Members and visiting brethren of Phoenix Lodge No 1730 were most honoured and delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master Dave Walmsley, at their installation meeting to witness the installing master Mike Moran install Jim Jones as master of the lodge for the ensuing year and indeed, for the first time in Jim’s masonic career.
The meeting, held at Urmston Masonic Hall was in good attendance where Dave was accompanied by fellow grand officers Brian Hayes and South Eastern Group Chairman David Durling, along with other Provincial grand officers, group officers and distinguished visiting brethren.
After the lodge was opened and the initial lodge business having been progressed and completed, lodge DC Terry Grey announced that Dave Walmsley was without and demanded admission, Mike then received and welcomed Dave into the lodge and then took their rightful places. In amusement, Mike did try to make a most meaningful approach toward David in offering him the gavel but Dave, after short consideration very gracefully returned and gave grateful thanks for that opportunity. The installation ceremony then commenced and Jim was installed in a very sincere ceremony.
There then followed presentations of the working tools in the third degree by Wally Fraser, the second degree tools by David Holt and finally the working tools in the first degree given by Graham Jackson. Following this there was an excellent address to the master given by Brian Hayes and in equal excellence, the address to the brethren of the lodge was given by Dave.
The installation ceremony having come to its completion, Dave rose at the customary point of the proceedings and immediately conveyed the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, offering his congratulations to Jim on being installed as WM, wishing him and the lodge good health to enjoy a happy and busy year ahead. Dave continued by saying that had Tony been present, he would have also had great pleasure in congratulating the installing master Mike for the work that had put into the ceremony and similarly congratulating him for his previous successful year in the chair. Addressing the installing officers and brethren of the lodge, Dave similarly complimented them on their part in the ceremony.
Jim then responded to Dave by thanking him for passing on the good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master and had much pleasure in presenting an envelope containing cheque on the behalf of the lodge. Dave having asked Jim’s permission revealed to the visitors the content of the cheque being made out for a tremendous amount of £200 in favour for the MCF. Dave said this was a most generous contribution and clearly had much pleasure in congratulating and thanking the lodge brethren on behalf of all those eventual recipients, we may never know, for their most kind, charitable giving.
The same sentiments and congratulations on the excellence of the ceremony were reiterated by group chairman, David Durling in his response at the first rising, he too concurred with Dave’s comments that it had been a most enjoyable, super meeting and similarly wished Jim an excellent year ahead.
The evening continued with an enjoyable, friendly and jovial festive board. Dave, in his response touched on numerous subjects including kind comments towards David Durling for his tireless behind the scenes work and being well supported by his pro-active group officers, Dave also said that he felt Phoenix Lodge had a good ‘key’ foundation in a now settled amalgamated lodge which was a pleasure to experience during the evening. Dave was reminded of his recent visit to the lodge to attend on Peter Muriel’s 60th celebration and it was indeed a delight to re-visit for the installation.
Dave went on to speak of the MCF 2021 Festival, Royal Arch, and that ‘final step’ that those who have not taken, and should consider taking. Dave also mentioned that membership levels had plateaued with new initiatives on the horizon under the direction of Robert Wright and the membership / ambassador schemes that are producing good, effective responses with new enquirers now wishing to join freemasonry.
Next, Dave gave his own congratulations to the recipients of Provincial grand honours that had been released, the brethren responded by congratulatory applause. Finally, Dave thanked the lodge for their very kind welcome and communicated his own good wishes to Jim and the lodge. The evening being ended thus concluded a most enjoyable, abundant evening.
Article and photographs by Eddie Wilkinson.