Hesketh Chapter No 950 is flying high with the installation of its three principals, two of whom, first principal Mark Tomlinson and third principal Paul Smedley, had served together in the Royal Air Force, in 120 squadron, flying Nimrod MR2Ps at RAF Kinloss, Moray, Scotland. To complete the trio the second principal David Wright also served in the military. All three are also members of Thornton and Cleveleys Lodge No 3854.
The companions and visitors to Hesketh Chapter gathered at the Fleetwood Masonic Hall. The companions were honoured to have the presence of Third Provincial Grand Principal Ian Higham, as their principal guest for the meeting. Ian was accompanied by Duncan Smith, Harry Cox, Keith Jackson and Neil MacSymons, together with distinguished Provincial grand officers Tony Hough, North Fylde Group Deputy Chairman Martyn Jones and John Lee.
The chapter was opened by the three principals and after the administrative business had been dealt with, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Neil MacSymons, entered the chapter to announce the presence of Ian Higham. Ian was warmly welcomed by the outgoing first principal Derek Williams
The ceremony of installation was delivered to perfection by the principals. Mark Tomlinson was expertly installed by Derek Williams, David Platt installed David Wright with sincerity and David Martland installed Paul Smedley with confidence. The scripture readings delighted the assembled companions, being read faultlessly by Leslie Entwistle, Peter Rumley and Terry Naylor.
The robe address to the first principal was delivered by Paul Bowser, the robe address to the second principal by Mark Spragg and the robe address to the third principal by John England. The address to the principals was expertly delivered by David Leadbetter and the address to the officers of the chapter was delivered effortlessly by Duncan Smith. To conclude the proceedings the address to the companions was delivered by Ian Higham.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Ian rose to bring the greetings and congratulations from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, wishing the three principals an enjoyable year in their respective offices. He congratulated the chapter on the overall excellence of the ceremony he had just witnessed. He particularly congratulated the work of Derek Williams as the installing first principal and Stephen Mitchell in his role as the chapter director of ceremonies.
Mark presented a cheque to Ian for the amount of £200 to the MCF 2021 Festival, for which Ian thanked the companions on behalf of the ultimate recipients.
Ian in response to the toast to the grand officers thanked everyone who had taken part in what was an exemplary standard of ritual. Ian also thanked the companions who had presented the robe addresses. He mentioned the companions who had supported him during the evening and those who had received provincial appointments and promotions at the recent meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter.
At the festive board, the 45 companions were treated to an excellent meal. In the course of the festive board a raffle was held which generated the grand sum of £220 for charity. The enjoyable evening was brought to a close by the janitor’s toast.