The Masonic Hall at Grange over Sands is one of a kind. It was opened in 1895 with the entrance leading via a vestibule into the lodge room. Being on a hill, the room below was completed in 1897 and for 12 years was rented out as a cabinet makers shop. In 1909 it was converted into a dining and social room in which form it remains to this day. Grange Chapter No 1715 was formed in 1931. During the intervening years it cannot have witnessed a more heart felt installation meeting than the one which took place in 2017.
After opening the convocation and undertaking the usual formalities, outgoing first principal Stephen Pemberton generously stepped aside and allowed Bob McMillan to act as first principal so that he could install his son Scott into the chair. A noted ritualist Bob undertook his work in his usual accomplished manner but on this occasion it was also charged with a great deal of sincerity and emotion. It was obvious to all present that it meant a great deal to both father and son.
Principal guest Chris Butterfield was also able to witness Scott show that he is taking after his father as regards to ritualistic endeavours as he installed David Ozanne as second principal in fine style. In turn David showed great aplomb in installing Alan Telford as his successor into the third chair.
Before commencing the ceremony of installation Stephen had, in the accepted manner, invited past first principals to occupy various offices in the chapter. Somewhat appropriately Alan’s place as principal sojourner was taken over by his father John.
The robe addresses were orated by Stephen, Alan Wilson and Ian May with all the accomplishment you would expect from such experienced companions.
The small temple at Grange was quite full with 50 people in attendance who included in their number Chris Band a Past Provincial Second Principal and Gary Rogerson the Furness and South Lakeland group vice chairman.
Bob was later appointed principal sojourner. A candidate for elevation was proposed on the evening and the companions of the chapter can look forward to the interchange between father and son as the degree is worked. Should Bob need any help he need only look to his right where newly appointed first assistant sojourner Chris will be seated.
To mark the occasion the Grange Chapter donated £300 to the 2021 Festival. Following the ceremony the companions descended the stairs to the dining room where they enjoyed an excellent celebratory meal and where a raffle raised £263 to help replenish the chapter charity account.
Once again Bob was called into action as he sang the “principals’ song” which he did with great gusto. Also, during the course of the evening Chris paid tribute to scribe David Jopling and director of ceremonies Nigel Higginson for all the work they had put in to ensure that everything had run so smoothly.