An excellent evening was had by all at the 454th meeting of Aughton Lodge No 7996 at the Masonic Hall in Ormskirk where Lee Birchall, a previously installed master of University Lodge of Liverpool No 4274 was installed as WM of Aughton Lodge. Lee, who is a long-standing employee within the NHS, was delighted to be installed into the chair of King Solomon by Mike Trigg.
Kevin Poynton, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master was the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews on the evening. Kevin was accompanied by grand officers; Graham Chambers, the Chairman of the Ormskirk and Bootle Group, Malcom Alexander, Stewart Cranage and acting Provincial grand officers Shaun Brookhouse ProvGStwd and Keith Lindsey ProvGStwd.
All present observed an excellent ceremony of installation under the watchful eye of Malcolm Sandywell director of ceremonies of the lodge, during which first, second and third degree salutations to the WM, were undertaken by many recently accepted Masons during 2023, demonstrating the lodge’s ability to attract, retain and develop new members. The lodge secretary Jim Carrie presented the third degree working tools, Malcolm Sandywell presented the second degree working tools and first degree working tools were expertly demonstrated by newly raised master Mason Louis Spencer.
Kevin complimented the officers and members of the lodge for the quality of their ceremony and noted the obvious hard work and preparation they had put into it. He was delighted to receive from the newly installed master pledges to the value of an amazing £5,142 benefiting several local good causes and groups, plus the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, Tithebarn Masonic Care Home, The Ormskirk Masonic Hall Association, HOME (Ormskirk Masonic Hall Support Group), Cancer Research UK, The Muscular Sclerosis Society and due to our current difficult times Digmoor Community Foodbank.
The festive board was a fine comradery of 46 brethren from various lodges enjoying an exquisitely prepared feast of mushroom on brioche as an appetiser with short rib of beef to follow accompanied by wine for toasting. Conversation was fluid, friendships were begun and re-established in a convivial and delightful atmosphere.
In his response to the toast to his good health, Kevin spoke of the Royal Arch as the next prominent step in Freemasonry and to encourage master Masons to join or re-join the order. He also spoke of the great service and charity performed and exhibited by the Craft and craftsmen over the centuries.
The evening ended with a very lively and enjoyable rendition of the masters’ song by Ian Tupling and then finally with the very meaningful tyler’s toast.