The brethren of Vale of Skelmersdale Lodge No 8719 and their many guests gathered at Ormskirk Masonic Hall for their installation meeting. Martyn Huyton-Berry was to be their new WM and for the evening’s ceremony the lodge was honoured by the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning as their principle guest. Philip was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Robert Wright, Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Frank Umbers, group vice chairman Graham Chambers and acting Provincial grand officers.
Outgoing and installing WM Michael Cawley started the evening’s proceedings by warmly welcoming the visiting brethren to the meeting before opening the lodge. After the initial lodge business was completed, Michael opened the lodge to the second, then third, whereupon Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Mark Barton was admitted into the room and announced that Philip Gunning was without and demanded admission. He was duly admitted into the lodge room, accompanied by the grand officers and the acting Provincial grand officers namely David Kenworthy, Michael Dutton, Carl Matthews and Russell Skidmore. Michael then warmly welcomed Philip to the ceremony and offered him the gavel of the lodge, which he gracefully declined.
Michael then asked James Holt if he would assist the lodge by occupying the chair of SW, Graham Radford if he would occupy the chair of JW and Michael Hennessey if he would assist by acting as inner guard. The master elect Martyn Huyton-Berry was then presented to the lodge by the presenting officer Kenneth Meath and after Martyn had taken his obligation, Michael thanked the brethren for all their support and praised the hard work they had offered during his year in office.
Proceeding with the ceremony, Michael then installed Martyn according to ancient custom into the chair of King Solomon. The working tools for the third degree where presented by James Roberts, the second degree by Windell Panabang and the first degree by David Woods. All three were delivered in a faultless and excellent manner.
Once the lodge’s officers had been invested the address to the WM was given by Bryan Collier, this was followed by the address to the wardens by Kenneth Meath and the address to the brethren by Philip Gunning, all delivered in their usual confident and excellent manner.
At the end the ceremony of installation, Philip addressed the brethren by bringing congratulations from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, wishing Martyn and all the brethren the very best of health and hoping they would have a happy Masonic year. Philip congratulated Michael for the way in which he had installed Martyn into the chair, before proceeding to congratulate all the brethren who had taken part in the ceremony.
The ceremony now being completed, Martyn had the privilege to presented Philip with six cheques for charity; £500 for the West Lancashire MCF 2021 Festival, £300 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £100 to the North West Air Ambulance, £100 to Derian House, £50 to Tithebarn and £50 to the RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat. Philip also announced that the lodge had already donated £200 to the Tercentenary Pageant Team and £300 to the MCF 2021 Festival through the white envelopes, which had been sent to London. Philip thanked the brethren of the lodge for their very generous and worthy donations.
After closing the lodge in prayer and harmony the brethren made their way to an excellent festive board which consisted of haggis scotch egg for starters, followed by Goosnargh chicken and strawberry soufflé for dessert. During the meal a raffle was held which raised £112 and is being donated to MCF 2021 Festival. With the evening finished the principal guests retired, after an enjoyable evening in good company.