A Panto at Cornerstone? Oh no they didn't!.....Oh yes, they did!

The beautiful Howard Hall Masonic Centre was alive with excitement at very special installation meeting

On December 16, 2023, the beautiful Howard Hall Masonic Centre was alive with excitement as the Cornerstone Lodge held its installation meeting. Cornerstone is a group that is aimed at Freemasons aged 40 and under and encourages them to engage in Freemasonry and interact with other likeminded freemasons.  The evening was distinguished by a blend of Masonic tradition and lively entertainment, capturing the unique spirit of the Lodge.

The meeting commenced with the installation of W.Bro Jack Saunders by W.Bro James Tyrrell. This role, steeped in responsibility, was conferred upon him by a wonderful display of confident and well-rehearsed Masonic ritual. The ceremony's importance was furthered by the presence of PGM Paul Tarrant, who attended to witness the important transition of leadership.

A hallmark of Cornerstone Lodge's meetings is the Festive Board, always themed to infuse an element of fun into the evening. Embracing the joyous Christmas tradition of pantomime, the December theme was 'Panto.' The Cornerstone Social Club members, turning into actors for the night, presented a hilarious rendition of 'Little Dick Whittington’ which was written by a member, Bernie Smith.

The pantomime featured Sam Connor as the hero Dick, Bernie Smith as Fanny, and Chris Hayden as cat Tom. In the role of the villainous King Rat was Ron Hodgson, assisted by Luke Daisley and Adam Daisley as his sidekicks, the rats Bu and Bonic. Enhancing the enchantment was Jayson Churn as Bowbells and Adam Harvey as the Butcher. A special surprise was Paul Tarrant's delightful portrayal of the Mayor of London. Paul Williams' arrangement of music and sound effects added a professional touch to the performance.

The play involved the audience in true pantomime fashion, encouraging laughter and participation from everyone present. Each actor embraced their role with remarkable enthusiasm and a surprising amount of skill, bringing the characters to life in a way that was both entertaining and hilarious.

The evening was also marked by successful fundraising efforts, as the members demonstrated their commitment to charity. Through a raffle and a place card draw, a remarkable total of £1,100 was raised, with £630 coming from the raffle and £470 from the draw. This generous contribution by the members and guests not only highlights the charitable spirit of the Cornerstone Lodge but also reflects the core values of Freemasonry in supporting the wider community.

More than just an installation ceremony or a theatrical performance, this event was a vibrant celebration of Masonic brotherhood and the joy that the fraternity fosters among its members. The Cornerstone Lodge and Social Club continues to stand as a beacon for young Masons, providing a platform for both serious Masonic pursuits and joyous social interactions.

As the echoes of laughter resonated through the halls of the Howard Hall Masonic Centre, it was evident that the Cornerstone Lodge had once again succeeded in strengthening the bonds of brotherhood through respect for tradition and a shared sense of fun. This memorable evening is sure to be a cherished chapter in the Lodge's history.


Top (L-R): The Cornerstone Lodge Panto stars, W.Bro Adam Daisley, Bro. Chris Hayden, W.Bro Ron Hodgson, Bro. Adam Harvey, Bro. Sam Connor, Bro. Jayson Churn, W.Bro Bernie Smith and Bro. Luke Daisley