Over 60 members and guests attended the installation meeting of Warrington Lodge of Concord No 1250 to see Nicholas (Nick) Woodward being installed in the chair of King Solomon at Warrington Masonic Hall.
William (Bill) Hinchliffe the installing master opened the lodge and completed the usual administration. On this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, who was accompanied by other grand officers including Gordon Amos, Stan Churm, Derek Hunt along with the Warrington Group Chairman, Andy Barton and Provincial acting officer, Paul Rigby. All were admitted in true ceremonial style with all dignity and reverence.
Bill welcomed Kevin and all the dignitaries and visitors saying he hoped everyone would have an enjoyable evening and then offered Kevin the gavel. Kevin accepted, saying it gave him great pleasure to visit the lodge and to be offered the gavel, but he had second thoughts about keeping it and quickly returned it, pointing out that it was probably in safer hands.
At this point Bill asked Keith Young to act as installing SW, James Walker to act as JW and Derek Arstall as IG, which they all accepted with pleasure. At this moment Nick was presented to Bill to receive at his hand the benefit of installation by John McIntyre group secretary, accompanied by Richard Sherrett (lodge DC).
Nick was then installed into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom and with all due reverence. This part of the ceremony was slightly shorter than normal because Nick had occupied the chair on a previous occasion. The working tools were presented and explained by Jake Parsons in the third degree, David Winkler the second degree and Rob Kelly the first degree. Nick then appointed and invested his officers for the ensuing year.
The address to the WM was delivered by Bill, the address to the wardens by Andy and the address to the brethren by Kevin, all of which were perfectly delivered.
This concluded the installation ceremony at which point Kevin on his own behalf and on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulated Nick on being installed into the chair again. He also thanked Bill for all his work particularly over the past two years and congratulated him on an excellent ceremony saying: “It was a sheer pleasure to witness.” Kevin continued by thanking Richard, the retiring DC, for his hard work and Chris Todd as incoming DC for his work tonight, wishing him much success in the future. He congratulated the newer brethren for their presentations of their respective tools for each degree. Kevin concluded by wishing all the members of the lodge to have a happy and successful new Masonic year ahead.
In response, Nick thanked Kevin for his comments and presented him with cheques to a total value of £1,750. The cheques were; £800 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £450 for St Rocco’s Hospice, £400 for the Warrington Masonic Hall and £100 for Warrington Talking Newspapers. Kevin said that this was a terrific amount of money and thanked all the members on behalf of the recipients for such great donations. He said he would be proud to deliver them to the charities named. On leaving the lodge Kevin again said “Thank you for a wonderful ceremony, a sheer pleasure to witness.”
Nick joined the Ministry of Defence Police Admiralty Constabulary in1966, which then became the MOD Police in September 1971. He served at Portland Naval Base for six years transferring to the American Army base at Burtonwood, where he served for 22 years. Finally he transferred to the Army Barracks at West Derby in Liverpool, where he worked as a firearms instructor until he took early retirement in 2000.
Freemasonry started in 1985 for Nick when was initiated into Urmston Lodge No 1730 and joined Urmston Chapter No 1730 in 1987. He attained the chair of King Solomon for the first time in the Urmston Lodge in 1997 and for the second time 2002. Having joined the Urmston Chapter, he became first principal for the first time in 2006 and again in 2013, with the officiating officer on that occasion being Kevin Poynton.
Nick received his Provincial honours in the Craft as PPrAGSupWks in 1997 and received his Provincial honours in Chapter as PPrGStdB in 2013 and joined Warrington Lodge of Concord in 2011. His main hobby is fly fishing which apart from being a good pastime for him, benefits some members by keeping them supplied with fresh trout!
Following the ceremony an excellent five course banquet was served to nearly 60 Masons by the Masonic hall staff. This consisted of bacon and rosemary stuffed mushrooms, trout fillet on a watercress salad, roast chicken with chipolata sausage and homemade stuffing, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit salad, finishing off with a selection of cheese with biscuits, grapes and celery. Red and white wines accompanied the meal with tea or coffee to follow.
The Master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard accompanied by Keith Dickinson. Shortly after the meal a raffle was held which realised £265 for charity. At the close of the evening Nick presented bouquets of flowers to Kevin and Andy on behalf of the lodge members. Both Kevin and Andy thanked the brethren for the flowers, saying their wives would be delighted to receive them. Both also thanked the lodge for a very enjoyable evening.