Companions of Royal Arch attended the installation meeting of Egerton Chapter No 2216 held at Elm Bank Masonic Hall to witness a unique ceremony. Three David’s were to be installed into the three principal’s chairs.
The principle guest for the installation meeting was the Second Provincial Grand Principal Barry Jameson accompanied by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principles Colin Rowling, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Paul Hesketh and grand officer Dave Walmsley. In support were acting Provincial grand officers, John Hindle and John Goodrum, also the Eccles Group Chairman Stuart Boyd.
On arrival the principal guests were greeted by Stuart Boyd who presented the traditional Eccles cakes to Barry, Colin and Paul.
Due to last minute unforeseen cancellations from officers of the chapter, it meant that the offices had to be rearranged and visiting companions kindly stepped in to ensure that the ceremony could progress.
Due to the absence of the first principal Stuart Shea, Dave Walmsley occupied the chair as installing principal and opened the chapter. The business being completed, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Paul Hesketh entered the chapter to announce that the Second Provincial Grand Principal Barry Jameson demanded admission and was duly welcomed into the chapter.
It was from hereon that the ceremony took a slightly different angle than had been expected with a little bit of multi-tasking called for. The three principals elect were presented in turn by organist Colin Smith. David Walmsley was installed into the third principal’s chair. David Hill into the second principal’s chair and David Price relinquished his quill as scribe to be installed as the first principal. Following each installation, John Shaw read a reading from the Holy Writ.
Dave Walmsley delivered the crimson robe address to the first principal, David Price delivered the purple robe address and David Hamilton-Hall delivered the blue robe address. The officers of the chapter were then invested. Stuart Boyd read and presented the responsibilities of a charity steward to David Hamilton-Hall who was invested in that office. The addresses to the three principals were expertly delivered by John Shaw and that to the companions of the chapter by Barry Jameson. This concluded the ceremony of installation of the three 3Ds.
This was the cue for Barry to rise to extend the congratulations of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison wishing the three principals well during their coming year in office. He congratulated all who had taken part in the ceremony and thanked them for an entertaining unique ceremony which had been carried out with dignity under difficult circumstances.
Following communications from Supreme Grand Chapter, Barry and the party retired. The business of the evening being ended the chapter was closed by command of the three principals. The companions then retired to enjoy the festive board.
Barry Jameson, in response to the toast to the grand officers, said that he had enjoyed a wonderful ceremony and congratulated those officers who took part wishing the chapter well for the coming year. He said that he was pleased to see a number of 2021 festival jewels being worn and that we must continue to support it. He referred to the developments taking place in the Royal Arch, including the pop-up posters with their strapline, ‘Enjoyable, Vibrant and Stimulating – the Complete Degree’. He also summarised a recent auricle by John Hammill the Director of Special Projects at UGLE, ‘Four Good Reasons to join this Order’. He said that existing members of the Royal Arch are the most compelling advocates for it and that we should encourage brethren from the Craft to continue their Masonic journey by joining it.
The evening concluded with the janitors toast orated by David Hamilton-Hall.
Article and pictures by Tom Fredrickson.