Liverpool Epworth Chapter No 5381 held its annual installation ceremony at Liverpool Masonic Hall and was, as to be expected, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended, although the ceremony of installation was rather unusual.
Unfortunately, due to a number of people contracting COVID, coupled with two of the principals-elect being unavailable, it was a case of seeing who turned up and was available prior to the opening of the chapter, with everyone pulling together as would be expected.
The three principals Geoff Green, Geoff Cuthill and acting third principal Gordon McConnell warmly welcomed into the chapter room principal guest Kevin Poynton, accompanied by Liverpool Group Vice Chairman Tim Burgess.
The ceremony of installation was performed effortlessly and ran like clockwork thanks to the acting director of ceremonies Dave Bruffell, with Geoff Green installing his successor as first principal. And, as previously alluded to, the second and third principals-elect, George Christie and Stuart Kidd could not attend (George recovering from a serious health setback and Stuart somewhere in the North Sea as master of his vessel).
On completion of the ceremony, Kevin Poynton conveyed the good wishes of the Grand Superintendent to the members of Liverpool Epworth Chapter, after which the first principal Geoff Cuthill presented a cheque for £100 for the Liverpool Masonic Hall Building Fund and a £100 donation from their Relief Chest to Cancer Research UK.
The chapter is fortunate in being one of a select few to have a Royal Arch tracing board. This had been commissioned and presented by a founder, Rev Kenneth Cox in 2000, in co-operation with the recently lamented John Doig, and presented the same year as the 21st year anniversary of the chapter. It is based on that belonging to Sincerity Chapter in Taunton, Somerset, which is over 200 years old. It has a very interesting lecture to go with it and, due to the nature of the shortened installation, the opportunity to give this lecture was utilised.
By coincidence, and not realised until later, the newly-installed first principal of the chapter Geoffrey Cuthill, who led the explanation of the tracing board, was exalted into Liverpool Epworth Chapter 22 years ago on its 21st anniversary and had listened in awe when the tracing board and lecture was introduced for the first time.
Following the installation, the festive board was again very similar to the meeting beforehand, one of pure enjoyment with all being relaxed in company they knew so well. In response to the toast given, Kevin congratulated Geoffrey Cuthill on becoming first principal again, having previously undertaken the role in 2010. Geoff Green was thanked for his work as the first principal during the previous two years and for the way in which he carried out his duties on the night as the installing principal. Both Carl Futter and Gordon McConnell were also thanked, stepping into the roles of the missing principals. Much appreciation was given to the acting director of ceremonies Dave Bruffell and scribe Mal Myers with regard to all the efforts expended, both prior to the evening and on it, in making sure everything ran smoothly.
The installation meal was much appreciated with fish, chips, peas and curry sauce being the main course; indebted once again to the catering staff at the hall. First principal Geoff Cuthill said it was a pleasure to be treated as well as any ruler could wish, and indeed all at the festive board felt as princes.