Over 80 members and guests of Mersey Valley Lodge of Installed Masters No 9057 met in the McCausland Suite at Widnes Masonic Hall to witness the installation of Lewis Redhead and were honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent.
Master of the lodge Andrew Hardman welcomed everyone and after the usual lodge business was completed he opened the lodge up to the third degree. The lodge director of ceremonies Colin Gleave entered the lodge to announce that Tony Bent stood without and demanded admission. Andrew responded by saying he would be pleased to receive him.
Tony was admitted into the lodge accompanied by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Dennis Rudd and other distinguished grand officers, acting Provincial officers and the Widnes Group Chairman Neil Pedder. Andrew gave Tony a warm welcome and trusted that he would have an enjoyable evening. As is the usual custom Andrew offered Tony the gavel which he swiftly returned. Salutations were given to Tony, grand and Provincial officers.
The lodge was resumed in the second degree. Neil Pedder presented Lewis Redhead as master elect. The lodge was raised to the third degree and declared a board of installed masters. Andrew installed Lewis into the chair of King Solomon in a faultless and dignified manner. Lewis was declared master, with the working tools of the three degrees given by the immediate past master Andrew Hardman.
The newly installed master received the traditional address to the master from Neil Pedder. John Gibbon gave the address to the wardens and the address to the brethren was given by Tony Bent. Lewis then invested his officers for the ensuing year.
The ceremony of installation being completed, Tony rose to convey the good wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison who hoped Lewis, his officers and brethren would have a happy and eventful Masonic year. Tony continued by saying that if Tony had been present he would have congratulated the installing master and officers for an excellent ceremony.
Lewis then had a pleasant duty to perform by presenting a cheque to Tony for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity of £500 and a cheque to Widnes Masonic Hall for £100.
After communications from grand lodge, director of ceremonies Ian Halsall formed the procession for Tony and grand officers to retire. The lodge was then duly closed.
The brethren retired to the Alan Locke Suite to partake of a meal of pâté, chicken in mushroom sauce, potatoes with seasonal vegetables and fresh fruit and ice cream, all served with wine and followed by tea or coffee and mints.
In response to the toast to his health Tony rose to personally wish Lewis a happy and successful year and to congratulate Andrew on the excellent way he had conducted the ceremony. He also complimented the lodge’s director of ceremonies Colin and all those brethren who took part in the way they conducted themselves during the ceremony. He then gave a summary of the formation of the Mersey Valley Lodge of Installed Masters which received its warrant 34 years ago in September 1982. He asked the members to approach any past masters in their lodges, who are not members of Mersey Valley, to consider joining. He also spoke about the many events that are taking place in the tercentenary year throughout the Province, all of which can be found on the Provincial website.
Neil Pedder proposed the toast to the newly installed master Lewis, assuring the members that the lodge was in safe hands. Lewis responded by thanking Neil for his kind words and said he was honoured to be master of this distinguished lodge and was looking forward to working with the officers of the lodge in his term as master.
Article written by Peter Carter.