Members of Ormskirk Priory Lodge No 4007 were honoured by the presence of Bootle Group Chairman Ian Gee, who was the representative of the Provincial Grand Master, at their installation meeting at the Ormskirk Masonic Hall. The ceremony was attended by 24 brethren, which included lodge members, two visiting masters and members of other lodges.
The meeting was opened by WM Ian Kennedy and following the usual business, lodge secretary Trevor Martin gave a short tribute in respect of Ron Goodyear who had tyled for the lodge for six years. In his concluding words Trevor, referring to Ron’s charitable work said: “Most members will remember Ron as the tin man but he had a heart of oak.” Following this the brethren stood in respect of departed merit.
Ian Kennedy then asked John Wallbank to occupy the senior warden’s chair, Ray Hampson that of the junior warden and Peter Fairclough as inner guard. Ian Gee was then admitted accompanied by Ormskirk and District Group Chairman Frank Umbers, grand officer Brian Fairhurst and other grand and Provincial grand officers. Also in attendance was John Butterworth PrAGSuptWks (acting). Ian Kennedy welcomed Ian Gee on behalf of the lodge members and wished him an enjoyable evening. The ceremony was expertly overseen by acting DC Alistair Frew.
Master elect John Rawcliffe was then presented by Alan Ashcroft, following which he was installed into the chair of King Solomon in an exemplary manner. This was the third time in his Masonic career that John has taken on the mastership of a lodge; firstly in Harrock Lodge No 8233 in 1983 and again for its closure at the installation meeting on 26 September 2011.
The working tools of the third, second (long version) and first degrees were excellently presented by John Roberts, a member of the Duke of Connaught Lodge No 2919, Tony Joyce and Eric Ashcroft respectively. The address to the master was delivered in a very warm and sincere manner by John Wallbank and Ian Gee presented the address to the brethren. Frank Umbers then had the pleasure of presenting the new master with the lodge’s Hall Stone Jewel saying that he should wear it with pride whenever he represents his lodge.
At the completion of the ceremony Ian brought greetings to John from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison conveying his congratulations and passing on his very best wishes for the season. He also said that had the PrGM been present he would have congratulated the installing master Ian on a job well done.
John Rawcliffe then presented Ian with cheques to the value of £600 which included £200 to Headway, £200 to JustGiving, £100 West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £100 to the Friends of Tithebarn. Ian took the opportunity to thank the brethren on behalf of the recipients for their generosity.
After the meeting the brethren retired to an enjoyable meal of cream of vegetable soup, roast lamb with seasonal vegetables followed by cheese and biscuits. This concluded a very enjoyable evening.