The members of Chorley Lodge No 6287 and their guests gave up their bonfires for a night of fireworks at the installation of Iain Simpson at Chorley Masonic Hall.
The principal guest, Chris Butterfield, was accompanied to what promised to be an explosive night, by a bevy of group, acting provincial and group officers. It was no mistake that Chris, as well as being the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, was also part of a contingent of visitors from Brigantes Lodge No. 9374 from Kendal who joined visitors from throughout the group and beyond. Iain is a past master of Brigantes Lodge and the brethren showed their support for him by travelling south to be at his installation.
It was a very special night for Iain as he was installed by Andrew Howarth, who he had initiated when he was master of Chorley Lodge in 2010 and if that was not enough Russ Garner, Iain’s candidate became his senior warden during the installation and his proposer and work colleague, David Alston presented him to the installing master as a candidate for installation.
It was a sparkling ceremony from start to finish, thanks to all the hard work put in by Andrew, his officers and the lodge director of ceremonies, Eric Kos. Three junior members of the lodge, Russ Garner, Richard Gillett and Tom Richardson were like roman candles, dazzling everyone with their spectacular presentations of the working tools.
Iain’s first task as WM was to present Chris with cheques for charity. Chorley Lodge rocketed to new heights by presenting £200 each to the Royal British Legion, Help the Homeless Chorley, National Autistic Society and Chorley Masonic Hall. A fantastic total.
Following the ceremony, everyone retired to the festive board to enjoy each other’s company, making new friends and catching up with old ones. Good food and good company were the order of the night.
After everyone had enjoyed their meal, prepared to the usual very high standard of Chorley Masonic Hall caterers, Chris Butterfield brought the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master and congratulated everyone involved in the evening and said that he hoped that Iain would enjoy his year in office because ‘it wasn’t worth dirtying a shirt if you don’t enjoy your masonry’.
Andrew Howarth proposed the toast to the health of the new WM which was closely followed by Russ Garner singing the masters song to his proposer Iain. Russ was ably assisted in the choruses by the assembled chorus of diners!!
Thanks to the generosity of the members and their guests, the raffle raised the magnificent total of £250 for charity.
As the evening drew to a close everyone agreed that it had been a firecracker of a night which had everything that epitomises Freemasonry, good ritual in lodge, good company as the members and guests socialised and a significant amount of money raised and disbursed to charity.