With senior members in abundance at the Chapter of Fidelity No 1256, it was no surprise to see some slick working at their recent installation meeting in the presence of the Provincial Deputy Grand Superintendent Danny Jones who was accompanied by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals David Randerson. They were supported by grand officer Stuart Thornber and Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah James Miller and several other distinguished companions, all introduced grandly by Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies David Thomas.
Having offered Danny Jones his sceptre, which was promptly returned, installing first principal Nigel Walker signalled for the ceremony to begin. Martin Dennison, who is the director of ceremonies of the chapter, introduced third principal elect Mike Lumby. Mike took his obligation and was seated while the director of ceremonies introduced second principal elect Ray Boardman and first principal elect Stephen Wadsworth, who each recited their obligations and took a seat on the side-lines.
Having invited Stuart Sager and Tom Prew to act as installing second and third principals, Nigel asked those who were not principals to retire for a brief period while the senior companions completed what was an excellent ceremony. The conclusion of this part of the ceremony saw Nigel Walker receive his past principal’s jewel from Stephen Wadsworth before receiving an explanation of the jewel from Martin Dennison. During the ceremony the prayers were read by Ken Oxley and scripture readings were sagely delivered by Antony Hill, Brian Riley and George Clitherow.
On the return of all of the companions into the chapter, three fine explanations of the principals’ robes were delivered by Antony Hill to the new first principal Stephen Wadsworth, by Peter Walker to the second principal Ray Boardman and by George Clitherow to third principal Mike Lumby. Addresses to the principals and the officers were given to a very high standard by Glyn Lloyd and John Moss, followed by a stirring address to the companions by Danny Jones. In customary manner, the chapter officers were appointed and invested with their collars of office.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Danny Jones conveyed the good wishes of Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison to the three principals and to the chapter. He congratulated Nigel Walker and his installation team for performing a superb ceremony, particularly the director of ceremonies Martin Dennison for his fine control of the proceedings. In response, he received two cheques from Stephen Wadsworth. One was for the sum of £300 towards the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival whilst the second was for the sum of £100 towards the upkeep of Poulton le Fylde Masonic Hall.
During the risings David Randerson congratulated all who had taken part in a very fine ceremony. He thanked the principals for taking office again and wished everyone the best of health and happiness for the coming year. Vice chairman of the South Fylde Group John-Robbie Porter echoed the sentiments, reiterating Danny Jones’ praise of the director of ceremonies and commenting favourably on the work of Antony Hill, who had been invested as assistant director of ceremonies.
With the final business of the meeting promptly concluded the companions retired to the banqueting suite to enjoy a fine four course meal prepared by ‘Dahlia’s Kitchen’, the resident caterers. This was concluded by various toasts, particularly that to the grand officers. Replying to the toast, Danny Jones thanked the chapter for inviting him and he particularly thanked the Scribe Ezra for all the unseen work that he had put in to ensure the success of the evening. He thanked Stuart Thornber and James Miller for their support and the South Fylde Group officers for their presence, particularly group chairman Ian Ward, who was congratulated on his impending elevation to the rank of a grand officer. He also urged those present to encourage members of lodges to consider joining Royal Arch chapters, proudly pointing to the Royal Arch recruitment banner which held pride of place in the dining room.
In replying to the toast to the principals, Stephen Wadsworth thank everyone for their support, adding that he had enjoyed this installation as much as he had enjoyed the first time he had been installed as first principal in Norcliffe Chapter No 7371 in the year 2011. He also thanked all present for their generosity for raising £109 in the raffle which would go towards Masonic charities.