The brethren of Kingsway Lodge welcomed the principal guest, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton PSGD, who was accompanied by grand officers David Redhead and Derek Williams both PAGDC’s and Widnes Group Chairman Neil Pedder PPrGSupWks.
WM Jack Thompson formally welcomed Kevin, hoping that he would have an enjoyable afternoon both in the lodge and at the festive board. He was then offered the gavel which he returned. As Kingsway is his mother lodge, he said he had another duty to perform.
Kevin, who was returning to his roots, then took up his position as acting director of ceremonies. After the usual lodge duties were completed the lodge was opened to the third degree.
Jack then requested that Ian Rowan remain as senior warden, Nat Killen to occupy the junior warden’s chair and David Molineux as inner guard. Once they had taken their seats the lodge was resumed in the second degree.
Master elect Derek Jones was then presented to the WM Jack Thompson by Kevin Poynton. Derek reaffirmed his unqualified assent and support of the essential ancient charges and regulations. He was then placed before the WM’s pedestal where he gave is obligation with respect to his duties as master of the lodge.
The lodge was then opened in the third degree. Jack requested all those under the rank of an installed master to retire for a short period. The lodge was then opened as a board of installed masters. Derek Jones, a past master of Birkenhead Lodge No 2826, reaffirmed his former obligation and was faultlessly installed into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom.
Brethren were then admitted back into the lodge by rank and Derek was proclaimed WM of Kingsway Lodge. The third degree tools were presented by Ian Rowan, the second degree tools by Alan Tittensor and the first degree tools by Jack Thompson, all of whom gave an excellent rendition.
The ceremony of appointing and investing the officers for the ensuing year being completed this was the cue for Kevin Poynton to deliver the address to the master. Kevin next gave the address to the wardens and as Kevin was also the principal guest he gave the address to the brethren of the lodge.
After the ceremony and before the closing of the lodge, Kevin brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulating Derek Jones on being installed into the master’s chair and hoped he would enjoy his year in office. Kevin also complimented the installing master Jack Thompson and congratulated all the officers who took part in the ceremony.
Derek then had a pleasant duty to perform by presenting a number of cheques to Kevin; £300 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, £300 to the Kingsway Almoners Account and £100 to WMH building fund.
The lodge was then closed and the procession formed by the ADC Alan Taylor with the brethren retiring to the Peter W Browne Suite where Kevin proposed a toast to the newly installed master Derek.
In the age old Widnes tradition, the IPM, Jack passed on to Derek the master’s ‘owl’ lapel badge. At this point in the proceedings Derek took the decision to go home as he was feeling unwell. The brethren wished him a speedy recovery.
Although the festive board was cut short the brethren were still able to enjoy an excellent meal along with drinks and good company. To quote, author Samuel Butler: “People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.” Before acting tyler Jim Cartledge gave the final toast of the evening Jack Thompson announced that the raffle had raised a grand total of £68 for charity.