A short but sweet installation convocation at Scorton Chapter No 5791 saw Alan Gardner retain the scarlet robe for another year, whilst the second and third principals from last year swapped their chairs, with Bill Williamson being declared the second principal and John Eccles the third principal.
The principal guest and representative of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison for the installation at Scorton Chapter was David Barr, who was accompanied by Lancaster and District Group Vice Chairman Neil Mcgill, grand officers Tom Holroyd, Keith Jackson and David Rhodes, as well as acting Provincial grand officers Paul Thompson and Steve McClintock. Also in attendance were the group and assistant group secretary Scott Devine and Chris Larder respectively.
After the investiture of the officers, the ceremony of installation was declared complete and David was delighted to bring the greetings from the Grand Superintendent. David was sure, that had Tony been present, he would certainly have been impressed with the speed and efficiency with which the principals were placed into their respective chairs. Tony had asked David to pass on his best wishes to the companions and chapter for an enjoyable year.
David was delighted to receive notification of disbursements made by the chapter to the sum of £530. This included £100 each to the MCF 2021 Festival, Leonard Cheshire House and the Masonic Fellowship. £50 to each of the Childrens Festivals at Garstang, Church Town and Catterall, also donated was a further £80 to Masonic sporting charities.
At the festive board held in the superb Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, David in response to the toast to the Provincial grand officers, took the opportunity to bring not only his own greetings to the chapter, but also to offer his personal congratulations to the principals on remaining in office and to bring the companions up to date with the latest news that the Grand Superintendent wishes to be conveyed to the companions. For this year, David remarked, the list is simple; Festival, enjoyment and membership.
Beginning with the Festival, David thanked the chapter for their donation, then went on to inform the companions that Festivals are the main source of funding for the central Masonic charities and each year, four Provinces launch a new Festival appeal. If you look at the MCF website you will see all the Provinces currently in Festival. David thanked all the companions who had already pledged their support to the Festival and would encourage those who have yet to sign up, to do so as soon as possible. By working together, we can all make that difference.
Moving on to membership, David explained it was vitally important for us all to consider ourselves as membership officers, thereby attracting new men of the right calibre and cementing a secure future for our fraternity. This brought David to the subject of recruitment and retention in the Royal Arch, again of vital importance, suggesting that we should all go back to our respective lodges and expound the enjoyment and fulfilment we gain from our membership of the Royal Arch.
It is the sincere wish of the Grand Superintendent that we all have fun and enjoyment whilst attending our Masonic duties and hopes that through our enjoyment, it will have a positive impact upon our families, friends and work colleagues. Enjoying our Order and sharing that enjoyment with others can only but create a more positive awareness of Freemasonry. In conclusion David thanked the grand, acting Provincial grand officers and the group officers for their company and for all the work they do to promote Freemasonry.
David, having completed his address, it was the turn of Frank Hogarth to stand and give a witty but elegant toast to the three principles. The opening line of Frank’s address began with: “That is the fastest installation I have ever been to”, which was greeted with much laughter and applause. Bill Williamson had the pleasure, on behalf of the principals, in responding to the toast.
The knowledge that the raffle had raised £140 completed a delightful evening.
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson.