The companions of Heysham Chapter No 4108, were delighted to welcome the Deputy Grand Superintendent Paul Andrew Renton to their installation convocation held at Morecambe Masonic Hall. Paul was equally pleased to have the company of Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Christopher (Chris) Charles Butterfield, together with fellow grand officers Lancaster and District Group Chairman Jim Wilson, Tom Holroyd, Philip Gardner and Frank Clarke. Also supporting Paul on this fine occasion, were acting Provincial grand officers Peter Quirk, Paul Thompson, David Tattersall, Dennis Laird, Stephen McClintock and keeping everyone in check was the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Malcolm Bell. Neil McGill, the group vice chairman, was also in attendance.
On completion of the business of the chapter, Malcolm entered the room to announce that the Deputy Grand Superintendent stands without and demands admission. The three principals greeted Paul warmly, following which the first principal Richard Routledge offered him the sceptre. Paul thanked Richard and upon returning the sceptre as is the custom, commented: “I am first principal in my own chapter and I have come along to see exactly how it is done”, much to the amusement of the companions.
Following the valedictory address from the first principal Richard, in which he expressed his sincere thanks for all the assistance he had been given over the two years he had been first principal, the three principals-elect were duly obligated and then installed. Richard installed Joe Emmerson into the first principal’s chair, whilst Joe in turn conducted the advancement of Ken Needham from the third to second principal’s office. Ken then effected the induction of Brian Warrington into the chair of third principal. The delivery of the robe addresses saw fine performances from Ray Griffiths, Peter Charlton and Trevor Duncan, as they were given to the first, second and third principals respectively.
Following the appointment of the chapter officers, the address to the principals was flawlessly presented by Tom Holroyd, who also made a very poignant oration in the presentation of the past principal’s jewel to Joe Emmerson. The address to the companions of the chapter, which is not often heard in the Lancaster and District Group, was articulately delivered by Paul Renton.
As the ceremony drew to a close it presented the opportunity for Paul to bring warm greetings from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, whom he said would have certainly wished to congratulate the three principals and indeed all who had contributed to such a fine ceremony. Tony particularly wanted Paul to thank the immediate past first principal on his behalf, for all the support he has given he chapter over the last two years. Finally, Paul passed on Tony’s best wishes to all the companions, together with his sincere wish they all continued to enjoy their Royal Arch Masonry.
Paul was highly delighted to receive notification of the chartable disbursements made by the chapter, consisting of WLFC £366.50, £568 MCF 2021 Festival (including white envelope contributions), Lancaster and Morecambe Deaf Children’s Society £50 and Morecambe Masonic Hall £50. Paul was effusive in his praise for the chapter in raising such a large amount of money and on behalf of the eventual recipients, he could not thank the companions enough.
It was then the turn of Richard Routledge to stand and present Nigel Parrish, a local Mason and representative of the Blood Bikes Charity, with a cheque for £50. The charity had been Richard’s nominated charitable organisation during his last year in office.
The festive board, enabled Paul to bring his own congratulations to all the companions, especially those who had played a part in the installation convocation. Paul was keen to thank all the grand and acting Provincial grand officers for their support, with particular emphasis on Jim Wilson, the group chairman, who had done a fantastic job over the last 10 years and who later in the year would be retiring from his post.
Paul also thanked the chapter for the fantastic amount given to charity at the installation, particularly the amount given to the MCF 2021 Festival. He was particularly pleased to see so many companions wearing the Festival Jewel with pride and would encourage as many companions as possible to purchase a jewel, if they had not already done so.
Moving on to the subject of the Royal Arch, Paul appraised his audience of a forthcoming initiative to aid recruitment, which involves a letter being sent to new Masons, after they had been raised, informing them of the Royal Arch. The companions were also notified of the possibility of forming a university chapter for the Royal Arch. It is intended to combine with the Province of East Lancashire and have two meetings each year.
On completion of Paul’s address, the toast to the three principals was given by Alan Herron, followed by a marvellous rendition of the ‘principals song’ by Fred Fox, superbly complimented by David Tattersall on the keyboard. Joe, on behalf of the three principals, thanked all who had taken part in the ceremony, with particular thanks to Richard for everything he has done for the chapter.
To complete the evening, it was announced that the raffle during the festive board had raised £300 and a further £30 was donated by Terry Nealons from the proceeds taken behind the bar. An excellent way to end the evening.
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson.