Ray back in the chair

The installation meeting of St Nicholas Lodge No 3260 took place at The Artist’s Club in Eberle Street, Liverpool which is their new meeting place. After completing the opening business of the lodge, the director of ceremonies, Geoff Bell called the brethren to order to receive the representative of the PrGM, Professor Michael Anthony Jones and John James, Vice Chairman of the Gladstone Group. They were accompanied by Paul Shepherd and David Hilliard plus a number of Provincial grand lodge officers. The WM welcomed Mike on behalf of the brethren, with the hope that he would enjoy the ceremony and later, the festive board.

Pictured from left to right, are: Bill Griffiths, Roy Hedges, Prof. Mike Jones, Ray Christian, and Arthur Kelsall.

Pictured from left to right, are: Bill Griffiths, Roy Hedges, Prof. Mike Jones, Ray Christian, and Arthur Kelsall.

Ray Christian, who had been secretary of the lodge for the previous four years was presented as master elect and after repeating his obligation, was installed into the chair of King Solomon in a sincere and fine manner by Roy Hedges who had stepped in as installing master at very short notice. Roy was assisted by other brethren of the lodge. The working tools of the three degrees were presented and explained by junior brethren, James Dillon, Aaron Greenall and George Anderson who was also appointed as inner guard, his first position on the ladder.

Mike Jones delighted the brethren by giving both the address to the wardens and the address to the brethren.  Ray later commented: “It is truly an honour to sit in the chair of this distinguished old lodge”. Ray then proceeded to give a eulogy for the recent sad passing of Henry (Harry) Marsden who had only two months previously been made an honorary member of the lodge. Harry had passed away peacefully at home, just eight days after his 87th birthday. Harry had been an active Mason for 39 years since joining St Nicholas Lodge and was the secretary for nearly 30 years. He will be sadly missed by all the brethren.

The festive board was conducted in a warm and sincere manner and was enjoyed by all members, representatives and visitors alike. St Nicholas Lodge has struggled for many years without any injection of new or joining member’s, however they have definitely ‘turned the corner’ within the last four years. They are now recruiting quality members with five new brethren and seven joining members from this and other Provinces, with one candidate in the pipeline and another joining member within the next two months.

It is obvious to observers that St Nicholas lodge are ritually and socially strong and this was echoed by the representatives and visitors present. What is apparent is that whoever visits them is left with a lasting memory of their warm welcome and friendship. Many brethren who have previously visited with or without an invite have since decided to join the lodge; reasons are all apparent. St Nicholas Lodge has a long established illustrious history, celebrating their Centenary fairly recently. There is no doubt that this lodge has a very bright future. Watch this space!

Story and photo by Ray Christian