The installation meeting of Travellers Chapter No 4679 was well attended by nearly 40 members and guests. They enjoyed the very happy event of James (Jim) Cartledge, being installed as first principal of the chapter by David Finlay, the immediate past first principal. David explained that he would be undertaking the installation ceremony because his son Gareth had been admitted into hospital for an emergency operation and he thanked the companions for their good wishes. David provided an update that Gareth was making good progress and passed on his good wishes for an excellent meeting to all present. David then opened the chapter and the usual administration was undertaken.
Wayne Robinson, director of ceremonies announced that Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Paul Renton, was without, he was then admitted with all due reverence. Paul was accompanied by several acting Provincial Grand Chapter officials including, Alan Prescott, John Aitkin, Michael Harrison, Robert Duff, Lee Marsh, along with group chairman Chris Eyres.
In welcoming Paul and all the dignitaries to the chapter, David extended his welcome to all members and guests. Paul thanked David and offered his thanks to all present and asked for his good wishes to be extended to Gareth and hoped he would have a speedy recovery.
For the ceremony, David requested Chris Eyres to assist him by occupying the second principals chair, Peter Whalley to act as third principal and Brian Martin to act as Scribe Nehemiah, which they all accepted saying they would be delighted to assist. Wayne then presented Jim Cartledge, Rob Main and Andy Sharp as the three principals elect to be installed into their respective chairs. The three were then installed according to ancient custom. The robe address to Jim as first principal was undertaken by David, the second principal robe address was delivered to Rob by Geoff Bond and the third robe address to Andy by Ian Rowan.
Immediately following the installation ceremony Paul, on behalf of Tony Harrison, Grand Superintendent, congratulated the three principals on being installed into their respective chairs and wished them health and happiness for a good year. He also congratulated David, Wayne and Charles Carr for an excellent ceremony in spite of quite difficult circumstances.
Jim presented Paul with a charity donation of £300 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. Paul thanked Jim and the companions for such a large amount from a small chapter saying he was very pleased to be able to pass on the donation to the recipient.
This appointment completes Jim’s long and colourful Royal Arch journey that began in 1988 when he joined St Elphin Chapter No 3287. In 1990 he was appointed as treasurer of St Elphin Chapter, a role which he held with great distinction, being honoured as Provincial Grand Standard Bearer in 2006, a prized and cherished award and indeed an unusual one, as he had yet to be appointed first principal.
Jim remained treasurer until 2012, when he finally decided to take the plunge and become third principal. St Elphin Chapter sadly handed in its warrant in 2013, so Jim joined Travellers Chapter where he was appointed third principal for a second year, finally becoming first principal after 27 years in Royal Arch. His speech at the festive board was heartfelt and full of emotion, after more than a quarter of a century he had finally reached the mountain peak.