More than 100 Freemasons attended the installation meeting of George Range as WM of the Lodge of Lights No 148 at the Warrington Masonic Hall. The installing master Stan Jackson carried out a faultless ceremony under the direction of Eric Delamere.
The lodge was opened by Stan and the normal administration duties undertaken. Eric Delamere entered the lodge and reported that the principal guest Kevin Poynton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Past Senior Grand Deacon was without and demanded admission. Stan said we would be very pleased to receive him. Kevin, along with grand and Provincial grand officers were admitted. Grand officers present included Dennis Rudd, Jack Forsyth, Peter Connolly, Stan Churm, David Redhead, Derek Hunt and Steve Walls, accompanied by Warrington Group Chairman Andy Barton, Paul Rigby and Jerry Lawes.
Stan offered a very warm welcome to Kevin and all the grand officers, Provincial grand officers and visiting brethren and hoped everyone would have an enjoyable evening. Stan, as a matter of procedure and as a mark of respect offered Kevin the gavel, which on this occasion he was delighted to accept and then handed it back saying he felt confident that it was in the best hands.
Stan requested the assistance of Robert Povall by occupying the SW chair, Steven Walls the JW chair and Neil Francis by acting as IG. All the brethren agreed, saying they would be honoured.
The master elect George Range was then presented to the installing master as a candidate, to receive at his hand the benefit of installation and the presenting officer was Ken Smith, both being flanked by George’s two sons, David and Peter Range.
George was then installed into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom with all reverence and humility. The presentations of the working tools were carried out by Peter Range third degree, Rakesh Sharma second degree and Alan Ellis first degree. The address to the WM was expertly delivered by Gwilym Jones and the address to the wardens by Keith Dickinson. Kevin delivered the address to the brethren in an exemplary manner.
Kevin congratulated George on being installed in the chair of such a fine and old lodge. He continued by thanking Stan for all the hard work he had done over the last 12 months and particularly occupying the chair in the special year just past, when the lodge celebrated its 250th anniversary. Kevin continued by saying he was also delighted to bring the congratulations and good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Kevin passed on his personal good wishes to George, his officers and all the brethren, for a happy and successful year. He congratulated Stan and Eric for their work undertaken during the ceremony.
Following the ceremony Kevin was presented with cheques to be forwarded to various non-Masonic charities including Guide Dogs for the Blind £200, Brookfield School £100, Warrington Disabled Living Centre £100, St Rocco’s Hospice £200, Francis House Children’s Hospice £150, Clatterbridge £100 and Macmillan Cancer Support £150. These totalled £1,000 for non-Masonic charities coupled with a donation to West Lancashire Masonic Charities of £300.
On behalf of the recipients, Kevin thanked the brethren for their magnificent donations totalling £1,300, commenting on the tremendous amount of money being spread across so many important beneficiaries. In particular he was delighted to see such generous amounts being allocated in addition to the £14,800 donated in November for the 250th celebrations. He went on to congratulate the brethren on their foresight in selecting the charities to support and the tremendous amount of work required to donate so much in 12 months. He also presented the Grand Lodge certificate to Rakesh Sharma and delivered a brief explanation of its contents, informing Rakesh that a more comprehensive explanation would follow at a future date.
The guests and members enjoyed an excellent four course festive board and the normal hospitality of the Masonic hall. The gastronomic delights included chicken liver pate, cod mornay, pot roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and homemade shortbread with warm berries and ice cream. Red and white wine complemented the meal which was followed by tea or coffee. The master’s song was sung by Gwilym Jones, accompanied by Keith Dickinson.
Kevin responded to the toast to Grand Lodge and commented on charity, but considered that following such magnificent donations of £14,000 plus £1,300 to charity, he felt that the lodge didn’t need reminding about giving and charity donations. He continued by saying he was delighted to see so many grand officers in attendance and thanked them for their support. He praised the excellent food at the hall and thanked Eric Drinkwater, Joanne Hayes and all the catering staff. Finally Kevin thanked Paul Rigby and Jerry Lawes, acting Provincial grand officers, for their attendance and support. He also thanked John Starkey group publicity officer for his attendance, taking the pictures and preparing the installation article for publication.
Kevin and Andy were presented with bouquets of flowers on behalf of the lodge. Kevin and Andy both thanked the WM and brethren for the flowers and a most enjoyable evening, saying they hoped the lodge would have an enjoyable and productive year. The evening was brought to a close by the tyler’s toast. The Lodge of Lights ladies and their friends also met in an adjacent room and enjoyed a meal together.