What do you get when you have two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, a handful of grand officers and 14 acting Provincial grand officers? The answer is a very crowded lodge room for the installation meeting of Dalton-in-Furness Lodge No 6828. It was commented that there were more people in acting roles than you would see at Shakespeare’s Globe!
The main guest on the day was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon, who had made his way to the top of the Province accompanied by several acting Provincial grand officers from his area. Also present was fellow Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger, who is a member of Dalton-in-Furness Lodge. As always there was an abundance of acting Provincial grand officers from the Furness and South Lakeland Group in attendance, along with group chairman Peter Schofield and the group officers.
The presence of so many distinguished Masons and a packed room did not affect the performance of outgoing master Stuart Brackstone. He undertook the duty of installing Ian Hallatt as his successor with great precision and feeling.
Stuart was a joining member of the lodge, having previously seen service as master in another lodge. Despite this, and the fact that he has many commitments in other Masonic Orders, he has performed the office with great distinction.
The quality of the ceremony was exemplified by Ferdinand Paule, Ron Hiseman and Dave Baker. The work of these junior brethren in presenting and explaining the working tools of the three degrees was the subject of much favourable comment. It bodes well for the future of the lodge.
To mark the occasion, Stewart was presented with a donation of £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and a further donation of £1,500 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. The first £200 of the donation to the MCF 2021 Festival was match-funded with a cheque for £200 from the group charity account. This was presented by group charity steward Richard Wilcock who also presented a certificate to Ian to acknowledge the fact the lodge was now a Vice Patron of the Festival.
Looking on the proceedings with particular pleasure were David Smith and Kieron Mullan who had, respectively, been Ian’s proposer and seconder. Dalton-in-Furness Lodge received its warrant in 1949 and was formed by members of Baldwin Lodge No 1398 because in those heady days the number of gentlemen wishing to join our Order meant there was a waiting list of several years to become a member.
As with most lodges, there has been a downturn in numbers over the years but it can still boast a membership of 40 members, many of whom are very active Masons, and a number of which can be placed in the ‘younger’ category. The future is most promising.
Following the ceremony there was a journey down the road to Barrow Masonic Hall for the installation banquet where 116 members and their guests enjoyed good food, fine wine and pleasant company.
During the course of the day, director of ceremonies David Ozanne, secretary Paul Rose MBE and treasurer Peter Dismore MBE were thanked for the work they had done in ensuring the major meeting of the year had passed off so successfully.