Donald David Polson was installed as the master of Vale Lodge No 5256, in a ceremony held at Rowley Court, Lancaster.
Having joined Vale Lodge in 2015, Donald has previously worn the master’s collar at Poulton Le Sands Lodge No 1051 in 2012. He is a committed Mason, being a member of both Sandylands Chapter No 5702 and Lancaster Castle Chapter No 5952. Donald is also a member of other Masonic Orders and in one of them holds a post similar in many respects to that of an acting office in the Craft. This role keeps him very busy visiting different meetings several times a month.
The installation meeting was well attended with no less than seven masters in office coming along to give support, which was a great testament to how well the installing master Paul Taylor has represented the lodge around the group during his year in office
The lodge was delighted to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Ogden as their principal guest, together with grand officers Jim Wilson and Jim Woods, Lancaster and District Group Chairman Neil McGill and acting Provincial grand officers Terry Ridal, Alan Hilton and David Ingham.
All present witnessed a fabulous ceremony by installing master Paul Taylor and expertly directed by the lodge DC George Fox. Master elect Donald was presented by Paul Thompson and following his being placed in the chair of the lodge the address to the master was delivered by George Fox and the address to the wardens by Bill Byrne. The address to the brethren was by Stewart Aimson, a first for steward and one which he delivered in exemplary style. The working tools of the third degree were presented by David Jackman and those of the second and first degrees by Kevin Isted and Geoffrey Sackville-Wiggins respectively, both of whom are fellow craft Freemasons, having only joined the lodge in 2019.
At the conclusion of the ceremony David Ogden was very pleased to bring the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, whom he said would have been extremely impressed by the superb and sincere ceremony. David was also delighted to receive notification of disbursements to charity and good causes totalling over £2,533.28, a magnificent amount for such a small lodge. Amongst the donations given were £625 to the MCF 2021 Festival, £250 Lancaster Masonic Hall, £250 Rosemere Cancer Foundation, £250 Lancaster and Morecambe Deaf Association and £250 North West Blood Bikes. Donations were also made using the white envelope scheme to the MCF 2021 Festival (£608.40), yellow envelope scheme to the WLFC (£44.88), lodge widows (£180), British Heart Foundation (£25) and Group spotting charities (£50).
David, having completed the announcement of Vale’s charitable donations, the Group Charity Steward Simon Hanson rose to present Vale Lodge with a framed certificate denoting their status as Vice Patron of the MCF 2021 Festival in recognition of their donations to the charity.
The Festival of St John was held in the Rowley Court banqueting suite where the members and guests enjoyed an excellent banquet and evening. During the course of the evening two raffles were held. The first was a 4.5 litre bottle of Ballantine’s whisky, which had been donated to raise funds for charity and for which the lodge charity steward had been selling tickets to all who were willing to purchase one. The raffle raised the brilliant sum of £410 and the lucky winner was local Mason Peter Pemberton.
A second raffle, with prizes ranging from bottles of whiskey to boxes of biscuits raised another £232. To this figure was added £35, which was donated via the notorious ‘masters swindle’. The whole day had been a great success and continued late into the night!!
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson.