Simon installs his father in Toxteth Lodge

After a very happy and successful year in the chair of King Solomon, it was time for the WM Arthur Bartley to install his successor at the meeting of Toxteth Lodge No 1365 at Woolton Golf Club.

Philip Birch (left) and Simon Birch

Philip Birch (left) and Simon Birch

Arthur opened the lodge in fine style and with the regular lodge business swiftly dispatched, the lodge was raised to the third degree. Lodge DC Matt Wilson then announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent stood without and demanded admission, Arthur said the lodge would be delighted to receive him.

Tony Bent entered the lodge accompanied by Woolton Group Chairman Andrew Whittle, John Brine, group vice chairman Mike Cunliffe, Vic Albin and acting Provincial grand officers, Gordon Sandford PrGSwdB and Matt Wilson Jnr PrGStwd.

Arthur gave Tony a very warm welcomed and Tony replied saying that he was delighted to be present and would be pleased to accept the gavel but returned it so that he could enjoy the evening. Tony was saluted in due form followed by salutations to the other grand and Provincial grand officers.

Tony Bent (left) congratulates Philip Birch

Tony Bent (left) congratulates Philip Birch

The lodge was adjourned to the second degree and Arthur Bartley requested John Leisk to occupy the position of senior warden, Stephen Lawler to occupy the position of junior warden and William Carter to occupy the position of inner guard for the ceremony of installation. Master elect Philip Birch was presented by Eric Binks and James Hayden; Philip was the asked to reaffirm his obligation.

After the lodge was resumed in the third degree, WM Arthur Bartley asked Simon Birch, the son of the master elect, to occupy the masters chair to install his father into the chair of King Solomon. Philip was then expertly installed as WM by his son Simon.

The working tools were expertly delivered by junior members of the lodge; Stephen Robinson third degree tools, Ian Folksman second degree tools and Carl Schears first degree tools. Philip Birch then invested the officers of the lodge.

The address to the newly installed master was given by Arthur Bartley, whilst Eric Binks addressed the wardens, other addresses were to the deacons by David Nicholson, to the tyler by Jim Hayden and Tony Bent gave the address to the brethren of the lodge.

Tony then had pleasure of bringing the congratulations and good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, commenting on the manner in which the WM had been installed into the WM’s chair by Simon, Tony then whished Philip well for his term in office.

Philip then had the pleasure of presenting a number cheques to Tony; £300 to the Freemasons Grand Charity for the Tercentenary Celebration, £200 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £100 to the Woolton Group. Tony thanked the brethren on behalf of the recipients for their generosity. The lodge was then closed and the brethren the retired to the festive board.

Pictured from left to right, are: Gordon Sandford, Mike Cunliffe, Tony Bent, Arthur Bartley, Philip Birch, Andrew Whittle, Matt Wilson Jnr and Matt Wilson Snr.

Pictured from left to right, are: Gordon Sandford, Mike Cunliffe, Tony Bent, Arthur Bartley, Philip Birch, Andrew Whittle, Matt Wilson Jnr and Matt Wilson Snr.

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