It was in Marina Lodge No 6928 that Tony Alderton enjoyed the privilege and pleasure of installing his son Roland into the master’s chair. The year was 2006 and by all accounts of those who were there, it was a memorable occasion. It was no surprise then to find the second installation involving the brothers Alderton was a treat to behold.
At the closure of Marina Lodge on 26 November 2010 Tony and Roland had already chosen to make their new home with Melita Lodge No 6783, which meets at the Palace, St Anne’s. Since then, father and son have become hard working members of the lodge, holding several offices as well as working their way to the master’s chair.
With the lodge business speedily despatched, it was time for the principal guest Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder to be welcomed into the lodge. He was accompanied by seven grand officers including Eric Picton and Stuart Thornber. South Fylde Group Chairman Ian Ward with several Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren were also in attendance.
The usual salutations were led by Derek Ashwood, followed by the master inviting Willie Barrow to act as senior warden, Colin Fisher as junior warden and Mike Notman as inner guard. The master elect Roland Alderton was then presented by Dave McKee and perfectly installed into the chair of King Solomon by his father, Tony Alderton.
The working tools were presented by Tony Alderton, Adrian Murgatroyd and Mike Notman in an excellent manner. The address to the master was recited in fine style by Dave McKee, the address to the wardens with verve by John Robbie Porter and the address to the brethren was immaculately delivered by David Winder.
At the conclusion of the ceremony David extended the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to the new master. He also assured those present that had Tony been able to attend this exceptional installation, the Provincial Grand Master would have congratulated ‘dad’ the installing master, the director of ceremonies and everyone else who contributed to this excellent ceremony of installation. He then walked around the lodge to congratulate members of the lodge involved in the ceremony. On his perambulation he also thanked the acting Provincial grand officers who had supported him throughout the year since their appointment in May 2014.
On behalf of the brethren Roland then presented David with cheques to the total of £500, consisting of £200 in aid of the North West Air Ambulance, £150 to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (Lytham branch) and £150 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. David thanked the brethren for their generosity on behalf of those who would benefit from these donations. He was later to add that he never ceased to be amazed by the generosity of the brethren in the group when it came to charitable giving.
Responding on behalf of the grand officers present in the lodge room, Eric Picton congratulated the new master on attaining the master’s chair for a second time in a unique manner, which must have been a special pleasure for his father. Responding on behalf of the Provincial officers, Ian Ward added that it must have been a very proud occasion for both father and son and wished the new master the best of health to enable him to drive the lodge forward to further success.
Responding to the toast to the grand officers at the festive board, David Winder thanked everyone in the lodge for the warmth of their welcome. He also thanked the grand and Provincial grand officers who had supported him but paid particular thanks to the group officers who he named by their office and gave particular credit to the leadership of group chairman Ian Ward and group vice chairman John Robbie Porter for their pursuit of excellence. He congratulated Roland on attaining the chair of this very fine lodge and encouraged him to reach new horizons during his year in the chair, adding his hopes that he has good health and happiness to help him enjoy his year in the chair. David assured him that he had been installed in a really delightful way by his now immediate past master, ‘Dad.’ He commented that Tony Alderton’s heart must have been thumping because he wanted to get it right, which he did. He concluded by congratulating Michael Notman on his imminent promotion at Provincial Grand Lodge in May and Geoff Pritchard on his forthcoming marriage.
In proposing the toast to the master, Tony Alderton told of his very great pleasure but also his very great difficulty in doing so, lest he appear just a bit biased. However, to make it easier for himself he would relate to everyone what Roland had done. Firstly he assured the brethren that he had not asked Roland to join the order, Roland had asked him. What he had achieved since speaks for itself. He went on to list the various offices that his son had held both in Marina Lodge and Melita Lodge, which included being charity steward in both of these lodges, master and assistant director of ceremonies in the former lodge, as well as several committee and representative positions. He said that it was a great delight to install his son into that chair again, adding that he was confident that Roland will do anything that he is asked to do.
Following a rousing master’s song performed by Rev Godfrey Hirst in his own inimitable style with Malcolm Burrell at the piano, Godfrey added that it was a delight to sing for the new master, offering him the blessing of heaven to help him to drive this fine Melita Lodge forward.
In response, the newly installed master thanked his dad for a brilliant ceremony, adding that he had fully enjoyed it and continued by thanking him for all of his encouragement overs the years. He offered his thanks to Melita Lodge members for allowing him and his dad to join the lodge and in both cases to become master. He praised all those who had delivered the working tools, assuring them that he had done it and knew how nerve-racking it can be. He thanked Rev Godfrey Hirst and Malcolm Burrell for their fabulous rendition of the master’s song. He then thanked David Winder and John Robbie Porter for honouring the lodge with their attendance. Finally he thanked the acting Provincial officers for attending, particularly Dave McKee for presenting the address to the master.
As ever, proceedings were brought to a close by Robert McDonald, who delivered a fine tyler’s toast.