I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to 2019.
Since my last bulletin I have enjoyed meeting with a number of you at lodge and chapter installations and at social events.
On Remembrance Sunday in company with the group vice chairman David Atkinson and other group members, together with a number of Mark Masons meeting at our hall, I represented the group at the Cenotaph War Memorial in Garston to honour the Fallen. A most moving and poignant event commemorating 100 years since the end of the Great War.
We all then returned to the hall for a wonderful lunch and entertainment which was organised by Derek Horrocks and his colleagues from the Mark Degree.
On November 21 I attended the installation convocation of Royal George Chapter No 4119 and thoroughly enjoyed the ritual and festive board. The chapter is going from strength to strength after having gone through a bit of a rough patch in recent times. It is well worth a visit and you will be assured of a warm welcome.
On November 28 I attended the installation meeting of Lodge of Harmony No 220 and once again was treated to a wonderful ceremony and festive board, the quality of both was subject to most favourable comments by the representative of the RW Provincial Grand Master.
November also saw the latest Ladies Fellowship Lunch, organised by Keith Williams, which was well attended, the details of which can be found on the group website.
On December 5 I attended at the installation convocation of Chapter of Harmony No 220 and yet again was witness to a fine ceremony and festive board (well I would say that as I am the Chapter Scribe E!), but seriously it was a great night.
Brethren, I really do encourage you to try and attend the installation meetings of lodges and chapters in the group, you will have a good time and meet up with friends old and new.
I would like to express my thanks to our group publicity officer and webmaster, Ken Bullen, who tirelessly attends installation and celebrations within the group and keeps us all updated with events via the group website.
Sunday, December 9 saw the annual Garston Group children’s Christmas party held at our hall, an event enjoyed by all, both young and old. The event is only possible due to the hard work and generosity of the hall directors and catering team. On behalf of us all, I thank them for all their efforts in ensuring the children had an afternoon to remember.
On December 22 the group held a Christmas carvery social event organised by Jim Corocoran, which was a tremendous success attended by over 70 Masons and their friends who were entertained by a fantastic DJ. During the evening a couple of raffles were held with numerous prizes on offer which raised the magnificent sum of £875 for Masonic charities. An excellent result which epitomises the generous nature of our members and their friends once again.
In January there will be a couple of ceremonies held at lodges within the group, namely a second-degree ceremony at Trinity Lodge No 3257 on January 3 and a first-degree ceremony at Lodge of Harmony No 220 on January 23. I do encourage you to attend these meetings and support the lodges and witness some fine ritual being delivered.
We have a couple of ceremonies in the group in February, namely Ken Dobie, Lodge of Allegiance No 7352 will celebrate 50 years as a Freemason on Friday February 1 and, on February 20, Alan Johnson, Chapter of Harmony No 220 will celebrate 60 years as a Royal Arch Mason. It would be wonderful if you can support these celebrations. If you wish to attend either or indeed both just contact the Secretary/Scribe E who just happens to be me!
Looking slightly further ahead, on March 18 South Liverpool Lodge No 2681 will host a visit by Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder and Phil Preston who will give a presentation and update on the progress etc. of the MCF 2021 Festival. I hope as many of you as possible can attend the meeting. Further details will be published in due course.
As can be seen it has been a busy period since my last bulletin and it will continue to be so in the future.
I hope that you continue to enjoy your Freemasonry and I look forward to being with you once again.
Vice Chairman’s Report
Welcome back after all the festivities, I hope you have all had a good time and not over indulged and suffering now! Just a couple of items I would like to bring to your attention for the next part of the season.
If I could remind you all that we have a number of celebrations in the next month. The earliest is at Lodge of Allegiance on Friday, February 1 when Ken Dobie celebrates 50 years in the Craft and later in the month on Wednesday, February 20 when Alan Johnson celebrates 60 years in the Holy Royal Arch. I do hope that as many as possible will try to attend those functions which are listed on the group calendar and as posted on the website. The following month we have the Provincial Ball at the University of Bolton stadium, (formerly Macron) at Bolton on Friday, March 15. It would be pleasing to see yet again that we can show a committed front and have as many Masters in office and First Principals at this event. We had two tables at last years event, let’s try for more!
One for your diary, as the lead in the group regarding the Holy Royal Arch, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that during a recent visit elsewhere, I was made aware of a joint informal meeting to be held on May 20 at Westhoughton Masonic hall. This is to encourage Masons to join either the Holy Royal Arch or the Mark Mason degree. Both the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Paul Renton and the Mark Provincial Grand Master, Keith Beardmore will be in attendance. The venture is fully supported by our own Provincial Grand Master and it is hoped that this will encourage new members to join either order.
Matters closer to home, I attended both of the group Chapter installations, which were fine ceremonies with good support, with fine festive boards and company. The Principal guests at both ceremonies were suitably impressed, well done to everyone involved. Encouragingly, I also understand that Royal George have a further candidate this month and will complete the installation of the Second Principal. Keep up the good work everyone.
I am sure you have all had an opportunity to read the latest version of ‘Freemasonry Today’, in particular the item regarding ‘Solomon’. I certainly read the item with interest and straightaway signed up and needless to say was surprised at what I could find and read about, all very encouraging regarding openness and looking to the future. I hasten to add, as directed, one should avoid reading anything regarding ritual that you are NOT entitled to at this point. If you do, you only spoil it for yourself! It will be interesting to see what feedback we have.
That is all for now please continue to support one another at lodges and chapters and our hall.
See you soon