Peter back in the driving seat

The members of Coronation Lodge No 2923 were delighted to welcome grand officer David Anderton PAGDC, as the representative of the PrGM Tony Harrison to their installation meeting.  David was accompanied by fellow grand officer John James PAGDC, Vice Chairman of Gladstone Group.

Pictured from left to right, are: Peter Slade, the installing master and Ken Bradley.

Pictured from left to right, are: Peter Slade, the installing master and Ken Bradley.

After a gap of 20 years, Peter Slade is back in the chair of King Solomon, albeit a different lodge. Peter first became WM in 1997 and served two consecutive years as master of Harmonic Lodge No 216. However, due to pressures of work in the road transport business, Peter found it more and more difficult to attend meetings whilst working unsociable hours and spending long periods of time away from home. Now retired, Peter became a joining member of Coronation Lodge just over two years ago and has now been honoured by being chosen as master for the ensuing year. Peter was supported by many guests including a number of brethren from Harmonic Lodge.

The WM opened the lodge with help from two visitors who stepped in due to the absence of some officers. Ken Bradley of Lodge of Harmony No 220 acted as DC and Geoff Holly of Harmonic Lodge acted as inner guard.

Following the confirmation of the minutes and presentation of the treasurer’s and almoner’s accounts, acting DC Ken Bradley requested the brethren to stand to receive David and John. The WM welcomed David who responded that he was looking forward to a pleasant evening.

Acting DC Ken called the brethren to order and conducted the salutations to the grand Officer’s. Syd Ford responded on their behalf. Ken then requested the brethren to salute the Provincial grand officer’s. Ken Bradley responded on their behalf.

The WM then requested Gordon Heron to occupy the SW’s Chair, Colin Greaves to occupy the JW’s Chair and Arron Banks to act as inner guard. Peter was then presented as master elect by Joe Allen, his close friend of nearly 50 years. After reciting his obligation as master elect and re-affirming his obligation of a WM, everyone below the rank of an installed master retired and a board of installed master’s was declared. The WM then invested Peter and placed him into the WM’s chair in a solemn and sincere manner. Peter was saluted by all the past masters present and declared as WM for the ensuing year.

Ken continued by admitting master Masons, fellow craft and entered apprentices in turn, all of whom saluted Peter as their new master. Ken also presented the working tools, the warrants, book of constitutions and by-laws of the lodge.

Peter being congratulated by David.

Peter being congratulated by David.

Peter then appointed his officers; SW Mark Dean, JW John Pope, almoner and chaplain Sydney Ford, treasurer Gordon Heron, secretary, charity steward and MCF Festival representative Joe Allan and DC and mentor Warren Morris (in his absence). Liam Holding and Rod McGregor as deacons, Arron Banks as ADC. Also absent due to illness was Ted Baxter who took on the role of assistant secretary. Ted was particularly disappointed to have to miss his first installation meeting in 32 years. A friend of Peter’s for almost 50 years and his proposer into Coronation Lodge. Andy Burns was appointed inner guard. Two stewards were also appointed, Len Gurney and Liam Holding.  Brian Jones was re-appointed as tyler.

The address to the WM was given by Joe Allan, to the wardens by Sydney Ford and to the brethren of the lodge by David Anderton. An additional address to be given to MCF 2021 Festival representative, to be included at installation meetings for the duration of the festival, was delivered to Joe Allan by John James in the absence of the group charity steward. The addresses were delivered perfectly with an obvious sincerity.

When the ceremony of installation was complete, David rose to congratulate Peter and bring greetings from Tony Harrison, the PrGM.  Peter then presented a cheque to David for £30 made payable to MCF 2021 Festival, to increase the total made from previous donatrions. David thanked Paul on behalf of the recipients for the generosity of the brethren.

David responding to toast.

David responding to toast.

Prior to the lodge closing, Sydney announced that he was proposing a candidate for initiation thereby guaranteeing a busy season for Peter and his officer’s. The lodge was then closed and the brethren retired to the Sefton Suite to chat and enjoy a pre-dinner drink before taking their places at the festive board to enjoy a fine meal with ample supplies of wine.

The toast to grand officers received a response from David Anderton, who delighted the members and guests by delivering a tirade of hilarious one liners and anecdotes worthy of any professional comic. He proceeded with a number of serious subjects, the need to support the MCF 2021 Festival, the need to use a very selective method of potential candidates and the promotion of Royal Arch.

The toast to the WM was proposed by Joe Allan, one of Peter’s oldest and dearest friends and the toast to the guests proposed by Sydney Ford, in which he took the opportunity to remind the brethren of the Gladstone Group Christmas Concert to be held on 12 December in St George’s Hall.

Finally, the re-appointed tyler, Brian Jones, proposed the last toast of the evening, the tyler’s toast. The members and guests having enjoyed a very memorable evening.

Article and photographs by Phil Marshall.

Pictured from left to right, are: John James, Peter Slade and David Anderton.

Pictured from left to right, are: John James, Peter Slade and David Anderton.