At a meeting of Newton Lodge No 6288 over 45 Masons witnessed Norman Holliday MBE installed into the chair of King Solomon for a third time. The lodge members were honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox PSGD, who was accompanied by grand officers, including Dennis Rudd, Gordon Amos, Stan Churm and Chris Eyres. They were supported by acting Provincial grand officers Paul Rigby, James Finnegan and Chris Gleave, group vice chairman.
The lodge was opened by David Whitmore WM and the usual administration undertaken. The director of ceremonies Charles Carr then announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox was without and demanded admission. David replied that the lodge would be honoured to receive him. Harry was admitted with due ceremonial style and accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers. David welcomed Harry saying that he was delighted to welcome him and all the distinguished guests, wishing that an enjoyable evening would ensue. David offered Harry the gavel which he accepted thanking David, but returned it to him.
Harry on his own behalf, and on behalf of the distinguished guests and all visitors present, thanked the WM for his very warm welcome, adding, he too was looking forward to an enjoyable evening.
David at this point requested Geoff Bond to take over the ceremony by occupying the WM’s chair and to act as installing master, which he accepted, saying he was delighted to help. Geoff continued by asking Bob Williams to act as SW, John Walsh to act as JW and Alan Greggs as IG each brother accepted saying they were delighted and honoured to do so.
Neville Hodson presented Norman to receive at Geoff’s hands the benefit of installation. Norman was then installed into the chair of King Solomon with all sincerity, dignity and humility. The working tools of the third degree were explained by Rob Carr, the second degree by Alex Graham and the first degree by Ben Whitmore.
The address to the deacons was delivered by Paul Rigby and James Finnegan delivered the address to the stewards. The address to the tyler was delivered by Stan Churm, Gordon Amos delivered the address to the WM, Chris Gleave delivered the address to the SW and the address to the brethren was delivered by Harry Cox.
This was the prompt for Harry on his own behalf, and on behalf of Tony Harrison, the Provincial Grand Master to congratulate Norman on being installed as WM of the Newton Lodge for the third time, saying he hoped that he and all his officers and brethren would have an enjoyable year, wishing them good health to enjoy it to the full. He continued by thanking David as IPM for all his work over the years, Geoff as acting installing master, Charles as acting DC and all the team, particularly the brethren who delivered the explanations of the working tools. Harry continued by saying the tools were expertly delivered by Rob, Alex (junior deacon) and Ben (who was initiated in January).
Norman thanked Harry for his kind words and good wishes and presented him with five cheques; £300 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £200 for CANtreat, £300 for the 2017 Tercentenary Fund, £100 for the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry and £411 to go to the Warrington Masonic Hall Company. The total giving for the year was £1,311.
Harry thanked Norman for the most generous donations, saying it was a credit to all the members and guests who had generated such a magnificent amount for charity, particularly from such a very small lodge. He stated it would give him great pleasure in forwarding the donations to the beneficiaries and thanked everyone on their behalf.
Following the meeting 43 members and guests enjoyed an excellent four course banquet which consisted of lentil and bacon soup, baked salmon with a baked crust, ham and cheese stuffed chicken breast with dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables and pear Belle Helene including wine which was followed by tea and coffee. A raffle was held at the festive board which raised £123 and when added to £100 from the charity collection in the lodge provided a total of £223. On this occasion the master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard accompanied by Keith Dickinson.
Just before the dignitaries left, Norman presented Harry and Chris with bouquets of flowers on behalf of the members. Both Harry and Chris thanked Norman and the members for the flowers, saying they both had enjoyed the evening very much. At the close of the evening everyone said they had enjoyed the meeting and the festive board. The visitors extended good wishes to all members of Newton lodge and hoped they would have a successful year ahead.