Royal Victoria Lodge No 1013 has held its installation ceremony for 2023 at Liverpool Masonic Hall, Hope Street. The lodge was opened in due form by the WM Tom Kelly and the standing orders of business were dealt with. The knocks at the door precipitated the arrival into the room of the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Robb Fitzsimmons who announced that Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton was present outside. Kevin, who was accompanied by the Chairman of Liverpool Group Dave Johnson, was warmly welcomed into the room and in time given the salutations of his rank.
The ceremony of installation began with the presentation and obligation of master elect Graham Hamilton-Taylor at this the 157th ceremony for the lodge. Graham was not a stranger to the proceedings having been previously installed as master of Royal Victoria Lodge in 1994 and again in 2004. After a very fine ceremony, Graham appointed his officers for the year and several addresses were given. Steve Lee gave the address to the deacons, Bob Gibson and Richard Hignett. Mark Well gave the address to the two new stewards, Jonathon Northover and John England.
Bernie Moran gave the address to the newly installed master, Bob Gibson that to the wardens and in his usual superb manner Kevin Poynton gave the traditional address to all the brethren of Royal Victoria Lodge. With the completion of the ceremony, Kevin extended warm and fraternal greetings to all on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews.
Although no cheques were presented on the night, the charity steward explained how the lodge had already disbursed £900 of charity monies raised by the lodge during the year, at which Kevin thanked the brethren for their charity work. After leaving the lodge room, all moved to the adjacent banqueting suite for the festive board.
At the festive board, the senior warden Jeff Hodge gave the toast to grand officers, which was ably responded to by Kevin Poynton. Kevin first offered congratulations to the newly installed WM Graham Hamilton-Taylor hoping that he, his officers and brethren had a happy, healthy and busy year ahead of them. Obviously although a lot of work was scheduled for the forthcoming year this would not be daunting for the new master who was returning to Royal Victoria’s throne for the third time. A very competent ritualist, Graham had served as WM first in 1994 and again in 2004, and it is believed he is now the longest serving member in Royal Victoria Lodge.
Regarding the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, this will be at Blackpool on 9 May 2023 and Mark Matthews has invited all brethren to attend and support him. Kevin passed on congratulations to the two members of Royal Victoria Lodge who will receive Provincial recognition at Blackpool: promotion to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden for John Leisk and a first appointment to Provincial Grand Sword Bearer for Steve Dovaston.
Craft recruitment and membership of Royal Arch were covered, and Kevin conveyed that the Provincial Grand Master thanks everyone for their efforts during these past few difficult years. Kevin thanked Dave Johnson for accompanying him on the evening with further appreciation was given to Robb Fitzsimmons for all his work in the lodge room, at the festive board and generally over the course of the season in assisting him and other representatives at various events. Kevin expressed how it was the Provincial Grand Master’s sincere wish for all to be happy and enjoy their Freemasonry and that was certainly the case this evening.
The toast to the master was proposed by immediate past master Tom Kelly, to which Graham readily responded. At the end of a tremendous evening a beautiful bouquet of flowers was presented to Kevin for his wife, and a bottle of liquid refreshment for himself. The evening concluded with the tyler’s toast delivered by Bob Gibson.