The installation meeting of Sefton Chapter No 680 took place at The Artists Club in Eberle Street, Liverpool. They were honoured by the presence of Sam Robinson, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals. He was accompanied by Bill Culshaw, Chairman of the Gladstone Group who is also a Past First Principal of Sefton Chapter, and other officers of Supreme Grand Chapter.
The three principals, Rick Walker, first principal, Peter McGrady second principal and Dale Roberts third principal, opened the chapter a little after 5.30 pm. The principals rose and Rick welcomed Sam Robinson to Sefton Chapter with a hope that he would have a most enjoyable evening. Sam responded that he was looking forward to both the ceremony and the dinner later.
Following confirmation of the minutes of the last convocation, companions below the rank of an installed third principal retired and under the direction of Tim Burgess, Director of Ceremonies the ceremony of installation proceeded. In turn Peter McGrady, first principal elect, Dale Roberts, second principal elect and Mark Crawford, third principal elect, recited and confirmed their obligations in a sincere and perfect manner. They were then duly installed into their respective chairs by their predecessors. Rick, IPZ, gave the robe address to Peter. Peter gave the robe address to Dale who then followed with the robe address to Mark. All addresses were given perfectly with obvious sincerity. Officers for the ensuing year were then appointed. The companions progressed as expected; however, a new treasurer had been elected due to the retirement of John Ryan who had held on tightly to the purse strings for an astounding ten years. Ian Walton was duly collared and promised with a wink, that he would keep subscriptions and dining fees at their current levels. Two companions who had only been exalted at the last regular convocation, found themselves appointed officers, Colin Campion as Steward and in his absence, John Donnelly as second assistant sojourner.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sam rose to convey the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, to the three principals and all the newly appointed offices. He also congratulated Rick and Tim for a fine ceremony which he confessed, was very different to any he had seen previously. The principals rose and Peter thanked Sam on behalf of all the companions, he then presented Sam with a cheque for £200, made payable to the MCF 2012 Festival. Fortunately, Sam spotted the error and a replacement cheque hastily provided. This time, made payable to The MCF 2021 Festival. Following communications from Supreme Grand Chapter, Sam, Bill and the rest of the officers of Supreme Grand Chapter retired. The chapter members proceeded to discuss arrangements for the next convocation which would coincide with the chapter’s 150th celebration, which falls on 13 September 2017.
Prior to taking their places in the dining room, the members and guests enjoyed a pre-dinner complimentary gin and tonic at the bar.
It was the privilege of Dale to propose the toast to Supreme Grand Chapter and couple with the toast, the name of Sam Robinson. Sam responded bringing with him the latest news from Supreme Grand Chapter. Third principal, Mark, was privileged to give the toast to the visitor’s. They all heaved a sigh of relief when Tim announced that in Sefton Chapter, there was no response to that particular toast. As the night was waning fast, it was soon time for John Hibbert to propose the last toast of the evening, the janitor’s toast and for all the companions to say their goodbyes having had a most enjoyable evening.
Article and photographs by Phil Marshall.