There were over 60 Masons present to witness WM Gary Devlin install his successor, Tommy Lunt. Tommy is a hard-working, loyal member of the Mersey Valley Group. It was a testament to this that so many people turned up to observe him being installed into the chair in Anfield Lodge No 2215. The room was filled to capacity and there would have been more but space was at a premium.
Gary Devlin opened the lodge, with welcomed everyone saying it was a great pleasure to see so many people present. In due form and after the usual opening business had been transacted, the lodge was opened to the second and then to the third degree.
The director of ceremonies announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Andrew Whittle stood outside and demanded admission. Andrew was accompanied by the principal guest of the evening Peter Schofield, other grand officers, the Mersey Valley Group Chairman and a plethora of acting Provincial grand officers.
Gary offered Andrew the gavel of the lodge which was returned with alacrity so that salutations could be given to Andrew and Peter then to Arthur Cregeen and John Murphy. The salutations to Provincial grand officers were taken by Tommy Lunt. At this point Andrew asked Gary if he would agree to him changing places with Peter as Peter was the principal guest.
Past masters were appointed to assist in the ceremony and the lodge was adjourned to the second degree. Andrew Whittle and Chris Lyon were tasked with presenting Tommy for installation, and he was duly escorted to the pedestal where he re-affirmed his obligation. Once all below the rank of an installed master had retired from the lodge Gary installed Tommy in an excellent ceremony with the assistance of Chris Lyon.
The board of installed masters was then closed and those who had retired could be re-admitted in the respective degrees. The working tools of the third and second degrees were presented by junior brethren; the third degree tools by James Watson; the second degree tools by Graham Bass and Matthew Parkinson presented the first degree tools. Tommy was asked to appoint and invest his officers for the ensuing year and the installation address to the senior warden was given by Stan Dawkins and to the junior warden by Stephen Lyon.
The group chairman David Atkinson gave the address to the charity steward. The other addresses were given by the following brethren. To the wardens by Stan Dawkins; the master by Gary Devlin; to the deacons by Mike Tattersall and the brethren of the lodge by Peter Schofield.
This concluded the ceremony of installation and on hearing those words, Peter Schofield rose and conveyed the greetings and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews, saying that had he been present Mark would certainly have remarked on the standard of the ceremony, particularly the way in which the junior brethren had delivered the explanation of the tools. Peter went on to thank the installing master and those who had assisted him in the ceremony.
Tommy presented a cheque to Peter for the West Lancs Freemasons’ Charity for £1,500 which was a truly magnificent sum and Peter thanked the lodge brethren for their generosity on behalf those who would benefit from it.
The lodge director of ceremonies then formed the procession to retire which included the following acting Provincial grand officers; Andrew McClements, Keith Lindsay, Tony Jackson, Mort Richardson, Phil Renney and Rick Winfield. After other business had been taken care of the lodge was closed in due form so the brethren could continue the festivities in the dining room which had been suitably dressed for the occasion.
At the festive board, a raffle was held which raised £300. The meal was outstanding with a fan of melon and fruits of the forest to start, followed by black treacle glazed ham with red cabbage and apple cider gravy and rounded off with apple pie and custard and was enjoyed by all.
In response to the toast to his health, Peter Schofield presented a very well researched reply in which he congratulated the master on attaining the chair for the fourth time and all the brethren who had worked so hard to make the evening a success. Gary Devlin proposed the toast to Tommy saying that they both joined Freemasonry in 1981 but he had joined a month before Tommy and it had been a real pleasure to install him.
Tommy was clearly very emotional with all the kinds words that had been spoken and sincerely thanked everyone for attending and making it such a memorable evening.
Article by Colin Roberts.