The installation meeting of Orrell Lodge No 8371, which meets at Pemberton Masonic Hall, was tinged with more than a hint of sadness following the sudden and unexpected passing of WM Alfredo Francesco Carletti just days before he was due to install his successor. Harold Bibby stepped in at the last minute to act as WM.
After opening the lodge, Harold was honoured to receive the distinguished guests, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent, who was accompanied on this occasion by no less than five grand officers, Malcolm Taylor (group chairman), Alex Sharp, Paul Hesketh, Graeme Hughes and David Ogden. They were supported by acting Provincial officers Barry Dickinson, Tony Simms and Frank Kennedy, together with Regional Care Officer George Seddon.
It was hard to believe that the stand in WM, Harold Bibby, had been in the USA for many years enjoying his Freemasonry in Florida, because his installation of the master elect Ernie Barrow was a ceremony right out of the top drawer. Ernie was well and truly installed by Harold, which allowed him to go on and appoint and invest his officers. As is tradition in this lodge, Bill Sass delivered the address to the brethren, giving Tony Bent a well-deserved rest. John Grimshaw gave the address to the wardens and Ted Lea the address to the stewards. A new charity steward, Derek Ishmael, was appointed and in what is becoming something of a habit, Malcolm Taylor stepped in for the absent group charity steward to address the new incumbent, describe his duties and responsibilities and offer the support of his team.
Tony was delighted to bring the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master, who he said, would have been spellbound by such a wonderful ceremony of installation. He congratulated both Ernie on achieving this great milestone in Masonry and Harold for the magnificent way he installed him. In addition, he commented on the work done by all the officers and brethren who had taken part. Tony was also pleased to receive cheques by way of charitable giving in favour of; Pemberton Masonic Hall Development Fund £1,000, West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity £250, Wigan and Leigh Hospice £250 and the Masonic Hall Appeals Fund £544.50, giving a magnificent total of £2,044.50.
Ernie is a retired accountant and a ‘light blue’ master looking to make the most of his new experience. In such a busy lodge, he will have plenty to do and a good reputation to live up to, but the brethren are confident that they can count on Ernie, the ex-accountant, to make a good account of himself.