Members of Foundation Lodge No 5394 were most honoured and delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Walmsley at their installation meeting to see John Ludlow installed as master for the ensuing year.
The meeting, held at Urmston Masonic Hall, was very well attended and David was joined by fellow grand officers, Brian Hayes and South Eastern Group Chairman David Durling, together with acting Provincial Grand Steward Darren Gregory and other distinguished Provincial grand officers, group officers and visiting brethren.
The lodge was opened and the initial business conducted quickly and efficiently by outgoing master Trevor Bedder who then handed over to Jeffrey Newbrook, who carried out the installation ceremony in a smooth and sympathetic manner with the assistance of Phil Rampling as installing senior warden, Noel Grubb as installing junior warden and David Whiten as installing inner guard, all of which was expertly choreographed by DC Terry Howard.
Excellent presentations of the working tools in the third, second and first degrees were given by John Newall, Alan Tuft and Mike Topping respectively followed by a superb address to the master given by Brian Bush of High Peak Lodge No 1952 in the Province of Derbyshire. David Durling then gave an excellent address to the wardens followed by a smooth and polished address to the brethren of the lodge given by David Walmsley.
With the business of the installation ceremony having come to a close, David rose at the customary moment in the proceedings to convey the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to John on his being installed as WM, wishing him and the lodge good health to enjoy a happy and busy year ahead.
David continued, saying that had Tony himself been present, he would have also had great pleasure in congratulating the installing master, John for the excellent work that he had put into the ceremony together with Terry for his excellent administration of the whole affair and also to the officers and brethren of the lodge for the high standard of the ceremony and of the excellent, friendly manner in which it had been conducted.
John then responded to David by thanking him for him passing on the good wishes of the PrGM and had much pleasure in presenting him with a truly extraordinary series of charitable donations, namely; £150 to Beechwood Cancer Care Centre, £250 each to Jigsaw and Riding for the Disabled and finally the magnificent sum of £1,500 to the MCF 2021 Festival. All of which conspired together to earn Foundation Lodge a Festival Patron Certificate, which was promptly awarded by Provincial Charity Steward Denis Tierney.
David, obviously impressed by the scale of the donations said that this was a most generous contribution and clearly had much pleasure in congratulating and thanking the lodge on behalf of all those eventual recipients, we may never know, for their most kind, charitable giving.
The compliments and congratulations were reinforced by group chairman and Foundation Lodge member David Durling who, despite staggering under the weight of collars he had received for the number of lodge duties the master had just bestowed upon him, managed to stand and respond to the first rising. He agreed with the comments that this had been a most enjoyable meeting and similarly wished John an excellent year ahead.
The evening continued with an enjoyable, friendly, jovial festive board where David, in his response to the toast to grand officers, made reference to recruitment both in the Craft and in Royal Arch Masonry. The fact that despite the quantity donated by the Province in proceeds from the Festival, more was received in return from Grand Lodge.
He also congratulated the group officers on the work they put into the group and Province, he promoted the Ambassador Scheme and the new ‘Solomon’ website and finished by mentioning the running and patronization of our Masonic halls, without which running lodges would prove most difficult.
David went on to say he had experienced an immensely enjoyable evening and again, on his own behalf, thanked the lodge for their kind charitable generosity demonstrated earlier in the evening and of the hospitality which they had extended to him throughout the evening. The evening concluded with all those present giving a rousing rendition of the master’s song rounding off an enjoyable and friendly occasion.