Past principals return to the principal’s chairs

The installation meeting of Royal Preston Chapter, No. 333 was honoured by the presence of the Second Provincial Grand Principal, Paul Renton. He was accompanied by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, Ian Cuerden,

Paul congratulates the three Principals on their preferment.

Paul congratulates the three Principals on their preferment.

Preston group chairman, Steve Bolton, and Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Barrie Crossley. They were supported by grand officer, Joe Collier and acting rank officers, Paul Astley and Gowan O’Hagan.

The visitors were treated to an excellent installation ceremony with David Poulter installing his successor, John Clulow, as the third principal of the chapter, Trevor Phillips, in turn, installing David as his successor as second principal and Geoff Saul subsequently installing Trevor as his successor as first principal.

The three principals elect were, in turn, duly presented for installation and invited to reaffirm their obligation. John, as third principal elect, was presented by chapter member, Peter Donnelly. David, as second principal elect and Trevor as first principal elect were both presented by member Mike Jones. The scripture readings were delivered by David Caldecott, Patrick Bracewell and Vic Parker respectively with all the associated prayers being spoken by Mel Johnson.  

A conclave of installed principals was declared and Trevor Phillips was duly installed in the first principal’s chair by Geoff. David Poulter was installed in the second principal’s chair by Trevor and John Clulow in the third principal’s chair by David. The conclave was closed and companions readmitted to the chapter. The director of ceremonies, Mike Jones, declared the three principals as being formally installed in their respective offices.

The scarlet, purple and blue robe addresses were given by Simon Worswick, Peter Donnelly and Vic Parker respectively, all of whom made first-class presentations.

Following the installation of the three principals, Howard Linaker rose to thank Geoff, as the outgoing first principal, for all his work during the previous year and presented him with a past principal’s jewel for him to wear with pride during his year as the immediate past first principal of the chapter. 

Following the investiture of officers, the address to the three principals was delivered in an excellent manner by Joe Collier and that to the chapter officers in an equally commendable manner by Peter Donnelly. The address to the chapter companions was given by the principal guest, Paul Renton.

At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Paul brought the greetings and congratulations of the Grand Superintendent, Tony Harrison, commenting that had he been present he would not have witnessed a finer ceremony as had just taken place. On Tony’s behalf, he congratulated Trevor on attaining the first principal’s chair once again, wishing him well for his year in office. He went on to congratulate Geoff for his work during his year as first principal as well as his contribution to the evening’s ceremony. He then asked the acting rank officers present to stand and introduce themselves to the members of the chapter, thanking them for their continuing support and attendance at the meeting.

Trevor in reply, thanked Paul for his kind comments on behalf of the Grand Superintendent and presented him with three cheques. The first, to the value £200, was in support of Silver Line, a charity that is the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK. The second, for £175, was in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the final cheque, for £125, was in support of the MCF 2021 Festival. These donations were in addition to previous giving of £400 to the MCF 2021 Festival and a donation to Preston Masonic Hall.

Visitor, Peter Littlehales, rose to present the chapter with a past first principals jewel. It was the jewel that the chapter had presented to late member, Sam Bolton, some 65 years earlier. Peter commented that the jewel had come into his possession and it was a pleasure for him to return such historical memorabilia to the chapter.

The proceedings in the chapter were drawn to a close with a flawless delivery of the Valedictory Address given by Patrick Bracewell in a manner that was greatly appreciated by the companions present.

Later in the evening, in response to the toast to the grand officers, Paul said he was pleased to have the company of fellow grand officers, Ian Cuerden and Joe Collier. On his own behalf, he congratulated the chapter for what had been an excellent ceremony where every part of it was well done. He congratulated the three principals on their installation into their respective chairs wishing them well for their year in office. He mentioned the excellent work of the companions who delivered the robe addresses in such a fine manner and thanked all the companions who had a part to play in the proceedings.

Moving on, Paul thanked all the group officers who were in attendance and paid tribute to deputy director of ceremonies, Barrie Crossley, for all the work he has done, and continues to do, around the Province. He announced that Barrie’s contribution to the Royal Arch will be recognised by a forthcoming promotion to grand rank. It was an announcement that resulted in spontaneous applause from all the companions present.

He continued by revealing his thoughts on the link between the Craft and the Royal Arch where he looked on the Craft as ‘Manual Masonry,’ with its service to man and God, and the spiritual aspects in the Royal Arch that completes Masons as men.

On behalf of the ultimate recipients, Paul concluded by thanking the chapter for the generous cheques presented earlier. He was pleased to see so many companions wearing the Festival Jewel as an indication of further charitable giving.

Pictured from left to right, are: Ian Cuerden, Paul Renton, David Poulter, Trevor Phillips, John Clulow, Geoff Saul and Steve Bolton

Pictured from left to right, are: Ian Cuerden, Paul Renton, David Poulter, Trevor Phillips, John Clulow, Geoff Saul and Steve Bolton