Richard Maddocks was installed into the WM’s chair of Festival Lodge No 8123, for the third time in an excellent ceremony led by the retiring master Martin Wootton. The principal guest on this occasion was Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder. He was accompanied by the Preston Group Vice Chairman Geoff Saul, the group membership officer Mike Walkden and supported by other grand officers and acting Provincial grand officers, Clive Gitsham and Simon Worswick.
Festival Lodge is noted for its ‘different’ installation ceremony ritual that was amply demonstrated to the visitors and guests in an excellent manner by the participating lodge members.
Following the administrative business of the lodge, the director of ceremonies Ross Kinder retired from the lodge before returning to announce the presence of David Winder as the principal guest.
David entered the lodge in due form and was formally welcomed by Martin who concluded by offering him the gavel of the lodge. David, returned the gavel, thanking Martin for his warm welcome saying he was looking forward to what he was aware was a ‘different’ ceremony.
Richard was duly presented for installation by George Thornhill. Martin, as the installing master, informed him of his duties as master and went on to install him into the WM’s chair of the lodge in a full ceremony performed in a first-rate manner that was appreciated by all concerned. As part of the ceremony, the working tools of an installed master were explained by George Thornhill and those of the third degree by Bill Woods. The second degree tools were explained in the long form by master Mason, Philip Woods, and those of the first degree by Ross Kinder. An address to the now immediate past master, Martin Wootton, was given by Don Richardson and that to the master by George Thornhill. The address to the wardens was delivered by Bill Struthers and the final address that to the brethren of the lodge, was delivered by Don Richardson.
Following the appointment of officers and the conclusion of the ceremony, David brought the congratulations and good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, commenting on his behalf, on the excellent way in which Richard had been installed as master by his predecessor and all the brethren who had a part to play in what had been a first-class ceremony. He concluded by congratulating Richard on attaining the WM’s chair of Festival Lodge for the third time, wishing him well for his term in office and most of all, encouraged him to, above all, enjoy the year ahead.
Richard responded by thanking David for his kind and generous comments on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master, saying he would do his utmost to maintain the standards of his predecessor. He then presented David with two cheques, the first for £250 in support of Preston Masonic Hall and the second, also for £250 in support of the MCF 2021 Festival.
At the close of the meeting, George Thornhill had the pleasure of proposing a new candidate for Freemasonry that would be dealt with at the next meeting of the lodge.
Later in the evening, in response to the toast to the grand officers, David brought his own congratulations on the day’s ceremony He thanked the grand officers for their support and Don Richardson for delivering the address to the brethren thus kindly relieving himself of that duty. His thanks also went to the group vice chairman Geoff Saul and the acting Provincial grand officers for their support. He concluded his thanks with those to the lodge for the warmth of his welcome and hospitality he had received.
Having brought the greetings and congratulations of Tony Harrison earlier, he now tendered his own congratulations to Martin as the installing master and to all who had a part to play in the evening’s proceedings. He complemented those brethren who gave the various addresses and explanations of the working tools making particular mention of the work of master Mason Philip Woods, with his excellent delivery of the long version of the second degree working tools.
Turning to Richard, David congratulated him on attaining the chair of Festival Lodge for the third time, wishing him a happy and enjoyable time in his year in office. However, it should be pointed out, Richard has now been installed as master of a Craft lodge on no less than six occasions. His current installation into Festival Lodge had been preceded, three weeks earlier, by his installation as third principal of a Royal Arch chapter; a busy man indeed.
Turning to the MCF 2021 Festival, David reminded the brethren of the Festival Jewel that should be worn with pride. He encouraged those who had yet to make a commitment in that direction to consider doing so by, among other ways, using the white envelope scheme. He thanked the lodge for the generous donations made earlier in support of the Festival and also the Masonic hall. In mentioning the Masonic hall, he asked the brethren to keep in mind the use of the hall when organising future celebrations.
He concluded his response by thanking DC Ross Kinder, for his work in bringing the ceremony together and the hard-working secretary of the lodge, George Thornhill, for his valued communications prior to the meeting. David closed by saying what a pleasure it had been to attend the meeting, reminding everyone to continue to enjoy their Masonry and not to be afraid to talk about it.
The representative of the Preston Masters 2016-17, David Williams, had the pleasure of welcoming Richard into that band of brothers known as the ‘Preston Masters.’ He duly presented Richard with his badge of recognition, warning him that if he was ever caught within the portals of the Masonic hall not wearing it, he would be ‘fined’ the sum of £2 to be donated to the masters’ charity fund.
At the conclusion of the evening, Richard rose to thank David for his attendance that was greatly appreciated and on behalf of the lodge members presented him with a bouquet of flowers for his wife Sue. He then repeated the exercise by presenting Geoff with a similar bouquet for his wife Shelia.