It is a fair trek from the banks of the Mersey to the northern reaches of Morecambe Bay but Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton found the journey very worthwhile as he enjoyed the great hospitality extended to him by the members of Hindpool Lodge No 1225.
The reason for this most friendly of visits was to attend as the principal guest at the installation meeting which was held at Barrow Masonic Hall. Entering the chair for a second occasion was Peter While who had kindly agreed to step into the breach to give the junior brethren some breathing room during their progression to the chair.
There was a personal touch in the choice of the main guest as Kevin and Peter had met up on a cruise several years ago and enjoyed each other’s company during the course of the voyage and became good friends. Adding further lustre to the occasion was the presence of Provincial acting officers Phil Preston, Terry Ridal, Alan Hilton and David Ingham.
Outgoing WM Paul Musgrave undertook the work of installing Peter in fine style. He can reflect on not only a job well done but can also look back on a year in office during which he has served the lodge in exemplary fashion, proving an excellent ambassador in his attendance at other lodges and social events.
Director of ceremonies Doug Smith had obviously worked his charges hard as the whole ceremony was a joy to observe. All played their part well; however special mention must be made of the junior brethren who undertook the presentation of the working tools
Gary Gibson was called upon to present the working tools of the third degree, Levi Gill those of the second degree, long version, and Tom Shankland those of the first degree. The trio later received great praise for the standard of their work from group chairman Peter Schofield as he extended greetings from Grand Lodge.
Lodge secretary Tony Cassells presented the tools of an installed master in his own inimitable style. Adding further lustre to the occasion was the presence of Provincial acting officers Phil Preston, Terry Ridal, Alan Hilton and David Ingham. Derek Forrest delivered the address to the WM, Bob Carr that to the wardens and Kevin was called upon to sing for his supper and orate the address to the brethren of the lodge. They all added to the enjoyment of the occasion.
The lodge is fortunate in having amongst its number Andre Lawrence who is an accomplished organist. His melodies added further pleasure to proceedings.
To mark the event the newly installed WM presented Kevin with a donation to Masonic charities of £1,225 which, as Kevin was to point out, comes directly from the pockets of the members. Hindpool Lodge also has its own charitable foundation as a result of a bequest. In the previous year that foundation had, without fuss or publicity, distributed over £19,000 to local good causes such as the scouting movement and schools.
Following the formalities of the Masonic ritual a four-course meal was enjoyed in the Fairfield Suite by 82 members and their guests. The song to the WM was sung by visiting guest vocalist Brain Coward of Dalton-in-Furness Lodge No 6828. The camaraderie and fellowship at the installation banquet proved a fitting finale to what had been a meeting of great enjoyment.