The companions of Chapter of Equity No 1384, their guests and visitors were delighted to welcome the Rev Harry Ross to the chapter as their principal guest at their installation evening. Harry was accompanied by the Chairman of Widnes Group Derek Williams. To start the proceedings the first principal Bob Winch and his second and third principals formally welcomed Harry to the chapter and wished him an enjoyable evening; Harry remarked that it was good to be back in Widnes again and he looked forwards to a great evening.
After Bob had thanked all the officers and companions for the support they had given him during his year, the installation began with three cheques being presentation to Harry; West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity for £200, Widnes Masonic Hall Development Fund for £100 and the British Heart Foundation for £100. Harry thanked the companions on behalf of the recipients for their generosity.
To aid the principals, Bob asked past first principal Ian Lynch to assist and occupy the first principal’s chair for the rest of the installation. In addition the chapter sought the help of Normal Speed to take the place of Brian Rafferty who was, at very last minute called away on business. Due to Brian’s absence, only the first and third principals, David Lea and Geoff Enright would be installed at this meeting.
Harry and the companions were then treated to an excellent installation ceremony seeing that David was duly installed as first principal and Geoff as third principal. Ian Edge and Peter Charnley ably assisted Ian Lynch by delivering their respective parts with confidence. In the election of officers, Ian Lynch was then appointed to director of ceremonies and replaces Neil Pedder who has stepped down from that role, Ian Edge was appointed to principal sojourner with Peter Charnley as first assistant sojourner. After the appointment of officers, Harry Ross gave his address to the companions and also brought with him the best wishes, congratulations and thanks to the new principals from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison.
With the installation ceremony over and the rest of the chapter business finished with class and dignity by the new principals, the companions then retired to the dining room for the continued celebrations at the festive board. Dave and Geoff thanked the acting officers, past principal and the companions who helped with the ceremony.
In a first for many, the companions were treated superb rendition of the ‘Song to the Principals’, sung by Paul O’Brien. Paul, who was a guest of David Lea, finished by congratulating the principals on their evening by replying to the toast to the guests and visitors.
In closing Harry thanked the chapter for the kind invitation and thanked the companions for such warmth and generosity shown to him. He also used this time to give a very brief but informative talk on the importance of all aspects of Royal Arch Freemasonry, from the hall to the companions. In conclusion, Harry said: “I hope that the new principals and all the officers of the Chapter of Equity have a happy year ahead of them.”