Brethren of Woolton Lodge of Unity No 1086, held their annual installation at Woolton Golf Club with more than 80 members and guests in attendance, to witness Christopher Taplin installed as master. Attaining the chair of King Solomon is a memorable event, but add to it the attendance of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and it’s an evening to live long in the memory of the new master Christopher Taplin.
Woolton Lodge of Unity was founded in 2006, as a result of the amalgamation of Lodge of Prudence No 2114, Allerton Lodge No 6653, Warbreck Lodge No 6976 and retaining the number of Walton Lodge No 1086, the oldest of the four lodges.
The WM Robert Martin and his officers opened the lodge in due form and after transacting the regular administrative business of the lodge, Alan Riley occupied the master’s chair for the first part of the ceremony.
With the lodge opened in the third degree and the announcement from Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp, that the PrGM Tony Harrison was without and demanded admission, the brethren stood to receive him. Tony was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, Woolton Group Chairman Andrew Whittle, grand officers Roy Pyne and Sam Robinson, Provincial Senior Warden David Asbridge, Provincial Junior Warden Peter Allen, together with acting Provincial grand officers Mark Barton, Keith Williams, James Savage and Alfred Dickinson.
Tony was warmly welcomed by Alan before offering Tony the gavel. In reply, Tony 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. Tony was saluted in due form followed by salutations to the grand and Provincial grand officers.
The lodge was adjourned to the second degree and Alan called on the assistance of David Asbridge and Peter Allen, to occupy the corresponding positions of SW and JW, with lodge member Peter Casey continuing as inner guard.
Master elect Christopher Taplin was presented for installation by David Newland. After Christopher had taken his obligation he was installed by Alan in a sincere and confident manner. Norman Pollock took over for the second part of the initiation, master Masons were re-admitted and the third degree working tools were delivered by David Moore, fellow crafts were readmitted then entered apprentices along with the other brethren. The first and second degree working tools were delivered in fine style by Norman Pollock and Michael Daly respectively, the WM then invested his officers for the ensuing year.
The address to the newly installed master was by David Moore, Peter Allen addressed the wardens, Keith Williams the deacons and Tony Harrison the brethren of the lodge. At the conclusion of the ceremony of installation, Tony again stood, this time to offer his personal congratulations to the WM, wishing him and all the brethren a very healthy and busy year and congratulating Alan Riley and Norman Pollock on a job well done.
Christopher then stood to present Tony with two cheques from the lodge; the MCF 2021 Festival £3,800 and the Friends of Tithebarn £350. Accepting the cheques on behalf of those who would ultimately benefit from their generosity, Tony thanked the brethren, before offering his own presentation to the lodge, the award of a Grand Patronage certificate for the MCF 2021 Festival, which Christopher was delighted to accept on behalf of the lodge.
With the grand officers and acting Provincial grand officers retired and the remaining business of the lodge concluded, everyone retired to the dining room to enjoy the festive board.
During the festive board, Kevin Poynton responded to the toast to the health of the grand officers and formally welcomed the PrGM to the Woolton Group, saying that the lodge was honoured to have him amongst them and highlighted his many qualities. Kevin then proposed a toast to the continued good health of the PrGM whilst asking him to take the good wishes of the lodge back to his wife, Maureen.
Responding to the toast to his health, Tony said he could not do his job without the support of his wife Maureen. He told the members of the lodge that he had enjoyed the installation ceremony and thanked the grand and acting Provincial grand officers for their attendance. Tony thanked Kevin Poynton for the work he does around the Province and with the publicity teams. Tony informed the brethren that the WLFC had provided the money to buy two much needed blood bikes. Tony encouraged the wearing of the festival jewel and informed the brethren of the increase in recruitment within our Order and his hope that brethren consider completing their journey in Freemasonry by joining the Royal Arch.
Concluding the evening, a raffle was held which raised £345 for charity. Finally, gifts of flowers were presented to Tony and Kevin for Maureen and Susan their respective wives.
Article and photographs by Doug Lace.