So the big day arrived, the installation of our new master. Our out going master was moving on after two wonderful years in the chair.
Arriving at park street early it was clear it was going to be a special day already at 9:30 there were quite a few people already in the bar having coffee’s and getting ready for the days events. Our meeting was not until 11:00.
Our Master elect had been on a long journey to get to this point and was looking forward to a good day but it turned out to extra special day. Since becoming a Master Mason in 2012 his potential was already clear and was appointed as Junior Deacon in 2013. From there he progressed up through the offices of the lodge showing dedication and perseverance to getting each office as good as he could get.
His installation was going to be no different. Everyone had come out to support him. We were even blessed with visits from the provincial grand master, the deputy provincial grand master and several other provincial grand officers. We had a family member join us from Essex just to see his nephew be entrusted with secrets of a master. Also masons from other lodges in the province came to show there support.
With over 50 guests in attendance, Lodge room No. 1 in park street was nicely filled. You could see that every one was there to enjoy another wonderful Bristol ceremony.
And that is what we got with no obvious nerves being shown by our new master or his newly appointed officers. The ceremony went smoothly and the look of relief as our outgoing master returned from the chapel as he finally handed the gavel over to his successor was a joy to see.
At the end of the meeting we raised nearly £100 towards prostate cancer research, in thanks for welcoming back one of our members who had just undergone successful treatment for the illness.
Meeting over and to the bar to let the celebration really begin. There we meet our family and friends, the big joy that is part of being a member of the Matthew lodge. Our masters family had travelled all the way down for Leicester just to join him for his big day. All to soon it was time to move up to the dining room for lunch.
Again another good turn out in dining room for what was to be a truly scrumptious meal. Our catering manager and his wife had yet again put together another amazing meal for over 80 people.
With so many people in the dining the atmosphere was amazing, the wine was flowing, everyone chatting with each other. The food started to come out and the kitchen and waiting staff were doing a wonderful job.
First item on the menu a cup of minestrone.
Shortly followed by an Arnold Bennett omelette, then with a quick pallet cleansing sorbet out with the main course.
Steak and chips, with a selection of vegetables. All cooked to perfection.
Finished off with profiteroles and cream.
As is normal at our meals we raise toasts to the Queen, the craft and our senior brethren. We also raise a toast to our visitors, which always includes our non masonic visitors. For this meeting the response was slightly different, with the permission of the PGM we would have two respondents to the visitors toast, first from the wife of our Junior Warden a long term friend of the masters and frequent visitor to the lodge, and secondly and unknown to the master, his uncle had been asked to stand up and say a few words.
After all the food had been devoured it came to the raffle and then heads and tails. With the aid of our lovely raffle ticket sellers we managed to raise over £1000 towards the masonic Samaritan fund and the provincial 2019 festival, once gift aid was added the final total was over £1200 an amazing achievement and a tribute tho the charitable nature of everyone at the meal.
Even after the meal the celebrating didn’t stop those staying adjourned back down to the bar for the rest of the evening.
Chatting to the new master a couple of days later he said he had an amazing day and wanted to thank everyone who had made it so.