Blundellsands Chapter No 2289 was consecrated on 31 March 1924, with its first principal J E Job presiding over the proceedings. The chapter, which shares its name and number with Blundellsands Lodge No 2289, was formed from members of the lodge who then went on to founders the chapter in 1924.
It appears that members were held in high esteem in those days, as they are now, when the treasurer of Blundellsands Lodge who was also a member of the chapter, J E B Littlebury being presented with a handsome gold Provincial Junior Warden’s collar in 1928 for his services to the lodge. Companion Littlebury becoming first principal of the chapter in that same year. The jewel is now in possession of the Worcestershire Museum of Freemasonry where it is proudly displayed.
Returning to the present day, companions and guests stood to order, as first principal Alan Morris, second principal, Robin Miles, and third principal, Paul McLachlan opened the Blundellsands Chapter. On hand to ensure proceedings progressed accordingly was director of ceremonies, John James.
Alan welcomed the principal guest Ian Sanderson, who was accompanied by Gladstone Group Chairman Paul Storrar to the chapter. Alan explained to all assembled that it was a particularly sad day, not only for him personally but also for all the companions, that the decision had been made to close the chapter. He explained that for a while it was thought that perhaps it may be possible to celebrate the centenary of the chapter next year in 2024.
However, on careful reflection and after some deliberation, it was felt that to celebrate the centenary and then close the chapter would be in some ways a false pretence. It would be far more prudent to take the pragmatic decision to close the chapter and celebrate its achievements.
John James then rose and delivered a moving speech, full of sincerity, praise and feeling for the chapter itself. John explained that the chapter had a long and illustrious history, consisting of many fine companions who not only had contributed to the chapter itself, but also to the wider world of Freemasonry and the Province of West Lancashire.
There had been many members of the chapter, who were distinguished, Vernon Milton who was first principal in 1940, was a founding member of Old Crosbeian Lodge No 4992, which at the time was thought to be the first time a Freemason’s lodge had been created, based upon a single school, Merchant Taylor’s School Crosby.
John went on to explain that in Royal Arch specifically many companions had reached very high rank within Provincial Grand Chapter, with companions attaining Assistant to the Grand Superintendent, among the fine and distinguished former companions.
First principal Alan, thanked John for his fine tribute to the chapter and remarked that John was too modest to mention that amongst the distinguished companions spoken by John, he had omitted to mention his own father, Cyril James, who had been awarded Provincial Grand Standard Bearer for his services to Royal Arch.
Alan explained to the assembled companions, that the journey for the companions within Royal Arch was to be continued with many opting to join Jerusalem Chapter No 32, and that a handsome silver alms platter which had been presented to Blundellsands Lodge by one of the founders of the lodge, brother J.B Light in 1889 at its consecration, would also be donated to Jerusalem Chapter, a fine tribute to this fine chapter.
The chapter business being concluded, first principal Alan requested that companions assist him to close the chapter for the final time. A poignant moment in the history and a meaningful farewell to the chapter. The warrant of the chapter was then collected and presented to Assistant to the Provincials Grand Principals Ian Sanderson.
Later at the festive board, Ian commented that he was honoured to be a part of such a poignant occasion and sadly accepted the warrant in respect of the wishes of the companions present.
The festive board was a jolly affair, with laughter and merriment mixed with solemnity for the occasion and reflected within the various toasts given throughout the evening, and with the janitor’s toast to absent and former companions, the farewell to Blundellsands Chapter was sadly concluded.