It was a special occasion for the brethren of Arthur Stanley Lodge No 3469 and their guests, who gathered at Ormskirk Masonic Hall, to witness the installation of David Irving as their new WM. For the evening’s ceremony the brethren were honoured by the presence of Malcolm Bell, representative of the Provincial Grand Master, as the principle guest in his first outing in the role. Malcolm was accompanied by Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Frank Umbers and acting Provincial grand officers, Carl Matthews’ Mike Dutton and Dave Scott.
The DC of the lodge Greg Pinnington called the brethren to order so that the outgoing WM Peter Hoyles could open the lodge in the first degree and after the lodge’s initial business had been completed the DC requested permission to retire to form the procession. Greg returned to announce that Malcolm Bell stood without seeking admission, Peter said he would be honoured to receive him.
Malcolm Bell, accompanied by Frank Umbers and the acting Provincial grand officers, entered the lodge and Malcolm was warmly welcomed by Peter. The DC then led the salutations to Malcolm and Frank Umbers with Raymond Tompsett receiving the salutations on behalf of the Provincial grand officers.
Tom McKenzie then presented the master elect David Irving. Peter then installed David in a dignified and confident manner into the chair of King Solomon. The working tools in the third degree where delivered in an exemplary manner by Peter Whittaker, the second degree working tools by Gary Evans, and those of the first degree by Paul Smith. The warrant, book of constitutions and byelaws where presented by Peter Hoyles.
The WM then proceeded to invest his officers for the ensuing year. The address to the WM was given by Barry Hurst, in an impeccable manner. Barry who is suffering from a serious illness had made a massive effort to attend the installation, saying that he had never before missed one and he certainly wasn’t going to miss this one. The brethren showed their appreciation to Barry, understanding the difficulties he had to overcome to attend the meeting.
The address to the wardens was again impeccably delivered by Tom McKenzie. Malcolm Bell delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge in a very sincere and confident manner, which befits the composure of an experienced PrDGDC. This was well received by the brethren, all of whom knew this was Malcolm’s first outing as the representative of the PrGM, and from the manner in which it was delivered, it was evident to everyone that after standing behind the PrGM, Dep PrGM, and the APrGM’s so many times and hearing it delivered, Malcolm’s address was up there with the best of them.
At the completion of the ceremony Malcolm rose to convey the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to David, wishing him a happy, healthy and successful year in office. Malcolm then wished everyone in the lodge health and happiness in their Freemasonry. Malcolm went on to say that had Tony been present he would certainly have congratulated everyone who had taken part in the ceremony. Malcolm thanked Peter Hoyles for an excellent installation, and he also said that through the DC’s union he must say a big thank you to Greg Pinnington the lodge DC.
David Irving then rose to present the cheques to Malcolm which he opened and requested permission to announce the beneficiaries to the brethren. £1,200 to the MCF 2021 Festival which has already been donated, £1,074 to the Tracheoesophageal Fistula (TOFS) which has already been donated, £100 to the Friends of Tithebarn, £100 to the Masonic Hall Association and £100 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. Malcolm thanked the lodge for its very generous donation saying that it was a wonderful sum of money to receive on behalf of the recipients who we may never know, but who will benefit from the donations.
The group festival representative gave the address to the charity steward / festival representative which is to be given at every installation during the term of the MCF 2021 Festival.
After the first rising, Greg formed a procession and the principal guest accompanied by the group chairman and the acting Provincial grand officers retired. It is worth noting that Arthur Stanley Lodge is among the few lodges that close the long way, which is always a pleasure to see, and which was carried out flawlessly. With the lodge duly closed the members and guests retired to the dining room for some well-earned refreshment and an excellent three course meal, which as always in Ormskirk, was of the highest standard.