Arthur Cregeen, Lodge of Tranquillity No 3877 had spoken with Joe Muscroft of Adelphi Lodge No 6819 to let him know that a past master’s jewel of Adelphi Lodge was for sale on a well-known auction site. The jewel was subsequently purchased, and a tradition of the lodge which appears to have been lost to time was re-discovered. Each newly installed master was presented with a unique jewel. On the jewel itself is a Latin ordinal description, which gives the unique number of that master in the lodge history. In this example, tertius decimus or 13th master of Adelphi Lodge, who was J E Sandieson in 1961.
The brethren and guests gathered in anticipation of the installation of a new master, at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool for the installation ceremony of Stuart Allen. With a substantial amount of business to get through before the installation ceremony could begin, stand-in director of ceremonies Paul Shirley, ably assisted by the assistant director of ceremonies, Harry White, called all to order.
Master Peter Dwyer, opened the lodge in fine form and announced that the next business of the lodge was to ballot for honorary membership of Adelphi Lodge to be bestowed upon John James, Assistant Provincial Grand Master. The ballot proved unanimous in favour. Another ballot was then held for four joining members, and again the ballot proved unanimous in favour.
The lodge was then opened in the second degree and the director of ceremonies, Paul Shirley, accompanied by Provincial deacons, Harry White and John Irwin retired. Having opened the lodge in the third degree, Paul was re-admitted and announced that John James, accompanied by grand and acting Provincial grand officers stood without. WM Peter, proclaimed that the lodge would be delighted to receive them, and the procession duly filed into the lodge.
John, accompanied by Gladstone Group Treasurer Paul McLachlan, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Gus Nicholson, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer Richard McHale and distinguished guests processed into the lodge.
Peter, formally welcomed John James and all the guests to the lodge, and as his right proffered the gavel of the lodge to John. John accepted the gavel and thanked Peter for his kind welcome, and that he was looking forward to the installation ceremony and returned the gavel.
Director of ceremonies Paul Shirley, having attended to the matter of necessary salutations, directed the WM Peter to continue the installation ceremony. Peter then requested would past master Mike Fox honour the lodge and occupy the chair of King Solomon for the next part of the ceremony.
The lodge being resumed in the second degree, Mike requested Sean Keyes to occupy the chair of senior warden, Harry White the chair of junior warden, and Colin Higginson position of inner guard. The master elect, Stuart Allen was then presented by past master Dean Dwyer. Stuart was exemplary in the recital of his obligation as master elect of the lodge.
The officers of Adelphi Lodge were then lined up in the north, and the WM Peter, personally thanked all of them for their help in his year as master, stating that their support and friendship had made it a most enjoyable time. Having resumed labour in the third degree, all those below the rank of an installed master were asked to retire from the lodge and a board of installed masters declared.
Stuart was installed in the chair of King Solomon in fine form by Mike Fox, and then Stuart invested his immediate past master Peter in a sincere manner. The board of installed masters having been duly closed. John Irwin then rose and requested the re-admission of master Masons, who having saluted the newly installed master in the requisite manner of that degree, Matthew Brook was invited to present the working tools of a master Mason which he did in very polished fashion.
The lodge resuming labour in the second degree, fellow craft masons were admitted and again John directed the fellow crafts to salute newly installed master Stuart, in the requisite manner of that degree. Darren Fulton then delivered the working tools of a fellow craft Freemason in a confident and assured manner.
The lodge then resumed labour in the first degree, and finally entered apprentice Masons were admitted, again John directed them to salute newly installed master Stuart, in the requisite manner of that degree. Newest lodge member Dave Beckett, delivered the working tools of an entered apprentice Freemason, all the more impressive, seeing that he was only initiated recently.
Assistant Director of ceremonies, Harry White delivered an impassioned address to the master. Following suit with an equally impressive display of ritual knowledge was the address to the invested wardens by Paul Shirley to senior warden Tom Smith and junior warden, Jim Peel. Completing the trio of addresses, Sean Keyes delivered the address to the deacons, senior deacon, Tom Murphy and junior deacon, Darren Fulton.
Having invested inner guard, Dave Beckett it was the turn of Colin Higginson, to give that address, swiftly followed by the address to the tyler, John Hibbert, by Paul Shirley. An outstanding display of ritual by all concerned and very enjoyable to observe.
John James delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge that was sincere and heartfelt, and following the conclusion of the installation ceremony, rose again to congratulate newly installed master Stuart and all those who took part, thanking Paul, Harry, and Mike for their part in the installation, and the delivery of the working tools by those brethren.
Stuart then presented John with cheques to honour the charities, the cheques were £1,000 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £250 for the Renal Unit at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. John thanked the lodge for their generosity.
The lodge business being duly completed, the 37 members and guests retired to the Empire Suite at the Adelphi Hotel, to continue the celebration at the festive board. Amongst the merriment and congratulations of the festive board, senior warden Tom Smith gave the toast to grand officers, coupling that toast with the name of John James to loud applause.
John rose in response to that toast and thanked all of the brethren for their support and that he was very honoured and humbled to have been admitted an honorary member of the lodge, John remembered some of the distinguished brethren of the lodge from time past and that he was very much looking forward to visiting again. The brethren and guests responded accordingly and with good wishes for John.
Immediate past master, Peter Dwyer, then rose and gave a meaningful and sincere toast to the new master Stuart, who in turn for the first time at the festive board being proclaimed as master of Adelphi lodge, took the opportunity to thank all the brethren for their support, and how honoured he felt to have been installed as the sexagesimus septimus or 67th master of the lodge. Stuart then had a pleasant duty to perform and presented John with flowers in token of appreciation in honouring the lodge with his attendance at the installation ceremony.
With an initiation planned for the next ceremony, Stuart has a busy year ahead, and is looking forward to enjoying his year in the chair. The evening celebrations were duly brought to an end with the long version of the tyler’s toast given by John Hibbert.