The installation meeting of Ashmole Lodge No 5128 was held at Warrington Masonic Hall. It was attended by nearly 50 Masons to see Eric Miller installed into the chair of King Solomon by his predecessor Derek Houghton, the WM and installing master. On this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of Colin Rowling, the Chairman of St Helens and Prescott Group.
The lodge was opened by Derek Houghton, who then conducted the usual administrative duties. Following this Colin Rowland, the principal guest and representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, was admitted in due ceremonial style. Colin was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Dennis Rudd, Jack Forsyth, Tony Bone, Stan Churm, and Chris Gleave (group vice chairman). Derek offered a warm welcome to all present saying he was delighted to receive such distinguished guests and hoped they would have an enjoyable evening.
Derek requested Charles Carr to act as installing SW, Mal Myers to act as installing JW and Norman Pritchard to act as installing IG. All the brethren accepted saying they were honoured and pleased to accept.
Derek addressed the members of Ashmole Lodge and thanked them all for their help and support over the last 12 months saying that he and his lady Marie had had a wonderful year. He continued by asking the lodge to maintain their support for Eric in his year in office.
Eric was then presented for installation by Michael Williams and was then installed by Derek according to ancient custom, which he did with great fortitude and sensitivity. Eric then invested Derek as IPM thanking him for the work he had conducted over the last 12 months and said he felt sure if he needed help he would be relying on him for support.
The brethren were then re-admitted in the three degrees. The working tools of the third degree were explained by Peter Lau, the working tools of the second degree by Peter Richardson and the working tools of the first degree by Mark Keig. Eric then elected his officers for the ensuing year.
Jack Forsyth gave the address to the WM, whilst the address to the wardens was provided by Chris Gleave and the address to the brethren was delivered by Colin. All the addresses were presented in an exemplary manor and delivered with great sensitivity and sincerity.
Immediately following the installation, Colin, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulated Eric on being installed into the chair of such a warm and friendly lodge, commenting that the ceremony was a pleasure to witness. He congratulated Derek as installing master and Michael Moore as DC on the excellent ceremony and thanked them for their hard work.
Colin suggested that Eric could have no doubt that he had been truly installed into the chair of King Solomon. He also congratulated all the officers who took part in the ceremony under the direction of Michael. Colin extended his good wishes to all present and hoped Eric and all his officers would have a productive year and wished everyone the best of health to enjoy it to the full.
The first task Eric had to perform as WM was a very pleasant one of presenting charity donations to Colin. Donations included £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £200 to the festival, £100 to the Masonic Hall and £500 to the local area homeless charity, totalling £1,000. Colin thanked the members for such a magnificent amount of money being donated from such a comparatively small lodge.
Eric is a time served mechanical engineer and specialised as a toolmaker during his apprenticeship in Warrington. He is now a Senior Engineer working on Nuclear Decommissioning Projects. He is a proud father of two children, Owen 14 and Lucy 12. In his spare time away from Masonry he has many hobbies, foremost amongst these being writing and cycling, but not at the same time!
An excellent festive board followed with a four course banquet which included chicken liver pate with red onion chutney, poached salmon en croûte with white wine sauce, fruit cheesecake with pouring cream, served with red or white wine with tea or coffee to follow.
Shortly after the meal a raffle was conducted which raised a magnificent sum of £146, which when added to the collection plate brought the total amount for charity to £286. The master’s song was sung by Norman Pritchard who was accompanied by Brian Wilson.
Eric presented Colin and Chris with bouquets of flowers thanking them for their attendance. Colin and Chris thanked the brethren saying they were delighted to receive such a gift and felt sure their wives would be similarly pleased.