Members of Flixton Lodge No 4869 were honoured and pleased to receive Gareth Royston Jones, Vice Chairman of the South Eastern Group, as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison at their recent installation meeting where Phillip Burrow was installed as master for the first time in his Masonic career.
The meeting, held at Urmston Masonic Hall was well attended, and Gareth was accompanied by fellow grand officer Brian Hayes and Provincial Grand Steward Darren Gregory together with other Provincial grand officers and visiting brethren.
The lodge meeting commenced and outgoing master Denis Tierney progressed the routine business of the lodge. The grand officers entered with Denis offering warm greetings from the lodge. There then followed a brief but moving presentation to Harold Smith, lodge tyler who was retiring from the position after 16 years of service.
Denis then passed the gavel to Alan Burrow (who just happens to be master elect Phillip’s father) who then occupied the master’s chair to continue with the ceremony of installation.
Alan installed Phillip in an accurate and extraordinarily rapid manner, thus not giving Phillip the opportunity to back out and placed him into the master’s chair in a very firm manner indeed! In fact, the speed of the ceremony left all in attendance rather breathless and in record time Phillip found himself, to the delight of the brethren present, appointing his officers.
Upon receiving the gavel, the new master and the lodge were treated to a not very often heard rendition of the working tools of an installed master, which were presented and explained in excellent fashion by Eddie Wilkinson.
There then followed three excellent presentations of the working tools of the three degrees, firstly those of the third degree presented by Ray Smith, followed by those of the second degree by Mario Visconti and finally the those of the first degree presented by Denis Tierney.
David Dewhurst presented the address to the master followed by Eddie Wilkinson who gave an equally excellent address to the wardens followed by a warm and heartfelt address to the brethren of the lodge given by Gareth.
On completion of the installation, Gareth rose to say how much he had enjoyed the ceremony and congratulated Phillip on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and gave best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful year.
Phillip rose to respond to Gareth and thanked him for his congratulations and for conveying the good wishes from Tony Harrison. Phillip then took pleasure in presenting a charitable donation on behalf of the lodge.
Gareth, in good humour asked if he could open it to check that it had been signed! The contents had indeed been signed and the astonishing amount of £750, given to the West Lancashire MCF 2021 Festival was not only generous but also sufficient to qualify the lodge for Vice Patron status in the MCF 2021 Festival, a fact that was confirmed when Darren Gregory, Group Charity Steward presented Phillip with a certificate to that effect on behalf of the lodge!
At the first rising, Brian Hayes congratulated and thanked the lodge on behalf of all those recipients, we may never know, who will ultimately benefit for their most kind and charitable giving.
The evening continued with a most enjoyable and jovial festive board. In Gareth’s’ response to the toast to the grand officers, he passed on his own good wishes for a happy and healthy year to all the brethren present. He said: “It was a genuine pleasure to witness a son being installed by his father.”
He made particular comments relating to the use of Masonic halls, membership of the Royal Arch as a means of rounding off the Masonic journey and mentioned the progress being made by the festival with the presentation of two ‘Blood bikes’ to the NHS.
Gareth concluded by thanking the lodge for their kind generosity and of course the hospitality which they had extended to him throughout the evening, thus ended a most enjoyable and friendly evening.