Liverpool Masonic Hall’s Roman Suite was filled with anticipation for the annual installation ceremony of Lodge of Israel No 1502. The lodge was founded on 3 June 1874 and consecrated on 12 October 1874 as a kosher lodge, which means it observes Jewish dietary requirements, but has welcomed non-Jewish members, of which there has always been many, right from the start.
This year’s installation saw the lodge opened in due form by Steve Kayne, ably assisted by his wardens Ian Thompson and Ian Niven. Steve was standing in for WM Barry Elman, who thankfully is well on the road to recovery after illness. With the opening business duly completed, the director of ceremonies Colin Wood, announced that the principal guest for the evening David Anderton, was outside with an accompanying entourage and requested admission. Accompanying David on the evening were Liverpool Group Vice Chairman David Johnson and Provincial Senior Grand Deacon David Dutton, who were warmly welcomed.
Following on from the salutations, it was requested that Paul Rattigan occupy the senior warden’s chair, Malcolm Povlo that of junior warden, with Keith Jones to take up position as inner guard for the purpose of installation. Master elect Ian Niven, was then presented to the WM by Colin Wood and Steve Blake. On giving his assent, Ian was brought forward to recite his obligation at the pedestal.
Steve Kayne did an excellent job at installing Ian into the chair of King Solomon, in a ceremony that was undertaken with great sincerity and precision. Drawing favourable comments from all who witnessed their work, were Christopher Mullen, Ian Thompson and Chris Phillips, who delivered the working tools of each degree, each having their own distinctive style and who performed their duties impeccably.
Ian then appointed and invested his officers for the ensuing year, with Ray Sephton as SW and David Waddington as the JW and the address to Ray was given by Paul Rattigan while that to David Waddington by Malcolm Povlo. The new senior deacon Chris Mullen, was duly invested and had the honour of receiving his address from PrSGD David Dutton. The address to inner guard Chris Phillips, was delivered in exemplary fashion by Paul Hudson, while that to the lodge stewards was delivered by Phil Jones. Steve Kayne next gave the address to the master, while the address to the wardens was given in an equally impressive and accomplished manner by the group mentoring advisor John Leisk. This left Dave Anderton with a hard act to follow, as he was called upon to give the address to the brethren of the lodge, but he easily ensured that the high standards set by those on the floor before him were equalled and even surpassed.
At the completion of the proceedings, David had the utmost pleasure in congratulating and complimenting each of the participants and expressed the wish that the lodge members would have a wonderful year under the guidance of their new master and that Ian would be fortunate in having good health to fully enjoy and fulfil his year in office. David again eulogized about the first-class ceremony, which had been a delight to watch and conducted with great dignity, with particular congratulations to the three brethren who presented and explained the working tools of each degree. It had been an exceptional performance by all involved and an absolute credit to Lodge of Israel.
This was the moment Ian had been waiting for, his first duty of the evening following his installation, the presentation of the charitable cheques. He presented David with cheques in favour of the MCF 2021 Festival for £500 and another for the WLFC, also for £500, both of which were graciously accepted. It was now that the group vice chairman Dave Johnson arose and presented Lodge of Israel with their certificate of Vice Patronage to the MCF 2021 Festival.
Following the ceremony, the adjacent dining suite was the setting for an excellent kiddush (reception), accompanied by the traditional toast to the new master and followed by an equally outstanding festive board. As a way of explanation, at the end of each meeting and prior to the festive board, the lodge enjoys an excellent kiddush before the festive board. During particular ceremonies and at the festive board, some of the prayers are said in Hebrew and some of the brethren may wear a head covering and it is also traditional to sing a short Hebrew verse after the return of thanks.
During the festivities and in response to the toast to grand officers, Dave Anderton offered his own congratulations to Ian and all those involved in the ceremony, which had been carried out to the highest of standards. He then made special mention of three very important points, the first being membership, which he said was a responsibility of us all, not just the membership officers. The second point was the Royal Arch, which he said was the completion of speculative Freemasonry and is integral to an understanding of Freemasonry in general. His third point was the MCF 2021 Festival and its work, once again thanking the lodge on their donation and congratulating them on the achievement of becoming Vice Patron, which could be printed on the lodge summons.
Sadly, the evening eventually drew to a close with the DC David Jones giving the final toast of the evening, that of the Tyler.