The installation meeting of Abbey Chapter No 1225 held at Barrow-in-Furness Masonic Hall was somewhat of a unique occasion as two second principals were installed during the evening.
Amongst the 65 companions on hand to witness proceedings was principal guest John Quiggin who was accompanied by fellow grand officers David Grainger and Rowly Saunders. Adding further lustre to the occasion were acting Provincial grand officers Peter Quirk, Paul Thompson, Dennis Laird and Steve McClintock.
Due to a combination of circumstances, and a dispensation having been duly obtained, third principal Derek Forrest was not only installed as second principal on the night but also subsequently to the senior position of the chapter as first principal. Andre Lawrence acted as installing second principal and installed Derek in the second chair. Derek later installed Tony Bayliff, an installed first principal, to take over from him in that office.
Outgoing first principal Doug Smith was then called upon to install Derek as his successor. Peter While ascended to the chair of third principal with Derek undertaking the ceremony. On the face of it the proceedings could well have been quite confusing but those who undertook the work played their parts well and events managed to progress smoothly.
Derek Leviston, Keran Stalker and John Quiggin orated the addresses to the principals, companions in office and the companions respectively. The trio proved a delight to listen to as they delivered their work with considerable style and feeling.
Special praise however must be reserved for the ‘junior companions’ who undertook the robe and sceptre addresses. Gordon Evans, Stuart Anderson and Steve Renney can reflect with pride on the part they played in the proceedings, having delivered the addresses with great accuracy and timing.
To mark the occasion, Derek presented John with a cheque for £500 in favour of the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival. The first £100 of this was match-funded from the Furness and South Lakeland Group charity account and a cheque for this sum was presented by the group charity steward Richard Wilcock. The donations meant that the chapter had become the first in the group to attain the status of Grand Patron of the Festival. Richard presented Derek with a certificate signifying this fact.
As is the custom, Doug was presented with a past principal’s jewel to mark the two years he had spent as first principal of Abbey Chapter. This was a particularly poignant moment as the jewel presented to Doug had, on a similar evening several years ago, been presented to his father.
Following the formalities of the chapter room, the members and their guests enjoyed an excellent meal in the Fairfield Suite in the hall.