Those attending the installation meeting at the Ormskirk Masonic Hall of the Vale of Skelmersdale Lodge No 8719 witnessed an excellent ceremony. The lodge was opened by WM and installing master Michael Hennessey who warmly welcomed everyone and wished them a pleasant and enjoyable evening.
The lodge members were honoured by the presence of Peter Lockett, Chorley Group Chairman, the representative of the Provincial Grand Master. Peter was accompanied by grand officer Frank Umbers (Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman). Also in attendance were Stephen Brereton group vice chairman and acting Provincial grand officers Malcolm Sandywell PrAGDC, John Doyle and Peter Horgan PrGStwd’s and Bryn Hart PrAGPurs.
Once the guests had been duly welcomed and the usual salutations undertaken Michael Hennessey asked James Holt to occupy the chair of the senior warden and Graham Radford that of junior warden with Norman Brown inner guard.
Master elect Michael Cawley was presented by Bryan Davidson and was duly installed in the chair of King Solomon in a most exemplary manner. Worthy of note were the presentations of the working tools by Jim Roberts third degree, Windell Panabang second degree and David Woods first degree; all delivered in a clear and confident manner.
The addresses to the individual officers were well presented, especially the address to the master which was delivered by Ernest McAllister in a sincere and dignified way and the address to the wardens by Kenneth Meath. The address to the brethren was similarly presented by Peter Lockett with great sincerity.
During the ceremony, Fred Hargreaves gave a very informative explanation of the lodge crest to the new WM and the assembled brethren, concluding with the very apt words “the overall symbolical design of the crest serves to take the lodge from the past, through the present, and forward to the future.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony Peter brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison congratulating Michael, on his behalf, on becoming master and said that if Tony had been present he would have made a point of congratulating the installing master and his team for their hard work. He also took the opportunity to congratulate the lodge DC Kenneth Meath on a job well done and the three brethren who undertook the explanation of the working tools in each degree.
Michael Hennessey, as immediate past master, had the honour of presenting Peter with seven cheques totalling £2,100 which included £1,200 to the MCF 2021 Festival (previously donated); £300 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £300 Alzheimer’s Society, £100 to the Derian House Children’s Hospice, £100 to the North West Air Ambulance, £50 to the Friends of Tithebarn and £50 to The New Brighton Lifeboat Appeal. Peter thanked the brethren on behalf of the recipients for their magnificent donations to charity.
Peter then had the honour of presenting to the lodge the ‘Vice Patron’ certificate for the MCF 2021 Festival which was greeted with a resounding round of applause.
Following the meeting 43 brethren retired to the festive board to enjoy creamy garlic mushrooms, braised beef with seasonal vegetables followed by ginger and toffee sponge and custard. Responding to the toast to the grand lodge officers, Peter thanked everyone for the very warm welcome he had received and said how much he had enjoyed the evening.