When David Robinson, the installing master at the afternoon’s meeting, stood at the festive board to give a toast to Bill Pearce, no one quite knew what he was about to say. In fact he stated that the new worshipful master was indeed known to him as ‘Quiet Bill’. There followed a brief interlude in proceedings whilst everyone regained their composure as they know only too well that Bill Pearce is anything but quiet!
The first craft installation meeting of Leyland Group kept up to its name of being the most unique lodge meeting in the group. Old Huttonian Lodge No 7614 is the only school lodge in the Leyland Group and one of two lodges in the group not to meet at Wellington Park. It is also the only lodge in the group that meet regularly on a Saturday. It was a glorious sunny afternoon too as the lodge meeting took place in the school hall, where the sun’s rays shone through the windows into the makeshift lodge room and school seats, with the exception for the WM and his wardens, the only comforts of the day.
The business of the lodge was transacted following its opening by David Robinson at the start of the meeting. When asked, David said that he would be pleased to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger into the lodge room and promptly welcomed him to the meeting on behalf of the lodge members and visitors. The WM also offered David the gavel of the lodge who exclaimed that he was there to be happy and to enjoy himself. He returned the gavel to the WM saying: “I would be happy if you would take the gavel back to use it for the intended purpose.” The WM then offered David an envelope which contained a number of cheques that had had been written out to various charities. David thanked the lodge members for their hard work and efforts in raising the following sums of money; £250 for Meningitis Now, £250 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, £500 to Hutton Grammar School and a further cheque for £500 written to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
Then followed the installation ceremony and David Walker presented Bill Pearce, master elect, to the lodge. Working tools of the third, second and first degrees were presented to the new WM by Frank Holroyd, Michael Greenwood and Damian McKeand respectively. David Robinson had installed Bill into the chair of King Solomon and before long Bill was installing his officers for the year.
There was also a unique moment in the lodge when John Howard, a member of Old Huttonian Lodge, presented both the address to the WM and the address to the wardens in excellent fashion. He was later congratulated for this superb effort by a number of brethren and on his ability to be word perfect in his delivery.
David Grainger then brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and said that if he had been present Tony would have wished Bill to have a pleasant, happy and healthy year in the chair. Bill replied by thanking David for conveying the words of the PrGM and asked that the next time he is in the company of Tony that he passes on the good wishes from Old Huttonian Lodge members.
The lodge was closed and everyone retired to the school dining room where a more than ample meal was served to the brethren. Here David gave Bill his own personal wishes and said that he knew that Bill would enjoy the coming year as WM of the lodge. The now proclaimed ‘Quiet Bill’ was toasted by the lodge and following his reply he presented a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the lodge members to David Grainger to take home to his wife Beryl. The evening ended with everyone heading for home with fond memories of the afternoon’s events.