Members and visitors of Peel Moat Lodge No 7633 were most honoured and delighted in welcoming David Durling at their installation ceremony held at the Davenport Hotel, where David was acting as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison.
David was in good company being accompanied by fellow grand lodge officers Mike Adams (group chairman) and Brian Hayes along with other Provincial grand officers, group officers and other distinguished brethren to witness the installation of Alex Keenleyside as master of the lodge for the ensuing year.
The installing master Terry Levinson, efficiently completed the opening business of the lodge then commenced the installation proceedings in very good fashion, ably assisted by the officers of the lodge.
Alex, who was installed in a most professional manner was then given excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Philip Lowe, in the second degree by Derek Addy and the first degree by Peter Shepherd. The address to the master was given by Nigel Paton, that to the wardens by Peter Beswick and to the brethren by David Durling.
On completion of the installation ceremony, David then rose to bring the sincere heartfelt greetings, congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison. David said that Tony was aware that Alex was taking the masters’ chair for the first time and wished him and the members of the lodge a very happy, healthy and most importantly, enjoyable year ahead.
David then turned to the installing master Terry saying that if Tony had of been present on the evening, he would have taken delight in congratulating him on his work during the evening and similarly congratulated the director of ceremonies Vin Wren for his part and similarly to the three brethren who delivered the working tools.
In response, Alex rose and thanked David for the good wishes and presented David with a number of charitable donations, firstly he presented a cheque for the very generous value of £1,500 made out in favour of the MCF 2021 Festival, followed by a cheque for £500 made out in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, another made out to the Tim Parry – Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace Centre (Warrington) for £500 and £500 to the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust (Urology Funds), plus the lodge also donated £60 to the Friends of Ecclesholme, a total of £3,060 in charitable giving.
David responded by saying this was an absolutely remarkable example of charitable giving and congratulated the lodge members on providing such superb donations. He gave grateful thanks to the lodge on behalf of those who will ultimately benefit from their very kind generosity.
On the first rising Mike Adams rose to bring the greetings of the grand officers, in particular those who were present said they had experienced a wonderful evening of ceremony and that it was so nice to see a lovely installation carried out with much professionalism. Mike said that they were all looking forward to the remainder of the evening, assuming they were to be invited to the festive board.
In the response to the grand officers, David said he was reminded about Alex’s scheduled passing ceremony in 2010 where on that evening there was much snow and travel chaos ultimately delaying the ceremony. Back to the current year 2017, David reminded the brethren of this important Masonic year being the tercentenary year, David reminded the brethren of the forthcoming special service at St Elphins church in Warrington, he similarly also reminded the brethren of the Sky 1 production relating to Freemasonry and the first of five episodes scheduled to be screened on 17 April at 8.00 pm.
David reminded everyone of the MCF 2021 Festival starting in May and that there was plenty of merchandise appertaining to festival ties, jewels, cuff links, squares all being freely available to purchase through the group via Mike Adams or the group charity steward Darren Gregory.
David thanked the lodge for their very warm welcome during the evening and looked forward to visiting the lodge in the future.
A very enjoyable festive board continued thus concluding a most excellent evening which saw Peter Beswick presenting his inimitable and immaculately voiced song to the Master.
Article and photos by Eddie Wilkinson.