John Dutchman-Smith was installed as master in a grand style, at the installation meeting of Anderton Lodge No 8470. The lodge was honoured by the presence of Paul Hesketh. who was the principal guest representing the Provincial Grand Master.
Paul and John were amongst a galaxy of 25 grand officers attending at both the installation meeting and festive board, which also included the Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones, no less than four Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters as well as the Chorley Group Chairman, Peter Lockett.
This is the second-time that John has been the WM of Anderton Lodge, and it was 22 years to the day after his first being installed on the 20 February 1995.
After the Lodge was opened John was presented as the master elect by his lifelong friend and proposer into Freemasonry, John Robson. The outgoing WM James Waring, ably assisted by the officers of the lodge proceeded to install John as master for the ensuing year, in a ceremony that was not only very confidently conducted but very sincerely delivered.
The working tools of a master Mason were presented by John Eckersley, those of the fellowcraft from Stephen Howarth and finally the entered apprentice tools were presented by Jason Stokes. It was clear that much work and practice had been put in by the brethren as the presentations of the tools were faultless.
Following the usual investiture of the lodge officers for the coming year, the address to the newly installed master was delivered by Frank Wilkinson, (John’s seconder into Freemasonry) with David Kavanagh addressing the wardens and Paul Hesketh addressing the brethren of the lodge.
On conclusion of the ceremony, Paul Hesketh brought the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated John on attaining the chair, along with all the brethren who had taken part in what he described as a very sincere ceremony. He also made special mention of the director of ceremonies, Andrew Ashton for the hard work he must have put into making it such a great and enjoyable ceremony to watch and be part of.
Paul was then presented with a cheque, to the value of £1,000 as a donation to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and he went on to thank the brethren sincerely, on behalf of the final recipients of the donated funds, for their generosity.
With over 90 Brethren dining, the Festive Board was truly wonderful with great food and fellowship in a warm and friendly atmosphere throughout the evening.
The toast to the new master was proposed in a very sincere and heartfelt manner by David Kavanagh, a long-standing friend of the WM and also the brother who installed John into the chair of Anderton Lodge for the first time, back in 1995.
Andrew Wiltshire sang the ‘Master’s song’, accompanied by Ray Dainton on the piano and the lodge charity efforts started to grow again in earnest when the raffle raised an impressive £400.
The evening ended with John’s final pleasant duty, that of presenting Paul with a floral gift for him to pass on to his good lady.