The installation ceremony of Lodge of Harmony No 580 was honoured by the presence of Colin Rowling, St Helens and Prescot Group Chairman, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison.
Colin was accompanied by grand officers Malcolm Alexander, Roy Worthington and joint Ormskirk and Bootle Group Vice Chairmen, Stephen Brereton and John Marsden. Also in attendance were acting Provincial grand officers Malcolm Sandywell PAGDC and John Doyle PrGStwd.
Anthony Prior was installed in the chair in a most excellent manner by Mike Ellis, ably assisted by Stephen Brereton senior warden and William Cropper junior warden. The ceremony was once again in the very capable hands of DC Rob Hales whose warmth and sincerity shone throughout the evening. Rob was ably assisted by ADC Alan Browne and Trevor Tomlinson as inner guard.
During this excellent installation ceremony one light-hearted moment did occur whilst Mike was duly placing Anthony into the chair of King Solomon with rather more exuberance than is usual to everyone’s delight bringing a broad smile to Anthony’s face and a comment later from Colin, that he Anthony, had been well and truly placed in the chair.
David Williams presented to the newly installed master an explanation of the working tools of an installed master which were faultlessly presented. The other working tools were similarly delivered, by Colin Brereton in the third degree, Alan Browne presented the second-degree extended version and Derek Gibson those of the first degree. Worthy of note and a joy to see were the salutations to the master in each degree. As is now ever more evident in smaller lodges, the brethren have to make up the numbers in each degree and it must be said that the members of this fine lodge take their Masonry very seriously and were in complete ‘harmony.’
The address to the master was exceptionally well presented by Roy Worthington; and it must be said at very short notice. Colin Rowling, with great warmth and eloquence presented the address to the brethren, which was very well received.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Colin brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master to Anthony for his succession to the office of WM and went on to congratulate Mike on the excellent way he had installed his successor. He also congratulated Rob on the way he had conducted the ceremony in a most professional manner. Colin also passed on congratulations to the installation team for a job well done and wished Anthony a happy and successful year in office.
IPM Mike then presented Colin with three cheques on behalf of the lodge members; £250 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 to Friends of Tithebarn and £350 to Ormskirk Masonic Hall Association. Colin was further informed that a cheque for £1,200 had already been presented to the Willy Russell Foundation (who support children and adults of all ages who stammer) making a grand total of £2,050. Colin congratulated all the brethren for their immense generosity especially in this economic climate.
After the ceremony 39 brethren retired to enjoy a hearty meal at the festive board consisting of potato, bacon and onion soup followed by braised beef, garlic mash and seasonal vegetables and a sweet of ginger and toffee sponge with custard concluding with Stilton with Port; coffee, tea and mints.
Later in response to the toast to the grand officers Colin brought his own personal greetings to the lodge and warmest congratulations to Anthony on attaining the chair for the first time.
Story and photographs by Barry Hewitt