Members and their guests gathered in the comfortable surroundings of the Artists Club, Eberle Street, Liverpool, for the installation convocation of Sefton Chapter No 680, where a welcome awaited Second Provincial Grand Principal Barry Jameson, as he made his first visit to the chapter. Barry was accompanied by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Sam Robinson.
The Artist’s Club which was founded in 1877, has occupied premises in Liverpool city centre since 1889 and was the perfect setting for the annual installation.
The chapter was opened by the three principals, Dale Roberts, Ernie Waites standing in as second principal and Andrew Thompson. Following confirmation of the minutes of the previous convocation and a vote on a proposal to make a donation to the MCF 2021 Festival, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Neil MacSymons, was admitted. He informed the three principals that the SPrGP was without and demanded admission. Dale responded that they would be delighted to receive him. The companions stood as Barry, accompanied by Gladstone Group Chairman John James, together with Sam Robinson, Paul Shepherd, Stewart Potter and Provincial Grand Steward David Atkinson, vice chairman of the Garston Group, were admitted.
Neal introduced Barry to the three principals. Dale responded on behalf of his co principals and welcomed Barry who was visiting Sefton Chapter for the very first time. Dale offered Barry the sceptre, which Barry accepted but swiftly returned, saying it was his intention to enjoy the evening, as he was sure that Dale would not wish to waste all of his rehearsal time.
Without further ado, the ceremony commenced, very ably conducted by the director of ceremonies Tim Burgess. Dale Roberts, who had agreed to continue in office for a further term, was declared as first principal by the DC. Tim then conducted third principal elect Phil Marshall, to the pedestal to re-affirm his obligation. As Phil had previously occupied the first principals chair, he was robed by Andrew Thompson and handed his sceptre before taking his seat. Ernie Waites then installed Andrew as second principal in his usual expert manner. He also gave Andrew the ‘robe address’.
With the assistance of Tim, Dale proceeded to appoint his officers for the ensuing year. Finally, Tim presented the warrant which concluded the ceremony of installation. Barry immediately rose to convey to the three principals, the congratulations of the Provincial Grand Superintendent James Anthony Harrison, thanking Dale for continuing in office. He also congratulated the installing officers and DC Tim. The three principals then stood as Dale presented a cheque to Barry, for the magnificent sum of £680, made payable to the MCF 2021 Festival. The amount now means that Sefton Chapter becomes a ‘Patron of the Festival’. Barry thanked the chapter on behalf of the unknown recipients. He commented that a cheque from a chapter for such an amount was very rare. The companions applauded in appreciation of his response.
Following the first rising, Barry and the other officers of Supreme Grand Chapter retired. When Dale asked if there was any other business, Bill Culshaw rose and proposed two candidates for exaltation. Good news for all the officers ensuring a summer of ritual learning for the new team.
The companions of the chapter and guests then retired to the convivial surrounding of the Haliday Room, to join the VIP’s and enjoy a pre-dinner drink. PrDGDC Neil, called the companions to order, to receive Barry and the three principals. On reaching their seats, third principal Phil, said ‘grace’.
During the excellent three course meal, the three principals took wine with Barry and all the companions at various times throughout the evening. Barry responded to the toast to the grand officers, covering a number of important items, including the MCF 2021 Festival, Royal Arch membership and the forthcoming meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter. At that meeting, Sefton Chapters hardworking DC, Tim Burgess, will be appointed as Provincial Scribe Nehemiah. An appointment which is very well deserved and will keep him very busy for his year in office.
The toast to the health of the three principals was proposed in a sincere manner by Ernie Waites. Following each toast, the companions of Sefton Chapter responded in a unique manner which delighted the visiting companions.
A very memorable and enjoyable evening for all guests and companions in wonderful surroundings, which all too soon was brought to an end with the final toast of the evening, the Janitor’s toast, proposed by Paul Harford.