Darth Vader occupies the chair of King Solomon

At Prince of Architects Lodge No 4188 meeting on Saturday afternoon, Sam Houghton became the 96th worshipful master continuing the lodge tradition that no one goes through the chair twice.

Pictured from left to right are: Installing master Richard McHale and master elect Sam Houghton.

Pictured from left to right are: Installing master Richard McHale and master elect Sam Houghton.

The guest of honour was Roy Pyne accompanied by grand and acting Provincial grand officers from Bootle and other groups who were warmly welcomed by the WM Richard McHale. Opening the lodge in due form, Richard soon dispensed with the lodge business and the grand officers processed into the temple.

After being offered and returning the gavel of the lodge Roy then took his seat and enjoyed the rest of the ceremony. Stuart Irvine and Jim Jones occupied the wardens’ chairs and Stephen McCracken (Cheshire) presented Sam Houghton to the installing master to receive at his hand the benefit of installation. Sam was then installed according to ancient custom into the chair of King Solomon.

The third degree working tools were delivered by Dr Morgan Denyer, the second degree tools by Richard Edmondson and the first degree tools by Stuart Irvine. Jim Jones, who was Sams’ proposer into Freemasonry and is also his brother in-law gave the address to the new WM.

Roy Pyne congratulates Sam Houghton.

Roy Pyne congratulates Sam Houghton.

Once the lodge’s officers had been invested bringing an end to the ceremony of installation, Roy addressed the brethren by extending the Provincial Grand Masters warm wishes to Sam and he congratulated the installing master and all who took part in the ceremony. Sam then presented Roy with a cheque for £1,000 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £250 for the Tithebarn.

After closing the lodge in prayer and harmony the brethren made their way into a very congenial and enjoyable festive board where the raffle raised a further £205 and the charity plate a further £155. The festive board finished with what has become a Prince of Architects tradition for the installation and the Christmas meetings with the port and a whole Stilton proceeding around the diners.

Pictured are: Presenting Officers Jim Jones, Sam's proposer and brother in law and Stephen McCracken, with Sam Houghton centre.

Pictured are: Presenting Officers Jim Jones, Sam’s proposer and brother in law and Stephen McCracken, with Sam Houghton centre.

Roy’s speech after dining listed some of the charitable donations made by the Grand Charity and WLFC to both Masonic and non-Masonic causes pointing out that Freemasons do not stand on corners rattling tins etc, instead all revenue comes from the pockets of the brethren and that instead of having highly paid staff to dispense that largesse the WLFC is manned by unpaid volunteers so every penny goes to charitable causes. The other major point made in the speech was to enjoy our Masonry.

On retiring to the bar a very enjoyable evening ensued with Sam telling more than a few stories of some 15 years as a joiner on sets in the film industry including two years in Morocco on various films including the first of the Star Wars series, three Bond films, Gladiator etc.

All in all an enjoyable ceremony and an enjoyable evening.

Lodge members and guests at installation.

Lodge members and guests at installation.