Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Walmsley was the guest of honour at Asshaw Lodge No 6849, to see the installation of Steve Williams as master. A unique occasion, as Steve Williams had been installed as master of Prospect Lodge No 7880 only two weeks before. What at first appears a paradox can easily be explained by the fact that Chorley now has two masters named Steve Williams in the chairs of their respective lodges at the same time. A recipe for confusion!
David Walmsley was accompanied by grand, acting Provincial grand and group officers who witnessed the installing master, Denis Martindale and his installing officers combine to ensure that Steve Williams had an installation to be remembered and one of which they can be proud.
There were many highlights in an already excellent ceremony. There was the very emotional and delightful address to the master given by Steve’s son, David. Then there was the address to the wardens by Peter Beardmore followed by the address to the brethren of the lodge by David Walmsley.
David told the brethren at the social board later that, following the excellent deliveries of the two addresses before his, he rose to give his with trepidation and Peter Lockett, the group chairman was moved to wish him good luck! Another highlight was the presentations of the working tools which were made by Peter Willingham, Paul Vernazza and Anthony Cross, who are all to be commended for the excellence of their delivery.
It was commented on by the guests that the whole ceremony was of high quality and a team effort led by the installing master Denis Martindale, who was exemplary in the role and the installing director of ceremonies, Edwin Schofield, who ensured that the ceremony was performed with accuracy and precision, but yet without loosing warmth and the personal touch.
Once the evening was under the control of the new master, a presentation of cheques for charity was made to David Walmsley who announced to the brethren that the cheques were: £200 for Cancer Research, £50 for Charnock Richard Scouts and £500 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. David gave thanks to the brethren of the lodge for their generosity.
At the conclusion of the meeting the grand and Provincial grand officers retired to the Provincial bar to give them the opportunity to be the first to congratulate the new master and his officers and to wish them well for their year.
The grand and Provincial officers joined the rest of the brethren at the bar and shortly after took their places at the social board for a very enjoyable meal prepared and served by Chorley Masonic Hall caterer Sharon and her team.
The social board provides an opportunity to chat, renew old friendships and make new friendships and this social board was no exception. Various comments could be heard around the table, such as: “I was worried Denis Martindale might fall over and we wouldn’t be able to pick him up.” Denis had received collars as immediate past master, director of ceremonies and almoner – and this was in addition to the Provincial collar he was already wearing
The raffle raised the magnificent sum of £270 which was given to John Bicknell, the Masonic hall treasurer as a donation. This was followed by a presentation to Steve Williams, the hall secretary, (the other Steve Williams) of a number of round tablecloths for use at functions in the hall. Two very tangible expressions of support that Asshaw Lodge give to Chorley Masonic Hall.
To complete the festivities, Bryan Flynn, accompanied by Ken Ingham, sang the master’s song to the master in his usual accomplished manner and to the enjoyment of everyone present.
Before the guest of honour, David Walmsley retired as the evening drew to a close, he was presented with a bouquet of flowers to take home to his wife as an expression of thanks from the lodge for letting David ‘play out’ and join Asshaw Lodge on what was a very enjoyable night of Masonry and friendship.