The installation meeting of the Boteler Lodge No 7367 was held at Warrington Masonic Hall. It was well attended by over 53 Freemasons to see James (Jim) Carrington being installed into the chair of King Solomon for the second consecutive time. The lodge members were very highly honoured by the attendance of the principal guest Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning and Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton.
The lodge was opened by the WM Jim and the normal administration duties undertaken in the usual form. The lodge was then opened up to the third degree and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton were admitted in due ceremonial style. They were accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Jack Forsyth, Derek Hunt and Andy Barton (group chairman). They were supported by acting Provincial grand officers Neil MacSymons and Paul Rigby.
Jim offered a warm welcome to all present saying he was delighted to receive such distinguished guests and hoped everyone would have an enjoyable evening. He continued by offering Philip the gavel which he accepted, but returned it saying he had not been able to attend rehearsals, therefore he had better return it. Philip thanked Jim and the brethren of the lodge for their very warm welcome and commented that he would also like to convey the good wishes of the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison.
Jim asked George Bennett to occupy the chair as installing master. George asked Rod Wilson to act as installing SW, Dennis Pearson to act as installing JW and Stephen Clarke to act as installing IG. They all said they were delighted to assist the WM.
Bill Hinchliffe presented Jim to George, to receive at his hand the benefit of installation. According to ancient custom Jim was installed into the chair of King Solomon. The ceremony was conducted in an exemplary manner with all due reverence, humility and sincerity. The third degree working tools were confidently explained by Ray Williams, second degree tools by Darren Santos and the first degree tools by Erik Newman.
The address to the WM was delivered by Bill Hinchliffe, Derek Hunt delivered the address to the wardens and Paul Rigby delivered the address to the deacons. Philip delivered the address to the brethren of Boteler Lodge which completed the installation ceremony.
Immediately following the installation Philip, on behalf of himself and the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, congratulated Jim on being installed into the chair of such a warm and friendly lodge, commenting that the ceremony was faultless and a pleasure to witness, adding it was one of the best, if not the best he had seen. He also praised all the officers including George as installing master and Paul Hankey as DC, for the smooth running of the ceremony and the members of the lodge for their work. He also made special reference to the excellent delivery of the working tools by Ray, Darren and Erik. He extended his good wishes to all present and hoped Jim and all his officers would have a productive year wishing everyone the best of health to enjoy it to the full.
At this moment Jim conducted his first duty which was to present the charity donations to Philip. The donations were £500 to the Royal National Institute for the Blind, £800 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £400 to Warrington Masonic Hall Fund, plus £400 to St Rocco’s Hospice. The total charity donations amounted to £2,100. Philip received the donations saying how pleased he was to receive such a magnificent sum of money, particularly from such a small lodge. He praised all concerned saying it was such a remarkable amount and thanked the lodge and brethren on behalf of the recipients, stating that the donations would be gratefully received.
This is the third time Jim has been installed as WM however; this is his second time in this lodge within the Province of West Lancashire. He was initiated into Vale Royal Lodge No 4775 in Tarporley in the Province of Cheshire and was installed into that lodge in November 1978. Jim joined Boteler Lodge in January 2013. He is a retired electrical engineer and is married to Elizabeth.
Boteler Lodge was founded in 1955 and was initially considered to be a private dining lodge. It has continued to maintain a high standard in dining and as such, is still considered by both the lodge members and their many guests as a friendly dining lodge. The dining history of the lodge continues and was reflected in the menu selected for the installation banquet. The gastronomic experience started with hot and cold canapes, then onto chicken and mushroom consommé, sole Veronique, beef Wellington served with potatoes and ratatouille, a fresh fruit trellis and a selection of English and continental cheeses with biscuits and port wine. Premium red and white wines were served followed by coffee or tea. Excellent food and service was provided by the hall catering staff.
Philip responded to the toast to the grand officers and congratulated all involved in the ceremony and passed on the good wishes of Tony Harrison, Provincial Grand Master. He again stated that the ceremony was one of the best, if not the best, he had witnessed. He thanked George for his work as installing master and for the excellent and comprehensive information he had supplied before the meeting and for the organisation of the meeting. He said the lodge was instantly recognised as being a friendly and welcoming lodge. He went on to say how wonderful it was to experience the working tools being delivered by Ray, a senior member in the lodge, who has celebrated 60 years in Freemasonry, Darren a new member of the lodge who has joined recently and Erik Newman who is now a steward. Philip thanked Kevin Poynton, Jack Forsyth, Derek Hunt, Neil MacSymons, Paul Rigby, Andy Barton and John Starkey for attending and supporting him tonight. He concluded by saying he had had a most enjoyable evening and hoped the lodge would continue with the happy welcoming atmosphere so amply demonstrated tonight.
The master’s song was sung by Gwilym Jones accompanied by Brian Hoyle. Before the dignitaries retired both Philip and Kevin were presented with bouquets of flowers and to which both were delighted to receive them saying their ladies would be very pleased and thanked the members for their kindness.
Following the banquet a raffle was held which raised £330. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was expressed by many members and visitors alike. The evening was brought to a close by Chris Todd delivering the tyler’s toast.