Members and guests of West Derby Castle Lodge No 5821 thronged to the Adams Suite at Liverpool Masonic Hall, to witness and celebrate their annual installation ceremony.
The lodge, which was consecrated on 16 January 1940, has always been a busy and thriving lodge with a number of distinguished members, who
have been prominent both inside Freemasonry and in the wider world. Opened in due form by WM Tom Grimes, ably assisted by his officers and brethren, a warm welcome was given to all present, with a special greeting for John McKenzie, the master of Aigburth Lodge No 4103.
The installation ceremony got under way with the entrance into the lodge of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Derek Parkinson, accompanied by Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews and vice chair Dave Johnson. Their entrance was heralded by lodge director of ceremonies David Southward, who conducted proceedings with his customary aplomb.
At the start of the installation ceremony, Dave Southward proclaimed Tom as WM, as he had expressed a wish to remain in office for a second term. Operating according to the Bottomley ritual, the perambulations were orchestrated by David, with Derek Gaskell leading the salutations.
An explanation of the working tools of an installed master was rendered in flawless fashion by Alan Boyle. The explanation of the working tools of the third degree was rendered by David Southward who also presented the working tools of the second degree. At this stage the brethren present witnessed one of the two great discoveries for West Derby Castle Lodge, a young Lewis, Connor Grimes, son of the WM. His rendition of the working tools of the entered apprentice was as near perfection as humanly possible. On completion, he was applauded by all present. Tom humorously commented how happy he now was to have someone to help him practice ritual at home.
With the investiture of the officers for the coming year, a number of addresses had to be given, which included the address to the charity steward Dave Ellison, which was read by Mark Matthews, who also handed over a copy to Dave. The address to the brethren of the lodge was given by Derek Parkinson.
At the conclusion, Derek Parkinson rose and congratulated Tom on his continuation in office and to Dave Southward on his conduct of the ceremony. He passed on the best wishes of the Provincial Grand Master to Tom and indeed to all of the assembled brethren.
In response, Tom presented Derek with a number of cheques, the beneficiaries of which were, the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, Friends of the Tithebarn and the Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes, each for the sum of £200. This made a grand total of £600 donated by the brethren of West Derby Castle Lodge, which Derek remarked that these were amazing contributions and thanked the lodge members on behalf of all who would benefit.
On completion of lodge business, all retired to the festive board and while awaiting the toast to the master, the second of the two great discoveries was revealed to all. The first West Derby Castle Lodge past master’s jewel from 1940, which had quietly resided in a cupboard for many years, but now returned. A stunning piece and irreplaceable today.