The proclamation of Anthony Prior for a second year as first principal of Stanley of Bickerstaffe Chapter No 3511 was a star-studded event. Representing the Grand Superintendent Mark Matthews was Assistant to the Provincial Grand principals Paul Hesketh.
Accompanying Paul were the group chairman Graham Chambers and vice chairman Steve Dunn along with grand officers Paul Lundy and Frank Umbers as assistant director of ceremonies of the chapter. With not just one, but seven acting Provincial grand officers graced this auspicious assembly, namely; John Walkey, Ian Tupling, Derek English, Ian White, Jason Jackson, Mike Gray and Tom Bradfield-Kay.
The ceremony proceeded with Greg Pennington, an old hand as director of ceremonies proclaiming Tony as first principal for the ensuing year. Paul Smith was installed as third principal by the outgoing third principal David Southward, who, in turn was installed as second principle by the outgoing second principal Ian Clark. Tony then thanked the companions of the chapter for supporting both himself and their chapter which he described as a leading light of the chapters in the group and he hoped it would remain so for many years to come.
Ian Tupling gave the robe address to the first principal, whilst Malcolm Sandywell gave the address to the second principal and Gary Evans gave the address to the third principal, all of the addresses were all given in a most elegant way.
Paul Hesketh was then presented with donations from the chapter of £400 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £400 to Ormskirk Masonic Hall Association and £150 to Friends of Tithebarn. Paul gave thanks to the companions of the chapter for their generous donations. After the ceremony concluded, Thomas Birtles was presented with his Grand Chapter certificate by John Spurr, who gave a most interesting explanation of the certificate.
At the festive board, Paul Hesketh brought his own greetings to the chapter and gave an amusing and informative discourse on the future of Royal Arch Freemasonry and the need for companions to talk to their non-member friends in Masonry in the hopes of piquing their interest.
With the alms plate raising £88.50 and the raffle £150, the evening proved both a very enjoyable and profitable occasion for charities.