Members of Phoenix Lodge No 1730 were most honoured to receive Stuart Thornber as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master at their installation meeting where Jan Davison-Fischer was installed as master for the ensuing year. The meeting, held at Urmston Masonic Hall, was very well attended and Stuart was in good company, being accompanied by fellow grand officers Brian Hayes and Derek Hughson, who in fact provided the excellent musical harmonies for the lodge during the evening.
Also present were Phil Gibbs, South Eastern Group Vice Chairman along with Glyn Edmonds, Assistant Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany and other Provincial grand officers and distinguished visiting brethren.
The lodge was opened in good form and as the evening progressed, the installing master Howard Monk, installed Jan in an excellent manner, evidently proving to be fully au fait with his responsibility and worked in a diligent manner supported by his officers.
In the board of installed masters part of the ceremony, Eddie Wilkinson gave an excellent presentation of the working tools of an installed master, followed by equally excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Polychronis Bouzioglou, the second degree tools by Ken Allen and finally the working tools in the first degree given with much panache by Jim Jones.
There were other excellent addresses which followed, those being to the deacons by Dennis Lawrinson, to the newly installed master given by Howard, to the wardens by Trevor Edmonds and finally, a most excellent address to the brethren by Stuart.
The installation ceremony having come to its completion, Stuart rose at the customary point of the proceedings and immediately conveyed the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, offering his congratulations to Jan on being installed as WM, wishing him and the lodge good health to enjoy a happy and busy year ahead.
Stuart continued by saying that had Tony been present, he would have also had great pleasure in congratulating the installing master Howard Monk, for the excellent work that he had put into the ceremony and similarly congratulating him for his previous successful year in the chair. Addressing the installing officers and brethren of the lodge, Stuart similarly complimented them on the high standard of the ceremony and of the excellent, friendly manner in which it had been conducted and in particular to those newer brethren who gave those excellent presentations of the working tools.
Jan then responded to Stuart by thanking him for passing on the good wishes of the PrGM and had much pleasure in presenting to Stuart, in his words ‘a mystery envelope’, containing a cheque on the behalf of the lodge. Stuart having asked Jan’s permission revealed to the visitors the content of the cheque being made out for a tremendous amount of £500 in favour for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
Stuart said this was a most generous contribution and clearly had much pleasure in congratulating and thanking the lodge on behalf of all those eventual recipients, we may never know, for their most kind, charitable giving.
The same sentiments and congratulations on the excellence of the ceremony were reiterated by Brian Hayes in his response at the first rising; he too concurred with Stuart’s comments that this had been a most enjoyable meeting and similarly wished Jan, whom he had proposed into Freemasonry some previous years ago, an excellent year ahead.
The evening continued with an enjoyable, friendly, jovial festive board. Stuart, in his response, made reference to his guided tour through both the subterranean and highly presentable roomed interiors of the new Urmston Masonic Hall. He continued on the subjects of the care system, Provincial website, charity and the forthcoming 2016 festival, where at which point he personally thanked the lodge for their kind charitable generosity demonstrated earlier in the evening.
Stuart concluded by saying he had experienced an immensely enjoyable level of hospitality which had been extended to him throughout the evening, where soon after Stuart’s response, Chris Knowles delivered the masters’ song in his own unequivocal and inimitable standard but, on this occasion with a difference, much to the surprise, pleasure, ‘nein’, delight of the German speaking contingent, the WM being one of the many. Chris had practiced such, that the last part of the song was sung in Deutsch, whereas we English speakers assumed it was perfected as there was clearly much expressed delight, all of course ably assisted and as much a surprised, Derek Hughson on the piano.
The formalities and fun of the evening being over thus concluded a most enjoyable, abundant evening.