Members and guests of Goodwill Lodge 3896 turned out in force at Widnes Masonic Hall to witness the initiation of Mr Michael McCarthy. An initiation ceremony is a very special occasion, none more so than in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and the full Provincial team.
The lodge was opened by WM Paul Smith and the usual administration undertaken. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp entered the lodge to announce the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison stood without and demanded admission. Paul said that he and the brethren would be pleased to receive him.
Tony processed into the lodge accompanied by Philip Gunning (Deputy Provincial Grand Master), Kevin Poynton and Tony Bent both of whom are Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Derek Williams (Widnes Group Chairman) plus the Provincial team of grand and Provincial grand officers. Ian Smith and Ulfar Norddahl acted as Provincial Grand Deacons
Paul welcomed Tony to the lodge by offering him the gavel trusting that he would have an enjoyable evening. Tony returned the gavel thanking Paul for the warm welcome and was looking forward to the ceremony and the festive board.
At the start of the proceedings Paul invited Lewis Redhead to occupy the master’s chair for the delivery of the initiation. Lewis initiated Michael into the lodge in an impeccable and sincere manner and was ably assisted by Paul Smyth and the senior deacon David Lace and junior deacon Bill Linford, who managed the perambulations and instructions with efficiency and sensitivity.
Michael retired from the lodge and on his return the charge after initiation was superbly delivered by John Horn. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Lewis invited Paul to take his rightful place in the lodge. At this point Tony took to the floor to congratulate each of the brethren in turn who took part in what was an excellent ceremony. The lodge was then closed in due form.
Following the meeting over 60 members and guests retired to the Alan Locke Suite where they enjoyed an excellent three course meal of soup, Cumberland sausage and vegetables with a choice of sweet, followed by tea or coffee.
Tony responded to the toast to his health by first congratulating Michael on becoming a member of Goodwill Lodge and hoped that he has many happy and fulfilling years in Freemasonry. At this point Tony announced that the Widnes Group Chairman, Derek Williams was to retire with immediate effect due to health issues.
Derek was thanked by Tony for the past 10 years as a group officer, the last three and a half as chairman. He then announced that Neil Pedder was to replace Derek as chairman and for the interim period, until the provincial meeting in May, Norman Speed will act as vice chairman when John Gibbon, the present secretary, will take on the position.
He reminded the brethren that the Province of West Lancashire Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival will commence 15 May 2017. He also mentioned the up and coming tercentenary celebrations which are progressing well throughout the province. He thanked the lodge for a memorable evening on his own behalf and on behalf of the Provincial team.