On a Sunday morning, a group of West Lancashire Freemasons travelled to Poole and after a night’s rest the following day they visited the Tank Museum at Bovington and some of the group visited the grave of Lawrence of Arabia. On the Monday evening they attended Llewellin Lodge No 7907 at The Masonic Hall, Market Place, Poole where they had the privilege of witnessing a most wonderful first degree ceremony, the like of which none of them had seen before, even though they probably had a combined Masonic experience of over 300 years. The WM Peter Martin opened the lodge in due form and then proceeded with ceremony for the candidate David Harris.
David’s brother Mark was present and proudly spectated from the secretary’s desk. Mark, a Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Freemason and inner guard from Drayton Lodge No 8832 could not stop beaming during the ceremony. Their father and grandfather are Freemasons.
Peter had not initiated anyone since he was in the chair of his mother lodge in Kent in 2014, though you would not know it as he conducted the ceremony with consummate ease and his team of officers were outstanding. A special mention goes to Jon Taylor for his faultless presentation of the working tools and Ben for his exceptional work as senior warden and Alex for his initiate’s song.
The festive board was well attended, with seven members from the Lodge of St Cuthberga No 622 and 11 visitors mostly from the Centurions of Merseyside Coronation Lodge No 2923 who had travelled all the way from West Lancashire Freemasons and Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire. The lodge is for, (but not exclusively), serving and retired members of HM Services and Uniform Public Services connections.
There followed an excellent festive board, at which Mersey Valley Group Mentor for the Craft, Hughie O’Neil responded for the guests. In his response to the visitors’ toast Hughie told David that they had attended many lodges in Merseyside and had not seen a better ceremony’.
On their return to West Lancashire, the group stopped at the National Arboretum as many of the group had military, fire service or police backgrounds, and took the opportunity to plant a memorial cross at the Masonic Memorial with the names of their respective lodges and then formed an unbroken chain in the centre and sang Prosper the Art. The Centurions of Merseyside Coronation Lodge is a uniform services lodge both military and civilian blue light and they also have members who are supporters of military charities.
The group of nine visiting brethren which included one brother from Cheshire comprised of seven who are members of the Centurions of Merseyside Coronation Lodge, one from Lodge of Chivalry No 3974 in Ormskirk and one from Claremount Lodge No 4776 in Cheshire. Four of the group are also members of Everton Lodge No 823 and the final three also members of Liverpool Charter No 7650, including the WM Paul Sinclair. A wonderful trip was enjoyed by all.