The brethren of Marquis of Lorne Lodge No 1354 and numerous guests gathered to celebrate the installation of David Ingham into the chair of King Solomon in the Leigh Group’s most ancient lodge.
Celebrating this joyous occasion as representative of the Provincial Grand Master was former Leigh Group Chairman Len Hart, who himself was standing in on behalf of Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Anthony Bent, as he recovers from a recent illness.
The lodge was opened in due form and the routine business was expertly conducted by the installing master Andrew Hardman. Andrew, ably assisted by the assistant officers. Andrew then proceeded to welcome into the lodge the Leigh Group officials, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by acting Provincial Grand Steward Nigel Isherwood.
The board of installed masters was then prepared with Ian Fairhurst appointed as installing senior warden and Ian Mann as installing junior warden. The ceremony of installation was then conducted by Andrew, who proceeded to carry out a most accurate, sincere and supportive ceremony that anyone is ever likely to see, much to the delight of all the many brethren who were in attendance.
The board of installed masters was closed and the proclamations were administered with zeal by Past Provincial Deputy Grand Superintendent of Works Aiden Murphy. The Marquis of Lorne Lodge is one in which there are a constant stream of new and adjoining members, many of whom the more experienced members will try and engage in ceremonies – and the occasion of this installation was no exception, with the working tools in the three degrees being presented by Mike Forshaw undertaking the third degree tools, Mark Rainsford the second degree tools and Neil Day (an entered apprentice) the first degree tools. All of which were delivered flawlessly to the great pride and satisfaction of the lodge members and the obvious enjoyment of the visitors.
Having invested his officers, David presented cheques totaling several £100 which included £1,000 to the MCF 2021 Festival and £450 to Leigh Masonic Hall. The brethren were then addressed by Len who brought the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master to the newest master in the Province, he then went on to thoughtfully congratulate each of the brethren who presented the working tools.
At each of the three risings all the comments were complimentary in the way Andrew had conducted the ceremony and David proceeded to invite each and every one of the members and visitors to the festive board.
The festive board was the usual happy occasion in the Hilton Suite until the toast to the master by Aiden Murphy. He recalled David’s troubled past few years where he needed kidney dialysis, eventually had a kidney transplant and recently lost one of his children, there were tears in many eyes in those few sobering moments before Aiden celebrated David’s tenacity and commitment to Freemasonry by informing that in those last six years David, despite all those personal problems, had missed less than a handful of lodge practices! Asked what attaining the chair of King Solomon meant to David he replied: “It means everything to me, it has been my dream.”