After such a momentous year in 2014 with Royal Victoria Lodge No1013 celebrating its 150th anniversary, 2015 has started on a somewhat subdued note. The annual installation ceremony has taken place inside the impressive Corinthian Room at Liverpool Masonic Hall. The lodge, which works to emulation, was opened by the master Simon Stanley assisted by his two wardens, Steve Dovaston and Ray Moore, who welcomed Derek Parkinson the special representative of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Also welcomed were Dave Johnson Liverpool Group Secretary and Ron Clark of Prescot Lodge No 5470.
John then invited Jeff Hodge and Chares Gallantry to occupy the two warden’s chairs, with Bob Gibson taking position as inner guard for the coming ceremony before inviting Mark Powell to take the chair for the inner workings. After giving assent to his expected duties, Steve Dovaston was installed as the 151st master of Royal Victoria Lodge.
The standard of ritual continued at a very high level with the working tools being presented by Graham Hamilton-Taylor, Tom Kelly and Ray Moore in the third, second and first degrees respectively. The address to the master was given with particular sincerity and import by Bernie Moran, whilst the delivery of the address to the wardens by Bob Gibson drew particular admiration.
Derek Parkinson rendered the address to the brethren with a particularly profound inference, which was much appreciated and admired by all present. At the appropriate moment on the conclusion of the installation, Derek rose very promptly to offer the congratulations and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, to the new master, installing master and all participants.
On closing the lodge, as is customary, the brethren retired to the main banqueting suite to drink a toast to the health of the new master and it proved once again to be an excellent venue for the festive board with diners enjoying a substantial and most enjoyable four course menu. The conversation was particularly lively, always a good indicator of a harmonious evening and was accompanied by the soothing background of clinking glasses and enthusiastically employed cutlery.
As the meal progressed, toasts were proposed, honoured and responded to in a relaxed and dignified style. In his response to the toast to grand officers, Derek Parkinson reiterated his praise for the quality of the installation ceremony. He communicated the topics that the PrGM had asked to be covered at installation banquets.
Derek also had some thoughts to express on recruitment and retention, especially his belief that senior Masons should be viewed not just as ‘rulers in the Craft’, but also as approachable and empathic individuals who are very keen to engage with fellow Masons of all ages, rank and experience and learn about the concerns and ideas that members are expressing. He was also most complimentary of the facilities and ambience provided by the magnificent and grandiose Liverpool Masonic Hall, a building of outstanding architectural merit, indeed where else could one find so many inspiring rooms within one building, each completely different. It was pleasing to see how the hall committee was now inviting the community to participate fully in the use of the building and the number of visitors tours were growing.
Touching on the enjoyment and friendship that we all derive from our involvement in Masonry and especially that gained by visiting other lodges, he reminded everyone that Tony had sent out an invitation to everyone to visit his ‘main lodge’; the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Lancashire when it meets in Blackpool. He encouraged everyone to accept the invitation and make the event a memorable and enjoyable occasion. In concluding, he thanked the Liverpool Group for the invitation and said how much he had enjoyed his visit to the hall and to the Royal Victoria Lodge in particular.