Liverpool Masonic Hall in Hope Street was the venue for the installation meeting of Old Masonians West Lancashire Lodge No 7702 in November 2023. In attendance was Assistant Provincial Grand Master John James and representing the group was Dave Johnson, Liverpool Group Chairman, and two acting Provincial grand officers were also in attendance; Ray Parr and Mark Lawrence.
The lodge was opened to the third degree and the senior visiting officers processed in to be warmly welcomed by the WM Samuel Jackson. The master elect, Andrew Maxwell, was presented before the lodge and the ceremony of installation got under way. Samuel conducted the ceremony with great dignity and sincerity placing Andrew into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient tradition before a board of installed masters.
Upon the closing of the board of installed masters, Andrew Ridal, as lodge director of ceremonies, took up the floor work with a commanding performance. He welcomed master Masons back into the temple and Alan Flavell presented the third degree tools unprompted.
On admittance of the fellow crafts, Andrew Smith did an excellent job of presenting the second degree tools. With the entered apprentices making their entrance the first degree tools were flawlessly presented by Keith Cole.
The address to the WM Andrew Maxwell was given by Keith Birch, the address to the wardens was given by Robb Fitzsimmons and the address to the brethren of the lodge was given by John James. John later rose, at the conclusion of the installation ceremony, to bring the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews.
Cheques to the value of £500, for the benefit of 4 local charities, were presented to John who in return thanked the brethren for their generosity. The visiting officers then retired and the lodge was subsequently, duly and solemnly closed.
The brethren retired for a sumptuous festive board which was held in a most convivial atmosphere with much jollity, suitably mixed with respectful formality. During his response to toast number three, John James spoke of the importance of recruitment, however he was keen to observe that the lodge currently has two master Masons, three fellow crafts and five entered apprentices; evidence that they have obviously embraced the values of recruiting the right people.
He also spoke of the plans within the Province to encourage early exaltation into the Royal Arch and encouraged brethren to join a chapter as soon as they are eligible. He asked brethren to be vigilant to the needs of others, especially those within our own lodges.
David Massam treated everybody to an excellent rendition of the Master’s Song, receiving great applause for his sterling efforts.
The WM, Andrew Maxwell, presented both John James and Dave Johnson with a beautiful oasis of flowers each to take home to their respective wives. The lodge tyler, John Hibbert, brought the proceeding to an end with his own inimitable presentation of the tyler’s toast rounding off a superb evening.