On 4th February 2016, Unitas Fratrum Chapter (UF) No 7958 celebrated its’ 40th birthday at Rawtenstall Masonic Hall, (Ashday Lea), exactly 40 years to the day since its’ consecration on 4th February 1976 at Audenshaw Masonic Hall (Stanley House).
The Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Paul MA Rose, PAGSoj, accepted an invitation to join with other Companions who had been members of the Chapter over the years, and had made a special effort to attend to help celebrate this occasion, along with almost all the current members and other invited guests.
After the Chapter had been opened and the dispensation to hold this additional meeting had been read out, EComp James Ackroyd gave the opening address.
The Provincial Director of Ceremonies, EComp David Bristol, then entered the Chapter room to announce that the Deputy Grand Superintendent accompanied by a Provincial Delegation was without and demanded admission. The Delegation consisted of the Second Provincial Grand Principal, EComp David Thompson, along with the patch Assistant to Provincial Grand Principals EComp David Thornton, together with his forthcoming successor, EComp David Dunn who will be invested at Provincial Grand Chapter on 17th March.
The First Principal of the Chapter, EComp Michael Lomax, then offered the Deputy Grand Superintendent his sceptre which he accepted for a few seconds before returning it with a few well chosen words. Greetings were then offered to the Deputy Grand Superintendent who in his response thanked the Chapter for their invitation after which he introduced the delegation which had accompanied him.
The sole item of business on the agenda was to celebrate the first 40 years of Unitas Fratrum Chapter. The IPZ, EComp Ian Screen, PProvGSoj, then gave a personal reflection on the history of the Chapter. He stated that he had been a member for the last 38 years so he felt well qualified to do so. His talk was very interesting in which he made reference to everyone of the Companions present who either were, or are, still a member. He pointed out that over this period of time there have been four father and sons as members, as well as highlighting significant events and occasions during the last 40 years. He concluded by stating that for the first 35 years the Chapter’s home was at Audenshaw, but in 2011 when the Chapter was on the point of closure, it moved its’ home to Ashday Lea. Since then 14 Companions have become Joining Members and three brethren have been exalted which bodes well for the future.
On completion, his address was met with spontaneous applause. The Deputy Grand Superintendent then congratulated EComp Screen both for his presentation and the content which he felt had been very informative and interesting.
Arms were then collected and the Chapter was closed in due form, after which the Companions gathered around the Chapter to hear an excellent rendition of the valedictory address given by EComp John Radford, the Chapter Director of Ceremonies.
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