Members of the Chapter of the Nativity with the Provincial delegation and honoured guests
On the evening of Monday 9thSeptember 2019, over eighty Companions signed the Janitor’s book of the Chapter of the Nativity Chapter No. 126, to celebrate the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversaryof the founding of the Chapter.
The Principal guest at this historic meeting was the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier RD DL JP,accompanied by a Provincial Delegation. The Companions present were most pleased to have Most Excellent Companion George Pipon Francis, Past 2ndGrand Principal, in attendance.
The Chapter was opened with its unique ritual by the three Principals, Excellent Companion David Sharpe, Z, Excellent Companion Kevin Horne, H and Excellent Companion Philip Myers, J, who efficiently dispatched the preliminary business of the Chapter. This included two ballots, the first for two Joining Members, Excellent Companion Walter Coupe, Deputy District Chairman for Burnley and Pendle District and Companion Mark Barlow, District Charity Steward for Burnley and Pendle District. The second ballot was for two Honorary members, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Sir David Trippier, and the Past 2ndGrand Principal, the Most Excellent Companion George Pipon Francis. Both ballots proved successful.
After dealing with a few further items of Chapter business, a report was received and Excellent Companion David Bristol, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies was admitted. Excellent Companion Bristol announced that the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by a Provincial Delegation was without and he demanded admission.
Having been admitted, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was welcomed by the 1stPrincipal who offered the Sceptre which was returned. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent responded by saying he was pleased to be here on this auspicious occasion and was impressed by the numbers in attendance. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then introduced the Provincial Delegation and the Most Excellent Past 2ndGrand Principal. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was saluted in due form.
As the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and the Past 2ndGrand Principal had been elected as Honorary members of the Chapter, the 1stPrincipal presented them both with the by-laws of the Chapter.
Members of the Chapter of the Nativity with the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and distinguished guests
The 3rdPrincipal read the minutes of the Convocation held one hundred years ago, following which, the 2ndPrincipal read a short history of the Chapter and the 1stPrincipal read the warrant of the Chapter
The Provincial 3rdGrand Principal, Excellent Companion David J Halford, read an oration which, by request of the Chapter, was the same as was delivered by Excellent Companion the Reverend Cannon Francis Paton-Williams at the Bi-centenary of the Chapter.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent thanked the Provincial 3rdGrand Principal for his oration and commented that some of the Companions present still remember the Reverend Cannon Francis Paton-Williams.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then addressed the meeting saying that on such an auspicious occasion as this it is not unusual to decide on a member who deserves a promotion. When deciding on who this should be it was important to select a Chapter member who had served the Chapter with distinction and one respected by all. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then instructed the Provincial Director of Ceremonies to place the Chapter’s 1stPrincipal before him. An astonished Excellent Companion David Sharpe was then promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sojourner. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent read out Excellent Companion Sharpe’s most distinguished Masonic “curriculum vitae” The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies then conducted Excellent Companion Sharpe round the Chapter to the acclaim of the Companions present.
The Three Chapter Principals with the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent
The 1stPrincipal then presented the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with a cheque for the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. Following the Alms collection and the last items of business being concluded, the Chapter was closed in due form
The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies formed the retiral procession and the Chapter Officers along with the distinguished guests retired to the acclaim of all present.
The Festive Board was almost at Capacity
The festive Board was almost at capacity, boosted somewhat with the presence of some Master Masons (potential candidates?). An excellent meal was enjoyed by all, the toasts given and in some cases most humorous responses received.
Another fantastic occasion in Royal Arch Masonry in East Lancashire.
Report and Pictures by John Wilkinson
© 2019, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.