At the first meeting of Rufford Lodge No 7217 were honoured by the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Phillip Gunning. Philip was accompanied by grand officers Ray Martland, Malcolm Alexander and acting Provincial grand officer Robert Midgley.
Brian Southworth was the master elect and he was presented for installation by Derek Midgley to the WM John Lewis, who then most ably installed Brian Southworth as master of the lodge for the ensuing year. The working tools were delivered sincerely by Jade Beech, Robert Midgley and Alan Nash.
Derek then delivered the address to the master and lodge treasurer and stalwart David Rawcliffe delivered the address to the wardens. Phillip then rose to bring greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and also delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge, thanking all who took part in enlightened ceremony.
John and Brian were both members of White Hills Lodge No 5209 in the Leyland Group and 15 years ago John joined Rufford Lodge and then Brian joined seven years later. They both also mix socially as army reservists; indeed, Brian has returned from a tour of duty in 2023 with the army in Afghanistan. Also, with in the lodge there are several other members from the armed forces.
Proceedings were preceded over by director of ceremonies Alan Burges who continued to work at the festive board. The Master’s Song was sung by Nigel Medway and accompanied by Doug Little.
Finally, the brethren who had enjoyed not only a wonderful ceremony and belly busting meal, then took part in a ‘Chorley raffle’, which helped to raise £215 for charity, a fitting end to an excellent evening.