At the installation meeting of Bold and St Paul’s Chapter No 5459, the companions and guests were honoured by the presence of Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Ian Cuerden.
The chapter was opened by first principal Lewis Redhead and after the usual convocation business being completed the director of ceremonies Derek Parker retired from the chapter. When Derek re-entered the chapter, he announced that Ian Cuerden stood without and seeks admission. The principals agreed that they would be pleased to admit him.
Ian processed in accompanied by grand officers Tony Tallon and David Redhead, Provincial grand officer Neil Pedder (Widnes Group Chairman) and acting Provincial grand officers Ian Rowan, John Goodrum, Ian Lynch and John Gibbon (Widnes vice chairman). Ian was warmly welcomed by the three principals, Lewis Redhead, Stewart Parker and David Merrill.
The ceremony commenced with Tony Tallon, third principal elect, being presented by DC Derek Parker. Tony was reminded of his duties and invited to recite his obligation. The scripture passages were read by David Redhead and the prayer by Frank Parle. Bill Isherwood was then invited to occupy the third principal’s chair.
Dave Merrill, second principal elect, was presented by the DC Derek Parker. David was reminded of his duties and invited to recite his obligation. The scripture passages were read by Neil Pedder and the prayer by Frank Parle. Graham Platt was then invited to occupy the second principal’s chair.
Stewart Parker was then presented as first principal elect by his brother, DC Derek Parker. He was reminded of the duties and responsibilities of first principal before being invited to recite his obligation. The passages of scripture were read by Ian Cuerden and the prayer was again read by Frank Parle.
A conclave of installed first principals was declared, during which Stewart was entrusted with the secrets of the first principal’s chair and duly placed into his chair by Lewis. The conclave was then closed and reopened as a conclave of installed second principals. Second principal elect, David Merrill was entrusted with the secrets of the second principal’s position and duly placed into his chair by Stewart.
The conclave was closed and reopened as a conclave of third principals. Tony was then entrusted with the secrets of the third principal’s position and duly placed into his chair by David. The three principals were declared as being in office by the chapter DC Derek Parker.
The three robe address were given by Lewis Redhead, Stewart Parker and David Merrill respectively. Stewart then invested his officers for the ensuing year.
Immediately following the installation ceremony, Ian stood to bring the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison to the three principals in being installed into their respective chairs and wished them health and happiness during their term in office. He also congratulated Lewis, Stewart and David along with DC Derek Parker and all the officers who took part in what was an excellent ceremony.
A procession was formed by the DC while Ian, accompanied the group chairman and acting Provincial grand officers, retired.
Following the closure of the installation, the companions retired to the bar for some refreshment before moving on to the festive board, which was held in the Peter Browne Suite, for a three course meal. There then followed a pleasant evening with good company and lively banter.
In the response to the toast to the grand officers, Ian thanked the group officers for their attendance and thanked Neil Pedder for undertaking the office of Widnes Group Chairman. He congratulated the companions who had recently received honours. His message to the companions was to make the effort to attract new comers to take the next step in Freemasonry.
Ian also mentioned that the St Helens Group have published a booklet of Royal Arch information for new companions and old alike. In his closing remarks he appealed to the companions to sign up to the MCF 2021 Festival.
The evening came to an end with the janitor’s toast and everyone heading home having enjoyed a wonderful evening.