The honour of being the first lodge to hold its installation meeting of the season at Blackpool Masonic Hall always falls to Brotherhood Lodge No 3967.
So, on a cold and wet October Thursday afternoon 43 Masons gathered at Blackpool Masonic hall to witness senior warden Tony Ansell being installed into the chair of King Solomon.
The lodge was honoured by the attendance of principal guest Ian Ward, along with fellow grand officers John Turpin the Blackpool Group Chairman and Rev Canon Geoffrey Moore. Also supporting the lodge were David Cook group vice chairman, Steve Jelly group secretary and acting Provincial grand officer Jim Finnegan.
Under the guidance of the director of ceremonies Mark Smith, the WM Roger O’Loughlin swiftly dealt with the business of the lodge and on a report the director of ceremonies announced that Ian Ward representing the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison requested admission. Having been welcomed into the lodge by Roger the main event of the day commenced.
The senior warden of the lodge and master elect Tony Ansell was presented to the brethren by Bill Parsons and installed into the chair of king Solomon with warmth and dignity by Roger O’Loughlin and the officers of the lodge.
Tony Ansell eased himself into the role of WM by appointing and investing his officers thanking them for taking office.
After delivering a most eloquent address to the brethren, Ian conveyed the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master, congratulating Tony on occupying the master’s chair again and the installing master Roger O’Loughlin on the way he installed his successor in a most dignified way.
Brotherhood Lodge is one of the lodges known as a Hallstone Lodge, which gives the master the right to wear a Hallstone Jewel. This is a medal in gold on a light blue collarette worn by successive masters of lodges who have contributed an average of 10 guineas per member to support the building of new headquarters for English Freemasons known as Freemasons hall. In January 1920 details of the campaign to raise funds for the new building were released to lodges and individual members.
Originally known as the Masonic peace memorial it was built to commemorate the many brethren who had given their lives during the First World War.
Some 1,321 lodges at home and abroad qualified as Hallstone Lodges, their names and numbers are inscribed on commemorative marble panels in the main ceremonial entrance vestibule of Freemasons Hall. Clive Tandy gave the explanation and presentation of the hall stone jewel to the worshipful master.
On conclusion of the meeting the brethren retired to the banqueting suite for a joyous festive board raising a magnificent £212 for the charities. The master’s song was sung by David Harrison in his most distinctive style and accompanied by organist Jim Coupe.
Lodge tyler Juan Topping closed a very enjoyable evening with an expert rendition of the tyler’s toast.
Story by Gordon Ivett Blackpool Group Publicity Officer.