Older and bolder

Members and guests of West Derby Castle Lodge No 5821 gathered in the Adams Lodge Room at Liverpool Masonic Hall to witness the installation of a new worshipful master Jim Bilsborough. He is the third successive member of the Royal Naval Reserve Old and Bold Association to have attained mastership of the lodge; the previous incumbents were Les Crane and IPM Paul O’Brien.

Jim Bilsborough (left) is congratulated by IPM Paul O'Brien.

Jim Bilsborough (left) is congratulated by IPM Paul O’Brien.

Jim Bilsborough is retired from his occupation as an area sales manager for a major UK truck and trailer supplier. He lives locally with his wife Susan and they were blessed with five children and seven grandchildren. Apart from the Old and Bold Association, Jim supports his wife in her work with the Barnardo’s charity on Merseyside.

The installation ceremony got under way with the entrance into the lodge of the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, who on this occasion was Peter Connolly. He was accompanied by Liverpool Group Vice Chairman (Craft) Robert Povall and by grand officer of the lodge David Hawkes and other grand officers. They were preceded by acting Provincial Grand Steward Stephen Callow, who is also a member of the lodge, and escorted by acting deacons of the lodge. Their entrance was heralded by lodge DC David Southward who conducted proceedings with his customary aplomb.

At the start of the installation ceremony Jim Bilsborough was presented by his proposer Rod North and by Les Norton. Having assented to all of the ancient charges which were read to him by lodge secretary Dr Alan Boyle MBE, the outgoing WM Paul O’Brien, assisted by David Southward, installed his successor in a most dignified and sincere manner. His performance of the ritual was most favourably remarked upon by those present. Jim Bilsborough was then installed in the chair of this busy and popular lodge according to ancient custom.

Peter Connolly, (left), congratulates Jim Bilsborough.

Peter Connolly, (left), congratulates Jim Bilsborough.

An explanation of the working tools of an installed master was rendered in flawless fashion by Alan Boyle. The explanation of the working tools of the third degree was rendered by David Southward who also presented the working tools of the second and first degrees. Addresses were given to the WM by Les Crane, to the wardens by Les Norton, to the deacons by Leo Beatty, to the stewards by Stephen Callow and to the brethren by Peter Connolly.

Jim Bilsborough appointed and invested his officers for the year which included many changes to the previous incumbents. Ray Marshall and Tom Grimes were appointed senior and junior wardens respectively, Les Crane as chaplain, Bob Cooper was appointed DC and Stephen Callow was appointed ADC and Paul Devereux and David Ellison were appointed senior and junior deacons respectively.

At the conclusion, Peter Connolly rose and congratulated Jim on his accession and Paul O’Brien on his conduct of the ceremony. He passed on the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master to the new WM and indeed to all of the assembled brethren. In response, Jim Bilsborough presented Peter with a number of cheques which are donations to charity from the brethren of West Derby Castle Lodge. The beneficiaries are the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity in the sum of £500 and to the Friends of the Tithebarn, The Stroke Association and the Marie Curie Cancer Centre in Liverpool, each in the sum of £200. This makes a grand total of £1,100 donated by the brethren of West Derby Castle Lodge to these worthy charities. Peter Connolly remarked that these were amazing contributions and thanked the lodge members on behalf of all who will benefit.

Masonic members of the Royal Naval Old and Bold Association with the new WM and IPM front centre.

Masonic members of the Royal Naval Old and Bold Association with the new WM and IPM front centre.

The ceremony complete, the brethren adjourned to a lavish festive board.