It was back to school with the first installation meeting of the new season taking place at Hutton Grammar. It was of course Old Huttonian Lodge No 7614 and their meetings are unique within the Leyland and District Group as it is the only lodge which meets outside of Wellington Park in Leyland. The meeting had been deferred by a couple of weeks due to school renovations and in particular because of an upgrade to the school kitchens where the lodge festive board is prepared. It was worth the wait as the meeting and the festive board lived up to expectations.
The meeting was opened by the installing and WM Neil Spalding who transacted the business of the lodge in fine style and before admitting the representative for the day, John Stuart Thornber, Past Junior Grand Deacon into the lodge room. Stuart was accompanied by grand officers Dave Thomas and Don Richardson and Chris Blackwell Chairman of the Leyland Group. Neil welcomed Stuart to the meeting who in turn thanked the lodge for the warm welcome stating that he was looking forward to the proceedings in the rather unusual surroundings of the school hall. Before Stuart had time to take his seat Neil presented a number of cheques for him to read out to the brethren. The details of the cheques were as follows; £500 each to Hutton Grammar School, Derian House and Meningitis Now. This was a grand total of £1,500 and Stuart was more than impressed at the sum being donated. He thanked the lodge members on behalf of the recipients and assured everyone that the funds would be faithfully applied.
Master elect, Martin Swarbrick, was presented to the lodge and Neil set about installing him into the chair and before long Martin was sitting proudly as master of the lodge. The working tools were presented to the new WM, with Alan Crossley presenting the third degree tools and junior brethren David Singleton and Damien McKeand presenting the second and first degree tools respectively.
A number of addresses followed with the one to the stewards being presented by Andy Sumner PrGStwd; the wardens address being presented by John Lee and the address to the brethren of the lodge being presented by Stuart Thornber prior to him giving the good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to Martin. Stuart also congratulated Neil Spalding on the hard work he had done installing Martin into the chair and thanked him for the work in and around the lodge during his year in office.
With the meeting coming to a close, everyone retired to the school dining room where the camaraderie and friendship continued whilst enjoying a quality meal from the new kitchen. Here, Stuart brought his own congratulations and wished Martin a happy and healthy year as master of the lodge. A good evening was had by all.