Assistant Provincial Grand Master Anthony (Tony) Bent received a very warm welcome from the brethren of Pilling Lodge No 7879 when he attended as principal guest at their installation held at Wyrebank Masonic Hall, Garstang. Accompanying Tony on his visit were fellow grand officers, Lancaster and District Group Chairman Jim Wilson and Keith Jackson, together with acting Provincial grand officers Steve Plevey Provincial Junior Grand Deacon, John Eccles Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer and Stewart Aimson and David Rigby Provincial Grand Stewards. Also in attendance were the group vice chairman Neil McGill and group secretary Scott Devine.
More than 100 brethren witnessed installing master Andrew Jones place Norman Guy into the chair of King Solomon with heartfelt sincerity. After assuming the master’s chair, Norman was presented with an explanation of the working tools of the third, second and first degrees in a most delightful manner by Alan McMonagle, Alun Jones and Christopher Wilkinson respectively. Following the appointment of the lodge officers the address to the master was delivered in a particularly pleasing and warm style by David Wilson, followed by the address to the wardens by Harry Robinson that was equally praiseworthy. John Prest gave the address to the brethren with consummate skill and sincerity.
On completion of the installation, Tony Bent tendered the hearty congratulations and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Tony was certain that the Provincial Grand Master would undoubtedly have wished to congratulate the installing master and all who had taken part in such a resplendent occasion.
At this juncture, Tony was thrilled to receive details of disbursements made to charity and good causes totalling the unbelievable sum of £39,926.50p. £36,755 of this money was donated to the Donna’s Dream House Charity in Blackpool, a charity close to the heart of the now immediate past master Ian Parkinson. Among the other recipients of the lodge’s charitable donations were the West Lancashire Freemasons Charity and the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival who both received £1,000 each.
At the Festival of St John held in the magnificent Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, Tony was eager to take the opportunity to offer his personal warm greetings and congratulations to the brethren and new officers of the lodge and to wish Norman, as the new master, the very best of health to enjoy his year to the full. Thanks were also proffered to the grand and acting Provincial grand officers for supporting him on one of his final Masonic events of the season.
Tony made particular mention of the unbelievable sum of money raised for charity during the tenure of Ian Parkinson as master and was probably something he will not see again. The brethren of Pilling Lodge, Tony commented, should be really proud of the hard work that must have been put in to raise this kind of money. In conclusion Tony thanked the secretary of the lodge Peter Grisdale for all his efforts leading up to the installation, it had made his job so much easier.
The traditional master’s song was delightfully performed by Bob Tinsley and accompanied by David Tattersall. Without doubt the evening was a huge success and was made complete when it was announced that the combined proceeds from the raffle and the master’s swindle had realised the magnificent sum of £559.10p.
Article written by Paul Thompson.
Photographs courtesy of Stewart Aimson.