One of David Grainger’s first duties when he was appointed to become an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, was to attend the installation meeting of Liverpool Mercantile Lodge No 4319. Now in his final year, prior to stepping down at the end of the season, David again made a welcome return, to renew old friendships and make many new ones.
At 5.00pm, visiting brethren were welcomed by DC Paul Shepherd, in the Pierce Suite of the Adelphi Hotel, to enjoy canopies and a pre-meeting drink of their choice. A chance to chat to friends old and new, before Paul called upon the members to take their places in the temple.
The lodge was opened at 5.30pm prompt by Ian Walton, standing in as WM. He was assisted by his wardens, John McKay and David Glover, together with the other officers of the lodge.
Once the minutes of the previous meeting had been confirmed and signed, the lodge was opened in the second degree, visiting Provincial grand lodge officers were admitted and the lodge then opened in the third degree. Paul Shepherd retired and on his return, announced that the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald was without and requested admission. Barry, in turn, announced that APrGM David Grainger was without and demanded admission. The brethren rose as David, accompanied by Gladstone Group Secretary Ian Sanderson and grand and Provincial grand lodge officers entered the temple.
Among the acting Provincial grand lodge officers in attendance were John Karran, Harry White, Steve Clarke, Les Newlands and Dr Peter Lindfield. Barry formerly introduced David to Ian, who responded with a welcome and a wish that David would enjoy a wonderful evening, both in the temple and later at dinner. Ian offered David the gavel, which he accepted with thanks, but swiftly returned it to Ian. At this point, Paul rose and proceeded to give a brief eulogy about an honorary member Cyril McGibbon, who had recently passed away at the age of 106, he had been the oldest subscribing Freemason in England. The Brethren stood in respect of departed merit.
Barry then proceeded to conduct the salutations of which there were many. David responded, thanking the brethren and greeting them well. There were also responses from Brian Gillbanks, Mark Dimelow and John Karran.
The master Masons lodge was adjourned and labour resumed in the second degree, when Brian Gillbanks and John Lynn presented David Reginald Evans (Reg), as master elect. Reg then proceeded to recite the obligation of a master elect, which was delivered in a perfect manner. As Reg had been installed on a previous occasion, the installation ceremony, although shortened, was nevertheless conducted in a perfect a sincere manner by Ian. Reg was declared WM for the ensuing year and saluted by the officers and brethren present. In turn he was saluted by master Masons, fellowcraft and entered apprentices. The working tools were presented by Peter Lindfield (third degree), John McKay (second degree) and David Hilliard (first degree), all presented with an obvious amount of experience and skill.
Reg then proceeded to appoint and invest his officer’s. Wardens, Michael Collins and Prof Michael Jones, Rev John Lynn Chaplain, treasurer and charity steward Ian Walton, secretary Peter Lindfield and Paul Shepherd as DC. Also appointed were John McKay as almoner and Malcolm Hodgson as mentor. The deacons, Dr Kukaswadia and Malcolm Hodgson, David Hilliard ADC, Martin Brownlow organist and Philip Holmes inner guard. Re-appointed as stewards were Brian Gillbanks, David Glover and Jack Howe and finally Paul Harford was made tyler.
All addresses were given in an impeccable and sincere manner by various brethren. To the master, by Ian Walton, the wardens by John Karran, the tyler by Michael Collins and to the brethren of Liverpool Mercantile Lodge by David Grainger.
At the conclusion of the ceremony of installation, David rose to convey his and the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison’s congratulations to Reg, wishing him health and happiness throughout his year in office. He also congratulated Ian for his excellent ritual and Paul for conducting the proceedings so smoothly.
David, grand and acting Provincial grand acting officers then retired following the first rising, together with two stewards to furnish them with refreshments.
It was also good to note that a candidate was proposed, ensuring that David and his team will have a busy start to the new season.
When the lodge was closed in perfect harmony, almost 60 members and guests took their seats to enjoy a splendid four course meal, served by the pleasant staff, under the direction of senior silver service waitress Olwen. Throughout the dinner, Barry announced the wine taking and various toasts. David responded to the toast to grand lodge officers, referring to his first and previous attendance to Liverpool Mercantile Lodge. On that occasion the lodge secretary Dr Peter Lindfield, had been installed as master. He also talked about the importance of encouraging master Masons to join the Royal Arch. He also promoted the MCF 2021 Festival, as some brethren in the province had still not made a donation to purchase a festival jewel. In closing, he said he had enjoyed an excellent ceremony and festive board and also thanked Barry and the other acting officers who had accompanied him on this and other visits he had made throughout the Province.
The toast to Reg was proposed by the installing master Ian. In his response, Reg thanked Ian and all the members of Mercantile Lodge for their support and friendship.
All too soon it was time to call upon the tyler Paul Harford, to propose the last toast of the evening. The end of a very memorable evening for Reg and the members and guests of the lodge.
Article and photographs by Phil Marshall