On a wet Sunday morning a number of Masons met at the Masonic Hall in Southport to prepare for the Remembrance Day parade. This is the first time that the lodges and chapters in the group have been invited to attend, even though other Masonic orders have been there for a number of years. Not even the rain could dampen spirits as Iain Brown gave instructions in the hall on how to march in unison and look professional.
Assistant to the Provincial Grand Master Robert Wright and Southport Group Chairman Colin Jenkins were accompanied by over 15 other brethren who, despite the weather forecast of a torrential downpour, decided that getting wet was a small price to pay to show respect for the sacrifice made by the fallen heroes. The Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison had granted dispensation for all Masons to wear their regalia, however due to the conditions it was decided that only collars would be worn on this occasion.
From the hall the brethren made their way to the start point of the procession which was Sainsbury’s supermarket on Lord Street. Due to the bad weather earlier, the various groups had dispersed to seek cover, meaning that the Southport Group was nearer the front of the parade than expected, marching behind The Salvation Army Southport Citadel Band and The Royal British Legion.
Luckily the rain had stopped by 10.30am and the weather although a little breezy was fairly dry for the parade. Kenny Smith, a former CSM of the Kings Regiment, kept everyone in step and in line as Robert Wright, Colin Jenkins, Alyn Rimmer, Eric Morris, Richard Jenkinson, George Wilkie, Chris Latham, Phil Stock, George Wilson, Tom Bradfield Kay, Paul Iddon, Mike Swift, Larry Ackerman, Mike Parr and Robert Thornton-Davidson marched behind the band down Lord Street.
Once in position around the cenotaph only a few spots of rain fell during the Lord’s Prayer, where it seemed like the whole town had come out in support to pay their respects at the 11am service.
Colin Jenkins was then called to lay the wreath at the cenotaph and following this the Salvation Army band started playing and the various other groups involved then paraded from the cenotaph to the Town Hall where Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Martin Amlot was waiting to take the salute.
Following the parade refreshments were offered in the Christ Church hall where brethren that had been supporting other organisations could meet up and have a welcoming cup of tea and a chat.