Simon Mawdsley has been installed into the chair of King Solomon at the installation meeting of The Southport Emulation Lodge No 3675 held at Southport Masonic Hall.
After the opening of the lodge by WM Billy Mitchell and the general business being completed which included the reading of the third ancient charge by Vincent Olsson, Billy then asked Dave Rimmer to occupy the inner guards position, Alan Moss to occupy the chair of senior warden and Andy Wooldridge to occupy the chair of junior warden to assist him during the ceremony. The lodge was then first opened in the second degree and then the third degree with entered apprentices and fellowcrafts being asked to retire at the appropriate times.
DC Frank Pointon then informed Billy that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox was outside the lodge and demanded admission. Billy responded that the lodge members would be very happy to receive him. Harry was then admitted, accompanied by Southport Group Chairman Colin Jenkins, Peter Brindley and Provincial Grand Steward John Karran together with other acting and past Provincial officers, who all entered the lodge in grand procession and were formally welcomed by Billy.
After the lodge was resumed in the second degree, master elect Simon was then presented to Billy by Ray Rimmer and asked the usual questions by Dave Rydings the assistant secretary. After these observations and qualifications had been confirmed, Billy then requested all those present under the rank of an installed master to withdraw for a short period. Simon was then proclaimed the master of Southport Emulation Lodge No 3675 for the ensuing year by Frank Pointon.
The third degree working tools were then presented by Vincent Olsson, the second degree working tools by Darren Cross and the first degree working tools by Dave Wilford who all did a very fine job. Simon’s first task was then to install his officers and he took great delight in presenting Billy with his past master jewel and then the rest of his officers with their respective collars.
Following the completion of the ceremony, the address to the WM was then given by Ian Beecham with considerable feeling. The address to the wardens was very sincerely given by Keith Aldis and finally the address to the brethren of the lodge by the distinguished guest Harry Cox in a most eloquent and fluent manner.
After the ceremony, Harry brought greetings from the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison adding praise and thanks for the ceremony he had witnessed and congratulated Simon on being installed in the master’s chair. Harry then went on to give fulsome praise to the retiring almoner Gordon Bibby, who had served the lodge in this capacity for 21 years. This was followed by tumultuous applause from all present.
Simon then rose and thanked Harry for his kind words before presenting him with a large number of cheques to the value of £1,975. The beneficiaries were; St Paul’s Eye Appeal £275, Magic £200, Masonic Charities £500, Tercentenary Fund £300, Southport Kidney Fund £250, Prostrate Cancer £450. In accepting the cheques, Harry praised the generosity of the members in raising such a huge sum.
After the ceremony, the festive board was attended by 50 brethren who all enjoyed an excellent meal. To bring the evening to a close Simon thanked all the brethren who had attended and took part in the ceremony and said it would be a night he would always remember and announced that the collection upstairs had raised £77 and the festive board raffle raised £144.