A treat of ritual, team work and enjoyment; that was the verdict of David Randerson Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals when he attended as guest of honour at the installation convocation of Heysham Chapter No 4108 at Morecambe Masonic Hall.
Also present were fellow grand officers Tom Holroyd, Phil Gardner, Peter Mason and Lancaster Group Chairman Jim Wilson. A quartet of acting Provincial grand officers namely John Torrance Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, David Tattersall Provincial Grand Organist with Alan Procter and David Smith, both of whom are Provincial Grand Stewards, also in attendance.
At an early stage in the meeting the outgoing first principal Malcolm Hayward made a special point of thanking all the chapter members for the assistance they had given in making his year in office so enjoyable. Malcolm freely admitted that he ‘would not win any prizes’ for his ritual work, but his colleagues were unanimous in their opinion that his enthusiasm and commitment more than compensated for that ‘shortfall’. He ended his valedictory address by admitting that he’d ‘had a lot of fun’ in his term of office. Having made his final bow, Malcolm handed over to the chapter’s director of ceremonies Paul Craddock who occupied the first principal’s chair for the installation ceremony. Paul duly obligated and installed Chris Larder into the chair of first principal. Richard Routledge was installed as second principal with consummate skill and dignity by Chris and Richard faultlessly completed an excellent trio of performances by installing Joe Emmerson into the third principal’s chair.
The robe addresses were eloquently and sincerely rendered to the first, second and third principals by Ray Griffiths, Peter Charlton and Brian Warrington respectively and were a fine testimony to the effort and diligence that had been employed throughout, all of which had been quietly and masterfully choreographed by the assistant director of ceremonies John Heaton. Prior to his fine rendition of the address to the principals, Tom Holroyd presented Malcolm Hayward with the past first principal’s jewel together with some kind words of appreciation for the service that Malcolm had rendered to the chapter. David Randerson gave a sterling performance of the address to the companions before tendering the best wishes and congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, whom he quipped, had ‘missed a treat’! Before David resumed his seat, the charity steward Alan Dean presented him with cheques and details of the charitable disbursements the chapter had made in the year totalling £478. The donations consisted of £426 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and £52 to Morecambe Masonic Hall. David expressed his gratitude on behalf of the recipients.
At the festive board that followed, David Randerson expressed his own good wishes and congratulations to the newly installed principals and officers. He reminded the companions of the need for communication and commitment as important factors in maintaining a successful chapter but also encouraged engagement with the ‘outside community’ as a key to widening the general understanding of the good works that Freemasonry undertakes. He was confident that the obvious skill and dedication evident from the Masonic credentials of the three new principals would ensure that the chapter had a promising future and would enjoy an excellent year under their leadership.
Newly installed principal Chris Larder confirmed that he was looking forward to a busy and productive year and expressed his delight at his appointment as first principal. He intimated that the sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that he felt might just possibly be eclipsed later in the year when he is to be initiated into fatherhood!
The assembly were given a final treat by the stirring performance by Fred Fox of the principals’ song with accompaniment from David Tattersall. The generosity of the companions in both alms and raffle collections ensured future donations to charities would be occurring by realising a grand total of £295.