Almost 80 brethren gathered at Fleetwood Masonic Hall to witness Adam Simpson being installed into the chair of Onward Lodge No. 5540. The lodge was delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent, together with North Fylde Group Chairman Duncan Smith, Peter Greathead, Neil MacSymons, Giles Berkley and Alan Walker (Staffordshire), supported by acting Provincial grand officers Creag Williams, David Rigby, David Kenworthy, Jim Finnegan, Fred Dickinson and Peter Maxwell.
The regular lodge business was deftly dispatched by the acting master Gavin Egan who proceeded to invite Hugh Mett to act as installing senior warden, John Kelley to act as installing junior warden and Paul Dunne to act as installing inner guard.
Tony Bent and the retinue of distinguished brethren were admitted to the lodge and the master offered the gavel of the lodge to Tony, which he swiftly returned. After the usual salutations, the director of ceremonies Mike Brown presented the master elect.
Adam was ably and sincerely installed by Gavin Egan, assisted by Ted Bottomley, whilst the working tools were well presented by Chris Hardingham, Keiron Griffiths and Dave Calvert. Mike Brown delivered the address to Adam and this was followed by addresses to the wardens by Duncan Smith, to the deacons by Mike Brown, to the stewards by Creag Williams and to the brethren of the lodge by Tony Bent.
At the conclusion of the installation, Tony 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, Adam presented Tony with cheques for charities with a magnificent combined total of £4,200; including £1,500 to Sam’s Place. Tony thanked the lodge on behalf of the recipients.
The brethren then enjoyed a superb Burns Night festive board with Gordon Rae addressing the haggis in fine style, with accompaniment from piper Andrew Daniels. A raffle took place which raised £342 for charities. The toast to the newly made master was given by immediate past master Gavin Egan and the master’s song was rendered by Hugh Mett, accompanied by Steve Lloyd. At the conclusion of a splendid evening the tyler’s toast was delivered by Peter Maxwell.