Woolton Lodge of Unity No 1086, which meets within Woolton Golf Club, was the setting for the installation ceremony. The lodge, as its name suggests, comprises of Walton Lodge No 1086, Lodge of Prudence No 2114, Allerton Lodge No 6653 and Warbreck Lodge No 6976. The WM Michael Daly opened the lodge in due form and quickly despatched the usual opening business.
After an entered apprentice had retired from the lodge, Michael opened it to the second and third degree. Lodge director of ceremonies Stephen Lynch was announced and informed Michael that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Andrew Whittle stood outside and demanded admission. Andrew entered the lodge accompanied by group chairman John Murphy and acting Provincial Junior Grand Deacon Alfred Dickinson and other Provincial grand officers.
Michael warmly welcome Andrew and, as is his right, offered him the gavel of the lodge, which for a moment was accepted by Andrew but quickly returned saying that he knew how much hard work had been put in at the practice sessions for the ceremony so would just enjoy the installation. Salutations were offered to Andrew, John Murphy and David Newland, all of whom responded appropriately.
Michael then requested David Rimmer to assist him by occupying the senior warden’s chair, Norman Pollack to occupy the junior warden’s chair and Tommy Lunt to continue as acting inner guard. Michael adjourned the lodge to the second degree and the presenting officers, Alan Riley and Stephen Lynch, presented Colin Skelland for installation.
As Colin had occupied the chair in 2016/7, he reaffirmed his obligation and the ceremony of installation continued. Those below the rank of an installed master were requested to retire and Michael expertly and with great confidence installed his successor.
The working tools in all three degrees were presented by Michael with the address to the WM being delivered by Dave Moore. Colin Cameron delivered the address to the wardens, whilst Barry Hancock presented the address to the deacons and Chris Taplin the address to the stewards. David Rimmer who had been assisting as senior warden addressed the new senior warden in fine form. Throughout the ceremony Michael was assisted by Stephen Lynch.
The lodge being closed to the first degree and Colin having appointed his officers for the ensuing year he was informed that the ceremony of installation was completed which prompted Andrew to rise and convey the personal greetings and best wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, saying that Mark wished him a very happy year in office and thanked him for taking the chair on a second occasion. Andrew had great pleasure in congratulating Michael on installing his successor ‘superbly well’.
Colin then proceeded to present three cheques to Andrew; the first for £300 in favour of West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, the second for £300 to Friends of Tithebarn and the third for £486 to Macmillan Nurses, which makes a total of £1,086, the number of the lodge. Andrew thanked the lodge brethren for their generosity.
After the first rising Andrew and John Murphy, accompanied by Fred Dickinson retired from the lodge followed quickly by visitors as the lodge had some private business to conduct.
The festive board was well attended by members and visitors who enjoyed an excellent menu of ham hock with crisp bread and piccalilli, pork chop served in cider sauce and sticky toffee pudding and ice cream. During the meal a raffle was held which raised £122 which together with the collection plate in the temple brought the figure to £203.
In response to the toast to his health, Andrew informed the diners that Masonry was progressing well within the Province and in order to enhance the Pathway Scheme, it was important that each lodge appoint a membership officer. He thanked Fred was attending upon him and congratulated Michael for an excellent ceremony one which is rarely seen as Michael had conducted all the work for the ceremony. Andrew remined us that Michael was a busy man and the person behind the Provincial website which we all see regularly.
Michael presented Colin with a signed menu from all the attendees and in reply said he thanked Michael for installing him so well.
The evening came to a close with the tyler John Hibbert proposing the last toast.
Story and pictures by Colin Roberts.