The members of Hope Lodge No 4003, based at Ashton Masonic Hall in Wigan, have been busy! Very Busy!
Polishing buttons and ‘bulling’ toe caps was much in evidence and the very best of behaviour was the order of the day!
Why? Quite simply, Squadron Leader Bro. A Martin Morris was to be presented and Installed into the Chair of this long-established and venerable Lodge.
Dressed in his best Mess uniform and sporting his service medals, Martin was Installed into the Chair in an exemplary manner by WBro Ted Pierce; it was obvious that much time had been devoted to prepare for this occasion and the many congratulations that followed the ceremony were evidence of that. A dispensation was required for this event as Martin is still currently the Worshipful Master of Ancient & Loyal Lodge of Installed Masters’.
An incredible £1,400 of donations were made and gratefully accepted on behalf of the ultimate recipients by WBro David Ogden, the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master. West Lancs Freemasons Charity, Prostrate Cancer and the Hall’s building and development funds all benefitted.
Retiring after 30 something years a soldier with the Royal Engineers, achieving the very high rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Martin found the thought of a sedentary civilian existence something he couldn’t consider just yet so he joined the RAF, was appointed Squadron Leader and become a part of their media and communications section. The timing couldn’t have been better as he was seconded to the team responsible for the promotion of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane, much in the news because of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Martin entered the Festive Board to the tune of the Dambuster’s March, all the Brethren joining in, arms outstretched, just to make sure he felt at home. In summing up the day, Martin said he was humbled by the whole experience; he rallied his troops, challenging them to find new members to make is year a particularly busy and memorable one, not only in the Lodge but also socially, supported by his partner Elaine.