Nicholas takes the lead

The installation meeting of Ashmole Lodge No 5128 was held at the Warrington Masonic Hall. It was attended by nearly 60 Masons to see Nicholas (Nick) Delaney installed in the chair of King Solomon, by his predecessor Eric Miller, the installing master. On this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton and Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Dennis Rudd.

Pictured: Philip Gunning (left) and Nicholas (Nick).

The lodge was opened by Eric Miller, the installing master, who then conducted the normal administrative duties. Philip Gunning, the principal guest was then admitted in due ceremonial style. Philip was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Kevin Poynton, Dennis Rudd, Jack Forsyth, Gordon Amos, Neville Powell, Chris Eyres, Tony Bone and Andy Barton (group chairman).

He was also accompanied by various acting Provincial grand officers including David Kenworthy, Terence McGill, Mark Barton, Ian Halsall and Leslie Savage. Eric offered a warm welcome to all present saying he was delighted to receive such distinguished guests and hoped they would have an enjoyable evening.

Eric then offered Philip the gavel, which he accepted and quickly returned commenting, as this was his first meeting of the new Masonic year, he was a little out of practice!

Eric requested Charles Carr to act as installing SW, Stewart Fines as JW and Norman Pritchard as installing IG. All the brethren accepted saying they were honoured and pleased to accept. Eric then addressed the members of Ashmole Lodge and thanked them all for their help and support over the last 12 months saying that he had had a wonderful year. He continued by asking the lodge to maintain their support for Nick in his year in office.

Nick was presented for installation by his father Michael Delaney and was then installed by Eric according to ancient custom, which he did with great fortitude and sincerity. Nick invested Eric as IPM thanking him for the work he had conducted over the last 12 months and saying he felt sure if he needed help he would be relying on him for support.

The brethren were then readmitted in the three degrees. The working tools of the third degree were explained by Peter Lau, the second degree working tools by Peter Richardson and the first degree working tools by Mark Keig. Nick then invested his officers for the ensuing year.

Picture left: Nick (left) taking wine with his father Mike. Picture right: Norman (left) during the master’s song with Nick.

Jack Forsyth gave the address to the WM, whilst the address to the wardens was provided by Andy Barton and the address to the brethren of the lodge was delivered by Kevin Poynton. All the addresses were presented in an exemplary manner and delivered with great warmth and candour.

Immediately following the installation, Philip conveyed the wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He congratulated Nick on being installed into the MW’s chair of such a friendly lodge, commenting that the ceremony was a pleasure to witness. He congratulated Eric as installing master on the excellent ceremony and thanked him for his hard work. Philip extended his good wishes to all present and hoped Nick and all his officers would have a productive year and wished everyone the best of health to enjoy it to the full.

Happy diners.

The first task Nick had to perform as WM was a very pleasant one of presenting charity donations to Philip. Donations included £250 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 to the Festival, £250 to the Masonic Hall and £250 to the local area homeless charity and £300 to the 2021 Festival, which totalled £1,300. Philip thanked the members for such a magnificent amount of money being donated.

Nick was initiated into Freemasonry in 1989 at the time that his father Mike Delaney was in the chair of the lodge. Nick was highly delighted to have his father present him for installation and to be able witness the ceremony.

Nick is a senior manager in a marketing company that works in the legal services industry. Nick lives in Leyland with his wife Louise and their golden retriever. They have a 21 year old son who is in his final year at Manchester University and an 18 year old daughter who has just started her first year at Kings College in London.

Pictured from left to right, are: George Hayes, Sabar Hussain, Tony Chin, Mark Keig, Philip Gunning, Mick Delaney, Kevin Poynton, Peter Lau, Eric Miller, Peter Richardson and Lee Ayres.

At the festive board Bob Timmis said grace and an excellent banquet followed which consisted of aperitifs, mulligatawny soup, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with seasonal vegetables, apple pie and custard, followed by a cheese board with biscuits and grapes. Red or white table wine was served throughout the meal with tea or coffee to finish. Bob returned thanks.

The master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard who was accompanied by Brian Wilson, which turned out to be a little unusual because Brian is also senior warden of the lodge and took his toast at the piano!

Nick presented Philip, Kevin and Andy with bouquets of flowers thanking them for their attendance. Philip, Kevin and Andy thanked the brethren saying they were delighted to receive such a gift and felt sure their wives would be similarly pleased.

The most enjoyable evening was brought to an end by Bill Wainwright who proposed the tyler’s toast.

Story and Pictures by John Starkey

Pictured from left to right, are: Ian Halsall, Bob Williams, Chris Eyres, Kevin Poynton, Philip Gunning, Mick Delaney, Eric Miller, Andy Barton, David Kenworthy, Leslie Savage and Mark Barton.