Ray takes the chair of Concord

Members attending the installation meeting of Lodge of Concord No 343 were honoured with the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder as their principal guest. He was supported by Preston Group Chairman Steve Bolton and grand officer Colin Williams.

Alan Whittle (right) congratulates Ray on attaining the chair.

Alan Whittle (right) congratulates Ray on attaining the chair.

Those attending the installation witnessed an excellent ceremony as Ray Thompson was installed as WM of the lodge by the installing master Alan Whittle, assisted by lodge members. Ray was presented by Mike Armstrong and following his installation, addressed by Patrick Bracewell.

The working tools were presented in an exemplary manner by Bernard Tagg the third degree, Andy Baker second degree and those of the first degree by master Mason, Nick Ridd. The address to the wardens was given by Neil Clarkson and the address to the brethren by Mike Billinge.

At the conclusion of the ceremony David brought the congratulations and best wishes of the PrGM, to both Ray in attaining the chair of such a fine lodge and to Alan for the commendable manner in which he had installed his successor.

Later in the evening, in response to the toast to grand officers and on his own behalf, David congratulated all those that had taken part in the ceremony, in particular the brethren who had presented the working tools so eloquently.

He continued by reminding brethren that these days’ members should be talking openly to friends and family about their Freemasonry. He also said that he hoped all the brethren would continue to enjoy their Masonry.

He noted that Concord Lodge was soon to celebrate its bi-centenary, in itself a truly magnificent achievement. However, times change and the challenge is to make the next 100 years. Although the Masonic principles and the landmarks of the order have not changed, now we are in the electronic age, these principles need to be packaged in a modern way. When deciding how to move forward, he urged the brethren to mentally look through the eyes of the younger men the lodge hopes to attract into Masonry in future years.

David concluded by thanking the now retired lodge secretary, Bob Dickinson for his communications prior to the meeting and for the 15 years’ service he had given to the lodge in that position. Finally, he thanked the lodge members for the warm welcome he had received on arrival at the hall.

Pictured from left to right, are: David Winder, Ray Thompson, Alan Whittle and Steve Bolton.

Pictured from left to right, are: David Winder, Ray Thompson, Alan Whittle and Steve Bolton.