The members and visitors of Architect Chapter No 1375 were delighted to receive Stuart Boyd as the representative of the Grand Superintendent Mark Matthews to their installation meeting which was held at the Urmston Masonic Hall.
Stuart was accompanied by acting Provincial grand officers; Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar John Walkey, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer Eddie Wilkinson and Provincial Grand Steward Ian White, together with South Eastern Group Vice Chairman Nigel Paton along with other distinguished Provincial grand officers, group officers and visiting companions.
After opening the chapter in his own inimitable style, first principal Shaun Brookhouse convened the business of the chapter at which point Stuart along with the acting Provincial grand officers entered into the chapter to be welcomed very warmly by Shaun and the companions.
The installation proceeded well, with the three principals who were well guided by director of ceremonies Gareth Jones and ably assisted by Shaun. Brian Hayes was installed as first principal for the first time in 32 years! Sylvester During was installed as second principal and David Benson as third principal. On this occasion the robe addresses were deferred until the following meeting.
The chapter officers for the ensuing year were then appointed and on completion of the ceremony, Stuart rose to bring the greetings and good wishes for a prosperous, healthy and enjoyable year from the Grand Superintendent, Mark Matthews.
Stuart said that if Mark had been present, he would have witnessed a most intriguing ceremony of installation and on his behalf, congratulated the director of ceremonies Gareth Jones and all those who took their part in the evening’s event, he also thanked all those who had taken office in the chapter.
First principal Brian then rose and thanked Stuart for his exceedingly kind words and on behalf of the chapter presented him with a cheque which with Brian’s permission, he read out the contents ensuring that the correct signature was in place! It transpired that the cheque was made out to the WLFC for the sum of £250. Stuart thanked the members, praising the very generous donation given the small size of the chapter.
At the first rising, Nigel Paton, South Eastern Group Vice Chairman, conveyed the greetings and good wishes on behalf of the grand officers saying that it had been an excellent ceremony and welcomed Brian once more into the chair as a first principal wishing him, and the chapter, an enjoyable year to come.
After the convocation, a very friendly and buoyant festive board took place and in response to the toast to the grand officers, Stuart offered his own congratulations to the companions, he made reference to the age of the chapter, (being 148 years old), and that it was amongst the oldest still operating in the Province.
Stuart went on to talk about recruitment and retention of members with Supreme Grand Chapter being especially concerned about loss of Royal Arch members and how important it was not only to recruit new members but also to retain current ones. Stuart thanked the chapter for the welcome they had extended to him and wished everyone present as very merry Christmas and a happy New Year and thus, the toasts of the evening having ended, a most enjoyable meeting was thus concluded.