A successful ballot at the previous meeting saw Lodge of Peace and Unity No 314 install Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder, as the next master of the lodge.
The principal guest of the evening was Steven Reid accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Harry Cox and David Grainger. They were supported by Past Provincial Grand Master Peter Hosker, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Masters, Tom Blackburn and Howard Jones, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Bill Huck, Bill Seddon and Frank Gardner, a positive galaxy of grand officers, the Preston Group Chairman and current master of the lodge Steve Bolton and eight acting Provincial grand officers. With well over 80 other brethren in attendance the event was certainly well supported.
Prior to opening the lodge, Steve Bolton, welcomed all the brethren in attendance to what promised to be an excellent and memorable occasion. The lodge was duly opened and the administrative business conducted. On this occasion it included the admission of David Edwards and Simon Hoare as joining members.
The lodge was then raised to the third degree when the lodge director of ceremonies John Kay requested permission to retire for a short time. He duly re-entered to announce the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder. David entered in due form, accompanied by other Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, grand, Provincial grand and acting Provincial grand officers to be formally welcomed by Steve. In turn David thanked Steve for his generous welcome and introduced Steven Reid as the principal guest.
Following extended salutations, the lodge returned to the second degree and David was duly presented by Howard Jones to Steve for installation. David recited his obligation as master elect before the lodge resumed working in the third degree. Taking his last action as master, Steve thanked all his officers for their support and assistance during his year in office. He then proceeded to install David as the 221st master of the lodge in a flawless text book manner. The working tools of the third degree were presented by joining member David Edwards, the long version of the second degree working tools by Hal Hamer and those of the first degree by Brian Holden; all of whom gave first class presentations that were greatly appreciated by all present. Following his installation in the chair, David was addressed by Howard Jones who repeated the high standard set by the working tools team.
Continuing with the investiture of the lodge officers, David invested the senior and junior wardens, Ian Walton and David Tattersall and instructed them in their respective duties. The address to both wardens was commendably presented by Bill Huck. Robert Irwin was re-invested as the appointed almoner and the lodge charity steward to be addressed by the Preston Group Charity Steward, Vic Parker. The position of lodge mentor, previously held by David, was passed to John Kay. The investiture of officers continued, with all being instructed in their duties by David as he presented them with their collar of office.
The ceremony of installation concluded with the address to the brethren of the lodge delivered in an excellent manner by Tom Blackburn.
Steven, as principal guest, had the pleasure of bringing the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. On his behalf, he congratulated the lodge on what he felt had been a very enjoyable and fabulous meeting. He congratulated all those that had a part to play in the proceedings. He particularly mentioned the splendid work of Steve Bolton, as the installing master and concluded by congratulated David on attaining the chair of such a prestigious lodge, wishing him well for what he was sure would be a marvellous year in office.
David in turn, thanked Steven for his kind and generous comments on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master and had the pleasure of presenting him with two charity cheques, each to the value of £1,500. The first was in favour of the 2021 Festival and the second in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
Concluding the proceedings, Steve Bolton was presented with a past master’s jewel by Howard Jones who thanked him for his contribution to the lodge during his year in office, despite having the dual role of operating as the Preston Group Chairman as well as holding senior positions in other Masonic Orders.
Later in the evening, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, Steven, as the principal guest and on his own behalf, congratulated the lodge on what he felt had been a very enjoyable and fabulous meeting. He complimented the working tools team on what had been delightful presentations and particularly mentioned the excellent work of the ‘Dad’s Army’ team who presented the addresses to the master, wardens and brethren in such an eloquent manner.
He went on to congratulate David on attaining the chair of a lodge that had made such a remarkable contribution to Preston Freemasonry over 200 years of its existence. He thanked David for the charity donations made earlier on behalf of the lodge and wished him all the best for the coming year as master.
Returning to his comments on aspects of the lodge, Steven regaled those present with numerous anecdotes and tales regarding the history of the lodge and its remarkable members, both serious and eccentric. It was a trip down memory lane that was both interesting as well as humorous and was enjoyed by all.
He concluded his response by congratulating the lodge on the way it continues to build for the future with new members who are anxious to take part in the ritual as well as attend meetings.
The evening’s proceedings were further enhanced by a delightful duet rendition of the master’s song given by Ian Cuerden and John Kay, accompanied by John Whittall on the piano.
As part of the celebrations, David Williams, representing the 2017-18 Preston Masters, had the privilege of welcoming the Preston Group’s newest master into the happy band of current masters. He dutifully pinned the badge of recognition onto David’s breast, strongly advising him to make sure he wore that at all times whilst within the hallowed portals of Preston Masonic Hall, lest a donation, (fine), of £2 be extracted for the Preston Master’s charity account.
The evening was rounded off with David, presenting Steven with a bouquet of flowers for him to pass to his wife Mary, as an appreciation from the lodge for being without his company for another evening. David, in turn, received a bouquet of flowers from the lodge, for him to pass to his wife Sue, again to show appreciation from the lodge for allowing him out to attend yet another Masonic meeting.