Members and visitors of Canis Major Lodge No 9487 were honoured and delighted in welcoming the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton at their installation meeting to witness Bob Ashcroft being installed as WM for the ensuing year.
John was in good company, accompanied by a whole galaxy of grand officers which included Mike Adams (group chairman), Brian Hayes, Chris Hamilton, David Durling (group vice chairman) and Neil MacSymons, along with Provincial Junior Grand Deacon John Harrop, group officers and other distinguished Provincial grand officers and of course the members and visiting brethren all being present for the installation.
In the absence of WM John Finney, the immediate past master Stephen Mitchell excelled from opening the lodge to right through the ceremony and installing Bob in a most excellent manner.
Bob having been installed, there then followed excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Chris Humphreys, in the second degree by Ray Wilkinson and in the first degree by Eric Stephenson. The address to the WM was given by Malcolm Robinson, followed by director of ceremonies Peter Bailey giving the address to the wardens and that to the brethren was given by John Hutton.
On completion of the installation ceremony, John rose to bring the sincere greetings, best wishes and congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, John said that Tony was aware that Bob was taking the masters’ chair and wished him and the members of the lodge a very happy and healthy year ahead. John also, on Tony’s behalf congratulated the installing master and officers for the excellent work they had partook throughout the evening. John said the junior brethren of the lodge were to be congratulated for their participation during the evening.
In response, Bob rose and thanked John for the good wishes he had conveyed, he then had pleasure in presenting John with a charitable donation by way of a cheque for £250 made in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. John responded in thanking the lodge members for their most kind and generous contribution to the charity and of course, on behalf of all those who we may never know who would eventually benefit.
On the first rising Mike Adams responded on behalf of the grand officers and said he was pleased to see such an excellent delightful ceremony, Mike welcomed Bob as a ruler in the craft and similarly wished Bob and the brethren of Canis Major Lodge a happy and healthy year.
Mike said that he was aware that a number of the more senior members of the lodge who may well have been partaking in the ceremony had been called to London to attend an urgent Kennel Club meeting, but never the less, the members had stepped up to produce a most excellent ceremony. The evening continued with an enjoyable, friendly, jovial festive board. John, in his response, made references to the charities, supporting the Masonic halls, in particular the new hall facilities at Urmston of which he reiterated his recognition of the directors of the hall and all those who have been involved in making the new Urmston Masonic Hall what it is today, John also commented on the tercentenary and the forthcoming associated event at Liverpool Cathedral, and commented on Masonic recruitment, media communications and social media. The evening being brought to a close, concluded a most enjoyable meeting.