Fylde Chapter No 2758 hosted a very special convocation with a visit from the demonstration team of the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter of West Lancashire No 8516. The Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter Demonstration Team comprises of 40 members who deliver between four and five presentations per year at different locations in the Province of West Lancashire. There are approximately six presentations to choose from and the team is continually looking for new items which they can present.
The demonstration of “Passing the Veils,” has a restriction on the number of times it can be delivered and a recent occasion was the last time it would be presented for two to three years, so the members of the North Fylde Group were extremely fortunate to witness the demonstration. One of the main objectives of the chapter is to deliver Royal Arch knowledge to the companions in the Province of West Lancashire.
On this very special evening, the chapter was graced by the presence of a full Provincial team led by the Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge Chris Butterfield, the Second Provincial Grand Principal Mike Threlfall and Third Provincial Grand Principal Rev Canon Godfrey Hirst. Amongst the distinguished guests were David Barr and Malcolm Alexander, both Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, the North Fylde Group Chairman John Cross and Jason Dell Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
On entering the chapter room, a room so packed extra chairs had to be drafted in from elsewhere in the building, there was a palpable buzz about the evening’s presentation. The floor was laid out with banners and spot lamps and a projector screen added to the anticipation for the coming event.
The chapter was opened by the three principals Paul Darlington, Creag Williams and Ryan Modlin who did their duty in completing the early administration of the chapter. There then came a knock on the door and the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Jason Dell entered to announce that the Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge Chris Butterfield, stood without and demanded admission.
The companions rose to their feet while a procession of grand and acting Provincial grand officers entered the chapter room and Chris was formally introduced to the three principals. The first principal Paul Darlington cordially welcomed Chris and, as is custom, offered the sceptre of the chapter to him, which on this occasion he retained. In turn Mike Threlfall and Godfrey Hirst took their respective chairs.
Chris Butterfield opened the demonstration delivering the prologue for the ensuing ceremony, the lights in the room were dimmed by Chris Brown and while the demonstration team began their odyssey with Geoff Waters representing the candidate, Ian Sterling, Doug Smith and Malcolm Alexander provided narration.
The candidate was skilfully led through the ceremony by the sojourners who were played by Kevin Byrne, Bernard Snape and Bob Stafford. Throughout the ceremony passages of scripture were powerfully delivered by Godfrey Hirst. The roles of the scribe Nemiah and the janitor were played by Phil Powell. The demonstration was made all the more dramatic by the brightly coloured light display that replaced the veils operated by Eric Koz and an informative PowerPoint presentation was delivered by Michael Harrison.
At the end of the demonstration, Chris noted that it could not be denied that every member of the audience had made a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. The sceptre of the chapter was returned to the first principal by Chris and in turn, the other principals resumed their rightful places to conclude the evening’s business.
At a sumptuous festive board, the three principals were presented with a miniature pedestal that contained a notebook to record the ‘Passing of the Veils’ ceremony.