New team for Thornton and Cleveleys Chapter

Pictured are the three principals of Thornton and Cleveleys Chapter Steve Heginbotham, Tony Hinds and Umish Dholakia.

Pictured are the three principals of Thornton and Cleveleys Chapter Steve Heginbotham, Tony Hinds and Umish Dholakia.

Cleveleys Masonic Hall was the scene for a very well attended chapter installation which saw Tony Hinds, Steven Heginbotham and Umish Dholakia become the newest principals of Thornton and Cleveleys Chapter No 3854.

Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals David Randerson was the principal guest for what proved to be a very pleasant and enjoyable ceremony. David had taken the place of the Deputy Grand Superintendent who had been scheduled to attend but was unable to due to illness.

David was accompanied by former North Fylde Group chairman Jack Coates as well as current chairman Duncan Smith, vice chairman Peter Greathead, group secretary Alan Lock and acting officers David Leadbetter, David Barr and John Topping, who was on familiar ground as he is a past first principal of the chapter.

The outgoing first principal Bill Acton, after attending to the early business of the chapter, welcomed his distinguished guests before turning to the main business of the day, the installation of the three principals. Umish, Steve and Tony were presented in turn to their predecessors by DC Eric Peat and the ceremony continued apace and was superbly done by Bill and his co-principals, despite some opening night nerves from the new first principal.

Jack Coates, Duncan Smith and chapter treasurer Chris Sage read the scripture readings. The robe addresses were given by Robert Peat, Chris Howell-Duffy and Mark Mallinson in a manner which later earned them praise for their efforts from David. Ron Fenton presented the past first principal’s jewel and gave the time honoured address to Bill Acton.

Hugh Mett (right) says it in song to Tony Hind.

Hugh Mett (right) says it in song to Tony Hind.

As Tony Hind appointed his officers guest organist Shaun Haynes delighted the chapter with some very apt musical accompaniments which included snippets like ‘My Way’ as DC Eric Peat was invested, ‘Whistle while you work’ for the stewards and ‘Write myself a letter’ for Scribe E Frank Kenyon.

The address to the principals was given by John Laughton; Alan Fairhurst addressed the officers and David Randerson gave the address to the chapter.

David took his cue as Bill announced that the ceremony of installation was concluded to bring the congratulations and greetings from Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison to the new principals and the officers of the chapter. He said how much he had enjoyed “a splendid installation ceremony” and wished the chapter every success for the year ahead.

At a very enjoyable festive board David Randerson responded to the toast to the grand officers and drew raucous cheers when he said that he was delighted to have fellow Yorkshireman Jack Coates for company.

David Randerson congratulates Tony Hind and his co-principals Steve Heginbotham and Umish Dholakia.

David Randerson congratulates Tony Hind and his co-principals Steve Heginbotham and Umish Dholakia.

He went on to bring his own personal congratulations and good wishes to the new principals and to the members of Thornton and Cleveleys Chapter for the forthcoming year. He said how impressed he had been with the ceremony and especially by the part the younger companions had played in narrating the robe addresses.

He went on to say that innovations were currently being trialled for Royal Arch Chapter ceremonies and that exciting enhancements were being made which would make membership of chapter even more enjoyable.

This led him to underline the importance of the three ‘Rs’ of recruitment, retention and retrieval which gave existing companions even more reasons for encouraging Craft Masons who were not yet members of the Royal Arch to join.

He spoke too about the importance of caring for the Masonic halls of the Province and said that Cleveleys was a prime example of what could be achieved. He complimented Tony Hough and his Provincial Masonic Halls team for the work they were doing to raise the profile of Masonic halls and the ongoing efforts being made to improve them

David also spoke about the need to support Masonic charities and commended the autumn newsletter which had just been published which showed where and how charitable donations were being spent. He reminded companions that the Provincial website was the ideal place to visit to see what Masons were doing over a wide spectrum of activities. He reminded companions that at the forthcoming Remembrance Day parades Masons, if they chose, could proudly wear their regalia.

He concluded by thanking the chapter for its hospitality and for the support he had received from the group and acting officers.

Following other toasts Hugh Mett, accompanied by Shaun Haynes, performed a rousing rendition of the three principals’ song.

All smiles after a splendid installation, the three principals pose with their distinguished gusts and the acting officers.

All smiles after a splendid installation, the three principals pose with their distinguished gusts and the acting officers.