Members and guests of Toxteth Lodge No 1356 gathered at the Geoffrey Hirst Masonic Suite within Woolton Golf Club to support Matthew Wilson on his being installed into the chair of the lodge.
WM Ian Folksman was unavailable for the ceremony so Eric Binks, accompanied by the wardens processed into the lodge and took their seats and the lodge was opened in the first degree. Eric then asked the brethren to stand to order for departed merit.
The minutes of the last regular meeting were confirmed and signed and Eric then opened the lodge to the second and third degrees. The lodge director of ceremonies David Nickson and the two acting Provincial deacons retired from the lodge. On his return, David announced and informed the brethren that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Andrew Whittle stood outside and demanded admission.
Andrew, accompanied by the Mersey Valley Group Chairman David Atkinson, entered the lodge and Andrew was warmly welcomed by Eric who offered him the gavel of the lodge. Andrew declined to accept it on this occasion but would readily accept it next month as Eric would be celebrating his 50 years in Freemasonry. The brethren saluted Andy Whittle and then Tommy Lunt took the salutations on behalf of the Provincial grand officers present.
The lodge was adjourned to the second degree so that Matthew Wilson Snr, as master elect, could be presented by Phillip Birch and Matthew Wilson Jnr. Matthew reaffirmed his obligation and fellow craft Freemasons were requested to retire from the lodge which was then adjourned to the third degree. Eric thanked the officers of the lodge on behalf of Ian and then requested all below the rank of an installed master to retire from the lodge.
Eric then installed Matthew into the chair of the lodge with passion and sincerity. The working tools of an installed master were ably presented by Rob James. Master Masons were readmitted and Eric proclaimed Matthew as master of the lodge and the master Masons saluted in him in due form. The working tools of the degree were presented by Eric. The lodge was closed to the second degree and fellow craft Freemasons were readmitted, saluted the WM in due form and a light blue Mason, Paul Edwards presented the working tools. The lodge was closed to the first degree and entered apprentice Freemasons were readmitted, saluted the WM and another light blue Mason, Anthony Robinson presented the working tools.
Eric Binks presented the warrant of the lodge and the address to the WM in fine form. Matthew Wilson Jnr presented the address to the wardens and to the tyler; David Nickson gave the address to the deacons and Andrew Whittle provided the address to the brethren of the lodge.
Eric informed the WM that the ceremony of installation was completed which prompted Andrew to stand and convey the greetings and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and also thanked the younger brethren who had taken part in the ceremony for a fine performance. Eric then had the pleasant task of presenting Andrew with several cheques, the total of which was £1,000; £500 for WLMC, £200 to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council, £150 to Marie Curie and £150 to Friends of Tithebarn. Andrew thanked the brethren of the lodge for their generosity saying that the money would be put to good use.
After communications from Grand Lodge had been delivered by the secretary, the new director of ceremonies, Simon Birch, formed the procession to retire. At the conclusion of further business, the lodge was closed and the brethren retired to the dining room for a sumptuous festive board.
Article by Colin Roberts.