The members of De Grey and Ripon Chapter No 1356 held their annual installation ceremony at Woolton Golf Club. The three principals opened the chapter and carried out the usual business.
Paul Hesketh Provincial Director of Ceremonies entered the chapter and announced that Ian Higham, Third Provincial Grand Principal stood without and demanded admission. Current first principal Albert Hogg said the companions would be delighted and honoured to receive him.
Ian was accompanied by the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Sam Robinson, along with Peter Rawlinson and John Lee whom are both grand officers; Andrew Whittle group chairman, Mike Cunliffe group vice chairman and Alan Jones, George Fletcher and Doug Lace who are acting Provincial grand officers.
The three principles arose and extended a very warm welcome to Ian. Albert then offered Ian the sceptre. Ian accepted the sceptre and after a few words, returned it to Albert. The ceremony of installation then commenced. John Lee was honoured to take the first principals chair, Andrew Whittle that of the second principal and David Spear remained in the third principals chair. Matthew Wilson was installed as first principal for the coming year, Albert Hogg as second principal and Phillip Birch installed as third principal.
The ceremony was under the expert direction of the chapter director of ceremonies Peter Dodd. The scripture readings were undertaken by John Lee to the first principal, Andrew Whittle to the second principal and Mike Cunliffe to the third principal.
The scarlet, purple, and blue robe address were performed by Graham Fairley, Mathew Wilson and David Colling respectively to a very high standard. Following the appointment of the officers, Arthur Moss commenced with the address to the principals, Henry France the address to officers of the chapter and finally Ian Higham addressed the companions, all in an excellent manner.
On the conclusion of the ceremony, Ian expressed the best wishes of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison to the three principals. Ian also congratulated the three principals and companions for a warm and sincere ceremony. Ian was then presented with a cheque for £300 on behalf of the chapter, to the MCF 2021 Festival. Ian then had the pleasant task of presenting two young companions Anthony Bundy and Alan McGregor with their Supreme Grand Chapter certificates.
With business of the chapter complete, the chapter was closed and the companions and guests were treated to an excellent festive board. During the customary toasts Ian responded to the toast to the grand officers and expressed his own personal greetings to all present. During his speech Ian explained that he has a soft spot for the Woolton Group and has fond memories of his first visit as the Provincial Director of Ceremonies on the 9th October 2006 at the dedication of the hall. Ian thanked the grand officers present, the group chairman, vice chairman and the acting officers in attendance for their support and finally Bill Carter, chapter Scribe Ezra for his planning and communications of the installation meeting. He ended his response by promoting the forthcoming events scheduled for the Tercentenary celebrating 300 years of freemasonry.
A raffle was held at the festive board and raised £140 for charity and on conclusion of the evening, Ian was presented with a bouquet of flowers for his wife, by first principal Mathew Wilson. The final toast of the evening was in the hands of the janitor, Tom Lunt.
Article and Photographs by Doug Lace.