The Chapter was opened in due form half an hour earlier than originally advertised but no was caught out, as everyone, well nearly everyone arrived very early. The numbers were 55 a very good turn out for a Chapter.
The Chapter was Honoured with the presence of ME Third Grand Principal Most Excellent Comp Gareth Jones, OBE, as guest of honour and of course our very own, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, in and over the Province of Somerset, E Comp Barry K Woodside, accompanied by the full works in the names of, Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive A F Lambert, PGSwdB, The Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Raymond F Beckingham, PAGSoj and Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp David J Dixon, together with the Provincial Team. Everything had been worked through with E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, and E Comp Jim Mitchell, Grand Standard Bearer. MEGS entered the Chapter with his escort was greeted by the acting ME, E Comp Harry Blinston who proffered the Sceptre and the MEGS at first returned it to Harry, who had a look of horror on his face! then MEGS realised that he was taking the chair and took it back. The relief on Harry’s face was obvious, I suspect that Barry was having a bit of fun with Harry. The Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals occupied the chairs of H and J. The PrGDC then replaced the Chapter ScN, Soj’s and Jan with the PrScN, PrSoj’s and the acting PrJan (me).
There was a report on the the door that the Grand Standard Bearer requested admission, he was admitted and reported that The Third Grand Principal was outside the door and demanded admission. He was admitted, accompanied by Grand Officers, paid due homage to the alter, was greeted by the MEGS and proffered the Sceptre which he returned to MEGS with dignity and took his seat. The G Supt gave and explanation as to the purpose of tonight’s Banner dedication, being Inkerman Chapter’s 150th year celebration, then called upon their Acting Z who gave a short but detail explanation of Inkerman Chapter’s history and the purpose of the meeting.
The PrGDC formed the deputation of the three Chapter Principals and Comp Lieutenant Col Ralph Howard to conduct the Banner into the chapter which was done with the Companions in good voice. Acting Z then presented the Banner to MEGS it was collected by the PrGStdb, uncovered. MEGS conducted the ceremony of Dedicating the the new Banner with companions again in good voice as it was paraded around the Chapter, assisted by the guest organist. PrG J gave the Dedication prayer. MEGS then presented the banner to E Comp H Blinston. The ceremony was completed with an excellent and very interesting Oration by E Comp D Dixon 3rd PrG Principal where he expanded on the history of the Chapter and how it got its name from a battle in the Crimean War. The PrG J gave the Patriarchal Benediction followed by a hymn. The Chapter Principals and Officers resumed their positions.
Then the rest of the Chapter business was conducted which was to Induct E Comp Syd Brailey as Z, as he was the oldest member of the Chapter (91) to celebrate the Chapter’s 150th year he was honoured with being the Chapter’s 1st Principal for the year, he assured all present that he did not attended the Chapter’s Consecration.
The Chapter was then closed in due form with the Third Grand Principal being escorted by the Provincial Grand Principals, the Chapter Principals and Grand Officers. It was a very good dedication ceremony which went smoothly and was enjoyed by all present. It was followed by a very good festive board which was conducted in good humour and harmony, finishing just after 2200hrs.
E Comp Barry Jones PrGStwd,
CLO Wrington Vale Chapter 1199.
More photographs will be added shortly