Peter Martin, the proprietor of Bury Road Garage, was installed into the chair of King Solomon of West Lancashire Lodge No 1403 at the installation meeting held at Southport Masonic Hall. Peter was initiated into Duke of Connaught Lodge No 2919 in January 2006, where he is currently the IPM and became a joining member of West Lancashire Lodge three years later.
West Lancashire Lodge is a small lodge which has now benefited from members of other lodges joining to reinforce its numbers. It has helped, when possible, in providing ceremonies for members of other lodges where existing calendars may be full.
Unfortunately, because the current master David Bradbury was unwell and in hospital, the ceremony of installation was undertaken by acting WM Keith Wilson. After opening the lodge, the general business was completed with the admission of joining member Trevor Martin, who is the present secretary of Duke of Connaught Lodge.
The DC Jeff Iveson informed Keith that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox was outside the lodge and demanded admission. Keith responded that the lodge members would be very happy to receive him. Harry was then admitted accompanied by Colin Jenkins Southport Group Chairman and acting Provincial officer Brian Griffiths PrGStwd.
After opening the lodge in the second degree, the master elect Peter was then presented to Keith by Kenneth Milne and asked the usual questions of the master elect. Keith then asked David Mellows to take the position of inner guard, Alan Sainter to occupy the chair of senior warden and Andrew Rushton that of junior warden for the installation ceremony.
Keith then requested all those present under the rank of an installed master to withdraw for a short period. As Peter has just completed his year as master of Duke of Connaught Lodge, he had only to reaffirm his former obligation and was duly invested with the collar and jewel of WM of West Lancashire Lodge. An excellent ceremony was undertaken by DC Jeff Iveson and the officers of the lodge.
The brethren were then admitted by rank and Peter was proclaimed master for the ensuing year. The explanations of the working tools were very well presented by Keith Wilson third degree, Kenneth Milne second degree and David Mellows first degree, all of whom did a very fine job. The address to the WM was given by Andrew Rushton, the address to wardens by James Forshaw and finally the address to the brethren of the lodge by the distinguished guest Harry Cox.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Harry brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, and congratulated Peter on being installed in the master’s chair for the second time and the first time in this lodge. He also congratulated and thanked Keith for stepping in at the last minute and the officers who took part in a very enjoyable ceremony.
Peter then presented Harry with two cheques to the sum of £400. The donations were £200 to Southport Masonic Hall Foundation and £200 to The Firefighters Charity, a charity very close to David Bradbury’s heart.
The festive board was attended by 36 brethren who all enjoyed an excellent meal. In his response to the toast to the grand officers Harry thanked the members of the lodge for their kind hospitality and said how much he had enjoyed the ceremony.
During the evening celebrations Southport’s ‘Travelling Gavel’ was passed on to Duke of Connaught Lodge. There is a close relationship between both lodges as there are currently three members who belong to both and another member Adrian Hughes, who was proposed as a joining member on the night. In total there were 14 visitors from Duke of Connaught Lodge which almost doubled the attendance at this meeting.