This was a busy week for John Harrop who was installed as worshipful master in Stretford with Trafford Lodge No 4379 some six days previous and was now being installed as the first principal in Swinton Chapter No 6100.
The principle guest on this occasion was the Assistant to the Grand Principles, Tony Hall who was accompanied by Eccles Group Chairman Dave Walmsley and grand officer Tony Edden. In support were acting Provincial officers Reg Morris, Richard Frazer and Stephen Rhodes. Dave greeted Tony with a presentation of the traditional Eccles cakes.
The chapter was opened for business by first principal Alan Astin, second principal John Harrop and third principal Mal Walters. The three principals elect were then presented in turn by director of ceremonies Paul Webster to mark the start of the installation proceedings, with John Harrop being installed as first principal, Mal Walters as second principal and Ernest Lloyd as third principal.
Dave Walmsley delivered the crimson robe address, Neil Pearson delivered the purple robe address and Malcolm Roberts delivered the blue robe address. The readings to all three principles, were narrated by Neil Pearson. The officers of the chapter were then invested. The addresses to the three principals were expertly delivered by Roy Heneage and that to the companions by Tony Hall.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Tony brought the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent, Tony Harrison wishing the three principals well during their coming year in office. He congratulated all who had taken part in the ceremony and the new first principal presented him with a cheque in the sum of £150 in favour of the MCF 2021 Festival.
Following the conclusion of the meeting the companions retired to join all at the festive board. Tony Hall in response to the toast to the grand officers said that this was his first visit to Swinton Masonic Hall and how impressed he was with the building of which the majority of the work had been carried out by the members.
He extended his own personal greetings to all present and expressed how much that he had enjoyed a wonderful ceremony and also the warmth he had experienced from the companions. He made special mention of Alan Astin, Paul Webster, Tony Edden, Dave Walmsley and his acting officers, Reg Morris, Richard Frazer and Stephen Rhodes and also, to Mal Walters for his communications and support.
Tony promoted the forthcoming events that are scheduled for the 2021 Festival, celebrating 300 years of Freemasonry and that he encouraged all to make the effort to attend some of the celebrations.
At the conclusion of a most enjoyable evening the janitor’s toast was delivered by Neil Pearson.
Article and photos by Tom Fredrickson.