The brethren of Lathom Abbey Lodge No 6286 were honoured by the presence of John Roberts, Chairman of Liverpool Masonic Hall, at their installation ceremony to witness Phil Stansbie being installed as WM. It is the first time Phil, a retired college lecturer, has been worshipful master for Lathom Abbey Lodge, which he joined in 2005 and has held the office of secretary for the last 12 years. Phil is also a member of Arrowhead Lodge of Freedom No 8500, which is part of the of the Wigan Group, where he was previously a WM in 1978. Phil is married to Patricia and they have three children and six grandchildren.
After the lodge was opened by the outgoing and installing master John Mercer and the general business of the lodge had been completed, John Roberts was admitted into the temple accompanied by Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Frank Umbers, vice chairman Graham Chambers and grand officers Martin Walsh and Malcolm Alexander. Also in attendance were acting Provincial grand officers, Michael Dutton and Carl Mathews.
John then asked Mike Smith to remain in the senior warden’s chair, Jamie Lomax to occupy the junior warden’s chair and Alan Lloyd to remain as inner guard for the installation ceremony.
The master elect Phil Stansbie was then presented to the lodge by Wilf Pye and Ken Hives. Once Phil had taken his obligation, John thanked all the brethren, their families and friends for the support they have given him and his wife Sheila during his year, enabling them to have a very happy year and a financially successful year for charity.
John then installed Phil into the chair of King Solomon in a warm and sincere ceremony. The working tools for the third degree were presented by Peter McLauglin, the second degree tools by Mike Smith and the first degree tools by John Plummer; who had only been initiated three months before the installation. The tools of three degrees where presented in an excellent and proficient manner and the address to the chaplin Ken Jones was delivered by Stewart Cranage.
Once Phil had invested his officers for the forthcoming year, the address to the WM was given by Ken Hives followed by the address to the brethren of the lodge by John Roberts, again all the addresses were delivered faultlessly.
John Roberts then brought the personal greetings and congratulations to Phil from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison on attaining the chair. John also congratulated all those that had taken part in the ceremony, in particular mentioning the excellent installation undertaken by John Mercer assisted by the lodge DC Nigel Kent and all the other officers involved in the ceremony that evening.
The ceremony now being completed, Phil presented John Roberts with eight cheques for charities totalling the magnificent amount of £3,050 for the following good causes. £400 for Parkinson’s UK, £400 for Alzheimer’s Research, £400 for Blood Bikes (North West), £400 for Asthma UK, £400 to the Friends of Tithebarn, £400 to MND Association, Merseyside, £400 to Rosemere Cancer Foundation and £250 to the Ormskirk Masonic Hall Association (OMHA). John thanked the lodge on behalf of the recipients, for their very generous and worthy donations.
After the meeting was closed the brethren retired to enjoy an excellent festive board. The meal commenced with egg O’Brien, followed by sugar baked ham as the main course and for desert, syrup tart and ice cream. During the festive board a raffle was held, which raised £270. During Phil’s response to the toast to his health he highlighted the excellent fundraising achievement by John and Sheila Mercer and family during John’s year in office leading to the generous amount presented to the charities earlier in the ceremony. A most enjoyable evening was had by all.