Knott End Chapter No 8674 was delighted to welcome Stanley Oldfield Third Provincial Grand Principal as the principal guest at its installation convocation at Wyrebank, Garstang.
An impressive array of grand officers accompanied him including Chris Band, Malcolm Worsley and Jim Wilson Lancaster group chairman. Chris Butterfield Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals was also in attendance accompanied by acting Provincial grand officers Stuart Blagg, Neil MacSymons, David Leadbetter, Bill Williamson, John Torrance and Alan Procter.
Leading the proceedings at what could best be described as a skilfully choreographed and executed ceremony was chapter director of ceremonies Ernie Gavan who together with the immediate past first principal Alan Lock led a team that had evidently put in a lot of effort in preparation.
Alan installed David Sangster into the first principal’s chair with consummate skill and additionally gave the robe address of that chair. In like manner, David perfectly installed his successor Bernard Snape into the chair of second principal and gave the address in fine style. In keeping with the demanding workload that the chapter places on its principals, Bernard completed the progressive cycle by installing Arthur Laycock as third principal and faultlessly giving the address of that robe.
The addresses to the three principals and chapter officers were of the highest order of excellence and given by John Chesters and Chris Band respectively. John Thornton deftly handled the address to the IPZ and presentation of the relevant jewel. The final address of the ceremony was that given to the companions and it was rendered by Stanley Oldfield with dignity and passion. Indeed, on rising at the appropriate moment to bring the greetings and congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, Stanley was equally sincere in expressing his admiration for the quality of work undertaken and said that he knew Tony would have very much enjoyed witnessing such fine work.
In responding to these greetings, the first principal, David Sangster invited the IPZ Alan Lock to present Stanley with the charitable donations from the chapter. On revealing that a total of £800 had been donated, divided equally between St John’s Hospice, Lancaster and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, Stanley heartily commended the companions for their generosity.
At the banquet, which followed in the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, the response to the third toast afforded Stanley Oldfield the opportunity to reflect on ‘calorie counting’ in his opening remarks. He suggested that the menu of black pudding, sausage and mash followed by sticky toffee pudding might have set new heights for calorific totals at a festive board but added that it was undeniably delicious! He continued by referring to the need to regenerate and support the development of Freemasonry and highlighted the suggestions of enhancement and dramatization of the exaltation ceremony as a prime example of this laudable aim. In his concluding remarks, he urged all in attendance to show support for their newly appointed and promoted Provincial grand chapter officers by travelling to the meeting of Provincial grand chapter in Southport and before resuming his seat expressed his thanks to all the acting officers who had supported him with their attendance.
The evening moved to a conclusion as the toast to the officers of Provincial grand chapter elicited a witty and profound response from Stuart Blagg. The toast to the principals was superbly complemented by a rendition of the Principals’ Song performed by John Chesters with accompaniment from Shaun Haynes. The new first principal David Sangster in giving his final thanks of the evening presented Stanley with a floral bouquet as a gift for his wife and additionally thanked everyone for the £338 that had been raised for charitable dispersal.