Members of Composite Lodge No 5382 held their first Craft meeting at the newly designated meeting place for the South Eastern Group, located at The Grange Club, Edgeley, Stockport.
The meeting was of course Composite Lodge’s installation of which members and visitors were honoured and delighted by the attendance of the group vice chairman Gareth Jones acting as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master.
Gareth was in good company being accompanied by fellow grand officer Brian Hayes along with other group officers, Provincial grand officers and other distinguished brethren to witness the proclamation ceremony of Brian Taylor being retained from the acting master to be installed the new master of the lodge.
The proclamation was made due to the fact that the previously installed master for the 2016/17 season had in fact moved away, up to the north east of England, during the last masonic year and so was unable to complete his duties as master, so Brian had stepped into the breach.
Secretary Bryan Lees commenced proceedings by reading out a special dispensation from the Provincial office indicating that the lodge’s request to meet at the new location had been acceded by the Provincial Grand Master.
Acting WM Brian initially started off the business proceedings of the evening, where at a juncture of the meeting, Alan Kennedy, director of ceremonies rose and amusingly announced to the happy and joyous faces within the lodge: “The present incumbent wished to stay in the master’s chair for the forthcoming year with the hope of getting it right this time around.” To which the brethren, including Brian, responded with delightful amusement, Alan then proclaimed Brian as WM of the lodge for the ensuing year.
There were excellent presentations of the working tools in the third degree by the guest tyler David Benson, then in the second degree by Eric Goodwin and exceptionally in the first degree by Alan Kennedy, who by his own amusement at the previous installation, this year did not have the advantage of a 24-inch gavel.
Brian, as directed this time around, did not have to re-install his officers as it was similarly announced that all officers were to retain their previous year’s positions, following on from this Gareth gave an excellent address to the brethren.
On completion of the proclamation ceremony, Gareth then rose to bring the greetings, congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Gareth said that Tony was aware that Brian was taking position in the master’s chair and wished him and the members of the lodge a happy and healthy year ahead.
In response, Brian rose and thanked Gareth for the good wishes and on behalf of the lodge members presented Gareth with a charitable donation, by way of a cheque for £200 made out in favour of the Masonic Charity Foundation 2021 Festival, in addition, the lodge has also made further donations of £150 towards the North West Air Ambulance and £150 to the local branch of the Salvation Army.
Gareth was amazed at the charitable giving of such a small lodge and gave grateful thanks to the lodge members on behalf of those who will eventually benefit from the very kind generosity of the members.
There was sheer camaraderie at the enjoyable festive board which continued the evening, and in his response to the toast to grand officers, Gareth initially passed on his own congratulations to Brian concurring with Tony Harrison’s wishes and also to the lodge members for their excellent work during the evening.
Gareth continued by congratulating those brethren who had instigated and actuated the genesis of a new era at the new Grange Club meeting place, the first Masonic evening’s meeting had clearly been a success. In particular, Gareth congratulated Peter Beswick on him being the prime mover with a great deal of mental stability and tenacity that had clearly brought arrangements together and away from the Davenport Hotel meeting place. Other previous moves had been required due to businesses being closed down.
Some years ago, the lodges met in the Heaton Moor area (over a conservative club), found that building was being sold and the lodges had to rapidly find somewhere else to meet, Peter Beswick (the group secretary at the time and a member of Peel Moat Lodge No 7633 that met there), spearheaded the issue and having searched the area he located new premises for the meetings at the Davenport Hotel, this was only at the start of the 2015/16 Masonic season.
At the end of the 2016/17 Masonic season, the Davenport Hotel gave the lodges short notice to move out as the building had been sold for redevelopment. The whole exercise had to be repeated and in August 2017, the three lodges and one chapter moved into The Grange Club.
The evening continued with Peter Beswick giving his excellent inimitable voiced master’s song with much panache and of course very ably accompanied by Geoff Bowles on the piano. The evening festive board toasts and music concluded a most enjoyable meeting.