The regular meeting of Loyalty Chapter No 897, the chapter of installed principals, covering the St Helens and Prescot, Warrington and Widnes Groups met at Widnes Masonic Hall at 11am on Saturday 28 November.
After the normal chapter business was completed, Second Principal Grand Principal Barry Jameson was admitted, accompanied by Colin Rowling, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, Tony Bent, Neil Pedder Chairman of Widnes Group and three acting Provincial grand officers. They were greeted by the acting first principal Ian Lynch, acting second principal Chris Gleave and third principal Frank Parle. Ian offered the sceptre of the chapter to Barry, which he returned with grateful thanks.
The next business was to install first principal elect Chris Eyres into the chair of first principal. Unfortunately, due to illness, Chris was not able to be present at the installation convocation in May. Chris Eyres reaffirmed his obligation and was installed as first principal by Ian Lynch. The readings and prayers were delivered by Colin Rowling and the red robe address was given by Ian Lynch.
The main business of the chapter convocation was to receive a talk entitled ‘1814 Consolidation and Change: the first year of UGLE’, from Dr Michael Kearsley PrGOrat (Middlesex) PrGStwd (Middlesex). Michael was initiated into Freemasonry in Hawera Lodge No 34 in Taranaki, New Zealand and was passed and raised in Mairehau Lodge No 391 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Later he joined David Bonner Lodge No 9678, the musicians lodge of the Province of Middlesex, under the English constitution, becoming its master in 2010. He is a member of Temple of Athene Research Lodge No 9541, becoming its master in 2013, Feltham Lodge No 7307, becoming master in 2012, Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 and London Stone Chapter No 2541, becoming its first principal in 2012.
The Province of Middlesex, to which Michael Kearsley belongs, is part of the national oration scheme and he was awarded the Prestonian Lectureship for 2014. His talk, which was based on his Prestonian lecture and his book of the same title was extremely informative and amusing. Started in 1714 and traced the various developments and negotiation that took place over the following 103 years between the Antients and Moderns as well as with the Irish and the Scottish Freemasons leading up to the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1817.
After the chapter was closed in due form, there was an excellent buffet provided by Widnes Masonic Hall catering team Sugar and Spice. During the meal, Chris Eyres presented a cheque from the chapter for £300 to Michael Kearsley for his chosen charity, DEBRA.
If any Royal Arch companion within the St Helens and Prescot, Warrington or Widnes Groups would like to join the chapter, they should contact the scribe Ezra, Alan Bristow firstname.lastname@example.org or their group chairman. The chapter meets three times each Masonic season, with the next meeting in Warrington on January 31. You will be made very welcome.