The installation Meeting of King David lodge No 7256, meeting at Childwall Synagogue, was honoured by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, James Anthony Harrison, who was attending this lodge for the very first time since his appointment. Tony was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Derek Parkinson. The reason for their attendance was to witness and enjoy the installation of the master elect, Colin Higginson, who, just seven days previously had been appointed as a steward in Adelphi Lodge No 6819 on the same evening that he became a joining member.
Worshipful master, Russell Start with the assistance of his wardens, Colin Higginson and Phil Sorsky, opened the lodge at 4.30 pm prompt. Following confirmation of minutes and elections of group representative, auditors and members for the charity committee, the lodge opened in the second and third degrees.
Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp was admitted and announced that the Provincial Grand Master was without and demanded admission. The brethren stood to admit Tony Harrison, Derek Parkinson, Bill Culshaw, Gladstone Group Chairman, together with other grand and acting Provincial grand lodge officers.
Greeting Tony, Russell offered him the gavel which Tony politely returned to a dismayed Russell. The PrGDC Keith Kemp, called the brethren to order to salute Tony, Derek and grand and Provincial grand lodge officers in turn. Their response was to thank the brethren and greet them well. Russell then requested John Lee, to act as installing senior warden, Jonathon Heaton to act as installing junior warden and Howard Dickson to act as installing inner guard. Russell then requested Steve Kayne, lodge secretary, to occupy the master’s chair as installing master for the ceremony of installation.
Steve, an expert ritualist, was delighted to accept and adjourned the master Mason’s lodge and labour was resumed in the second degree, whereupon Colin was then presented as master elect by Phil Sorsky and Graham Dunn. Colin affirmed the ancient charges and regulations read by the acting secretary.
In front of the master’s pedestal, Colin repeated the obligation of master elect in a perfect and sincere manner. Fellowcraft retired and labour resumed in the third degree, when only installed masters were present. A board of installed masters was declared. Colin was then installed by Steve in a manner that can only be described as faultless and sincere. Colin was saluted by the past masters and then invested Russell as his IPM. Colin was saluted by master Masons, Fellowcrafts and Entered Apprentices in turn.
The working tools of the third degree were presented by Graham Dunn, the second degree by Paul Rattigan and the first degree by Robert Beaver. Colin then appointed his officers for the ensuing year. Phil Sorsky as senior warden and Gerald Norton as junior warden. Malcolm Povlo was re-appointed as DC and completed the work on the floor. The address to the worshipful master was perfectly delivered by the installing master, Steve and that to the wardens by John and to the brethren by the principal guest PrGM Tony.
At the conclusion of the ceremony of installation, Tony rose to congratulate Colin as the newest ruler in the Province and wished him health and happiness in his year in office. Tony also congratulated Steve for his excellent work and Russell as IPM. He also congratulated all the brethren who took part in this faultless ceremony and all the newly appointed officers. Colin then delighted in rising to perform his first duty, presenting two cheques. £1,000 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £1,000 made payable to the MCF 2021 Festival. Tony thanked Colin and all the members of King David Lodge for their generosity. Loud applause then followed. After the first rising, Keith called the acting Provincial officers to form in procession whilst Tony and the principal guests retired to enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
Whilst Tony and the rest of the guests chatted in an anti-room, members of the lodge moved the lodge furniture back into storage then assisted in setting out the tables, chairs and cutlery in the same space used for the lodge meeting. More than eighty members and guests then took their places to enjoy a fine meal accompanied by a choice of wine finished off with a tot of whisky
The toast to grand lodge officers was coupled with the name of Derek Parkinson who ended his response by proposing the next toast to the PrGM, Tony Harrison. Tony, of course responded in his usual gentle affirmative manner. He again congratulated the new worshipful master, officers and brethren of the lodge on their work in the temple. He spoke of the MCF 2021 Festival as he had noticed how many present were already wearing their jewels with pride. Tony also reminded everyone to both watch and spread the word to family and friends, about the Sky TV documentary, ‘Inside the Freemasons’. The first of five episodes will be shown on Monday 17 April at 9.00pm.Tony also made a point of mentioning retiring almoner, Gerald Goodman, the longest serving officer in the lodge. George had held the office of almoner for over thirty years but had reluctantly finally retired.
The toast to the WM was given by Russell Start who had proposed Colin into King David Lodge in 2011. He delighted in telling the brethren how they met, together with background on his family and hobbies. One of which was the brave and crazy pastime of skydiving. Having made over 500 dives from a perfectly good aeroplane quipped Russell. Following the master’s song, Colin responded to his toast by giving away a few secrets about Russell which was received in good humour. The principal guests then retired and the toast to the guests proposed by Dr Mike Rosen. The members and guests were entertained by two responses, the first from Simon Medland who requested those of a sensitive nature to cover their ears whilst he told his ditty. It was not in the least too sensitive, in fact, the assembled audience rocked with laughter throughout. The second guest to respond, Andy Clarke, was just as entertaining; however, he did ask the DC, Malcolm, ‘how was he expected to follow that’?
As the night was waning fast, it was all too soon to call upon the tyler, David Jones, to give the last toast of the evening. The end of a perfect and memorable one for Colin, the members and their guests.
Article and photographs by Phil Marshall.