One expects the very highest standards of working when attending Quadrant Lodge No 8044, so turning up to witness an immaculate installation ceremony was unsurprisingly but a joy for all.
The lodge was opened by the master Roger Perry, the administration dispatched with alacrity and the lodge was then opened in the second and third degrees. Director of ceremonies David Lawn retired from the lodge and returned moments later in the capacity of Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to announce that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Dimelow was without and demanded admission. With the gracious assent of the master, David Lawn called the brethren to order and the principle guest entered with a retinue of no less than 10 grand officers, the most distinguished of whom were Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox and Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Terry Hudson, with South Fylde Group Chairman Ian Ward, several Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren also supporting.
The usual salutations were led by David Lawn, followed by the master inviting John Hayfield to act as senior warden, David Kenworthy as junior warden and Liam Bird as inner guard. The master elect Simon Walker was then presented by Terry Hudson and perfectly installed into the chair of King Solomon by Roger Perry.
The working tools were presented by Chris O’Brien, Michael Wall and Kevin Frost in exemplary fashion, proving that there is great promise being shown by younger members of Quadrant Lodge. The address to the master was delivered with measured precision by Brian Davey, the address to the wardens was immaculately delivered by Ian Ward and then the address to the brethren was superbly delivered by Mark Dimelow.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Mark Dimelow extended the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to the new master. He also assured those present that had Tony been able to attend this exceptional installation, the Provincial Grand Master would have congratulated the installing master, the director of ceremonies and everyone else who contributed to this perfect exhibition of emulation working.
Simon Walker then presented cheques on behalf of the brethren to the total of £2,400, consisting of £1,200 in aid of the West Lancashire Freemason’s Charity, £400 to Bryan House, £400 to the Ormerod Trust and £400 to LSAMC. Mark Dimelow thanked the brethren for their generosity, particularly on behalf of those who would benefit from these several donations.
Following the meeting those present enjoyed a fine feast consisting of black pudding benedict, lamb Henry and sticky toffee pudding, with coffee and mints to conclude.
Responding to the toast to the grand officers, Mark Dimelow thanked the plethora of grand and Provincial grand officers who had supported him and extended their combined congratulations to Simon Walker on attaining the master’s chair for the second time after a 22 year gap. He reiterated his comments in the lodge concerning the perfection of the ritual, particularly noting the work of Roger Perry, those who delivered the addresses and especially the younger brethren who had delivered the working tools. He also praised the hard work of the lodge secretary Leon Gaskell and the guiding hand of director of ceremonies David Lawn.
In proposing the toast to the master’s health Roger Perry described Simon’s qualities as unflappable, thoughtful, calm and fair, adding that he was sure that Simon would bring these tremendous qualities to the benefit of Quadrant Lodge. In his response the new master thanked all who had attended including distinguished visitors, members and guests, in particular his brother David who had travelled from Aberdeen for the occasion. Simon was particularly pleased to thank Hugh Mett for singing the song to the master, saying: “It always brings a lump to the back of my throat.” He also thanked Phil Bolton for his piano accompaniment. Finally, he thanked all present for their further generosity, having raised £210.87 in alms and £405 in the raffle, all of which would be donated to Masonic and non-Masonic charities. The evening was concluded by the tyler’s toast, which was finely delivered by Nick Hudson.