The centenary of Yachtsman’s Lodge No. 3698 was celebrated at Woolton Golf Club in the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Howard Jones, who was supported by the Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, Mark Matthews and Joe Hall and the majority of the Provincial team
The members of Yachtsman’s Lodge were delighted that their honorary member Cyrill McGibbon was present, as Cyril is older than the lodge at 101 years of age. The centenary meeting was well supported by almost 70 members and guests.
The evening got off to a magnificent start with the Provincial team processing into the temple with other distinguished masons under the direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Keith Kemp.
Howard was welcomed into the lodge by the worshipful master Ken Baxter, who offered Howard the gavel which he accepted. Howard proceeded to open Provincial Grand Lodge.
Howard gave a short address to the lodge before asking asked Mike Cunliffe (Woolton Group Secretary) who was acting as the Provincial Grand Secretary for the meeting to read out the centenary warrant.
The warrant was presented to the worshipful master, Ken Baxter along with a centenary jewel. The lodge members were then permitted to wear their centenary jewels.
Howard then called upon the Provincial Grand Chaplain Rev Graham Halsall to deliver an oration was delivered by the Provincial Deputy Grand Chaplain, which was based on the maritime history of Liverpool and the ways time has changed the waterfront of Liverpool and Yachtsman’s Lodge in particular.
Next followed a prayer of rededication led by Graham and the closure of Provincial Grand Lodge.
Before closing the centenary meeting Howard informed the brethren that the Provincial Grand Master was sorry he could not attend the meeting due to poor health, but he sent his best wishes for the future of the lodge.
Howard returned the gavel to Ken who thanked Howard for his attendance and handed him a cheque for £3,698 in favour of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity which was greeted with enthusiastic acclamation by the brethren.
Ken then asked Howard if he would present three Grand Lodge certificates to three new members of the lodge. Howard said he would be delighted to do so.
After the lodge was closed, the guests and members enjoyed pre-dinner drinks before sitting for sumptuous festive board.
Woolton Group Vice Chairman who has known Howard for many years proposed the toast to him.
Howard responded: 'First of all if I may thank Vic Albin for his generous toast to my health especially as our friendship goes back almost 40 years.
'Brethren, on such a special occasion it is appropriate to have a party which brings to mind a sentence from Gilbert and Sullivan - and you're giving a treat, penny ice and cold meat, to a party of friends and relation.
'Well brethren, we are certainly friends if not relations through our various lodges and we are privileged to be here to celebrate or should I say party, with you. As I said, Princes Lodge No. 2316 was your mother lodge, sadly their warrant was returned in 2004 but you also had a daughter lodge, Hyperion Lodge No. 3933, but again their warrant was returned in 2009. From your family it is therefore up to you to sail into your second century with confidence.
'I don't know if any present members remember your WM in 1963 when you reached 50 years. It was a brother called Bill Edwards who was a regular visitor to my own lodge and one of the first I got to know outside my own lodge. Sitting and talking to him certainly increased my knowledge of Masonry and you can be proud that he was everything you would wish a Freemason to be. You could say he was a typical mentor but long before we gave it a title. Tonight I was able to present three Grand Lodge Certificates and I would urge those brethren to make sure they talk with the older members whenever possible. You will learn a considerable amount.
'I congratulate and thank you for presenting such a generous cheque for £3,698 to WLFC. You will of course be able to increase the amounts you raise if you use the yellow envelope scheme and benefit from the Gift Aid reclaim.'
Howard concluded by referring to the evening as being the 100th birthday party, an opportunity to congratulate the lodge on reaching this notable landmark, but also to wish it well as it set sail on the route to the next landmark.
As Howard finished the bell which is traditionally sounded on the half hour during the festive board rang!
To which he said: 'Brethren I have clearly had time called on my response!'