Brookfield Masonic Hall was the venue for the 58th installation meeting of Westhoughton Lodge of Amity No 7782.The evening proved to be an excellent night of colour, dark blue, light blue and green.
The lodge was honoured to have the presence of Wigan Group Chairman Geoffrey Porter, representing the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, accompanied by Chorley Group Vice Chairman Peter Allen and group treasurer Michael Silver.
Lodge proceedings were started by David Barber who temporarily stood in for WM, Andrew Thornley, who, due to the work commitments was delayed in his arrival.
What followed was an excellent ceremony which was heartfelt and delivered in a delightful manner. Whilst it is nice to see the faithful dark blues, it was very nice to see light blues in every office, showing the strength and support of the lodge.
The master elect, Andrew Prescott, was presented by his elder brother Alex Prescott in a touching reminder of the strong family bonds currently alive and well in Amity Lodge.
To the great relief of all present, the WM, Andrew Thornley, who had fought the traffic to be present, arrived just in time to install his successor into the chair of King Solomon.
The family connection came to the fore again as during the installation, Alex Prescott presented the working tools of an installed master to his younger brother.
The presentation of the working tools proved to be a highlight. Geoff Porter commented that the working tools were presented in spectacular fashion by Stuart Graves, Jon Weston and Zack Thornley, and further commented that it was indeed a wonderful sight to see the entire working floor filled by light blues, for the first time in a good many years of the lodge’s history.
With the lodge in the hands of the newly installed WM, he presented cheques for charity to Geoffrey; £1,200 was donated to the 2021 MCF Festival making Amity Lodge a Grand Patron, £100 to Firwood School and £500 to Team UnLimbited, a charity focussing on the development of 3D printed prosthetics for children. Ray Dainton gave a thank you on behalf of Firwood School.
It is always a pleasure for any lodge to welcome visitors but a highlight of the evening was the visit of a ‘green’ group of brethren from north of the border, namely Lodge St James No 171 in the Scottish constitution, who travel down from Scotland every year from Doune near Sterling.
After the installation, a typical Westhoughton festive board followed which was enjoyed by all during which Arthur Price presented Ray Dainton with a cheque for £1,500 for Firwood School which was the proceeds of his previous year as Mayor of Westhoughton.
The master’s song was delivered in an accomplished manner by Zack Thornley accompanied by Ray Dainton and to round the evening off in spectacular form, even with the added complication that is the Scottish language barrier, Norrie Austin past master of Lodge St James responded on behalf of the visitors.
Amity Lodge members will be returning the visit at Lodge St James installation in February where they hope to claim back the bottle of whiskey that they kindly donated and proceeded to win back in raffle. An excellent night of colour, dark blue, light blue, and green with good ritual, good company, good music and excellent food and wine,