The companions of the Chapter of Equity No 1384 held their installation meeting in the McCausland Suite at Widnes Masonic Hall and the chapter was opened by first principal Brian Rafferty, assisted by second principal Geoff Enright and third principal Ian Edge. The initial business of the chapter was transacted before Barrie Crossley PrDGDC entered the room to announce that the Third Provincial Grand Principal Ian Higham stood without and demanded admission. Brian replied by saying that the companions would be pleased to receive him.
Ian was processed in by supporting acting Provincial officers Stephen Holcroft, George Croft and Peter Blease and was accompanied by grand officers Barry Jameson, Kevin Poynton, Alan Locke and the Widnes Group Chairman Neil Pedder. The three principals welcomed Ian and hoped that he would enjoy the ceremony and festive board before Geoff offered Ian the sceptre – which was hastily returned.
The chapter’s director of ceremonies Neil Pedder presented the principals elect; Andy Maginn as third principal, Ian Edge as second principal and Geoff Enright as first principal. Each recited their obligation while the portions of holy writ were read by Barry Jameson, Ian Locke and Alan Locke respectively.
Brian installed Geoff with the scarlet robe and sceptre of his chair; Geoff installed Ian with the purple robe and sceptre of his chair and Ian installed Andy with the blue robe and sceptre of his chair. The robe addresses were given by Brian Rafferty, Geoff Enright and Ian Edge, followed by the presentation of the warrant of the chapter. The address to the principals was delivered by Brian Rafferty.
As the ceremony came to a close it presented Ian with the opportunity to bring congratulations and best wishes from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison whom Ian was sure would have wished the principals, officers and companions an enjoyable, healthy and successful year.
Brian responded to the good wishes by presenting cheques to the value of £600; £300 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £200 to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and £100 to the Widnes Masonic Hall. The recipients thanked the companions for their generosity and gave assurances that the donations would be faithfully applied.
Following the meeting, 25 companions retired to the Peter Browne Suite where an excellent festive board was provided and served by the hall’s catering staff.
Ian responded to the toast to his health by bringing his own congratulations to the principals and companions after which he stressed the importance of promoting Royal Arch to the brethren of their lodges to consider joining. He reminded the companions that Masons who were not full subscribing members of a Craft lodge could no longer join or remain members of the Royal Arch. Ian also promoted the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival by explaining ways to support it for which a Festival ‘Jewel’ has been crafted and it is the first time that any Province has been able to display its own Coat of Arms on such a jewel.
The installing principal Brian gave the toast to Geoff and presented him with the first principal’s jewel. Geoff responded by thanking Brian and all the officers and companions for making it a pleasant and memorable evening for him. He announced that the alms plate raised £68 and the raffle £46, a total raised on the evening of £114.