Members and guests of Dormer Lodge No 4389 met at the Geoffrey Hirst Masonic Suite within Woolton Golf Club for their first installation meeting at Woolton. The master, Brian Mitchell, opened the lodge in due form and the minutes of the last regular meeting were confirmed and signed.
The brethren were asked to stand in respect for departed merit honouring their late tyler Walter Pritchard. The WM read a eulogy for Walter outlining his Masonic career ending by saying that he will be sadly missed by the many who had known him.
The lodge was then opened to the second and third degrees and Barry Thornley took over as director of ceremonies which would allow Colin Graham to eventually conduct the ceremony of installation.
Barry retired from the lodge and returned to announce that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Andrew Whittle stood outside and demanded admission. Andrew, accompanied by Mersey Valley Group Vice Chairman John Gibbon and Provincial Grand Steward Keith Lindsay entered the lodge and were warmly welcomed by Brian Mitchell who offered Andrew the gavel of the lodge, which was handed back to Brian so he could continue the evening. Salutations were offered to Andrew and then Alan Riley together with John Gibbon were duly saluted.
The WM thanked the officers of the lodge for their hard work and support throughout the year and then Brian appointed the past masters to assist in the ceremony. Colin Graham was asked to assist by occupying the chair of King Solomon and Barry presented the master elect Paul Fryer. Paul answered the usual questions and acknowledged the ancient charges and regulations, which were read by the secretary, with his unqualified assent, after which he took a solemn obligation as to his duties as master of the lodge.
All below the rank of an installed master, with the exception of the master elect, were asked to retire from the lodge and in their absence, Colin installed Paul into the chair of King Solomon. Master Masons were readmitted, saluted Paul and a light blue Mason Paul Boulton provided a flawless explanation of the working tools in all three degrees. Colin Graham provided the address to the new WM and Eddie Coulthard gave the address to the deacons with Andrew Whittle providing the address to the brethren of Dormer Lodge.
Paul then appointed and invested his officers. The sincere ceremony of installation being completed prompted Andrew to rise and convey the congratulations and very best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, who welcomed Paul as master and hoped he would have an enjoyable year. On Mark’s behalf, Andrew congratulated each of the brethren who had taken part in the ceremony, especially Paul Boulton who was appointed senior warden and with his flawless presentation of work, the lodge will be in good hands when he is made master.
The immediate past master, in a sincere and flawless delivery, presented the WM with the Hall Stone Jewel which had been conferred on the lodge by the Grand Master and is inscribed the dates 1914-1918 being four years of supreme sacrifice and informed the WM that the wearing of the jewel fulfils a double purpose providing visible evidence that the lodge had faithfully and conscientiously discharged its obligations to the Fraternity and it should ever provide an inspiration to every brother to put service before self. The jewel should always be worn as part of the master’s Masonic clothing and will be transmitted to his successor.
The WM presented Andrew with a cheque for £150 for the Masonic Charitable Foundation and Andrew thanked the lodge for its generosity saying that we would never know the recipients, but the money was gratefully received and would be faithfully applied. After the usual communications, Barry formed the retiring procession and the lodge was then closed in due form.
At the excellent festive board which consisted of broccoli and stilton soup, fish pie with honey glazed parsnips and baby carrots followed by treacle tart and ice cream, Andrew in response to the toast informed the brethren of the recruitment initiatives which were being introduced by Grand Lodge. The celebrations continued with the final toast of the evening being provided by the tyler Tommy Lunt.
Article by Colin Roberts.