Group Bulletin October 2016


The new Masonic season has started and already we have had the first two installations. On 1 October Excelsior Lodge installed Carl Garside as Master of the Lodge and on 3 October Aigburth Lodge installed Mark Lawrence. It was very encouraging to see two young people who have never been Worshipful Master previously become Master of their Lodge.


Both evenings were memorable and thoroughly enjoyable. Our Assistant Provincial Grand Master attended, as principal guest, at the installation at Excelsior Lodge and I was privileged to be able to represent the Provincial Grand Master at Aigburth Lodge. 


Both ceremonies went without hitches and the newly installed Worshipful Masters had evenings to remember.


Our new caterer, Tony Ackroyd, did a splendid job on both occasions and both festive boards were really convivial events.


Worthy of particular mention were the large charitable donations were made by both lodges.



The third installation in the group will be at South Liverpool Lodge on 17 October when Andrew Whittle, Chairman of the Woolton Group will be the principal guest. 


I hope as many of you as possible will support this lodge and attend as visitors.


The next Royal Arch installation at Garston will be the Royal George Chapter on 16 of November when the Third Provincial Grand Principal, Ian Higham will be in attendance, followed by the Lodge of Harmony on 23 November when we will be delighted to receive our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Philip Gunning as principal guest.


The final installation Ceremony of 2016 will be at the Chapter of Harmony on 7 December when we will be privileged to receive the Grand Superintendent, Tony Harrison as principal guest.


I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important these occasions are to the Garston Group and I hope the lodges and chapters concerned can rely on your support at these installations.



Two weeks ago a party from the Garston Group were invited to attend the Liverpool football club ground (Anfield) in order to the view the facilities which we will be able to enjoy in September 2017 when we hold our Grand Tercentenary Ball.


The hospitality suites at the ground are unbelievable and the views of both the pitch and the Liverpool skyline are wonderful.


Below are several photographs which show the facilities available and I trust that this will encourage you to support the event which is going to take a lot of preparation and a great deal of hard work.


The Group Vice Chairman is going to be looking for volunteers to help on a committee which will oversee the arrangements and I hope there will be plenty of people willing to help. You will receive more information as it becomes available but I am reliably informed that before the function begins you will be able to enjoy a tour of the Liverpool FC Museum which includes their Trophy Room as well as being able to have pitch side photographs. That will be followed by a wine reception before dinner.


p1000332The dining experience will be marvellous and will be followed by live music for dancing until the early hours.


As I have mentioned previously our group treasurer Barry Tomlinson is willing to take advance payments in order to help spread the cost of the event. Contact Barry should you wish to take advantage of this facility. All monies collected will be held in the Group Account.p1000322


I know some lodges now feel that their numbers make a formal ladies evening unviable, so please consider this as an opportunity to use the evening to get together and have your own table(s).






Mark Province of West Lancashire

The West Lancashire Mark Charities are pleased to announce yet another initiative for the benefit of Mark Masons and their families in the form of health awareness evenings which will touch on such things as Prostate Cancer, Diabetes, Strokes and Alzheimer’s Disease.

This is an opportunity for you or any of your family to speak one to one with representatives / advisors who are familiar with these illnesses. There will also be informative presentations to enable you to find out any symptoms you should look for.

These presentations are open to everybody, including non-masons and the nearest one to Garston will be held at Liverpool Masonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool at 6:30 pm on 23 November.

There is no need to book – just turn up. This is not a recruitment drive but for everyone’s benefit.

If you require any further information please contact Derek Horrocks at or on 0151 281 0034.


Kevin Ashcroft, a member of Excelsior Lodge No 3580 and group charity steward for the Garston Group, is once again pushing himself to the limits by undertaking the gruelling Welsh Three Peaks Challenge race. The race takes in the three peaks of Wales; Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) in the north, Cadair Idris in mid-Wales and Pen y Fan, or Fan Dance in the Brecon Beacons in the South.

Kevin with his Fan Dance Race Series 2014 Avalanche Endurance Events badge.

Kevin is no stranger to such events and has over the years raised £1,000s for many very worthy charities. His latest quest is in memory of an ex-work colleague Frank Wood who recently died as a result of prostate cancer, Kevin and his friend having been diagnosed with the condition in the very same week. Frank was determined to fight and to take his unborn grandson to school, which he achieved last September. Sadly a year on Frank lost his fight, however, after a number of operations, Kevin seems to be clear, although still subject to regular check-ups, and he is determined to honour his friend’s memory by completing the challenge.

In 2014 Kevin was awarded the Fan Dance Race Series 2014 Avalanche Endurance Events badge, this badge is commonly known as the ‘SAS Challenge’. The beneficiaries of that endeavour being Bone Cancer Research UK.

This year’s race is on 8 October 2016 and covers some 75.7km with an ascent of some 1,500 metres and is usually completed in less than 24 hours. The itinerary for the challenge is as follows:

10:00   Collection from Chester railway station.

12:00   Briefing and start at Snowdon.

16:30   Expect to complete Snowdon.

16:45   After refreshments, depart for Minffordd.

18:00   Begin the climb of Cadair Idris.

23:00   Expect to complete Cadair Idris, depart for Pen y Fan

03:00   Reach Pen y Fan and begin the climb

07:00   Finish the challenge!

Kevin is aiming to raise in excess of £1,000 and all monies raised will be in support of Prostate Cancer UK.

Kevin would welcome as much support as he can muster and a donation towards the charity, no matter how small via his ‘JustGiving’ page would be very much appreciated.

Link to Kevin’s JustGiving page:-


Clive Jefferies, a former Chairman of the Liverpool Trafalgar Group, will be celebrating 60 years as a Freemason on Tuesday 15 November 2016 at Merchants Lodge No241 at the Liverpool Masonic Hall. 

The lodge will be honoured by the presence of Mark Dimelow, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the ceremony will commence at 6.00 pm.

The dining fee will be £22.00 including wine.

Details are available from R. Neil Francis, 32 Heswall Mount, Thingwall, Wirral, CH61 9PW or by telephone on 0151 648 5897.  He can be emailed at


As I mentioned earlier the new caterer, Tony Ackroyd is settling in very well. I have had several meals at the hall and have been delighted with the food that Tony has provided.

In the last Bulletin I mentioned that Tony is completely unfamiliar with Masonic catering and requested you all to have patience if minor things go wrong. I am pleased to say that there doesn’t seem to be have been a great number of problems and most of you have been very understanding.

Tony isn’t (yet) a member of the Craft but he is hoping to join the Lodge of Harmony in the New Year.

He is beginning to understand how our festive boards are run and things are settling down very well indeed

To help you, I am arranging to have the menus for the four weeks in each month on the Group Website and I will also endeavour to include them in the bulletin. Unfortunately they run from the first week in the month until the last week in the month and the bulletin normally isn’t published by the first of the month. 

Menus for October


I hope this will give you the opportunity of seeing what you are going to eat after your lodge or chapter meeting and of making arrangements if you require an alternative. I am thinking in particular, of replacing a meat dish with fish.

The caterer has also agreed that if a diner, who perhaps is a diabetic, wishes to substitute the desert for cheese and biscuits that this can be accommodated. The same applies to those people who require ice cream instead of the respective desert offering. The only stipulation is that when the lodge or chapter is opened that the secretary ascertains the number of members requiring an alternative. This is to help the caterer reduce wastage by not preparing more deserts than are required.




TALKING HEADSimages-copy

Excelsior Lodge will be hosting a Provincial Presentation entitled “Talking Heads” at their next meeting on Saturday 5 November 2016. This is a very interesting as well as thought provoking presentation which I recommend to you all.

                                         Full details of the event

Provincial Grand Lodge Changes

Over the past eighteen months, the Winter Gardens, Blackpool have been providing their own catering for the many large functions that take place there on a weekly basis, and they have been receiving excellent reviews regarding the quality of the food that they serve.

As a result of these reviews, the Provincial Grand Master recently attended a food tasting session at the Winter Gardens, accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and The Provincial Grand Secretary, and they were all in agreement that the quality and presentation of the food was first class and equally as good as the Hilton Hotel.

Therefore, the Provincial Grand Master has decided that the banquet following the forthcoming meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held at the Winter Gardens.

Dining will be in the Empress Ballroom, which is where the previous meetings have been held and the meeting itself will take place in the Opera House.

The move to the Opera House has been made following full consultation meetings with the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, his Deputies and other Past Deputies, all of whom were both positive and optimistic about this change.

In order for the Province to secure a booking for both the Empress Ballroom and the Opera House, the original date of the 15 May 2017 has had to be brought forward to Wednesday 10 May 2017.

The Province realises that this date may clash with some diaries, but this change will ensure we are all under one roof and will remove the logistical problems of large numbers of brethren moving from the Winter Gardens to the Hilton Hotel.

That’s all for this month brethren but please remember to let me or Ken Bullen know if you have any items that you wish to be brought to others attention in this or future bulletins.

Howard Blue 2012