Brethren from lodges at Chorley and as far afield as Padiham, Southport, St Annes, Blackpool and Edinburgh joined the members of Prospect Lodge No 7880 in welcoming Anthony Lowe (Tony) as their newly installed WM for the second time in seven years.
The lodge was also pleased to have the company of Steven Gregory who was representing the Provincial Grand Master, and he was accompanied by acting Provincial grand officers as well as the Chorley Group Secretary Don Hesketh.
Prospect Lodge is a small lodge in terms of the number of members, however it soon became apparent that all those members are very enthusiastic and dedicated Freemasons, which was shown off by the warm welcome and standard of ritual performed throughout the evening.
The outgoing master Steve Williams, treated all present to a most sincere and heartfelt ceremony, ably assisted by the officers and brethren of the lodge with one officer in particular, Ken Ingham, standing in for many of the offices by performing all the senior warden’s tasks, the second and third degree working tools and the address to the wardens. At one point all the visitors thought that Ken would excuse himself to go and cook dinner.
During the ceremony Tony presented Steven with a number of charitable donations totalling £1700, including £500 to the MCF 2021 Festival, £200 to the Chorley Masonic Hall, £500 to ‘Little Ted’s Room’ and £500 to ‘TAAG’, these two charities being very close to the outgoing masters heart and for which he has raised funds during his year in office. ‘Little Teds Room’ is a very worthwhile cause which raises funds for the Royal Preston Hospital maternity unit in order to create two specially adapted ‘sound proof’ rooms which will be used for the birth and delivery of still born babies. ‘Lancashire TAAG’ is again a very worthwhile charity and are a voluntary support group that operates in Chorley and South Ribble, funded and run by parents of children with social and communication needs. They provide activities for children and young people aged 8 – 18 years who have Autism Spectrum Conditions, ASD/C, ADHD or social interaction and communication needs.
On receiving these donations, Steven thanked the lodge saying that this is an impressive amount to receive from a small lodge and went on to thank everyone on behalf of all those who will benefit from these very generous amounts.
After the lodge was closed the members and guests congregated at the bar before being treated to a most enjoyable dinner in the relaxing and friendly surroundings of Chorley Masonic Hall. The traditional master’s song was sung by Brian Flynn who was accompanied on the piano by, none other than, Ken Ingham, (is there anything he can’t do?).
The evening was given an extra ‘buzz’ with the raffle as David McManus, a visitor from Edinburgh, donated four jars of honey produced in his beehives in which when added to the usual bottles presented an impressive array of raffle prizes which raised £175.
Tony completed the evening by presenting Steven with a bouquet of flowers for him to take home for his wife and went on to thank Steven and all present for making it a very special and memorable evening.