A hot spell of weather made for a very warm evening as companions of Red Triangle Chapter No 3874 greeted each other and their visitors after the long summer break, at Doe Park, the home of Woolton Golf Club. The first meeting of the season for the chapter was its 50th anniversary and the date for the annual installation meeting, and change was in the air.
This installation was to be a special evening in the minds of the companions as this is the 50th year since the chapter was consecrated in 1974, and companions were looking forward to celebrating the event at the forthcoming festive board.
First principal Ian McGovern, assisted by second principal Joe Muscroft and third principal, Alan Routledge formally welcomed all to the chapter. Ian, having served as a principal of the chapter as either first, second or third, has done so consecutively since 2015, his experience shines through and the opening of the chapter was a masterclass of ritual.
The first order of business was to admit a re-joining member, Harry White BEM, who is a past principal of the chapter was admitted and warmly welcomed into the chapter, the companions clearly pleased to see Harry back as a Royal Arch Mason.
Stand-in director of ceremonies, Tommy Lunt, was excused and soon returned to proclaim that principal guest, Derek Parkinson, representative of the Grand Superintendent Mark Matthews accompanied by Mersey Valley Group Chairman John Murphy and other distinguished companions stood without. Ian expressed a wish that the chapter would be delighted to receive them. The companions stood whilst the distinguished guests were admitted.
The guests having been formally welcomed and seated; the main event began. Immediately joining member, Harry White, was presented to third principal Alan Routledge as third principal elect. Having completed his obligation, it was then the turn of Ian Broomfield, again a past principal, to be presented to Joe Muscroft, and having completed his obligation, became, second principal elect.
Ian then requested that Dave Wood honour the chapter and occupy the chair of second principal. Joe Muscroft was then presented to Ian, and again having performed a faultless obligation became first principal elect. Interspersed throughout the whole ceremony so far were scripture reading especially selected in each case, orated in fine voice by Dave Douglas.
Ian then requested that all officers of the chapter be upstanding and extended his heartfelt thanks to all who had helped and supported him in the last year. Ian then requested that all those below the rank of an installed first principal retire for a short period. A conclave of installed first principals was then declared and first principal elect Joe was then installed as first principal. Joe’s first task was to install his Immediate Past Principal, Ian, which he did with sincere thanks not only on behalf of Joe, but also the wider chapter.
Joe then closed the conclave and proceeded to open and close the second and third conclaves respectively, installing second principal Ian Broomfield, and third principal, Harry White. Having completed the installation of all principals, all other companions were admitted and for the first time, Tommy Lunt, proclaimed Joe Muscroft as first principal of Red Triangle Chapter.
The robe addresses were performed by Ian McGovern, (scarlet robe), Mike Fox, (purple robe) and Alan Routledge, (blue robe). Following the investment of the officers of the chapter, the address to the principals was given by Mike Fox, followed by the address to the companions by Derek Parkinson. The chapter then concluded the business of the evening, with members, visitors and guests retiring to the dining rooms.
After suitable refreshments had been obtained and all were seated, presented to each diner was a fantastic menu card which had been designed and printed by secretary, Dr Les Cutting. Les had written a brief summary of the chapter, including a photo of the last ceremony with exaltee Darren Fulton looking very proud in the centre of the companions. A lovely memento of the occasion to be taken home in celebration of the 50th year of the chapter history.
Unfortunately, at the festive board, the first principal was feeling unwell and had to retire, his place taken by immediate past principal Ian McGovern. The toasts were given to all three principals and companions thoughts were with Joe, with best wishes for a speedy recovery given.
A cheque for the West Lancs Freemasons’ Charity was presented to Derek for £150, who gave his thanks to the companions for the very kind donation. At the raffle, the main prize was won by Joe who I’m sure will be delighted to collect it at the next meeting!
Article by Mike Fox.