Simon Isherwood, the master of the Lodge of Truth No 6235 opened the lodge, then proceeded to open to the second and third degrees. Assistant Director of Ceremonies Ray Booth then announced that Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning was without and demanded admission.
Philip was duly admitted into the lodge room accompanied by; APrGM David Ogden, grand officers Tony and Geoff Bent, Malcolm Parr, Len Hart and preceded by acting Provincial grand officers, Chris Maloney, Andrew Hardman and Nigel Isherwood, Simon’s older brother who received several mentions amid the confusion. Simon then warmly welcomed Philip to the installation ceremony and offered him the gavel of the lodge, which Philip gracefully declined.
After a board of installed masters was declared, the master elect David Pickles was installed in fine style by the outgoing master who was very ably assisted by the officers of the lodge in a ceremony that was confidently conducted and very sincerely delivered.
The working tools of a master Mason were presented by Gary Jones; those of a fellow craft from John Ward and finally the entered apprentice tools were presented by Adrian Edwards-Clark, all three of whom are more recent additions to the lodge and it was clear that much work and practice had been put in by the junior brethren as the presentation of the tools were faultless.
The new master David Pickles, Treasurer of Leigh Group Social Committee, then proceeded to invest his officers, at the conclusion of which Ray Booth performed the address to the master, David Smith made the address to the wardens and Phillip Gunning addressed the brethren of the lodge; all delivered in a confident and excellent manner.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Phillip brought the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated David on attaining the chair, along with all the brethren who had taken part in what he described as a very sincere ceremony, making special mention of the director of ceremonies Ray for the hard work he must have put in to making it such a great and enjoyable ceremony to watch and be part of.
David then presented cheques and donations totaling £1,517 to the Leigh Group Charity Account, West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, Freemasons Group Charity, Freemasons Grand Charity, Friends of Ecclesholme, West Lancashire Freemasons’ via gift aid, the Samaritans and not forgetting the Provincial Golf, Bowling and Clay Pigeon Societies.
Retiring to the festive board, 56 brethren continued to enjoy dinner at the Ellesmere Suite and refreshments until late in the evening.