After receiving a dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to change the day of their meeting, members and guests of Toxteth Lodge No 1356 held their 148th installation meeting at the Geoffrey Hirst Masonic Suite in Woolton Golf Club.
The lodge was opened by the WM Stephen James Lawler after he and his officers had taken their seats. Three visiting WMs were admitted, namely Carl Schears of Croxteth United Service Lodge No 786, Andrew Prowse of City Lodge No 2514 and Malcolm Jolley of Derby Lodge No 724, all were warmly welcomed by the WM.
The DC Alan McShane, announced that the principal guest John Philip James, representing the Provincial Grand Master, stood outside and seeked admission. John James, accompanied by other grand officers, was admitted in due form and welcomed by the WM. The DC informed the master and brethren that a further two WM’s had joined the evening, namely group chairman Andrew Whittle, WM of Anfield Lodge No 2215 and Barry Elman of Lodge of Israel No 1502, both grand officers.
The lodge was opened to the second and then the third degree, where the DC gave salutations to Barry Elman and the other grand officers. Ron Davies took the salute on behalf of the Provincial grand officers. Following the salutations, the WM adjourned the lodge to the second degree and asked Eric Binks to occupy the senior warden’s chair.
Matthew Wilson presented the master elect Stephen Robinson, who then agreed to the ancient charges and confidently took his obligation.
The lodge was then adjourned to the third degree and Stephen Lawler thanked his officers for all the help they had given him during his year in office. All below the rank of an installed master were then asked to retire whilst his predecessor installed Stephen Robinson as WM in a sincere and confident manner.
Master Masons were readmitted and saluted the newly installed master. The explanation of the third degree working tools were then given by Matthew Wilson. The WM closed the lodge to the second degree and fellow crafts were readmitted and saluted the WM, who then closed the lodge to the first degree. Entered apprentice Freemasons were readmitted, saluted the WM and received the explanation of the first degree working tools, once again provided by Matthew Wilson. After Matthew had presented the warrant, the officers of the lodge were appointed and invested. Matthew then gave the address to the master and John Leisk gave the address to the deacons.
On the completion of the ceremony of installation, John James rose to convey the greeting and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, who hoped that the new master and brethren would continue to enjoy their Freemasonry. John also congratulated those officers who had taken part in the ceremony.
On behalf of the lodge, Stephen Robinson presented three cheques to John James, £375 for the MCF 2021 Festival, £100 for WLFC and £100 to the Woolton Group. All were received with very grateful thanks.
After the first rising the Alan McShane formed the procession so that the principal guest and grand officers could retire. Following the second and third risings, the lodge was closed in due form and the brethren retired to the dining room for pre-dinner drinks and a fine meal.
Story and pictures by Colin Roberts.