Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger was delighted to be the principal guest at the installation meeting of Carnforth Lodge No 4951, held at Kerneforde Masonic Hall, Carnforth. David witnessed an excellent installation ceremony, in which Ian Jeffrey Lonsdale was placed in the master’s chair of Carnforth Lodge for the second time, the first time being in 2010. Ian is no stranger to being the master of a lodge as he has also been master of Lancaster Castle Lodge No 5952 in 2004.
Also witnessing this much-admired performance were the Lancaster and District Group Chairman Jim Wilson, fellow grand officer Tom Holroyd, acting Provincial grand officers; Steve Plevey, Dave Cole, John Eccles, Fred Dickinson, Stewart Aimson, Keith Halligan and Philip Burrows, together with the group vice chairman and group secretary Neil McGill and Scott Devine respectively.
Ian Lonsdale was presented by Brian Milner to the WM Paul Coward for installation. As a past master of the lodge it was only necessary for Ian to reaffirm his adherence to the ancient charges and confirm his acceptance of the responsibilities of the office. These obligations having been met he was installed once again into the chair of the lodge in an exemplary manner by Paul.
The high standards of the ceremony were maintained by the impressive delivery of the working tools. The working tools of an installed master were presented by Jim Catlow, those of a master Mason by Peter Wood, those of a fellow craft Mason by Michael Barrett and the working tools of an entered apprentice were in the capable hands of one of the newer brethren of the lodge Thomas Fuery. Not be outdone, the address to the master was handled with confidence by Ian Allison, that to the wardens was presented with flawless eloquence by Brian Milner and David Grainger gave a venerable and assured address to the brethren of the lodge.
As the ceremony drew to a close it gave David the opportunity to bring to the brethren the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. David said that if Tony had been present he would certainly have congratulated the brethren of Carnforth Lodge on a terrific ceremony and would have wished Ian and his officers a wonderful year in office.
David was delighted and astounded to receive details of donations made by the lodge to charity and good causes. Two cheques were presented on the night, the first in favour of the MCF 2021 Festival for £434 and the other to Carnforth Masonic Hall Company for £250. Details of additional charitable donations were also disclosed bringing the annual total of giving during Paul’s tenure to £3,989.37. David expressed both his admiration and gratitude for the lodge’s generosity
The very well attended festival of St John was held in the Kerneforde Hall Banqueting Suite, where once again the diners were in receipt of excellent food and service. As the toast list was progressed through, the appropriate response to the toast to the grand officers from David, afforded him with the opportunity to not only add his personal congratulations but additionally to apprise the brethren of a number of topics of current importance.
David began by congratulating all who had taken office, wishing them and all the brethren the very best for what he hoped would be a most enjoyable year. David moved on to discuss the MCF 2021 Festival and the magnificent donation made by Carnforth Lodge earlier in the evening. He reminded the brethren that it was possible to support the festival through individual donations by pledging £7 a month for the next 34 months, which works out at £1.75 a week. He was pleased to see many of the brethren present were wearing the festival jewel but encouraged those who had not made the pledge to please do so as it would greatly help our Masonic charities to carry on their good work.
Continuing, David’s next topic of importance was recruitment and retention and he encouraged the brethren to discuss their Masonry with non-Masons and to show them how much they enjoy it. However, it is of the upmost importance to remember, that when we do bring in new candidates they will be feeling overawed, so we must ensure they are involved in all we do.
The group officers where next on David’s list of subjects to discuss. The group will be undergoing changes in personnel over the coming weeks, as Jim Wilson retires from office after 10 years at the helm of the group. For David, Jim is a glowing example of what a Mason should aspire to and wishes him well for the future. Congratulation and best wishes were also proffered to Neil McGill on his forthcoming appointment to group chairman, Scott Devine as vice chairman and Chris Larder as group secretary.
Before sitting down, David thanked the lodge secretary Ian Birnie for all his assistance, the DC Paul Fuery for all his work and all the acting Provincial grand officers for their continuing support.
In proposing the toast to the new master, the installing and immediate past master Paul Coward gave an appropriate resumé of Ian’s career and achievements in Masonry. He concluded by wishing his successor a healthy and happy year to enjoy his period of tenure. The master’s song was delightfully performed by Ian Bernie with accompaniment by Peter Wood. Ian Allison had a pleasant duty to perform when he presented Paul Coward with a hand-turned gavel, as a memento of his year in office.
It was announced, and greeted with loud applause, that the combined proceeds from the raffle and ‘master’s swindle’ had realised a magnificent total of £393 for the benefit of worthy causes. The final act of the evening was for Ian to present David with a bouquet of flowers for his wife Beryl, on behalf of the lodge. This was a particularly fitting and appropriate moment on which to conclude the celebrations.
Article written by Paul Thompson.
Photographs courtesy of Stewart Aimson.