At its installation meeting, Greenhill Lodge No 6260 seemed to be looking backwards and forwards at the same time. Like many lodges, the pandemic laid rest to plans that would have seen Steve Gerrard take the chair.
A veteran leader, Steve had already served as master three times in other lodges and the members of Greenhill Lodge were looking forward to enjoying a season in his steady hands.
Greenhill Lodge had good cause to celebrate this as Steve’s tenure marked the last season before the floor would have been awash with ‘light blue’; the start, some might say, of the next chapter of the lodge. A well-renowned ritualist, Steve had to sit tight as the lodge’s members spent the best part of the next two years talking to each other through computer screens.
Ever patient, Steve was finally installed by the outgoing master Garry Hacking. And what an installation it was! Steve is also a member of Leigh Lodge No 4744 and brought with him a gaggle of visitors to enjoy the proceedings, which brought some energy to the event and made for a more memorable evening. Freemasonry is, among many other things, a place to meet new people and Steve’s ability to bridge that gap is an asset to both lodges; one which the lodge hopes to exploit in the future.
Adding some panache to the celebrations, Danny Whittaker, Randy Ekakite and Mike Brockbank delivered the explanations of the working tools as though they were reciting Shakespearean sonnets. This was picked up on by Peter Allen, the Chorley and Leyland Group Chairman and the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, as being one of the best renditions of the working tools he had ever heard.
Peter was then presented with four cheques as charity donations, they were for; Rowan Tree Special Needs Primary School, Wigan and Leigh Hospice, West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and Derian House, which are in addition to the previous lodge donations to the Ukrainian Appeal and Chorley and Leyland Foodbank. Peter remarked how a small lodge like Greenhill is committed to giving to charity and this was felt keenly by its members.
After the formal lodge meeting, the festive board proved to be an energetic affair with conversation and laughter permeating the evening, helped in no small part by the junior warden’s apparent reluctance to wield his gavel!
Immediate past master Garry Hacking gave a touching and sincere toast to Steve as the new master, before switching to his charity steward’s hat and extricating hard-earned cash for the raffle out of everyone he could find!
The installation is a good point in the year on which to reflect on the previous season and renew optimism for the next. But this was more than that. After three years the lodge got to finally put Steve in the chair as a mark of the respect the lodge holds for him.
It was an opportunity to go back to the past, to what was meant to be, and show that with enough patience good things come to those who wait. Now it’s on to the future and an exciting one at Greenhill Lodge with a floor full of new members, keen to continue the legacy of this great lodge. Why would anyone want to be anywhere else?