A packed Corinthian Suite at Liverpool Masonic Hall saw Phil Clements installed as a ‘first time master’ into the chair of King Solomon at the installation meeting of Downshire Lodge No 594.
With the lodge being opened by the WM Len Farrell and the general business being completed the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp informed the WM that the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison was outside the lodge and demanded admission. The subsequent entry procession was a wonderful visual spectacle with Tony’s entry being preceded by a substantial escort of grand and acting Provincial grand officers.
Accompanying Tony were grand officers Mark Dimelow APrGM, with Bill Merry, Henry Norcott, Paul Shepherd, Sam Robinson, David Hawkes, Barry Elman, Laurie Scott, Derek Hughson, Liverpool Group Chairman Robert Povall and group vice chairman David Johnson. Acting Provincial grand officers were Michael Threlfall PrSGW, Peter Schofield PrJGW, Keith Kemp PrGDC, Mark Barton PrDGDC and Andrew Beddeson PrGStwd.
The WM gave Tony a very warm welcome and also proffered him the gavel of the lodge, which was received with equal sincerity. The offer of the gavel saw a particularly brief acceptance as Tony stated emphatically with a broad smile that he was here to have a pleasant evening and wouldn’t dream of depriving Len and his fellow brethren within the lodge the opportunity of displaying the efforts of all their hard work.
For the purpose of installation Mike Threlfall was asked to occupy the chair of senior warden, Peter Schofield that of junior warden and IPM Terry Longworth took his position as installing master. The master elect Phil Clements was presented to Terry by Peter Francis and Colin Harrop and he was asked the usual questions before being installed into the chair of King Solomon in an excellent ceremony very ably assisted by the officers of the lodge.
All of the brethren were then admitted by rank and Phil was proclaimed the master for the ensuing year by the lodge DC Alan Riddell, with Colin Harrop presenting the third degree working tools. The second degree working tools were presented in fine style by secretary Paul Copeland and those of the first degree by Colin again, all performed in an excellent manner.
Phil’s first task was then to install his officers and he took great delight in presenting Len Farrell with his past master’s jewel and the rest of his officers with their respective collars. The address to the senior warden Adrian McLoughlin was given by Mike Threlfall, the address to the junior warden Len Farrell by Peter Schofield, while Bill Allen gave the address to the inner guard Alex Gould.
The addresses, first to the stewards and then to the worshipful master were then given in an excellent manner by Geoffrey Gill, followed by Peter Schofield addressing the two wardens. The final the address, that to the brethren of the lodge, was delivered by the distinguished guest Tony Harrison.
At the completion of the ceremony Tony congratulated Phil Clements on being installed into the master’s chair in what he said was a very enjoyable ceremony. He also made a point of congratulating the installing master, Terry Longworth, together with those brethren who had delivered such an excellent rendition of the working tools. In response, Phil Clements presented Tony with a number of cheques to the total of £1,100, as donations to charity from the brethren of Downshire Lodge. The worthy recipients receiving being £500 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £150 to Friends of Tithebarn, £150 to Marie Curie, £150 to Henshaw’s (blind society) and £150 to Liverpool Masonic Hall.
The procedure complete, Tony Harrison and his entourage processed out of the lodge room in a most colourful and dignified manner. The brethren then adjourned to a well-earned festive board.
During the course of the evening special mention was made regarding three people in attendance. Firstly to Sam Robinson, who had received an appointment in Royal Arch Masonry as Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, with special responsibility for four of the groups in the Liverpool area, Bootle, Garston, Gladstone and Woolton, a total of 16 chapters. The announcement of the appointments of Robert Povall as Chairman of Liverpool Group and Dave Johnson as Vice Chairman of Liverpool Group was also met with warm acclamation.