Meeting in the Adams Suite in Liverpool Masonic Hall, the former corn exchange lodge, Ceres Lodge No 3501, held their annual installation ceremony.
With their regular lodge business dispatched by the WM John Lewis, the lodge was delighted to receive Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder, supported on this occasion by the Vice Chairman of the Liverpool Group David Johnson and acting Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fletcher. John proffered the gavel to David, but a gentleman as always, David received it graciously for only a few moments before returning it with a smile.
The lodge is going through a year of consolidation and with this in mind John Lewis agreed to serve for another year as master. As such it was not the ‘normal’ installation ceremony, but a proclamation, but this did not detract from the nature and solemnity of the occasion. Everyone involved did a splendid job, with John investing his team for the forthcoming season. To conclude the ceremony David Winder delivered the address to the brethren in exemplary fashion.
At the end of the ceremony David brought congratulations on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. David said: “If Tony was present, he would have congratulated John Lewis and thanked him for taking the office of WM for another year, while the younger brethren move up the ladder. Tony would wish for him to enjoy and have an excellent year in the chair.” David went on to congratulate all the officers involved in the ceremony for the excellent work that evening. He then thanked and wished the brethren of Ceres Lodge the very best of health and hoped they would all enjoy a happy Masonic year. John thanked David for his kind words on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master and presented him with a cheque for £200 in favour of the MCF 2021 Festival.
John closed the lodge in peace and harmony, with the brethren making their way to the adjoining banqueting suite for pre-dinner drinks and a delightful festive board. David remarked that it was always a delight to respond to the toast to the Grand Officers and thanked all for the warmth of the welcome he had been given. He noticed that Ceres Lodge had been consecrated in 1911, the same year as the coronation of King George V. It was also the year of the first radio broadcast, the arrest of Doctor Crippen and the opening of the Old Trafford football ground. David then smiled, saying that he now had full undivided attention, for the one way to bring the ‘reds and blues’ together is the very mention of that club at the wrong end of the East Lanc’s Road. Togetherness is something that is on view this evening, for it speaks volumes that Ceres Lodge has undergone and survived two world wars and achieved its centenary in 2011, one could say ‘it has certainly earned its corn.’
David then thanked the Liverpool group for the kind invite and that he was gladdened to be in the company this evening with David Johnson, who has been promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden. He next passed on personal congratulations to John Lewis on retaining ‘the chair’ of such a fine lodge and gave thanks to immediate past master Tony Green and all the other members who had contributed to what was an excellent team display.
The MCF 2021 Festival was in progress and it was heartening to gaze around the room and see so many proudly wearing the accompanying tie and wearing their festival jewel earlier in the lodge room. It was something to be justly proud of. The MCF gives great support across the constitution, but particularly to this Province and has recently awarded grants to both care homes in the Province, Tithebarn and Ecclesholme, in order to help cover the costs of refurbishment, amounting to one £1,000,000. Tonight, Ceres Lodge made a donation again to the MCF 2021 Festival and that will be gratefully received and put to good use. In conclusion David said, “enjoy your Masonry, talk openly of it to family, friends and non-Masons, for too long have we hidden our light behind a bushel”. David then thanked the senior warden for his toast to the grand officers.
Following a number of other toasts, the evening was concluded and speaking afterwards David Johnson said it had been a magnificent evening all round, an excellent ceremony within the lodge room, followed by a superb festive board and harmonious camaraderie throughout, with the visiting Provincial grand officers being in fine spirit. This had been a thoroughly pleasant evening which was much enjoyed by all.