Athenaeum Lodge of Installed Masters No 9368 meets three times a year and being a past masters travelling lodge, it holds meetings at many of the Masonic halls and meeting places throughout the Province, and it was Litherland Masonic Hall’s pleasure to host the 2023 installation meeting.
The lodge was consecrated in September 1990 and is colloquially known as the ‘charity lodge’, drawing membership from the personnel of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity office based in Huyton, Liverpool.
Having all assembled, it fell to the master John Marsden to open the lodge, which he did in fine form. John then proceeded swiftly through the degrees, when director of ceremonies Steve Kayne rose and announced that the principal guest at the installation is Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning and he will be accompanied by Frank Umbers and John James, both Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Tony Harrison Past Provincial Grand Master, the Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Graham Chambers and 16 other grand officers.
Provincial Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies, Robb Fitzsimmons and Peter Littlehales, then lead the procession in which also included Derek Parkinson who is the Chairman of the Trustees of West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and acting Provincial grand officers Paul Broadley, John Reynolds and Robert Midgley. Robb then introduced Philip Gunning to the WM, who then formally welcomed him to the lodge.
The ceremony of installation could then finally get under way, Paul Bains was then presented as master elect of Athenaeum Lodge of Installed Masters to John Marsden by Malcolm Alexander, were John then duly installed Paul as the new master of the lodge in what was a fine display of ritual.
Immediate past master John delivered the working tools of a master Mason. Paul then resumed labour in the second degree and Steve proclaimed Paul as master again and brethren assembled as fellow crafts, filed past Paul and saluted. Again, John delivered the working tools of a fellow craft Freemason. Paul then resumed labour in the first degree and Steve proclaimed Paul as master for a final time and the brethren assembled as entered apprentices and saluted as they filed past. John again was called upon to deliver the working tools of an entered apprentice Freemason.
The appointment and installation of officers of the lodge completed, grand officer Roy Pyne delivered an eloquent address to the master and Malcolm Sandywell gave an equally perfect address to the wardens. Philip then rose and delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge. At the conclusion of the installation ceremony Philip expressed his thanks to all who had taken part and congratulated John on a faultless ceremony given with sincerity.
Paul then presented Philip with cheques to honour the charities totalling £500, which he explained to all present consisted of a cheque for £250 for the Liverpool Ladies Institution and £250 for Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity. In addition, £250 was donated to Wheels of Warrington, £590 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £100 to Hive Youth Zone, meaning a magnificent sum of £1,940 being raised in total. Philip thanked the brethren of the lodge for their very generous donations.
The ceremony being duly completed, the brethren took to the dining rooms at Litherland Masonic Hall for the festive board. At the festive board Philip rose to congratulate Paul on the occasion of his installation and also to congratulate all who had took part in an excellent ceremony.