Companions are friends at Earl of Lathom Chapter

‘The word ‘companion’ means a ‘friend’ especially in Royal Arch masonry’ said Barrie Crossley when he visited Earl of Lathom Chapter No 730 as the representative of the Grand Superintendent at their recent installation meeting. He added that he had a link with chapter having been initiated by the 2nd Earl of Lathom’s grandson.

Barrie Crossley (left) congratulates the three principals, (left to right) Terry Ford, Bryan Hoarty and Ray Thain

The chapter was opened in due form and received the sad news that one of their stalwart members, Jack Ward had died. The companions stood to honour departed merit and to remember Jack. The mood lightened as the members then balloted to accept a joining member into their old but definitely thriving chapter.

Barrie, accompanied by several grand and acting provincial officers, enjoyed a wonderful ceremony in which Brian Hoarty was installed as first principal, Terry Ford as second principal and Ray Thain as third principal.

Barrie was quick to congratulate the outgoing first principal, Ivan Haslam, and his team for the quality of the installation under the expert direction of the director of ceremonies, Ken Ingham. He also made special reference to Andy Gill for the way he delivered the readings.

One highlight of the evening was the spectacle of the new first principal holding and using his sceptre upside down. Bryan was quick to point out later that he was a retired policeman and it didn’t used to matter which end of the truncheon he used to make arrests!!!

Bryan Hoarty (left) presents flowers to Barrie Crossley

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation to Barrie of cheques for charity. They were £400 to the MCF 2021 festival, £300 to Chorley masonic hall, £150 to Genesis Care (a small, Chorley based not for profit organisation providing a well-being and respite care service for older people.), and £150 to St Laurence Church.

Following the ceremony, the companions, or should that be friends, retired to the festive board to enjoy each other’s fellowship and an excellent meal prepared and served by caterers Sharon and her team. Earl of Lathom draws its members from both Chorley group and Leyland group and the festive board at any of their meetings is always an occasion to swap stories, swap gossip, make new friends and chat to old friends, or should that be companions.

Entertainment came in the form of the principal’s song which was sung by Brian Flynn who was accompanied on the piano by Mike Hatton. Brian was a busy bee on the night because as well as being the janitor and singing the principals song, he ran the raffle, more fondly referred to as the Chorley swindle, and raised the magnificent sum of £200 for charity.

The three principals with Barrie Crossley and grand and acting provincial officers.

As the evening drew to a close, Bryan presented Barrie with a bouquet of flowers to take home for his wife which Barrie gratefully accepted.

As the companions (friends) departed they were happy in the knowledge that they had enjoyed another night of companionship (friendship) at Earl of Lathom Chapter and they looked forward to many more.

Left to right – Bryan Hoarty, Ray Thain, Barrie Crossley and Terry Ford chat before processing into the festive board – Bryan Hoarty feels the pressure and mops his brow – Brian Flynn toast the three principals during the principal’s song