Lancaster Castle Chapter No 5952 was honoured and delighted to welcome Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison to their installation convocation held at Rowley Court, Lancaster. Tony was accompanied by Second Provincial Grand Principal Christopher (Chris) Butterfield, Lancaster and District Group Chairman Neil McGill, grand officers Phil Gardner, Keith Kemp and Jim Wilson and acting Provincial grand officers David Case, Andrew Bartlett, Peter Pemberton and Chris Larder. Also in attendance was the group vice chairman Scott Devine. Overseeing the evenings events and making sure everything ran smoothly was Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Dave Thomas.
The excellent ceremony saw Norman Mitchell re-united with the chair of First Principal, albeit only for a short while, as he was standing in for installing first principal Paul Fuery who had unfortunately not been able to make the meeting.
Having completed normal business, Dave Thomas entered the chapter and announced that the Grand Superintendent was without and demands admission. Norman greeted Tony and offered him the sceptre, which Tony politely returned as quick as he could.
The installation ceremony which ensued saw Richard Holdstock don the scarlet robe of first principal, Simon Hanson took the chair of second principal, whilst Graham Taylor was installed as third principal for the ensuing year. The robe addresses were all delivered in outstanding fashion by Josh Sendall (address to the first principal), Tom Fuery (address to the second principal) and David Morgan gave the address to the third principal.
At the completion of the ceremony Tony rose to offer his sincere congratulations to the three principals on achieving their respective chairs. It was, in Tony’s words an “excellent ceremony”. Tony was also exuberant in his praise for the three companions who had undertaken to give the robe addresses.
Tony was further delighted to present to the chapter their Patron’s certificate for the MCF 2021 Festival, in recognition of the chapter having raised £1500 for the charity
The remaining business of the day was duly completed before the chapter was closed and the members and guests adjourned to the dining room, where over 50 companions attended an excellent festive board in the Rowley Court dining suite.
At the festive board Chris Butterfield responded to the toast to the grand officers by firstly congratulating the three principals on taking their respective chairs and the acting Provincial grand officers from the Lancaster Group for their support. Chris then moved to toast the health of the Grand Superintendent by expressing his delight at Tony visiting the chapter’s installation (Chris is a member of Lancaster Castle Chapter) and also for the opportunity to be in his company.
On replying to the very complementary toast to his heath by Chris, Tony first expressed his pleasure on an excellent evening and the hope that all the companions had also enjoyed it. Tony congratulated Norman on his excellent work throughout the ceremony and also thanked the grand officers, the acting Provincial grand officers and the group officers, particularly the group chairman, the vice chairman and the secretary for their continuing support.
Tony then expanded upon a number of issues, in particular on the subject of the Royal Arch and the use of the online library tool – Solomon, which contains a whole host of information relating to Masonic subjects.
On behalf of the Provincial grand officers, David Case rose to extend his warmest greetings, adding that the companions present had been witness to an enjoyable ceremony. Holding the position of acting Scribe Nehemiah for the year had allowed him to make a daily advancement in his Masonic knowledge, with today being no exception. He thanked the chapter DC and ADC, Paul Thompson and Bill Manderson respectively, for their efforts in making it a delightful ceremony to watch.
Following a charming toast to the three principals by Norman, Richard responded by thanking his proposers into the chapter and promising to do his best for the chapter throughout the year.
The enjoyment of the evening was further enhanced by the announcement the raffle at the festive board had raised £266.
Article by Paul Thompson. Photographs by Stewart Aimson and Paul Thompson.