Mike Cosgrove, a member of Furness and South Lakeland Group’s Cavendish (light blues) Club has been installed into the chair of King Solomon at Barrow Lodge No 3928. Although Mike was following Joe Crabtree into the chair, at Joe’s request, Mick Lacey MBE did the honours as installing master.
Joe has had a very busy year in office, having been a prolific visitor in the Furness and South Lakeland Group, as well as further afield in the Province. Along with his wife Dot, Joe helps to support St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston through the sale of 100s of second-hand books, kindly donated by fellow Masons and the general public.
The spectacle of the installation was enjoyed by 71 brethren in total, crammed in to the Fairfield Chapter Room due to the damage to Fairfield’s Lodge Room ceiling.
Spirits however remained undampened and the ceremony was carried out in an atmosphere of dignity and good humour, a real feast of well delivered ritual, witnessed by Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Barrie Crossley, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews.
Bolstering the high profile of the event were grand officers Rowley Saunders, Dave Kellet John Quiggin and Barry Fitzgerald; the latter enjoying a ‘night off’ from his duties as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies but lending a hand where needed. Also in the company were members of the Furness and South Lakeland Group executive, including chairman Alan Pattinson vice chairman Chris Gray and secretary Tony Jackson, also attending in his capacity as Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. Tony was accompanied by Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Mort Richardson and Provincial Grand Steward Phil Renney.
Director of ceremonies Carl McWhan, had clearly taken great pains to plan and rehearse the ceremonial, special care being needed due to the much smaller floor space inside the Chapter Room. Carl was on duty as DC for the last time, after five years in role, handing over control once the lodge officers were invested. He was thanked unequivocally by Barrie Crossley for both his contributions on the day and in the preceding years. Taking over the helm was former assistant director of ceremonies David Ingham, who helmed the rest of the ceremony in fine style.
The working tools of an installed master were presented and explained with his customary sincerity and accuracy by Tony Cassells. Carl McWhan, Ian Thompson (a member of Hartington Lodge No 1021 and regular super-sub) and Paul Walker, a master Mason, all light blue’s, presented and explained the working tools of the master Mason, fellow craft and entered apprentice degrees respectively, each with their own style and all in a most excellent manner. Although the room was packed, the addresses to the master given by Tony Cassells, to the wardens by John Quiggin, the brethren of the lodge by Barrie Crossley and the stewards by Phil Renney, were well received with much approbation.
Barrie Crossley rose to congratulate newly installed WM, Mike Cosgrove, his IPM Joe Crabtree and installing master Mick Lacey. He walked the full length of the room to heap praise on Paul Walker for his excellent contribution. Once he had thanked all who took part in the ceremonial of the afternoon, the new WM presented Barrie with a £40 donation to the Furness and South Lakeland Group Boxing night, as well as a further £360 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
Alms collected during the meeting amounted to £137.30 for Masonic charities and the raffle at the festive banquet realised a magnificent £489 for the junior warden’s fund and Masonic charities. The traditional visiting masters’ sweep made another £22. To round off the festivities, John Quiggin gave an excellent and well appreciated rendition, a cappella, of the Master’s Song.