The installation meeting of Lodge of Good Fellowship No 5901 saw Paul McCann installed as master of the lodge for the third time. The ceremony was led by David Caldecott as the installing master assisted by other members of the lodge. On this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning as the principal guest, accompanied by the Preston Group Chairman Steve Bolton, the group vice chairman Geoff Saul and David Rhodes as one of the visiting masters.
Paul was presented to David Caldecott by David Martin. The visitors were then treated to a superlative ceremony in which David installed Paul as his successor into the WM’s chair of the lodge. Before opening the lodge in the third degree, a number of fellowcraft Masons retired from the lodge accompanied by Graham Timbrell as their mentor.
The working tools of the third, second and first degrees were all presented in an exemplary manner by the installing master. The installation ceremony concluded with Paul being addressed as the worshipful master by Fred Walmsley.
The lodge officers were then appointed with Mike Fitchie and David Radford invested as the senior and junior wardens respectively. On appointment, their duties were explained by the WM and when installed in their respective chairs, they were addressed by Alan Duffin who went on to be appointed ADC and was addressed in turn by Sean Doyle as DC. Finally the appointed stewards of the lodge were addressed by David Martin with the brethren of the lodge being addressed by the principal guest, Philip Gunning.
At the conclusion of the proceedings Philip brought the greetings and congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison; in particular commending the work of David Caldecott as installing master and wishing Paul and his team an enjoyable and fruitful year in office. Paul in turn thanked Philip for his generous comments on behalf of the PrGM and presented three cheques as donations from the lodge. The first for £750 was in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, the second was £150 for Preston Masonic Hall and the third for £250 in support of SPACE, a local organisation that provides a multi-sensory environment for children with special needs.
The meeting continued with Edward Richards presenting a past master’s jewel to David Caldecott as the retiring master, thanking him for all the work he had done in the name of the lodge during his year in office. Edward commented that David’s father would have been proud of his son’s conduct and work in Freemasonry. In turn, David reciprocated by thanking the lodge members for all the help and support he had received during his year in office.
Later in the evening, in response to the toast to the grand officers, Philip thanked the group chairman Steve Bolton for his invitation to attend the installation and expressed appreciation for the support of the grand officers present. He said what a delight it was to be here in Preston in this fine hall celebrating an excellent occasion.
On his own behalf, Philip congratulated the lodge members on the high standard of the ceremony that was a delight to observe. He congratulated Paul on attaining the chair of Lodge of Good Fellowship for the third time and David on his work as installing master. He also thanked the lodge members for their generous donation to the WLFC and SPACE, made at the end of the installation ceremony and for their support of the Masonic hall.
He continued by mentioning that there are concerns within Masonry about resignations made as a result of bad behaviour and asked the question: “Are we bringing the right people into Masonry?” He reminded the brethren that, in the end, Masonry will be judged by how we as Masons live our lives. He pointed out the donations made by the Grand Charity to relieve suffering in the world, £10,000 sent to Vanuatu following their recent disaster, £180,000 to the Philippines and £186,000 to New York following the Twin Towers incident to cite but a few.
He encouraged the brethren to tell the outside world what we quietly do to improve the quality of life for members of the public. Philip concluded his response by wishing the lodge well for its 75 years celebrations in three years’ time.
The brethren were then treated to a delightful rendition of the master’s song given by Graham Timbrell, accompanied by David Martin on the piano. At the conclusion of the evening’s proceedings, Paul had the pleasure of presenting Philip with a bouquet of flowers as a gift from the lodge members for his wife, Anne. On Anne’s behalf, Philip thanked the lodge for the gift, saying how much gifts like these are appreciated and enjoyed.
Continuing the theme of good fellowship and to further support the Masonic hall, the ladies of the lodge and their friends, shared the occasion by holding their own dining function in an adjacent room, during which a ‘Chorley’ raffle was held that raised £116 in support of the RNLI. Following the dining, the ladies retired to the bar to join their partners.