For the convocation of installation, Henry Cook Chapter No 1021 was extremely pleased to welcome the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison as its principal guest. He was accompanied by the Second Provincial Grand Principal Chris Butterfield and Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals Barrie Crossley and David Barr.
Also attending with Tony were; Provincial Grand Standard Bearer Peter Schofield and Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies David Thomas, along with Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald, group chairman Gary Rogerson and acting Provincial grand officers Harry Chatfield, Scott Devine and Alan Hilton, all adding to the gravitas of the ceremony.
The installing first principal Chris Gray knew well in advance that a Provincial team were due to visit and that his chapter had to be at its best. He had no need to be concerned as all the participants achieved a very high standard throughout the ceremony.
When all the business of the chapter had been completed, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Barry Fitzgerald entered and announced that the Grand Superintendent stood outside the door of the chapter and demanded admission. The team were warmly welcomed by Chris Gray who then offered his sceptre to Tony, which Tony politely and in his usual humorous manner declined to accept.
Keith Templeton, Gary Rogerson and Alan Pattinson were asked to assist in taking various chairs when required. Director of ceremonies of the chapter Dennis Laird formally presented the three principals elect. As the incoming first and third principals elect had already occupied the chairs on a previous occasion they only had to reaffirm their obligations. The scripture readings were conducted superbly by Darren Curtis, Glen Hudson and Wilf Proctor.
As Barry Bray had already taken the chair of first principal of the chapter in 2016, he was quickly presented with the robe and insignia of a first principal and took his chair. Ian Thompson was invested in the chair of the second principal by Barry with grace and sincerity. Morton Richardson, having been through all three chairs in another chapter, again was swiftly invested with his robe and insignia by Ian.
Graham Benson, Bill Joughin and John Donnelly gave the robe addresses to the first, second and third principals respectively in fluent and perfect orations. Harry Chatfield addressed the three principals with an excellent delivery as he explained the duties and standards required. If the chapter continues to set these very high standards, others will be inspired to follow, as the examples set on the evening were nothing less than excellent. Barrie Crossley addressed the companions of Henry Cook Chapter in a warm, sincere and impressive manner.
Reverting back to the summons gave Tony his cue to rise and greet the three principals, wishing them good health for a happy year ahead. He congratulated everyone who had taken part, especially the installing first principal Chris Gray for an excellent installation. Tony also recognised that the ceremony he had witnessed did not happen without a huge amount of work and effort from the director of ceremonies Dennis Laird. Tony remarked: “It stood out on the evening as Dennis had little to do!” Before Tony resumed his seat, Barry Bray had the pleasing task on behalf of the chapter of presenting him with a cheque for £500 for the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. Tony thanked the chapter on behalf of all those who will benefit from the kind donation.
After a delicious three course meal at the festive board for the 46 companions, Tony thanked the members of Henry Cook Chapter for an excellent ceremony and evening that he was sure all had enjoyed. Thanking the grand officers for their support, he said quite emphatically: “It was a delight and pleasure to have the Provincial team lead by Harry.”
Tony fully appreciated the presence of Scott, Gary and Alan Pattinson, along with Phil Preston, and not forgetting Barry Fitzgerald who did a splendid job. Tony again sang the praises of Harry Chatfield for his hard work, not only as scribe for the chapter, but also for his work around the Province of West Lancashire as acting Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. He thanked him for the profound dignity, enthusiasm and decorum with which he carried out his responsibilities throughout the Province.
As the evening drew to a close, Barry announced that the raffle had raised a magnificent £226 and, after a moment remembering Craig D Foster who had passed away during his year as an acting Provincial grand officer, the last toast of the evening was given by the janitor and a most enjoyable event came to a close.