Nearly 70 brethren were present to witness the installation of Trevor Jones into the chair of Willows Lodge No 5343 which meets at Bryn Masonic Hall. Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton was the principal guest, accompanied by group chairman Malcolm Taylor and fellow grand officers Graeme Hughes and David Ogden and supported by acting Provincial officers Barry Dickinson, Tony Simms and Ken Wilson, together with group vice-chairman Geoffrey Porter and local care officer John Lomax.
Installing master John Thompson offered the gavel to John Hutton and in response John stated that he was really honoured to be at Bryn and he has always been impressed when he has visited the hall by the friendliness of the reception he has received and how well the building is run, but felt it proper on this occasion to return the gavel. To all present and especially those who had witnessed the master’s competence and enthusiasm over the past year, there was an obvious delight on the face of John Thompson as he took the gavel back and commenced what was to be a thoroughly wonderful performance to place his enthusiastic successor into the chair.
John Hutton and all assembled were treated to a delightful ceremony of installation and John was greatly impressed, lavishing praise on the installing master and all the officers who took part. Worthy of special mention was how pleasing it was to see the working tools delivered by a master Mason, fellowcraft and entered apprentice and in such fine fashion. So polished was the delivery that each was received much acclaim and spontaneous applause.
Addresses to the junior deacon and stewards were given by the acting Provincial officers present and Graeme Hughes, lodge member and acting warden in the Province of Cheshire, delivered that to the wardens. Stewart Blagg, group secretary and lodge member, delivered the warrant of the lodge into the care of the new WM and there then followed the presentation of the Hallstone jewel to Trevor, a very special tradition in Willows Lodge. The significance of it was explained to him, representing those four years of extreme sacrifice between 1914 and 1918 and the generosity of former members of the lodge. It was explained to him that it had since that time always been worn by the WM of the lodge as part of their Masonic clothing.
John brought the greetings and congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master, who was in Australia, and congratulated Trevor on taking the chair in such a fine ceremony, commenting that to him, Willows Lodge just seem to be doing everything right and going from strength to strength. He was delighted to receive charitable donations totalling a magnificent £2,800, consisting of; £1,000 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £300 to the Masonic Hall, £350 to the Wigan and Leigh Hospice, £200 to the Newton Community Hospital, £200 to the Newton le Willows branch of Age Concern and £750 to St Rocco’s Hospice. John was extremely impressed by this wonderful charitable effort and all members of Willows Lodge can feel proud of their achievement. Trevor looked really comfortable in the chair and conducted the rest of the business efficiently and with dignity.
At the festive board Malcolm Taylor responded on behalf of grand lodge and joked that he had not been scheduled to attend the meeting, but had come to ensure that John Thompson was ‘prised’ from the
chair, a reference to the well noted effort, enthusiasm and enjoyment that had been the signature of his year in office. It was plain for all to see that Trevor shares that same enthusiasm and enjoyment and the lodge remains in safe and keen hands.
Trevor lives in Newton le Willows and is married to Jenifer. They have three children, Paul, David and Sharon, seven grandchildren and a great grandson, although you would never think it from his youthful looks. Trevor worked for 25 years in a bakery, but now works for a postal company in Warrington, so as well as WM he really is a man of many letters!
Following the festivities of the evening, Trevor was delighted to make a presentation to one of the older statesmen of the lodge Brian Honey. Brian has been secretary of Willows Lodge for over 20 years, serving loyally and efficiently over that time and now he is standing down it was appropriate not to let the moment pass without the recognition such service deserves.