It was a very special occasion in the history of Prince of Architects Lodge No 4188 when the lodge reached that magnificent milestone of 100 years. The centenary meeting was attended by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Tony was accompanied by Philip Gunning the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Frank Umbers and Mark Mathews, with a large number of grand officers and acting Provincial grand officers being present.
The meeting started with the lodge members calling off the meeting once their initial lodge business had been completed, for a champagne reception for the members and guests, before recommencing the meeting.
The WM James Jones offered Tony the gavel of the lodge, which Tony graciously accepted. On taking the chair, Tony called upon Rev Godfrey Hirst to give an oration of Prince of Architects Lodge and key events that had taken place over the past 100 years of the lodge’s history.
At the end of the Great War, there was an increase in the interest of Freemasonry between the years of 1919 to 1921 and with 500 new lodges being formed during that time, with 48 of these being formed in the Province of West Lancashire.
Prince of Architects Lodge has its origins in the local parish church, Christ Church, Bootle, around 1920 when several of the choir members recognised each other as fellow Masons. After a series of meetings held at the Bootle Parish Hall, the 25 founder members of the lodge agreed to form their own lodge and to call the lodge Prince of Architects.
One of the first decisions for the new lodge was to decide if the lodge was to be a temperance lodge or not, but it was agreed that the lodge would rather be a temperate lodge. The first WM of the lodge was William Sharples, with Thomas Read Mansergh becoming the second WM. Prince of Architects has a unique tradition that the WM has only ever served one year as WM and the lodge has had 100 different WM’s during its 100 year history.
In 1942, and with the lodge’s meeting place being taken over by the army, the lodge moved to Bootle Masonic Hall where the lodge would meet until 2007 when the group moved to their new home in Litherland shortly afterwards.
After the oration, the Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor read out the Prince of Architects Lodge centenary warrant which gave permission to all subscribing brethren of the lodge to wear their lodge’s centenary jewel. This was followed by the centenary warrant being presented to the WM James Jones, before returning the gavel to the WM.
After the ceremony, James Jones had the privilege to present Tony with his own centenary jewel to wear. Tony was made an honorary member of the lodge earlier in the day when the lodge was conducting its initial business.
Once the meeting was over the brethren retired to an excellent festive board with much joviality and good company. During the festive board an excellent book about the history of Prince of Architects Lodge written by Morgan Denyer was handed out.