Old Masonians West Lancashire Lodge No 7702 has completed another installation ceremony in its home at Liverpool Masonic Hall. The meeting was opened by the WM David Massam, ably assisted by the brethren of the Lodge, who were pleased to receive Michael Jones as the principal guest for the evening. Michael came as the official representative from the Province accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman Dave Johnson along with Provincial Deputy Grand Secretary Andrew Ridal and Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Robb Fitzsimmons.
The ceremony of installation began with the master elect Samuel Jackson being presented and following acceptance of the ancient charges and regulations, repeated his obligation perfectly. A board of installed masters was convened and David installed Samuel superbly in a very sincere ceremony. Master Masons were admitted and Adam Eeles presented the working tools of the degree; fellow crafts were then admitted and Alan Flavell presented the appropriate working tools; and finally entered apprentices were admitted and Robert Lopez presented those working tools. All three brothers who wear a light blue apron, performed their respective tool addresses with polished practice.
Keith Birch presented the address to the master, which was a delight to observe, and the wardens having been installed, Robb Fitzsimmons followed with an equally impressive address to the wardens. Having completed the installation of all officers, principal guest Michael then rose and demonstrated an impressive display of ritual in his delivery of the address to the brethren of the lodge.
The ceremony of installation being concluded, Michael rose again and congratulated Samuel Jackson on his installation as the new master, commenting that he was delighted to be present and that he passed on the personal best wishes of the Province and to the brethren of the lodge itself. Samuel, as his first duty was pleased to present three benevolence cheques totalling £600 for charity to Michael, split equally between the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, Friends of Tithebarn and the Woodlands Animal Sanctuary which were very graciously received on behalf of the recipients.
At the festive board a delightful banquet was served consisting of pumpkin soup, a roast chicken dinner followed by an apple pie dessert. In response to the toast to grand officers, Mike Jones once again thanked the lodge for its generosity and wished the master a very happy and busy year. He also warmly thanked the DC Bill Johnstone for his work on the night, though sadly Bill had reason to leave before the evenings closed. Special thanks were extended to the three newer brethren who presented the working tools to such a high standard.
Mike also brought everyone up to speed with Grand Lodge initiatives in recruiting and retaining more Masons and taking them through to Royal Arch Masonry. He also gave an encouraging invitation for the upcoming investiture of the Provincial Grand Master Designate Mark Matthews. With the departure of Bill Johnstone, Old Masonians were delighted that Robb Fitzsimmons stepped forward and offered his services as DC for the rest of the evening.
In response to the toast to the WM, Samuel thanked all who had helped out during the ceremony and said he was looking forward to the busy year that was coming, with a number of candidates awaiting initiation and also welcoming joining members.
The date of the meeting was such that the previous day was Armistice Day, while the following day was Remembrance Sunday. Old Masonians Lodge took the opportunity to observe the occasion first in a solemn manner, then in more upbeat fashion while gathered around the piano to heartily sing the favourites of the troops in WW1. These included It’s a long way to Tipperary, Pack up your troubles and may more.
At the end of the festive board the lodge presented bouquets of flowers to both Mike Jones and Dave Johnson for their respective wives which were gratefully received, and the excellent evening was brought to a close by the Tyler proposing the final toast.