Provincial Junior Grand Warden David Rigby braved Blackpool’s wind and rain to attend the installation meeting of Blackpool Lodge of Integrity No 5864 at Blackpool Masonic Hall as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Mark Matthews.
Once the brethren had settled into their favourite seats, WM Martin Atkinson opened the lodge and breezed through the general business of the afternoon. On a report, David Rigby processed into the lodge room led by the director of ceremonies Joe Codling, accompanied by the Blackpool Group Chairman Steven Jelly, Blackpool Group Vice Chairman David Edwards and grand officer David Edwards. After an introduction to the WM, David took his seat in the lodge to enjoy an afternoon of fine ritual.
The WM requested Mike Copley to occupy the chair of installing senior warden, Andrew Denton to occupy the chair of installing junior warden and Barry Hage to occupy the position of installing inner guard. Roy James then duly presented the master elect John Wall to the installing master. John correctly answered the questions posed to him and was installed into the chair of King Solomon in the unique Blackpool Lodge of Integrity Lodge tradition.
The first task of the new master is to invest the immediate past master of the lodge, the explanation of the past master’s jewel being delivered by Mathew Barrow of Great Marton Lodge No 3985. After having appointed and invested the officers of the lodge, the afternoon continued with the working tools being delivered by members of the lodge. The third degree working tools by Kevin Croft, the second degree working tools by Philip Alderson and the first degree working tools by new member and fellow craft Callum Dickinson, who delivered a fine and confident rendition of the ritual.
After the address to the master by Roy James and the address to the wardens by Philip Alderson, David Rigby rose to give the address to the brethren of the lodge, finally concluding the afternoon’s ceremony of installation. David rose again to bring greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and passed on the ProvGM’s best wishes to the new master for a healthy and eventful year ahead, expressing his thanks to the installing master Martin Atkinson for a superb and excellent afternoon of fine ritual.
The business of the day being concluded, which included a proposition for a new member, the members and brethren retired to the bar for a well-earned drink before sitting down to a fine meal at the festive board in the Museum Dining Room.
John Wall responded to the toast to his health by thanking everyone for attending, to Martin Atkinson as installing master and to all who assisted in the ceremony and especially Rob Carey for his rendition of the Master’s Song. Praise must also be extended to Callum Dickenson for his fine delivery of the first degree tools.
David Rigby, as the principal guest, responded to the toast to the Provincial officers by extending his own personal greetings and thanks. He went on to say what a pleasure it had been to be in John’s and the lodge’s company. David continued to talk about the digital marketing recruitment campaign and how choosing the Royal Arch should be the next natural progression in a brother’s Masonic career. He also urged the brethren to contact the Masonic Charitable Foundation if they or someone they know is in difficulties. The lodge almoner should be the first point of contact but brethren can contact the charity directly if they wish to do so.
David went on to talk about the Membership Pathway which is essential for the progress of the lodge. On closing, David thanked everyone for the warm welcome he had received and for the opportunity to meet and talk with the majority of the brethren.
Article and pictures by Gordon Ivett, Blackpool Group Publicity Officer.