Harmonic Lodge No 216 is the 8th oldest lodge in the Province of West Lancashire and has a long history stretching back to 1796. The business of the lodge for in November 2022 being to initiate a new candidate, Charles, not only to join the lodge but to begin his journey in Freemasonry.
The members of the lodge were justly disappointed to find that unfortunately Charles was unwell, and so unable to take part in the evening’s ceremony. Being a practical lodge, and not to be daunted by such a prospect, entered apprentice Steven Harris who was initiated at the previous meeting, stepped up and volunteered to be the candidate that wasn’t.
WM James Murphy, ably assisted by stand-in senior warden Ian Elsby and stand-in junior warden David Berrington, duly opened the lodge in the first degree. James then requested past master Gerry Carson to occupy the chair of King Solomon, and so the ceremony of initiation began. Candidate Stewart was very ably led around the lodge by junior deacon Harry Kinney, who was also assisted by another visitor who acted as senior deacon, Adrian McLoughlin of Downshire Lodge No 594.
Gerry was superb in conducting the ceremony and at a natural pause, then requested past master Phil Marshall to occupy the chair of King Solomon and continue the latter stage. The other members of the lodge also excelled in their knowledge and oration of ritual. David Berrington, delivering a fine rendition of the working tools of an entered apprentice, followed by Ian Elsby who delivered a faultless rendition of the charge to a new initiate.
After the conclusion of the ceremony, candidate Steven was asked how that compared to his own initiation and could he remember, to which he humorously replied: “Not really, it was a bit of a blur!” Too much laughter in the lodge. The WM James who by now had resumed his rightful place in the lodge, thanked all the lodge officers and visitors for helping to make the ceremony a memorable one and that the lodge was in fine form for when candidate Charles will be able to return.
The lodge business being duly completed, brethren and visitors retired to the Crompton Suite for the festive board. At the festive board, a song to an entered apprentice was sung and this time in honour of entered apprentice Steven. As is due in recognition of his joining this fine lodge, the lodge festive board was split into four teams, each team to sing a verse of the song to be joined in with the chorus, led by director of ceremonies John Donnelly and encouraged by Phil Marshall.
Not blessed with fine hearing to judge such a competition, the publicity officer said that it was safe to say his team was the best with Dave Berrington, visitor Dylan Roberts of Mercantile Lodge No 4319, John ‘The Tyler’ Hibbert and visitor David Will of St Nicholas Lodge No 3620, all in fine voice! A fine tribute to the candidate who wasn’t.