Almost 50 Masons attended the installation meeting of Warrington Lodge of Concord No 1250 to support and celebrate John McIntyre at the proclamation of his second consecutive year in the chair of King Solomon. John, incidentally is also the group secretary. Woolton Group Chairman Andy Whittle, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison was the principal guest and he was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Barry Jameson, Derek Hunt, Chris Eyres and Warrington Group Chairman Andrew Barton. They were supported by acting Provincial grand officers, Les Savage and Howard Savage.
The lodge was opened by John and the usual administration undertaken. The director of ceremonies Christopher Todd announced that Andy Whittle was without and requested admission. John replied that the lodge would be honoured to receive him. He was admitted with due ceremonial style and accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers. John welcomed him saying that he was delighted to welcome him and all the distinguished guests, wishing that an enjoyable evening would ensue.
Andy on his own behalf, and on behalf of the distinguished guests and all visitors, thanked the WM for his very warm welcome, adding he too was looking forward to an enjoyable evening.
At this point in the proceedings Richard Sherratt proclaimed John McIntyre as the WM for the ensuing year. The working tools of the third degree were explained by Robert Wilson, the long version of the second degree working tools by Eric Shepherd and the first degree working tools by Richard Clatworthy.
Next, John had the pleasure of appointing and investing his officers for the ensuing year. The wardens, deacons, inner guard and steward’s posts being held by brethren who hadn’t yet achieved the chair of King Solomon, showing that the lodge was in good health with a bright future. The address to the wardens was delivered by Andy Barton and the address to the brethren of the lodge by Andy Whittle.
Richard explained that this completed the ceremony of the proclamation. This was the prompt for Andy, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, to congratulate John on his being elected as WM of Warrington Lodge of Concord for the second time and he went on to express the hope that he and all his officers and brethren would have an enjoyable year. He then personally congratulated the three brethren who presented the working tools.
John thanked Andy for his kind words and good wishes and presented Andy with cheques for £500 for the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, £300 for West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 for St Rocco’s Hospice, £200 for Alzheimer’s Research, £200 to Warrington Masonic Hall Company, £150 to the Talking Newspaper, £150 for Room at the Inn, £100 for Ecclesholme and £150 for West Lancashire Air Ambulance, totalling £2,000 in donations. Andy thanked John 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. He stated it would give him great pleasure to forward the donations to the beneficiaries and thanked everyone on their behalf.
Following the meeting the members and guests enjoyed an excellent four course banquet including wine. A raffle was held which raised £199. Traditionally at an installation the master’s song is sung to the WM. However, John mentioned to the brethren that Eric Shepherd, the senior member of Warrington Lodge of Concord, was celebrating his 90th birthday and that they would be singing Happy Birthday to Eric instead. John spoke about Eric and mentioned that he had asked him what he would like as a present from the lodge. The response was that he had everything he wanted but would be delighted if the lodge would make a donation to the Save the Children Fund, a charity that Eric has continuously supported over the years. The lodge decided to donate £90 to the organisation. Derek Hunt later said: “Eric has presented the second degree tools the long way”, and added, “the tools were delivered to perfection and with great feeling.”
The WM couldn’t let the birthday pass without a present and personally presented Eric a gift of a miniature set of the working tools of the three degrees, before leading a toast to Eric’s health. Afterwards the brethren responded with a hearty rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ before presenting him with a special birthday cake, donated by Chris Todd.
John, on behalf of the members, presented Andy Whittle and Andy Barton with bouquets of flowers for their wives. Both thanked John and the members, saying they both had enjoyed the evening very much. The evening was brought to a close by Nick Woodward delivering the tyler’s toast.