Copyright © 2012 Chiswick Polish
Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish
Dan & Charles Mason, pioneers of the shoe polish industry in Chiswick
The Charles Mason Memorial Retreat 1
Many memories both happy and sad surround the beautiful Retreat, which now stands at the end of a cypress-bordered paved walk facing the Dan Mason Memorial Gateway.
Simple, unostentatious, in perfect harmony with the gateway and with the adjacent Sports Grounds, no more fitting Memorial could have been chosen to give expression to the deep regard and affection in which Mr Charles Mason was held by the employees of the Company.
The Retreat is constructed of roman tiles with a roof of hand made tiles on a oak framing, posts and lintel of British oak, with the beauty of its natural grain brought out to perfection, forming the central opening which is approached by three wide steps of York stone.
Open oak rafters and oak seats enhance the beauty of the interior where the Bronze panel placed in the centre of the back wall bears the inscription : -
This retreat is erected by The Employees of
The Chiswick Polish Co Ltd,
As a tribute to The Memory of
Charles Mason ESQ,
The Charles Mason Memorial Retreat
A very simple private Ceremony of Dedication was held on Friday, December 12th, when Mr Jack Bryant dedicated the retreat to the perpetual memory of Mr Charles Mason and asked the Directors to accept its custody.
The works were closed at noon in order that all employees might have an opportunity of attending, and a large number of representatives of the Sales Staff from all parts of the country were also present.
With so large a gathering in the open air, it was necessary to make use of amplifiers, and by this means the speeches were made clearly audible to everyone present..
In initiating the Ceremony, Mr J Mclaren (as chairman of the Charles Mason Memorial Committee) said :-
“No sooner had those of us – who were then employees of The Chiswick Polish Company – recovered to some extent from the shock of the death of our beloved Chairman, Mr. Charles Mason, than a feeling became generally manifest, throughout the Offices, Works and Outdoor Staff that a Memorial should be erected to his memory.
“A Committee was chosen to carry out this unanimously expressed desire, and I was asked to act as Chairman.
“It was generally agreed that appropriate place for the Memorial was the Sports Ground, the generous gift of Mr, Mason and his brother for the use of the employees for all time; but the nature of the Memorial and its site led to considerable discussion. Fortunately, Mr Alban Scott, the Company’s Architect, who kindly gave his services in connection with the Dan Mason Gateway, again came forward and offered to submit designs.
“This offer was gratefully accepted and the scheme you now see completed was finally approved. The connecting up of the two Memorials so that they are one complete scheme symbolises the unity of purpose of Mr. Dan and Mr. Charles Mason so well that we may truly feel the whole is inspired.
“You will remember how Mr. Charles Mason insisted that only employees should be allowed to subscribe to his brother’s Memorial; the Committee, on that account, felt it must restrict the subscriptions to those who had been employees of The Chiswick Polish Company Limited.
“We wish, therefore to take this opportunity of thanking the many who kindly offered subscriptions which because of this limitation, were declined.
“In choosing the speakers today the Committee has tried to have all sections of the employees represented.
“Mr J Bryant, who entered the employ of Mr Mason some forty four years ago, has willingly consented to dedicate the Memorial.
“Mr Bryant dedicated the gateway to the memory of Mr Dan Mason, and for that reason alone it is most fitting that he should perform this ceremony today.
“I will now cal upon Mr Bryant to dedicate, on our behalf, this retreat to the memory of Mr, Charles Mason.”