You could feel the warmth of welcome upon entering the lodge as members and visitors assembled for the 113th meeting of Old Lerpoolian Lodge No 9270. It is hardly surprising then that the lodge has six joining members waiting in the wings along with two initiates.
The caretaker worshipful master John McGibbon welcomed everyone to the meeting and then opened the lodge in the first degree. After the minutes of the previous meeting had been confirmed as a true record the WM announced that a ballot would be taken for a joining candidate. This proved unanimously in favour of Rob James of Olympic Lodge No 4461 who was then asked to enter the lodge and told that the ballot proved in favour – he was congratulated by the John.
A new member of the lodge, entered apprentice Oliver Leach, was asked to retire before the lodge was opened in the second degree and John McGibbon thanked the brethren for all their support during the preceding months. He then opened the lodge in the third degree.
The lodge director of ceremonies Mike Mansfield-Corbett entered the lodge and informed the brethren that Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder stood outside and demanded admission. He paraded into the lodge accompanied by grand officers Peter Connolly and Keith Sanders together with Vic Albin the Vice Chairman of the Woolton Group.
David Winder was warmly welcomed by John McGibbon and David said he was delighted to be present and would be pleased to accept the gavel but returned it so that he could enjoy the evening.
David was saluted in due form followed by salutations to the other two grand officers and then Vic Albin who responded for the Provincial officers.
The lodge was adjourned to the second degree and John McGibbon requested Keith Sanders, (both John and Keith are founders of the lodge), to occupy the chair for the next part of the ceremony. Other past masters also assisted Keith. Mike Cunliffe presented John McGibbon, as master elect of the lodge, to Keith who asked John to re-affirm his obligation. The lodge was resumed in the third degree and John was expertly and with sincerity installed as WM.
Barry Lipkin of Unanimity Lodge 287, (Province of Cheshire), delivered and explanation of the working tools of an installed master with authority and sincerity. Master Masons were readmitted and the third degree working tools were delivered by Mike Mansfield-Corbett. Fellow crafts were readmitted and the second degree working tools were delivered by Grenville Jeffries who is also a founder of Old Lerpoolian Lodge. Entered apprentices were readmitted along with other brethren and the working tools were delivered by entered apprentice John McMullen, who unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances arrived late but in time to perform his important task.
Officers of the lodge were then invested, during which the organist Stephen Derringer played appropriate tunes but when it came to the point that the organist was to be invested there was a surprise in store for all as David Winder, accompanied by Peter Connolly, took the organist’s seat and played the music until the Stephen returned to his seat.
The address to the newly installed WM was delivered by Vic Albin, whilst Peter Connolly addressed the wardens and David Winder addressed the brethren.
After the ceremony was concluded David Winder brought congratulations, thanks and best wishes for a healthy year from the Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison. David then, with John McGibbon’s permission, walked around the lodge and congratulated the brethren who had taken part spending a moment to speak with the younger brethren. He gave special thanks to Barry Lipkin for the manner in which he had delivered the tools for an installed master.
David was asked to receive a cheque for £800 for West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, which he thanked the lodge members for and on behalf of the recipients. The lodge was then closed with due ceremony and solemn prayer. The brethren retired to the dining for a well earned evening meal.