The installation of W Bro Andrew Lane PProvGSwdB in The Lodge of Union No 2768 was held on 22nd January 2022. Although he had previously occupied the Chair in another Lodge in the South of England a full installation ceremony was undertaken. It was outstanding for many reasons but most of all as an expression of brotherhood in other respects. Andrew had four guests attending, three of who travelled from their respective lodges in Essex. These were: W Bro Bradley Lane PProvAGReg – Hassenbrook Lodge No9486, W Bro Matthew Lane – Sancto Claro Lodge No 9486 and W Bro Carl Nelder PProvGStB – Avilion Lodge 4879. Now you may have noticed that two of these have the same surname as they are indeed brothers of Andrew. To extend the family connection Andrews fourth guest was his father in law W Bro Chris Noble MBE PProvJGW from Mossley Lodge No 6677.

The APGM W Bro The Revd Canon Richard Hawkins PSGD requested that he respond to two of the toasts within the lodge room. While being a break from convention, this afforded him the opportunity to elaborate on the importance and the work of Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) as the 2026 Festival is now under way. He also explained the importance of the MCF in the context of our own East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) pointing out that during the 2019/20 financial year, the MCF spent almost £650,000 supporting East Lancashire Freemasons and their dependents who were in need. The APGM encouraged those present to give serious consideration to attending the Launch Dinner on 26 Feb and donating regularly by Standing Order.

As you would expect from a Lodge founded in 1788 there is a lot of tradition to draw on. Of particular delight, for many of the guests, was the delivery of the working tools in the long way. These were presented by: in the 1st Degree – W Bro Christopher Cunliffe PProvDepGDC, in the 2nd Degree – W Bro Kevin Hall PProvGSwdB and in the 3rd Degree – W Bro John Feerick PProvJGW. This was the first time that some of those attending, including experienced Freemasons, had heard all three sets of tools fully explained and moralised upon in this way.

The Lodge of Union has also been very successful in recruiting members over the recent years; encouraging them to fully engage and take important roles will no doubt ensure the ongoing success of this Lodge. As Bro Andrew Robson, (who joined Lodge of Union during the tercentenary) commented, “ It’s nice to see us meeting again after the uncertainty of the last few years, it’s even nicer that we’ve been able to have visiting brethren from around the country. It’s been a wonderful day where the junior brethren like myself have been able to see our more experienced members of the lodge deliver some fantastic ritual.”

Just as the Installation Ceremony was a pleasurable experience so was the following festive board. For the new WM to have his own brother deliver the Masters song no doubt emphasised the significance of the lyrics and added to the emotional power of what was a strong and sincere rendition of this traditional part of the Festive Board. Members and guests will no doubt agree this was a memorable occasion that bodes well for the Future of Freemasonry.

Follow the links for information on the 2026 Festival and the Launch.

Thanks to Bro Andrew Robson for his input on this article.