True to previous form, it was an excellent turn out for the ‘masters and first principals’ dinner of the Liverpool Group, held within the magnificent Masonic all on Hope Street. The Liverpool Group was pleased to welcome Deputy Grand Superintendent Paul Renton to the meeting, along with the Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor. In addition, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Malcolm Bell provided his usual skills to ensure the event ran smoothly. Also in attendance were members from the other groups which meet in the Liverpool, Garston, Gladstone and Woolton areas.
Following a very successful, tried and tested format, the evening started with tea, coffee and biscuits, accompanied by informal socialising in the top floor suite, before all moved into the main banqueting suite for the formal section of the evening. A fine meal followed, with lots of chatter throughout the room. Malcolm Bell managed the proceedings, with the usual formal toasts being taken.
Paul Renton thanked all of the officers for their contribution to the effective running of the group, noting that all were present for this evening. He enthused on how fortunate it was that the Liverpool Group had such a magnificent Masonic hall within the city, and how with the past decline of city life, the membership had suffered in proportion, but that had now stopped, with many lodges starting to show an expansion in membership. Paul talked of the rich heritage of Royal Arch Masonry within the Liverpool region and how it had been unique in its outlook. The very early days saw the spread out of the city and the use of early workings for the chapters had spread well beyond the local area.
He then proffered congratulations to all within the group, who would be rewarded with Provincial appointments and promotions at the forthcoming meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in Blackpool as well as those companions who would receive their honours at Provincial Grand Chapter in Southport. Talking about the MCF 2021 Festival, which he knew was well publicised, he also explained and endorsed the recently formed ‘Masonic Fishing Charity’, an initiative supported by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, which was aimed at providing an enjoyable, rewarding and stimulating experience to those suffering from disability and serious learning difficulties. This was met with hearty applause.
Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah David Case, proposed the toast to the Liverpool Group, in which he mentioned how Liverpool is seen worldwide as a ‘beacon of light.’ He went on to say that the city not only had a remarkable heritage, but also a glowing future ahead. David then thanked all for the hospitality which is always extended to him in Liverpool.
Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews proudly responded, saying that he was fortunate in being a member of a remarkable team, extolling their achievements and offering his thanks to all concerned. In this he included the hall executive team and the Liverpool Masonic Hall Building Fund committee, who all worked together tirelessly to maintain the economic viability of this large and grand building. He also expressed his delight at having Paul Renton as the principal guest, accompanied by so many distinguished colleagues.
To round off the evening Paul Renton was presented with a beautiful floral bouquet for his wife and a bottle of Scotland’s finest liquid refreshment from a Morayshire distillery of renown, the only one pioneered by a woman.