Lots of work, play and ‘penalties’ at Morecambe

It could be said that for the members of most lodges, on the occasion of their ‘Old English Night’, the temptation is strong to keep the business part of their meeting to a minimum and ensure an early arrival in the dining room for the ‘fun and games’. For Morecambe Lodge No 1561 this was not an option, as they have a very healthy number of candidates and degree ceremonies are requisite at every meeting this year. As a consequence, their annual ‘Old English Night’ was preceded by a third degree ceremony which saw George Howling raised to the degree of a master Mason by past master Ronnie Gibson in excellent fashion. Another past master, Tony Boswell, then eloquently presented the traditional history, together with an explanation of the working tools.

The ‘fines master’ Nick Baxter (left) pictured with the lodge’s newest master Mason George Howling.

The ‘fines master’ Nick Baxter (left) pictured with the lodge’s newest master Mason George Howling.

On adjournment to the dining room, the ‘fines master’ appointed to inflict varying degrees of fiscal penalty and pain on the attendees was senior warden Nick Baxter, who took what could possibly be interpreted as an unhealthy delight in extracting money from his victims. No-one was safe from his untender ministrations. Even the visitors from Lodge of Unanimity No 339 (Cumberland & Westmorland) who were making their annual fraternal visit were reduced to having to; allegedly borrow their bus fare for the return journey to Penrith! In particular, he ‘zeroed in’ on the WM of Morecambe Lodge Stewart Aimson, citing his vacation of the master’s chair not only in the lodge but also at the meal on the odd occasion, as sufficient reason for imposing frequent penalties. Realising the futility of any appeal, Stewart paid up with good grace.

The evening’s menu was once again guaranteed to make a dietician hand in their calorie calculator. A whole black pudding with carrot and turnip mash led the assault, followed by chunky steak pie, mash and peas, with the final digestive barrage arriving in the form of a well-stocked cheese platter. The evening’s entertainment was provided in the form of a monologue given by George Fox followed by some excellent songs and guitar work from Nigel Parrish.

In his closing remarks, Stewart Aimson thanked all who had attended and expressed particular gratitude for their generosity that had resulted in the raffle raising £217. As is proving to be a regular conclusion at this event, the brethren left heavier in the waistline but lighter in the pocket!

Stewart Aimson (centre) awaiting news of his next ‘penalty’ from the ‘fines master’.

Stewart Aimson (centre) awaiting news of his next ‘penalty’ from the ‘fines master’.