It was a double tracing board evening at the Ashmole Lodge No 5128 for the benefit of the latest initiate Mark Keig. The decision had been taken to allow Mark some respite from his journey to the third degree and give him time to reflect on events thus far. Derek Houghton WM, assisted by Eric Miller SW and acting JW Andrew Wilson opened the lodge and undertook the initial business.
Derek expressed his pleasure at being able to invite Tony Jones, a visitor from south Wales to assist by delivering an explanation of the first degree tracing board. Tony is currently the director of ceremonies of Talbot Lodge No 1323 meeting in Swansea. He had for a time resided in Warrington and had become a joining of member of Ashmole Lodge No 5128 some 15 years ago, at the invitation of Mike Moore the present DC. Regretfully he had to resign when work took him to the West Midlands but took every opportunity to visit. Indeed the last time the first degree tracing board had been delivered in the lodge it had been done by Tony himself.
The DC stood Mark on the floor of the lodge before Tony delivered a superb and beautifully enunciated explanation of the first degree tracing board. Whilst doing so he moved about the floor indicating various items with a carefully aimed laser pointer. This added greatly to the understanding of the narrative. On completion Tony saluted the WM before thanking him for the opportunity to deliver the explanation which he had enjoyed doing. The members and visitors present acknowledged the high level and accuracy of the delivery with spontaneous approbation.
The lodge was then opened in the second degree. The WM asked Mike Williams to assist the lodge with an explanation of the tracing board of that degree. Mike who will be known to many for his work as local charity steward and secretary of the Masonic Hall Company, saluted and accepted the request. Mark once again stood before the tracing boards whilst an equally polished and meaningful explanation was delivered. On completion Derek thanked Mike for the assistance rendered.
The lodge was closed by virtue and work resumed in the first degree. The general business and risings followed before the lodge was closed in due form. On retiring downstairs the members and guests enjoyed a traditional roast beef dinner. The sweet was apricot bread and butter pudding prepared by Dave Harding and his staff. A pleasant evening in good company with a substantial daily advancement in Masonic knowledge for all concerned had been enjoyed.