The installation meeting of Ribble Chapter No 4558 saw Terry Ward attain the first principal’s chair in an excellent and well directed ceremony. The principal guest was Colin Rowling who was accompanied by grand officers Ian Greenwood and Group Vice Chairman Geoff Saul. They were supported by four acting Provincial grand officers, Ezra McGowan, John Gudrum, Ian Lynch and Chris Maloney.
Prior to opening the chapter, the first principal John Whitehead welcomed all the visitors, that on this occasion included 11 members of Preston Guild Chapter No 4408.
Colin (left) congratulates the three principals on attaining their respective chairs.After transacting the administrative business of the chapter, the director of ceremonies John Rimmer requested permission to retire from the chapter, on his return he announce the presence of the evening’s principal guest, Colin Rowling. Colin duly entered the chapter accompanied by grand and acting Provincial grand officers to be formally welcomed by the first principal.
Prior to the start of the installation ceremony, John stood and warmly thanked the officers and companions of the chapter for their support and assistance during his year in office. The DC then started the proceedings by presenting the third principal elect, David Asbridge, to the third principal Terry Turley, for him to remind David of the duties of that office. Following his reaffirmation of his obligation to carry out those duties, the scripture reading was given by Kevin Dowley and the prayer by John Rimmer, both delivered in a commendable manner.
Peter Maddison temporarily occupied the third principal’s chair to allow Terry to be presented to the second principal Terry Ward for installation as the second principal. He, in turn, was reminded of his duties as second principal before he reaffirmed his obligation regarding those duties. The scripture reading was given by Mike Cowsley and the prayer by Derek Thompson, again, both in an equally commendable manner.
Mike Cowsley was invited to temporarily occupy the chair of the second principal to allow Terry Ward to be presented to the first principal. John duly informed him of the duties of a first principal before inviting him to recite his obligation regarding those duties. The scripture reading was given by David Asbridge and the prayer by Simon Wright in a manner that matched the earlier deliveries.
Those below the rank of an installed principal were requested to retire from the chapter for a short period whilst the three principals were installed in their respective chairs in an excellent manner by their predecessors. The companions were invited to return to the chapter to hear the DC declare the three principals as now in their respective offices.
The scarlet robe address was given by Mike Cowsley, the purple robe address by David Asbridge and the blue robe address by Simon Wright, all of which were delivered in a faultless manner that was greatly appreciated by all present.
The address to the three principals was delivered in an exemplary manner by Derek Thompson and the address to the companions of the chapter in an equally commendable manner by the principal guest, Colin Rowling.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Colin brought the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, wishing the three principals well during their coming year in office. He continued by also congratulating John Whitehead for his part in installing his successor as the first principal, thanking him for all the work he had done for the chapter and the Royal Arch during his year in office. He concluded the good wishes of the Grand Superintendent by congratulating all the companions of the chapter who had taken part in the installation ceremony, giving particular mention of the work of John Rimmer as the chapter director of ceremonies.
Terry, as first principal, then had the pleasure of presenting Colin with two charity cheques, the first to the value of £85.50 in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and the second for £64 in support of the MCF 2021 Festival.
Later in the evening, in response to the toast to the grand officers, Colin brought his own congratulations and good wishes to the three principals and to the companions of the chapter. He in particular congratulated John Whitehead for his work as the installing first principal and now the new director of ceremonies of the chapter. His congratulations extended to John Rimmer who started the evening as DC and ended it as the ADC and to Simon Wright for his work as the chapter charity steward and festival representative.
Turning to the companions in general, he reminded them to, above all, follow the dreams and aspirations of their predecessors in the Grand Chapter of Jerusalem. He was pleased to have the company of two of the three remaining founder members in the persons of Peter Aikman and Tony Ormiston. He continued by mentioning the work of the Provincial Masonic team working hard in the area of recruitment, reminding companions that they are all recruitment officers for both chapters and their lodges. He went on to thank Geoff Saul for all the hard work he and all the group officers do for Freemasonry and the group. Their presence having added to the splendour of the occasion, Colin continued by thanking the four acting officers, Ezra McGowan, John Gudrum, Ian Lynch and Chris Maloney for their valued support.
Turning to charitable donations, he thanked the chapter for their very generous contribution made earlier in the evening that was a magnificent amount for a small chapter, especially as the companions are already making donations through their Craft lodges. He asked those who had not yet signed up to be a Patron of the Festival, to consider doing so as such donations make a real difference to those in the Province who benefit from the Masonic charities. He reminded the companions although the Province gives magnificent support to the Grand Charities, the Province is a net beneficiary with regards to support from the charities. Although the Festival is in the forefront of giving, he asked everyone not to forget the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity that is in the process of generating contingency plans for the four years that the Festival will be in operation. However, he reiterated, that it was not all about raising money; it can be just as important to provide support by taking time out to spend time with a brother, engaging in a friendly chat.
Colin concluded his response by thanking Terry Ward for the excellent festive board and for proposing the toast to his health. The evening closed with Terry presenting Colin with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gift to his wife for going without his company for another evening.