Brethren and visitors of Royal Protector Lodge No 3471 were delighted to receive Brian Hayes as the representative of Provincial Grand Master James Anthony Harrison at their installation meeting. The meeting, held at the Urmston Masonic Hall, was well attended and Brian was accompanied by fellow grand officer and South Eastern Group Vice Chairman Gareth Jones.
The lodge was opened in good form and with good humility by the WM Stephen Firth and master elect Michael Walker was obligated in a most sincere manner. In a strange twist of fate, the DC Stan Parkinson was also DC when Michael was installed as master for the first time in his Masonic career.
Stephen completed the installation in an excellent manner, firmly installing Michael into the chair of King Solomon of Royal Protector Lodge. This was Michael’s the third time in all. Firstly, into the chair of Concordia Lodge No 4954 21 year’s previously, Concordia Lodge amalgamated with Royal Protector in 2004. Secondly, into the chair of his father’s lodge, Stockport Engineers Lodge No 6327 and in a very nice touch Michael’s father Roy Walker was present and acted as installing inner guard for this ceremony.
The working tools of the three degrees were presented in an excellent manner by John Griffiths of Holm Valley Lodge No 652, in the third degree, Greg Parkinson in the second degree and Norton Fletcher in the first degree.
Brian then brought both the congratulations and greetings from the PrGM to Michael and Royal Protector Lodge and its officers and brethren for a happy and healthy year ahead. Brian also said he had much pleasure in congratulating Stephen and his officers on the excellent manner of their work during the evening and would make further comments later.
Michael then presented Brian with two cheques, a cheque in the sum of £200 for Urmston Masonic Hall Fund and further cheque for £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. Brian remarked that as a former member of Her Majesties Constabulary he would make sure the cheques were signed correctly but, after so satisfying himself, thanked the lodge for their very generous donations and expressed sincere thanks on behalf of those who would eventually benefit from it.
On the first rising Gareth Jones rose and brought the greetings of the grand officers saying he had experienced a most enjoyable ceremony and congratulated the new master, IPM and officers on an excellent ceremony and concurred with the wishes of the PrGM and Brian for a happy year ahead.
The evening continued with an enjoyable, friendly and jovial festive board. Brian, in response to his toast, made brief reference to the new Masonic Charitable Foundation, membership recruitment, retention and Masonic halls but then went on to comment on the current Festival and how we should all make use of the white envelope scheme for donations. Brian acknowledged the group officers and all the work that they do in the groups, he also made reference to the group website and shop and transmitted the Provincial Grand Master’s comments that he hoped we each continue to enjoy the fun and camaraderie of our Freemasonry.
An excellent meal and numerous cups of cheer having been consumed in a most friendly and convivial atmosphere, a most enjoyable and memorable evening was concluded.