Almost 90 brethren recently gathered at Fleetwood Masonic Hall to witness Cyril Mead being installed into the chair of Onward Lodge No. 5540. Cyril is better known by his stage persona of Syd Little.
The lodge was delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox, together with Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Malcolm Worsley (Province of East Lancashire), North Fylde Group Chairman Duncan Smith, Peter Greathead, Neil Phillips (Province of Hertfordshire), and Alan Walker (Province of Staffordshire), supported by acting Provincial officers Alex Tomlinson, Bernard Snape, Ian Turner (Province of Staffordshire) and Gordon Ivett.
The regular lodge business was deftly dispatched by the master Gavin Egan and he proceeded to invite Russell Smith to act as installing senior warden, John Kelley to act as installing junior warden and Paul Dunne to act as installing inner guard.
Harry Cox and the retinue of distinguished brethren were admitted to the lodge and the master offered the gavel of the lodge to Harry, which he swiftly returned. After the usual salutations, the director of ceremonies Mike Brown presented the master elect.
Syd was ably and sincerely installed by Gavin Egan, whilst the working tools were well presented by David Swaine, Emile Timothy, and Chris Hardingham. Mike Brown delivered the address to Syd and this was followed by addresses to the wardens by Duncan Smith, to the deacons by Bernard Snape and Alex Tomlinson, to the stewards by James Rashid and to the brethren by Harry Cox.
At the conclusion of the installation Harry congratulated all the brethren who had contributed to making the ceremony such a success and made particular mention of the installing master Gavin Egan. On behalf of the lodge, Syd presented Harry with cheques for charities with a magnificent combined total of £3,600, made up of £600 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £1,500 to Sam’s Place and £1,500 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. Harry thanked the lodge on behalf of all the recipients.
The brethren retired and enjoyed a superb ‘Burns Night’ festive board, with John Farrell toasting the haggis in fine style. Harry Cox responded to toast number three with his usual good humour and made mention of the Tercentenary celebrations, the Pathway project and the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival.
Raffles took place which raised £590 for charities. The toast to the newly made master was given by the immediate past master Gavin Egan and the master’s song was rendered by Syd’s good friend Richard Crow. At the end of a splendid evening, the tyler’s toast was delivered by Terry Naylor.