The installation of Geoffrey Haynes as the new WM of Preston Lodge of Sincerity No 8085, took place at the Norman Jepson Hotel in the presence of Steve Bolton, Chairman of the Preston Group. On this occasion, Steve was acting as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He was accompanied by the Vice Chairman of Preston Group John Rimmer, together with Secretary of the Preston Group Peter Ledder.
Having a close affiliation with Preston Lodge of Sincerity, members of Lodge Earl Haig No 1260 in the Scottish Constitution, travelled the distance from Leven in the Province of Fife and Kinross to give their support to the occasion.
The meeting began when the acting lodge director of ceremonies, Howard Lythgoe, requested brethren to stand to receive the WM, Mark Reilly, accompanied by his wardens. The lodge was then opened in the ﬁrst degree and the minutes of the previous meeting were read, conﬁrmed and signed.
Following completion of the administrative business of the lodge, the lodge was opened in the second degree and then the third degree. The DC retired and then returned to announce that Steve Bolton Chairman of the Preston Group, representing the Provincial Grand Master, requested permission to enter. Steve Bolton, accompanied by vice chairman John Rimmer and other Provincial grand officers, then entered the lodge to be warmly welcomed by the WM.
For the purposes of installation, before requesting David Barlow to occupy the master’s chair, the WM requested lodge member, David Gradwell to occupy the senior warden’s chair and John Hakes the junior warden’s chair.
The lodge returned to the second degree and the master elect Geoffrey Haynes, was presented for installation by Frank Cook. David, as the installing master, informed Geoffrey of his duties as master and went on to install him into the 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 the third degree were explained by Frank Cook, those of the second degree by Howard Lythgoe and those of the ﬁrst degree by Robert Norris, all of whom gave excellent presentations.
The address to the master was delivered by Peter Whitehead and following the appointment of lodge officers, that to the brethren of the lodge was given by the principal guest, Steve Bolton.
Following the ceremony, Steve Bolton conveyed the good wishes and congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, saying that had he been in attendance he would undoubtedly have congratulated the installing master and the lodge DC. Steve also said that Tony wished all brethren to continue to enjoy their Freemasonry.
Geoffrey, now as master of the lodge, had the pleasure of presenting Steve with a cheque for £500 in support of the MCF 2021 Festival. Steve, in turn, thanked the lodge for their generous donation adding that it would be put to very good use by the Masonic charities.
After the principal guest and group officials had retired, the lodge was closed in due form, so that the brethren could retire to enjoy a hearty meal, some libation and good company.
Later in the evening, following the toast to Geoffrey, Kevin Ruffley gave an excellent rendition of the master’s song that closed with a toast to Geoffrey.