As the saying goes; ‘the swan looked dignified swimming on the pond but underneath was paddling like mad!’ So the installation meeting of City Lodge No 2514 was about to take place. Unfortunately two brethren were detained in traffic hold-ups on the M57.
Some past masters stepped in to hold the fort until all the brethren arrived. The worshipful master George Powell opened the lodge in the first degree and the usual business was conducted. The lodge was then opened in the second and third degrees.
Lodge DC Stephen Joseph Riley retired and on his returned announced that APrGM Derek Parkinson was without and demanded admission. The WM said he would be pleased to receive him. The procession of grand and Provincial grand officers entered with Derek Parkinson, Peter Levick, Andrew Whittle (group chairman) and Doug Lace PrGStwd; lead in by the lodge’s twins, Geoffrey and Peter Johnston acting as provincial deacons.
Derek was saluted and suitably replied; Peter was saluted and suitably responded; Geoffrey Johnston and other provincial officers were saluted and replied on behalf of all present. George offered Derek the gavel of the lodge which he returned with alacrity.
The WM thanked the officers of the lodge for all their efforts during his first year of office; he then requested Stephen James Riley to occupy the chair. Stephen installed George, once again, into the chair of King Solomon with dignity and solemnity and presented the WM with the working tools. Alan Owens presented the working tools of the third degree; Andrew Prowse delivered the second degree tools and Ian Barton the first degree tools.
The incoming SW was addressed by Eric Shepherd; the JW by Geoff Johnston and the deacons by Peter Johnston. The address to the WM was given by Bob DeAsha; the wardens were addressed by Geoff Johnston and Derek Parkinson gave the address to the brethren.
Derek conveyed the congratulations and thanks of the PrGM to George Powell who then proceeded to present Derek with a cheque for WLMFC in the sum of £250. Derek thanked the lodge for its generous donation, considering the size of the membership, assuring the lodge that it would be passed to the appropriate authorities where it would be faithfully applied.
At the end of the ceremony the brethren retired for dinner. In response to the toast his health, Derek congratulated the installing master and all the officers for the work they had done and he praised the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, saying that he is very much a people person and that his message to all the brethren is for them to enjoy their Freemasonry and that we must not be afraid to speak openly about our organisation. Derek made comment on the lack of Gift Aid envelopes on the charity plate saying that it is an easy way to raise extra revenue for nothing. Finally, he made comment on the verse that had been inserted onto the menu cards saying that it sums up what we do, caring for others and each other.
The verse referred to is:
Life is sweet because of our friends
and the things in common we share.
We like to live on, not because of ourselves,
but because of the people who care.
It’s giving and doing for somebody else,
that’s what all life splendour depends.
All we are in this wonderful world,
for the doing and keeping of friends.
The verse was found by the lodge secretary in his father’s pocket after his death. Its origin is unknown.