Third generation Mason, Andrew (Andy) Douglas Begg, was installed into the chair of King Solomon in a warm and emotional installation ceremony conducted by his father Brian, at a meeting of Lodge of Allegiance No 7352 at Garston Masonic Hall.
Andy follows his father Brian as WM who had previously undertaken the master’s duties in 1989. Andy’s grandfather was a founding member of the lodge and he too occupied the WM’s chair in 1958. In itself this may not be unique but nevertheless it is rare enough to warrant special mention.
Although not a large lodge in numbers, it is renowned for the quality of its work as well as the warmth of its welcome as the many guests on the evening will attest too. The evenings proceedings were managed by Ken Dobie, who after a gap of 30 years undertook the duties of DC for the evening. Sadly, this was necessary due to the illness of lodge DC Danny Wilson.
Once the lodge was opened and the routine business conducted, Ken retired from the lodge and returned to announce that Colin Rowling, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, was without and sought admission. The lodge was pleased to receive Colin who was accompanied by fellow grand officers Howard Griffiths (Garston Group Chairman), David Fairclough and Andy Whittle.
For the ceremony of installation Brian requested Derek Houghton to occupy the SW chair, Andrew Dobie the JW chair and Dave Atkinson to undertake the duties of IG. With the lodge opened in the third degree the various salutations were made before Brian asked the presenting officers Graham Brunskill and Stewart Dobie to present the master elect to him.
The necessary qualifications of a WM were confirmed before Andy took his oath as master elect. At this time, Brian took the opportunity to thank all the officers of the lodge for their commitment and assistance during his year in office. Following this all those below the rank of an installed master retired from the lodge and the ceremony of installation was conducted.
As it’s Andy’s first time in the chair he has no measure of comparison of the quality of the work but he can have no doubt at all of the sincerity in which it was conducted. A father’s pride was evident to all and as to the quality of the work, it matched in every sense the sincerity. From him taking the chair of the lodge Andy showed a calm assurance which bodes well for the future of the lodge. He appointed and installed the officers for the ensuing year and it was pleasing to see two ‘light blues’ advancing up the ladder.
At the conclusion of the installation Colin stood to offer the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master saying that he had instructed him to wish Andy and indeed all the brethren good health and that they continue to enjoy their Freemasonry. He went on to say that had he himself been present the Provincial Grand Master would also no doubt have congratulated ‘dad’ for a job well done and acting DC Ken for ensuring a smooth ceremony.
In a very pleasant first official duty Andy then presented two cheques to Colin, one in the sum of £200 in support of ‘Blood Wise’ a cancer charity and the second in the sum of £100 in support of Garston Masonic Hall. Colin thanked Andy and the brethren on behalf of those who would ultimately benefit from the lodge’s generosity.
At the conclusion of the lodge business and after closing the lodge the brethren gathered to toast the newly installed WM before gathering at the festive board. The festive board was a most enjoyable occasion with the magnificent glassware donated to the lodge by a past master taking pride of place at the table setting.
In responding to the toast to grand officers, Colin took the opportunity to advise and update the brethren on the many events taking place both locally and nationally. He then added his own congratulations to Andy and commented on the fact that throughout the evening a happy smile had never left Andy’s face. He reiterated his earlier comments that ‘dad’ had done a wonderful job and that 30 years had in no way diminished Ken’s abilities as a DC.
Colin continued by making a very special mention that this was the final official attendance of group chairman Howard and delivered a delightful eulogy of Howard’s 19 years of service to the group.
During the evening a raffle in support of charities raised a further £150 which will in good time find its way to nominated good causes.