Over 40 members and guests including two masters in office attended the installation meeting of Mersey Lodge No 5199 at the Ormskirk Masonic Hall. The lodge was opened by WM Stephen Andrews who warmly welcomed everyone and wished them a pleasant and enjoyable evening.
The lodge was honoured by the presence of Malcolm Alexander PAGDC representative of the Provincial Grand Master. This is the first time that Malcolm has represented since he received his appointment to grand rank. Malcolm, never one to crave the limelight has served as secretary of the Ormskirk, and now the Ormskirk and Bootle Group of Lodges and Chapters, for more years than he cares to mention and has been a stalwart of the group during his tenure.
Malcolm was accompanied on this special occasion by grand officer Frank Umbers Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman. To support Malcolm, also in attendance were acting Provincial grand officers Malcolm Sandywell PrAGDC, Paul Hardman PrSGD, Liam Mawdsley PrGstdB and John Doyle PrGStwd.
Stephen Andrews was for the second year again installed into the chair of King Solomon by Don Carton and his installation team in a confident manner. Stephen was also master during 2004. Don was ably assisted by Paul Kay senior warden and George Hewitt junior warden, under the expert guidance of DC Peter Blazey and ADC William Knibb, who both carried out their duties in a relaxed and competent manner.
During the ceremony Peter Blazey presented to the master an explanation of the working tools in all three degrees. Worthy of note, all addresses to the individual officers were very well presented, especially the address to the brethren by Malcolm Alexander.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Malcolm brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison acknowledging the good work of the lodge members and congratulating Stephen on retaining the chair for a second year; wishing him a successful year in office. Malcolm also praised Don and his team for the very high standard in which they conducted the ceremony.
Malcolm was then presented with three cheques to the value of £1,100 on behalf of the lodge members. £400 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £500 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and £200 to Friends of Tithebarn. Responding on behalf of the recipients, Malcolm thanked all the members of the lodge for their generosity.
Following the meeting the brethren enjoyed the delights of the festive board; French onion soup; braised beef with Guinness gravy, seasonal vegetables with garlic mash; and for dessert lime curd tart with vanilla ice cream followed by cheese and biscuits. During the proceedings the brethren joined together to sing the ‘masters song’ which concluded a memorable Saturday evening.
Story and photographs by Barry Hewitt