The members of Pharos Lodge No 7421, together with their visitors were extremely honoured to have Past Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison as their principal guest at the installation of Liam Burns. Supporting Tony were fellow grand officers, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon, Keith Jackson, Paul Broadley, Neil MacSymons and Jason Dell, together with the North Fylde Group Chairman John Cross and Acting Provincial Grand Officers, Bob Marsden, John Bainbridge, Neil Higgins, Russell Forsyth and Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Ryan Modlin.
Liam was proposed into Pharos Lodge by Canon John Hall and initiated in February 2017, who together with his seconder John Eastwood had the privilege of installing him into the chair of the lodge. Liam left home at 16 to join the RAF and after completing a three-year aircraft engineering apprenticeship at RAF Halton, Liam was posted to his first frontline squadron near Bury St Edmonds. On 12 Squadron he worked on Buccaneer and Hunter aircraft.
In an exciting career in the RAF, which saw Liam posted as a crew chief to RAF Marham, he spent his best tour in the Air Force flying all over the place on Victor Air-to-Air refuelling tankers. Liam’s career saw him travel all over the world with regular trips to the USA, Canada, Cyprus, Sicily and Oman. Liam even had many trips to Accension Island during the Falklands War. During time at an engineering development unit and at Logistics Command Headquarters, he spent time detached to IBM and paid visits to Boeing Helicopters in Philadelphia and Lockheed Martin in Atlanta. Liam left the Royal Air Force in 1999 as a Warrant Officer thus completing his boyhood ambition and went to work with BAE Systems at Warton.
Liam’s community work knows no bounds; working as a volunteer for Trinity Hospice for over 10 years both on reception and helping to run the bereavement support group. He has used his experience in the RAF as Civilian Instructor at 1301 (Fleetwood) Squadron, RAF Air Cadets, teaching a range of subjects including the history of the RAF, jet engine theory, aircraft maintenance and air power.
A keen member of the church, Liam has served as a Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England, leading worship, preaching sermons, taking funerals but moreover Liam was one of the founding members of Faith in the Community, with Canon John Hall, and was its first treasurer.
Currently he is chairman of the Fleetwood Remembrance Sunday Committee. One of the highlights of his time as a lay minister was conducting the town’s Remembrance Sunday service on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Canon John Hall, the Provincial Grand Chaplin and master of Pharos Lodge opened his last meeting in charge and welcomed everybody to the installation ceremony. Once John had completed the initial lodge business, he skilfully opened the lodge to the third degree. At which point in the proceedings there was a knock on the lodge door and the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies entered to formally announce the presence of Tony Harrison.
The installation then got underway with John asking for the assistance of Jason Dell as installing senior warden, Peter Dunn as installing junior warden and David Elwell as installing inner guard. The honour of presenting the master elect was given to John Eastwood, Liam’s seconder into Freemasonry. During the inner working, Liam was installed into the chair of the lodge by Canon John Hall.
Once the board of installed masters was closed, the installation baton was passed to John Eastwood to complete the ceremony. As the lodge was closed down in each degree and the brethren re-entered the lodge room, the third degree working tools were delivered by Clive Chorley, the second degree working tools by Rev Matthew McMurray of Leyland St Andrew’s Lodge No 7391 and the first degree tool by Paul Troughton. The address to the master was given by Greg Grove with Dennis Smith delivering the addresses to the wardens. Tony Harrison rose to his feet and was escorted in front of the junior warden’s pedestal to deliver the final address to the brethren of the lodge.
As formalities dictate, Tony rose to his feet to bring the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews to the newly installed master Liam and congratulate all those who took part in the ceremony. Tony took a moment to personally thank John Hall and Jason Dell for their support to him and their service to the Province during Tony’s term in office as Provincial Grand Master.
Liam had the honour off presenting Tony with cheques for £250 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £600 to the Mosamaria Aids Ministry. The Mosamaria Aids Ministry is a charity in South Africa that is close to the heart of Canon John which is supported by the Diocese of Blackburn and one that Canon John visited during his last trip to South Africa to see their good work.
The brethren duly retired to the comfortable surroundings of the bar and ultimately the dining room, where they relaxed and enjoyed an excellent meal and great company.
In the response to the toast to his health Tony Harrison had the pleasure of congratulating Liam on attaining the master’s chair. Tony said that it was wonderful to be at the installation as he had not been going out as much as during his previous role as Provincial Garand Master had demanded from him. Tony commended Canon John and John Eastwood on the excellent manner in which they had conducted the installation. Tony congratulated all those who had taken part in the ceremony and singled out those brothers who had delivered the working tools.
Tony’s response covered important subjects for the Masonic fraternity, such as membership and taking the time to talk to friends, family and work colleagues about Masonry. Mention was made of the Royal Arch asking those who were not yet members to consider joining and completing their Masonic journey.
Tony completed his response by thanking group officers and acting Provincial grand officers, as without them the Province would not be able to function as well as it does. Tony thanked the brethren for supporting both him and the 2021 Masonic Charitable Foundation appeal, raising a magnificent £3,504,423.
Completing the evening, a raffle raised £360, and to deliver the masters song to Liam, was the man who hits all the right notes, John Darrell, the hard-working lodge secretary. Liam had the pleasure of presenting a bouquet of flowers to Tony for his wife Maureen, and finally to bring the evening to a fitting end Ian Glass delivered the tyler’s toast.