There was a good turn out for the meeting of Semper Sursum Chapter No 5622 which saw Alan Steel celebrate 50 years as a Royal Arch Mason. Leading the celebrations was Barrie Crossley who was accompanied by five grand officers, group chairman Peter Schofield and acting officer Tony Cassells who were all under the watchful eye of Barry Fitzgerald.
As is the custom on such occasions Barrie took over the chair of first principal from Keith Jones and Alan was placed before him. Barrie then gave an oration of Alan’s life and Masonic career. Alan had been born in Strathaird Avenue in Barrow in Furness where he now lives once again. At the age of three he went with his family to South Africa in the course of his father’ work. After a few years they were obliged to return due to his father’s health. With it being the war years the journey was a long one involving a trip across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia to join a convoy back to the home country . On leaving school Alan began an apprentice in the local shipyard but on serving his time he made a career change and took up employment with what is now P&O, on ships travelling principally to the Far East and Australia. After his contract was up he returned to dry land and the shipyard where he rose to the position of manager of the machine shop until he took early retirement due to a heart problem. Since retirement he has enjoyed travelling extensively with his wife Bessie to all parts of the globe.
Initiated in 1967 Alan was exalted into Semper Sursum Chapter on 1st October, 1969. He attained the chair of first principal in 1984.Group chairman Peter Schofield was called upon to read the certificate of congratulations from the Grand Superintendent prior to it being presented by Barrie. The celebrant became the junior member of the Semper Sursum Chapter 50 years club which also includes Ralph Walker and Jack Fawcett.
In contrast there was also a presentation to a member who was just starting out on his Royal Arch career as Barrie delivered a Supreme Grand Chapter certificate to Chris Earley.
Following the convocation 52 members and their guests enjoyed a meal in the Fairfield Suite. Bob Durkin was called upon to propose the toast to the health of the celebrant. In responding Alan expanded on some the adventures he had had when working for P&O.
Pictured from left to right, are; Alan Tomlinson, Bob Durkin, group vice chairman Gary Rogerson,Alan Steel, Barrie Crossley and Keith Jones.
Pictured from left to right, are; Alastair Davidson, Chris Earley and Dean Fawcett.