A fine turnout of visitors witnessed a polished ceremony at the installation meeting of Tithebarn Lodge No 8446 at Poulton-le-Fylde Masonic Hall. Having demonstrated to his own lodge members, as well as Masons in the three Fylde Groups, how a master really enjoys his year in office, master and grand officer Keith Jackson also showed his audience how to install his successor in style.
With the lodge open and the business despatched, the director of ceremonies Shaun Keene retired to form the procession in which principal guest Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox would enter the lodge. Harry was supported on this occasion by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Steven Reid and Terry Hudson. Other supporters included grand officers Peter Elmore, South Fylde Group Chairman Ian Ward and Neil MacSymons. Acting Provincial grand officers Rev Canon Godfrey Hirst, David Kenworthy, Jason Dell, Clive Gitsham and Craeg Williams, along with other distinguished brethren, also joined the entourage.
Salutations were extended to grand and Provincial grand officers and appropriate responses were received from Steven Reid, Peter Elmore and Tom Sloan respectively. The installing officers were then asked to take post, with Clive Gitsham and Jacques Brown taking over as senior and junior wardens respectively and David Calvert acting as inner guard. Master elect Warren Yates, who was previously master of this lodge in 2007, was then presented for installation by Dave McKee. After Keith Jackson had delivered the master’s introduction, Warren declared his obligation in an excellent manner. Keith installed him with great style and aplomb, assisted by the other past masters present.
After a short refreshment break the brethren in the subordinate degrees were admitted. They saluted and greeted the new master in the three degrees and the working tools were presented as follows: those in the third degree were presented ably by Shaun Keene, the second degree tools by Jacques Brown, using the longer explanation in a splendid manner and the first degree tools were presented by Stephen Bruce with feeling and sincerity.
The separate addresses were delivered with a high level of expertise. The address to the newly-installed master was given by Harold Sutcliffe, that to the wardens by Ian Ward, that to the deacons by Peter Weller and that to the stewards by Provincial Grand Steward Craeg Williams. David Calvert installed the inner guard and South Fylde Group Charity Steward Dave McKee addressed the lodge charity steward. The final address of that to the brethren was delivered by Harry Cox with his calm authoritative delivery.
On completion of the piece and Keith’s declaration that the installation ceremony was concluded, Harry conveyed the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He was presented with several cheques in favour of the following charities: £2,000 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, £200 to NW Air Ambulance, £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £500 to Poulton-le-Fylde Masonic Hall, £100 to Prostate Cancer, £100 to the Masonic Fishing Association and £80 to Ronald McDonald House; making a grand total of £3,180. The donation to Ronald McDonald House was in recognition for the assistance given to the family of lodge stalwart Tom Sloane’s granddaughter. Harry thanked the brethren of the lodge on behalf of the recipients for their generous donations.
Tom was able to speak about the assistance given when he followed Ian Ward’s complimentary remarks on behalf of the grand officers. As the senior Provincial officer present, Tom congratulated Keith Jackson and the installation team on a job well done but particularly thanked the lodge members for their support for his family.
Pictured from left to right, are: Mark Clifford, Tom Donne and Dave Calvert.In his response to the toast to the grand officers, Harry Cox said that it was a delight to have five grand officers supporting him. He particularly thanked Ian Ward for all the work he does as group chairman, as well as John-Robbie Porter for his work as vice chairman. Harry particularly congratulated Keith Jackson on a fine ceremony of installation, also praising the brethren who had delivered the working tools, saying that it had made extra work for director of ceremonies Shaun Keane who delivered the third degree tools. Harry also complimented Jacques Brown for his excellent delivery of the long version of the second degree tools and didn’t forget some encouraging words for Steve Bruce who had delivered those in the first degree.
Harry went on to congratulate Godfrey Hirst on his forthcoming elevation to grand rank, and Len Wiseman, Alan Mitchell, Chris Veevers and his own aide Jason Dell on forthcoming promotions and appointments in Provincial Grand Lodge. He continued by referring to brothers who have made a difference in the past and this should be carried forward into the future. Harry thanked the lodge for their cheque of £2,000 for the MCF 2021 Festival. He advised the members that gifts to hospices and many other good causes were donated by the Masonic Charitable Foundation and encouraged members to use the white envelope scheme to support more donations. He urged everyone to sign a pledge and receive their jewel. Harry enlarged on the need to bring gentlemen of good character to the lodge. He also covered subjects such as the care system, which is now working well; the Royal Arch, which is the fourth step in Freemasonry; and Masonic halls, with thanks for Tithebarn Lodge’s cheque for £500 to the hall at Poulton.
Keith Jackson began his toast to the master by recounting the period of Warren’s move from Halcyon Lodge No 6500 at Preston to the present. He mentioned Warren’s father being a valued member of Tithebarn Lodge during previous years and indeed Warren’s work during previous years, he having last been the master in 2007. Keith was pleased to announce that a candidate was in the pipeline, giving Warren some ceremonies to perform during the year. Before concluding, Keith presented a menu card which had been signed by everyone present. He also presented a card from himself with some amusing comments.
Warren Yates described the arrangements for an installation as being like a jigsaw and thanked everyone present for their place in the jigsaw. He thanked Keith Jackson, who had just completed his third stint as master of the lodge, for his hard work in preparing a wonderful ceremony. Warren particularly thanked Shaun Keene for all the work he does in his spare time to make sure that things happen. He reminisced on his days working with Keith in the ambulance service and his move from Halcyon Lodge due to his relocation to Blackpool. Warren concluded by assuring the members that he intended to remain a member of Tithebarn Lodge, with the comment: “I like it here. So sorry, you’re stuck with me.” Before sitting down, Warren thanked Harry Cox for honouring the lodge by attending this installation meeting and presented him with flowers for his wife, Carol.
Ian Ward then had the pleasure of presenting two heavy volumes containing all of the summonses for the meetings that Keith had attended during his year as master. Ian commented that he had bumped into Keith so often during the year that they had each accused the other of stalking, all in jest of course.
The evening was brought to a close by acting tyler Hugh Mett with the traditional closing toast.