Martin Bos, WM of Starkie Lodge No 1070 welcomed Steve Darlington into the lodge, in an excellent ceremony that held one or two nice surprises.
Junior deacon David Ellis had the pleasure of leading Steve around the lodge on his journey into Freemasonry, a task he undertook with aplomb.
Unbeknown to Steve, a long-time family friend Peter Johnson, who is Provincial Senior Grand Warden in the Province of Gloucestershire, had arranged a surprise visit to attend Steve’s initiation and at the appropriate time, not only did Steve see the light, but also Peter’s smiling face.
Senior warden Alan Cornes had the opportunity to present the working tools, which he did perfectly, made even more remarkable given the fact he had only been roped in the previous evening.
Eventually, Steve completed his initiation and upon his return to the lodge he was given the charge. Peter had asked if he could do this and it was done in a spectacular manner, being not just word perfect, but also brought to life by putting a very skilful meaning to every sentence. Done without doubt from the heart.
As is usual in the Southport Group, Steve was presented with his welcome pack, which gives him an insight into Masonry and what to expect at his next ceremony.
December’s meeting in Starkie Lodge is always an extra special one, being the time they elect the master for the ensuing year. On this occasion, Alan Cornes was made master elect. DC Tony Johnson pointed out, that the next meeting, which would take place in February, would be honoured by a visit from Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison.
The lodge then moved on to the usual lodge business and after closing, retired to a welcome festive board, along with a few “jars” at the bar.
After a hearty meal of gammon and chips, the usual toasts followed and eventually a rendition of the entered apprentice song, done ‘a cappella’ style, was sung by all the brethren.
After this, it was Steve’s opportunity to give a speech of thanks to the assembled brethren, with of course, special mention being given to Peter.
Junior warden Alan Taylor gave a toast of thanks to the visitors, emphasising to the newest Mason how important visiting is.
On this occasion the lodge had the privilege of two responses to the toast; from Richard Gillett, WM of Ainsdale Samaritan Lodge No 4342 and also from Peter Johnson.
The festivities were completed with the final toast of the evening from erstwhile Tyler Gordon Kay and as is usual in Starkie Lodge, a number of brethren retired to the bar to reminisce over the evening’s activities.