The installation meeting of Preston Guild Lodge No 4408 saw David Parker install Kurt Ingleson into the master’s chair. On this occasion, the lodge members were honoured by the presence of Philip Gunning DPrGM, accompanied by David Winder APrGM, grand officer Ian Greenwood and Preston Group Chairman Steve Bolton. They were supported by Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies David Thomas and Mike Cowsley and Bill Nelson as acting rank officers.
Those attending the meeting witnessed an excellent ceremony as Kurt was duly installed as the 93rd master of the lodge. The installing master was ably assisted by the DC Brian Rigby and other members of the lodge. At the start of the ceremony, Kurt was presented to the installing master by Brian Rigby.
The working tools of the third degree were presented by Malcolm Berry, the second degree by Tim Horton and first degree by Phil Breckall, all of whom gave first class presentations. The explanation to the senior warden of his duties was given by Eddie Taylor and those to the junior warden by Ian Greenwood who continued by addressing both wardens. The address to the incoming DC Cliff Jones, was given by his predecessor Brian Rigby, with the combined address to both deacons given by Phil Cragg. John Baron concluded the officers’ addresses with the address to the lodge stewards.
Following the presentation of the lodge warrant and the book of constitutions, the address to the master was delivered in an excellent and measured manner by Richard James with the final address, that to the brethren of the lodge, presented by the principal guest Philip Gunning.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, five cheques totalling £2,100 were presented as follows: Integrate (Chorley), an organisation that provides support for adults and teenagers who have learning disabilities – £500; The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity – £500; George Barton Motor Neuron Disease Research Trust – £500; North West Blood Bikes, who provide a free, but professional voluntary out of hours urgent transport service to local NHS hospitals – £300, Friends of Mulanje Orphans, a community based orphan care programme supporting over 4,500 children through a network of 14 centres in Mulanje district of Malawi – £300. A donation of £500 was also passed to the lodge centenary charity fund.
Philip, in accepting the cheques, thanked the lodge members for their generosity before bringing the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison on what had been a first class ceremony. He praised the contribution of the working tools team and the work of the installing master, David Parker, including his excellent delivery of the presentation of the Hall Stone jewel. He closed by congratulating all those members of the lodge who had a part to play in the ceremony.
Concluding the proceedings, David was presented with his past master’s jewel by his father, also called David, saying this was a proud moment for him as he had had the privilege of initiating his son and in due course, installing him into the chair of the lodge and now presenting him with his past master’s jewel.
Later in the evening, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, Philip commented that he was particularly pleased to have the company of David Winder, Ian Greenwood and Steve Bolton. He went on to bring congratulations on his own behalf, for what had been a delightful ceremony. He again commended the working tools team for the excellence of their delivery and in particular, David Parker for his presentation of the Hall Stone jewel.
Philip continued by quoting the words of Dr Oliver, “Be careful who you recommend as a candidate for initiation. If you have a good lodge keep it select. Great numbers are not always beneficial.” He stressed the importance of making sure potential candidates for initiation are properly vetted. He thanked the lodge for the cheques donated at the conclusion of the installation ceremony remarking that it was an exceptional amount, reminding brethren that the ultimate beneficiaries of these donations are people we will never know.
Whilst discussing charity, Philip continued by informing the brethren that, in the last seven years, Freemasonry had donated sums totalling £20,000,000 to non-Masonic charities. By way of example, he went on to cite a few of the recipients of donations as part of emergency aid associated with a number of international disasters. Philip concluded his response by thanking the deputy DC David Thomas and acting officers, Mike Cowsley and Bill Nelson for their support and the members of the lodge for the warm welcome he had received during his visit.
The proceedings were further enhanced by a delightful rendition of the master’s song given by Ray Beech accompanied by Howard Linaker on the piano. At the conclusion of the occasion, the WM had the pleasure of presenting Philip with a bouquet of flowers for his wife, Anne, hoping that this would serve as some compensation for the many evenings he is away on Masonic duties.