Members and visitors to Hand and Heart Lodge No 4109 were honoured to welcome Sylvester During as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews to their installation meeting at Urmston Masonic Hall. At the installation, the WM and installing master, Darren Gregory, was to install Shaun Brookhouse to the chair of King Solomon.
The meeting, held in the 1881 building at Urmston Masonic Hall, was very well attended indeed, with visitors from all around the Province of West Lancashire and even some members from one of the master elect’s other lodges in Denmark, adding distinctly different and colourful regalia to the occasion. Members of the lodge and visitors alike crowded into the lodge room in eager anticipation of the ceremony.
Sylvester was accompanied by grand officers Michael Adams and South Eastern Group Chairman Gareth Jones, along with other group officers, Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren to witness the installation ceremony of Shaun who, having been previously installed in the chair at other lodges, was no stranger to the procedure.
The installing and WM Darren Gregory, having opened the lodge, commenced and convened the lodge business in the first degree, then, conducted by lodge DC, Ezra McGowan, Sylvester and his entourage were warmly welcomed into the lodge room and after greetings had been exchanged, the ceremony commenced.
Shaun was then presented and installed by Darren in a smooth and most sincere manner and then the working tools of an installed master were presented to him in an excellent fashion by South Eastern Group Secretary Eddie Wilkinson
As the other members of the lodge were gradually readmitted to the room, there followed excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Ian Wood, in the second degree by Peter Stockton and in the first degree by Malcolm Whittle.
Peter Stockton gave a further presentation of the address to the master, the address to the wardens was given in excellent fashion by lodge almoner Steve Masters, followed by the address to the brethren of te lodge, given by Sylvester in an extremely heartfelt fashion.
On completion of the installation ceremony, Sylvester then rose to bring the sincere greetings, congratulations, and best wishes from Mark Matthews, the Provincial Grand Master. Sylvester said that Mark was aware that Shaun was taking the master’s chair for the first time at Hand and Heart and wished him and the members of the lodge a happy, healthy and most importantly enjoyable year ahead.
Sylvester said he had rarely witnessed such an excellently worked, very smooth installation ceremony and was sure that Mark would have been impressed and would have congratulated the installing master Darren Gregory, director of ceremonies Ezra McGowan and indeed, all those who had taken part!
Shaun then rose to respond to Sylvester, thanking him for passing on the good wishes of Mark Matthews and had much pleasure in presenting a cheque on behalf of the lodge. Sylvester, having opened the envelope, had much pleasure in complimenting the lodge for their amazingly generosity in presenting £410.90 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, thanking the lodge on behalf of those recipients whom we would never know but who would no doubt be well served by the donation.
On the first rising Mike Adams rose and brought the greetings of the grand officers, saying that he had experienced an excellent and enjoyable ceremony and it was a delight to see Shaun installed into the master’s chair once more and wishing him a very happy year ahead.
The evening continued with a crowded, enjoyable, friendly festive board in the true Hand and Heart style. Sylvester, in response to his toast, made references to the importance of encouraging membership and retrieval and on improving Masonic recruitment through the Pathway. Finally going on to say he had experienced an immensely enjoyable evening and again, on his own behalf, thanked the lodge for their hospitality, thus concluding a most excellent evening.