The Corinthian Suite at Liverpool Masonic Hall was the venue for the annual installation ceremony of the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter of West Lancashire No 8516. The three outgoing principals were pleased to welcome everyone to the evening’s proceedings, which was well attended with just over 100 people booked in. The first item of business was to ballot for joining membership of the chapter for a number of the currently serving Provincial Grand Stewards, which proved in the affirmative. The stewards were admitted into the room and were warmly received by all present, with David Harrison, the first principal, reiterating the thoughts of all in hoping that their membership was the start of a long and fruitful journey within the chapter. David paid tribute to Roy Cowley who had done a tremendous job for the previous 10 years as the charity steward and was this evening retiring from the position.
The installation proceedings then commenced with the entrance into the room of the Deputy Grand Superintendent Danny Jones which was heralded by the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Robert Wright. The companions stood as a colourful and dignified procession of grand and acting Provincial grand officers entered escorting Danny, including the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah Tony Hall. Also amongst that number were Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Paul Shepherd who has responsibility for the Liverpool Group of Chapters, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Sam Robinson who has responsibility for the Gladstone, Bootle, Woolton and Garston Groups and Liverpool Group officers Robert Povall and David Kemp.
The three principals, David Harrison, Ian Beecham (second principal) and Charles Paton (third principal) welcomed Danny to Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter and proffered him the sceptre of the chapter. On graciously accepting the sceptre Danny thanked David for his kind words of welcome, and returned it with a smile. David then thanked all the officers for the tremendous support given to him and his co-principals during the previous 12 months, with special mention of the chapter demonstration team who had travelled across the Province, at their own expense, giving demonstrations. Thanks also went to the organist David Tattersall and the janitor Paul Broadley.
As was only to be expected, the ceremony of installation was performed in exemplary manner with Stuart McVernon being installed as first principal, Terry Dickinson installed as second principal and Nigel Higginson installed as third principal. Stuart’s first role was the investiture of David Harrison as immediate past first principal, before continuing in appointing his officers for the coming year. On completion, Danny took the opportunity of bringing the good wishes and congratulations of Tony Harrison (Grand Superintendent), who wished fraternal greetings to each and everyone gathered in Liverpool. Stuart then had the pleasurable task of presenting, on behalf of the chapter members, two cheques, each for £500, in favour of the Linda McCartney Centre and the Derian House Children’s Hospice.
On completion of the evening’s ceremonial, the companions retired to the main banqueting suite to enjoy the festive board. Besides the usual formalities, it was here that Danny congratulated Sam Robinson on his appointment to Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, with special responsibility for the Royal Arch chapters in the Bootle, Garston, Gladstone and Woolton Group’s within the greater Liverpool area. He also paid tribute to Steve Walls and his accompanying ‘rogues’ who had completed two charity bike rides over the last two years, raising over £10,000. The first ride being along the Leeds to Liverpool canal and the second from Hull and the Humber estuary to Liverpool, as well as completing the Winder Way charity walk earlier in 2015. Danny announced to all that their next task was to complete the “Street to Street’ ride in 2016, from the headquarters of Freemasonry at Great Queen Street, London to Liverpool Masonic Hall on Hope Street.
The evening waning fast, Danny bade fond farewell to all present and looked forward to meeting them all again as he travelled throughout the province.