Monday, March 5, 2007

And So It Began – My Installation

On October 13, 2006, after a beautiful ceremony, I was installed as Worthy Grand Matron along with William Winter as Worthy Grand Patron. The Installing Grand Matron was Sister Marion Loffelmann (formerly Melnechuk), who was instrumental in getting me started in Grand Chapter. The Installing Grand Patron was Brother Angus Strong, Past Grand Patron. The rest of the Installing Team was: Hélène LeBel, P.G.M. as Grand Chaplain; Brenda Shaw-Radford, P.G.M. as Grand Marshal; Violet Seabright, P.M. as Grand Organist; Terence Radford, P.G.P., as Grand Warder and Jarka Loffelmann, P.G. P. as Grand Sentinel. All members of the Installing Team with the exception of Brother Angus Strong and Sister Violet Seabright, are members of my two chapters.

We had a wonderful soloist for the Installation – Sister Annette Sharon from Vermont. I had seen her “perform” at the Hands Across the Border Exchange with Vermont the previous year and knew then that I wanted her to participate in our Installation. As I was being installed, she sang Scotland the Brave for me.

My beautiful Bible that will be traveling with me throughout the year was presented to me by Sister Marion Loffelmann. This is the same Bible that she used when she was Worthy Grand Matron. When Sister Marion asked me if I would accept her Bible, I was so overwhelmed. Sister Marion, in turn, received this Bible from Sister Alta Fowler, who served as Worthy Grand Matron in 1972, so there is a lot of history to it. The Associate Matron of my chapter, Sister Heather MacDonald (who happens to be my real sister and is our Grand Martha), had the Bible refurbished with new pages added in the front for the signatures of all the Worthy Matrons and Worthy Patrons. The pages also have little pictures of thistles and Scotty dogs. Sister Heather also made me a beautiful cover for my Bible with my Watchwords, as well as a little Scotty Dog.

My Bible Marker, a gift from my Chapter, was hand painted by Sister Louise Wilkinson, P.G.M. It is painted with a Celtic Cross and thistles. The Worthy Grand Patron, Brother William Winter and his wife Sister Fabienne (who is our Grand Marshal), presented me with a gavel, with the inscription: Alana Farrell, WGM, 2006-2007 - The Gathering of the Clans”. It is one of two gavels that I will be using throughout the year. My mother and my sister presented the other one to me when I was installed as Worthy Matron of Friendship-Victoria Chapter.

We had a lot of friends and family there for our Installation, which made it all the more special. Although my daughter, who had work conflicts, and my other sister could not make it (my mother passed away in 2003), my boss from work and his wife were there. Also several of our Counterparts from Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Brunswick stayed to see us installed.

All in all, it was a night to remember and a great start to our year of the Gathering of the Clans.

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