There was a particularly special night for Thornton Lodge No 8008 when the third generation of one family went through the third degree in Southport’s Hannay Temple. Paul Johansen was raised to the sublime degree of a master Mason in the presence of his grandfather, R Alan Trees and uncle Alan G Trees; both past masters of the lodge. Southport Group Chairman Colin Jenkins added to the occasion by attending as a guest to offer his support on this auspicious occasion.
During preparations, we learned from Alan Trees senior that it is always handy to carry a torch, just in case! With a makeshift ‘candle’ in place, the ceremony went ahead without fault.
WM Chris Taylor, presided over the evening’s labours and ceremony from the chair of King Solomon. After he had delivered the obligation, the immediate past master Tom McKenzie, delivered a faultless traditional history assisted by the wardens, Nigel Ball and Bill Gallagher. Lodge secretary Les King delivered the working tools with great skill. Paul was conducted through the proceedings by the deacons, Peter Heijstraten and Mike Murphy.
At the end of the ceremony, Chris offered his congratulations to the candidate and thanked those who had played their part. Breaking with the lodge’s usual tradition, he invited Paul Johansen’s forebears to be the first to greet him as a master Mason and they took the opportunity to present him with an inscribed Book of Ritual.
Paul Ennis, a fellow craft, had retired from the lodge room for the duration of the proceedings and on his return the WM consoled him with the thought that this was effectively a rehearsal for his own raising in November. When he returned, he was assured that the preparations had gone well!
At the festive board, Colin Jenkins congratulated Paul and complimented those who had taken part in such a slick event. A convivial meal and a drink or two rounded off a very enjoyable evening.
After a few bumpy years, it is heart-warming to see Thornton Lodge growing in size and continuing to offer the warm welcome it always has; with a healthy cohort of new and developing brethren and others due to join in the near future, the future looks bright. This is due in no small part to the enthusiasm and commitment of the two Alan Trees’; which is why it is especially gratifying to see another generation of their family among our number.
Here’s hoping that next month’s raising goes as well; and Alan’s torch isn’t needed this time!