The installation meeting of Poulton Le Sands Lodge No 1051 was considered to be excellent in every detail by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, their principal guest. Praise indeed for installing master Nigel Norris and the brethren of the lodge, who collectively conducted themselves with honour and deserve all the praise that came their way.
Joining Tony at the meeting were Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger, Phil Gardner and Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor. Lancaster and District Vice Chairman Scott Devine and the group secretary Chris Larder were also in attendance, together with 11 acting Provincial grand officers, including the Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens John Karran and Clive Dickinson respectively. This grand parade of officers was kept under strict control by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp and his deputy Jason Dell.
Tony was welcomed into his mother lodge with warmth and fervour, by Nigel, who on receiving the PrGDC declaration that the “PrGM stands without and demands admission” replied “ok, admit him then”, to much amusement. Upon entering the lodge room, Nigel offered the gavel to Tony, adding that this was the third time during his tenure as master he had offered the gavel to him. Tony replied that “nothing would please me more to accept it”, but I will return it, for the reason I am here today is to “keep an eye on you”. This short exchange of words again provided much merriment.
Paul Morgan had the pleasure of presenting his father David Ellis Morgan as master elect for the ensuing year, before the installing master Nigel, placed David in the chair of the lodge in a sincere and warmly delivered ceremony.
After assuming the chair of King Solomon David was presented with an explanation of the working tools of the third, second and first degrees in a laudable manner by three relatively new Masons; Ian Woods, Gareth Harrison and Nathan Mellors respectively. The address to the master was given by Keith Dorrington, who would be standing down as the lodge DC at this meeting, the address to the wardens was by the PrJGW Clive Dickinson and that to the brethren was, with apparent consummate ease, presented by Tony Harrison. Adding to the evening’s enjoyment was the address to the stewards by acting Provincial Grand Steward James Stewart.
The end of the ceremony of installation, marked the opportunity for Tony to bring his personal best wishes to David and the brethren of the lodge. First and foremost, he congratulated David on taking the chair of the lodge and wished him health and happiness to enjoy his year in office. He also thanked Nigel for the delightful way in which he had installed his successor into the master’s chair. Particular mention was made of the young Masons who had made such a good job of presenting the working tools, even though it must have been quite an awe-inspiring feat to stand up in front of all the brethren.
When handed details of the charitable donations made by the lodge, Tony was momentarily taken aback, but quickly recovered to share with the brethren the details of the lodge’s generosity, namely £2458 to non-Masonic charities and £3359.50 to Masonic charities, including £2013 to the MCF 2021 Festival. Put together the total for the year amounted to £5772.50, a magnificent sum of money.
In recognition of the money donated to the MCF 2021 Festival and with the greatest of pleasure, Tony presented the lodge with a ‘Grand Patron of the MCF 2021 Festival ’ certificate.
At the Festival of St John, held at the Lothersdale Hotel, located on Morecambe’s promenade, David Grainger rose in reply to the toast to the grand officers. He congratulated everyone who had taken part in the ceremony, adding that it was a privilege to be at the festive board with the PrGM, as this will be his last time as an APrGM, given he is standing down from this position in a few weeks’ time, that he can toast Tony. On toasting Tony’s health, he thanked him, on behalf of all present, for his commitment, dedication and his leadership.
In reply, Tony thanked David for all that he had done during his term of office, for which David received a generous ovation.
Moving on, Tony again congratulated David Morgan on attaining the master’s chair and thanked Nigel for the way he had conducted the ceremony and all the work he had put in to achieve such an excellent result. Tony also thanked Keith Kemp for all his work over the years, being the longest serving PrGDC the Province has had. Keith will be appointed to APrGM at the next meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge.
In the body of his address, Tony discussed a number of important issues, starting with the need for all Masons to talk openly about Masonry and to be proud of it. He also mentioned Royal Arch membership and the need for companions in the Royal Arch to encourage non-members to take the next step. Further topics included the light blue clubs and the MCF 2021 Festival. Tony asked the brethren to think about the Festival and all who will gain from our generosity, adding if possible, purchase a festival jewel and wear it with pride.
In response to the toast to the Provincial grand officers, John Karran congratulated the WM of this distinguished lodge and paid tribute to the retiring DC Keith Dorrington, not only on his commitment over the years, but also for what he had done in the lodge during the installation ceremony.
The toast to the master was by his son Paul Morgan, in which he paid a number of personal tributes to his father, together with short history of his Masonic career. Paul was proud to see his father take the chair of Poulton Le Sands and was looking forward to the short window in which he and his father are in the master’s chair at the same time, as he is the current master of Lune Lodge No 4724.
An impressive rendition of the master’s song was then given by John Bates with accompaniment by David Tattersall. It can be said the evening was a great success, and made only more so by the announcement that the master’s swindle had raised £40.
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson