It was a special occasion for the brethren of Minerva Lodge No 4002 who had gathered at Litherland Masonic Hall. Together with their many guests they witnessed the warm, friendly and faultless installation of Arnold Neale as their new WM. This was the lodge’s first installation to be held at their new home in Litherland, having only joined the Ormskirk and Bootle Group a couple of months before the installation.
For the evening’s ceremony the lodge was honoured by the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning as their principal guest. Philip was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers, the Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Graham Chambers and vice chairman Malcolm Alexander together with acting Provincial grand officers.
The outgoing and installing WM Gordon Farmer 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, Gordon opened the lodge to the second and third degrees, whereupon the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald was admitted into the room. Barry announced that Philip Gunning was without and demanded admission and he was duly admitted into the lodge room, accompanied by Frank Umbers, grand officers and Provincial grand officers, Russell Morris and Barry Fletcher. Gordon then warmly welcomed Philip to the ceremony and offered him the gavel of the lodge, which Philip gracefully declined.
Gordon then proceeded with the ceremony, asking Trevor Jones if he would assist the lodge by occupying the chair of SW, Colin Berrington if he would remain in the chair of JW and Miles Cotterall if he would assist the lodge by acting as inner guard.
The master elect, Arnold Neale was then presented to the lodge by the presenting officer’s Robert Farmer and Martin Farmer, and after Arnold had taken his obligation, Gordon thanked the brethren of the lodge for all their support and hard work they had given for the last year to the lodge.
Gordon then proceeded to install Arnold, according to ancient custom into the chair of King Solomon. The working tools for the three degrees were presented by Martin Farmer, who delivered all three in a faultless and excellent manner.
Once the lodge’s officers had been invested, the address to the WM was given by Colin Berrington, followed by the address to the wardens by Miles Cotterall and the address to the brethren of the lodge by Philip Gunning; all delivered in a 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 Arnold and all the brethren the very best of health and hoping they have a happy Masonic year. Philip congratulated Gordon for the excellent way in which he had installed Arnold into the chair, before proceeding to congratulate all the brethren who had taken part in the ceremony.
The ceremony now being completed, Arnold had the privilege to present Philip with two cheques for charity, £200 for the MCF 2021 Festival and £200 to Tithebarn, 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 was enjoyed by all.