Members and visitors assembled at Woolton Golf Club to celebrate the 149th installation meeting of Woolton Lodge of Unity No 1086. The WM Alan Riley opened the lodge in the first degree and conducted the usual business. Entered apprentices were requested to retire and the lodge was opened in the second degree after which fellowcrafts were requested to retire and the lodge was opened in the third degree.
Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barrie Crossley was admitted and announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Peter Poynton stands without and demands admission. Kevin entered in procession with grand and Provincial grand officers and the Woolton Group Chairman Andy Whittle. There were five acting Provincial grand officers in attendance.
Alan offered Kevin the gavel of the lodge to which he responded by saying: “You don’t really want me to take this and on this occasion, I will deliver it back into your safe charge so that we can have an enjoyable evening”. The brethren saluted Kevin, followed by salutes to the grand officers David Withey and Roy Pine. Eddie Clarke and Andy Whittle were then saluted.
The lodge was adjourned to the second degree and fellowcrafts were readmitted. The WM requested past masters to assist him and David Newland and Robert Martin presented Jason Scott Jorgenson as master elect. Jason had come to this country from Canada in 2005 to study for a PhD which he eventually successfully achieved. In 2006, after due enquiry through the Provincial office, he joined the lodge. Jason said that the ritual is different from that practised in Canada, which is similar to the Scottish ritual.
The master elect agreed to the antient charges and regulations and proceeded to take his obligation. Alan Riley asked his officers to stand and thanked them for their unfailing support during his year in office and wished them well for the future. Alan adjourned the lodge to the third degree and requested all below the rank of an installed master to retire and proceeded to install Jason as WM. Master Masons were readmitted, saluted Jason and had the working tools of the third degree delivered to them by David Moore.
The lodge was next closed to the second degree and fellowcrafts were readmitted and the working tools of the second degree were delivered to them by Alan Riley. The lodge was then closed to the first degree and entered apprentices were readmitted and Chris Taplin delivered the working tools of the first degree. Jason then invested his officers for the ensuing year.
The address to the new almoner David Rimmer was presented by David Newland and the address to the stewards was delivered by acting Provincial Grand Steward Phil Gambrill. The wardens were addressed by Colin Cameron and the deacons were addressed by Barry Harnick. Keith Close ably delivered the address to the WM whilst Kevin Poynton delivered the address to the brethren in fine style.
The installing master informed Jason that the installation ceremony was now ended and this prompted Kevin to rise and convey the greetings and best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Kevin said that it had been an excellent ceremony and had Tony been present he would, without doubt, have congratulated the officers and in particular Alan Riley for the manner in which he had conducted the ceremony. Kevin also said that Tony wished that the new WM would have a happy and busy year.
Jason then presented two cheques to Kevin. The first for £786 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the second for £300 to Friends of Tithebarn. In thanking the brethren Kevin said that the lodge had undoubtedly made someone’s life much easier. Jason thanked the lodge for the trust bestowed upon him saying he felt humbled, especially as this was the lodge’s 149th year.
Barrie Crossley formed the procession so that Kevin and the grand officers and the group chairman could retire, after which Jason closed the lodge and all the brethren retired to partake of an excellent meal at the festive board.
In response to the toast to his health, Kevin thanked the acting Provincial officers for attending and made special mention of the person standing behind him, Barry Crossley who had driven down from Furness to be in attendance. Kevin spoke of the forthcoming group dinner to be held on 27 March when Tony Harrison will be present and again reiterated that Tony wished for everyone to enjoy their Freemasonry.