Cleveleys Masonic Hall was once again the venue for almost 80 brethren to witness Creag Williams being installed as the new master of his mother lodge, Peace and Unity Lodge No 3966. Creag had previously been master of Baines Lodge No 7844, based at Poulton-le-Fylde Masonic Hall.
The lodge was delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton, supported on this occasion by Keith Jackson, North Fylde group chairman Duncan Smith, group vice chairman Peter Greathead, Giles Berkley, Jim Woods and David Thomas, and acting Provincial officers Alan Howie, Peter Maxwell, Bernard Snape, Gordon Ivett and Stuart Gay.
With the regular lodge business dispatched by the master Ian Watson, it was time to welcome John Hutton who was offered the gavel of the lodge, which was swiftly returned. After the usual salutations, Ian proceeded to invite Ken Buckley to act as installing senior warden, Giles Berkley to act as installing junior warden and Derek Wilde to act as installing inner guard.
The master elect Creag was expertly presented by Ken Sykes and then installed in an excellent manner by Ian Watson, with assistance from the director of ceremonies Peter Maxwell. The third, second and first degree tools were deftly explained in turn by Paul Cummings, Gerard Maxwell and Carl Spindler. Thereafter, the officers of the lodge were invested, with addresses to the deacons and stewards being given by lodge stalwarts Alan Reilly and Alan Howie.
The address to the new master was given in fine style by Ken Sykes, whilst Giles Berkley gave a faultless address to the wardens. To conclude the ceremony John Hutton delivered the address to the brethren.
Conveying the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master to the lodge members and visitors, John thanked Ian Watson for his contribution and congratulated all who had taken part in the ceremony. He wished the new master well for the ensuing year.
In response, Creag presented John with several cheques for charities, namely £1,066 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £400 to Blackpool Sea Cadets, £400 to Trinity Hospice, £400 to Brian House, £400 to Poulton-le-Fylde Guide centre, £400 to Altzheimer’s Society, £400 to Macmillan Cancer support, £250 to the Stroke Association, £50 to the North Fylde Group Masonic Charity Bowling and £200 to the North Fylde Group Masonic Bay Walk, giving a total of £3,966. However, further donations of £109 from the lodge account to the West Drive Building Fund, £157 from Ladies That Dine to Macmillan Cancer support, £1,200 from the social fund to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and a private donation of £5 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity swelled this total to the magnificent sum of £5,437. John, on behalf of the recipients, warmly thanked the members of the lodge for their generosity.
Creag runs his own car valeting business and at his installation he was certainly in ‘sparkling’ form and gave a ‘polished’ performance. No doubt he is looking forward to being able to ‘shine’ as master for the ensuing year.
The brethren duly retired to the comfortable surroundings of the bar and ultimately the dining room where they enjoyed an excellent meal and great company. A raffle raised £446 for charities. Baines Lodge No 7844 was successful in winning the Crowd Jewel, which their master Graham Bannister was happy to receive.
Ian Watson proposed the toast to the health of the new master Creag, while Hugh Mett rendered the master’s song, accompanied by the evergreen Malcolm Burrill. At the conclusion of a superb evening Bob Sims delivered the long version of the tyler’s toast.