The recent meeting of Lodge Amounderness No 7105 at Garstang Masonic Hall, marked a special landmark in the history of this lodge, as over 60 brethren gathered to celebrate the re-dedication of their newly refurbished Bible.
The Bible was published in the late 18th century and has been in the ownership of Lodge Amounderness since 1970, however, the Bible was suffering the ravages of time and needed re-binding. Much of the inspiration and hard work behind this restoration, was the lodge DC Robert Irwin, having spent a lot of time with the bookbinder and whom it has to be said, have made an excellent job of restoring the Bible.
The Bible dedication ceremony was a wonderful occasion which is rarely seen, in fact it was the first time a ceremony of this nature has been conducted in the Province of West Lancashire, nevertheless it well orchestrated and will remain in the memory of those brethren present for a long time.
Following the opening of the lodge by the WM David Emery and once the business had been completed, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald entered the lodge room to announce that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger stood without and demands admission. David was accompanied by a host of illustrious grand and acting Provincial grand officers. Included in this number were the Provincial Grand Chaplain Godfrey Hirst, Lancaster and District Group Chairman Neil McGill and Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp.
On entering the lodge, David was offered the gavel by the WM, which he accepted gracefully, adding, ‘that usually I can give a hundred reasons to offer it back, but on this occasion, it will be a privilege to retain it’.
Following the required salutations and an address from the APrGM on the purpose of the meeting, a Bible deputation was formed to escort the bible around the lodge, pausing at the junior and senior warden’s pedestals. Each time the Bible was passed to the warden, who took it in both hands and gave a court bow to the brother carrying the Bible, before returning it to him.
Whilst the Bible was escorted around the lodge, the Bible dedication hymn was sung. On arriving at the WM pedestal, the Bible was proffered to the APrGM, who then placed the new Bible on the pedestal and opened it at a suitable page. At this juncture the PrGC Godfrey Hirst, was called upon for an oration on the ceremonial significance of the Bible and what a splendid oration it was, given with a light touch of humour and in that wonderful rich baritone voice of his.
Following a short reading of the Bible by David Grainger, the WM was invited to resume his chair, upon which the Bible was formally presented to him by David. The WM accepted the Bible on behalf of the lodge saying ‘APrGM, I accept from you the Bible on behalf of the officers and brethren of Lodge Amounderness. You may be assured that, like the warrant of the lodge, it will be transmitted to my successor pure and unsullied as I now receive it’.
Following the Bible dedication closing hymn, and the formalities of closing the lodge, the brethren retired to the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, were excellent food and fraternity were a fitting compliment to a wonderful ceremony.
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson.