Brethren of Hesketh Lodge No 950 enjoyed a first-rate installation at Fleetwood Masonic Hall when William Acton, better known as Bill, took on the role of WM, his second time since 2006. He settled in nicely to the task from that experience.
In the absence of the incumbent WM Chris Nicholson, the lodge treasurer Steve Heginbotham acted as the installing master and performed with excellence in so doing.
On hand to oversee proceedings was the lodge’s principal guest John Robbie Porter representing the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews. John, in turn, led a distinguished retinue including grand officer Harry Cox PAProvGM. North Fylde Group officers John Cross, Jim Gregson and Mike Brown attended to witness the evening’s events as did members of the Provincial team Gavin Egan and Russell Forsyth.
Setting the scene for the evening, Brian Mayoh took post as SW, Bob Boal acted as JD and Shaun Haynes took position as organist for the evening; brethren heard that the regular organist David Brown was very ill indeed.
Steve Heginbotham aptly despatched the administrative duties of the lodge paving the way for the main event, the installation of Bill Acton as WM.
The arrival John Robbie Porter, his distinguished colleagues and officers was announced and they were welcomed into Hesketh Lodge. Salutations were offered to John Robbie Porter and Harry Cox, and to John Cross and to Mike Lamerton as the senior Provincial officers.
The installation proceeded thereafter with great diligence and humour from the installing master Steve Heginbotham who expertly placed Bill Acton in the master’s chair. Mike Lamerton as the senior Provincial officer of the lodge presented Bill as the master elect. Following his installation, Bill received the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master from John Robbie Porter as did Steve Heginbotham for the part he played in the installation as installing master.
John, as the principal guest, received a round of applause from the assembled brethren for the sincere manner in which he made his address to the brethren of the lodge. Harry Cox brought greetings from United Grand Lodge and congratulations to John Robbie Porter for his part in the ceremony.
The new WM appointed his officers for the ensuing year and as each made their way to the master’s chair to receive their collars of office. Shaun Haynes caused delight by playing appropriate ditties as they walked forward, for example Steve Heginbotham as the treasurer was accompanied by, ‘If I was a rich man’. All of which added to the evening’s enjoyable memories.
Shaun, later at festive board, treated the diners to a rendition of the master’s song clinking glasses with both wardens in turn before toasting the new master.
At festive board following a sumptuous meal, in his after-dinner speech John delighted the brethren, now his audience, with a rhyming ABC of ailments which might affect brethren ranging from arthritis to zest and he added some humorous extras as he went through the entire alphabet.
By evening’s end it was agreed that it had been a memorable installation and brethren retired homewards feted and feasted with pleasurable thoughts to remember.