One of Liverpool’s oldest and illustrious lodge’s, Everton Lodge No 823, has held its annual installation ceremony within the Roman Room at the Masonic Hall on Hope Street. Since the foundation in 1860, Everton Lodge has built strongly on a consistent winning formula. No magic ingredients are needed, just a willingness from each member to do their best, support given when needed, following the traditional Bottomley workings and a regular lodge of rehearsal.
This year saw WM Andrew Chatterton, extend a warm welcome to all and in particular to the principal guest, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon, who was accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews and fellow grand and Provincial grand officers. The lodge was opened in the usual manner and during the business of the lodge, a notice of motion was proffered to award honorary membership to Rev Harry Ross, together with a ballot to admit as a re-joining member, Bill Sutter. Proving affirmative, Bill was admitted into the lodge room.
It was on completion of business that the enigmatic Paul Robinson as DC, announced the arrival of Stewart Seddon, who subsequently entered in ceremonial procession. This was led by acting Provincial Grand Steward Andrew Sumner together with fellow acting Provincial Grand Officers Gordon McKay, Derek Robinson and Ian Smith. After the required salutations, everyone settled to enjoy a ceremony which would prove to be one of extremely high achievement.
For the purpose of the installation ceremony, the installing master Andrew Chatterton, invited Steve Roberts to take the position of senior warden, Hughie O’Neil as junior warden and Ken Orme as inner guard. Before installing his successor, Andrew gave thanks and praise to the officers and members of the lodge who had made his year in office such a memorable period. He said that he could have not been better supported, particularly at committee meetings and rehearsals throughout the year.
The presenting officers guided master elect Stephen Makin to the floor of the lodge where he gave his assent to the ancient charges. Andrew then installed Stephen into the chair of King Solomon according to ancient custom and Andrew must be congratulated for a great display, so proficient in every detail. Before the proclamations and the presentation of the working tools, Steve’s first duty was to invest Andrew as immediate past master. The tools for an installed master were presented and explained by Andrew, in a thoroughly praiseworthy manner, those of a master Mason were delivered by Hughie O’Neill, the fellow craft tools by Ian Hayes and those of an entered apprentice by Joe Chatterton, all to a very high standard.
All the addresses were likewise given in an exemplary manner, that to the SW Tom Maxwell, was by Steve Roberts, to the JW Joe Chatterton, was by Hughie O’Neill and that to the deacons by Dave Johnson. Mark Matthews read the address to the charity steward Bill Wyper and also presented him with his own personal copy, such is the importance now placed on this office. The acting PrGStwd Andy Sumner, gave a flawless address to the stewards, while Andrew Chatterton gave a perfect rendition of the address to the WM and to an equal standard Bob Paterson delivered the address to the two wardens.
Stewart Seddon took his place on the lodge room floor to give the address to the brethren of the lodge and at the appropriate moment expressed the good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, to Steve Makin, Andrew and Paul Robinson the director of ceremonies, who had conducted the ceremony and the whole evening in an exemplary manner. Stewart also had the charming honour of presenting the lodge with a Vice Patron certificate for the MCF 2021 Festival. Stephen Makin then had the pleasant duty of offering, on behalf of the lodge, two charitable cheques to Stewart, one in favour of the WLFC for £200, the second in favour of Liverpool Masonic Hall for £250. Stewart gave thanks to the lodge brethren on behalf of the recipients for their generosity.
The meeting was then closed and the brethren and their guests retired to the main banqueting room to partake of a traditional festive board. After toasts to the master, the brethren sat down to a menu dedicated to epicurean delight, consisting of a smooth liver pate with suitable accompaniments, a main course of that most English of staple fayre, the roast beef dinner, finished off with carrot cake and an assortment of cheese with biscuits.
During the evening, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, Stewart said how delighted he was to see Stephen installed in such a wonderful ceremony, ably conducted by Andrew and assisted by members of the lodge. He wished Stephen all the best for his year in office and encouraged him to enjoy himself by visiting other lodges and thereby carrying the flag for this the ancient and honourable lodge. He further congratulated Andrew on his forthcoming appointment to Provincial Grand Steward, which will be at the May meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge.
Conveying the wishes of the PrGM, Stewart prompted the brethren to continue to give the MCF 2021 Festival their full support during the remaining years of the festival. He reminded them that the festival is dedicated to supporting the MCF that overarches the four existing Masonic charities and that everyone should be proud that West Lancashire was the first Province to support the foundation and thanked all those who had already taken out pledges and wearing their festival jewels.
Stewart asked brethren not to forget the local charities that they have helped in the past and most importantly to continue to support their magnificent Masonic hall. Moving on, Stewart encouraged those brethren who are members of the Royal Arch to forward its interests by making brethren who are yet to take that step aware of how important the degree really is. The Royal Arch is an integral part of Freemasonry and with the enhanced ceremony, provides a more interesting and stimulating introduction to the order. Turning to the evening’s meeting, he thanked the group chairman Mark Matthews for his support and all the work he and the group executive do for the Liverpool Group. The evening was rounded off with a presentation of a bouquet of flowers to Stewart for him to pass to his wife Val, as an appreciation from the lodge for being without Stewart’s company for another evening.