Known as Wavertree Gateacre Queensway Lodge No 2294, it has used the phrase ‘Three foundations, one future’ to describe itself since the amalgamation of the three lodges way back in 2002. The annual installation ceremony was held within the Adams Suite at Liverpool’s magnificent Masonic hall on Hope Street.
Brethren of the lodge gave a warm welcome to Bryan Sydney Henshaw, who as their principal guest was the direct representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Bryan, a Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, was accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews, fellow grand officers and David Johnson, Vice Chairman of the Liverpool Group.
The lodge was opened according to the Bottomley workings by the WM Jorge Perez, ably assisted by his wardens and officers. For the purpose of the installation ceremony Mike Winterbottom was invited to occupy the chair of senior warden, Thomas Marlow that of junior warden with Bill Gaywood as inner guard.
Because Jorge was remaining in office for another term it could have been a matter of making a simple proclamation, but however a board of installed masters was opened as in a full ceremony. It was during this that DC Derek Gaskell presented the working tools appertaining to the board. During the perambulations of each degree the working tools of each was presented and explained, those of a master Mason given by Dave Colquhoun, for the fellow craft tools by Darren Crane and for the entered apprentice tools Stuart Virgo.
As to be expected of a well drilled lodge, all the addresses to the newly invested officers were of an equally high standard, to the senior warden by Mike Winterbottom, to the junior warden by Tom Marlow, to the deacons by Bill Kermode, while that to the inner guard was given by Derek Gaskell. This was followed by the address to both the wardens given by Dave Bell and the customary address to the brethren of the lodge was given in fine style by the representative Bryan Henshaw.
On completion of the proclamation ceremony, Bryan then rose to bring the greetings, congratulations and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Bryan said that Tony was well aware that Jorge was remaining in position as WM and wished him and the members of the lodge a happy and healthy year ahead. He then congratulated the DC Derek Gaskell on how the evening had gone so well, the same to the brethren who had presented the working tools of each degree.
In response, Jorge arose and thanked Bryan for the good wishes and on behalf of the lodge members presented Bryan with a charitable donation, by way of a cheque for £200 made out in favour of the West Lancashire Charity, in addition, the lodge also gave £300 for their Tercentenary Jewel. A third cheque was given, which stunned a few present who had not been aware of its planned presentation. This was for £5,480 which had been raised by the WM Jorge Perez with JW and charity steward Steve Crane.
Both are involved in the tattoo industry and have four tattoo studios and a tattoo equipment supply company, so when one of their tattooist approached them and suggested they get involved with the Manchester Tattoo Community, who had launched an appeal called the Manchester Bee Appeal, Steve and Jorge both jumped at the chance. This had been set up to raise funds for the victims and the families of those caught up in the terrorist bombing in May at the Manchester Arena. An appeal by Steve and Jorge was advertised through social media in the Liverpool area and the teams spent two days doing all the work, the general public were fantastic, and a massive £5,480 raised through the inking of the ‘Bee” onto the customers.
On presenting the cheque, Peter Hegarty, who had travelled over from the Province of East Lancashire, was called forward to receive it in his capacity as Salford District Chairman. Peter said: ‘I give a big thank you to all those involved, a real team effort for a worthy cause.’ The following day Peter passed the cheque to the East Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity who are assisting with the co-ordination of donations as Manchester is in its geographical area.
Following this the representative and the group vice chairman retired, and after other communications were heard the lodge was closed in due form so that the brethren could retire to enjoy good food and good company at the festive board.
At the festive board, in response to the toast to his health, Bryan reminded the brethren of the importance of giving, saying that in the last festival over £5,000,000 had been raised by West Lancashire and the Province had since received back much more, and encouraged the brethren to pledge whatever they could to the 2021 Festival.
Bryan also commented on the generosity he had just seen within the lodge room and thanked the brethren for their kindness. He then went on to say that those Masons who had not joined the Royal Arch should consider doing so that they might complete their journey in Freemasonry.
Mark Matthews, on behalf of the Liverpool Group, presented the master with a signed congratulations card. The WM again took the opportunity to thank the large number of visitors in attendance who had travelled from many places including Scotland and even the dark reaches of the Wirral in support of him and the lodge, and wished all a safe journey home. These included Neil Harper the WM of St Johns Operative Lodge No 347, Rutherglen, and four brethren of Seacombe Lodge No 3468, in Wallasey.