Garston Lodge of Installed Masters No 9403 is, as its name would suggest, a lodge for those brethren who have previously occupied the chair of King Solomon. Formed in 1991 and still boasting a number of its founding fathers, the lodge installed Paul Baines as its new WM, conducted superbly by last minute stand in Hughie O’Neil.
Due to the pressures of his work commitments, the current WM Rob Jones, was forced to miss the installation meeting and so called on the assistance of Hughie to ensure that Paul was suitably installed into the chair of the lodge. One of Hughie’s first duties was to express the thanks and best wishes of Rob to the brethren for all their support during his year of office.
The smooth running of the evening was in the capable hands of acting DC Derek Horrocks, who announced that Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews, principal guest for the evening, was without and sought admission.
Mark, who was accompanied by Garston Group Chairman John Murphy and fellow grand officer Howard Griffiths, were duly admitted and welcomed into the lodge by Hughie. Paul’s longtime friend Wally James presented the master elect and the ceremony of installation was delivered by Hughie with precision, warmth and sincerity.
Paul is no stranger to the master’s chair and his calm assurance was immediately evident in appointing the officers for the ensuing year.
Maintaining the standard of the installation ceremony, Howard Griffiths delivered the address to the new WM before Hughie addressed the newly appointed wardens. To conclude the installation ceremony and with equal aplomb, Mark delivered the address to the brethren.
Once the ceremony had concluded, Mark was pleased to offer the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, whom he said, had instructed him to wish Paul, the brethren of the lodge and the assembled guests good health and happiness and to continue to enjoy their Freemasonry. He continued by saying that, had he been present, he had no doubt Tony would have also offered his congratulations to Hughie and Derek for a job well done.
Paul then took particular pleasure in presenting a cheque to Mark for £100 in support of the West Lancashire Masonic Charity. In itself, presenting monies to charities on behalf of your lodge is a pleasing and satisfying benefit of office, however, given that Paul has worked within the charity offices for many years no doubt added to his enjoyment.
With the formal business of the evening concluded the brethren gathered in the dining room to enjoy dinner, after which, and in reply to the toast to grand officers, Mark informed every one of the continuing increase in membership as well as the many initiatives with both Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge. He continued by taking the opportunity to offer his own congratulations to the new WM and to Hughie and Derek for their work in ensuring an enjoyable evening for all.
As was mentioned earlier, Paul is one of the many volunteers who help run our charity office and it was particularly pleasing for Paul, that on this special evening he was joined by many of his co-volunteers, some of whom had travelled from the far reaches of the Province. These included Steve Kayne the chief executive officer and of course Mark, who amongst his other commitments is the chair of the board of directors.