An Installation with a Surprise for Leigh Chapter !

Share this news:

Red is the colour at Leigh Chapter.

Red is a very significant colour in Freemasonry in particular – our Royal Arch regalia, a certain little red book and Craft ProvGStwds – as well as in life in general – postboxes, guardsmen, poppies, blood and the fire service.

It is very much so for the Herrick family as both Jonathan and his father Jon were senior Fire Officers and are members of the Royal Arch.  Herrick Snr was delighted to accompany Herrick Jnr, himself journeying from the wilds of Lincolnshire to Severn Street for Leigh Chapter’s recent installation meeting at which Jonathan was installed into the First Principal’s Chair in a delightful and sincere manner by E Comp Sean Lambert.


Jonathan with his father Jon

The new MEZ, E Comp Jonathan was pleased to appoint a good buddy of his, Comp Neil Johnson, as Principal Sojourner.  Comp Neil worked alongside the MEZ in West Midlands Fire Service and indeed was proposed into the Fire Service Lodge by him too.  This meant that the toast to the Principals was particularly poignant and, no doubt, a few interesting stories will be incorporated later in the year.

The members of Leigh were delighted to welcome some good friends from the Province – EComp Nigel Hawkins presided and was most ably accompanied by EComps Fred Ditchfield and Paul Buck.  The latter deserves special mention as, having enjoyed a fabulous and busy year as the ProvGSoj, he will be invested as the ProvGSwdB at PGC in June.

Here they are, E Comp Nigel with MEZ Jonathan


And to complete the evening, here is the MEZ being handled with great care.

Leigh Chapter, being Leigh Chapter of course surprising things can happen, and at this meeting that’s just what happened for one of it’s members

What’s in a name? The definition of a sojourner is a traveller and someone who stays briefly in a place that is not their home.  At the recent meeting of Leigh Chapter, we were delighted to welcome the very well-travelled E Comp Darryl Hackney who lives in glorious Devon.  He had come up from Budleigh Salterton for the installation convocations of both Leigh and Yenton Chapter, making good use of his sister’s hospitality in Sutton Coldfield overnight.

I first met E Comp Darryl when we were both on the Provincial circuit – I was just beginning my Provincial career as ProvGStwd and he was the ProvGSoj, a most appropriate office for reasons already stated.  I was delighted to see the name Hackney pop up in a recent eBay search – there was a paperweight on offer that had been presented to one W Bro A.J. Hackney marking 25 years of membership of Goldeslie Lodge.  My bidding was successful and I had been patiently waiting for Hackney Jnr to come up to a meeting in Warwickshire.


My patience was rewarded and it was a delight to see E Comp Nigel Hawkins – the Presiding Officer at Leigh’s installation – present, indeed surprise, E Comp Darryl with the paperweight.  E Comp Nigel thanked E Comp Darryl for his continued support, noting the considerable mileage racked up over the years.  So, it is perhaps a case of “once a sojourner, always a sojourner” – thank you for your enthusiasm Darryl, enjoy owning your father’s paperweight and I’m sure that you will always remember the manner in which you received it, in the company of the Companions of this fine Chapter.

Here is E Comp Darryl smiling as he receives his gift presented by E Comp Nigel

SWG April 2023