The brethren and visitors of Royal Protector Lodge No 3471 were delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton to their installation ceremony to witness Stephen Firth being proclaimed as master for a second ensuing year and indeed for a fourth time in his Masonic career.
In 2002, Stephen was initially installed as master of Stat Veritas Lodge No 6813, which along with Concordia Lodge No 4954, amalgamated with Royal Protector in December 2004. Stephen was again installed as master in 2005 in the new amalgamated Royal Protector Lodge followed by a third term in 2015 and now by proclamation for 2016.
The lodge business being underway, WM, Stephen conducted his lodge business and opened up to the third degree. Soon after, guided by the lodge director of ceremonies Stan Parkinson, John Hutton, in ceremonial fashion, entered the lodge room and was accompanied by fellow grand officers Mike Adams (South Eastern Group Chairman) along with Brian Hayes and Tony Johnson, also present were group officers and other Provincial grand officers and distinguished visiting brethren.
The installation ceremony then continued by way of Stan Parkinson rising and by proclamation, announced Stephen to remain as master for the ensuing year.
The ceremony having been completed, John rose and brought the greetings, congratulations and good wishes for a happy, healthy and enjoyable year ahead from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison.
John said had Tony been present he would have witnessed an excellent ceremony and congratulated Stephen for his past year as master and said that Tony was aware that Stephen was continuing on for a second ensuing year.
John also said that Tony would have been pleased to have witnessed lodge director of ceremonies Stan Parkinson and other lodge officers and members for their excellent work during the ceremony.
In response, Stephen rose and thanked John for the very kind wishes from the Provincial Grand Master. Stephen said he was most pleased to have attained the master’s chair for yet another year, albeit to allow the younger brethren time to prepare for the future and said he was pleased at that juncture to offer John two envelopes with what was suspected as having charitable donations enclosed.
John was most pleased and with the master’s permission revealed the contents of the first of the envelopes which was a cheque for £300 made out in favour of the Tercentenary Appeal, to which John thanked the lodge members for their very generous donation.
The second envelope revealed a very kind donation of £100 made in favour of Urmston Masonic Hall Building Fund. John congratulated the lodge members for their most generous support towards the Masonic home of Urmston.
The evening continued into the festive board and in response to the toast to the grand officers, John made reference to the now well established facilities at Urmston. He mentioned that the brethren should maybe look to add to the support the facilities by way of promoting non-Masonic social events, ladies’ evenings, charity events and assisting in maintaining the fabric of the building to sustain its future. John also made reference to the forthcoming 2021 Festival presentation being held at the Urmston Masonic Hall.
John concluded by expressing his own best wishes to the lodge for a happy year, he said he had experienced a superb ceremony along with a very kind welcome from the brethren.
The cup of cheer and the bread of friendship having been enjoyed, the tyler’s toast having been recited, the evening closed on another harmonious evening in the history of the lodge.