At the installation meeting of Gilbert Greenall Chapter No 1250, the companions saw Ian White installed into the first principal’s chair. The convocation was opened in his usual efficient way by John Walkey, the installing first principal, with his companions Ian and Chris Todd and all usual administration was undertaken.
Snow, ice and storm prevented the principal guest Ian Higham, Third Provincial Grand Principal, from attending, but the chapter was honoured instead by the presence of Colin Rowling, as the main guest and representative of Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison. Accompanying him were companions of grand rank and acting Provincial grand rank; Barry Jameson, Ian Black, John Goodrum, John Gibbon, Ian Lynch, Keith Jackson and Andy Barton (Warrington Group Chairman). These were admitted in true ceremonial style. The three principals welcomed Colin Rowling and all officers present, wishing them all a most enjoyable evening. Chris responded with greetings.
In a very professional ceremony marked by the volume of memorised ritual, Ian White, Chris Todd and Barry Corcoran were presented for installation into their respective chairs. Ian was then installed as first principal, Chris Todd was installed as second principal and Barry Corcoran as third principal. DC Chris Gleave expertly organised the convocation.
The robe address to the first principal was given by John Walkey, the second principal’s robe address by Ian and the third principal’s robe address by Chris Todd
Ian then invested his officers for the ensuing year. Barry Jameson provided the address to the three principals and Chris Gleave gave the address to the companions, Keith Young gave the address to the principal sojourner, Rob Roberts gave the address to the assistant sojourners, Bob Williams gave the address to the janitor and Mike Hamilton gave the address to the stewards.
Following an exemplary ceremony, Colin Rowling, on behalf of the Grand Superintendent, congratulated the three principals on being installed into the chairs in the chapter and commented on the warmth of the atmosphere in the chapter.
Ian presented Colin Rowling with cheques from the charity account of £300 to the MCF 2021 Festival, £200 to West Lancashire Masonic Charities, £100 to DKMS (a blood cancer charity), £100 to the Fire Cadet Unit Widnes (chosen by Ian) and £100 to ‘Classroom in the Clouds’. From the benevolent account, £200 was donated to Warrington Masonic Hall. A grand total of £1,000.
Chris thanked Ian for the most generous donations, commenting on the generosity of all the members. Additionally, to the installation ceremony, Barry Jameson presented Michael Sypula (pronounced as Mihow Sypuwa) with his Grand Chapter certificate giving him a broad, salient overview of its contents.
Special thanks were given at the end of the convocation to Alan Clare, the organist. Following the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a delicious social board of black pudding with mustard sauce, pork chops cordon bleu and fruit salad.
Afterwards, Chris passed on the apologies of Ian Higham. In an entertaining speech, Chris celebrated the senior Warrington officers for the dedication and ability they show in their roles. He also expressed his support for the new principals and wished them a successful year in office. Special mention was made of Chris Gleave for his excellent work as DC in the night’s ceremony. Final thoughts were that it is incumbent on companions to extoll the virtues of the Royal Arch to those members of the Craft not already exalted.
John Walkey, as immediate past first principal, thanked the companions for their support during his year as first principal and pledged his support to Ian, the new first principal. In reply, Ian thanked John and all of the officers of Gilbert Greenall Chapter for their help during his time moving up through the offices and felt sure that with such help in the future, it would be a successful year.
Story and pictures by Eric Miller.