The members of Crosby Lodge No. 3714 and their many guests gathered in Bootle Masonic Hall to celebrate the lodge centenary and the investiture of Derek Parkinson as Assistant Provincial Grand Master
The Master of the lodge Graham Chambers had the pleasure of welcoming the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Howard Jones who entered the lodge room accompanied by his full entourage of grand and Provincial grand officers in a magnificent and colourful procession.
Graham ceded the gavel to Howard who took the chair and nominated his Provincial officers for this special opening of Provincial Grand Lodge. These included Mark Dimelow who acted as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Mark Matthews Senior Warden, Joe Hall Junior Warden, Rev Can Geoffrey Hirst Deputy Provincial Grand Chaplain, Peter Taylor Provincial Grand Secretary, Keith Kemp Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Neil McSymond DGDC, John Fielding Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, Peter Hughes and John Gibbon Provincial Deacons, Antony Hill and Stuart Kane Standard Bearers, Gordon Ivett Pursuivant and Frank Kennedy Tyler. They were accompanied by three APrGMs Ray Martland, Tony Harrison and John Hutton and two PPRAGMs David McCormick and John Moore and several other grand officers.
The Bootle Group was represented by chairman Ian Gee, vice chairman John Marsden and secretary Ray Barrow.
After opening Provincial Grand Lodge Howard said: 'Brethren I am delighted to be here with my Provincial team we are here this evening for two special reasons the first is to invest Derek Parkinson as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master for this Province and the second is to celebrate 100 years to the day that Crosby Lodge was consecrated, Howard said the meeting is able to be held thanks to a dispensation that has been granted.
Howard stated that the first item was to invest Derek and it was an honour and a privilege to carry out the investiture on behalf on the Provincial Grand Master Peter Hosker who was unable to attend due to illness.
A deputation was then formed to bring Derek into the lodge to which Howard welcomed him in. Howard read out Derek’s masonic history from when he was initiated into Cleveleys Park Lodge No. 7540 by his father and was installed as worshipful Master in 1988 to his appointment as an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals two years ago. Howard said that his service to Freemasonry both in the Craft as well a Royal Arch was exemplary and that his CV was highly commendable.
Derek was asked if he was willing to undertake the responsibilities and duties of the office of Assistant Provincial Grand Master, to which he replied, I am. Peter Taylor then read out the certificate of office signed by the Provincial Grand Master.
Derek then knelt and took the solemn obligation of an APrGM. Howard invested Derek with the chain of his office and thanked him on behalf of Peter Hosker for accepting this important office. The brethren then saluted John with the grand or royal sign five times.
The centenary celebration then got underway. Howard said 'Crosby Lodge No. 3714 has prospered and its members can be justly proud of what has been achieved in its 100 years.'
He then called upon the Provincial Grand Secretary to read the Centenary Warrant issued by the Grand Master which he did. This document also gives the lodge members permission to wear a special Centenary jewel. Howard then presented the Centenary Warrant to Graham who promised that it would be preserved, for subsequent masters pure and unsullied as he received it.
Howard then called upon Rev Can Geoffrey Hirst to deliver an oration to the lodge. What followed was truly an oration of quality, eloquence and erudition which held the assembled brethren spellbound. At the conclusion of his oration, Geoffrey was congratulated by Howard for his oration. The assembled brethren concurred with applause.
Next followed a prayer of rededication, given by Geoffrey. Howard then closed Provincial Grand Lodge. Howard returned the gavel to Graham who resumed the WM’s chair.
Graham then rose and thanked the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the wonderful and enjoyable ceremony. He then presented Howard with three cheques, £214 for PALMA - Liverpool Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit, £500 to the West Lancashire Freemasons' Charity and £3,000 to FROTH – Friends of the hall. Howard thanked the lodge members for their generous contributions to these most worthwhile causes.
The Provincial party then retired in an equally magnificent and colourful procession to a sumptuous festive board.
Nobody present could fail to be impressed by the dignified and stately manner in which this important and historic landmark had been celebrated by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and his officers and by the officers and brethren of Crosby Lodge No. 3714.
Over 70 brethren enjoyed a wonderful meal and good company at the festive board.