For only the third time in its history, Lever Park Lodge No 8144 installed a past master into the chair of King Solomon when Ray Goth, a past master of Lever Park, was quick to step forward when it became apparent that their original master-elect would be unable to take the chair due to his wife’s health. Ray was master in 2006 and was keen to support the lodge as master again.
The ceremony was executed in an excellent manner with Gary Matthews placing Ray in the chair with dignity and sincerity. Junior members of the lodge explained the working tools in each degree; Ian Smith presenting the third degree tools, Gabriel Braisteanu delivering the second degree tools and Peter Hannis providing an explanation of the first degree working tools.
Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Geoffrey Porter was in attendance as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews. Geoffrey was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Peter Lockett and Past Junior Grand Deacon Paul Hesketh (an honour he received at United Grand Lodge in London just the week prior). Both of these grand officers are members of the lodge. Other grand officers in attendance were group chairman Peter Allen and John Wrennall, all supported by acting Provincial grand officers Antony Price, Ian Simm and Nick Ridd.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Geoffrey conveyed greetings from the Provincial Grand Master and singled out Gabriel with well-deserved praise for his beautiful recital of the second degree working tools, as English is not his first language and he had only been a fellow craft for a couple of months prior to the ceremony.
Lever Park Lodge presented five cheques as charity donations to Geoffrey for: £500 to Horwich Masonic Hall, £500 to Sam’s Warriors, £500 to Bolton Deaf Society, £250 to Three Little Wishes and £250 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. The lodge having donated £260 earlier in the year for Chorley and Leyland Group Food Bank Appeal, bringing the total amount donated to £2,260. Geoffrey thanked the brethren of the lodge for their generous donations.
The festive Board was greeted with the usual Lever Park enthusiasm which was enjoyed by all the visitors. A particularly poignant moment occurred when Brian Goth sang the ‘master’s song’ to his younger brother. It was a wonderful and emotional end to an excellent installation meeting.