A change of venue took place for the final meeting of the season for Centurions of Merseyside Coronation Lodge No 2923, meeting at Hope Street, Masonic Hall, Liverpool, rather than their usual meeting place at The Artists Club.
Change was in the air as Andrew Ince was deputising for the WM Jim Ramsay who unfortunately couldn’t attend. Having welcomed all to the lodge room, Andrew wasted no time in immediately preceding to open the lodge in fine form and began to work through the business of the lodge this evening.
First item on the agenda was to ballot for a joining member, Ian Byrom a past member of Coronation Lodge, who was successfully balloted and warmly welcomed into the lodge. Ian having taken his rightful place, the lodge moved on to the next order of business which was for a double initiation ceremony.
Again, the ballots proving unanimous in favour of both candidates, Andrew then declared the ballot as successful and called for Glenn Hornby to honour the lodge and occupy the chair of King Solomon for the ceremony of initiation. John Hughes and Brian Radford were then admitted into the lodge.
Glenn was superb in his oration of ritual and direction of the ceremony of initiation, performing the obligation faultlessly. He was very ably assisted by Gordon McConnell as junior deacon and Roy Hayes as senior deacon, both standing in for Mike Brimage and Glenn Hornby respectively. They were both superb in conducting their charges around the lodge room. Although John Hughes and Brian Radford who were soon to become brothers, they were no doubt unaware, the ceremony which unfolded before them was of the highest order.
John Hughes and Brian Radford were then presented to the junior warden Steve Linton who, upholding the very high standard of ritual displayed previously in the lodge, presented the working tools of an entered apprentice Freemason. The two brothers were then conducted to the stand-in senior deacon for the evening, Roy Hayes, who presented the charge of an entered apprentice, which again was superb in its delivery and subtle in its message. A first-class performance and rounded off what had been an exemplary initiation ceremony.
The lodge business being duly completed, the members and guests retired to the dining rooms of Liverpool Masonic Hall, which is decorated in the theme of the Egyptian lodge room, with plaster finials and motifs it is a wonderful room to dine in and fitting for the celebratory festive board for the newly made brothers, John Hughes and Brian Radford.
Having dispensed with the necessary toasts, the brethren were called to order by chaplain Ken Orme and inner guard Peter Duggan, who having earlier distributed copies of the entered apprentice song, began in harmony and sang the verses of the song, to be joined in heartily by the thronged brethren. It was a lively affair and a very fitting way to welcome the band of brothers, to the brotherhood of Freemasonry.
A little later in the proceedings, John, in response to a toast to his health and on behalf of Brian, thanked all for attending the ceremony and for making both feel so welcome. The toast was loudly applauded. As with all festive boards, it was time for tyler, John Daly, to give the final toast of the evening, and a very pleasant and special initiation for our band of brothers was complete.