Semper Fidelis Installation, with a Team Visit!
Monday the 16th of February saw the Prov.GM Peter Connolly and his Provincial Team descend on Semper Fidelis Mark Lodge at St. Annes, to thank the Provincial Junior Warden, Tony Farrar, for his wonderful work this season. It was really nice to see a full Lodge room even before the Team and Grand Officers entered - there were already 50 inside, and when added to the 25 on the Team, and 25 Grand Officers, we broke the century mark!  Wonderful support indeed.
Keith Beardmore & Geoffrey Lee, DCs David Bell, David Emmerson
Deputy & Deputy Designate
and Ken Boon on parade
The Chain Gang - Ken Boon, Steve Walls,
Provincial Wardens Arthur Robinson & Tony Farrar
Mike Beesley & John Forster
The ceremony performed by WM David Lawn was nothing short of faultless, and was highly praised by all present. Abdu Benashour was installed in fine style.  The addresses were no less perfect, delivered by John Forster (Special Representative for the area) to the WM,  Arthur Robinson to the Wardens, Tony Farrar to the Overseers, and of course Peter Connolly to the Brethren. Paul Friberg did a great job on the explanation of the Jewel.
5 Masters in Office on the circuit!
New WM with the Acting Grand Officers
Abdu Benashour with Tony and Arthur
WM & his Wardens with
Peter Connolly & Keith Beardmore
Geoff Worsley performed the working tools, and was thanked by Peter Connolly for his many years of service to the Lodge.  The Lodge presented £880 to charity - the number of the Lodge!
WM with the PGM and banners and sword
John Powell presents a new sword stand
Hours of work went into this fine piece
David Lawn with Geoffrey Lee
Grand Lodge certificates were presented to Chris Keogh and Terry Stevens Lewing by the Deputy Prov.GM Keith Beardmore, in his own faultless and personal manner. Peter Bowden stood in as guest organist, and was duly proposed as a joining member. John Powell, Past Senior Warden, now PAGDC, presented a beautiful sword stand to the Prov.GM, who thanked him profusely.
Special Rep John Forster with Dep ProvGM Keith
John Bicknell with Colin Moxey
Terry West, John Ogden and Mike Beesley
Bill Ainsworth, Chris McNab, Steve & Chris Walls
The Festive Board started with a visit to the new bar at St. Annes, with wonderful draught beers front and centre, a great improvement over the old system. Then on to the meal, with around a hundred of us dining in a great atmosphere, with fine food.
Howard Emmett & Bob McGown
A fine festive board
Enjoyed by all
Mark Barton with Andrew Dickson
Keith Beardmore pointed out that the Provincial letters of appointment and promotion are now out, and that John Forster had played a large part in the selection process, and thanked him for his work. He then went on to toast the Prov.GM who responded in his usual style, urging new WM Abdul Benashour to have a great year, and visit other Mark Lodges.  He congratulated David Lawn on his ritual, and thanked Group Chairman Ian Ward for supporting the Lodge, despite not yet being a Mark Man...!   Peter went on to mention DC Bill Swindlehurst and Secretary Geoff Crossland for their superb work. He also reminded all present that the Rev Godfrey Hurst was joining Semper in April, and looked forward to that meeting. He then spoke very fondly about Tony Farrar, whose service as Prov.GJW has been splendid, and thanked him for all his work.
The PGM welcomes Craft Mason John Bainbridge
Terry & Chris get their Grand Lodge Certificates
Chris Walls takes money from WM Brian Dicks
Peter Connolly toasts Group Chairman Ian Ward
Arthur Robinson then responded on behalf of the Provincial Officers, and gave us a fascinating insight into the Masonic career of Tony Farrar, despite the fact Tony supports Newcastle Utd.
Bless you, says Godfrey Hurst
Keith Beardmore toasts the ProvGM
And Peter Connolly responds
Abdul sends flowers home for Lynne
Then more misery, as we learned that Abdul supports PNE and Liverpool, but also plays golf so he can't be all that bad!  Abdul thanked David Lawn for the way he proposed the toast, and thanked him again for a brilliant ceremony. He finished off by thanking Geoff Crossland for all his work, and Mike Casey for the magnificent menus. He will try to do the advancement ceremony in April himself, but knowing this Lodge, there will be plenty of help if he needs it.  A great evening was had by one and all!
Pictures and words by Giles Berkley