It can be reliably reported that David Goodwin, the master of St Michaels on Wyre Lodge No 8348, was in a slight state of trepidation in anticipation of his role in the installation meeting. Despite diligent and detailed rehearsals, frantic hours learning the ritual and assurance from his friends that it would all be ‘alright on the night’, as David stepped into the lodge room at Wyrebank, Garstang for the meeting you could see that he was a Mason ‘under pressure’!
The principal guest, a man very familiar with performing under the spotlight during his career in the education service, was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent who was joined by fellow grand officers Malcolm Worsley, Jim Wilson Lancaster Group Chairman and Chris Butterfield. They were accompanied by acting Provincial grand officers John Holmes, John Kilmurray, Robert Treharne, John Houlding, John Broadhurst and Scott Devine.
The lodge was opened by the master and the usual business was dispensed with rapidly in no small part due to the commendable alacrity and organisational skills of the secretary Ian Barker. The director of ceremonies Allan Brown promptly entered to announce the customary demand of admission from the APrGM. David Goodwin welcomed Tony Bent and hopefully offered the gavel of the lodge. It was accepted and promptly returned with the assurance from Tony that he had full confidence in David’s ability to complete the installation in fine style.
The master elect Michael Kilroy (Mike) was presented by Allan Brown and after signifying his adherence to the ancient rules and regulations annexed to the office, he was duly obligated and installed into the master’s chair by David with superb dignity and warm compassion. Such was the high standard demonstrated by David that it could be truly said that the performance possibly far exceeded his own expectations. A similar impressive explanation of the working tools of an installed master was then performed by Bernard Aloysius Snape.
A very talented trio of master Masons continued to show the fine pedigree of this lodge with their explanations of the working tools. Graham Morris, Glynn Ward and Cyril Whitehouse gave impeccable performances in their explanations of the working tools of the third, second and first degrees respectively. Complementing these in equally impressive manner were the addresses to the master and wardens which were in the respective hands of Allan Brown and Frank Hogarth. In delivering the address to the brethren, Tony added further lustre to the magnificence that had hallmarked the whole ceremony.
On later handing over the remainder of the installation ceremony to the reappointed director of ceremonies, the audible sigh of relief which issued from David Goodwin brought smiles to everyone’s face. On rising at the appropriate moment to bring the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, one of the first comments that Tony Bent made was to express his certainty that the PrGM would have been immensely impressed by the quality of the work that David had delivered. He continued by communicating congratulations and fraternal best wishes from Tony Harrison to all in attendance.
A much relieved and evidently relaxed David then had the pleasurable task of presenting Tony with details of the charitable donations made by the lodge. It was revealed that the impressive total of £4,120 had been equally dispensed between Masonic and non-Masonic charities with a major beneficiary being the National Kidney Foundation. Tony said that the diversity of the beneficiaries supported by the lodge was most creditable and noteworthy.
A well supported and very enjoyable festival of St John took place in the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite and all in attendance were treat to the usual combination of good food, fellowship and service at this excellent venue. On viewing the table plan, one diner dryly quipped that ‘there appeared to be more legs than you’d find on a spider’! If the number of ‘appendages’ had a positive influence on the enjoyment that was experienced, then this was an arrangement worth emulating.
In his response to the third toast, Tony achieved that rare combination that warms the heart of any Mason; he was both highly entertaining and informative. He expressed his admiration for the standards demonstrated in the lodge room, singling out in particular the fine performance by David and those of the brethren who had delivered the explanations of the working tools.
His very humorous expose of the end of term reports of some eminent and famous figures was perfectly balanced with the impartation of details regarding events for the celebration of the impending tercentenary celebrations. As the APrGM tasked with leading these preparations, he was able to bring news of the development of a dedicated area on the Provincial website that would contain up to date information on all related events. This and other current news was especially detailed and well received by his audience.
In his toast to the newly installed master, David spoke very highly of his successor and assured him of the full support of all the lodge members. An ‘a capella’ rendition of the master’s song was given by John Darrell in a most effective and impressive manner prior to Mike Kilroy making a grateful response to the tributes and thanking the brethren for their generosity which had resulted in a total of £538 being raised.