The Lodge of Charity No 2651 welcomed Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger, accompanied by more grand and acting Provincial officers than one would want to list, for their installation meeting.
Installing master Chris Betts opened the lodge with all due formalities, guided the lodge through routine business, then asked Charles Carr if he would occupy the chair of SW, Andy Sharp if he would occupy the chair of JW and Barry Corcoran if he would act as IG for the installation. Each accepted with pleasure.
Quentin Newhall was to be installed for the first time into the chair of King Solomon. He was presented for the benefit of installation by John Pether and Peter Whalley (his proposer into Freemasonry). The ceremony proceeded smoothly.
The third degree working tools were presented by Louis Warburton, the second degree working tools were presented by Leon Neill and entered apprentice tools were given by Tim Plumpton, all junior brethren and all to the great appreciation of the gathered brethren.
Addresses were given fully and professionally by John Pether to the WM, to the wardens by Andy Barton (Warrington Group Chairman), to the deacons by Bernard Snape, to the stewards by Chris Grey, to the tyler by Stan Churm and to the brethren by David Grainger.
Quentin presented David with charitable cheques in the sum of £700 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, £300 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £200 to the Warrington Masonic Museum, £200 to the Walton Lea Partnership, Warrington and £200 to Wired Adult and Young Carers Services, Warrington. This joined previous donations before the installation of £300 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, £40 to The Friends of Ecclesholme, £500 to the widows of the lodge from the almoner’s account and £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity via the Provincial draw. In addition, £200 in loan notes to Warrington Masonic Hall were donated back to the hall. This made a grand total of £2,840 for charity, a magnificent sum, even for one as renowned for generosity as the Lodge of Charity.
74 brethren attended the festive board, which was fan of melon, sirloin of beef and lemon tart. After the meal Chris toasted Quentin, telling how a Quaker upbringing predisposed the WM to his Masonic values, listing the varied, successful careers from a colourful past and how, with humour and steadfastness, he had successfully persevered through his health problems.
The raffle was undertaken by Peter Whalley and raised the impressive sum of £311. In addition to his raffle duties, Peter excellently sang the masters song, giving his usual tuneful performance.
Peter Grainger congratulated Quentin on his installation as (according to his research), the 120th master of Lodge of Charity and he urged him to use the very capable officers of the lodge to distribute his workload around. He next congratulated Peter Roberts and Ted Tipton on their first Provincial appointments and Stephen Derringer, Vic Charlesworth and Alan Bristow on their Provincial promotions. He further complimented Alan Bristow on the excellent job as secretary, of informing and helping prepare him for the evening.
The evening was best summed up by the new WM during his reply, when, after thanking his lodge members for his brilliant day, he complained of an aching face after having smiled all day.
Story and pictures by Eric Miller.