The installation ceremony at Olympic Lodge No 4461 was a low-key affair, with the WM Stephen Cornwell being proclaimed master for another year, it was however a fine ceremony nonetheless.
The WM opened the lodge in the first degree and the minutes of the last regular meeting were confirmed and signed, with Rob James acting as DC. The lodge was then opened to the second degree and the DC, deacons and fellow craft Freemasons retired, following which the WM opened the lodge to the third degree.
On being readmitted, the DC announced that the principal guest, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Francis Anthony Umbers (Frank), was outside and demanded admission. Frank processed into the lodge accompanied by the group chairman Andrew Whittle and fellow grand officers David Hawkes and Peter Williams. Also present was acting Provincial grand officer Dave Dutton.
Frank was warmly welcomed by Stephen and on being offered the gavel replied that he was looking forward to enjoying the evening and in the most comfortable chair in the Province, that being the one just behind him, so he offered the gavel back. The WM then appointed his officers to assist him with the ceremony.
Rob James presented salutations to Frank and David Hawkes. David Newland took the salutations on behalf of the Provincial grand officers. After the salutations Rob James proclaimed Stephen Cornwell as master for the ensuing year.
Rob James presented the working tools of a master Mason and the lodge was closed to the second degree. Fellow craft Freemasons were readmitted and Fred Hulse presented the working tools, the lodge was then closed to the first degree. Rob James presented the first degree working tools.
Tony Standish was appointed senior warden for the year and Bryan Humphries as junior warden. Andrew Whittle then gave the address to the wardens and Frank Umbers gave the address to the brethren of the lodge.
After the ceremony of installation had been completed, Frank rose to convey congratulations and best wishes from Tony Harrison, saying that he thanked Stephen for taking the chair for another year and had Tony been present he would undoubtedly have thanked Rob James for a fine ceremony, especially considering that he had had only 48 hours notice. Finally, Frank said that Tony Harrison sent his best wishes to all the brethren and hoped that they would continue to enjoy their Freemasonry.
Stephen presented a cheque for £200 for WLMC which Frank received with great pleasure, thanking the brethren on behalf of the recipients. Following a collection for alms, the WM rose for the first time for Grand Lodge communications, after which Rob James formed the procession to retire. The usual closing business of the lodge was conducted and the lodge was closed in due form so that the brethren could retire to the dining room.
Story and pictures by Colin Roberts.