On October 2nd 1954, the Lodge of Prudence No. 1550 in Plymouth Initiated a young man named James Thomas Borthwick.
On October 2nd 2014, at the regular meeting of the Constitutional Lodge No. 294 in Beverley, East Yorkshire, Jim celebrated sixty years membership of freemasonry.
At the meeting he was presented with his 60 year Certificate by Sam Judah, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings. During the presentation the brethren were fascinated to hear of Jim’s experiences during those 60 years. We were privileged to hear how his Masonic and personal careers reflect his sense of total commitment to whatever he undertakes, whilst maintaining a strong sense of humour. Stories of gradual progression through lodge offices and of grand Ladies’ Nights attended by hundreds were mixed with his experiences of remaining dedicated to his mother lodge, despite working considerable distances away.
When Jim moved to Yorkshire in 2001 he became a member of the Albert Victor Lodge No. 2328 in York, but when his beloved wife passed away in 2006 he moved to Beverley and became a joining member of the Constitutional Lodge. He attends lodge regularly and a period of illness in 2013 did not damp his interest in the lodge and its members.
After the presentation of his 60 years certificate, Jim gave a talk to the lodge entitled “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” in which he explored the challenges facing the Craft in our times of sociological change. Using the logistical skills he gained in senior management, he expounded ways in which Freemasonry might put in place systems to ensure we recruit high quality candidates and manage the equally important subject of membership retention.