On Wednesday 11th October 2017, Manchester Hall played host to a very special occasion for Caledonian Lodge No 204. The lodge celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry for both WBro John Faulkner and WBro Graham Alexander.
The lodge was opened by their Worshipful Master, WBro Rogerson before the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro Andrew Taylor, entered the lodge to announce that WBro John Farrington, APGM, accompanied by a delegation from City Sykes District, were without and demanded admission.
Once WBro Farrington had been admitted, he was offered the gavel by WBro Rogerson and graciously accepted it. Having the chair of King Solomon, his first duty was to call the lodge off. The doors of the lodge room were then opened and members of the celebrants’ families and friends took their seats.
WBro Farrington welcomed the non-masonic guests and introduced the District Delegation. He apologised for the absence of WBro Chris Welton, who was enjoying a holiday abroad but said he was honoured to be presiding at such a momentous occasion.
The celebrants were invited to take their place in the centre of the lodge, along with their wives Pat and Audrey. The honour of giving the tributes to these two fine masons fell on one another and WBro Alexander began with his tribute to WBro Faulkner. He began by explaining that as they were initiated in the same year, their Masonic lives had been intertwined ever since.
WBro Faulkner was born in Chorlton, Manchester. Shortly after he was born, his father had bought the ceramic tiling firm, CW Williams & Co Ltd and when he was 15 year of age he joined the company as an apprentice. Having learnt the business, inside and out, he took up the reins in 1972.
Both his father and uncle had been members of the Caledonian Lodge and on 11th January 1967 he was initiated into it. He was installed as Worshipful Master in December 1979. He held numerous offices within the lodge including Festival Representative, District Representative, Director of Ceremonies, Treasurer and was Worshipful Master on two further occasions in 1993 and 2006. His current provincial rank is PProvJGW.
Having retired in 2011, he and Pat moved to Hertfordshire to be closer to their children and grand-children, where he is now a member of Iceni Lodge No 5975.
WBro Alexander concluded by describing WBro Faulkner as being honourable, loyal, straightforward, and firm in his principles but that he missed his presence in the lodge.
It was then the turn for WBro Faulkner to pay tribute to WBro Alexander. He detailed his early life in Leicester and how, in 1960, he came to University of Manchester to read Law. While at University, he met his wife Audrey and they were later married in 1966.
Having initially started a career as a Solicitor, WBro Alexander’s career took a very different path in 1979. After he and Audrey took a trip to Hong Kong to visit friends, he embarked on an enterprise to produce ‘bread and butter’ goods in China, to be exported to and sold in the United Kingdom. Although this side of his business has now declined, he still works full-time on property development projects.
WBro Alexander was intiated into Caledonian Lodge on 10 May 1967 and in December 1980, was installed as Worshipful Master by his good friend and fellow celebrant, WBro Faulkner. He later held that office on four further occasions, in 1992, 2003, 2011 & 2012. He has been the lodge’s Charity Steward for a remarkable twenty four year and since December 2013, has also been the lodge Director of Ceremonies. His current Provincial Rank is PProvDepGSuptWks.
In his closing remarks WBro Faulkner said he was truly proud to call his conscientious, hard working, honourable gentleman, his Brother.
WBro John Farrington continued the evening by described the many events that took place in 1967, but being rejected for entry into the European Economic Community brought the loudest exclamation from the ladies, gentlemen and brethren assembled.
He then presented both the celebrants with their 50 Year Anniversary Certificates and personal letters from the Provincial Grand Master. WBro Chris Prax, City Sykes District Chairman, then presented them with lapel badges to commemorate the event.
The guests then left the lodge room, the doors were closed and work resumed. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master and his delegation then retired from the lodge and it was closed by the Worshipful Master.
At the social board afterwards, WBro Len Hayes gave a moving toast to the two celebrants and presented both Pat and Audrey with bouquets of flowers. WBro John Farrington was delighted to also receive a bouquet of flowers, to take home for his wife.
Brethren of Caledonian Lodge No 204 with the WBro John Farrington, APGM
Article by Chris Armstrong