Victoria Lodge No 1345 was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning accompanied by Eccles Group Chairman Dave Walmsley and grand officers, Brian Everall, Tony Edden and Stuart Shea.
Worshipful master Nick Wilkinson welcomed Phillip into the lodge and offered him the gavel, to which Phillip thanked and kindly returned. Nick invited the following members to assist in the ceremony, installing master Brian Hart, installing senior warden Jonathan Brownson, installing junior warden David Partington and installing inner guard Robert Gorton.
Master elect Lawrence Harries was presented by his proposer Nick Wilkinson and was duly installed. The working tools of the third degree were presented by Michael Bolton, the second by Nick Wilkinson and the first by Ron Gorton.
The address to the master was given by Jim Hulbert and the address to the wardens by Brian Everall. At the conclusion of the ceremony Phillip brought the personal greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison wishing the worshipful master a happy and successful year ahead and extended warm congratulations to the installing master Brian Hart on an excellent ceremony and all the brethren who took part.
Phillip addressed all present saying it was the PrGM’s wish that above all they continue to enjoy their Freemasonry. Lawrence presented Phillip with a cheque for £1,000 in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity to which he expressed his gratitude on behalf of the ultimate beneficiaries on a most generous donation from such a small lodge.
At the festive board Phillip offered his own congratulations to Lawrence and to the installing master Brian Hart, not only on the ceremony but also on his forthcoming promotion to PPrGSuptWks. He urged the brethren to support the Provincial Grand Master and Brian at the one meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Blackpool on 7 May.
Phillip again mentioned the generous donation by the lodge members to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. He also spoke of the early history of the lodge meeting in various licenced premises in the Eccles area and emphasised the importance of looking after our Masonic Halls.
The master’s song was sung by David Ward Warren from De Tabley Lodge No 941 in Cheshire accompanied by Bernard McDonald from Arcturus Lodge No7252 from East Lancashire.