The installation of Garston Group Secretary Gary Mason into the master’s chair of Lodge of Harmony No 220 ensured a full and vibrant meeting at Garston Masonic Hall. It was particularly pleasing for Gary that the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison was long-time friend Andy Whittle, chairman of the neighbouring Woolton Group.
Whilst this is the second occasion that Gary has sat in the chair of King Solomon, it is a first for him within Lodge of Harmony. The first occasion being in 2000 within St John’s Lodge No 673, sadly they surrendered their warrant some years later.
The lodge was opened by WM Jim Corcoran and the normal administrative business of the lodge was undertaken prior to him offering his sincere thanks to all the officers and brethren of the lodge who had made his year in office such an enjoyable and memorable time. Lodge director of ceremonies Mark Mellor then announced that Andy was without and sought admission. Jim, on behalf of all the brethren, replied that the lodge would be honoured to receive him. Andy was duly admitted accompanied by fellow grand officer Phil Taylor, as well as Garston Group chairman John Murphy, group vice chairman Dave Atkinson and other Provincial grand officers. Jim warmly welcomed not just Andy, but all the evening’s guests, expressing his wish that they enjoy their evening.
For the ceremony of installation, Jim asked that lodge members Wyn Jones and Geoff Bush undertake the work and their assured and calm performances justified Jim’s decision. Assisting them for the ceremony, Ken Wagner occupied the SW chair, Thomas Jones the JW chair and Eric Lloyd undertook the duties of IG.
Presenting officer Ken Bradley then presented master elect Gary to Wyn who conducted the first part of the ceremony before passing on the duty of concluding the installation to Geoff. This included Geoff presenting and explaining the working tools in all three degrees.
With Gary duly installed, he appointed and invested the officers of the lodge for the ensuing year, after which the traditional addresses to the officers were made by, Mal Yates to the tyler and Wyn to the deacons and stewards. The wardens received their address from DC Mark, before Barry Tomlinson delivered a wonderful rendition of the address to new master, Gary. It was then in the capable hands of Andy to undertake the address to the brethren and he didn’t disappoint with a very assured delivery.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Andy was once again on his feet. This time to offer the congratulations and best wishes of the Provincial Master Tony Harrison to Gary, stating that had he been present, he would no doubt have offered his congratulations to all those who took part. He made special mention of the work of Jim, Mark, Wyn and Geoff in making the evening such a success. Andy also offered the brethren the wish of the Provincial Grand that we all continue to enjoy our Freemasonry.
It was now Gary’s opportunity to undertake a very pleasant task in presenting Andy with two cheques in support of charity. The first, in the sum of £220 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the second, in the magnificent sum of £1,500 in support of the MCF 2021 Festival. In receiving the cheques Andy thanked the brethren on behalf of those who would ultimately benefit from their generosity. He continued by presenting to Gary a certificate for the lodge in recognition of them having achieved MCF 2021 Festival Vice Patron status.
With the grand and Provincial grand officers having retired, the lodge concluded their remaining business of the evening, before joining again with their guests to toast the new WM in our own ‘West Lancs’ way prior to enjoying a very well earned festive board.