Fermor Lodge of Mark Master Masons. No. 1113
Masonic Hall, Duke St, Southport
Here we go again, looking forward to another trip to the seaside, set off early. Up the ramp for the M60 and that was it, crawled along to the M62 junction before it stopped completely, apparently there was a six-car pile-up ahead! Well, it could be worse, or could it, just sit back and turn up the radio, once I cleared the blockage the traffic kept going until I arrived at the very impressive, magnificent hall in Southport. Parked up across the road, reasonable charge for once and made my way to the building, after pressing several buttons I entered the welcoming hallway complete with its valuable set of senior officer’s chairs.
Went for my usual mooch around, one of my favourite buildings, a superb Temple and dining room plus lots of other rooms both large and small, how do they keep it going and in such good order, it really is a credit to all the members and staff.
Now then back to the business in hand, the meeting opened on time and once several housekeeping items had been dealt with it was time for all present to welcome Right Worshipful Brother Keith Alan Beardmore PGM into the proceedings, accompanied by Acting Grand and Provincial Grand Officers, he was immediately offered the Gavel, which on this occasion he said he would accept for a short period so as to introduce members of the Provincial Team to the meeting. Once this was done the WM W.Bro. George William McDonald assisted by officers of the Lodge completed an excellent Installation Ceremony for Bro. Henry Christian Skyner. The Keystone collar was presented and explained by W. Bro. Ian Harold Scott PPrGJW before officers for the ensuing year were presented and invested. The address to the newly Installed WM was given by W.Bro. Roy Crawford PAGSwdB, the hard-working Lodge Secretary, address to the Wardens was given by Mark Barton Prov.GSW, address to the Overseers given by W.Bro. George Wiltshire Prov GJW, and my favourite address to all the Brethren present was given by our own PGM RW Bro. Keith Alan Beardmore.
On congratulating the newly installed WM, Henry had much pleasure in presenting Keith with four cheques, including one for West Lancs Mark Charity Fund, all the donations will be well received and put to good use. A surprise for two members of the Lodge came when our PGM called for W.Bro. Roy Crawford and W.Bro. John Wreyford to come forward where he was delighted to present them with the Provincial Order of Merit, this was greeted with loud acclaim. The time had now come for the PGM and the Prov Team to retire from the meeting, following the closing of the lodge several pictures were taken around the WM’s pedestal to record the special evening.
Everyone made their way to the dining room and once glasses were charged took up their allotted seats for the Festive Board, an excellent meal was served by the friendly and efficient hall staff, this was followed by a raffle for charity with a large amount of prizes. Everyone settled down to receive several outstanding Toasts and Responses, then a lovely surprise when the Prov Asst PGM’s, the Prov Dep PGM and our PGM Keith all received lovely flower bouquets on behalf of the Lodge from Henry the newly Installed WM.
Then as usual all good things must come to an end; the time had arrived for everyone to say their goodbyes and give their genuine handshakes of friendship that we share in this wonderful “Magic of the Mark Degree”.
Here’s looking forward to the next one to meet up with old friends and those we have yet to meet, remember your only a stranger once. Not a member of the Royal Ark Mariner Degree yet, come and join us, ask your Mark Secretary and I’m sure he will point you in the right direction towards the degree and the colourful Rainbow Regalia.
Out into the cold night air, Southport to Urmston (Manchester) no hold ups, it seemed to only take half the time to get back, it could have been something to do with no five-mile tailbacks, sat back in my easy chair with a small glass of Laphroaig reflecting on what was yet another excellent Mark Meeting.
Mark Well
Words and pictures by Austin N Fletcher. PGJD. Flixton Shepherd Eastwood Mark. No. 1173