as presented by W.Bro.J.Walker P.Pr.J.G.W. at the first meeting of the Warrington Lodge of Concord on 12th September 2006.
I am generally talking about the Lodges history up to the start of 6007 with a slight exception.
During the time of the amalgamation process and particularly during this time of research I have been very conscious of our Founders and what they would have thought. Although I am sure there would have been some disappointment I am equally sure they would have recognised the necessity and given their blessing rather than possibly risk the Lodge to disappear. So surely the best way of justifying the move is to make this new Lodge as good and successful as each of our Lodges were for many years.
Lets face it History can only be made by doing something new.
Warrington is steeped in Masonic History it is recorded that Elias Ashmole was made a Mason in Warrington on the 16th October 1646. The next Lodge known to have met in Warrington was the Ancient and Athol Grand Lodge numbered 40 on the Athol Register and was constituted on the 20th August 1755 at the Cock Inn Bridge Street.
Unfortunately this Lodge only lasted 1 year and it lapsed in December 1756 and the Warrant was sold in December 1791 to the Merchants Lodge No 265 which met at the Merchants House, Quebec. This Lodge in turn lapsed and was erased from the Register of Grand lodge in 1862.
We now come to Gilbert Greenall’s Mother Lodge, the Lodge of Lights No 148 which was warranted on the 8th November 1765. Some 103 years later a number of Brethren must have felt that it was now time to form a new lodge which following permission from the Greenall family the Lodge was to be called the Gilbert Greenall Lodge No 1250.
The consecration was held at the Masonic Rooms (Nags Head), Sankey St on the 12th April 1869.
Extract from the Publication Freemason dated 24th April 1869
Part of the first letter sent to Gilbert Greenall. Your courtesy as a Brother and your distinguished position as a mason eminently entitle you to our most fraternal esteem and therefore it is our great wish, having the prosperity of the craft at heart to offer you and ask your acceptance of the highest compliment it is in our power as Masons to bestow etc
To celebrate the new Lodge an Inaugural Banquet was held at the Lion Hotel at a cost of 12/6d Champagne extra.
At the Consecration which was held on Monday the 12th April 1869 which was attended by only 25 Brethren.
The Ceremony was conducted by Bro Mott of 148.
The first Officers of the Lodge were
W Bro G Greenall W.M
Bro Wm Mossop S.W
Bro Wm Woods J.W
Bro W Richardson S.D & Treasurer
Bro W Hawkins J.D
Bro T Domville I.G
Bro D Finney Secretary
On the 10th May 1869 which was the first regular meeting there were 17 Members present and 5 Initiations were performed all separately.
At the Second ceremony held on the 14th June 1869 five passings were carried out all separately and at the 3rdmeeting in July two Initiations, one Passing and four Raisings were done again all separately.
During the first year there were 14 meetings held at which there were 17 Initiations, 17 Passings and 14 Raisings (not a bad years work).
On the 13th June 1870 the first Installation was performed and Bro Wm Mossop was Installed as Master.
Up to the date of the Amalgamation the Lodge has had a total of 700 members 601 being Initiated into the lodge. Ken Leslie was the 547 member and the 475 Initiate. Chris Todd was the 700 member.
Going back a little it appears that there has always been some fraction with regard to Provincial Officers on the 12th August 1871 a letter was sent to the PGM Sir Thomas Fermer Hesketh which read as follows.
In 1877 the Initiation Fee into the lodge was £6-
When you think that the average weekly wage the was about a £1-
I note from the Lodge records that in 1964 the subs were £7-
Some useful data taken from the Lodges Centenary booklet.
1925 RMIG Festival 500 guineas
1952 RMIG Festival £2637
1878 Haydock Colliery Accident £5 (£2800)
1886 Widows and Orphans of men drowned at Southport £5
1899 Our Brothers bed for the dying. £5
12th September 1871 held a Ball in aid of charities unfortunately not a success made a loss of £2-
11th March 1873 The following resolution was place before the Lodge That any Officer of the Lodge not attending to his duties in the Lodge at the proper time or otherwise intimating to the WM beforehand his inability to do so, would be fined two shillings and six pence for each omission.
13th November 1877 Music introduced into the Lodge Ceremonies.
14th May 1878 £1 relief granted to a poor visiting Brother
10th September 1878 One guinea given to a visiting Brother outside the lodge who applied for relief.
12th January 1885 A proposal to form a new Lodge in Latchford was deferred.
11th July 1893 The Lodge moved into the Assembly Rooms at the Lion Hotel.
12th January 1904 Bro Rose represented the Lodge at the laying of the foundation stone at Liverpool Cathedral.
11th December 1906 Proposed that a new Lodge should be formed and on the 15th November 1907 the Petition was signed resulting in the founding of St Elphin.
14th July 1908 First 3287 visitors Bro’s Turnbull, Praeger & Steel
25th December 1907 New Years greetings were received from Bro Furniss from the Mid Ocean probably one of the very first messages to a lodge.
14th July 1908 Sir GG initiated into the Lodge, 12th October 1909 GG Installed as Master & 9th August 1910 Appointed Pr SGW.
14th October 1919 Lodge Jubilee Celebrated attended by Sir GG.
11th December 1923 A petition signed on behalf of a number of the Brethren who were members of the Commercial Travellers Association to form a new Lodge Travellers.
8th March 1938 Moved into the Masonic Hall
4th September 1939 Masonic Meetings were suspended However throughout the war meetings were held usually on Saturdays which often included American Personnel.
6th January 1944 Passed to support a new Lodge which resulted in the founding of Red Rose.
12th February 1952 The wearing of white gloves was suspended during the period when coupons had to be used for buying cloths.
I think a fitting end to this presentation is noting that we still have 6 members who were officers of the Lodge during the centenary celebration year, they being
W Bro B Wilkinson WM W Bro R Grindey IPM W Bro K Leslie ADC
W Bro R Chandler Organist Bro D Dutton Asst Sec W Bro D Knight Steward”