Stewart Blagg made his last chapter visit as the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah when he attended the installation meeting of Jubilee Chapter No 5555. The principal guest was Chris Butterfield, who was also supported by the Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar Bill Bagnall and the Preston Group Vice Chairman Geoff Saul.
After conducting the administrative business of the chapter, the first principal Ray Birkbeck welcomed Chris Butterfield into the chapter, offering him his sceptre. In graciously returning the sceptre, Chris acknowledged the kind words of welcome.
The ceremony was carried out in a sincere and dignified manner as Don Stephenson presented the third principal elect Alan Howarth for installation to the third principal Charlie Sweeney. The scripture reading was delivered in an excellent manner by Kevin Alpin. Charlie Sweeney, as second principal elect, was in turn presented to the second principal Frank Moss, who proceeded to inform him of his duties. In this instance the scripture reading was delivered in an equally excellent manner by Alan Duffin. Finally Jim Bennett had the pleasure of presenting Frank Moss, the first principal elect, to the first principal Ray Birkbeck, with the scripture reading being excellently given by Adrian Dixon.
The associated prayers for all three offices were delivered by Don Stephenson and the robe addresses given by the installing principals. The three principals were declared in office by the DC Trevor Hampton. The address to the principals was delivered splendidly by Bill Woods and the address to the companions in an equally excellent manner by the principal guest Chris Butterfield.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Chris brought the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, wishing them well during their year in office. Chris continued by also congratulating Ray Birkbeck for his part in installing his successor, thanking him for all the work he had done for the chapter and the Royal Arch during his year in office. He concluded with the good wishes of the grand superintendent by congratulating all the companions of the chapter who had taken part in the installation ceremony. Frank then had the pleasure of presenting Chris with a charity cheque to the value of £200 in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
Following the installation and on behalf of the chapter companions, Don Richardson thanked Ray as the outgoing first principal for all his work during the previous year and presented him with the Ralph Moxon (PZ) Jewel for him to wear with pride during his year as the immediate past first principal of the chapter. Much to his surprise, Don as the previous holder of the Ralph Moxon Jewel, was presented with his own personal past principal’s jewel by Jim Bennett.
Later in the evening in response to the toast to the grand officers, Chris gave his own congratulations and good wishes to the three principals and to the companions of the chapter. Particular mention was made of the work of Ray Birkbeck and he also congratulated those that had taken office, wishing them all well for the future. He went on to thank Geoff Saul, Stewart Blagg and Bill Bagnall, for their attendance and support.
He continued by reminding the companions of the need to support the Masonic charities, thanking the chapter for the very generous donation made earlier in the evening. He also noted that it would not be long before the Province would be announcing a new festival that would divert charitable funds in that direction. It was therefore essential to continue to donate to the WLFC before that event.
Chris reminded the companions that ensuring the future of Masonic halls is important. In this respect Preston Masonic Hall is lucky to have an excellent team with the drive and foresight to make things work. The benefits of the last few years of their extensive efforts are plain for all to see. However, continued support is essential.
Chris went on to mention recruitment to the Royal Arch urging the brethren to look to their lodges for brethren who are not members. He informed the companions that the Royal Arch Forum is now back on line encouraging those companions who are not signed up to it to consider doing so. The forum provides opportunities to ask questions relating to the Royal Arch and to join in the discussions that take place.
He concluded his response by inviting Stewart to say a few words. Stewart informed the companions that his year in office was coming to a close and that this was his last chapter visit in that position. His successor was to be Tony Hall who was present at the meeting. He continued by remarking what a wonderful year it had been, before presenting the Provincial Scribe Nehemiah Jewel to Tony wishing him well and all the best for his coming year.