After serving as first principal of Preston Guild Chapter No 4408 for two successive years, David Parker handed over the reins to his successor Hal Hamer in a ceremony that was witnessed by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Ian Cuerden. Ian was accompanied by the Preston Group Vice Chairman Geoff Saul and acting Provincial grand officers, Paul Astley and Gowan O’Hagan, and supported by grand officers Bill Seddon, Ian Greenwood and Don Richardson.
On this occasion, both Hal Hamer and Malcolm Berry were progressing to their respective offices of first and second principal for the first time. Past first principal Richard Maddocks helped with progression through the chapter by agreeing to hold the fort as third principal for the ensuing year.
The chapter was opened in due form by the three principals following which, the administrative business of the chapter was concluded. The DC, Peter Fish, retired from the chapter to return and announce the presence of Ian Cuerden as the representative of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison. Ian entered the chapter in due form accompanied by the grand officers, acting Provincial grand officers and the group representative Geoff Saul. Having been introduced to the first principal, David formally welcomed Ian into the chapter, thanking him for his attendance.
The ceremony commenced with Richard being installed as third principal by Malcolm in an excellent and well delivered manner. Richard, being a past first principal, after reaffirming his obligation, was installed directly into his chair. Malcolm, as second principal elect, was in turn presented to Hal, who had the pleasure of installing him as the second principal before he in turn was presented to David for installation as first principal. As Malcolm and Hal had not held their respective offices before, in both cases the ceremony was carried out in full.
Following the installation of the three principals the scarlet, purple and blue robe addresses were delivered by Ian Greenwood, Don Richardson and Kadaba Srinath Vasudev respectively. The address to the three principals was given by David Gregson and the address to the companions of the chapter was graciously given by the chapter’s honoured guest, Ian Cuerden.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony Ian rose to bring the greetings and congratulations from the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison, wishing the three principals an enjoyable year in their respective offices. Hal responded, thanking Ian for his kind words on behalf of the Grand Superintendent and on behalf of the chapter, had the pleasure of presenting Ian with a cheque for £150 in support of the MCF 2021 Festival.
The business of the day closed with Bill Seddon presenting the retiring first principal, David Parker, with the W R Seddon Jewel, saying that the jewel had originally been donated by honorary member Arthur Hornby, who had insisted that it be called the W R Seddon Jewel. He thanked David for his work in support of the chapter over the previous two years and in particular, for his performance in installing Hal as his successor.
Later in the evening, in his response to the toast to the grand officers, Ian commented that having brought the formal greetings of the Grand Superintendent in the chapter, at the festive board, he could add his own greetings.
He began by saying what a pleasure it was to attend the chapter on a second successive occasion. He was pleased to see Hal and Malcolm progressing through the chapter chairs and praised the companions who delivered the robe addresses in such a fine manner. Ian went on to thank the chapter for the generous charitable donation to the MCF 2021 Festival, made earlier in the evening, commenting that although the companions make charitable donations through their Craft lodges, they have deep pockets and fortunately long arms to be able to make further donations through the Royal Arch.
He continued by stressing the need to encourage Craft brethren to complete their Masonic journey by joining the Royal Arch. He was pleased to report that the enhanced exaltation ceremony has been taken up with enthusiasm by chapters with the suggestions being adapted to take account of the difference in chapter rituals.
He thanked Bill, Ian and Geoff for their support making particular mention of acting Provincial grand officers Paul Astley and Gowan O’Hagan, who as a result of changes in the annual meeting date of Provincial Grand Chapter, are serving in office for an extra six months. Ian concluded by wishing the chapter members well for the future and encouraged them, above all, to continue to enjoy their Royal Arch Masonry.