The installation meeting of Boteler Lodge No 7367 was held at Warrington Masonic Hall. It was attended by over 70 Freemasons to see James Carrington being installed in the chair of King Solomon for the first time in the Province of West Lancashire. The principal guest was Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Grainger.
The lodge was opened by the installing and immediate past master Ray Williams and the normal administration duties undertaken in the usual form. The lodge was opened in the third degree and David was admitted in due ceremonial style. He was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Jack Forsyth, Gordon Amos, Derek Hunt, Jim Burrus and Chris Eyres (group chairman), along with acting Provincial officers Chris Todd and Peter Whalley. Also accompanying him were Colin Boardman, Peter Schofield (Vice Chairman Furness and South Lakeland Group), Gwilym Jones, Charles Appleton, Derek Arstall, Mike Williams, Vic Charlesworth and Eric Drinkwater.
Ray offered a warm welcome to all present saying he was delighted to receive such distinguished guests and hoped an enjoyable evening would ensue. He continued by offering David the gavel, which he accepted, but returned it saying he thought everyone would enjoy the evening more if he returned it. David thanked Ray 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.
Ray asked George Bennett to act as installing SW, Rod Wilson to act as installing JW and Brian Hoyle to act as installing IG. They all said they were delighted to assist the WM. Bill Hinchliffe presented James to Ray Williams, to receive at his hand the benefit of installation. Ray asked Alan Jones to complete the installation ceremony and James was installed according to ancient custom into the chair of King Solomon. The ceremony was conducted with due reverence, humility and sincerity.
The third degree working tools were explained by Richard Wakefield, the second degree working tools by Barry Hodson and the first degree working tools by Robert Main. The address to the WM was delivered by Gordon Amos. George Bennett delivered the address to the wardens and Paul Rigby delivered the address to the deacons. David delivered the address to the brethren of Boteler Lodge, which completed the installation ceremony.
Immediately following the installation, David on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master congratulated James on being installed into the chair of such a warm and friendly lodge, commenting that the ceremony was faultless and a pleasure to witness. He also praised all the officers including Ray and Alan as installing masters and Paul Hankey as DC, for the smooth running of the ceremony and the members of the lodge for their work. He extended his good wishes to all present and hoped James and all his officers would have a productive year and wished everyone the best of health to enjoy it to the full.
At this moment James conducted his first duty which was to present the charity donations to David. The donations were; £600 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £400 to Warrington Masonic Hall Fund, plus £300 to Macmillan Nurses and £630 to Leukaemia Research totalling £1,930. David accepted 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 applied.
This is the second time James has been installed as WM; however, this is his first time in a lodge in the Province of West Lancashire. James was initiated into Vale Royal Lodge No 4775 in Tarporley in the Province of Cheshire and was installed as WM in that lodge in November 1978. James joined Boteler Lodge in January 2013. He is a retired electrical engineer and is married to Elizabeth.
Boteler Lodge was founded in 1955 by some of the leading industrialists in Warrington and was initially considered to be a private dining lodge. It was many years before new members were admitted or indeed guests were welcomed. Whilst the lodge has changed its outlook considerably towards welcoming new members, joining members and guests alike, 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 canapés and then onto five spice duck, ginger and noodle soup, cod Bercy, lamb Henry served with Lyonnais potatoes and seasonal vegetables, lemon meringue pie, premier cheese board with tea and coffee to follow, which was served with a fine selection of premium red and white wines. Excellent service was provided by the hall catering staff.
Following the banquet a raffle was held which raised over £400. The master’s song was sung by Gwilym Jones, accompanied by Brian Hoyle. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was expressed by many members and visitors alike.