Ionic Chapter was opened at six o’clock by none other than Prince Bagley, a past first principal and, on the announcement of Paul Hesketh, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, the companions of Ionic Chapter No 2405 welcomed the Deputy Grand Superintendent, George Daniel Jones, accompanied by Barry Jameson, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, Colin Rowling, group chairman, Jim Miller Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah and other grand and acting Provincial grand officers.
Following an excellent installation ceremony performed by Percy Fenn, chapter DC, Prince Bagley, Keith Fairclough and Derek Rooney, the three installing principals, Keith invested Bill Ryder as the immediate past first principal of the chapter. Prince then presented the scarlet robe to Keith who in turn presented the purple robe to Derek who likewise presented the blue robe to Andrew Jones.
The charter, book of constitutions, and chapter by-laws were then presented by Prince to the first principal. Following the appointment and investiture of officers, Phil Fyles gave an immaculate address to the principals. Jake Stirrup likewise gave the address to the officers, and the Deputy Grand Superintendent gave an exemplary address to the companions, after which he congratulated the principals and officers and conveyed greetings to the chapter on behalf of the Grand Superintendent. At this point he asked the visiting acting Provincial officers to identify themselves to the chapter; they were: Jim Miller, PrGSN, Alan Jones, PrDepGSwdB, George Fletcher, PrGStdB and Stephen Holcroft, PrGStwd.
The new first principal, Keith Fairclough, then rose to present a donation of £300 towards the MCF 2021 Festival and £100 to St Helens Masonic Hall. As is the ‘norm’ in Ionic Chapter, the festive board was a happy and joyous event and on this occasion, Prince was again put to work and acted with his usual competency as third principal. In replying to his toast, Danny Jones congratulated the chapter on the quality of the ceremony and thanked the companions for the contributions to the Festival and hall funds.
He went on to say that about sixty percent of Freemasons were not members of the Royal Arch and hoped that the companions would be able to recruit some of these as new candidates, thus ensuring a bright future for this very happy chapter.
The reply to the toast to Provincial officers was ably given by Jim Miller.
On retiring, Danny was presented with a bouquet of flowers for his wife Kathleen which Danny said would be really appreciated. In sum, a very pleasant evening was had by all.
Article written by Phil Fyles. Photos by Matthew Hodgkinson.