First degree at Yachtsman’s Lodge

Brethren and guests of Yachtsman’s Lodge No 3698, which incorporates Otterspool Lodge No 6605, met at the Geoffrey Hirst Masonic Suite at Woolton Golf Club, to welcome a new member into Masonry.

Paul Walls (left) being congratulated by WM Simon Quinn.

Paul Andrew Walls had been proposed by his very good friend David Thomas after Paul had attended a number of social functions of the lodge, which convinced him that his decision to join Masonry was the right one. Paul wanted to give something back to society after he had served in the armed forces and eventually had to retire due to an injury.

The lodge director of ceremonies Phil Gambrill called the brethren to order so that the WM and his wardens could take their seats. The WM Simon Quinn, welcomed the brethren and proceeded to open the lodge in due form.

Having dispensed with the usual business, a ballot was called to elect John Hesketh as an honorary member. John has been a Freemason for 65 years having been initiated into Otterspool Lodge in 1952 and joined Yachtsman’s lodge in 2003. Now at the young age of 88 he is not able to attend lodge on his own. The ballot proved unanimously in favour and John’s son, Peter, thanked the members of the lodge on his father’s behalf.

The lodge now balloted for Paul and it too proved unanimously in favour. The secretary and treasurer retired to attend upon the candidate and on their return, they informed the lodge that he had signed the declaration and paid his dues.

At this stage the WM requested Len Jones to occupy the master’s chair for the next part of the ceremony. The candidate was announced and admitted after being prepared by the tyler John Hibbert. The junior deacon was Paul’s proposer and accompanied by the senior deacon David Keay, they escorted Paul into the lodge in due form, where Len carried out an excellent ceremony, one which Paul will remember forever.

Peter Hesketh provided the address to Paul as he stood in the north-east part of the lodge. The junior warden Daniel Crichton, provided the explanation of the first degree working tools and then the senior warden Andrew Jones, provided a sincere charge after initiation. Paul then retired to restore himself to his former comforts and on his return, was congratulated by the WM, who also thanked the members of the lodge who had taken part in the ceremony. Group chairman Andy Whittle, on behalf of the lodge, presented Paul with his gloves, giving him an explanation of their Masonic meaning. The group mentor David Boyes, welcomed Paul into this fine institution, wishing him good luck for the future.

The ceremony of initiation having concluded, the group chairman had great pleasure in presenting the lodge with its vice patron certificate for the MCF 2021 Festival, explaining for Paul’s benefit, the meaning of the festival.

After such a fine evening the brethren retired to the dining room where the festivities continued.

Article and photographs by Colin Roberts

The initiate welcomed by members of the lodge and guests.