It was with great pride that David Keith Rhodes became WM of Great Eccleston Lodge No 8895, having been a founder member of the lodge in June 1979. This is the second time in the master’s chair of Great Eccleston Lodge for David, the first time being in 1987. He is however, no stranger to the master’s chair as he has been WM of Royal Preston Lodge No 333 no less than three times, as well as finding time to be master of Thomas Harper Lodge No 9612 on another occasion. David has just recently celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry, an honourable milestone not many in Masonry will achieve.
The principal guest at the Great Eccleston installation meeting, which was held in Garstang Masonic Hall, was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Keith Stanley Kemp. Keith was accompanied by Lancaster and District Group Chairman Neil McGill and acting Provincial grand officers Alan Hilton, Terry Ridal, David Ingham and Ben Yates.
Master-elect David, was presented by Graham Davies before being installed into the chair of the lodge in an absolutely delightful ceremony by installing master John Thornton.
The address to the master and the address to the wardens were delivered by Graham Davies and Peter Pemberton respectively whilst the address to the brethren was given by Keith Kemp in his usual accomplished fashion.
The working tools of a master Mason were explained by experienced Mason John Nelson, those of a fellowcraft by David Sawyer and the first degree working tools by Andrew Keith, the latter being the secretary of the lodge.
At the close of the ceremony Keith was delighted to bring fraternal greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Keith was sure that the PrGM would have been highly impressed by the skill and sincerity displayed during the ceremony and would wish to congratulate David on attaining the chair of the lodge for a second time and to wish him and all his officers the best of health to enjoy the year to the full.
Keith was particularly impressed by the amazing number of disbursements made by the lodge to charity and good causes which totalled £3198.40. This included £1000 Brian House Children’s Hospice, £1000 Garstang Masonic Hall, £80 Garstang Masonic Fellowship, £80 to Masonic Sporting Charities, £20 each to the Group Ball and Group Walk, £721 via the MCF 2021 Festival white envelope scheme (including gift aid) and £227.27 from non-gift aided cash donations. £50 was also raised for APrGM David Grainger’s nominated charity.
The Festival of St John was held in the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, where almost 70 brethren enjoyed an excellent meal.
During the evening the raffle raised £377 with a further £40 from the master’s swindle.
Article by Paul Thompson.