Due to an anomaly with a change of by-law, Woodend Epworth Lodge No 5381 was placed in the unusual situation of having an installation ceremony just two months after the previous one.
The lodge was opened by the WM Derek Evans and with the regular lodge business completed, the lodge was delighted to receive as their principal guest Joe Hall, representing the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Joe was accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman and Vice Chairman Mark Matthews and David Johnson respectively. Also welcomed was Ian Turner, WM of Blenheim Lodge No 7519 in the Liverpool Group.
On welcoming Joe, Derek said how pleasant it was to see him back so soon after his last visit. Following the usual salutations, director of ceremonies David Bruffell proceeded to proclaim Derek as master for the forthcoming year. Immediate past master George Christie took charge of the perambulations during the ceremony and presented the working tools of each degree, with the salutations being led by David. Thereafter, the officers of the lodge were all reinvested as per the previous installation, whilst the only address was that to the charity steward George Christie, by Mark Matthews. To conclude the ceremony, Joe Hall delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge in exemplary fashion. Joe then brought congratulations on behalf of the PrGM saying: “If Tony had been present he would have thanked Derek for continuing in office.”
Joe went on to congratulate George Christie for the way he had performed the installation and congratulated the officers involved in the ceremony for the work that evening. He then thanked and wished the brethren of Woodend Epworth Lodge the very best of health, saying the PrGM wished everyone present a happy and healthy year. Derek thanked Joe for his kind words and presented him with four cheques; £150 in favour of the MCF 2021 Festival, £100 to the Liverpool Group, £100 for the hall building fund and £250 to the Friends of Tithebarn. With the lodge closed, the brethren made their way to the banquet suite for a delightful festive board.
At the festive board, Joe Hall took the opportunity to congratulate Derek for taking the chair for the third time. He also congratulated all the lodge officers who had been appointed and those brethren who had taken part in what was an unusual, but nevertheless special ceremony. Joe then went on to mention the work of George Christie, who had been master for three years from 2014 to 2016 and had taken the lodge through the amalgamation, as well as the DC David Bruffell, who had been master four times 1986, 2002 and in the years 2010 – 2011. Joe also mentioned the advantages of becoming a member of the Royal Arch and requested those brethren who were not, to please give it serious consideration prior to exploring any of the other Masonic orders. Royal Arch Masonry completes the Craft journey and that is why the Royal Arch jewel is worn in Craft meetings.
Joe continued by saying that a number of brethren deserve congratulations on their forthcoming and well-deserved promotions and appointments. Graham Ledson to be promoted to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works, Stephen Foster to Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon and George Christie to the very prestigious acting office of Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, all thoroughly deserved. At the close, both Joe and Mark were presented with gifts on behalf of the lodge.