James joins with a smile

The members of Marquis of Lorne Lodge No 1354 assembled to initiate their most recent candidate James Beswick. James, 25 years old, resides in Atherton and is a Customer Service Executive.

Ian Fairhurst (left) with James.

Ian Fairhurst (left) with James.

The worshipful master Ian Fairhurst commented that he had not performed a first degree ceremony since 1985, the last time that he had been in the chair. Ian still remembers how to open though, and with the assistance of his wardens Andrew Hardman and David Ingham opened the lodge in the first degree. Following confirmation of the previous meetings minutes the brethren balloted for the admittance of James into the lodge. The ballot being found in favour, James was presented to the lodge members properly prepared.

Ian guided the formidable team through the ceremony in a most sincere fashion. David Phillips the acting junior deacon did a splendid job assisting and guiding James throughout the ceremony considering that he had only 30 minutes notice to prepare due to the present junior deacon being stuck at work. James progressed around the lodge with a huge smile on his face and replied to all questions with excellent clarity and confidence. His nature so infectious, he brought a smile to everyone’s face. Andrew Hardman, the Leigh Group mentor then presented James with the distinguishing badge of a Mason; the long version, which is not seen all that often. Shortly after being addressed by Ian at the North East corner, the working tools of the degree were presented and morally explained by Andrew. James was then allowed to retire from the lodge in order to restore his personal comforts and upon his return the brethren of the lodge gathered in a circle of brotherhood to present to James the charge after initiation.

James with his proposer Alan Jones (left) and seconder Aiden Murphy.

James with his proposer Alan Jones (left) and seconder Aiden Murphy.

The remaining business on the summons concluded, the lodge was then closed in due form allowing the members and guests to retire to the social board, that they may enjoy the fine fayre and excellent company. Alan Jones, assistant director of ceremonies, warmly proposed the toast to the candidate, to which James responded, with his now characteristic huge smile and confidence, by thanking the brethren for the obvious hard work that the team had put in and stated that he hoped he would be an asset and a valuable member to this auspicious lodge.

The evening drawing to close, it was all too soon that Ray Unsworth was called upon to give the final toast, signaling the end of a wonderful and happy evening for James, the lodge members and their guests.

Article and Photographs by Wayne Barnes.

Members of the lodge performing the “circle of brotherhood”.

Members of the lodge performing the “circle of brotherhood”.

Article and Photographs by Wayne Barnes.