The members of Norcliffe Lodge No 7371 together with an impressive guest list met at Cleveleys Masonic Hall to see Jason Bleakley installed into the chair of King Solomon.
On this occasion the lodge was honoured with the presence of Robert Duncan Smith as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master. Duncan was accompanied by Harry Cox, North Fylde Group Chairman Peter Greathead, Geoff Pritchard, Steve Townsend and acting Provincial grand officer Jim Gregson.
WM Neil Kirkpatrick opened the lodge in the first degree and with the assistance of his wardens completed the administrative business of the lodge. At this point the director of ceremonies announced that Duncan stood outside the door of the lodge and requested admission.
Once Duncan had been formally introduced, Neil had the pleasant duty to present cheques as out-going master for £800 to the MCF 2021 Festival, £210 in white envelope donations to the MCF Festival, £100 to the Manchester Royal Infirmary Haematology Ward and £300 to the 51st Blackpool Scouts.
For the purpose of installation, Neil invited Peter Greathead to occupy the senior warden’s chair, Paul Hardy to occupy the junior warden’s chair and Mel Howarth of their daughter lodge Spartan No 8048 to act as installing inner guard.
Jason, as the master elect, was duly presented for installation by Ralph Miller. The ceremony of installation that followed was of the best quality, showing pure dedication to the Craft. The installation ceremony was shared between Neil Kirkpatrick, Neville Smith and Tony Blundell.
Once the inner workings were complete, the third degree working tools were expertly delivered by Frank Howarth, while Matthew Brady’s delivery of the extended second degree tools impressed everyone. To complete the set Matthew’s father delivered the first degree tools with no lesser skill.
The address to the master was delivered by Bob Leonard, the address to the wardens was expertly delivered by Peter Greathead while Ralph Miller addressed the deacons leaving the final address to the brethren to be delivered by Duncan Smith.
At the conclusion of the installation Duncan rose to bring the greetings of the PrGM Tony Harrison to Jason and in turn, Duncan congratulated the installing master and his assistants. Duncan completed his greetings by saying the PrGM wished that everyone should enjoy their Freemasonry.
The brethren then retired to the dining room for an excellent three course banquet, which was accompanied by good companionship and lively conversation.
Duncan, in response to his toast, took the time to congratulate Jason, saying that he was a cousin of Jason’s once removed and that he had a few stories to tell, but said that his secrets were safe with him. Duncan continued by congratulating Neil and all the members who had played a part in the ceremony.
Duncan continued his response by saying that West Lancashire has always had a tremendous reputation for donations to charitable causes and Norcliffe Lodge was no exception, already being a grand patron of the MCF 2021 Festival. Duncan moved to the importance of membership, informing the brethren about the Membership Pathway initiative from United Grand Lodge to enable lodges to attract and retain candidates. Duncan finished by thanking the brethren for the warm welcome that he had received.