A dispensation was required to allow Sacred Delta Chapter No 216 to convene on a different day, different date and at a different venue. This was because during the summer break, the chapter members had decided to relocate to The Adelphi Hotel, thus becoming part of the Gladstone Group.
The chapter was opened by the three principals, Jimmy Murphy, standing in as first principal, Bill Follett, second principal and Ian Elsby standing in as third principal, under the watchful eye of the DC and former provincial organist, Derek Hughson. Jimmy then requested scribe Ezra, Alan Lloyd, to read out the dispensation. Alan then informed the three principals that the minutes of the last regular convocation held in March, had previously been circulated to all companions and only required a show of hands by members present to confirm them.
Scribe Nehemiah then announced that Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Sam Robinson, together with other grand officers, were without the door of the chapter and sought admission. The three principals then rose to welcome Sam Robinson, Gladstone Group Chairman Bill Culshaw, and John James, group vice chairman. Sam thanked Jimmy and the members of Sacred Delta Chapter saying that he looked forward to another pleasant evening on the special occasion of installation.
The installation then proceeded and in the absence of first principal, Eric O’Callaghan, Jimmy continued to occupy the position of first principal. Bill Follett remained as second principal and past first principal Gerry Carson was once more was installed as third principal in a sincere and solemn manner. Roy Williams was appointed as principal sojourner for the first time and a new janitor was invested, the highly experienced Alan Trees, a familiar face to companions in the Liverpool area.
Once the ceremony of installation was complete, Sam rose to convey congratulations from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison to the three principals. Sam also congratulated them on his own behalf. He noted that as every chapter has its own unique ways, he was once again impressed by the sincerity of the ceremony. The companions applauded in appreciation.
Following the first rising, Sam and other grand officers retired. The chapter was consequently closed and more than 20 members and guests made their way to the dining room to enjoy a pre-dinner drink before sitting down to enjoy a magnificent four course meal. The toast to Supreme Grand Chapter received a response from Sam who delighted companions with his genuine humour which then smoothly moved on to more serious matters.
Sam continued by reminding companions about the ongoing MCF 2021 Festival. He also spoke about the meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter to be held in Southport at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.
Bill Culshaw later rose to welcome Sacred Delta Chapter back to The Adelphi and also as a member of the Gladstone Group. Prior to the re-organization of lodges and chapters some years ago, Sacred Delta Chapter had been part of the old Gladstone Group. Sacred Delta Chapter has now been re-united with the lodge they evolved from, Harmonic Lodge No 216.
Within the very unique Gladstone Group, the chapter came into being as a separate entity on Wednesday 19 September 1849 at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool. Before that date Harmonic Lodge, then numbered 263, carried out Royal Arch ceremonies as permitted by its warrant under the old Constitutions, so it can be claimed that in Sacred Delta Chapter history master Masons have been receiving exaltation since 1796. The chapter have always attracted members from numerous lodges throughout its history.
The janitors toast all too soon brought to an end a very memorable evening.
Article and pictures by Phil Marshall