The Imperial Sefton Lodge No 680 meets in the Artists Club, Eberle Street, Liverpool. It is an old lodge which in an amalgamation of Sefton Lodge No 680 and Imperial Lodge No 2711 on 8 December 2004. The lodge first obtaining it’s warrant in June of 1856. The lodge had the honour of being one of the heralds at the investiture of the Provincial Grand Master, Mark Matthews, an honour which was bestowed upon Alan Riley.
The lodge was opened by its master Tim Burgess, assisted by his senior warden, Andrew Thompson and deputising as junior warden John Ryan, with director of ceremonies David Boyes ensuring all was carried out in the accepted manner. Having opened the lodge, the next order of business was an announced, which was to ballot for a re-joining member Steve Kayne. The ballot proved unanimous and Steve was admitted. Tim announced that the lodge was delighted to receive him as a joining member, to which Steve replied, he was honoured and privileged to be admitted a member of the lodge. Steve then requested leave of the lodge to attend as a member of the procession to be admitted later.
The lodge was then opened in fine form in the second and third degrees, when in response to a report, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Gary Smith was admitted and announced that the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews stood without and demanded admission. Tim remarked that he would be delighted to receive him.
All stood whilst the procession entered the lodge, consisting of Provincial deacons, Richard McHale and David Newland, who were beacons of decorum, Provincial Junior Grand Warden Sylvester During, Provincial Senior Grand Warden Chris Taylor, Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, Assistant Provincial Grand Master John James, Gladstone Group Chairman Paul Storrar and vice chairman Matt Casson, accompanied by grand officer Steve Kayne.
WM, Tim Burgess formally welcomed Mark and the distinguished guests to the lodge, and as it is his right, proffered the gavel of the lodge to Mark. Mark accepted the gavel and thanking Tim and the lodge for his kind welcome and said that he was looking forward to the installation ceremony and on this occasion was content to watch the proceedings.
Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Gary Smith then attended to the matter of the necessary salutations, to the Provincial Grand Master and grand officers. Assisted by director of ceremonies David Boyes, who attended to the salutations to Provincial grand officers. Tim, having been directed to continue the installation ceremony, requested would Provincial Senior Grand Warden Chris Taylor honour the lodge and occupy the chair of senior warden. Tim then requested if Provincial Junior Grand Warden Sylvester, would honour the lodge and occupy the chair of junior warden. Both brethren assented and the lodge was resumed in the second degree.
Steve Kayne then arose and presented Andrew Thompson as master elect of the lodge for the benefit of installation. Andrew was conducted to the master’s pedestal and recited his obligation as master elect in a perfect and sincere manner. Having ascertained from the junior warden Sylvester, that all those present were of the rank of an installed master, a board of installed masters was declared.
Tim was superb in his manner of installing Andrew into the chair of King Solomon and it was a pleasure to observe a ceremony completed so well. Having been installed, he invested Tim as his Immediate past master, the board of installed masters was closed and Andrew requested that master Masons be admitted.
David Boyes, having admitted master Masons, demonstrated and delivered the necessary salutations of that degree, finishing by orating the working tools of a master Mason. This was repeated by David with the admission of fellow crafts and necessary salutations of that degree to a newly installed master, followed by delivery of the working tools. Finally, David admitted entered apprentices and this time delivered the salutations of that degree, followed by hand clapping of the lodge number. In this instance the last number of the lodge is zero, so David described a zero, by intimating the drawing of a circle to represent the zero, much to the amusement of the lodge member and guests, a very unique salutation indeed. Again, David orated the working tools of an entered apprentice, a splendid display of ritual prowess.
It was then time for the installation of officers of the lodge. David Boyes, was installed as senior warden of the lodge, with the collar address given by the Provincial Senior Grand Warden Chris Taylor. As David was director of ceremonies, Alan Riley swiftly deputised as senior warden so that David could continue his duties. John Ryan then deputised for the chair of junior warden and swapped positions with Provincial Junior Grand warden Sylvester.
Newly re-admitted member Steve Kayne was then invested as director of ceremonies and continued the investment of officers of the lodge. Oliver Kent, son of lodge treasurer and Gladstone Group Secretary Patrick Kent, was invested as inner guard, with the address to him delivered by Patrick. Finally, affectionately known as ‘The tyler’, Paul Harford was duly installed as tyler of the lodge.
John Ryan then rose and gave a sincere address to the newly installed master Andrew, swiftly followed by the address to the brethren of the lodge by Steve Kayne, both impressively delivered. Following the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Mark rose to congratulate newly installed master Andrew, thanking Tim Burgess and David Boyes for their part in the installation and all of those who had a part to play. Andrew then presented Mark with a cheque to honour the charities, the donation of a magnificent sum of £680 to the West Lancs Freemasons’ Charity, Mark thanked the lodge brethren for their generosity.
The lodge business being duly completed the members and guests retired to the sumptuous dining rooms, which are wooden panelled and decorated with individual portraits of the past presidents of the Artists Club. Having obtained liquid refreshments from the bar, the guests and brethren were invited to take their seats in the dining room and enjoy a fine dining experience.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master John James, led the toast to the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, saying what an honour and privilege it was to have Mark attend the installation meeting of Imperial Sefton Lodge. John further explained to the assembled brethren the experience and knowledge that Mark brings to West Lancashire Freemasonry and that since taking office, Mark has been extremely busy around the Province. The lodge firing glasses being used to maximum effect in response to John’s toast.
Mark responded to the toast proposed by John, and thanked all of the Provincial team and acting officers in attending the ceremony and supporting his visit. He congratulated new master Andrew, wishing him well for the ensuing year and remarking that he hoped that everyone enjoys their freemasonry, and the lodge firing glasses were again resounding with applause for Mark.
Immediate past master Tim, then rose with a toast to the master Andrew that was lovely to hear and obviously meant a lot to Andrew. When it was Andrew’s turn to respond, he stated that it wasn’t often he was lost for words, but on this occasion, words failed to describe his appreciation of Tim’s toast to him, proclaiming that he was looking forward to his year and fulfilling his duties to the lodge in general and to the satisfaction of himself in particular.
Provincial Junior Grand Warden Sylvester During gave a toast to the guests, explaining the virtues of Freemasonry and the notion of brotherhood which was very warmly received and very well applauded. As toasts go it was superb.
Finally, WM Andrew then had a pleasant duty to perform, presenting flowers and gifts to Mark in appreciation of his visit, and also a bottle of vintage port to John James, in recognition of John’s support for the lodge. Both thanked the lodge for their kind gifts. It was all too soon for the final toast of the evening, this time delivered by deputising tyler, Oliver Kent, and the evenings celebrations drew to a close.