Almost 40 companions and guests of Fleetwood Chapter No 3711 gathered at Fleetwood Masonic Hall for its annual installation convocation. Representing the Grand Superintendent on this occasion was Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Chris Butterfield, supported by North Fylde Group Chairman Duncan Smith and group vice chairman Peter Greathead.
The chapter was opened for business by first principal Robert Thompson, second principal Derek Wilson and third principal Chris Carnell and throughout the meeting much humour was in evidence to add to the evening’s enjoyment.
The three principals elect were then presented in turn by the director of ceremonies Dennis Smith to mark the start of the installation proceedings, with Derek Wilson installed as first principal, Chris Carnell installed as second principal and Frank Kennedy as third principal. The installing officers were Roy Howells, Roland Alderton, Ron Crewdson and Robert Thompson.
The robe addresses were delivered in a confident and assured manner by Jim Moon, Bert Openshaw and Mike Brayshaw. The addresses to the three principals and the companions were expertly delivered by Robbie Heywood and Chris Butterfield respectively.
At the conclusion of the installation ceremony, Chris brought the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent, wishing the three principals well during their coming year in office. He congratulated all who had taken part in the ceremony, after which Derek presented him with cheques of £100 to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £100 to Fleetwood Museum Trust and £100 to the British Heart Foundation.
The convivial atmosphere continued at the festive board and Chris Butterfield later remarked that the buzz of conversation bore witness to companions particularly enjoying their Royal Arch Masonry. In his after dinner address he said he had been very impressed with the ceremony and especially the work done by Robert Thompson. He remarked that Dennis Smith had obviously rehearsed his team well and had ably stepped into the breach left by his predecessor Alan Wilkinson who, sadly, had passed away in April of the previous year. Chris brought the greetings of the Grand Superintendent and spoke, amongst other things, about the Tercentenary celebrations and the services to be held in Lancaster and Warrington to which Masons and their families were cordially invited.
The toast to the three principals was given by Robert Thompson and a good natured response was delivered by Derek Wilson, for whom this is the third time in the chair of this fine chapter. Ken Holden proposed the toast to the founders, the last remaining of whom is Robbie Heywood who celebrated 50 years in the Royal Arch Chapter in April 2016. A raffle raised £124 for charities and at the conclusion of a most enjoyable evening the janitor’s toast was given by John Wright.