Over 60 Freemasons attended the installation meeting of Lodge of Great Endeavour No 3597 to support and witness Robert (Rob) Carr install his father Charles Carr into the chair of King Solomon, being a complete reversal of roles from the installation of January 2015. A highly charged emotional evening ensued with several statements of excellence being made. The principal guest was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton PSGD.
The lodge was opened by the installing master Rob and the normal administration duties undertaken in the usual form. The lodge was opened in the third degree and Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton was admitted in due ceremonial style. Kevin was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Dennis Rudd, Jack Forsyth, Gordon Amos, Stan Churm, Barry Jameson, Chris Eyres and Andy Barton (group chairman). John Walsh and Norman Pritchard acted as Provincial grand deacons.
Rob welcomed all present saying it was a great honour and privilege to see so many very distinguished brethren attending this special occasion and continued by saying he hoped everyone would have a most enjoyable evening.
Kevin thanked Rob and the brethren of the lodge for their very warm welcome and commented that he was very much looking forward to witnessing this very special event of Rob installing his father Charles. He continued by saying he was privileged and honoured to be able to be part of the celebration and brought the sincere good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. The warmth of the welcome was a complete opposite to the outside chilling temperatures experienced in travelling to the meeting.
Rob as a matter of procedure and as a mark of respect, offered Kevin the gavel, which on this occasion he indicated that was delighted to accept and even more delighted to return it into Rob’s very capable hands, adding that if he did keep the gavel it would ruin the day.
Charles asked Neville Hodson to assist him by occupying the SW’s chair, Chris Cullen to occupy the JW’s chair and Henry Clare to act as IG. All the brethren accepted saying it would be a great honour. Neville presented Charles to receive at his son’s hand, the benefit of installation. Charles was then installed according to ancient custom into the chair of King Solomon. The ceremony was conducted with due humility, sincerity, reverence and a great amount of emotion. Almost everyone felt the strength of the emotion present and how they were supporting both son and father in this tremendously moving ceremony.
The third degree working tools were explained by Rob, second degree tools by Steven Brogdan and the first degree tools by Mathew Ross. The address to the WM was delivered with great dignity by Rob and amazingly both Rob and Charles managed to remain composed throughout. In a reversal of roles, Charles delivered the address to his son when Rob was installed in the chair 12 months ago. John Walsh delivered the address to the wardens and Kevin delivered the address to the brethren which completed the installation ceremony.
Immediately following the installation Kevin, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulated Charles on being installed into the chair again, commenting that the ceremony was a pleasure to witness and was made extra special by being installed by his son. He also praised all the officers for the smooth running of the ceremony and the members of the lodge for their work, particularly Rob as the installing master and John Tyrer as director of ceremonies. He also gave special thanks to the members for their work on presenting the working tools. He extended his good wishes to all present and hoped Charles and all his officers would have a happy and productive year and wished everyone the best of health to enjoy it to the full.
At this moment Charles conducted his first duty, which was to present the charity donations to Kevin. The donations were; to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity £800, the Masonic Hall £200, St Rocco’s Hospice £100, West Lancashire Tercentenary Fund £300 and Tackers Transplant Charity £225, resulting in a grand total of £1,625. Kevin received the donations saying how pleased he was to receive such a magnificent sum of money. He praised all concerned saying it was such a wonderful amount and thanked the lodge and brethren on behalf of the recipients, stating that the donations would be gratefully applied.
The hall catering staff supplied an excellent four course meal for the festival of St John, which consisted of chicken liver pate, smoked fish tart, pork fillet with cream of tarragon sauce and crème caramel. Red and white wines were also served with tea or coffee to follow which was very much enjoyed by 60 members and guests.
Kevin responded to toast number three and remarked on the following; Grand Lodge and the pending tercentenary. Once again he thanked the lodge members for the excellent donations and asked them not to stop contributing. He congratulated all the members present who are about to gain Provincial honours or promotion, including Norman Pritchard, Charles Carr, Jim Cartledge and David Goddard. He also thanked John Walsh and Norman Pritchard for acting as Provincial grand deacons and John Starkey for his work as group publicity officer.
The night was quite an emotional one on a number of accounts, firstly being father and son who exchanged their roles in lodge and secondly John Walsh retired from his role as almoner, a position which he has held for 26 years, so happy retirement and many thanks to John for all his hard work over the years.
At the social board Rob proposed the toast to his father saying that this was probably the proudest day of his life and he couldn’t find words to express his feelings. Rob explained about Tackers Transplant Charity saying they bring together children from around the world who have had transplants, to participate in camps where they have the opportunity to meet peers who have shared the same experience. Rob said his daughter had a heart transplant 19 years ago when she was three years of age and had benefitted when she went to a camp in Switzerland, hence his interest in supporting them.
The master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard accompanied by Ken Magraw. Before leaving for home, Kevin and Andy were presented with bouquets of flowers on behalf of the lodge members. Both thanked the WM and brethren for the flowers and a most enjoyable and memorable evening.