Dr Jim Bates was installed as master in excellent fashion and in some style by installing master Rob Burgess at Cecil Lodge No 3274, ably assisted by members of the lodge. The ceremony was held at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool in the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews.
Regrettably, the number attending had been reduced from that expected due to several members proving positive for COVID, but for the 25 who did attend, they were witness to a wonderful ceremony that was conducted with solemnity when required but tempered by good humour when allowed. Every officer played their part well and the three master Masons, Philip Osbourne, Ian Knowles and Shaun Sutton, who presented the working tools of each degree did so to their complete credit.
Unfortunately, it was thought that the wardens would have to go without being addressed as the member allocated to present it was absent, having proven positive for COVID that morning. That was the cue for Mark Matthews to stand and volunteer to give the address himself – an offer that was immediately accepted. He then gave a flawless presentation of the address to the wardens, much to the great appreciation of all present and was then immediately escorted to his position by director of ceremonies John Reynolds to give the address to the brethren of the lodge – equally flawlessly. The new master of the lodge Dr Jim Bates thanked him and echoed the appreciation of all present.
After conveying the greetings and congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master, Mark was presented with an extremely generous cheque for £1,000 in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity Appeal for Ukraine. Mark thanked him and the brethren of Cecil Lodge for their very kind generosity on behalf of the eventual recipients of this substantial donation.
After the meeting, the brethren enjoyed the generous hospitality typically offered by Cecil Lodge of refreshments and an excellent meal. The warmth of the welcome, the quality of the ceremony, the plentiful refreshments, the good humour of all present and the happy atmosphere was indeed just what the doctor ordered!
Dr Jim Bates, WM of Cecil Lodge had a perfect start to his year in office and was just what the doctor had prescribed!