Masonically, 2022 has now come to a close for us and, as December is our Installation meeting, it also means passing from one Worshipful Master to the next. WBro Paul Staines, albeit assisted / hampered by COVID, has become the first Worshipful Master since WBro Robert Hutton (1812-1815) to serve three consecutive years in the Master's Chair. He has served the Office, and this Lodge, well, during his years.
We were privileged to have the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, WBro Michael Graham, representing the Province, and he was accompanied by WBro Gary Quinn, who put in an exemplary performance as his Director of Ceremonies.
Our outgoing Master, WBro Paul, put on a fine show in installing his successor, WBro Steve Thompson, not putting a foot wrong during the entirety of his part of the ceremony. We could not have asked for more, and his efforts were rewarded with well deserved praise at the Festive Board.
As is custom, the members were readmitted into the lodge in order of Master Masons, Fellowcrafts and Entered Apprentices. It was a delight to witness so many brethren being readmitted, a rarity these days, and to have six of our own Entered Apprentices in attendance surely shows that we have a very bright future ahead of us.
The new Worshipful Master then set to work appointing and investing his officers, which he did to great effect, continuing the standard set by Paul and confirming that the confidence of the brethren in choosing him as WM was not misplaced.
WBro Steve was initiated into Palatine Lodge on the 14th January 1988, a wait of almost 35 years to become Worshipful Master, but he had promised himself that he would not take office until such time as he could fully commit to the duties and ensure that he could set a standard worthy of the this fine Lodge. It was a point of note that the Installing Master, Paul, was born in December of 1989, so wasn't even a twinkle in his father's eye when Steve joined!
Our list of outstanding ceremonies grows ever longer. We have Initiations to come in January and February confirmed, and a further four candidates that are looking promising. It's very likely that we will need to perform a number of doubles, or book in some emergency meetings, to stand a chance of catching up and keeping everyone happily involved.
The Festive Board
The Festive Board after the ceremony was of the usual high standard, and we had over 70 sitting to dine. As is our tradition, the outgoing Worshipful Master passed over the custodianship of our Volume One history book, detailing our first 150 years, 1757 to 1907, as well as the snuff box to our new Worshipful Master.
Volume One Handover
Richard Davison with the Master's Song
The Master's song was performed by our good friend, and best vocalist in the Province, WBro Richard Davison.
Thank-you for your service
In recognition of his dedication to the Lodge, our former Treasurer, WBro Norman Williamson, was gifted a rather nice bottle of wine, Chateau Haut-Marbuzet, fittingly, a '97 vintage.
After the formalities of the evening had concluded, a good number sojourned to the bar to continue the celebrations into the small hours.
A great night had by all, a fine way to finish off the year, and a bright year ahead of us. We can't wait!
Until the next time.