Jonathan Heaton, Provincial Junior Grand Warden, was delighted to attend Hindley Masonic Hall as the principal guest and representative of the Provincial Grand Master, at the installation ceremony of Prodesse Lodge No 8678. Jonathan was accompanied by grand officer Brian Fairhurst, supported by acting Provincial officers John Bimpson, Peter Ridehalgh, Alan Johnston and Gary Fisher, with further support added by group chairman Geoffrey Porter. All were there to witness the installation of Jay Riley, eight years a member of the lodge and having served in all the floor offices since his initiation.
The worshipful master Jack Lyon was pleased to receive the representative of the Provincial Grand Master on his visit to the Wigan group from the neighbouring Leigh group. It was by kind invitation of the group chairman that Jonathan found himself at Hindley, having expressed a desire to return to Prodesse Lodge following a very enjoyable visit some years ago. His entrance into the lodge was preceded by an errand of mercy. Sat inside the lodge was Mark Holloway, who will be familiar to all from his years of service as Provincial publicity officer, feeling rather pleased with himself following news of his promotion to PPrSGW, when he discovered he was improperly dressed, having left his gauntlets in the adjacent room. To the rescue came DC Ken Wilson, who could subtly pass them over when he led in the procession. Much to Mark’s embarrassment, and everyone else’s amusement, in came Ken, and announced to the lodge what he was doing and why, and marched across to hand over the offending items.
Ken went on to lead a delightful ceremony, not only enhanced by Jack’s effort and performance but also by the assistance of members of the lodge. It was a labour of love for Jack as he had proposed the new master, Jay into Masonry. Jay had moved into the area and got friendly with Jack 12 years ago in the local Conservative club. Conversation turned to Masonry, as 37 years ago, Jay’s parent’s business was used for the local Masons to have their festive boards, and of course the rest is now history.
The new master was presented by Ken Wilson, with Jack Lyon giving the address to his successor, while Jonathan Heaton performed his duty well in delivering the address to the brethren. The working tools were presented in excellent fashion, by Ken Wilson and junior members of the lodge, Alex Goulden and Jonathan Banks, who did a splendid job.
On congratulating the WM, installing master and all the officers who took part, Jonathan was delighted to bring the greetings of the RW Provincial Grand Master whom he said would have been really impressed by the work carried out. He was also pleased to receive charitable donations to the total sum of £900; in favour of West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity £300, Masonic Charitable Foundation £300 and Hindley Masonic Hall £300, which is a commendable effort from such a small lodge.
A fine festive board followed in the normal friendly and lively atmosphere. One could be forgiven for thinking that the clock had been turned back when the WM proposed a toast to the Provincial Grand Master “Peter John Hosker”, but the old, no, very old, toast list given by mistake was swiftly replaced with the correct one. In response to toast number five, Jonathan brought his own personal greetings and added his own congratulations to Jay on taking the chair, and Jack for the way he installed him. He also paid tribute to everyone who took part, particularly the junior brethren who had presented the working tools.
Nigel Dunlop sang the ‘Master’s song’, accompanied by Karl Greenall. The lodge charity efforts started heading in the right direction when the raffle for a bottle of whisky raised £233.
Jay now lives locally in Hindley, and is married to Lyndsey with a young son, Thomas. He is a manager for W H Smith, looking after stores at airports and railway stations. He has no need to browse the shelves, though, as it’s a little blue book for Jay for the rest of the year!
Article written by Barry Dickinson.