The many members and guests of Anderton Lodge No 8470, were honoured by the presence of Derek Parkinson Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Liverpool, Garston and Gladstone Groups of the Province, to install Stephen Howarth as the WM.
There were more than 60 brethren present, which included 18 grand officers, four of which are Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, three acting Provincial grand officers and the Past Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East in the Grand Lodge of Scotland, John Miller who has recently become an honorary member of the lodge.
The installation was, on this occasion, conducted by a very experienced past master of the lodge, John Robson, who was ably assisted by officers of the lodge and in particular Ian Banks, the director of ceremonies and Gordon Southworth who presided over the latter part of the ceremony.
Unfortunately, the outgoing master, Malcolm Timms, is currently engaged in charity work in the country of Myanmar (formally Burma). Malcolm sent his best wishes which were readout in the lodge, wishing Stephen and all present an enjoyable evening.
After the lodge was opened and all the usual business completed, the officers of the lodge went on to install Stephen into the chair of King Solomon in most wonderful, sincere and extremely well conducted ceremony.
The working tools were presented by both experienced and not so experienced brethren in Richard Frazer-Bastable, Jason Stoke and Naseer Ahmad (an entered apprentice of only four months). All were flawless in their delivery.
The addresses were presented by some very established brethren in Frank Wilkinson, Brain Everall, and the principal guest Derek Parkinson and as expected, all were again flawless in their delivery.
On concluding the ceremony, Derek brought the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and congratulated Stephen on attaining the chair, along with all the brethren who had taken part in what he described as an excellent ceremony.
Derek was then presented with a cheque to the value of £1,000 as a donation to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021Festival, along with a list of seven other charitable donations to Masonic and non-Masonic charities totalling £1,500, making a grand total of £2,500. He went on to thank the brethren sincerely for their generosity, on behalf of the final recipients of the donated funds.
With over 60 brethren dining, the festive board was truly wonderful with good food and fellowship in a warm and friendly atmosphere throughout the evening.
The toast to the WM was given by Gerald Lowe, who is Stephen’s close friend and neighbour. The master’s song was sung by the ever-present David Harrison who was accompanied on the piano by Ray Dainton.
The evening ended with the WM’s final pleasant duty, that of presenting Derek with a floral gift for him to take home for his wife, and as a final surprise, the visiting Past Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East, John Miller, brought greetings from the Grand Lodge of Scotland and by way of congratulating Stephen on becoming WM presented him with a bottle of fine ‘Grand Lodge of Scotland – Grand Master Masons Choice’ 10 year old malt whisky.