It was a very full lodge room at Garston Masonic Hall with members and guests of Excelsior Lodge No 3580 that included visitors from as far afield as Leicester and Nottingham that met to celebrate the installation of Philip Brown into the chair of King Solomon in Excelsior Lodge.
The lodge was opened by the WM Peter Ryder and his officers and it was of particular delight to see entered apprentices, fellowcrafts, master Masons, Provincial and grand officers seated in expectation of the evenings events. At the commencement of the meeting, Gary Jones ADC of the lodge presented two brethren who had enjoyed promotion and appointment at the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge. Alan McCluskey being promoted to PPrGSuptWrks and Rob Jones appointed PPrSGD.
The time came for the formal business of the evening and the WM asked that Rob assist him by occupying the senior warden’s chair, Alan to occupy the junior warden’s chair and Terry Willis occupy the position of inner guard for the ceremony of installation.
Lodge DC Dave Atkinson then retired to prepare for the introduction into the lodge of Roy Pyne, the personal representative of the PrGM Tony Harrison, accompanied by grand officers Howard Griffiths (Garston Group Chairman), Sam Robinson, Roy Pyne, and Andrew Whittle, who were duly admitted into the lodge.
The WM called for the presenting officers and Peter Roberts and Keith Williams stood to collect and present Philip. Keith being Philips’ proposer and father-in-law and who was later to deliver a heartfelt address to the new WM. What followed was a ceremony worthy of Excelsior Lodge and the journey of some 120 miles undertaken by long serving lodge member Bill Roberts and his many friends who accompanied him from the Leicester and Nottingham area.
From the moment Philip took the chair it was clear to all that Excelsior Lodge can look forward to a wonderful year under his stewardship and in appointing the new officers he had a personal word of thanks for each and every brother. Of particular enjoyment was the fact the all three principal officers, Philip, Carl Garside SW and Ian Goodman JW are all ‘light blues’ and experiencing their respective roles for the first time.
Whilst the work of everyone who took part in the proceedings should be congratulated, worthy of special mention were three young brethren Dan Walsh, Adam McGee and Rob Jones who respectively made the presentations of the third, second and first degree working tools.
As is the custom at the conclusion of the various addresses, Roy as the representative stood to offer the congratulations of the PrGM to the new WM expressing the particular wish of the PrGM that Philip enjoy his year in office. He also took the opportunity to congratulate Peter Ryder and Dave Atkinson for their respective roles in ensuring the success of the evening, as well as making special mention of the three brethren who presented the working tools.
Philip was then pleased to present two cheques to Roy, one in the sum of £250 in support of the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and the second, also for £250, in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. On behalf of those who will benefit from these donations Roy thanked the lodge members for their generosity.
The remaining business of the evening was then conducted and the brethren retired, firstly in the tradition unique to West Lancashire, by toasting the health of the new WM and then to enjoy a splendid festive board where a bumper raffle raised a further sum of over £300 in support of the charities.