The installation of Mike Dutton into the master’s chair of Lathom Abbey Lodge No 6286 was a spectacular event with over 40 Brethren in attendance. The ceremony was graced with the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers
Frank was accompanied by the Chairman of Ormskirk and Bootle Group Graham Chambers and his vice chairman Steve Dunn, with Provincial Grand Mentor Stewart Cranage in partial attendance due to him being the lodge tyler.
Prior to the installation, the outgoing master Philip Stansbie, thanked the brethren for their support in what had been a very difficult year for him due to his beloved Wife passing away. He said that he hoped he was leaving the lodge in a good position with several light blue brethren amongst the ranks and he sincerely thanked the brethren for their help in raising £1,400 for the Coronary Care Unit that his Wife had attended. The brethren then stood for a moments silence in her memory.
Barry Hewitt then presented master elect Mike Dutton for his installation. Bill Dutch and Mike Smith continued in their wardens’ posts whilst Bob Gibson took on the role of inner guard. The three light blue brethren then presented the explanations of the working tools. Firstly, Alex Fry presented the third degree working tools, Robbie Feeney shared his presentation of the second degree working tools with Bill Dutch and Andrew Mercer presented the first degree working tools.
The address to the deacons was well conducted by Jamie Lomax, the address to the wardens was delivered by Malcolm Sandywell, whist the address to the new master was excellently presented by Stewart Cranage, after being summoned from outside the door of the lodge.
Frank Umbers presented his address to the brethren of the lodge and at the conclusion of the ceremony Frank stood to offer his congratulations to Mike Dutton, the director of ceremonies and then especially to the three light blue brethren for their presentations of the working tools.
Cheques were then presented on behalf of the lodge with £400 each going to Parkinson’s UK, Alzheimer’s UK, Autism UK, Macmillan’s UK, Coronary Care and a further £300 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, thereby making a total of £2,300. Frank thanked the lodge brethren for their generous donations.
With the ceremony concluded, it became apparent that the secretary had received two Grand Lodge certificates for Chris Smith and Andy Mercer, which due to Covid restrictions the recipients had been waiting two years to receive, which Frank present.
As it has become custom in West Lancashire, drinks were then held to toast the new master. At the festive board, Frank reminded the brethren of the importance of the Membership Pathway which had resulted in many good men wanting to join, but to let the community know of the good works, service to the community and charitable giving that we regularly undertake.
Frank also noted that he had a long-standing connection with Lathom Lodge and remembered particularly the Ladies Weekends away when on one occasion he had been a Dolly Dealer in a game of Play Your Cards Right, shiny wig resplendent.
Needless to say, a good time was had by all assembled at the installation and also at the festive board which was evidence of an excellent lodge with a long history of tremendous charitable giving who are all enjoying their Freemasonry.