The installation meeting of Croxteth United Services Lodge No786 was honoured by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison.
A long time friend and supporter of the lodge, Tony first visited as a master Mason and has managed to attend as a reigning master, Provincial Steward, Provincial Junior Grand Warden, grand officer, Lancaster Group Vice Chairman, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and has just made his first visit since becoming the Provincial Grand Master.
The lodge was opened by the WM John Monkhouse, sadly, his first duty was to ask the brethren to stand in respect of departed merit for Peter Turnbull, a fellow former member of the Scots Guards, the same regiment of which John was a serving officer.
The Provincial director of ceremonies, Keith Kemp, was admitted and announced that the Provincial Grand master was without and demanded admission. John replied that the lodge would be honoured to receive him. Tony Harrison, was admitted accompanied by Derek Parkinson, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Gladstone Group Chairman, Bill Culshaw, Deputy Provincial Grand Secretery, Arend Van Duyvenbode and other acting Provincial officers and grand officers. John formerly welcomed Tony and offered him the gavel which was returned to John with a polite thank you, commenting that he had no doubt that John was more than capable and experienced enough, to install his successor.
John then requested the Provincial Wardens to occupy the wardens chairs for the ceremony of installation, Michael Threlfall and Peter Schofield responded that they would be delighted to assist. John Byron, the senior Grand Lodge Officer of the lodge, presented David Lolley to the WM as master elect. David then repeated the obligation of master elect, He was installed as the WM for the ensuing year.
After investing his predecessor as IPM, the members of the lodge saluted David as the new WM. Master Masons, Fellowcraft then Entered Apprentices were admitted and the working tools in each degree were explained and presented to David.
David then appointed his officers. Paul Hartford as Senior Warden with the pedestal address given by Michael Threlfall, PrSGW. Kevin Schofield as junior warden with the pedestal address given by Peter Schofield, PrJGW. Following all other appointments, The address to the wardens, given by the PrSGW, Michael Threlfall, the address to the Worshipful Master by Brian Blanchfield and the address to the brethren by Tony Harrison.
On being told that the ceremony of installation was complete, Tony rose to formerly congratulate David on his installation into the chair of King Solomon, Tony also congratulated the installing officer, John and all other brethren who had assisted in the ceremony which he said could only be described as faultless.
David thanked Tony and delighted him by presenting three cheques. Tony checked that they were duly signed and announced that they totalled the magnificent sum of £1,136 A cheque for £786 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £250 for the British Kidney Patients Association and £100 for the Friends of Tithebarn. Tony thanked David and the brethren for the generous donations and received the applause of the assembled brethren and visitors alike.
After receiving three propositions, one for a joining member and two for initiates, Tony and the rest of the grand officers retired. David and his team of officers are in for a very busy year.
During the recession between the lodge closing and the festive board, Tony gathered everyone into an adjoining room to toast the new WM of Croxteth United Services Lodge. He also asked the brethren to join him in toasting the installing master, john and the DC, David Youds.
The Festive board at CUS is always a very noisy affair due to drawing most of its members from the armed forces. Traditions used in the Officers Mess are clearly evident by the raucous banging of fireing glasses following wine taking and response to toasts.
The excellent meal provided by the chef at The Artists Club in Eberle Street, Liverpool, included fine wine followed by ‘Passing the Port’, it is passed to the left to fill your glass and must never touch the table until the decanter is empty!
The Toast to the PrGM was given by Derek Parkinson and in his response Tony covered many items of interest including the new Care system which is live from 5 October, The Tercentenary celebration, and finally the reasons behind the move from hope Street, Liverpool of the Provincial office to its new home in Leyland.
The toast to the WM was given by John, IPM. The master’s song was sung by Don Frazer which had everyone joining in with the rousing chorus. In response to the toast, David commented how lucky and proud he was to become master of such a distinguished lodge, just two weeks short of nine years as a member. As he also served in the Royal Navy. He also told the assembled brethren that he had been given an opportunity to join a lodge some 25 years earlier but had declined. Although he had missed out on many years of what turned out to be a most enjoyable and rewarding past time, had he joined another lodge, he would not have enjoyed the company and friendship he has encountered in CUS. He also looked forward to his busy time in the chair and thanked a number of the senior brethren for their help in the past and in anticipation of their help during the next year.
Finally, the newly appointed tyler, Ian McKinnon, gave the tyler’s toast and Tony, who had remained until the end, retired along with all other brethren having enjoyed an evening to remember.