The brethren and guests of Stanley of Bickerstaffe Lodge No 3511, met at Ormskirk Masonic Hall to witness Andrew Clarke being installed as their new WM. The lodge was honoured on this occasion by the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Phil Gunning. He was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers, the Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Graham Chambers and vice chairman Malcolm Alexander.
The acting WM and installing master, Malcolm Sandywell, started the evening by warmly welcoming everyone to the evening’s installation before proceeding to open the lodge. Once the lodge’s initial business was completed Malcolm proceeded to open the lodge to the second and third degrees. Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald then entered the room and announced that Phillip Gunning demanded admission. Phil was duly admitted into the lodge in a procession, accompanied by Frank Umbers, Malcolm Alexander and Graham Chambers.
Malcolm formally welcomed Philip to the lodge, before offering him the gavel, which Phil graciously declined. Malcolm then asked Kevin Chicken to remain in the senior warden’s chair, William Follet to occupy the junior warden’s chair, William Griffiths to act as inner guard.
The master elect, Andrew Clarke was then presented to the lodge by Edward Clarke and after Andrew had taken his obligation, Malcolm read out a letter from the outgoing WM Peter Smith, who was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting. In it he thanked all the officers and the brethren of the lodge for all their support and hard work they had given him during his year in office.
Malcolm then installed Andrew into the chair of King Solomon in a warm, sincere and faultless ceremony. The working tools for the third degree were presented by Frank Umbers, the second degree by Geoff Lever and the first degree by Malcolm Sandywell, all of the explanations were presented in an excellent and proficient manner.
During the investiture of the officers Geoff Lever delivered the address to the inner guard again in an excellent and proficient manner.
Once Andrew had invested his officers for the forthcoming year, the address to WM was given by Edward Clarke followed by the address to the brethren of the lodge by Phil Gunning, again all the addresses were delivered faultlessly and in a proficient manner.
The ceremony being completed, Phil stood up and brought the personal greetings and congratulations to Andrew from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, on attaining the chair. Phil also congratulated all those that had taken part in the ceremony, in particular mentioning the excellent installation undertaken by Malcolm assisted by the lodge’s ADC Peter, and the other officers involved in the ceremony that evening.
The ceremony now being completed, Andrew had the privilege to present Phil with four cheques, £665 for the MCF 2021 Festival, £250 to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Research Department, £250 to the Friends of Tithebarn and £200 to Ronald McDonald House, Alder Hey Hospital. During the year, another £655 had also been donated to the MCF 2021 Festival by the lodge from the money raised by Malcolm Sandywell for the ‘Raven Winder’ walk. Phil, on behalf of the recipients, thanked the lodge for their very generous and worthy donations.
The ceremony now being completed the brethren made their way to an excellent festive board where a raffle was held raising £180 which will be donated to charities at a later date.