More than 85 Freemasons attended the installation meeting of Stanley Jackson as WM of Lodge of Lights No 148 at Warrington Masonic Hall. The installing masters, Gwilym Jones and Samuel Boardman, carried out a faultless ceremony under the direction of Eric Delamere. The principal guest was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Ray Martland, along with grand and Provincial grand officers including Dennis Rudd, Jack Forsyth, Stan Churm, David Redhead and Chris Eyres (group chairman). Provincial acting officers Peter Kenny, Chris Todd and Peter Whalley were also in attendance.
The lodge was opened by Samuel and the normal administration duties undertaken. Samuel then requested Gwilym to help by occupying the master’s chair, which he was pleased to do. The principal guest, grand and Provincial grand officers were admitted in due ceremonial style. Gwilym offered a very warm welcome to Ray and all the officers and visiting brethren to the meeting and hoped everyone would have an enjoyable evening.
Gwilym, as a matter of procedure and as a mark of respect, offered Raymond the gavel, which on this occasion he was delighted to accept and then handed it back saying he felt confident that it was in the best hands.
The master elect Stanley Jackson, was then presented to the installing master as a candidate to receive at his hand the benefit of installation. The two presenting officers were David Tabron and Dennis Wilding. Stanley was then installed into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom with all reverence and humility.
Ray congratulated Stanley on being installed in the chair of such a fine and old lodge, saying it was particularly wonderful for Stanley to occupy the chair in this special year, when the lodge is celebrating its 250th anniversary year. Ray continued by saying he was also delighted to bring the congratulations and good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Ray passed on his personal good wishes to Stanley, his officers and all the brethren, for a happy and successful year, and thanked Samuel for his work over the past 12 months.
Following the ceremony Ray was presented with cheques to be forwarded to various non-Masonic charities including Brookfield School £100, Warrington Disabled Living Centre £100, St Rocco’s Hospice £150, Francis House Children’s Hospice £150, Hope House Children’s Hospice £100, Clatterbridge £100, Macmillan Nurses £150, the Walton Lea Project £150 and Derian House Children’s Hospice £100, totalling £1,100. Along with cheques for West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity £400, Masonic Hall Lift Fund in allocated reserves £200 and Eccleshome £100, totalling £700 for Masonic charities. This resulted in a grand total of £1,800
On behalf of the recipients, Ray thanked the brethren for their magnificent donations commenting on the tremendous amount of money being spread across so many important beneficiaries. In particular he was delighted to see such generous amounts being allocated to support the Masonic hall and its workings. He went on to congratulate the brethren on their foresight in selecting the charities to support.
Ray commented on the quality of the installation and made specific mention of the work undertaken by the younger brethren regarding the presentation of the working tools, which were carried out by Peter Range, Geoff Wright and particularly Alan Ellis, being newly admitted into Freemasonry. He also commended the excellent work of the director of ceremonies Eric Delamere and the installing masters Gwilym and Samuel.
Stanley was born in the Howley part of Warrington and completed his education at the Richard Fairclough School in Warrington. In 1949 he started work at Joseph Crosfield’s Soap Works, but soon signed up for three years and later four years reserve duty with the South Lancashire Regiment, where he saw service in the Sudan and Egypt. On returning to the United Kingdom he re-joined Crosfield’s and worked in various local engineering firms until he retired in 1992.
In 1957 Stanley married Betty and was widowed in 1999. He is now surrounded by two sons, four grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren who bring him lots of happiness.
Stanley is very active and never idle. When he is not crown green bowling, fly fishing, sequence dancing or supporting Warrington Wolves he can be found in the gym. As well as all this, he and his partner Joan travel extensively in the United Kingdom and Europe enjoying coach holidays to all sorts of exciting places.
Stanley was initiated into Lodge of Lights in 1988 and has for many years been a reliable substitute when an office had to be filled at short notice. He became a member of the Elias Ashmole Chapter No 148 and was installed as first principal in 2011. He enjoyed that experience so much he decided to take the plunge and today sees him installed into the chair of King Solomon.
The guests and members enjoyed an excellent five course festive board and the normal hospitality of Lodge of Lights. The master’s song was sung by Gwilym Jones accompanied by Keith Dickinson. All the brethren toasted the master’s health and wished him a long, happy and continued Masonic career.
Ray Martland and Chris Eyres were presented with bouquets of flowers on behalf of the lodge. Ray thanked the WM and brethren for the flowers saying that his wife Ann loves flowers and would be delighted to receive them. He went on to say that he had a most enjoyable evening and hoped the lodge would have an enjoyable year in celebration of the lodge’s 250th anniversary.
The final part of the evening and just before the dignitaries retired, 85 Masons stood and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Chris Eyres, it being his 64th birthday, which he was trying to keep to himself. However, he did look a little shocked but very happy to be serenaded.