The venue was the Geoffrey Hirst Masonic Suite within Woolton Golf Club where members and visitors of Anfield Lodge No 2215 gathered for the proclamation of Gary Devlin into the chair of King Solomon for the fourth time.
The principal guest for the evening was Stewart Cranage who has been a regular visitor to the golf club, a venue he really enjoys. The WM Gary Devlin opened the lodge in due form and ensured that the minutes of the last regular meeting were confirmed and signed
The lodge DC Chris Lyon retired from the lodge room and on his return announced that the principal guest Stewart Cranage and other Provincial grand officers, accompanied by the group vice chairman John Gibbon, were outside and wished to be admitted. Stewart and the procession were duly admitted and took their seats. Stewart was very warmly welcomed by Gary Devlin and said that he was looking forward to having an enjoyable evening. Salutations were offered to Stewart and then to Fred Hulse.
Chris Lyon then proclaimed Gary Devlin as WM for the ensuing year and requested brethren to rise and acknowledge the proclamation with a court bow. Gary then had much pleasure in appointing and investing his officers, offering each of them with a few well-chosen words; Tom Lunt was appointed senior warden and Stephen Lyon as junior warden.
The address to the deacons was delivered by Mike Tattersall, the address to the inner guard by David Dutton and Dave Ireland provided the address to the tyler Phil Lyon. Stan Dawkins provided the address to the wardens and the brethren of Anfield lodge were addressed by Stewart Cranage.
This concluded the ceremony of proclamation and Stewart rose to convey the congratulations and best wishes of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge Philip Gunning who is a member of the Anfield lodge and was DC when Gary was admitted into the lodge, many years ago.
Stewart went on to congratulate the brethren who had participated in the ceremony which he said was very enjoyable and relaxed and that the lodge could have managed with just the proclamation but instead delivered a finer ceremony.
Gary presented Stewart with two cheques; the first for £1,000 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the other cheque for £500 for Prostate Cancer, a combined magnificent sum considering the lodge was just out of lockdown and Stewart said the brethren should be justly proud of themselves.
After the first rising the principal guest retired along with the group vice chairman John Gibbon. As the lodge had some private business to conduct the guests were requested to withdraw and make their way to the festive board.
The principal guest had been busy researching his response and regaled the brethren with many footballs associated anecdotes. One in particular created much hilarity. Stewart had two uncles who were barbers, one in Breck Road and the other in Lower Breck Road and had the good fortune to cut the heads of the Liverpool team players sometimes before a match and often just after.
One day Bill Shankly took the barber’s chair and one of the uncle’s began the haircut stopping at one point to ask Bill Shankly if he wanted anything off the top. The reply was: “Just Everton” and so the response continued in light hearted vain met with great amusement from the brethren.
However before resuming his seat. Stewart brought messages from grand lodge and the Province reminding brethren of the very special forthcoming event at Blackpool when the new Provincial Grand Master will be installed by the Pro Grand Master.
After the IPM had proposed the toast to the WM in which he said the WM demanded the right to respond so he would keep his toast short; the WM responded by thanking everyone for attending with particular thanks to Stewart for his hilarious anecdotes. Ian Broomfield responded on behalf of the guests saying that he had really enjoyed the evening and was impressed with the way in which the ceremony was conducted and the comradery amongst the lodge. A raffle was held during the evening which raised £95. The evening drew to a close and the tyler provided the last toast.
Story and pictures by Colin Roberts.