The members of the Lodge of Charity No 2651 were delighted and honoured that the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison attended their installation meeting. Tony was accompanied by other distinguished brethren, including: Kevin Poynton (APrGM), Keith Kemp (Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies), the senior and junior Provincial grand wardens, Peter Pemberton and Martin Lockyer along with Chris Eyres (Warrington Group Chairman), a galaxy of grand officers and other members of the Provincial team including six Provincial Grand Stewards.
After welcoming the assembled brethren, the lodge was opened in due form by the WM, John Pether, following which, John transacted the normal business. The lodge was raised to the third degree. The PrGDC, Keith Kemp entered the lodge to announce the attendance of the PrGM. Tony, accompanied by his Provincial team, was admitted and formally welcomed into the lodge by the WM. Salutations were then given under the direction of Keith Kemp.
Before starting the installation ceremony John thanked each of the lodge members for their support over the year he had been WM.
Malcolm Myers was presented to the installing master Charles Appleton by past masters of the lodge Alan Bristow and Kevin Shade. Malcolm Myers was installed into the chair of King Solomon by Charles in what can only be described as an exemplary manner.
A copybook delivery of the working tools by three of the junior brethren Rob Roberts (third degree), Louis Warburton (second degree) and Richard Penn (first degree).
Just in time as the new WM announced his appointment as the lodge’s organist, Stephen Derringer arrived after playing a recital at St George’s Hall Liverpool. On his arrival the musical ambience was lifted.
The address to the master was delivered by David Spear, to the wardens by Martin Lockyer the Deacons by Ian Lynch, the Stewards by Peter Whalley, the tyler by Bill Bell and to the brethren by Tony Harrison.
At the end of the ceremony Tony said that he was very pleased to be present at this excellent working of an installation. He congratulated Malcolm on attaining the chair of this delightful lodge, after serving as WM on two occasions of another lodge. He made special mention of Charles Appleton’s work as installing master and the three master Masons who presented the working tools.
Malcolm then presented Tony with donations totalling the number of the lodge £2,651. They were for: £1,000 West Lancashire Freemason’s Charity, £500 Warrington Masonic Hall, £251 Winwick Church, £200 Walton Lea Project, £200 Warrington Young Carers, £200 Radley Common Luncheon Club, £200 Friends of Ecclesholme and £100 Warrington Masonic Hall Museum. In addition donations have been made during the year to Oakwood Girl Guides, Birchwood £70, Eccleshome for tickets for the Summer and Christmas Fairs £40, the Stroke Association £50 and £455 the widows of the lodge – The total giving for the year was £3,266.
Tony thanked Malcolm for the magnificent donations on behalf of all the recipients. He said that from the confident manner in which Malcolm had handled the lodge, the support in-depth by junior brethren he had no doubt this was a lodge in robust good health.
After the lodge was closed the celebration banquet was attended by nearly 130 members and visitors, and in addition 50 wives and partners enjoyed a hot pot supper in an adjoining dining room, hosted by the WM’s wife Christine, she was joined by the PrGM’s wife Maureen Harrison. Before parading into the social board Tony went in to see the ladies.
After the festive board in response to the toast to his health Tony said he was delighted make his first visit to Warrington to witness the installation of Malcolm. He congratulated him again on attaining the chair of King Solomon for the third time. He also said it was nice to see so many Grand Officers in attendance. Tony also gave his grateful thanks all the acting Provincial officers for their attendance as they added that little extra to the proceedings, particularly PrGDC Keith Kemp and his Deputy David Thomas for the work they do.
Tony continued: “We have all had a wonderful time and that is just what I am hoping, is that all of you will enjoy your Freemasonry. If we are able to witness ceremonies and ritual as we have done, then we are well on the way to a great evening.
Now Brethren I have something to ask you all, as I have come to your installation meeting, I would like you to consider doing something for me. I have changed Provincial Grand Lodge to only one meeting this year on 7 May at Blackpool Winter Gardens and dining at the Hilton Hotel. We can now accommodate up to 2,000 brethren and up to 750 to dine, I would love you come to my lodge on 7 May.
Good ceremonies and ritual, good food and good fun, as that is a recipe for enjoying Freemasonry. Make sure you fully support your Masonic Hall and the wonderful new Museum.
I have previously said that We are all membership officers and we are all mentors, and indeed we are or we should be and every single brother in this Province has his own part to play in our future and that your views and opinions are just as important as our senior officers.
Brethren, we are all proud men. We are proud of our past, we are proud of what we are currently achieving, we must be proud of what we hope to achieve for the future generations of Masons who will inherit this great Province. We all have a wonderful opportunity ahead of us to make our mark on Freemasonry in West Lancashire, but brethren however you intend to make your mark, please continue to enjoy your Freemasonry.”