The Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah Tony Hall had the privilege of representing the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison at the installation meeting of Preston Portcullis Chapter No 6316. This was a unique occasion as it was the first time in the Province that the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah had been charged with such duty. Tony was accompanied by Preston Group Vice Chairman Geoff Saul and supported by grand officer Stan Rigby and David Caldecott in his position as a Provincial Grand Steward.
Unfortunately, the current third principal and second principal elect Peter Ledder was unable to attend the meeting so Eddie Taylor was delegated as stand in for the start of the meeting.
The chapter was opened by the three principals in the customary manner and the administrative business of the chapter concluded in a timely manner. The DC Brian Woodburn then announced the presence of Tony Hall who entered accompanied by group officers and acting Provincial grand officers. He was warmly welcomed into the chapter by the first principal Derek Hewertson, who went on to thank all the companions of the chapter for their generous help and support during his enjoyable year in office.
The installation commenced with Paul Hardman being obligated as third principal in a full and excellent ceremony by Eddie. The chair of the second principal was occupied by past principal, Paul Astley, to enable the first principal elect to be presented to the first principal. Derek then had the pleasure of inducting Malcolm Sugden, into the chair of the first principal, a position he had held previously, in 2006.
Companions below the rank of an installed principal were invited to retire from the chapter for a short while whilst a conclave of installed principals was declared for Paul Hardman to be installed as third principal. The conclave was closed and the companions invited to return. Malcolm and Paul were then proclaimed as first and third principals of the chapter respectively by the chapter DC, Brian Woodburn. As this was the first time Paul had occupied the third principal’s chair, the address to the blue robe was presented in a word perfect manner by Eddie Taylor.
Malcolm appointed his officers in an expeditious manner thanking all the recipients for their previous and anticipated future contribution to the operation of the chapter.
After Brian had announced that the installation ceremony was concluded, Tony rose to bring the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent. He complemented the participants on the excellence and smooth running of the ceremony, this in spite of being a principal down. He particularly mentioned the sterling work of the outgoing first principal Derek Hewertson and the chapter DC. Tony concluded by congratulating Malcolm on his appointment wishing him well for his year in office. Malcolm, in turn, responded by thanking Tony for his kind and generous words and then had the pleasure of presenting a cheque to the value £50 in support of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
Later in the evening, Tony, having brought greetings from the Grand Superintendent in the chapter, added his own by congratulating the chapter companions on the delightful and dignified ceremony he had just witnessed. He went on to applaud the two invested principals and all the appointed officers on their preferment He also praised the work of Eddie Taylor and Paul Astley for standing in at the appropriate moment for the absent third principal commenting that Brian, as chapter DC, must be very pleased with the smooth running results.
Tony continued by reminding the companions of the importance of the WLFC and its reliance on donations and the support of Masons. He mentioned the forthcoming festival in support of the Masonic Grand Charity that may reduce necessary donations to the West Lancashire charity over the festival period. He stressed the importance of building up resources in the WLFC before the festival starts. Turning to the evening’s charitable giving, on behalf of the ultimate recipients; he thanked the chapter for the generous donation made earlier.
Returning to the Royal Arch, he invited companions to broadcast their membership and thereby cultivate further interest in the order. He recommended chapters to consider using parts of the enhanced exaltation ceremony as it fits in with a specific chapter’s needs. He encouraged chapters to ‘share the work.’ In this way many voices are heard in the chapter and no individual is tasked with learning pages of ritual.
Tony concluded by thanking the chapter companions for the invitation to attend and the grand and Provincial grand officers for their support, particularly mentioning the support of Provincial Grand Steward, David Caldecott.