Brethren of Merchants’ Lodge No 241 held their installation meeting in the Adams Suite of Liverpool Masonic Hall. This lodge was founded on 25 March 1780 and is the oldest lodge in the Liverpool Group being in existence for 243 years. The lodge was delighted to welcome Sam Robinson as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and Dave Johnson the Liverpool Group Chairman.
Unfortunately, the brother due to be installed into the chair of King Solomon was unable to commit himself to this appointment due to ill health. With just two weeks to go before the ceremony Ray Fitzsimmons stepped into the breach and volunteered to become the master of the lodge for the ensuing year. An emergency lodge meeting was held, by dispensation, and the brethren unanimously balloted for Ray to become master elect.
The lodge has a very proud history of presenting a high standard of ritual and that was very much in evidence on this occasion. With Ray due to be installed, acting immediate past master Glyn Pyne took on the ceremony of installation. From start to finish he gave an exemplary display of the ritual which was a joy to witness.
Neil Francis presented the third degree tools, Glyn Pyne presented the second degree tools and the first degree tools in fine style. Dave Johnson delivered the address to the master, Neil Francis delivered the address to the wardens and Sam Robinson the address to the brethren of the lodge.
The lodge is blessed with a good number of enthusiastic junior brethren, and they are all keen to progress on the lodge ladder. Indeed, from inner guard to senior warden, each position is filled by a light blue. The future looks very bright for Merchants’ Lodge and the brethren are already planning for their 250th anniversary celebrations.
At the end of the installation ceremony, Sam rose to congratulate the newly installed master on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and wished him well for the forthcoming year. Sam was then presented with cheques for £250 to the Seafarers’ Association (a charity with special meaning to the Port of Liverpool) and £500 to the St Andrew’s Foodbank Appeal.
Following the closure of the lodge, the brethren retired for a superb festive board of fresh pate and salad, lamb roast, cheesecake and cream. The master was heartily serenaded with the Master’s Song by all present. Sam, during his response to his toast, thanked the WM and brethren for the beautiful oasis of flowers delivered to his home earlier that day. Dave Johnson was presented with a fine bottle of red wine which he assured everybody would be enjoyed, together with his wife, at a most suitable time!
The proceedings were brought a close by the lodge tyler David Jones, with the customary tyler’s toast ending what was yet another superb installation ceremony in this lodge’s long and very proud history.