Members and visitors of Peel Moat Lodge No 7633 were honoured and delighted to welcome John Karran, representing the Provincial Grand Master, to their installation meeting to witness the installation of Peter Shepherd as WM for the ensuing year.
John was accompanied by South Eastern Group Chairman David Durling and fellow grand officer Brian Hayes along with other distinguished Provincial grand officers, regional and group officers and numerous visiting brethren.
Nigel Sharp, the current and installing master, having opened the lodge and discharged the lodge business, the Provincial party entered the lodge directed by lodge DC Vin Wren. The lodge room was extremely full with little room to manoeuvre but Vin skilfully guided the party to the pedestal where greetings were exchanged between John, grand officers and Nigel and they then took their respective places.
At this point there was a late but very welcome arrival, as lodge member Brian Cross took his place, fresh from a hip replacement operation literally days previously and took the chair of installing senior warden. Nigel then conducted the ceremony of installing Peter into the chair in a smooth and seamless manner eventually placing him in the chair in a most forceful manner, not giving Peter time to change his mind!
Having recovered from his most abrupt placement in the master’s chair, Peter took a few moments to absorb the atmosphere and accept the fact of becoming master of a lodge for the second time in his Masonic career.
The working tools were extremely well presented by Derek Addy in the third degree, Phil Lowe in the second degree and by DC Vin Wren in the first degree.
Group and lodge secretary Nigel Paton then presented an excellent address to the master, followed by Terry Levison presenting the address to the wardens and rather less commonly seen, addresses to the deacons by Peter Beswick and to the stewards by Phil Lowe.
Finally, John presented an excellent and very pleasant address to the brethren of the lodge. On completion of the ceremony, John rose and brought the congratulations and good wishes for a happy and healthy year from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. John said that had Tony been present, he would have witnessed a very smooth installation ceremony and on Tony’s behalf, congratulated both the immediate past master Nigel and DC Vin for their excellent work.
Peter rose to respond to John and thanked him for conveying the very kind wishes from Tony, saying he was most proud to be installed as WM and looked forward to his year ahead. He then presented John with charitable donations by way of cheques for £300 made out to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £200 to the Heaton Norris branch of the Salvation Army and finally £200 to the Friends of Ecclesholme.
On the first rising, group chairman David Durling responded on behalf of the grand officers adding their congratulations and good wishes to those of Tony Harrison, also welcoming Peter as a ruler of the Craft in the South Eastern Group once more.
The meeting having ended, a very friendly and admittedly cosy festive board continued into the evening where the responses were plentiful and amusing. John, in response to the toast to grand officers spoke of the importance of the Royal Arch as a means of completing the Masonic journey, directing those present who were not members to seriously consider joining a chapter. He also said it was important that we all enjoy our Masonry and said that the message about recruitment was clearly beginning to take hold as numbers were rising in the Province. Finally, a most buoyant and enjoyable evening was brought to a close with a rousing rendition of the master’s song given by Peter Beswick.