Russell takes the chair at Royal Oak

More than 70 brethren assembled at Cleveleys Masonic Hall to witness Russell Forsyth being installed into the WM’s chair of Royal Oak Lodge No 5919. The principal guest on the occasion and the representative of the Provincial Grand Master was Geoffrey Pritchard, accompanied by fellow grand officers Jack Coates, Tony Hough, Ian Ward, Neil MacSymons and chairman of the North Fylde Group Duncan Smith, supported by acting Provincial grand officer Peter Rumley.

Geoffrey Pritchard (left) congratulates the new master Russell Forsyth.

Geoffrey Pritchard (left) congratulates the new master Russell Forsyth.

The regular lodge business was swiftly dispatched by the master Arthur Cartain who proceeded to invite Chris Molyneaux to act as installing senior warden, Stuart Brown to act as installing junior warden and Joe O’Brien to act as installing inner guard. Russell was then presented by lodge stalwart Gordon Hinchcliffe.

The master elect was installed in an excellent manner by Arthur Cartain with assistance from the director of ceremonies Alex Tomlinson and the rarely heard working tools of an installed master were delivered by Gordon Hinchcliffe. The working tools in the three degrees were particularly well presented by Arnold Flint, Mark Mallinson and Martin Poole. The officers of the lodge were then invested.

Damon Tait tendered greetings to the lodge mentor and addresses to the deacons and stewards were given by Alex Tomlinson and Dave Elwell respectively. The sprightly Tommy Bullen then delivered an excellent address to Russell, followed by the address to the wardens by Duncan Smith and to the brethren by Geoffrey Pritchard.

At the conclusion of the installation Geoffrey congratulated Arthur on the manner in which he had installed Russell. On behalf of the lodge, Russell presented Geoffrey with cheques for charities with a combined total of £2,120 including £500 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and £600 to Highfurlong School.

Pictured from left to right, are: Ian Ward, Duncan Smith, Geoffrey Pritchard, Russell Forsyth, Neil MacSymons and Peter Rumley.

Pictured from left to right, are: Ian Ward, Duncan Smith, Geoffrey Pritchard, Russell Forsyth, Neil MacSymons and Peter Rumley.

The brethren were treated to a wonderful festive board and as usual Geoffrey’s response was full of warmth and humour. He wished Russell, his contemporary from Hodgson School, good health and an enjoyable year ahead. A raffle took place which raised £335 for charities. The toast to the newly made master was given by Arthur Cartain, and the master’s song was heartily rendered by John Darrell. At the conclusion of a marvellous evening, the tyler’s toast was presented by Bob Major.