Minerva Lodge 4002 History
Minerva lodge was founded in 1919 by a number of members of Neptune Lodge No 1264. The majority of the members were employed in Marine Insurance, the Timber importing trade and other shipping activities and adopted Minerva as the new lodge name for her connection with commerce. The Lodge first met at the Bears Paw, a restaurant and, meeting place in the city and regular lodge meetings were held there until 1940 when this venue and a large part of the city centre was destroyed in an air raid. The early records of the Lodge were lost. The damage forced the Lodge to move the Carlton club in Eberle Street off Dale Street. One of the keen early members was a senior Police officer and by his influence a good proportion of the lodge members in the 1940’s and 1950’s were members of Liverpool City Police although not all of them became Worshipful Master.
Although the Carlton club became the Carlton Masonic Hall Company this area of Liverpool was scheduled to be completely demolished and redeveloped and although the redevelopment never took place the whole area became blighted, the site deteriorated and there were financial problems which led to the company into liquidation. This forced a further move into the Masonic Hall in Hope Street in the 1970’s where the Lodge still meets.
When Woolton Hall became a Masonic venue there was a suggestion that Minerva Lodge move there but it did not get the necessary majority vote as at the time most of the members lived north of the city and commuted via the Southport Railway line.
Apart from one of the founders, five Past Masters achieved Grand Rank. Worshipful Brother James Longridge, the first initiate following the consecration of the Lodge in 1919 later also joined a Lodge in Southport and became the Chairman of the Southport Group of Lodges with the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon.
Worshipful Brother Edward Nichols, Past Junior Grand Deacon, an Assistant Chief Constable of Liverpool, a keen bowler, became Secretary then Chairman of the West Lancashire Masonic Charity Bowling Tournament raising a considerable amount of money for his charity over a number of years.
Worshipful Brother Rev. Victor G Davies was appointed Third Provincial Principal in the Provincial Grand Chapter of West Lancashire in 1962 and held the Craft Grand Rank of Past Assistant Grand Chaplain.
When Worshipful Brother James Smail, a Chief Superintendent of Police retired he was appointed an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Secretary with the responsibility for the day to day running of the Provincial Office and held the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Worshipful Brother R Wallace Davies after being the Secretary of one of the Liverpool Groups of Lodges was in 1977 appointed, the Provincial Grand Secretary of West Lancashire, charged with the administration of the largest Province holding the office for 10 years until reaching retirement age. He was then invested with the Rank of Assistant Provincial Grand Master fully retiring 8 years later with the very high rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon after having two promotions in Grand Rank.
From its founding in 1919 the Lodge Membership increased gradually to reach a peak of 80 in the late 1940’s after which there was a steady decline to below 20 in the 1990’s however the Lodge has seen a pleasant increase in membership to the present day of over 30 members and rising!