‘On Thursday 28th of October at Ashton District Lodge of Installed Masters 8341, WBro Ian Christopher Screen PProvJGW was proclaimed as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge. In turn Ian subsequently installed his officers for the remainder of the year.
The last meeting of the lodge was prior to the lockdown and while some members may have felt apprehension about returning to meetings; the overwhelming consensus was that everyone felt safe. No doubt this was in part due to the fact that for the vast majority of people, serious illness is avoided by being doublely vaccinated and even should they fall ill the seriousness of the infection is likely to be lower. Symptomatic infection, in those who have received a booster (third) vaccination, is reduced even further. The work of the Hall Committee, of Westholme Masonic Hall, which had taken measures to improve safety, as well as the availability of contact tracing and Lateral Flow Tests, supplied by the NHS, may also play a part in making the Brethren feel safe.
WBro. Ian Screen gave a paper on the content of the Summons which was also an opportunity to look at the history of the lodge since its inception. WBro John Pearson responded to the paper, which covered the 50 years since the Lodge was founded, noting how fascinating it was to recount the history of the Lodge. Hearing personal recollections on some of the Past Masters and Members of the Lodge made for a very personal presentation. It reminded the current Brethren of many good friends; while not every Brother will have known them all but it is certain that every one present knew a number of them. This underlined the importance of friendship, camaraderie and the sense belonging that is one of the great characteristics of Freemasonry. It is sure that it brought, to many minds, how fortunate we are to be able to meet again and how sorely we have missed the companionship that these meetings give to all of us.
The WM commented on the comprehensive Pathway Document and the development of a process to attract and bring in new Members. A notice to ballot for three new Joining Members at the next regular meeting no doubt attests to the value of the work that went into producing this document. At this meeting WBro Revd Canon Richard Hawkins PSGD, AProvGM was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge following a ballot in favour.
As would be expected the following Social Board was an opportunity to meet and remember just how wonderful being together is.’