The Deputy Grand Superintendent Steven Reid presided at the second bi-annual Liverpool Group masters’ and first principals’ dinner which was held at Liverpool Masonic Hall. He was joined by 87 brethren at this gala event.
The evening commenced with an informal gathering at which Steven, accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Dimelow, Assistant to the Grand Principals Paul Shepherd, Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor and Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah Stephen Brereton together with group officials, mingled with the rulers of lodges and chapters belonging to the Liverpool Group to chat informally.
This was followed later by a more formal and robust question and answer session at which Steven, together with the aforementioned senior Provincial officers, fielded some pointed questions covering a broad field of topics, both major and minor which were fully answered and explanations of policy given. Some of the issues discussed included the increasing costs to individuals who belonged to more than one lodge or chapter, recruitment and especially the retention of members, parking at Liverpool Masonic Hall and the wearing of Provincial ties.
It was generally agreed that lodges with full social calendars seemed to be more successful in attracting and retaining members. This extremely valuable session lasted over an hour and a half, and no doubt gave all those present food for thought as to how progress can be made in the future.
Following the forum, a sumptuous dinner was held in the main banqueting hall. Keith Rice, the Liverpool Group Royal Arch Scribe E gave a most dignified and sincere toast to Steven Reid which was greeted with acclaim.
Steven rose and thanked Keith for the toast to his health. Steven’s theme for his response was on the future of Freemasonry. He stated that he had found the question and answer forum to be most interesting and it had given him and the other senior Masons in the ‘north-east corner’ an insight into the problems and queries of the audience. He urged members to generally encourage their younger brethren and give them some responsibility for arranging social and other events. He also urged that Craft members be encouraged to join the Royal Arch and complete their journey to a full understanding of the degrees.
Stephen Brereton proposed the toast to the Liverpool Group of Lodges and Chapters and group chairman Sam Robinson responded. He thanked the vice chairman (RA) David Kemp and Keith Rice for all the hard work that they had done in planning and organising the event which had proven to be so successful. He gave details of upcoming events affecting the group and the Liverpool Masonic Hall. Sam went on to praise the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and urged brethren to keep them in mind for Masonic giving. He advertised the upcoming group seminar and group ball and other events.
A grand raffle was conducted which raised over £300 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. The lucky winner of the first prize of a 4.5 litre bottle of scotch was Les Crane, WM of West Derby Castle Lodge No 5821.
Altogether the dinner proved to be a most enjoyable and worthwhile event which gave the opportunity for attendees and the senior Masonic figures present to appreciate what is currently occupying the thoughts of lodge and chapter leaders.