Barry Nichols - 2016/2017
OCTOBER 'INSTALLATION' 15th 2016 - The meeting was opened punctually at 3pm by W Bro. Austin Latham. The brethren were called to order for the sad loss of R W Bro. Guy Jerman PPGM and our own Bro Harold (Harry) Beresford. Following the reading of the minutes and approving the accounts W Bro. Austin proceeded with the installation ceremony by asking W Bro’s MacMillan, James and Steptoe to act as SW, JW & IG respectively. Once all Master Masons retired from the lodge he vacated the chair for W Bro. McCormack to install Bro Barry Nichols as Master. Following a call off W Bro. Austin resumed the position of installing Master. W. Bro McCormack gave the address to the Master, W Bro. Roy Squibb the Wardens address and W Bro. Terry Thurston closed the ceremony with the address to the brethren. The meeting was attended by 14 reigning past masters together with W Bro. Simon Westwood from the Shenstonian Lodge in Warwickshire who was not only a reigning master but also the finder of our founders chairs; these chairs were also used today for the first time in many a year. Our secretary proudly gave an address on how the chairs were discovered and a presentation of a cheque for Simon’s Lodge charity was made. This was the icing on the cake for a wonderful afternoon. (A more detailed account of the return of our founders chairs can be seen in our History pages)
NOVEMBER 19th 2016 - W Bro. Barry Nichols confidently opened the lodge at 4pm punctually to what was to become a 5 star meeting. He went on to perform a first class initiation ceremony with the full support of his officers. Praise must be afforded to our Junior Deacon Bro. Matt Lenton for his confident control of the candidate and to Bro. Chris Bull who presented the working tools (his second meeting having only recently joined). Finally Bro. Paul Field for yet another delivery of the charge with pre-amble he is now becoming renowned for. The afternoon proceeded with an extremely pleasant task of balloting for W Bro. Clem Britton to become a Honorary member of the lodge. This was carried out successfully and W Bro. Clem expressed his deep heartfelt appreciation for the honour and also being presented with a framed certificate; he received a hearty well deserved round of applause. Following this we had another ballot for W Bro. Stephen Bull to become a joining member of the lodge with his son Chris closely watching on. Meetings don’t get better than this!
JANUARY 21st 2017 - The lodge was opened at 4pm by W Bro. Barry Nichols who guided the proceedings towards a double raising ceremony. W Bro. Graeme McCormack occupied the chair for the first part of the ceremony with W Bro. Terry Thurston taking over for the traditional history; Graeme also returned to deliver the Walking Charge. Very well done Graeme & Terry. Praise must also be afforded to our two deacons Bro. Paul Field and Bro. Matt Lenton who both had additional duties being a double ceremony; Bro. Paul also presented the working tools. A double raising ceremony can be awkward to perform but today it was accomplished in a professional and smooth manner appreciated by all in attendance. W Bro. Graeme McCormack also acted as ADC and was again in action at the festive board performing the address to the haggis! - By the end of the evening he was glad of the rest! - Finally, we also had a return visit from the discoverer of our founders chairs W Bro. Simon Westwood (Shenstonian Lodge, Warwickshire) who shared a glass of Port with all.
FEBRUARY 18th 2017 - W Bro. Barry Nichols opened the lodge at 4pm for what was to be a near repeat of our last meeting that being a double raising ceremony. W Bro. Graeme McCormack again performed the first part of the ceremony with W Bro. Terry Thurston the traditional history; another rendition of the Walking Charge was also delivered by Graeme in his usual exemplary fashion. But, from here on things were different as due to our Senior deacon, Paul Field being sadly absent the officers had to step up with Bro’s Matt Lenton, Roger Northwood & Danny Savage occupying the SD, JD & IG positions respectively. Having only 2 weeks notice of the change and being a double raising the brethren must be applauded for their sterling efforts in producing and excellent ceremony. It goes without saying that all our officers are now looking for a quieter passing ceremony next month! - Away from the ceremony we had in attendance W Bro. Colin Felton, Chairman of the Essex Provincial Stewards Committee who gave an overview of our Essex Festival 2022 and the many various ways of donating to it but was particular pleased to thank our members today for the lodge donation of £9000 to the fund (which was agreed this very afternoon). Once transacted our Lodge will receive a Vice Patron Honorific!! - A hearty Steak & Kidney pudding festive board followed!
MARCH 'FISH NIGHT' 18th 2017 - The Lodge was opened at 4pm with an attendance of 66 including our own APGM W Bro. Robert Whittingham. Our Master W Bro. Barry Nichols went on to perform his final full meeting in office by carrying out a first class passing ceremony, fully supported by his officers. W Bro. Steve Bull presented the working tools to his son Chris the candidate for passing. W Bro. Stuart James presented the Grand Lodge certificates to 3 members in his usual walking presentation. Bro. Paul Marshall was declared Master Elect for the year 2017/2018. The afternoon concluded with the annual Fish Night festive board consisting of fish, wine and song.