The members of Egerton Worsley Lodge No 1213 were delighted to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Hutton as their principal guest at the installation of Godfrey Calcutt held at Elm Bank Masonic Hall. It is some 21 years since Godfrey last occupied the chair of King Solomon in Worsley Lodge No 1814.
John was accompanied by Eccles Group Chairman Dave Walmsley and a plethora of grand officers including, David McCormick, Stuart Shea, Rev Alan Wolstencroft, Les Hart, the Leigh Group Chairman and Godfrey’s brother in law, Richard Owen, who had travelled up from Oxfordshire. John was also supported by acting officer Craig Sutton.
Installing master, Ian Edge greeted John and his officers into the lodge and offered him the gavel which John swiftly returned to the capable hands of Ian. The master elect, Godfrey, was presented by the Rev Alan Wolstencroft. The ceremony continued with reverence and efficiency demonstrated by Ian and his installing officers under the watchful eye of director of ceremonies, Colin Latimer.
The working tools of the third degree were explained by Derek Webster, the second-degree tools by Reginald Cooper and those of the first degree by Bob Robinson. The address to the newly installed worshipful master was given by Peter Whalley and the address to the wardens was delivered by Brian Gaskell. On hearing the words to the WM “that now completes the ceremony of your installation”, John Hutton to rose and extended the greetings and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He congratulated the installing officers for their excellent work in installing Godfrey into the chair of King Solomon. Godfrey thanked John for his kind words and presented him with a cheque in the sum of £1,000 payable to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, which was gratefully received.
The festive board brought much fun and enjoyment in sharing a fine four course banquet.
In his response to the toast to the grand officers John said that he was very impressed not only with the standard of the work performed in the lodge but also with the number of brethren who had attended. He conveyed the message from the Provincial Grand Master that we must enjoy our Freemasonry and to make contact with those brethren who no longer attend for whatever reason. He also expressed the importance of our almoners of which Mike Collier holds that office in this lodge, and the tremendous work that they do. John thanked Paul Webster for his work in the care system.
John said that we must look after our Masonic Halls by maintaining them and conveying their availability by good marketing that will generate revenue. John promoted the celebration of 300 years of Freemasonry and the forthcoming events including the church service at Leigh and Lancaster also the festival dinner. He also promoted the forthcoming video of four programmes to be televised on Sky television to promote Freemasonry.
John congratulated Dave Marlor for his forthcoming first appointment as Provincial Grand Steward. He thanked Dave Walmsley for looking after him and also gave thanks to the secretary Stuart Shea for the arrangements and to the lodge members for their hospitality shown to him.
The master’s song was sung by Peter Whalley accompanied by Colin Smith. Installing master Ian Edge thanked Godfrey for taking the office of master and presented him with the traditional goblet and felt reassured that the lodge will be in safe hand for the ensuing year.
The response to the visitors was given by the worshipful master of Lodge of Hope No 2679, Tom Fredrickson who duly presented Godfrey with the black spot and invited him to join the other masters on the circuit.
On retiring, John was presented with a bottle of special whisky and a packet of Eccles cakes for his good lady to whom he responded saying that, these gifts would give him extra brownie points when he got home.
Article and photographs by Tom Fredrickson.