Austin Latham - 2015/2016
OCTOBER 'INSTALLATION' 17th 2015 - Our meeting today commenced with the brethren standing to order for the sad loss of W Bro. Dennis Joy who sadly passed away earlier this year. Our master Lewis Mayo having guided the lodge through the early procedures of the meeting then asked W Bro. Terry Thurston to occupy the SW chair - W Bro. Stuart James the JW chair and W Bro. Mike Steptoe to act as IG. He then proceeded to thank his officers for supporting him during his year in office. Having opened the lodge in the 2nd degree he obligated Austin Latham as master elect and once in the 3rd degree invited W Bro. Terry Thurston to take the chair to install Austin as Master. The day was particularly poignant to Austin as 45 years ago this very day he took his Oath of Allegiance known as Attestation in joining the Royal Corps of Signals. Following a call off the ceremony proceed with Lewis presenting W Bro. Austin in the 3 degrees. Bro. Matt Lenton presented the 3rd degree working tools, Bro. Paul Field the 2nd degree long version and Bro. Dan Savage the 1st; all giving an excellent rendition. W Bro. Terry then gave the address to the Master - W Bro Austin then appointed and installed his officers. W Bro. Andy Latham gave the address to the Wardens and to conclude the whole ceremony W Bro. Graeme McCormack giving a faultless address to the brethren.
NOVEMBER 22nd 2015 - W Bro. Austin Latham opened his first full meeting as Master with confidence and gusto and professionally controlled the proceedings.
W Bro. Lewis Mayo was invited to occupy the chair for the ceremony of a double initiation and with the assistance of the officers performed a splendid ceremony. A special mention must be made of both deacons for their skill in controlling the candidates around the floor and in particular Bro. Paul Field for his excellent delivery of the charge with pre-amble. Bro. Dan Savage presented the working tools in a faultless presentation. It was a splendid afternoon with the good feeling continuing to the festive board following.
JANUARY 16th 2016 - Today’s meeting had an ‘feel good’ factor which gave the ceremony of raising an extra boost. Our Master W Bro. Austin opened the meeting and confidently steered us to the degree ceremony which was performed splendidly by W Bro. Terry Thurston and W Bro. Richard Bedini. Our senior deacon, Bro. Vic Chivers was first class ably supported by the Junior Deacon, Bro. Paul Field and Bro. Matt Lenton presenting the working tools. The ‘Walking Charge’ was delivered in his usual sincere manner by W Bro. Graeme McCormack who was also attired in Scottish dress. The ‘feel good’ factor spilled over to the festive board with Haggis on the menu and W Bro. Graeme presenting that age old address with his additional informative and humorous interpretation of the Haggis. A memorable event for all those who were present.
FEBRUARY 20th 2016 - It was an early start to our meeting today 3pm but, there was a lot to be done. Following the formal entrance of our visiting APGM W Bro. Robert Whittingham and early agenda our Worshipful Master vacated the chair for his ‘real’ brother W Bro. Andy Latham who performed and excellent passing ceremony with Bro. Matt Lenton presenting the tools. The ceremony was concluded with an explanation of the second degree tracing board by Bro. Dave Bolton in his inimitable style. Following a short comfort break the lodge was resumed with our eldest member W Bro. Clem Britton (87) performing an initiation ceremony. The last time Clem had performed this ceremony was in 1991 and he justly deserved the spontaneous round of applause. W Bro. Iain MacMillan presented the working tools and Bro. Paul Field concluded this ceremony with the pre-amble and charge. W Bro. Brian Bowden-Brown then presented a Grand lodge certificate to Bro. Lloyd Brooks in his unique extremely interesting style. Dinner had to be put back by 15 minutes following this extraordinarily long day.
MARCH (FISH NIGHT) 19th 2016 - W. Bro Austin Latham commenced his final full meeting as Master of the Lodge promptly at 4pm. Following the minutes W. Bro Stuart James was invited into the chair to perform the ceremony of a double passing. Being a double ceremony, praise must be afforded to the two deacons for their skill in managing candidate perambulations and exchanges in a professional and controlled manner. Bro Paul Field presented the long version of the degree tools in his usual with feeling and confident approach. Following the ceremony appropriate elections took place in anticipation of our October installation meeting later in the year with Bro Barry Nichols being declared Master Elect for the ensuing year. This pleasant afternoon concluded with our annual Fish Night extravaganza with W. Bro Stuart James comparing the evening with his usual agenda of fun and song ably assisted with his partner in crime from Norwich, W. Bro Jon Hyam. Sadly missing this year was Tony Compton our ‘part of the furniture’ accordion player who had been taken ill however, Dennis Sharp was called in and provided an equally first class musical accompaniment making the evening another great success.
LOI ‘CURRY NIGHT’ 30th MARCH 2016 - To celebrate the end of our LOI Masonic year Austin suggested that we have a Curry Night which was eagerly taken up by the members. So the ‘Regency Spice’ at Rochford was chosen and 17 attended which included our recently elected Tyler and a prospective candidate designated for joining us later in the year. Needless to say it was a convivial evening of friendly banter, chat and laughter - the food wasn’t bad either! - a night perhaps to be repeated again.
LADIES (HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR) NIGHT 23rd APRIL 2016 - Our ladies this year were invited to a Hollywood themed evening at the Arlington Rooms, Leigh. The president Austin Latham and his lady Rhona welcomed 100 guests to a champagne reception followed by a 3 course dinner served with wine. Following the coffee a toast was proposed to the ladies who all also received a gift of a heart design vanity mirror; Judith Thurston gave a more than suitable reply. There was a large raffle with proceeds going to Chrohns & Colitis and Lady Mcadden; Rhona introduced her son Michael who suffers from Chrohns & Colitis who then gave a few words on the disabilitating disease. The monies raised from the evening was £880 - a befitting amount for a great evening.