At their 103rd installation meeting, the brethren of Davyhulme lodge 3715 saw Graham Bailey being installed as WM for a fourth time in his Masonic career. Graham was initially installed as master 34 years ago in 1982, then again in 2003 and for a third time in 2009.
The meeting, held at Urmston Masonic Hall was in good attendance where members of the lodge and visitors alike were honoured and delighted by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton.
John was in good company being accompanied by group chairman Mike Adams and fellow grand officer Brian Hayes, along with other group officers, Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren to witness the installation ceremony of Graham.
The meeting commenced where WM Darren Gregory opened the lodge and having efficiently convened his lodge business up to the third degree, director of ceremonies Albert Braithwaite exited the lodge to re-enter and announce that Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton was without and demanded admission. Darren said that he and the brethren would be delighted to receive him. At which point John, being accompanied by Mike and Brian entered the lodge room and of course having been introduced and welcomed by Darren the grand entourage took their respective places in the lodge.
As by right, Darren rose and offered John the gavel in the hope that he may like to show the lodge his installation skills, but John indicated he was more than happy to sit and enjoy the afternoon’s ceremony, especially as Darren had, as he had heard, worked so hard in practicing his role as the installing master.
Graham was then presented and consequently installed in a most excellent manner by Darren. There then followed presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Andrew Berry, in the second degree by Michael O’Toole and in the first degree by Stephen Beswick.
The officers having been installed, there then followed an address to the master given by Keith Lewis, an address to the wardens by Graham and that to the brethren of the lodge given by senior lodge member Tom Sharp, who was himself initially installed as master of the lodge in 1963.
On completion of the installation ceremony, John then rose to his feet to bring the sincere greetings, congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. John said that Tony was aware that Graham was taking the master’s chair for a fourth time in his lodge and wished him and the members of the lodge a happy and healthy and most importantly an enjoyable year ahead. John said he had witnessed a lovely installation ceremony.
John of course went on to say that had Tony been present he would have been most pleased in congratulating the installing master Daren Gregory for his excellent work and of course the rest of the installing officers and the director of ceremonies for all of their work throughout the evening.
In response, Graham rose and thanked John for conveying the good wishes and on behalf of the lodge members presented a charitable donation by way of a cheque made out to the Freemason’s Grand Charity for £200. John gave grateful thanks to the lodge members on behalf of those who will eventually benefit from their kind generosity. He said that the donation was most gratefully received and would be most faithfully applied.
On the first rising Mike Adams rose and brought the greetings of the grand officers. Mike said he had experienced a most enjoyable ceremony and it was a delight to see Graham be installed into the master’s chair for a fourth time and concurred with those wishes communicated through John for a happy year ahead. Mike said he was aware that the lodge had experienced a few difficult times over the year, but was pleased to see that they had come through it.
The lodge having closed its business, and with the festive board being underway, John in his response to his toast and on behalf of the grand officers initially took the opportunity to thank the lodge for their very kind toast, also thanked others for their accompaniment during the meeting. John touched on a number of subjects including the soon to be aired television program relating to Freemasonry, some of which had been filmed at this year’s Provincial Grand Ball in the Macron Stadium in Bolton and followed by more filming at Provincial Grand Lodge earlier in the year. John continued on the subjects of the tercentenary, the 2017 – 2021 Festival and our West Lancashire Province being the first province to support the Freemason’s Grand Charity. John continued by mentioning almoners, the three ‘R’s recruitment, retention and retrieval, Masonic halls and supporting other charities. He made special mention of the Forget-Me-Not Trust, a Masonic linked registered charity through Ezra McGowan, who was in fact present as a visitor for the installation and how Ezra, along with his brother and son, were demonstrating Freemasonry in the community in supporting homeless individuals.
John concluded by saying he had witnessed a most enjoyable installation meeting and passed on his own greetings to the lodge for a most happy, enjoyable year and wished the lodge continued good health. So, with all the respective toasts having been concluded thus ended another meeting producing good memories in the lodge history.