Malcolm Gregson a retired TV Engineer, who was initiated into Perfect Ashlar Lodge No 5246 in 1983, has been installed into the chair of King Solomon for the second time at the installation meeting at Southport Masonic Hall.
After the opening of the lodge by WM Tom Bradfield-Kay and the general business being completed, DC John Dixon informed Tom that Robert Wright, on one of his first official visits as a representative of the Provincial Grand Master, was outside the lodge and seeked admission. Tom responded that the lodge would be very happy to receive him. Robert was then admitted accompanied by Bryan Henshaw, Joe Brine and Alan Southworth. Also in attendance was Southport Group Chairman Colin Jenkins, who is a member of the lodge and Geoff Jackson group secretary.
Following the opening the lodge in the second degree, master elect Malcolm was then presented to Tom by Brian Mason and Roy Bell and asked the usual questions.
After these observations and qualifications had been confirmed by Malcolm, Tom then asked Ken Greaves to occupy the inner guard’s position, Alan Foster the chair of senior warden and Derek Henderson the chair of junior warden for the installation ceremony.
Malcolm having been master 18 years previously in 1997 was only required to reconfirm his former obligation before being invested with the collar and jewel and placed into the chair of King Solomon in a ceremony that the members have come to expect. Tom was very ably assisted by his installing officers.
The brethren were then admitted and Malcolm was proclaimed master for the ensuing year. The third degree working tools were then presented by Mike Wilkinson, the second degree working tools were presented by Peter Kendrick and the first degree tools were presented by Mike Parr, all of whom are junior members of the lodge and each was subsequently congratulated on a very fine job.
Malcolm’s first task was then to install his officers and he took great delight in presenting Tom with his past master jewel before installing Tony Martin and Guy Adeuja as senior and junior wardens respectively, Malcolm then installed the other officers for the ensuing year.
Following the completion of the ceremony, the address to the WM was then given by Tony Davies, the address to the wardens by Doug Drysdale and to the deacons by Peter Foster. The final address to the brethren of the lodge was exceptionally well delivered by the distinguished guest Robert Wright.
After the ceremony Robert brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated Malcolm on being installed in the master’s chair for the second time. He also congratulated Tom and the officers who took part in a very enjoyable ceremony.
Malcolm then presented Robert with six cheques totalling £1,500 made out for £250 each to the following charities; The North Meols Carriage Driving Group for the disabled, SSAFA, The Southport Masonic Hall Foundation, The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, The British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.
In addition to the above, further cheques were presented to Robert from Tom Bradfield-Kay from his ‘bag packing initiative’, (assisted by other members of the lodge), which equated to an additional £250 to the Masonic Hall Foundation and £100 to SSAFA. This made a total of £350 to SAAFA and £500 to the Foundation within his year as WM, a grand total of £850.
Also presented was a symbolic cheque for £3,517 for money already donated to Breast Cancer Care (Sheffield), by the ‘Perfect Ashlar Computer Initiative’ which was organised by Doug Drysdale and made possible by the kind donations of computers/peripherals from the Masonic group brethren and KGV Sixth Form College, Southport. With ‘gift aid’ there will be the added benefit to the charity of approximately an extra £500.
After the ceremony the festive board was attended by 55 brethren, 28 were guests and included four brethren from Derwentwater Lodge No 6375 and 11 from Tudor Lodge No 6477 with everyone enjoying an excellent meal. In his response to the toast to the grand officers Robert thanked the members of the lodge for their kind hospitality and said how much he had enjoyed the ceremony. He also mentioned the dedication of Arthur Morison Woodhead who had been transported to the lodge from a nursing home as he had refused to miss this important meeting in spite of his failing health.
Malcolm then thanked all the brethren who had attended and took part in the ceremony and he looked forward to their continued support in the coming year and announced that the collection had raised £86.17, plus 15 envelopes and the carnation button holes raised a further £147.70.