St Paul’s Lodge No 5459 was consecrated in April 1934, but its founders and subsequent members never saw fit to introduce their own lodge banner. However, after discussions in 2016 it was agreed that the lodge should indeed have a banner.
A design was suggested by Les Williams which was approved by lodge members. It was then submitted to Province and in turn Grand Lodge, who also gave approval. The lodge was on its way to have a banner. One of the organisational difficulties was finding a suitable date for both a Provincial Team and the lodge itself. Finally, it was agreed that a banner dedication ceremony could take place on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the Masonic Hall in Widnes.
As this would be outside of the lodge regular meetings period, a dispensation was applied for, and approved by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Approximately 50 brethren attended the ceremony, including lodge members, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, the supporting Provincial Team; Provincial Deputy Grand Organist Robert James, Provincial Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies Barrie Fitzgerald, Ian Halsall and Jason Dell, Provincial Grand Deacons, Provincial Deputy Grand Chaplain Rev Cannon John Hall, choir members, Rev Cannon Godfrey Hirst, Swainson Eckersley, Chris Knowles and John Hindle and a number of other distinguished visitors.
After the lodge was opened in due form and with solemn prayer at 6:05pm, the dispensation document was read out by the lodge secretary Dave Berrington. Once in the third Degree the APrGM entered the lodge and on being welcomed was offered the gavel of the lodge by the WM Les Williams, which he accepted and then took control of the ceremony.
The purpose of the meeting was to receive a brief history of the lodge which was given by the Kevin Poynton. The Provincial Choir sang the anthem, after which a banner deputation was formed, and to the sound of the choir singing, ‘Oh God our Help in Ages Past’, they left the lodge room to collect the banner and to return displaying it to all present. A prayer of dedication was given, and the banner was then passed into the keeping of the lodge via the master.
Following the banner being placed on a stand in the south east corner of the lodge, the choir sang Psalm 150. Rev Cannon John Hall gave a brief oration concerning the creation of the banner itself after which there was a closing hymn followed by a patriarchal benediction. The lodge WM then returned the chair of King Solomon, after which he thanked the APrGM and the Provincial Team, who then left the lodge room. The lodge was then suitably closed at 7:10pm by the WM.
This was a wonderful occasion for the lodge and its members who are now very proud to have a lodge banner.
Article and picture by Dave Berrington and Les Williams.