On a bleak day when the first cold of winter was starting to nip at the nose, the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison set off from his home for a day out in Blackpool. Arriving at the seaside and in the shadow of the famous Blackpool Tower he declared to his assembled retinue that it was far too cold for a bracing dip in the sea and decided instead to go to the Masonic hall on Adelaide Street. When he arrived at the hall, he received a very warm welcome from the companions of the Bispham with Norbreck Chapter No 4731.
Gordon McLean as first principal along with his fellow principal’s Colin Goodwin and Steve Jelly opened the chapter under the watchful eye of the director of ceremonies Juan Topping, with a sense of trepidation knowing that Tony was waiting to join them. At the appropriate moment the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Neil MacSymons escorted the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison along with his fellow grand officer Paul Renton and Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Duncan Smith, John Turpin Chairman of the Blackpool Group, supported by acting Provincial grand officers Ian Boardman, David Case and Chris Walpole into the chapter where they were warmly welcomed by the first principal. Once seated and made comfortable they were treated to a superb ceremony of installation ably delivered and directed by the installing first principal, Gordon McLean.
All three principals did a marvellous job of installing their successors; Steve Jelly installing Bob Marsden as third principal, Colin Goodwin installing Steve as second principal and Gordon installing Colin, as first principal. Each part of the ceremony was a feast for the eyes and the scripture readings and prayers delivered by John Herdman, Steve Smith and George Holden respectively were a pleasure to the ears.
Following on from this fine display of ritual, the address to the three principles was delivered by Ken Buckley, the address to the officers of the chapter was delivered by one of the finest ritualists in the chapter, John Tew and the address to the companions of the chapter was conveyed by Tony Harrison in a manner that has been honed over many years.
At the completion of the installation the now immediate past first principal Gordon, handed Tony a set of cheques for the following amounts; to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival £600, to Haemochromatosis £150, Hint of Pink £150 and to Blackpool Polar Bears £150. Tony thanked the chapter companions for their generosity and informed the companions that the cheques had been gratefully received and would be faithfully applied.
After the closure of the convocation the brethren retired to the relaxing atmosphere of the club bar where they exchanged funds for the Masonic hall with beer and wine, knowing that their convivial festivities and inebriations were going to a good cause. After a sumptuous meal at the festive board Tony congratulated all those that took part in the ceremony that evening and noted that he had a ‘grand day’ out in Blackpool and looked forward to visiting again when it was a little warmer.
Then, following an excellent rendition of the song to the three principals by Peter Bowden accompanied by George (happy fingers) Holden on the organ, the night drew to a close and all left with a warm glow following a wonderful evening of ritual and festivity.