Warrington Chairman takes the chair

Over 45 members and guests attended the installation meeting of the Warrington Temple Lodge No 6420 to see Andrew Barton (Andy) the Warrington Group Chairman, being installed in the chair of King Solomon for the third time at Warrington Masonic Hall.

Kevin Poynton (left) congratulating Andy Barton.

The lodge was highly honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Dennis Rudd and several grand officers including Gordon Amos, Chris Eyres, Len Hart and Derek Williams. There was also an abundance of acting Provincial grand officers present including Bob Williams, Les Savage and Howard Savage.

Peter Barton, the installing master, opened the lodge and completed the usual administrative duties. The lodge was then opened in the second and third degrees. Derek Hazlehurst was then admitted into the lodge and announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton was without and demanded admission. Peter replied it would be a great honour, privilege and pleasure to receive him and all the dignitaries.

Under the direction of Derek, Kevin was then admitted along with acting Provincial grand officers and grand officers with all dignity and reverence, in true ceremonial style.

Peter welcomed Kevin along with all the dignitaries and visitors, saying he hoped everyone would have an enjoyable evening. He offered Kevin the gavel which he accepted, saying it gave him great pleasure to visit the lodge and to be offered the gavel, but quickly returned it, pointing out that it was in good hands.

At this point Peter asked Charles Carr to act as installing SW, Andy Sharp to act as installing JW and Barry Corcoran to continue to act as IG, which they all accepted with pleasure. Andy was then presented to Peter by Bob Armstrong and John Moreton, to receive at his hand the benefit of installation. Andy was then installed into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom and with all due reverence.

The working tools were presented and explained by Bob Armstrong in the third degree, John Moore the second degree and John Knowles the first degree. Andy then appointed and invested his officers for the ensuing year. The address to the WM was delivered by Chris Eyres, address to the wardens was delivered by Derek Hazlehurst and the address to the brethren of the lodge was by Kevin, all of which were perfectly delivered.

Pictured from left to right, are: Kevin Poynton toasting Andy Barton, Peter Barton and Derek Hazlehurst.

This concluded the installation ceremony, at which point Kevin congratulated Andy on being installed into the chair for the third time. He also thanked Peter for all his work particularly over the past year and congratulated him on an excellent ceremony, saying: ‘It was a pleasure to see.” Kevin continued by thanking Derek Hazlehurst for his hard work as DC, particularly tonight. He congratulated the newer brethren on their presentations of their respective tools. Kevin concluded by wishing all the members of the lodge a happy and successful new Masonic year ahead.

Andy thanked Kevin for his comments and presented him with cheques to a total value of £700. Donations included £150 to Guide Dogs for the Blind, £150 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £150 to Walton Lea Project, £150 to Warrington Masonic Hall Co Ltd and £100 to the MCF 2021 Festival.

Following the ceremony an excellent four course banquet was served to over 40 Masons by the Masonic hall staff. This consisted of fan of melon, homemade chicken and bacon pie and treacle tart followed by cheese and biscuits. Red and white wines accompanied the meal with tea or coffee to follow.

After the meal a raffle was held which raised £121 for charity and the Master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard, accompanied by Keith Dickinson.

Andy was born in Warrington in 1963. He married Kath in 1985 and they have two daughters, Penny and Hayley. The date of the installation was Andy’s birthday and was celebrated in the usual way by all present singing ‘Happy Birthday’, much to his embarrassment.

On leaving Stockton Heath County High school in 1980, he started work at Solvay Interox (formally Laportes Chemical Limited) as an apprentice and after 37 years’ service is now employed as a Senior Mechanical Engineering Technician.

Left picture: Norman Pritchard (left) toasting Andy Barton during the master’s song. Right picture: Kevin Poynton (left) receiving flowers from Andy Barton.

Andy was initiated into Warrington Temple Lodge in 1992, serving as master in 1999, 2003 and now again in 2017. He was appointed Provincial Grand Standard Bearer in 2002, Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 2006 and Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2014. He was appointed as Warrington Group Secretary in 2010, group vice chairman in 2013 and group chairman in 2015. He is also a Provincial officer in Royal Arch and holds high rank in another Masonic Order.

Amongst his hobbies are photography and golf (he claims he plays badly). He also enjoys holidaying with Kath at their house in Spain.

At the close of the evening on behalf of the lodge members, Andy presented a bouquet of flowers to Kevin. Kevin thanked the brethren for the flowers saying his wife would be delighted to receive them and thanked the lodge for an enjoyable evening.

The evening was brought to a close by Bill Wainright proposing the tyler’s toast.

Story and pictures by John Starkey.

Pictured from left to right, are: Bob Williams, Andy Whittle, Dennis Rudd, Howard Savage, Kevin Poynton, Les Savage, Andy Barton, Gordon Amos, Chris Eyres, Len Hart and Derek Williams.