Two fathers and two sons made the Ashlar Lodge installation ceremony memorable in Lincoln – and one of them wasn’t even there!
The two fathers were new Master Dale Atkins and his D.C. Ian Taylor; the sons Tommy Atkins and Andrew Taylor.
Ian placed Andrew in the chair of Senior Warden, giving him his gavel, and Tommy would have become Junior Deacon had he not been ill in bed at home. His illness spoiled a surprise presentation he’d planned, because he was due to present his dad with the gift of a gavel and block. In the end it was left to Ian Taylor to spring the surprise.
In a letter read to Lodge members, and given to Dale to take away, Tommy said he regretted not being there, because they had both been looking forward to the evening, and hoped the gavel would be a permanent reminder of it. The inscription on the turned oak reads: “Dad; Thank you for absolutely everything.”
“It was certainly a touching moment,” said Lodge Liaison Officer Stuart Pearcey. “Dale was visibly moved, and well he might have been. It was a wonderful surprise, and was no doubt the birth of a family heirloom.”
Tommy’s place as Junior Deacon was taken by Fellow Craft Chris Glover, who was asked to take it on at only a few minutes notice, but who was completely unphased by it. “It’s a measure of the strength in depth of Ashlar Lodge that even the most junior brethren are willing and able to step up when required,” added Stuart.
Lodge members also invested £500 in the Teddies for Loving Care scheme by giving funds to Lodge guest Graham Cadel, who runs the scheme in Lincoln. Graham uses donations to the charity to buy teddy bears which are given to children who have to be in hospital or visit A&E. Said Graham: “At moment like that those children are terrified. Having a teddy bear ‘friend’ can take away some of the fear, and make the experience much less traumatic.” Our picture shows some of the Lodge members with Graham and Installing Master Alec Clench pulling the cheque, but not the wool, over the eyes of their Liaison Officer.
The Ashlar Lodge was consecrated in 1931 by the Earl of Yarborough, who was the Provincial Grand Master for Lincolnshire at the time.
Six of its members have been Sheriffs of the City of Lincoln. The Ashlar Lodge continues to flourish today, attracting a large number of younger members from all walks of life including the pool of serving and ex-service personnel Lincolnshire is known for. Ashlar Lodge not only hosts enjoyable and well attended Lodge meetings, but is also widely known for its vibrant and very active social calendar.