Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Peter Schofield was warmly welcomed as the principal guest when he attended Carnforth Lodge No 4951 at Kerneforde Hall, Carnforth. Peter was well supported by fellow grand officer Jim Wilson and acting Provincial grand officers Reg Wilkinson, Les Newlands, Barrie Bray and Graham Dowling, together with Lancaster and District Group Vice Chairman Scott Devine and group secretary Chris Larder.
The WM Ian Lonsdale got the proceedings off to an proficient start and on the conclusion of routine business was pleased to welcome Peter in to the lodge room.
In a notable ceremony, master elect Matthew Kneale was presented for installation by Paul Coward, treasurer of the lodge, before being placed in the chair of King Solomon.
After assuming the master’s chair, Matthew was presented with first-rate explanations of the working tools by Peter Wood (third degree), Thomas Fuery (second degree), and Scott Burgess (first degree). The second degree working tools by Thomas (the long version), was particularly impressive, given he has not long been invested with the badge of a master Mason.
The additional addresses were also executed with style. Ian Allison, the lodge charity steward, gave a fine rendition of the address to the master, Brian Milner executed the address to the wardens, whilst the address to the brethren was presented in good order by Peter Scofield.
Following the appointment and investment of lodge officers for the ensuing year and the announcement that the ceremony was complete, Peter rose to communicate the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Peter informed the brethren that he was sure Tony would have congratulated all who had taken part in the ceremony, non-more so than immediate past master Ian, who had done an absolutely splendid job.
Peter was delighted to receive notice of donations made by the lodge to charity and good cause totalling some £3,502,53. Amongst the beneficiaries where the MCF 2021 Festival £1264.18 (including £764.18 from the white envelope scheme), WLFC £242.65, group sporting charities and the Winder walk £137, Cancer Research £50, widows Christmas gifts £308.70, Carnforth Masonic Hall £500, Cancer Care £780 and Age UK £220. On behalf of the eventual recipients, Peter thanked the brethren of Carnforth Lodge for their generosity.
At the Festival of St John, held in Kerneforde Hall, Peter was able to bring his own greetings and in particular marked out the standard of ritual evidenced during the ceremony, none more so than the brethren who had presented the working tools. Peter noted that Matthew was the 96th master of the lodge and with a further three candidates in the pipe line, the lodge would surely stay in rude health for many years to come.
Peter thanked the lodge for their earlier donation to the MCF 2021 Festival and encouraged the brethren to continue using the white envelopes as a way of securing further donations to the scheme.
In conclusion, Peter quoted a member of Carnforth Lodge, Martin Baxendale, who has been sadly missed due to health, ‘don’t worry about tomorrow, live for today’.
Ian Lonsdale, in his toast to the new master, shared with the brethren some brief extracts from his and Matthew’s career in the Police Force together, particularly their time spent in the rural areas around Garstang, followed with an impressive rendition of the master’s song by Fred Fox, with accompaniment by Peter Wood. Matthew responded to the toast to his health with gratitude, humour and sincerity. With the festive board full to capacity, it can be said the evening was a great success and made only more so by the announcement that the raffle had raised £318, with an additional sum of £50 being raised through the masters’ swindle.
Article by Paul Thompson.
Photographs courtesy of Stewart Aimson.