The Oxford dictionary defines fellowship as a friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests. This was evident at the installation convocation of Blackpool Chapter of Fellowship No 7692 held at Blackpool Masonic Hall, where 31 companions gathered in harmony to witness the installation of the three new principals.
Principal guest on this occasion was the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah Tim Burgess, representing the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison. Tim was accompanied by grand officers Thomas Briggs, Past Grand Superintendent of the Province of Derbyshire, Geoff Pritchard and Blackpool Group Chairman John Turpin, together with acting Provincial grand officers Bill Hembrow, Vinnie Carte and Jim Finnegan.
Business of the chapter having been swiftly dealt with, the first principal Jim Finnegan welcomed Tim and the guests to the chapter thanking them for attending and hoping they would have an entertaining afternoon.
The three principals were reverently installed into their respective chairs, Tom Houldsworth as first principal, Brian Burgess-Dicks as second principal and Derek Grainger as third principal.
The robe addresses were given in a confident manner by Damian Kendrick, Chris Nicholson and Bob Sanderson. The address to the principals was given by Thomas Briggs, who is an honorary member and a frequent visitor to the chapter. A very confident address to the companions was given by Tim Burgess in his first visit to Blackpool Masonic Hall.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Tim rose and brought the greetings of the Grand Superintendent Tony Harrison congratulating the three principals, wishing them good health for the forthcoming year and thanking Jim Finnegan and the officers of the chapter for the work this afternoon.
Tim was presented with cheques to the value of £500; £200 to the MCF 2021 Festival, to aid Freemasons, their families and the wider community. £120 to the Special Care Baby Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital that cares for babies with a number of medical conditions. £100 to Ronald McDonald House, which supports families by providing free family accommodation near to their child’s hospital and £80 to Trinity Hospice which provides end of life care in the Fylde area. Tim thanked the companions on behalf of the recipients for their generosity.
The companions then retired to the festive board to enjoy great food and hospitality.
Tim responded to the toast to the Provincial grand officers by conveying his personal congratulations to the three principals. Tim explained that every member of the chapter is a membership officer for the Royal Arch and every companion should endeavor to recruit and encourage master Masons to take the next step and join the Royal Arch.
The three principals song was sung by Harold Waggett accompanied by Jim Coupe.
The evening ended with the janitors toast delivered by Provincial Grand Janitor Jim Finnegan.
Written by Gordon Ivett; Blackpool Group Publicity Officer