The members of Lever Park Lodge No 8144 had a unique experience at their lodge meeting. They welcomed not one, but 15 joining members to their lodge. This boosted their numbers from 45 to 60. Unfortunately, five of the 15 had to give their apologies so on the night, only 10 were welcomed.
13 of the joining members were from Wilderswood Lodge No 5932, which unfortunately found it necessary to hand in its warrant, showing that every cloud has a silver lining. The sad closure of one lodge has meant that another has had its membership significantly increased. The 13 were boosted to 15 by two joining members from Rivington Lodge No 8013.
Those present in the lodge room at Horwich Masonic Hall experienced a very rare occasion and Lever Park Lodge made the evening very special by welcoming the joining members with some home spun ritual.
First came the ballot for the 15. The sigh of relief from the members and guests was audible as the WM Clive Butterworth announced that the ballot proved in favour and there would be no need to take 15 separate ballots!
The welcome ceremony proper then started with the director of ceremonies formally announcing that the joining brothers sought admission. They were duly admitted as the secretary read their names. They were then asked if they would support the WM and his wardens, having received a positive response from each new member, the WM welcomed them and offered each one the hand of friendship and fellowship. The new members were then taken to the junior and senior wardens where they were welcomed in the south and west. They then lined up in the north where they were addressed by the WM before taking their seats in the lodge. A delightful, simple ceremony to mark the unique occasion.
The wholly light blue team of officers of the lodge then proceeded to transact the normal business in an efficient manner which belayed the fact that it was their first meeting since their installation.
The members and their guests then retired to the bar and social board for refreshment, both liquid and solid! They enjoyed a delicious three course meal, a lot of friendly conversation and not a little banter!
Lever Park Lodge has a tradition to sing ‘Let us have harmony’ and ‘Happy to meet’ but the guests were mystified when everyone joined in a chorus of ‘Ging gang goolie’! Another highlight was the WM taking of wine with the lodge director of ceremonies, John Dawber, who that night was celebrating 30 years in Freemasonry.