The installation meeting of North Meols Chapter No 5828 took place at Southport Masonic Hall and was attended by over 50 Royal Arch companions who witnessed Mark Matthews installed into the chair of first principal by his predecessor John Pinchon in a very fine ceremony.
Following a minutes silence for two companions, Albert Edward Bird and Lesley Linforth who had taken their place in the Grand Chapter above, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Paul Renton and the representative of the Grand Superintendent was admitted in ceremonial style that befitted his rank. Paul was accompanied by grand and Provincial grand officers including Christopher Hamilton, Tony Hall, Peter Lower, Mike Wallis, Eric Hart and Phil Powell, as well as the Vice Chairman of Southport Group Phil Stock.
Once seated John and the principals all rose and offered a warm welcome to Paul and the chapter’s distinguished guests and hoped that everyone would have a very enjoyable evening.
The three principals elect were then presented to each of the principals in turn by DC Richard Snape to mark the start of the installation proceedings with Mark Matthews being installed as first principal, Mike Packingham as second principal and John Karran as third principal. Readings at the various times during the ceremony were given by Bill Stupples , Richard Alty and Martin Bos.
Flawless robe addresses were then given to the three principals by John Pinchon to the first principal, Mark Matthews to the second principal and Mike Packingham to the third principal.
Mark then appointed his officers for the ensuing year. Following this, the address to the three principals was superbly delivered by Christopher Hamilton, the address to the officers of North Meols Chapter was delivered by Geoff Jackson and the address to the companions of North Meols Chapter was delivered very eloquently by the distinguished guest Paul Renton.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Paul rose to convey congratulations and best wishes on behalf of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison. He stated that had Tony been present he would have congratulated all who took part in producing a wonderful ceremony that was rich in ritual and deserving of the lustre of such a fine chapter.
Paul added that the evening was very enjoyable and it was clear to see that the companions had put a lot of effort into learning the ritual. He then wished the three principals a very enjoyable year, with at least two candidates scheduled to be exalted during the season.
Paul then remarked on the very confident way in which John installed Mark as first principal and delivered the robe address, adding that he hoped he would be as good when he reached John’s age. He also congratulated Richard Snape on successfully managing his first installation ceremony.
Mark then presented two cheques to Paul, the first for £600 in aid of West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the second for £250 to the Southport Hall Foundation.
Following the final business of the chapter all retired to the festive board for a fabulous meal of tempura prawns, roast pork with seasonal vegetables and bread and butter pudding with cream, followed by splendid rendition of the principal’s song performed by David Townes.