The members and friends of Astley and Ellesmere Lodge No 730 gathered to celebrate the installation of Mark Bradley as master of the lodge. The lodge was honoured by the presence of Stephen Gregory representing the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Stephen was accompanied by group vice chairman Peter Allen and group secretary Don Hesketh.
Mark was installed into the chair of King Solomon by Vic Norris assisted by past masters of the lodge in a smooth, polished and accomplished ceremony.
John Lancaster presented the working tools of an installed master of the lodge. The third, second and first degree working tools were presented by Kevin Taylor, Rob Winn and Mark Briggs respectively in an exemplary manner. It was a pleasure to see three light blue brethren produce such a fine display of ritual.
The address to the master was presented by Paul Snape, the address to the wardens was recited by John Rhodes and the address to the brethren by Stephen Gregory.
Stephen brought greetings and good wishes from the Provincial Grand Master and congratulated Mark on becoming a ruler in the craft. He also congratulated Vic Norris, director of ceremonies Derek Whittle and assistant director of ceremonies Ron Appleton for an awesome ceremony.
Stephen went on to thank the members of the lodge for their very generous donations of £600 to the Freemasons’ Grand Charity, £143.50 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £100 to North West Blood Bikes, £100 to Genesis Care North West, £1,285 to the Chorley Masonic Hall Association and £200 to the St Lawrence Church Christmas Meal Appeal; an amazing total of £2,428.50.
The work in the lodge being over, the brethren retired in a very happy mood to the festive board where Geoff Catterall sang the master’s song, accompanied by Mike Hatton on the piano.
The festive board was a very convivial occasion with good food, good wine and very good company.