There were 50 brethren that filled The Palace, St Annes-On-Sea for the 159th installation meeting of the oldest lodge in the South Fylde Group. Lodge of Triumph No.1061 was consecrated in 1865 and enjoyed its sesquicentennial celebrations in January 2015. At that 150th installation meeting, the lodge was honoured to have the company of the Provincial Grand Master at the meeting and festive board.
Nine years later, members of Lodge of Triumph were delighted to have the now Past Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison, back in attendance. This time as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, for the 2024 ceremony which saw senior warden and master elect, William (Will) Buchanan, installed in true Triumph style.
The lodge was efficiently opened by WM Roger Weston and the business skilfully undertaken. Immediately after the lodge was opened and following a short reflection given by the WM, all brethren stood to honour departed merit in the light of the recent passing of David Winder, Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
Prior to the start of the installation ceremony itself, the director of ceremonies John Topping requested that David Barr, Ian Park and Edward Rhodes occupy the roles of installing senior warden, installing junior warden and installing inner guard respectively. Immediately following this, Will Buchanan was presented to the installing master Roger Weston by Edward Rhodes.
A superb ceremony of installation was delivered by Roger Weston, assisted by John Topping during the inner workings. The newly invested immediate past master received an explanation of the IPM jewel by lodge member Ian Stirling. The three sets of tools were skilfully explained in a very confident manner by Darren Collins (third degree tools), William Buchanan Snr (second degree tools), Peter Grihault (first degree tools). The address to the wardens was delivered by Edward Rhodes, the address to the Deacons by David Barr and the address to the stewards by David Jenkinson.
A highlight of Lodge of Triumph installation ceremony was the address to the WM when delivered by senior lodge member Brian Pearson. Yet again, Brian performed this extremely powerful ritual with effect and high emotion, leaving a lasting impression, not only on the new WM but everyone in attendance. Immediately following the ceremony, WM Will Buchanan asked Roger Weston to present an envelope to Tony Harrison, containing details of charities supported during his year in office. Tony Harrison read out the names of local, national and Masonic charities supported by Lodge of Triumph; the total amount donated was a massive £4,500. Tony thanked everyone concerned in raising this magnificent amount.
Immediately following the ceremony, grand and Provincial grand officers met in the small lodge room to toast the new WM and for Tony Harrison to congratulate everyone involved with the ceremony, including the hard-working lodge secretary, Brian Horrocks. These proceedings were overseen by the group chairman Ben Gorry.
Brethren moved swiftly to the festive board where a sumptuous three course dinner awaited. During the courses, charity steward Noel Dentith organised a raffle which raised £300. A Westhoughton raffle for a hamper raised £180 and the charity plate in lodge, including Gift Aid envelopes raised £175.92. The total raised for charity was £655.92, which received a rapturous round of applause later during Noel’s toast to Masonic charities.
The festive board was well managed by Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, Ryan Modlin who was thanked for his continuous and conscientious work for the Province by Tony Harrison who responded to the toast to grand officers. During his response, Tony congratulated all who had been involved with the ceremony and its organisation. He praised the work of lodge secretary Brian Horrocks, and also the work of lodge members David Barr and Ben Gorry for their Provincial work in the Royal Arch and Craft respectively. Tony commented that in all nine years as ProvGM, he had attended many installations but he had at this Lodge of Triumph meeting seen ritual which he had never seen before. Certainly a ‘daily advancement in Masonic knowledge’.
Brian Horrocks made a short presentation to the WM of the table plan for the evening along with a signed summons of the evening and a copy of the Charges and Regulations. The toast to the new WM was prepared and delivered by Roger Weston. Roger had clearly done his homework and had previously spoken with dad, William Buchanan Snr, who is one of the lodge’s fellow crafts and who delivered a splendid rendition of the second degree tools during the ceremony.
Roger spoke of Will being born on 26 July 1989 at North Tyneside General Hospital. Will is 34 years old which along with former lodge member and past master David Jenkinson, who was also 34 when installed into Lodge of Triumph makes him one of the two youngest WMs of the lodge in the 21st century, if not the last 50 years. Will was born by the Tyne, therefore making him a Geordie, hence Will’s support for Newcastle United. Will lived in Whitley Bay, Tyneside for the first three years of his life and when he was three the family moved to Hale, Altrincham, South Manchester, where he attended school. In 2007 on finishing school, he went to Newcastle University to study biology. Will graduated in 2010 and then did a post graduate teacher training qualification for a year at Manchester University. His first teaching post in 2011 was with Blackpool Aspire Academy. He is still there today and is now one of the assistant head teachers. Since starting at the school he has lived in Poulton. Will has had a Blackpool connection all his life. His grandparents lived in Blackpool and the family would often visit them. His mother spent most of her childhood in Blackpool.
Roger went on to say that Will is a very loyal person to his family and friends. He has an outgoing and very positive personality. He has a very ‘can do’ attitude. Will gets great enjoyment from Freemasonry, as demonstrated by his involvement in many areas and sections. His ability for the learning and flawless delivery of long and complex ritual is exemplary. Will is following in his grandfather’s footsteps who was also a Freemason. But unusually among Freemasons it has been Will’s dad, William, who has followed his son into Masonry, joining the Lodge of Triumph some 5 years after Will joined. Will is interested in classical music, Shakespeare, good living, especially food. Roger concluded by saying that he has every confidence that Will will have a busy, productive, successful and enjoyable year in the chair, alongside his work as the South Fylde Group Secretary.
Following the toast to Will’s good health, Roger Lloyd-Jones of Thornton and Cleveleys Lodge No.3854 sang the Master’s Song, accompanied by lodge guest organist Phil Bolton. The brethren reconvened and took their seats ready for Will Buchanan’s response.
Will started by saying that the evening had been one of the most memorable events in his life and had surpassed all his expectations. He thanked everyone involved with the ceremony, especially Roger Weston for his outstanding work and Brian Horrocks for his planning of the evening. Will thanked Darren, his dad Will and Peter for the excellent tools explanations and the installing officers for their support. Will did comment on the ‘spine tingling’ delivery of Brian Pearson’s address to the WM. He thanked Tony Harrison for his attendance and hoped that he would be back again soon.
Will thanked his proposer into Masonry, John Topping and his seconder, former lodge member David Jenkinson and said that joining Masonry was one of the best decisions that he has ever made. He thanked John and David for their outstanding work in the lodge.
Will continued by speaking about the history of Lodge of Triumph and. how the membership is in good shape for the future with a group of younger members eager to take on that history. He said that the lodge will shortly be releasing information about upcoming social and charitable events being planned. Will said that the February meeting of the lodge will be a very special evening as he will be raising his own father Will Snr to the degree of a master Mason. Willi Buchanan finished his response by one of his favourite quotations to describe the lodge: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”
Report and pictures by John Topping.