Oh! What a surprise!

When Colin Boardman attended the latest meeting of Academy Lodge No 9382 he was just a little elated at the prospect of being part of the initiation ceremony of a candidate for whom he was his seconder. Although on this occasion Colin only had a small part to play, the fact that this was to be the first candidate since 2015 put an added spring into everyone’s step. An excellent ceremony was followed by an equally excellent festive board which took on an element of surprise, when, right at the beginning, the assembled brethren sang Happy Birthday to Colin. Yes, the occasion was the 82nd birthday of this long serving and much loved brother. He was further surprised when John Walkey (DC), paraded in a specially commissioned birthday cake. The expression on Colin’s face was one to behold, for the centre piece of the cake was a photograph of the W D Endeavour, which was the last vessel commanded by Colin before he retired from the sea.

Colin’s birthday cake

In addition to his long seafaring career, he can also boast a lengthy service to Freemasonry. His journey started in February 1984 when he was initiated into Greasby Lodge No 8337. He resigned in good standing in 1990. He became the first joining member of the newly consecrated Academy Lodge in May 1991 and was installed into the Chair of King Solomon in January 1997. Re-joining his mother Lodge in 2005, regrettably, Colin was not able to continue his membership when, in 2008, Greasby Lodge amalgamated with Old Caldeans Lodge, which met on the same days as Academy Lodge. He is also a member of Mersey Valley Lodge and a former member of Quingenti Lodge.

Colin was surprised and delighted

Appointments in Royal Arch since his exaltation into Travellers Chapter No 4679 in 1993 include first principal in 2002. Colin gained acting rank as PrGReg in 2009 and PPrGSN in 2010. He was also a member of Loyalty Chapter No 897. He is also involved in other side degrees and has attained Provincial status within them.

Appointments in the Warrington Group include Group Secretary 2004 to 2010 and Vice Chairman 2011 to 2013.

The most recent accomplishment of Colin, with the help of Howard Savage, has been to design, construct and install the Honours Board for the Royal Arch Chapters. They can be viewed in the Lights Suite at Warrington Masonic Hall. Further evidence of some of the skills Colin has can be found in his garage at his home.

Colin also has a substantial record of service to the community, for example, from 1986 to 1992 he was Commanding Officer of the Warrington Sea Cadet Unit. He also set up the Northwest Sea Cadet Training School at the Royal Navy Radio Establishment at HMS INSKIP near Preston, with full negotiating right with the MOD Navy. He was also appointed Liaison Officer for the Sea Cadet Corp at HMS INSKIP and lately as President of the Widnes Sea Cadet Unit, retiring from that role on his 80th birthday in November 2015. He has also held the esteemed position of Chairman of the Warrington fundraising branch of the RNLI and is still a member of the Nautical Institute.

All this is why we hold him in such high esteem, a worthy Mason and model citizen and why we could not let the occasion of his 82nd birthday pass unsung.

Story by Eric Kehoe.