The installation ceremony for the peripatetic Sovereign’s Peace Lodge No 8911 has taken place within the Corinthian Room at Liverpool Masonic Hall. The lodge, which was consecrated in 1979, is the ‘daughter lodge’ of Liverpool Lodge No 1547. The well attended meeting was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent, accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews, group vice chair Dave Johnson, along with many other grand officers and Provincial grand officers.
Acting WM Arthur Monk opened the lodge in due form, ably assisted by his wardens. On completion of the standard lodge business, Tony Bent and his entourage entered in colourful procession, reminiscent of an Indian durbar, and was warmly greeted by the master before being escorted to his rightful position within the lodge. For the purpose of the installation ceremony, Richard Wilson was requested to occupy the senior warden’s position, David Richards the junior warden’s position and Colin Rowan the inner guard’s position.
The brethren witnessed Bob Fisher being placed into the chair of King Solomon with heartfelt sincerity. After assuming the master’s chair, Bob was presented with an explanation of the working tools of the third, second and first degrees by Dave Richards in a most delightful manner. The brethren of Temple Lodge No 1094, of which Bob is a past master, assisted the lodge by taking part in the perambulations of all three degrees. Following the appointment of the lodge officers, the address to the new master was delivered in a particularly pleasing and warm style by Arthur Monk, followed by the address to the new wardens (Arthur Monk and Colin Rowan) by Mark Matthews, in a manner that was equally praiseworthy. The address to the charity steward (Geordie Harper) was given by Dave Johnson, while Tony Bent delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge with consummate skill and sincerity.
On completion of the installation ceremony, Tony Bent stood to bring the traditional greetings and good wishes from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, to all who had participated in the ceremony, especially Arthur Monk, whose work as installing master had been quite exceptional, adding it had been a ceremony that Tony would have thoroughly enjoyed. Bob Fisher requested that greetings be reciprocated to the PrGM. Bob then had the pleasure of presenting charitable donations on behalf of his lodge, these consisted of cheques in favour of £150 to the MCF 2021 Festival, £150 to WLFC and £150 to the Liverpool Masonic Hall Building Fund.
After completing the meeting within the lodge room, everyone retired to the festive board and after toasting the health of the new WM, the brethren sat down to enjoy a delightful menu. This consisted of hot salmon and asparagus salad to start, followed by fillet of beef with accompanying seasonal vegetables. The sweet was the ever favourite (for some) Eton mess with fresh cream, and a board containing a selection of cheese.
At the festive board, Tony was eager to take the opportunity to offer his personal greetings and congratulations to the brethren and new officers of the lodge and to wish the new master the very best of health to enjoy his year to the full. Tony referred to the work undertaken by the Masonic hall chairman John Roberts and the hall directors, in improving what he already considered to be a very fine Masonic hall. He continued by saying how delighted he was to see that membership was increasing, but also expressed his regret that we were losing members due to the consequence of increasing age amongst the membership. On a more positive note, he was particularly pleased to hear of the increase in the number of young men joining Masonry. He also urged those brethren not already in the Royal Arch to consider joining.
With regard to the MCF 2021 Festival, Tony was keen to point out that time as well as money was important to the charities, mentioning in particular the success of the Masonic Salmon and Trout Fishing Society whose members give so much time in providing days out for disabled youngsters and injured soldiers.
Thanks, were also proffered to the grand and acting Provincial grand officers for supporting him on this visit to Sovereign’s Peace Lodge. In conclusion, Tony thanked the secretary of the lodge for all his efforts leading up to the installation, it had made his job so much easier.
Later in the evening, when responding to the toast to his health as WM by Mark Mathews, Bob said he was delighted to be serving this lodge for the first time and was particularly pleased to see so many visitors and added that he hoped to reciprocate these visits during his year as master.