Due to the unexpected and sad loss of the master elect of Imperial Sefton Lodge No 680, Robert Surridge, an emergency meeting was called to select a new master elect. Lodge member Steve Kayne was willing and able. Steve who had on a previous occasion, occupied the master’s chair in two other lodges, King David and Lodge of Israel, was the obvious choice and supported by the lodge members.
Members and guests of Imperial Sefton Lodge were treated to a delightful and unique ceremony which took place at The Artist Club, Eberle Street, Liverpool. The principal guest was Assistant Provincial Grand Master, David Grainger. David had travelled from the north accompanied by three acting Provincial Officers, together with four acting officers in the Gladstone group. He was accompanied by grand lodge officers David Anderton, Sam Robinson, Bill Henshaw, David Hilliard and Paul Shepherd. David was also accompanied by acting Provincial officers Patrick Kent, Ian Walton, Ian Thompson and Provincial stewards, Paul Storrar, Chris Larder, Chris Gray and Matt Casson.
Prior to opening the lodge, members and guests enjoyed a quality selection of “nibbles” including smoked salmon and prawns accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine keeping to tradition. The lodge was opened by installing master, James Turnbull. Sadly, there were two eulogies to be given. The first delivered by Paul Shepherd in tribute to Ian Alistair Fisher who passed away after a long illness. It was both dignified and humorous which befitted his Masonic and private life concisely.
The second eulogy given by Richard Moose, who was proposed into Imperial Sefton Lodge by his friend and colleague, Robert Surridge, who had previously been balloted for as master elect. Therefore, Robert should have been thas evening, enjoying his installation into the chair just five years after his initiation. The brethren stood in respect of departed merit.
The lodge was then opened in the second degree and David Grainger was saluted five times with fellowcraft honours. David thanked the brethren and greeted them well. James requested David Hawkes to occupy the senior warden’s chair for the ceremony of installation, Derek Elston to occupy the junior warden’s chair and Stewart Potter to act as inner guard. David Hawkes then presented Steve as master elect. Steve advanced to the pedestal and repeated his obligation in a word perfect manner.
James installed Steve into the chair of King Solomon in a dignified and sincere manner. Ernie Waites conducted the ceremony adding his own brand of humour without detracting from the meaning of the ceremony. Steve was saluted by brethren representing master Masons, fellowcraft and entered apprentices in turn. The working tools in all three degrees were presented and explained by Ernie. Steve then appointed his officers for the ensuing year.
The address to the worshipful master was given by Tim Burgess, that to the wardens by Ernie Waites, that to the brethren by John Ryan and that to the deacons by Bill Culshaw. All of the addresses were perfectly delivered with obvious sincerity.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, David took his cue to rise and convey the congratulations of the PrGM, Tony Harrison. David said that had Tony been present, he would have also congratulated James as installing master and all the officers who had assisted in this fine ceremony. Steve then took great pleasure in presenting two cheques to David, £680 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £680 to the MCF 2021 Festival. David thanked the brethren of Imperial Sefton Lodge for their kind generosity.
As the meeting was deemed as an emergency one, there were no risings. The lodge was then closed in due form and perfect harmony. The festive board was preceded by a gin and tonic at the bar. An excellent meal was then served with an ample supply of wine. Snuff and a measure of port accompanied the cheese board. David responded to the toast to grand lodge by including congratulations to members of Imperial Sefton who were recently informed of Provincial honours, Patrick Kent PrDGReg and Derek Elston PPrSGW. The brethren showed their approval by banging their firing glasses onto the stone tile provided in a raucous manner.
A sincere and humorous toast to the visitors was given by Les Byron and the response given by David Anderton who took the opportunity to rib his good friend, Ernie. As the night was waning fast, the tyler’s toast was the short version, proposed by John Hibbard who earlier that evening had been re-appointed as tyler. The brethren then departed on their separate ways, the end of a wonderful and most memorable evening.
Article and photographs by Phil Marshall.