The installation meeting of Ribble Lodge No 4558 saw Simon Wright installed as the 94th master of the lodge. The principal guest on this occasion was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox, accompanied by his colleague, David Winder. David was attending the meeting as a member of the lodge as well as a fellow Assistant Provincial Grand Master. They were supported by the Preston Group Chairman, Steve Bolton, and acting officers, Malcolm Bell and Alan Howarth.
After transacting the regular administrative business of the lodge, the lodge director of ceremonies John Rimmer, requested permission to retire from the lodge. He returned to announce the presence of David Winder and Harry Cox. They duly entered the lodge accompanied by the group chairman and acting officers to be formally welcomed by the master of the lodge, David Forrest.
David Winder thanked David for his warm welcome, wishing him well for what he was sure would be an excellent ceremony. He introduced the principal guest of the evening, fellow Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Harry Cox.
Master Mason, Simon Wright, was duly presented to the installing master David Forrest, by David Winder. Simon was informed of his duties and responsibilities as master and installed in the chair of the lodge in a full ceremony performed in a first-rate manner by all concerned, which was appreciated by all the visitors.
The working tools of the third, second and first degrees were excellently presented by John Rimmer and fellowcrafts, Paul Thomas and Richard Moore respectively.
Following his installation as master, Simon was addressed by lodge member, Terry Turley, before being invited to appoint and invest his officers; with Terry Turley being invested as the senior warden and Mike Cowsley as the junior warden. They were individually informed of their duties by Derek Thompson with the address to both wardens being given by David Asbridge and the addresses to the deacons being delivered by John Rimmer. All the addresses were given in a faultless manner by the relevant lodge members. The ceremony concluded with the final address, that to the brethren, expertly presented by the principal guest, Harry Cox.
Following the completion of the ceremony Harry brought the congratulations and good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison, commenting on the excellent manner in which Simon had been installed in the chair by his predecessor. He congratulated Simon on attaining the chair, wishing him well for his term of office and the work of all the brethren who had a part to play in what had been an excellent ceremony.
Simon thanked Harry for his kind and generous comments, made on behalf of Anthony Harrison, and responded by presenting him with charity cheques to the value £1,800; £300 in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and a £1,500 donation to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival.
Following the presentation of the cheques, the Vice Chairman of the 2021 Festival, David Winder, rose to present the lodge with a certificate acknowledging their new status as Vice Patrons of the Festival.
The meeting concluded with David Winder presenting the outgoing master, David Forrest, with a past master’s jewel. He thanked him for all the work he had done to support the lodge during his year in office and wished him well for the future.
Later in the evening, in response to the toast to the grand officers, Harry thanked both David Winder and Steve Bolton for their company on what had been a splendid occasion. He went on to bring his own congratulations to master Mason, Simon, on attaining the chair of such a fine lodge. He noted that, in the current year throughout the Province, 95% of masters were going into the chair of their respective lodges for the first time. He wished Simon well for his year in office feeling sure the lodge was in good hands.
Turning to David Forrest, he thanked him for his excellent work during his year in office and commended him for the quality of his ritual, as the installing master, during the installation ceremony. He continued by praising the two fellowcrafts, Paul Thomas and Richard Moore for their excellent delivery of the working tools.
Moving on, Harry reminded the brethren that the Grand Lodge Tercentenary Celebrations had already started and a number of events had been organised. He encouraged those present to give these events their fullest support.
He said the efforts being made to attract new members to Freemasonry was proving successful with many ‘light blues’ now taking office within lodges. However, when considering new candidates, he urged brethren to look across the full spectrum of people and not just to the younger members of society. He reminded the brethren not to forget the newer members of the lodge and to ensure they were kept informed and fully involved in the workings of the lodge.
He continued by reminding the brethren that, although the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival was soon to be launched, it was important not to forget the work of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. He was pleased to note the donation made to the charity, and, on behalf of the ultimate recipients, thanked the lodge for both charitable donations made earlier.
Harry concluded by asking the brethren to give their full support to the Provincial Grand Master at the forthcoming meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in Blackpool and closed by thanking the acting rank officers for their support, the lodge secretary, Derek Thompson for his helpful communications and John Rimmer for all his work as director of ceremonies.
Simon rose to thank Harry for attending the installation meeting as the principal guest and for his kind and generous comments regarding the work of the lodge. He then had great pleasure in presenting him with a gift as a big thank you to his wife, Carol, for giving her permission for Harry to be out for the evening.
The proceedings were further enhanced by a delightful rendition of the master’s song given by Kevin Dowley and Derek Thompson accompanied by Cedric McIlwaine on the piano.