Robert John Midgley was installed into the chair of Rufford Lodge No 7217 at the Park Hall Hotel, Charnock Richard by WM Chris Hayton assisted by Rob’s father Derek Midgley who was the installing master.
The lodge was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers who was making his first visit to the Ormskirk and Bootle Group since being appointed in May 2018. He was accompanied by grand officers Brian Fairhurst, Tom Norris, Roy Worthington and Stan Rigby, together with the Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Graham Chambers. There were also four acting Provincial grand officers in attendance; Garry Norris, Russ Morris, Rick Walker and Jeremy Williams. A total of 73 brethren attended the meeting.
After taking the chair from the WM Chris Hayton, Derek Midgley installed his son Rob in a very enjoyable and moving ceremony. The working tools were presented in an excellent manner by brethren of the lodge; third degree by Alan Burgess, second degree by Brian Southworth and first degree by Philip Smitton.
In bringing greetings from the Provincial Grand Master tony Harrison, Frank congratulated the lodge members who had taken part in the ceremony, giving special thanks to the junior brethren who had presented the working tools so well. He said he had thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony and it was a pleasure to be present to watch Rob take the chair as he had attended both his initiation and raising ceremonies.
Frank was then presented with three cheques in the total sum of £2,100. To the benefit of the MCF 2021 Festival £1,500, the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity £500 and the Friends of Tithebarn £100. This was in addition to the donations already made by members in the white envelopes scheme during the year. He thanked the brethren on behalf of the future recipients who would benefit from their kind generosity.
A certificate of Vice Patronage of the Festival was then presented to the lodge by Malcolm Sandywell the group festival representative.
Following the meeting an excellent festive board was enjoyed by all the brethren, which was followed by the usual Rufford tradition of an auction of pot plants. Together with a raffle this raised the magnificent sum of £370 for the charities. The master’s song was delivered in an excellent manner by Neil Harvey with musical accompaniment by Doug Little.