John takes on the chair for a second time

The installation meeting of the Academy Lodge No 9382 held at Warrington Masonic Hall was attended by over 40 Masons to see John Walkey installed into the chair of King Solomon for a second time. The principal guest was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton.

John Walkey (left) being congratulated by Colin Boardman.

John Walkey (left) being congratulated by Colin Boardman.

The lodge was opened by the WM and installing master Colin Boardman and the normal administration duties undertaken in the usual form. The lodge was opened in the third degree and Assistant Provincial Grand Master was admitted in due ceremonial style and was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers, including Derek Hunt and Warrington Group Chairman Andy Barton.

Colin welcomed all present, saying it was a great honour and privilege to see such very distinguished brethren attending this special occasion and continued by saying he hoped everyone would have a most enjoyable evening. Kevin thanked Colin and the brethren of the lodge for their very warm welcome and commented he was privileged and honoured to witness the installation. Kevin continued by bringing sincere good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Colin, as a matter of procedure and as a mark of respect, offered Kevin the gavel, which on this occasion he indicated that he was delighted to accept and even more delighted to return it into Colin’s capable hands.

Norman (left) singing the master’s song to John.

Norman (left) singing the master’s song to John.

Colin asked Alan Dixon to assist him by occupying the senior warden’s chair, John McIntyre to act as junior warden and Jim Cartledge as inner guard. All the brethren said they would be honoured to assist. John Graham presented John, the master elect, to Colin, to receive at his hand the benefit of installation. John was then installed according to ancient custom into the chair of King Solomon. The ceremony was conducted with all due humility, sincerity and reverence.

The third degree working tools were explained by John Wright, second degree by John Graham and the first degree by Warren Whalley. The address to the WM was very well delivered by Keith Gately and Kevin delivered the address to the brethren which completed the installation ceremony.

Immediately following the installation Kevin, on behalf of himself and the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulated John on being installed again into the chair of such a warm and friendly lodge, commenting that the ceremony was faultless and a pleasure to witness. He also praised all the officers for the smooth running of the ceremony and the members of lodge for their work, especially the delivery of the address to the WM and working tools. He extended his good wishes to all present and hoped John and all his officers would have a good year and wished everyone the best of health to enjoy it to the full.

At this moment John conducted his first duty, which was to present the charity donations to Kevin. The donations were to West Lancashire Masonic Charities £300, St Rocco’s Hospice £200, St Thomas’ Church Bell Fund £100 (in memory of Frank Starkey) and the League of Friends £100. The total charity donations amounted to £700. Kevin received the donations saying how pleased he was to receive such a magnificent sum of money, particularly from such a small lodge. He praised all concerned saying it was a remarkable amount and thanked the lodge and brethren on behalf of the beneficiaries.

The catering staff supplied an excellent meal for the festival of St John, which was enjoyed by 40 members and guests. The meal included tomato and basil soup, beef casserole and dumplings, steamed fruit sponge pudding and custard, with cheese and biscuits to follow.

Kevin (left) being presented with a bouquet of flowers.

Kevin (left) being presented with a bouquet of flowers.

Kevin responded to the toast to grand lodge and repeated his thanks for the charity donation and spoke briefly about the tercentenary celebrations and the four year festival. He continued by congratulating Norman Pritchard and Jim Cartledge upon their pending promotions to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works and also congratulated Peter Blease on his pending promotion in Royal Arch to Provincial Grand Standard Bearer.

Once again he said the ceremony was very smooth and pleasant to see and congratulated the delivery of the address to the WM by Keith Gately and the presentation of the working tools. He concluded by thanking John Starkey for his work as group publicity officer.

Colin provided a short history of John, the new WM. John was born in 1947 in Dorset, he married Rosita in 1969 and they have a son Michael and a daughter Sarah Jane. He joined Academy Lodge in1995 and was appointed to the acting rank of Provincial Grand Steward in 2008 and PPrSGD in 2014.

John is a member of the Institute of Works Managers and spent 27 years operating and managing small and large process plants. He then joined the Atomic Energy Authority in 1978 and was responsible for operating experimental sodium rigs in conjunction with the UK’s fast reactor programme. He then transferred to AEA Consultancy Services. For the next 14 years he was employed by Cheshire Fire Services as project manager delivering the Princes Trust Team Programme. In 2015 he took 16 fire cadets to Thulodhunga in Nepal to help build a school for local children.

Pictured from left to right, are: Andy Barton, Kevin Poynton, John Walkey, Colin Boardman and Derek Hunt.

Pictured from left to right, are: Andy Barton, Kevin Poynton, John Walkey, Colin Boardman and Derek Hunt.

John was also involved in the Air Cadets in Croft from 1986 as an officer in the Royal Air Force VR and eventually retired in 2004 as Wing Commander.

Following the meal a raffle was held which raised £174 and the collection £79. The master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard accompanied by Peter Blease. Just before the evening was drawn to a close by the tyler’s toast, John presented Kevin, Andy and John Graham with bouquets of flowers. Kevin, Andy and John offered grateful thanks to the WM and brethren.

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