Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Paul Shepherd was very warmly welcomed by the companions of Great Eccleston Chapter No 8895 when he attended their installation convocation as principal guest.
Paul was attended by acting officers Bill Williamson PrAGSoj, and Alan Procter PrGStwd.
The meeting, held at Wyrebank, Garstang, saw Stephen McClintock installed as first principal by Ken Roulston in an impeccable ceremony which brought much acclaim from all the companions present.
Taking the purple robe of second principal was Andrew Bartlett and Robert Whittingham the blue robe of third principal.
The robe addresses certainly maintained the high quality of the proceedings and were given by Alan Robinson (scarlet robe of first principal), Neil Hartley (robe address to the second principal) and Scott Devine the robe address to the third principal.
During the appointment and investiture of officers the retiring Scribe E of the chapter, Rod Bennison, stood to offer his appreciation and thanks to the companions for their support over more than 30 years since the consecration of the chapter. Rod was pleased that Alan Robinson had taken on the mantle of the role and promised Alan every assistance over the coming months.
As the ceremony drew to a close it presented the opportunity for Paul to rise and bring the greetings and best wishes of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison whom Paul was sure would have been absolutely delighted by what he described as a ‘tour de force’ and a tremendous ceremony.
Paul was also highly gratified to receive cheques to the sum of £600 to charitable causes. One cheque was for £500 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and one for £100 to the Masonic Samaritan Fund as sponsorship for Sue Cousens in the 55km Ultimate Trails Challenge. He congratulated the chapter on giving such a sum when he understood that companions had already fully supported charitable giving in their respective lodges.
The festive board, in the magnificent Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, was attended by 35 companions and enabled Paul to bring his own congratulations to the principals and companions and update the companions on the important issues from Province and how recommendations on improving the ceremony of exaltation by making it somewhat more dramatic and more easily understood would soon be issued for consideration by chapters.
A raffle raised a very creditable £163 making a total raised for charity on the evening of £235.