Members of Lodge Kenmuir Springburn No 570 from Glasgow travelled south to witness the installation of master elect Tom Gaffney in Lodge of Hope No 2679. This was the second year that the visitors from Glasgow had visited Elm Bank Masonic Hall after they had hosted Lodge of Hope previously.
Representing the Provincial Grand Master and the principal guest was Tony Edden, who was warmly welcomed by the WM Phillip Whiteley. Tony was accompanied by the Eccles Group Vice Chaiman Stuart Sutherland Boyd and grand officers Rev Don Price and Gordon Yates.
The Scottish visitors were greeted by the Phillip Whiteley to which their WM Stephen Bullen thanked him, on behalf of Lodge Kenmuir members, for his kind invitation.
The master elect was presented by his son Graham to the installing master Phillip Whiteley who performed a sincere ceremony installing Tom into the chair of King Solomon. Phillip was ably assisted by installing officers, Brian Crossley, Don Davidson and Tony Pickering under the watchful eye of the director of ceremonies Phil Evans.
The third degree tools were presented by Dave Pollitt, the second degree tools by Ian Cliff Bentley and the first degree tools by Anthony Maudsley. The explanation of the jewels was given to the senior warden by Brian Crossley, to the junior warden by Don Davidson, to the senior and junior deacons by Tony Pickering and to the stewards by Brian Lawrence. The address to the master was given by Joe Jones.
After the ceremony Tony congratulated Tom on reaching the chair of King Solomon and wished him and the lodge a wonderful and busy year ahead. He extended the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated Phillip and his installing officers for a wonderful ceremony.
Phillip presented Tony with a cheque, on behalf of the lodge members, to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity for the sum of £750 and a cheque to Ecclesholme for the sum of £350, which was most gratefully received.
The brethren retired from the lodge to enjoy the friendship and fraternity at the festive board shared by the 56 brethren that attended. In keeping with the Scottish theme, there followed the address to the haggis, ferociously presented by Gordon Fisher (Lodge Kenmuir) with dramatic passion.
In his response to the toast to the grand officers, Tony said that he had thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony which had been made all the more enjoyable with the presence of our Scottish friends. He also wished to thank all the brethren of Lodge of Hope for making him feel so welcome and also thanked the lodge secretary, Brian Lawrence for his communications and Stuart Sutherland Boyd for his support. He also gave a warm welcome to the visitors from Scotland and hoped that they had enjoyed the camaraderie in the lodge and especially at the festive board.
Tony made reference to the importance of the Masonic halls expressing the importance of maintaining them and how we should look to marketing them for the purpose of increasing revenue.
Tom Gaffney commented on how fortunate he was to be installed with such a wonderful occasion, supported by so many brethren including our friends from Glasgow and how much he had enjoyed the company of all those present.
Stephen Bullen responded on behalf of the visitors from Glasgow and thanked Tom for the kind hospitality shown to them and how much they had enjoyed their visit and looked forward to the Lodge of Hope visiting them later in the year. The festive board was complimented with members and visitors alike exuberantly joining in the song to the worshipful master.
John Harrop of Stretford with Trafford Lodge No 4379 responded to the toast to the visitors as the newest WM on the circuit. He said he looked forward to seeing Tom on the master’s circuit and thanked him for an excellent festive board. John passed on the traditional ‘black spot’ to Tom for when he responds at the first installation he attends.
On conclusion of the festive board, the ladies of the lodge members were invited to join the brethren and to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere provided by our Scottish friends and share the company of all present into the wee small hours.