The Village Circle closes with a gift to Tithebarn

Ken Jones, President of the Village Circle, presented a cheque for £2,678 to the Friends of Tithebarn Chairman John Stallard, to assist the friends with the improvements they are making at the home for the residents.

Ken Jones (left) and John Stallard.

Due to smaller lodges and a dwindling membership it was agreed that the Village Circle had served its purpose and 89 years from its conception it was decided to close the organisation and the money in the charity account would go to the Friends of Tithebarn

The Village Circle was established in 1928 in North Liverpool as an instruction class meeting each Friday evening from September to May. For a nominal fee a Mason above the rank of a fellow craft could apply for membership.
The Village Circle gave an extra opportunity to practise the ritual within a lodge setting, with the membership comprising of Masons from different lodges, the rule was that members only practised the ritual of their own lodge. After each meeting a collection was made for the sunshine fund, the fund enabled the Village Circle to give gifts to members and their families who were ill.

Over the years there were many guests, the most illustrious was Ken Moxlley who was at the time Provincial Grand Master who participated in an installation rehearsal.

Thanks to the generosity of its members the Village Circle had all the furnishings of a lodge and a lodge room would be set up before the rehearsal. The group met at various venues in North Liverpool, often in rooms above public houses and church halls. The final venues being Bootle Masonic Hall, Balliol Road and then moving with the Bootle Group to Litherland Masonic Hall.

The Village Circle was run like a lodge, officers were elected annually at an AGM. The most important office was that of President. At the AGM the new President was invested with a jewel of office and the outgoing President would be presented with a past Presidents jewel and a tankard. The President would hold a Ladies Night which was always well supported and raised money for various charities.

Since it was established, the Village Circle developed its own traditions. When a member reached the rank of a WM, the members of the Village Circle would go to his installation to celebrate and support the occasion.

The Village circle was a successful institution, creating friendships, raising funds for charities throughout Liverpool and beyond. There are many Masons who have fond memories of their time there and are grateful to the Village Circle in assisting their progress in their Masonic careers.

Article and photographs by Doug Lace.

Members of the Village Circle from left to right standing, are: Reg Gourley, Stan Dorkins, Brian O’Hare, Ken O’Hare, Ken Jones and Les Cutting. Seated from left to right. are: Jim Kontzle Arthur Cregeen and Joe Comerford.