Widnes Publicity Officer installed as WM

After a decade of working abroad in countries that included Cyprus, Libya, Saudi and Germany, David Luing decided to return home to the UK and take a break from IT and business consulting.

Senior Masons giving David (second left) reassurance before the ceremony.

Senior Masons giving David (second left) reassurance before the ceremony.

When he saw the level of unemployment and the obstacles to employment that many young people were experiencing, he decided to take a few years out and work on government Welfare-to-Work programmes. This kind of work was not new to him as a decade earlier he worked as a Civilian IT Instructor in a high security Category B prison in Surrey.

David chose to settle in Liverpool when he returned to the UK after having worked abroad, mainly because of the vibrant music scene and the fact that Liverpool had such a fantastic history and night life. Having been a session musician and playing in bands (keyboards) for most of his life it was nice for David to relax and watch others perform live on stage for a change.

David’s first work assignment was on the government’s ‘Ambition:IT’ programme because he felt he could use his management experience to help long-term unemployed people market themselves and prepare for job interviews in order to find sustainable employment within the IT sector in Liverpool. It was on that contract he became good friends with an esteemed work colleague, Allan Brough, who unknown to David was a senior Freemason!

One sunny summer evening and over a well-earned ‘after-work’ pint with Allan, David mentioned that he was thinking of joining a charitable organisation such as the Lions or the Freemasons.  When Allan asked what David knew about Freemasonry David admitted that his knowledge was very limited, but whilst working abroad he had made friends with several Freemasons and that they were all okay guys. One hour later David understood a little more and instinctively knew that Freemasonry was definitely the right organisation for him to join.

David in the Chair of King Solomon.

David in the Chair of King Solomon.

The Ambition:IT programme eventually came to an end as all government programmes eventually do, but because the work was so rewarding David began working on another government programme, New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP).  It was on this programme that he met and became friends with another work colleague called Gary. One morning over coffee David noticed that Gary was wearing a square and compasses lapel pin, this was too good to be true!  Many interesting conversations over the next few months followed. Between Allan and Gary introductions were eventually made with lodges in Liverpool and within a year David joined Minerva Lodge No 4002, which was based in Hope Street, Liverpool.

For the next few years David worked all the progressive offices, eventually making his way into the senior warden’s chair. During that time, he had played the organ for Minerva Lodge on several occasions as well as formally being the lodge’s assistant secretary for a year. The time came to move on, so for personal reasons David resigned from Minerva Lodge and one year later joined the Hale Lodge of Fellowship No 3799 in Widnes. Having settled in his new lodge David became the Widnes Group Publicity Officer as well as joining Bold and St Pauls Chapter No 5459.  The Hale Lodge of Fellowship was a lodge where David instantly felt at home and the lodge members were all genuine. They were friendly people who were all happy to help David fulfil his ambition which was to become their WM one year later.

As the new 2019 Masonic season started the first meeting of Hale Lodge of Fellowship was an installation ceremony where David was installed into the chair of King Solomon. It was a very special ceremony where the lodge was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton who was accompanied the Widnes Group chairman Neil Pedder. Also present was David’s friend Allan Brough, who being a grand officer sat next to Kevin throughout the ceremony. David had other guests too that included Mark Holloway and Phil McBride, who both took some amazing photographs on the night.

Because Hale Lodge of Fellowship rehearse every week the installation ceremony was faultless. Steve McNee was the director of ceremonies and during rehearsals absolutely nothing slipped his attention. Steve has an eye for detail and he ensured that everyone knew what they were doing on the night. During the ceremony a cheque for £200 was presented to Kevin for the MCF 2021 Festival together with a cheque for £100 for the Widnes Hall.  The charity plate collected an additional £92.

David (left) taking wine with Peter Whalley during the Master’s Song.

David (left) taking wine with Peter Whalley during the Master’s Song.

When the ceremony had finished everyone adjourned to the bar for some liquid refreshment before making their way into the main dining hall for the festive board. As with all festive boards there was a good meal with good wine and many toasts and responses were made, as well as David taking wine with various guests.

A special moment in the Festive Board was when Peter Whalley performed the ‘Master’s Song’, which gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs and greet each other between the verses. Next a raffle was held that raised over £100 for the charities as well as £32 in ticket sales for the Ecclesholme Christmas Fare.

Towards the end of the evening Kevin stood up and spoke. He complemented the members of Hale Lodge of Fellowship for performing the ceremony so well and then he updated everyone on Provincial matters including membership numbers as well as West Lancashire charitable contributions. Kevin also emphasized that Freemasonry should be fun, a maxim also previously articulated by the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison.

It was a wonderful evening and enjoyed by all. David returned to his hotel with Allan and Phil and the three of them enjoyed a few nightcaps together before retiring to their respective rooms in the early hours. A good full English breakfast the next morning ensured that their day started well. But for David the real work is about to start in earnest as his next meeting will be a demonstration of the third degree ceremony. It is going to be a busy year for him as he will also be looking at ways to attract new members to his lodge.

A lot of toasts and wine-taking at the festive board.

A lot of toasts and wine-taking at the festive board.

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