At the annual installation meeting of Yachtsman’s Lodge No 3698, incorporating Otterspool Lodge No 6605 the members were honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton accompanied by grand Officer Keith Sanders and Woolton Group Vice Chairman Mike Cunliffe.
The DC of the lodge Phillip Gambrill called the brethren to order so that the WM Stephen Ashcroft could open the lodge in the first degree. The minutes of the previous regular meeting having been circulated were confirmed and signed. The WM then opened the lodge to the second degree and allowed the DC to retire. The lodge was opened to the third degree and the DC was readmitted to inform the brethren that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton stood without and demanded admission. The WM responded that the lodge would be pleased to receive him.
Kevin Poynton, accompanied by Keith Sanders and Group Vice Chairman Mike Cunliffe entered the lodge and Kevin was warmly welcomed by Stephen Ashcroft who offered him the gavel. Kevin responded by saying that he would accept the gavel as was his right but returned it saying it would be in better hands. Phillip Gambrill asked brethren to salute Kevin in the usual manner and then Keith Sanders. Fred Hulse took the salutations on behalf of the Provincial officers.
The WM then requested Phillip Gambrill to occupy the master’s chair for the next part of the ceremony which was to adjourn the lodge to the second degree. Phillip then asked some of the past masters to assist him with Peter Hesketh taking the senior warden’s chair and Arthur Merrill the junior warden’s chair. James Oates was asked to take the position of inner guard. The master elect Simon Jonathan Quinn was presented and agreed to the ancient charges, regulations and landmarks of the Order. Simon proceeded to take his obligation and the lodge was then adjourned to the third degree so that Simon could be installed into the chair of King Solomon in appropriate form.
With Simon having taken the WM’s chair, Jim Campbell assisted in the ceremony by requesting that master Masons be readmitted to salute the newly installed master and he then explained the working tools in the third degree to Simon. The lodge was then closed to the second degree and fellow crafts were readmitted in due form with the working tools explained by Jim. The lodge was closed to the first degree and entered apprentice Freemasons were readmitted in due form with the working tools again explained by Jim.
Phillip Gambrill then asked the WM to appoint and invest his officers. Gary Devlin, Woolton Group Charity Steward, gave the address to the lodge charity steward Len Jones. Arthur Merrill delivered the address to the WM, Keith sanders gave the address to the wardens and at the appropriate moment Kevin Poynton delivered the address to the brethren of the lodge.
Phillip Gambrill then informed the WM that the ceremony of installation was concluded and this was the prompt for Kevin to rise and convey the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison who had asked Kevin to convey his thanks and wished everyone in the lodge health and happiness in their Freemasonry. Kevin went on to say that had Tony been present he would certainly have congratulated everyone who had taken part in the ceremony.
Simon Quinn then rose to present a cheque to Kevin which he opened and thanked the lodge for its very generous donation saying that this will make the lodge a vice patron of the MCF 2021 Festival, the cheque being in the sum of £1,500. On behalf of the recipients of the charity, Kevin thanked everyone saying it was a wonderful surprise and he was sorry that the certificate of patronage could not be present, but it would be with the lodge very soon.
After alms were collected the WM rose for the first time to enquire of the secretary if there were any communications from Grand Lodge, after which the DC formed the procession to retire. Kevin, Keith and Mike retired. After further communications the lodge was duly closed and the 28 members and guests retired to the dining room for some well-earned refreshment.
Article and photographs by Colin Roberts.