The brethren and visitors to the Ashlar Lodge No 5154 installation meeting at Blackpool Masonic Hall were honoured to receive the Provincial Deputy Grand Master Phillip Gunning as their principal guest to witness Peter Mann being installed as master of the lodge for the ensuing year.
Phillip was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Randerson and John Turpin the Blackpool Group Chairman. Overseeing the proceedings were Ian Halsall, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies ably assisted by Ryan Modling. Also in attendance were acting Provincial grand officers Jim Gregson, Alan Barnes and Stuart Alcock-Williams.
Michael Wigham, who took on the role of installing master at short notice due to the sudden illness of the WM Tom Egan, swiftly completed the business of the lodge.
On a report Ian Halsall announced that Phillip Gunning demanded admission and was escorted into the lodge accompanied by other grand and acting Provincial grand officers. The installing master Michael Wigham offered the gavel of the lodge to Phillip who politely declined the offer knowing that it was being returned to a more experienced hand.
Master elect Peter Mann was presented to the lodge by John Cross and subsequently installed into the chair by Michael Wigham in a most efficient and confident manner assisted by the officers of the lodge.
Confident renditions of the working tools were presented by Michael Thompson, Barry Kenyon and Neil Thomson. The address to the master was given by John Cross, the address to the wardens by John Berry, leaving Phillip Gunning to give the address to the brethren of the lodge.
The ceremony being completed, Phillip rose and brought the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison thanking the installing master Michael Wigham on the quality of the installation and said how much he enjoyed attending such a wonderful ceremony wishing the lodge every success and good health for the forthcoming year.
Phillip was delighted to receive a cheque for £500 for the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival that entitles the lodge to display the certificate of a Vice Patron of the Festival. Adding that the brethren can be proud of their donations knowing that it will help people less fortunate than themselves.
The evening continued at the festive board and in his reply to the toast to the grand officers Phillip talked about the need to adopt a policy of recruitment, retention and retrieval with regard to the lodge members also making a passionate plea for everyone to have the free prostate PSA blood test at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting on 1 April next year – early detection can save lives. Ian Benson accompanied by the multi-talented George Holden superbly sang the master’s song.
Written by Gordon Ivett, Blackpool Group Publicity Officer.