The installation of a new master is always a cause for celebration and even more so when the auspicious occasion is the 100th installation ceremony.
University Lodge of Liverpool No 4274, a member of the United Grand Lodge of England University Scheme, was founded in 1921, thus making this a centenary installation. Having relocated to The Athenaeum Club, Church Alley, which itself was founded in 1797, presented the perfect setting for the lodge meeting.
With a long list of distinguished founding members including the Rt Hon 17th Earl of Derby, Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, The Lord Viscount Leverhulme and 24 brethren, the very first installed master was R J M Buchanan MD, FRCP.
Master Krisjan Nathan Cooper welcomed the brethren and many guests to the lodge and expressed a wish that all present enjoy the ceremony. The lodge was duly opened by Krisjan in solemn ceremony, assisted expertly by his senior and junior wardens.
Director of Ceremonies Matt Casson announced that the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton stood without. Krisjan requested that Kevin be admitted in due form, and he was accompanied by Gladstone Group Chairman John James and other grand officers. On behalf of all of the brethren of University Lodge of Liverpool, Krisjan formally welcomed Kevin to the lodge.
Senior warden Liam Buchanan was then presented as master elect and, having met the necessary qualifications, recited a perfect obligation. Having opened a board of installed masters, Krisjan then performed a very impressive installation and installed Liam as the new master of University Lodge of Liverpool. So, by sheer coincidence, 100 years after the very first, the 100th master was also installed as WM Buchanan – serendipity indeed.
Master Masons were admitted and having saluted the new master, Adam Lindop gave a superb oration of the working tools of a master Mason.
Fellow craft Masons were admitted and again having saluted the new master, Adam once again excelled by giving another superb oration of the long version of the working tools of a fellow craft Mason.
Entered apprentices were admitted and after salutations were given, Cameron Molyneux gave an equally impressive performance of the working tools of an entered apprentice Freemason.
Lodge secretary Alan Moore gave the address to the master and soon-to-be-elected treasurer Shaun Brookhouse gave the address to the wardens. The installation ceremony having concluded, Kevin rose to bring the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master and also his personal best wishes and congratulated all of the brethren who had taken part in the ceremony and how impressive it had all been.
Chairman John James then also rose to explain to the brethren that he had a very pleasant duty to perform and that it was to give congratulations to lodge almoner John McGibbon who had recently celebrated his jubilee of 50 years of being a Freemason. A certificate was then read out in open lodge and presented to John by Kevin, who also passed on his congratulations on John’s long Masonic career and impressive contribution to both the lodge and Freemasonry in general.
The lodge was then called off and the brethren were called to refreshment to the opulent and fine experience of the Athenaeum dining rooms, which did not disappoint with a menu of serrano ham starter, Tuscan lamb main and panna cotta desert.
The toast to the health of the new master was given by immediate past master Krisjan, who explained to all present that he and Liam had been friends for a long time and had travelled through the lodge offices together and that it was a personal pleasure to have installed Liam into the chair of the lodge.
Liam then rose in response to the toast to his health and congratulated Krisjan for a superb installation and took great pleasure in presenting him with a special past master’s jewel in the same colours as those presented to the founders; both speeches receiving loud applause and the customary table knocks unique to the university lodge.
All too soon it was time to call the brethren from refreshment to labour and the lodge was closed in due form ‘Post opera perfecta’. The lodge is in fine stewardship and may it continue for another 100 years – who knows it may even install another ‘Buchanan’.