Since its formation in 1861, Chapter of Friendship No 241 has always offered a warm welcome to visiting companions, and this welcome is just as strong now in 2019 as it has been through all those years.
For this year’s ceremony of installation, the chapter was opened by first principal Stan Dawkins, ably assisted by his co-principals Doug Holgate and Alan Ledger. As soon as the normal business of the chapter had been completed, the director of ceremonies Andy Whittle entered the room to announce the arrival of the principal guest for the evening Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Sam Robinson. On this occasion he was accompanied by Liverpool Group Vice Chairman David Kemp, along with Dave Anderson and Ian Gee, who are both officers of Supreme Grand Chapter.
Sam was warmly welcomed by Stan, who expressed his wish, on behalf of the companions present, that he has a splendid evening. In response, Sam thanked Stan for the warmth of his greeting and assured him that he was confident that the installation would go well and that he would definitely have a good evening.
For the purpose of the ceremony Steve Lyon took position as Nehemiah, with John Marsden temporarily occupying the chair of third principal and Ian Gee that of second.
In due course Doug Holgate was installed as first principal, Alan Ledger as second principal and Cliff Hughes third principal. Neil Francis gave an estimable scarlet robe address to Stan Dawkins, while Cliff Hughes delivered the purple robe address to Alan Ledger and Alan gave the blue robe addresses to Cliff Hughes; these two robe addresses were also exemplary in their performance.
Following the appointment of the chapter officers, Sam delivered the congratulations and best wishes of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison and felt sure that had he been present, Tony would have thanked all the participants for their contributions. The ceremony had gone particularly well and Sam said that he was delighted to see three principals installed in such a fine manner. I am sure they will help take the Chapter of Friendship forward from strength to strength. The chapter then handed Sam a promissory note for a sum of £300 which would shortly be deposited with the MCF 2021 Festival, for which he thanked the companions for their generosity.
There was a delightful festive board following the ceremony, during which Sam Robinson responded to the toasts to Supreme Grand Chapter. He congratulated the chapter on a well-organised ceremony, before thanking those grand and Provincial grand officers present for their continued support.
He then moved on to discuss the MCF 2021 Festival, to which this chapter had been so generous, noting that it was great to see so many companions wearing their festival jewel. Sam then touched upon the need to make sure that fellow brethren were made aware of the Royal Arch and that we need to go out, identify our fellow Masons who are not wearing Royal Arch Jewels and encourage them to take up membership.