L-R. W.Bro’s Andy Baird, Ben Batley APGM, Andy Hadley. Presentation of Fifth Ashlar to Exmoor Lodge
The evening of Thursday 17th January saw Exmoor Lodge No 2390 install their new Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Andy Baird, at the Minehead Masonic Hall.
The Assistant PGM for Somerset, W.Bro. Ben Batley accompanied by the Assistant PGDC, W.Bro George Sargeant joined the brethren and their guests to enjoy the occasion of the Installation and the ‘sell-out’ festive board afterwards.
W.Bro John Lendon opened the Lodge and then, much to Andy’s surprise, it was his good friend and proposer into Freemasonry, W.Bro Clive Dunster who installed him as Master according to ancient custom.
Having been Installed, Andy thanked W.Bro Ben for attending, whereupon he was pleased to present Exmoor’s Charity Steward, W.Bro Andy Hadley with their fifth Grand Charity Festival Ashlar.
W.Bro Andy, the son of a Scottish Freemason, was initiated into Exmoor Lodge 2390 in February 2013. He is also a joining member of Royal Somerset Lodge 973, meeting at Frome.
He became Exmoor Lodge Information Officer in January 2016 and was appointed as PGLS S.W. Area Communications Officer in April 2018. He is currently working with others to assist W.Bro Barry Davies in the successful delivery of the new Compass annual magazine due out in April 2019.Andy is also a member of the Mark Lodge at Minehead and Chapter at Frome. He is a retired Avon and Somerset Police Officer living in Timsbury near Bath. He is married to Heather and they have a daughter, Jessica.
Andy was also delighted to welcome two Scottish brethren to his Installation.
W.Bro’s Tom Smith and Raymond Kerr are both past masters of Lodge St Peter 331 meeting at the fabulous Barr Castle in the Ayrshire town of Galston. This was the home town Mother Lodge of Andy’s late father, Nat, which Andy visits annually on his fishing holiday with Minehead brethren, W.Bro’s Clive Dunster, John Munson and Paul ‘Woody’ Wood.
Tom and Raymond caused quite a stir at Minehead’s Foxes Academy Hotel when they entered the hotel lounge wearing their kilts for pre-meeting drinks with fellow hotel guests, brethren from Frome. Not something seen every day at Foxes, whereupon the duty students made sure the photo-op wasn’t missed!
The ‘Student Fund’ at Foxes is Andy’s principle local good cause recipient of Exmoor Lodge financial support during his year in the chair. http://foxesacademy.ac.uk
Another recipient is the ‘Keep In Touch Club’ (KIT), which is voluntarily run by the staff of The Seahorse Centre, effectively as a youth club for those with learning difficulties who currently attend that centre, but often at different times to each other.
Exmoor Lodge will also purchase some essential equipment for the Minehead RNLI Lifeboat Station, to be utilised locally.
Andy received some totally unexpected, beautiful and generous gifts during the festive board.
From the Scottish brethren, a dedication engraved silver Quaich (Friendship Cup) together with a limited edition re-print of Robert Burns’ first book of poems from 1786.
From the brethren of Royal Somerset Lodge in Frome, a dedication engraved glass wine goblet.
All are now proudly on display at his home.
The words ‘Thank you’ cannot adequately sum up exactly what they mean to him!
It was a great evening and Andy is very much looking forward to the year ahead.
W.Bro Andy Baird
Exmoor Lodge Information Officer
Barr Castle, Galston, Ayrshire. Owned and occupied by Lodge St Peter 331
Interior view of Barr Castle