Fylde Group Lodge of Instruction festival

Ian Ward (right) presenting Ray Martland with his commemorative heavy maul and block.

Ian Ward (right) presenting Ray Martland with his commemorative heavy maul and block.

This year the Fylde Group Lodge of Instruction No 65 (LoI) held its annual festival at the Masonic Hall, Cleveleys. The festival is the LoI’s chance to showcase its work over the year when it performs ritual exactly as set down by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement.

Each year LoI invites a senior member of the Province to be its president. This year’s president was Ray Martland, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, with Harry Cox and David Winder, both Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, as vice presidents.

The lodge was opened in the usual manner by the WM, Glenn O’Brien, and then the president, accompanied by the vice presidents and other distinguished grand, Provincial and acting Provincial grand officers, entered. This is different from the usual form where an APrGM would normally enter in the third degree and is only practised in lodges of Instruction.

The lodge was then opened in the second and third degrees.

The guests were treated to some absolutely stunning ritual – The first section of the the third lecture was given by Roger Walker, assisted by Norman Prue. Arthur Lea assisted by John Bradley worked the second section of the second lecture and the evening’s performances were finished off in style by Brian Davey assisted by Philip Donoghue who gave a fine rendition of the fifth section of the second lecture.

Once the lodge had been closed in full in the third and second degrees Harry proposed a vote of thanks to the festival president. The WM then closed the lodge and everyone moved to the dining room to enjoy a delicious three course meal featuring roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as the main.

After the meal Peter Robinson had the honour to propose the toast to the president. In his speech Peter thanked Ray for honouring the LoI by accepting the presidency for this year and went on to highlight some of Ray’s masonic career including his acting grand rank of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and his time spent as Provincial Grand Almoner.

In his response to the toast to his health Ray said that after looking at a list of some former presidents of the festival he felt honoured to be invited to be the president this year. He described the ritual as breathtaking and inspiring, and praised the festival team for all their hard word work in achieving such a high standard.

Ian Ward, Senior Preceptor of the Fylde Group Lodge of Instruction then presented Ray with a heavy maul and block to commemorate his presidency.

Ray was also pleased to present an award of a book by Colin FW Dyer entitled “Emulation, A Ritual to Remember” to Paul Darlington of Anchorsholme Lodge who, in the opinion of the preceptors, was the most improved young member of the LoI over the year.

The WM, president and senior preceptor with distinguished guests.

The WM, president and senior preceptor with distinguished guests.