At the installation meeting of Warton Lodge No 8411 held at Carnforth Masonic Hall, Evan Beswick, who was remaining in the master’s chair, was proclaimed as WM.
Representing the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison at the meeting, was the lodges principal guest Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp, who was accompanied by Lancaster and District Group Chairman Neil McGill, group secretary Chris Larder and acting Provincial Grand Steward James Stewart.
In a much abbreviated ceremony, the lodge DC Bill Manderson, led the proclamation of Evan as master for the ensuing year. The explanations of the working tools which followed were given splendidly in each case by Richard Escolme (third degree), Bill Manderson (second degree) and Christopher Laycock (first degree).
With Evan having already been installed as master last year, there was no address to the master, however the address to the wardens was given superbly by the immediate past master Frank Senior, whilst the address to the brethren of the lodge was executed by Keith in a very distinguished and sincere manner. The brevity of the proclamation ceremony indeed proved to be something of a surprise to some, but undoubtedly addressed all the necessary elements without needlessly prolonging matters
Once all the lodge officers had been appointed, the conclusion of the ceremony afforded the opportunity for Keith to bring the greetings and good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Keith was sure that Tony would have wanted to congratulate Evan on taking the chair of this fine lodge again and would have undoubtedly taken the opportunity to thank Bill, not just for the work in the lodge today but over the full year.
Keith expressed both gratitude and admiration on learning that the total charitable disbursements made by the lodge totalled £4,494.22, an enormous sum of money. The beneficiaries of the lodge’s generosity were the WLFC £396.18 (including reclaimed tax), £500 Carnforth Scouts, £500 Salvation Army (Carnforth Branch), £1,000 Masonic Fishing Society, £500 Carnforth Masonic Hall, £300 lodge widows, £85 Lancaster and District Group walk, £318.75 Richard Escolme sponsored bike ride in aid of MCF 2021 Festival, £846.29 MCF 2021 Festival white envelope scheme, £48 Masonic sporting charities. Keith gratefully accepted this magnificent sum on behalf of the eventual recipients.
At a very well attended festival of St John held at the Station Hotel, Carnforth, the guests enjoyed a very good meal and a wonderful atmosphere. In his response to the toast to grand officers, Keith was delighted to have the opportunity to offer his own congratulations and best wishes to Evan, his officers and brethren of the lodge, but especially to the Masons who delivered the working tools in such a ‘splendid’ manner.
Keith was particularly pleased to highlight the generous donations given to charity by Warton Lodge, in particular the £1,000 given to the Masonic Fishing Charity, of which he is chairman, which he assured would be put to very good use to support the charities aim of providing a ‘special countryside experience for disadvantaged young people’.
Keith them moved on to relate those items which PrGM would have undoubtedly mentioned had he been present. Amongst the issues discussed were the WLFC, Masonic Halls, membership, Royal Arch and the MCF 2021 Festival. Regarding the Festival, Keith reminded the brethren that the Festival would be culminating in 2021 and requested, on behalf of Tony, that for the remaining period of time, the Festival should be our priority and first choice when making donations. In conclusion, Keith thanked the secretary Phil Newby and the DC Bill Manderson for all their assistance and to all the brethren for making the evening such a pleasant occasion.
Owen Madden proposed the toast to the master, followed by a fine rendition of the master’s song by John Bates with accompaniment by David Tattersall.
Before the evening ended, £45 for charity was presented to Evan, the proceeds of which came from what has become known as the ‘master’s swindle’. A further £247 was raised from the raffle.
Article by Paul Thompson.
Photographs courtesy of Stewart Aimson.