There was a good turnout at Ulverston Masonic Hall for the installation convocation of Furness Chapter No 995. Principal guest on the evening was the Deputy Grand Superintendent Dr Paul Renton.
Paul was accompanied by Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Chris Butterfield and his predecessor in that post David Grainger. In addition, there were five other grand officers present in the persons of Rowly Saunders, Oliver Chalker, Ralph Walker, Alan Jones and Barrie Crossley.
Adding further lustre was the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah David Barr, along with fellow acting Provincial grand officers Peter Quirk, Paul Thompson and Steve McClintock. The Furness and South Lakeland group was represented by the vice chairman Gary Rogerson. These were all under the watchful eye and gentle guidance of Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Neil MacSymons.
Outgoing second and third principals Jim Scott and John Cavin had a relatively comfortable evening’s work as they were replaced by past principals. Barrie Crossley took over from Jim as second principal with Les Preston slotting into the chair of third principal. Although a past first principal, it is Barrie’s first time as a principal in Furness Chapter, he having previously risen through the ranks of Grange Chapter No 1715.
The heaviest workload fell to Phil Burrow who was called upon to install Jim as his successor as first principal. He did an admirable job and was later thanked by Paul, not only for his work in the ceremony but his efforts on behalf of the chapter throughout his year of office. Junior companions John Broadhurst, Steve Ellershaw and Pat Moss performed to a very high standard in undertaking the robe addresses. They too received plaudits from Paul.
To mark the occasion Jim presented Paul with a cheque for £500 in favour of the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival; the first £100 of which was match funded from the group charity account. A cheque for this amount was presented to the first principal by group charity steward Richard Wilcock, who also delivered a certificate denoting the fact that the chapter was now a Vice Patron of the Festival.
Following the ceremonial part of the evening’s proceedings 65 members and their guests enjoyed a superb four course meal in the hall dining room. In responding to the toast to the health of the grand officers Paul paid tribute to those who had obviously worked hard to make the day such a success. These included the chapter director of ceremonies Alan Mills, his deputy Ronnie Angel and scribe Ezra Jim Richards.
In addressing the assembled diners, Paul stressed the importance of encouraging Masons to complete their journey by joining the Royal Arch. In making his point Paul made reference to the historical links between the Craft and the Royal Arch and suggested that discussing that connection would perhaps be a good way of opening discussions with potential exaltees. It certainly gave the listeners plenty of food for thought.
The raffle at the festive board raised £306 for charity.