Members and visiting brethren of Prince Leopold, Doric and Parkfield Lodge No 1588 were most honoured and delighted by the attendance of John Hutton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, to witness the ever popular tyler of many South Eastern Group lodges, David Benson, being installed as master of his own lodge.
The meeting held at the Urmston Masonic Hall was well supported and John was in good company being accompanied by Group Chairman Mike Adams and fellow grand officers Brian Hayes, David Durling, Tony Johnson, Brian Mayoh and acting Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, Colin Ellis along with other group officers, Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren to witness the installation ceremony of David being performed by the outgoing and installing master Roy Eaton.
Roy commenced the evenings’ proceedings by carrying out the initial lodge business and to enable the lodge to be in readiness to receive John and his fellow grand officers and the acting Provincial grand officer, opened the lodge up to the third degree in a much admired fashion.
John, accompanied by his numerous retinues entered the lodge and Director of Ceremonies Grant Simcoe, introduced John and Roy warmly welcomed him and his colleagues to the meeting.
As by right, Roy then stood and recalled that it was only at their last lodge meeting that John had attended on Roy’s 50th celebration, and Roy also recalled that it was at the time of handing the gavel to John where on that occasion, John accepted it and took the master’s chair for the ceremony, Roy enquired that on this occasion, would John like to do the same.
It was with much humility, John said, “that had to be the best try ever”, but since Roy had already preformed three previous installations in his Masonic career and in his very professional capacity, John thought it only right to allow Roy the opportunity to preside over a fourth ceremony.
With credit to Roy, David was then installed in an exemplary word perfect manner. The working tools of an installed master were presented by Derek Scott.
The officers having been installed, there then followed presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Stephen Woods, in the second degree by Matthew Sephton and finally in the first degree by Eric Houghton.
There were then two impressive addresses, firstly to the master by Brian Lowe followed by that to the brethren by John.
On completion of the ceremony, John rose saying that was his cue to bring greetings, congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master, John said that Tony was aware that David was taking the masters’ chair for and wished him and the members of the lodge a happy, healthy and enjoyable year ahead. John also congratulated Roy on his excellent standard of ceremony and to the various installing officers on their parts assisting in the installation.
In response, David rose and thanked John for the good wishes and on behalf of the lodge presented John a charitable donation, by way of a cheque for £250 made out in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
John gave grateful thanks to the lodge on behalf of all those who will eventually benefit from the very kind generosity of the members.
On the first rising, Mike Adams responded on behalf of the grand officers, Mike said he was delighted with the wonderful standard of the ceremony and similarly delighted by the number of visitors present for the ceremony, clearly the ‘popularity of being a regular tyler along with vocal brilliance’ had made the evening so popular.
There was sheer camaraderie at the enjoyable festive board which continued through the evening where in his response to the grand officers, John initially passed on his own congratulations to David concurring with the Provincial Grand Masters’ wishes and also to the lodge for their excellent, impressive work during the evening. John then announced that Mike Adams would retire from the office of Group Chairman in May 2017 and congratulated David Durling on his designated position as the new Group Chairman.
John congratulated Mike for all the first class and fantastic hard work he had attained and achieved as Chairman on behalf of the South Eastern Group
John continued by commenting on various aspects including the Tercentenary, the forthcoming 2017 to 2021 festival, the Masonic halls and their continued support by way of spreading the word about the facilities, use of the halls for various external functions, the halls need the business to assist in the upkeep.
John said it would be great to see masters of lodges’ of the group co-visiting other lodges during their term of office, in his own group, he sees numerous visiting masters ‘on the circuit’ attending regular meetings, as well as installations, representing their lodges in their group and it’s a great sight to see the similar camaraderie being enjoyed throughout the Masonic year.
John said that he was most pleased to be in attendance and thanked the lodge for their very kind welcome and of course the camaraderie he had himself experienced throughout the evening, he said he had seen a great team effort and wished the lodge an enjoyable year.
The evening festive board, toasts concluded a most enjoyable meeting.
Article and Photos by Eddie Wilkinson.