Peter passes the gavel to his successor

The installation meeting of Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters No 7755 saw Robert (Bob) Poole installed as the WM. On this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Ray Martland as the principal guest. Ray was accompanied by David Winder APrGM and the Preston Group Chairman Steve Bolton. They were supported by a further nine grand officers, including Tom Blackburn, Bill Huck and Bill Seddon.

Ray (left) and David (right) congratulate Bob (centre) on attaining the chair.

Ray (left) and David (right) congratulate Bob (centre) on attaining the chair.

Prior to the start of the installation ceremony, David Winder entered the lodge in due form accompanied by Ray Martland and other senior grand and acting Provincial grand officers.

Peter Walker, as WM welcomed David, offering him the gavel of the lodge. David warmly responded in kind before returning the gavel and introducing, as principal guest, Ray Martland who was equally welcomed and invited to take his place in the lodge.

Those attending the installation witnessed an excellent ceremony as Peter, assisted by lodge DC Jon Selcoe, installed Bob in an exemplary manner that was greatly appreciated by all the visitors present.

Bob was presented as the master elect by Stan Rigby who also had the privilege of addressing Bob as the newly installed master towards the end of the installation ceremony.

The address to the wardens was delivered in an excellent manner by Jon Selcoe with the working tools of the third degree, second degree and the first degree being presented in equal manner by Gordon Pilkington, Ted Lowes and David Barlow respectively. The address to the brethren was given by Ray Martland.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Ray brought congratulations from the PrGM Tony Harrison, wishing Bob good health for an excellent year in office. In return Bob informed Ray that the lodge had made donations totalling £481 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.

Later in the evening Ray, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, congratulated the lodge on the excellence of the ceremony, in particular the work of the installing master Peter Walker. He also thanked DC Jon Selcoe and the lodge secretary Phil Cragg, for all their work in preparing for the occasion.

He was pleased to see so many grand officers supporting the installation meeting and commented as to the derivation of the name Setantia that had been supplied earlier. He noted that the lodge banner was emblazoned with the figures of a Roman soldier and an administrator who together he thought, much to the amusement of the brethren, looked remarkably like Bill Huck and Bill Seddon.

Moving on to future events, Ray reminded the brethren that there would be only one meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge this year which will be held in May at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool with dining at the Hilton. He hoped as many as possible would be able to support the occasion.

Ray continued by mentioning the changing face of Masonry where, in discussion with the younger brethren, he had been made aware that some did not appreciate the meaning of Freemasonry. Some absolutely loved it and others found it too deep and had difficulty in getting involved with the brethren around them. Young men today have different expectations and if it is to continue to attract and retain young men, Freemasonry needs to adapt by adding vibrancy and variety to its workings.

He concluded by congratulating the rising success of the Masonic hall and thanking the brethren for the donations made during the year to the WLFMC; a magnificent sum considering the members are already making donations to charity through their own individual lodges.

Bob shares a toast with Ray Beech (left) during the master’s song.

Bob shares a toast with Ray Beech (left) during the master’s song.

In his toast to the WM, Peter said he had known Bob for over 40 years and had always looked up to him, particularly as Bob was six foot two! He congratulated him on attaining the master’s chair for the fourth time saying that in placing Bob in the chair, he himself was vacating it for the fifth time.  Peter went on to commend the Preston masters as a fine body of Masons and recommended Bob to get involved in their meetings and charitable activities. Following Peter’s toast, the brethren were treated to a delightful rendition of the master’s song by Ray Beech accompanied by John Whittall on the piano.

In reply, Bob thanked the lodge for inviting him to take the chair saying he was looking forward to an enjoyable year in office. He went on to thank all those members that had taken part in the installation ceremony with particular mention of Peter as the installing master and Stan Rigby for kindly agreeing to present him at the start of the ceremony and delivering the address on his installation. He concluded by thanking his guests and the brethren for their attendance and Ray Beech and John Whittall for their contribution of the master’s song.

Pictured from left to right, are: Bill Huck, Tom Blackburn, David Winder, Ray Martland, Bob Poole, Peter Walker, Bill Seddon and Steve Bolton.

Pictured from left to right, are: Bill Huck, Tom Blackburn, David Winder, Ray Martland, Bob Poole, Peter Walker, Bill Seddon and Steve Bolton.