Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Christopher (Chris) Butterfield, took the M6 south from his home in Preston, to represent the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison at the installation meeting of Chapter of Justice No 6850. In order to make his first visit to the Artist Club in Eberle Street, Liverpool, where the installation was being held, Chris had set off early, as over the previous two days a section of the motorway on his route had been closed following accidents.
Andrew Whittle, the first principal, had previously advised the scribe ezra Jim Bates, that he was unlikely to attend due to family commitments. However, with minutes to spare before the chapter opened, Andrew arrived and excitedly announced that following some complications, his daughter had successfully given birth to a healthy baby boy. Mother and baby were due to leave hospital the following day.
The three principals Andrew, Dermot Moloney and Steve Senneck, opened the chapter and following confirmation of the minutes, welcomed Chris, who was accompanied by the Gladstone Group Vice Chairman John James.
Companions below the rank of an installed first principal retired and the installation ceremony commenced. Andrew requested John James to act as third principal and Daniel Senneck to act as DC. John McGibbon was presented as third principal and as John had previously been installed as a first principal, he re-affirmed his obligation and was robed and presented with the sceptre of his office. Following the same procedure, Steve was installed as second principal and Dermot as first principal.
Companions were re-admitted to see the robe address’s which were all expertly delivered. Andrew gave the robe address to first principal, Dermot in turn gave the robe address to Steve who then gave the robe address to John.
Officers for the following year were then appointed. For various reasons, some members could not be present and will be appointed at a later date. At the conclusion of the installation, Chris rose to convey the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent. Chris also congratulated all the companions who had taken a part in the ceremony, together with those companions who had been appointed to the various offices. The three principals rose and thanked Chris for his attendance at the chapter installation.
Although the three principals have on many occasions occupied these positions, it will not be too many years before newer companions will rise to the exalted positions. Justice Chapter have a number of new companions who are looking to the future. In fact, during the meeting a new companion was proposed, Paul Sutton of Cecil Lodge No 3274, ensuring a busy term for the principal sojourner and the three principals.
Following communications from Supreme Grand Chapter, Chris and John James retired. The business of the evening being ended, the second assistant sojourner Kieran Senneck, closed the chapter by command of the three principals. The companions then retired to enjoy a pre-dinner drink followed by a superb meal provided by the staff of the Artist Club. Finally, janitor Phil Havard proposed the last toast of the evening, ending a superb and memorable night.
Article and photographs by Phil Marshall.