Members of County Palatine Lodge No 2505 were honoured to have the presence of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison at their installation meeting.
Opening the lodge in due form, WM Colin Jenkins, who was ‘moonlighting’ from his job as Southport Group Chairman, smoothly enacted the usual business before a report heralded the entrance of Mark Barton, the senior PrDGDC and who is also a lodge member. He announced that the PrGM stood without and demanded admission.
A truly magnificent procession accompanied the PrGM, including four APrGMs; four PAPrGMs; the Provincial Grand Wardens; 10 grand officers and several acting Provincial grand officers into the ballroom at the Royal Clifton Hotel, Southport.
With the customary salutations completed the Provincial Grand Wardens, David Asbridge and Peter Allen, were invited to take the senior and junior wardens’ chairs and Colin Jenkins then proceeded to install Michael Braham into the chair of King Solomon in absolutely impeccable form.
This flawless performance caused the Provincial Grand Master to comment, when he rose at the conclusion of the ceremony, that he always thought group chairmen spent all summer working on group matters, not learning ritual!
After wishing the WM, officers and brethren a most enjoyable year of Freemasonry, Tony proceeded to warmly thank Mark Barton for all of the dedication and hard work he had put in over the previous three years as a Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and asked for his commendation to be minuted before wishing Mark every success as he moves next year to take up the same position in the Royal Arch.
Cheques were presented by the WM Michael Braham for £1,200 to the MCF 2021 Festival; £750 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity; £750 to Queenscourt Hospice; £500 to Southport Masonic Hall and £505 to Southport Soup Kitchen; a total of £3,705 which was greatly appreciated by Tony on his receipt of them.
A wonderful five course festive board was then enjoyed by all in true County Palatine Lodge tradition and amongst the diners were 11 members of the Provincial DCs’ mess and 11 past or present wardens of the Province and so with much lively conversation in every part of the large dining room, over 90 brethren thoroughly enjoyed their Freemasonry, as requested.
Tony rose to respond to the toast to his health and in a very well-received speech he talked of the importance of the MCF 2021 Festival and every Freemason’s role as ambassadors and membership officers. He once again sincerely thanked Mark Barton for his excellence and diligence in his post as a deputy DC and was rather surprised to receive a gift from Mark of a large framed caricature, drawn by the talented lodge secretary and cartoonist Paul Hardman, with the humorous message; ‘The boy dun good ………. for a Warden.’ Everyone present concurred with this sentiment and the enduring memory of the evening was the ever-beaming smile of our PrGM, Tony Harrison.