The kilt was the chosen mode of attire for some of the 125 brethren who attended the installation meeting of Piel Castle Lodge No 6099, making it an even more colourful occasion than usual. The lodge members were very pleased and honoured to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger as their principal guest. Accompanying David were a number of officers of the Province. Group vice chairman and the present acting Provincial Junior Grand Warden Peter Schofield headed the list. The other acting officers adding lustre to the occasion were John Holmes, John Kilmurray, John Houlding, John Broadhurst, Harry Gilgour, Scott Devine and Graham Benson.
Master elect of the lodge Drew Hazlett had been a Mason in Dumbartonshire for many years before work brought him to Barrow-in-Furness. To witness the occasion of Drew being installed into the chair of King Solomon, some of his Scottish Masonic friends made the journey south to witness the occasion and included in their number was Drew’s son Derek who observed proceedings with obvious pride. The presence of so many onlookers filling Barrow-in-Furness Masonic Hall did not put off Mark Beedham as he installed his successor; in fact he rose to the occasion in splendid fashion.
Ian Cottam presented the working tools of an installed master and Bill Joughin those of the third degree. Both were impeccable in their delivery, but receiving the highest plaudits were junior members Ryan Parrington and Lee Storey who presented the working tools of the second and first degrees with style and precision. Ryan and Lee were picked out for particular mention by Furness and South Lakeland Group Chairman Alan Jones who also congratulated director of ceremonies Dennis Laird for the work he had obviously put in to ensure the ceremony reached such a high standard.
David Grainger said of the ceremony: “The happy and professional manner in which the ceremony has been conducted is a great credit to all involved. I am delighted that so many people are present to witness it.” The address to the newly installed WM was undertaken by Stuart Dickinson, that to the wardens by Roly Parker and that to the brethren was in the very capable hands of David Grainger. Three very different styles of delivery but all performed with accuracy and feeling. Provincial Grand Steward Graham Benson was called upon to address the newly appointed lodge stewards as to their duties.
To mark the occasion Drew presented David with two cheques. One in the sum of £2,300 was made out in the favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the other for £100 to the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. These cheques brought the total given to charity by the lodge during the year to £3,190. David thanked the lodge members for their generosity on behalf of the beneficiaries.
Following the excellent ceremonial part of the day, the members and their guests continued to enjoy their time together in the packed dining room, where rumour has it a tipple or two of Scotlands’ favourite export was enjoyed.