At the installation meeting of Foundation Chapter No 5394, held at Urmston Masonic Hall, the members were honoured to welcome the Third Grand Principal Ian Higham. Ian was accompanied by Assistant to the Grand Principals Barry Jameson and the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies David Thomas, South Eastern Group Chairman Mike Adams and David Durling (group vice chairman) Also in attendance, were acting Provincial grand officers Richard Frazer-Bastable PrGStdB and Stephen Paul Holcroft PrGStwd.
The chapter was opened by the first principal Denis Tierney. Following the completion of the administrative business of the chapter, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies David Thomas entered the chapter to report that the Third Grand Principal demanded admission, to which Denis replied that he would be happy to receive him.
Ian entered the chapter with his officers and was welcomed by Denis who offered Ian the sceptre to which he swiftly returned for the continuation of the ceremony.
The ceremony commenced with the three principal’s elect being presented for installation and affirming their obligations. The scripture readings were given by scribe Ezra David Poppitt. The three principals were then installed into their chairs, Howard Carr as third principal, Mike Sincup as second principal and Peter Stockton as first principal.
The scarlet robe address was given by Ezra McGowan, the purple robe address by Tim Burns and the blue robe address by Phil Rampling. The ceremony concluded with Peter appointing and investing his officers for the ensuing year.
Ian rose to bring the congratulations and best wishes of the Grand Superintendent. He congratulated the officers who took part in an excellent ceremony and he wished chapter well for the ensuing year. Peter then presented Ian with a cheque in the sum of £100 to the Freemasons Grand Charity, to which he thankfully received.
At the festive board in response to the toast to the grand officers, Ian brought his own congratulations and good wishes to the chapter.
Turning to the Craft tercentenary celebrations, Ian asked the companions to support as many of the events that they can. He reminded them that, although it is a Craft celebration, it is the Craft that the Royal Arch looks to for its candidates.
He went on to impress on how important it is to encourage brethren from the Craft to finish the journey by joining the Royal Arch to complete the four steps of their Masonic journey. He said that there is a toolbox to which we can use to encourage recruitment but more importantly to maintain retention.
Moving to the 2021 Festival, Ian thanked the chapter for the donation to the Festival made earlier. He was pleased to see so many companions wearing the Festival Jewel. He asked those members who have yet to donate to the Festival to consider doing so and to wear the Festival Jewel with pride.
In conclusion, Ian thanked the officers who supported him under the watchful eye of David Thomas and the acting officers. Also, to scribe Ezra David Poppitt for ensuring that his visit was eventful and enjoyable.
Article and pictures by Tom Fredrickson.