The annual installation is always a special occasion in a chapter’s calendar, and for the companions of Hesketh Chapter No 986 it was a little bit extra special. 2024 was all the more memorable, as they were honoured by the visit of the Provincial Grand Superintendent Mark Matthews, together with over 30 companions to witness Alistair Milner take the first principal’s chair.
The meeting, held at Preston Masonic Hall, was opened by acting first principal, David Topping and after initial business, Mark Matthews and other special guests joined the meeting under the watchful eye of Ian Halsall, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. Accompanying Mark was Third Provincial Grand Principal David Barr, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Paul Hesketh and the Chorley and Leyland Group Chairman Peter Allen, along with several other grand and Provincial grand officers.
Once installed as first principal, Alistair then proceeded to install Philip Monks as second principal, with Philip then installing his brother Nigel Monks as third principal. Following the installation of the new principals, there were excellent deliveries of the robe addresses by Steve Dunn, Tom Ryding and Michael Singleton.
At the end of the robe addresses, the companions of the chapter were then addressed by Mark, who was keen to note that whilst the ceremony had been completed in excellent fashion and with utmost sincerity, a sense of fun was very much in evidence and was good to see.
After investing the officers of the chapter, Alistair’s first duty as the newly installed first principal was to give Mark details of the charitable donations made by the companions of the chapter, which consisted of £200 to the Stroke Association, £200 to the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Preston and £198 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. Mark gave thanks to the companions of the chapter for their very generous donations.
After closing the chapter, the companions retired to the bar and dining room where an evening of excellent ritual was ended by a most enjoyable festive board.