The brethren of Merchants’ Lodge No. 241 met at Liverpool Masonic Hall in Hope Street to celebrate Ron James achieving 50 years in Freemasonry. The distinguished guests entered the lodge room in processional order and the WM Ray Fitzsimmons welcomed them to Merchants’ Lodge.
Principal guest for the evening celebration was John James, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, (by the way, John and Ron are not related), who was accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman Dave Johnson. John arranged for Ron to be seated next to him in comfortable chairs on the floor of the lodge. This gave a very relaxed ambience whilst John James spoke about Ron’s personal and Masonic history.
The key theme which ran through Ron’s working life and his Masonic career is that of treasurer. His working life was always concerned with accounts, and he qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. During his career with Liverpool City Council, he had the extremely important task of maintaining the accounts of all the committees, giving advice to the City Treasurer and Department Directors.
John James informed everyone that Ron continues to be involved with accounts and he has been the lodge treasurer for more years than he cares to remember. John added that Ron was heavily involved in local charities including the RSPCA where he was treasurer for many years. In summarising, John said that the Province and the lodge are very pleased and proud of all Ron’s contributions to the Craft and community.
Dave Johnson read out the contents of a certificate of celebration confirming Ron’s 50 years in Freemasonry and he was presented with this by John James.
At the festive board, the brethren relaxed with pre-diner drinks. Following the official toasts, the WM of Merchants’ Lodge proposed a toast to the health of Ron in which he thanked him for his loyal service to the lodge and his dedicated work as treasurer.
In his response to the toast to his health, Ron thanked those brethren who attended his special celebration and all those who had contributed to make it such a wonderful evening.
Finally, the WM presented John James with a gift for his wife and he hoped that the scented candle will make a change from a bouquet of flowers! John James thanked the brethren on behalf of his wife and he stated that he had a very enjoyable evening celebrating Ron’s 50 years in Freemasonry.