not hard to guess that one of the charities Ian will be supporting is Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blue Skies Appeal and Haematology Unit. In Ian’s spare time he likes to support Arsenal Football Club and watching cricket.
Supporting Philip were not one, but two, Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Duncan Smith and Barry Jameson, together with fellow grand officers Jim Woods and John Lee and the North Fylde Group Chairman John Cross. To complete the line-up, there were an impressive number of acting Provincial Grand officers, Russell Forsyth, John Bainbridge, Geoff Diggles, Robert Marsden, Gavin Egan and Provincial Deputy Director of Ceremonies Ryan Modlin.
Adam Turner, the outgoing WM completed his year in office in fine style by opening the lodge and welcoming all the guests to the installation before swiftly moving through the summons agenda. Once Philip Gunning was formally welcomed Adam moved to the main event of the evening, the installation.
He asked for the assistance of Dex Wilde and Paul Cumming to act as installing officers. The master elect, Ian Fell, was presented by Roy Morden. Once Ian had completed his obligation and those below the rank of an installed master had left the lodge room, Adam opened the board of installed masters and installed Ian into the chair of the lodge with all due reverence.
The working tools were presented by Steve Willingham, Walter Pass and Mathew Ashworth. The address to the newly installed master was made by Steve Willingham, whilst the address to the wardens was in the hands of Shaun Haynes. The address to the deacons was delivered by Russell Forsyth that to the stewards was done by Geoff Diggles, which left the final address to the brethren of the lodge to Philip Gunning.
On completion of the installation Philip rose to bring the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and extend his congratulations to all those who played a part in such a successful installation.
For his first job, Ian had pleasure of presenting the list of charity donations given over Adam’s tenure as master, which were £350 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 to Blackpool Station R.N.L.I., £250 to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blue Skies Appeal, £250 to Cleveleys Masonic Hall, £100 to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal, £150 to Food Bank Appeal, £650 to Blackpool Carers, £150 to the Friends of the Grand Theatre and £124 to MIND.
Following the completion of what was a memorable installation, the brethren moved to the dining room where a lively and entertaining festive board ensued during which a raffle raised £400. The Master’s Song was rendered by Roy Morden to make a perfect end to the evening.