Until the 1880s the picturesque Coniston Water was often referred to by the alternative title of Thurston Water. The Masonic lodge which was founded in the town of Coniston in 1894 took as its name Thurston Lodge No 2525.
Several years ago, the lodge moved its base to Ulverston Masonic Hall but is still proud of its original roots and each summons, and the lodge banner, bears the legend ‘Now’t Caps Coniston’, a phrase associated with the beautiful Lakeland village.
The installation meeting of the lodge saw Chris Butterfield attend as the principal guest. He was accompanied by five other grand officers including Furness and South Lakeland Group Chairman Peter Schofield. Acting officers included father and son Terry and Andrew Ridal along with Phil Preston and Alan Hilton. They added further lustre to the proceedings. They were able to observe Christopher Eccles install Martin Rigby as his successor into the principal office of the lodge in fine style.
The working tools of the third degree were presented by Brain McKenna who was later appointed junior warden. Those of the first degree were presented and explained by Graham Wilson who was later invested as a steward, his first office in the lodge. Group secretary Alan Pattinson was a late substitute for the task of undertaking a similar role in respect of the second degree tools. All played their part well with Brian and Graham in particular being the subject of much favourable comment during the course of the evening.
Watching on with particular pride were lodge secretary Harry Kilgour and Barry Hadley who had been Martin’s proposer and second. Both played a part in the installation ceremony of their candidate with Harry delivering the address to the newly installed master and Barry acting as the installing senior warden.
The address to the wardens was delivered by Alan Jones whilst Chris was called upon to orate the address to the brethren of the lodge. They added to the enjoyment of what was a delightful ceremony.
Outgoing director of ceremonies David Swarbrick was praised for his work in ensuring that the ritual met such a high standard.
To mark the occasion £700 was donated to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. There are ongoing building improvements taking place at Ulverston Masonic Hall and Thurston Lodge had, during the year, given £823 to the building fund.
Following the formalities there was a short trip up the stairs to the dining room where 74 members and their guests enjoyed a four-course meal, the menu being beef.