More than 35 members and guest assembled at Widnes Masonic Hall to witness the installation of Widnes Group Chairman Neil Pedder into the chair of King Solomon of Hale Lodge of Fellowship No 3799.
After the regular lodge business was completed by WM Joe Cooke, the lodge was then raised to the third degree. The DC Stephen Hindley retired from the lodge and on his return announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton stood without and demanded admission. Joe replied that the lodge would be honoured to receive him.
Kevin was admitted in ceremonial style and was accompanied by grand officers Tony Tallon, St Helens and Prescot Group Chairman Colin Rowling and Woolton Group Chairman Andy Whittle. Widnes Group Vice Chairman John Gibbon, acting Provincial grand officers Bob Williams PrDGSuptWks and Fred Dickinson PrAGPurs. The provincial deacons were Frank Thomas and Brian Tilly.
Joe offered Kevin the gavel and welcomed him along with the distinguished guests wishing that they have an enjoyable evening. Kevin thanked the brethren for their warm welcome and said that he too was looking forward to an enjoyable evening and then swiftly returned the gavel. Salutations were then given.
Joe, at this point, had a pleasant duty to perform by presenting cheques to the following, £100 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £100 to the Widnes Masonic Hall and £100 to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Kevin was given a private donation of £100 to a charity of his own choosing. After which Joe thanked the brethren of Hale Lodge of Fellowship for all the help and support he had received during his last two years in office.
For the installation ceremony Joe invited Brian Horabin to take the WM’s chair. The lodge was then adjourned to the second degree. The senior wardens chair was occupied by David Smith, the junior wardens chair by Steve McNee and inner guard’s position by Doug Fraser.
The presentation of the master elect, Neil, was emotionally given by his son Mark Pedder. The lodge was raised to the third degree and then declared a board of installed masters. Brian installed Neil into the chair of King Solomon in an unerring and sincere manner
Having been installed as WM, Neil then installed his officers for the ensuing year. The address to the senior warden Mark Pedder was given by David Smith. The duties of the charity steward were read by Ian Lynch, group charity steward
The address to the master was impeccably given by Barry Tomlinson followed by David Smith who also gave a flawless address to the wardens. Kevin took to the floor to give the address to the brethren of Hale Lodge of Fellowship.
The ceremony of installation being complete Kevin rose to convey the best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison who wished Neil would have a happy and enjoyable year in office. Kevin continued by saying had Tony been present he would have congratulated the installing master Brian, for an excellent ceremony and also special thanks to director of ceremonies Steve Hindley and the officers who took part in an excellent ceremony.
After communications from Grand Lodge the director of ceremonies formed the procession for the grand officers to retire, after which the lodge was duly closed with everyone heading to the Alan Locke Suit for the festive board.
After the toast to the grand lodge officers, Kevin responded by personally wishing Neil an enjoyable and successful year and to also congratulating the installing master Brian, on the excellent way he conducted the ceremony. He thanked the lodge director of ceremonies Stephen for ensuring the ceremony ran faultlessly throughout. He went on to convey a couple of successes within the province; the decline in membership was now beginning to go in reverse with 60 plus enquiries following the television programme and also a new lodge was being formed.
The toast to the master was given by the IPM Joe Cooke. The master’s song was performed by Peter Whalley. Neil responded by thanking everybody for their attendance and helping to make the evening such a success. He then presented Kevin, on behalf of the brethren of the lodge, with a bouquet of flowers for which he thanked them and that he had had a very enjoyable evening both at the ceremony and festive board. The Tyler’s toast brought an end what was very enjoyable evening.