Prince of Architects Lodge No 4188 held its installation meeting at Litherland Masonic Hall, where the brethren were proud to give a very warm welcome to the guest of honour, Provincial Grand Master James Anthony (Tony) Harrison, accompanied by the Provincial team, orchestrated very ably by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp, assisted by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Ian Halsall.
Supporting Tony were Robert Wright, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Southport, Ormskirk and Bootle Groups, Frank Umbers, Chairman of the Ormskirk and Bootle Group, Graham Chambers, group vice chairman and Malcolm Alexander, group secretary. Also in attendance were grand officers Michael Kinsella, who is a member of Prince of Architects and his guests Brian Henshaw and Mark Mathews.
The master elect Stephen McCracken, who has twice been master of his mother lodge, Excelsior Engineers’ Lodge No 4248 in Cheshire, was presented by his lifelong friend and son of his original proposer into Freemasonry James Jones, also a former member of Excelsior Engineers Lodge which surrendered its warrant in 2012.
Stephen was installed into the chair of King Solomon by the installing master Dr Morgan Denyer in his own inimitable style, thus becoming the 98th master in 98 years and maintaining the tradition in Prince of Architects Lodge that no one goes through the chair of the lodge twice. The working tools of the three degrees were presented by Andrew McGregor, Barry Connolly and Anthony Claro respectively. Barry and Anthony both being light blues.
Maintaining the standard of the ceremony, the address to the deacons was given by Howard Minard, the address to the tyler Anthony Harford, by Paul Shirley and the address to the stewards by Carl Mathews, one of the four acting Provincial Grand Stewards attending. Jim Jones gave the address to the master; the address to the wardens was not carried out as David Turner (father) and Kieran his son were unable to be present. The address to the brethren was delivered in fine style by Tony Harrison.
The newly installed master then presented Tony with cheques for charity totalling £2,395 this comprised £135 to the Litherland Masonic Hall, £560 to the charity Contact the Elderly, £500 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £1,200 to the MCF 2021 Festival. Tony then presented the master with a certificate to acknowledge that the lodge is now a Vice Patron of the MCF 2021 Festival.
The brethren then retired to the festive board to enjoy the traditional six course meal, finishing with a whole stilton, and the port being passed around. The stewards were very busy with the wine servings! The master’s song was rendered by one time cathedral chorister and lodge member John Hill in his usual superb style.
Tony spoke to the brethren about the MCF 2021 Festival, the tercentenary celebrations and about attracting younger members to join Masonry. He thanked all the brethren for the standard of the ceremony and for the hospitality that had been shown to the Provincial team and himself. At the close of the celebrations it was announced the raffle had raised £300 to be donated to charity at a later date. A very enjoyable time was had by all.