The members of Makerfield Lodge No 2155 and their guests assembled to receive a lecture from Assistant Provincial Grand Master Anthony Bent. After a brief discussion with a junior brother on the intricacies of the traditional history, Tony recalled a lecture he had once provided and without a moment’s hesitation, and despite the workload that of course befalls a Mason with such a high profile within the Province, being the dedicated brother he is, offered to perform the lecture for the benefit of the junior brethren of the group, and fortunately delivered it in Makerfield Lodge.
Upon opening the lodge, the WM David Gordon-Williams, cordially offered Tony the gavel but, as is his want, he declined it on this occasion, with the quip that he thought that he had enough work to do. The light heartedness set the tone for the evening to come. David, assisted by his wardens and fellow officers, proceeded to open the lodge in the first degree. David then asked the entered apprentices to retire for a short time, assuring them that it would not be too long before they would be able to benefit from any future lectures, and continued with the openings in the second and then third degree.
David then invited Tony to recount his lecture ‘The Building of King Solomon’s Temple and the Masonic Legend attached thereto’. Tony began by drawing particular attention to the various chapters and characters recounted in the biblical account of the building of the Temple and wove together the several accounts into a beautifully coherent rendition, full of insight. He then outlined the individual characters and the significant parts that each played, roles which are all too easily overlooked in its construction. Tony skillfully brought to life those ancient times providing a vivid description of the magnitude of the task, the brilliance of the characters and the splendor with which the building would be lavishly furnished.
At various points it was almost as if you were there, present, reliving those times. To provide comparison, Tony outlined the relative costs in modern day terms which would be several hundred million pounds. Tony then outlined the Masonic significance of the various characters, giving an insightful view of their foundations and drawing attention to some of the symbolism represented. The brethren and visitors were truly treated to their ‘daily advancement in Masonic knowledge’ and provided with food for thought that could result in many happy hours of research and discussion. Tony retired to his seat at his lectures conclusion and was met with spontaneous and rapturous applause.
Freemasonry in general and the Leigh group in particular is very fortunate that there are still brothers prepared to take time out their congested and busy schedules to educate and illuminate junior brethren on the corner stone of our marvelous and excellent institution.
The remaining business on the summons concluded, the lodge was then closed in due form allowing the members and guests to retire to the social board and reunite with their non-Masonic guests and visitors that they could enjoy the traditional fayre and excellent company on this annual “Old English Night.”
As the evening drawing to a close, it was all too soon the end of a wonderful and happy evening for the lodge members and their many distinguished visitors and non-Masonic guests.
Article and photograph by Wayne Barnes.