Jimmy Rogers is new WM of Cleveleys Mark
Cleveleys Masonic Hall was the place to be for anyone wanting to see a Mark installation ceremony carried out as it should be as the very experienced Jimmy Rogers, PAGSwdB became the newest master of Cleveleys Mark Lodge No 1176.
Pictured from left to right are: PrGSW Andrew Whittle, Jimmy Rogers and PrGJW Tony Cross.
Outgoing master Tony Blundell came in for praise from every quarter due to a word perfect, faultless performance in a ceremony at which the principal guest was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Ian Nairn.
Ian Nairn welcomes Jimmy Rogers to the chair of Cleveleys Mark Lodge.
Ian in turn was supported by what he termed later as his ‘minders’ - new SW and JW Andrew Whittle and Tony Cross on their first outing in earnest - and an array of Grand Officers which included Walter Porter and Terry West as well as many notable Provincial Officers; all marshalled by Provincial GDC David Emmerson and ADC Brian Gregson.
Jimmy Rogers congratulates installing master Tony Blundell on a job well done.
It quickly became apparent that members and visitors alike were to be treated to something special and there was an air of anticipation as Tony confidently dispatched the early business of the lodge.  Sadly one of his duties was to ask brethren to mark the passing of lodge stalwart Alf Blackshaw to the Grand Lodge above.
...’we have many members of rank and opulence’.
.. Grand and Provincial officers at Cleveleys Mark Installation.
After the procession of grand officers and their entourage entered, Ian Nairn, on being offered the gavel, said that for a split second he had almost thought to accept it, though adding: “That thought soon passed as I am here to enjoy myself.”
PrDC’s Brian Gregson and David Emmerson with Jimmy Rogers
– there to see everything ran smoothly.
Lodge DC Greg Grove, himself later singled out for praise for ‘whipping’ the lodge team into shape, presented Jimmy and, despite a little stumble as to whom Greg was actually presenting, as no-one really knows the incoming master as James Francis Rogers, but simply as ‘Jimmy’, all proceeded happily thereafter.
Tony delivered the shortened version of the ceremony in fine fashion, as Jimmy has previously been through the chair in Wyre Mark Lodge No 754.
He was assisted by Andrew Whittle who acted as ISW, Tony Cross as IJW and Giles Berkley as IIG.
As the ceremony progressed Joe O’Brian presented the working tools with Brian Gregson giving the presentation of the master’s jewels and John Forster gave the address to the WM all of which added that special touch to the evening; as was Andrew Whittle’s address to the wardens and Tony Cross’s that to the overseers.
Visiting masters Peter Green, Fylde Mark, and Bob Boal,
Wyre Mark, welcome Jimmy Rogers and his wallet to the master’s circuit.
Following Jimmy’s appointment of his lodge team for the new session and, Ian addressed the brethren and, after Tony Blundell’s announcement, with just the hint of a sigh of relief, that the ceremony of installation was concluded, Ian brought the greetings and congratulations of PrGM Keith Beardmore.
Andrew Whittle gives a vote of thanks on behalf of himself and Tony Cross
and the rest of the Provincial officers.
Jimmy’s first pleasant duty was to ask Ian to thank the PrGM and to present him with a ‘promissory’ note for the amount of £500 destined for West Lancashire Mark Masons Charity - for which Ian thanked the lodge for its generosity on behalf of the eventual beneficiaries.
John Forster brought the congratulations of the grand officers and was lavish with his praise for all who had taken part in “an excellent and memorable ceremony.”
Jimmy Rogers while in full flow at the festive board.
Peter Green of Fylde Mark Lodge in his response on behalf of the visitors echoed the previous speakers’ remarks - though he teased Tony that he only had the shortened version of the installation to perform though admitting he had done it well!
At a sumptuous festive board Ian told how well he remembered Cleveleys Mark Lodge making its return from Fleetwood to Cleveleys and that he had shared in the reconsecration of the lodge when he was a Provincial DC.
Jimmy Rogers tells Ian Nairn that the flowers are for him and the whisky is for Mrs Nairn.
He singled out the work that John Forster does for the Mark Degree on the Fylde coast and went on to congratulate several brethren who had, or were due to, receive promotions.
Turning to Jimmy Ian told a story about his own lodge which is a DC’s lodge and which meets, he said, literally anywhere. On one particular occasion the venue was Rotterdam and as he and Jimmy were walking in the city a Dutchman happened to approach them. The man put out his hand to Jimmy and said: “You are the guy who does the building of King Solomon’s Temple. I saw you do it here once and greatly enjoyed it.”
Only kidding!
“So Jimmy is not just well known here but is internationally known as well!” Ian remarked.
Ian went on to speak about the work the new master does in the building of King Solomon’s Temple and how he and his team were great fundraisers for charity.
Ian also brought what he termed “parish notes” and spoke about such items as the Children’s Christmas Party, the Provincial website and how it welcomed stories on a vast variety of topics not necessarily Masonic and about charitable giving, thanking Cleveleys Mark for its welcome donation and citing the example of the Mark Degree providing defibrillator machines to every Masonic Hall in the Province as a direct result of Mark Masons’ generosity.
He concluded by thanking Cleveleys Mark members for the warmth of their hospitality in looking after both himself and his team. He also thanked David Emmerson and Brian Gregson and the Provincial Wardens for acting as his “minders” round the Province.
Andrew Whittle also thanked Cleveleys Mark Lodge for looking after both him and his colleagues in his response at festive board.
In response to Tony Blundell’s toast Jimmy told how he had taken 16 years to get into the chair of Cleveleys Mark though he had previously installed into the chair of Wyre Mark in 2006.
He remarked on the long service of several lodge brethren; Alan Fairhurst on 30 years, Des Lund on 40 years and Tom Skinner on 60 years.
Jimmy said that he had firstly in his Masonic career had ambitions of joining KT but following his first sighting of the King Solomon’s Temple building by the late Bill Linkison he’d enjoyed it so much he decided that it was for him. However on hearing from Bill he had to be a member of the Mark Degree to do that he changed tack and became the 75th member of the KS team out of 93 - and that’s how it all started.
Jimmy went on to thank everyone who had made the evening such a memorable one and before Ian took his leave Jimmy presented him with a floral bouquet for Mrs Nairn and a mysterious bottle shaped parcel for Ian.
Article Courtesy of Bob Boal, Photgraph's Courtesy of Bob Boal and Giles Berkley