The present master of Travellers’ Lodge No 4679 Barry Corcoran opened the lodge in his usual, light-hearted, easy manner. He was being reinstalled into the chair of King Solomon to overcome a temporary issue with the succession to the chair and obviously enjoying his familiarity with the role. He and the assembled brethren welcomed their principal guest for the evening, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, who was admitted in due ceremonial style, accompanied by grand officers Keith Jackson and Derek Hunt and supported by acting Provincial grand officers Les Savage, Mark Barton, Fred Dickenson and Howard Savage.
The lodge room was treated to a succession of Barry’s beaming smiles, as he was proclaimed for installation, once again, by his proposer into Masonry and lodge secretary, John Atkinson. The installing senior warden was Darren Brown, the installing junior warden was Charles Carr and the installing inner guard was Norman Pritchard.
The third degree working tools were presented by Michael Sypula, the first degree working tools by Chris Kozlik, (both junior brethren), while the second degree working tools were given by Davor Parker.
Addresses were given to the wardens by Chris Gleave (Warrington Group Vice Chairman); to the junior brethren by John Heritage; to the deacons by Brian Potter; to the stewards by Howard Savage and to the brethren of the lodge by Kevin Poynton.
Barry presented Kevin with charitable cheques in the sum of £200 to the North West Air Ambulance, £300 to the MCF 2021 Festival, £200 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £200 to St Rocco’s Hospice. A further non-charitable donation of £100 was made to the Warrington Masonic Hall Company. This gave a very creditable total of £1,000 in donations.
After the meal, Kevin gave a speech highlighting a number of items; the Grand Master will this year be achieving 51 years in office; that there is still a great need for the brethren to support the MCF 2021 Festival with regular stewardship; he made a plea to the brethren to use the publicity team for advertising Masonry to all; he appealed to brethren to join the Royal Arch as a natural extension to their Masonry and he gave personal thanks to the four acting officers who had attended him at the meeting. Finally, he praised the two junior brethren and one senior brother who presented the working tools.
Once again, the masters song was excellently sung by Norman Pritchard, giving his usual commanding performance. The organist, David Molyneux supported the proceedings with an excellent rendition.
John Atkinson proposed the toast to the master, reminding everyone of the first thing all who see him notice, Barry always seems to be smiling, but he went further in his praise and told everyone how that smile never wavered, no matter how taxing the work or how challenging the circumstance.
Barry responded by praising his lodge and the work done by his colleagues. He made special mention of and gave thanks to the visiting masters with whom he had shared time over the last season.
At the latter end of the evening, all of Travellers’ Lodge gave a rendition of their own parting song: ‘A Welcome to 4679’. It was a fitting end to a good night, spent in excellent company.
Story and pictures by Eric Miller.