It was a special day for Bikers’ Chapter No 1380; two dispensations were required for their emergency meeting at St Helens Masonic Hall, one for the extra meeting and another so they could exalt five new members in one go!
The chapter was honoured by the presence of the Deputy Grand Superintendent Chris Butterfield, who was accompanied by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Malcolm Alexander.
The temple at St Helens was all prepared and ready for action, (with extra sets of accompanying equipment imported from Bryn to accommodate the numbers of exaltees). The three principals took their places and the ceremony commenced. Iain Wilson opened the chapter assisted by Ian Hunter and Andy Baxendale.
Scribe Ezra, John Selley, confirmed the names of those to be exalted and a ballot took place, which in this chapter consisted solely of the three principals, with any other companion invited to participate if they so wished. With the ballot proving favourable, the ceremony commenced.
Once the five nervous exaltees were led in by their own sojourner, the ceremony proceeded without a hitch. Phil Barr performed absolutely outstandingly, being word perfect for all parts required, and he was ably assisted by Graham Chambers, Bill Bruce, Stephen Oliver and Martin Morris all of whom conducted themselves and their relevant candidate with the utmost care and dignity. No mean feat considering the logistics which were necessitated by the numbers involved!
The scenes were set by Rob Winn, with the prayers and readings delivered by Andy Lane, Peter Chapman and Mal Kidd with sincerity and meaning.
DC Barry Dickinson and ADC Tony Simms on the face of it could have been presented with a logistical nightmare, however due to their skill and abilities the ceremony ran extremely smoothly and without a hitch.
Following the exaltation and for the remainder of the ceremony it was clearly apparent by the looks on the faces of the new companions that they knew they had just taken part in something special which is not witnessed very often.
All that now remained was for the signs to be explained which was left in the hands of Paul Brunskill, an absolute veteran of the task who demonstrated and explained them with the precision and perfection that he has become known for.
Before the chapter was closed, Chris Butterfield rose and congratulated all those involved in the ceremony, in particular welcoming the new exaltees and wishing them a long and happy future in Royal Arch Masonry.
The three Principals closed the chapter and retired, looking forward to the next multiple exaltation within Bikers’ Chapter!