To the sounds of the melodic organ played by Christopher Bean, brethren and guests assembled in the Geoffrey Hirst Masonic Suite at Woolton Golf Club for the installation ceremony of Olympic Lodge No 4461.
Lodge director of ceremonies Kenneth Baxter requested the brethren to stand to sing the opening ode which was sung with rapture and the lodge was opened in the first degree by the WM William Pinto who enquired if the minutes had been circulated to which the lodge secretary Fred Hulse replied that every brother had received a copy. The minutes having been accepted as a true record of the previous meeting were signed.
The lodge was then opened to the second and third degree and the director of ceremonies asked for permission to retire and on his return announced that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton was without and demanded admission.
Kevin entered the lodge accompanied by Woolton Group Chairman Andy Whittle and Provincial grand officers. The WM offered Kevin the gavel of the lodge saying: “As is your right, I offer you the gavel of the lodge.” To which Kevin replied: “I accept it for only for three seconds and I wish you an enjoyable evening”! Kevin was duly saluted followed by salutations to Andy Whittle, and Fred Hulse took the salute on behalf of the Provincial grand officers.
The WM asked Fred Hulse to occupy the WM’s chair for the ceremony, which he did and then adjourned the lodge to the second degree so that the master elect Stephen Cornwell could be presented by Robert James. After Stephen had re-affirmed his obligation the lodge was adjourned to the third degree.
Officers of the lodge were asked to line up in the north while William Pinto thanked them with sincerity for all the support they had given him during the year saying: “Although we are a small lodge we are a very happy lodge”.
The master elect Stephen Cornwell was then duly installed into the chair of King Solomon. The installing master, Fred Hulse then asked for the master Masons to be re-admitted and they duly saluted the newly installed master and Robert James presented the working tools of the third degree. The lodge was closed to the second degree and fellow craft Freemasons were re-admitted, saluted the WM and the second degree working tools were presented by Fred Hulse.
After the lodge was closed to the first degree entered apprentices were re-admitted, saluted the newly installed master and the first degree working tools were presented by Tony Standish. Kenneth Baxter then asked the master to appoint and invest his officers.
Andy Whittle gave the address to the charity steward and festival representative. The master’s address was given by Bryan Humphries; the address to the wardens by group vice chairman Mike Cunliffe and Kevin Poynton gave the address to the brethren of the lodge. After this Fred Hulse informed the master that the ceremony was concluded.
This was the moment that Kevin had been waiting for to bring the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison to the newly installed master saying: “Freemasonry is special and he hoped that you WM will have an excellent year and had he been here this evening he would undoubtedly have congratulated the installing master Fred Hulse and Kenneth Baxter as well as all who took part in the ceremony”.
Stephen Cornwell then presented a cheque to Kevin for the sum of £300 for the MCF 2021 Festival, which Kevin thanked him for on behalf of the recipients saying it was a magnificent sum for a small, but happy lodge, of 14 subscribing members.
Stephen Cornwell has already started a centenary fund for the lodge by holding a Garden Tea Party which raised in excess of £600 and he has planned a Chinese night as his next function in December.
Alms were collected and after the first rising Kenneth Baxter as brethren to stand whilst Kevin, other grand officers and Provincial grand officers retired. After the communications had been heard the lodge was duly closed and the closing ode was sung. The brethren retired to the dining room to share good company and fine food.