The installation meeting of St Bartholomew Lodge No 6071 was no mean feat as Steven Lowe, a podiatrist by trade, was installed into the chair of King Solomon. Being a podiatrist means Steven takes good care of people’s feet. The ceremony was well attended and the brethren were honoured with the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Ray Martland, along with four other grand lodge officers. These included Stephen Gregory, who is a member of the lodge and acted as installing senior warden during the ceremony. The Chorley Group Chairman Peter Locket was also part of the delegation with several acting officers from the Province.
Steven hails from Leigh and has been in Freemasonry for seven years. He is one of Her Majesties Justices of the Peace and a scout master. He is also on a board of school governors. He was installed in fine style in a slick ceremony under the guidance of Mark Howard, the lodge director of ceremonies. He took the bold step of closing the lodge down ‘in full’ which made the ceremony very interesting. The outgoing master, Tony Fletcher, along with Peter Holden and David Bridge presented the working tools to the new master in an exemplary manner.
During the ceremony Stephen Gregory was kept busy as he went on to give the address to the master. Peter Rees, the lodge secretary delivered the address to the wardens and Ray Martland ended the proceedings by giving the address to the brethren.
Presenting Ray with cheques was the first task for Steven. These were for donations from St Bartholomew Lodge members to many charities. The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charities received £800 and there were donations of £150 to each of the following; Ecclesholme, Derian House,
Urban Outreach, Firwood School, Halliwell Befriending Society, Macmillan Nurses, Singing with Dementia and the 13th Leigh Scout Group. Ray thanked the brethren of the lodge for the generosity shown and thanked all those who had taken part for an enjoyable ceremony.
The brethren then enjoyed the festive board at which the principal guests took wine with Steven. During coffee, a raffle raised £250 for good causes, the lucky winner being David Bridge. Following the meal Gary Smith from Peace Lodge No 2269 sang the master’s song accompanied by Ray Dainton at the piano.
After the toasts were suitably taken, in the response by Ray Martland, who is also an honorary member of St Bartholomew Lodge, he made praise to the hard work that the Chorley Group officers take on, many of whom were present at the festive board. Steven responded by saying that he was looking forward to his year as master and challenged the lodge members to put his ritual to the test by finding him a candidate! He closed the evening’s proceedings by thanking all the brethren of his lodge for a wonderful evening.