The members of Westhoughton Lodge No 4215 hosted the demonstration team from the St Helens and Prescot Group on behalf of the Chorley Group at their regular meeting held at Masonic Hall.
The team are visiting groups around the Province as part of the Tercentenary celebrations and performing a timeline drama and pageant about the evolution of Grand Lodge from 1717 to 1813.
This pageant project started out some years ago as an idea for something to do at a meeting when the oldest lodge in the Province – Lodge of Loyalty No 86 had nothing to do.
At first, the concept was that a “Master of Ceremonies” would announce the year of the event and one of the characters would step forward and deliver their part of the story.
Each character would have been given a script with key words / phrases highlighted and he was asked to deliver the story using the key words but without having to learn any lines.
When it was announced that APrGM Tony Bent had been appointed to co-ordinate the 2017 celebrations and he was looking for ideas from lodges, The most senior member of Loyalty Frank Davies PPrSGW mentioned what he had in mind. From that point on, the project became a living being which the team just had to deliver.
Recognising that they were straying into “theatreland” Frank enlisted the help of an experienced thespian, Freemason and friend David Burgess who readily offered his services.
In doing so, David passed the script to a friend of his – Jacob Larch, who is a professional scriptwriter. Jacob converted the Master of Ceremonies into the Herald the brethren saw and added the historical facts delivered by him during the performance.
Following a brief open and close meeting the players took over the lodge room setting the scene for the brethren present to show how the Grand Lodge was formed.
As the drama unfolded the brethren were kept entertained whilst witnessing a re-enactment of how the Elias Ashmole, the earliest known recorded Freemason initiated into an English lodge in 1646.
The team based their pageant on how the first Grand lodge meetings were carried out 300 years ago. The drama was not only informative but had a great humour to its story which was most appreciated by the brethren watching.
On the completion of the drama the worshipful master thanked all the pageant brethren for their wonderful work.
The evening concluded with fun and laughter at the festive board including a raffle which raised the princely sum of nearly £200, half of which was shared with the pageant brethren who were donating it to the MCF 2021 Festival.
The brethren of the pageant put on a first class and most entertaining production and it is recommended to all brethren to try and get to see it, you won’t be disappointed.