ROYAL ARCH NEWS
Joint Convocation at 3 Shires Chapter No 9397
The Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp William J Porter PGSwdB,
together with EComp Norman Clarke PGStB, the APGP for the Southern Area
On Tuesday, 25th February more than eighty companions of the Royal Arch came together for two distinctly different, but equally worthy, causes. First of all they came together for the purpose of holding a Joint Convocation. These are events that take place from time to time where representatives from as many Chapters as possible across the Area come together to celebrate all that is good in our Order.
On this occasion the Convocation was hosted by 3 Shires Chapter at Mossley Masonic Hall. It took the form of a presentation of a special piece of ritual called “The Royal Arch Banners”. This involved 18 Companions of the Order, representing Chapters from Ashton, Audenshaw and Mossley, including all three DORAs, presenting pieces of varying lengths describing each of the 12 lesser and four greater Banners. It also included the presentation of the rarely heard Opening Address as well as the more commonly heard Valedictory.
The Provincial Delegation together with the members of the Joint Convocation Team
It is important to say that the quality of the work done by these 18 Companions was of an exceedingly high standard, a fact that was commented upon by the principal guest at the evening’s presentation. For it is also important to point out that the work was done in front of a most distinguished group of visitors. The Provincial Team was led by EComp William J Porter PGSwdB, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, ably supported as ever by EComps David H Thompson PGStB, and Donald K Pryce PGStB, the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals. They, in their turn, were equally well supported by four Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals in the form of EComps Ed Cheadle, David Thornton and Paul Aspinall, (all PGStBs), two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters from the Craft (EComps John Pearson and Martin Roche) together with EComp Allan Bennion PGSwdB, the Past Deputy Grand Superintendent and EComp Mike Williams the Acting Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. Finally, the whole group were kept in order by EComps Gerry Hodson who was acting as Provincial Grand DC and was assisted by Stephen Boyle and Malcolm Hearsey the Provincial Deputy Grand DCs.
The Provincial Delegation
Now you would be forgiven for thinking that this represents an awfully imposing group of the Provinces top echelon from the Royal Arch. There was a clue, a few lines ago, when the text of this article referred to four APGPs, but only named three. (Did you notice?) For there was a second reason for holding this special meeting just twenty three days before the Provincial Grand Chapter meets in Blackburn, and that reason has a great deal to do with that missing fourth APGP. On March 20th, at Provincial Grand Chapter, EComp Norman Clarke PGStB, the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for the Southern Area will stand down after serving five years in that position. The meeting on the 25th February gave the Southern Area an opportunity to do something special for Norman, to try, however poorly, to show him in what high regard he has been held by the Royal Arch Masons of the Southern Area over that period of time.
Norman Clarke, as ever, took a very active part in the evening’s proceedings. I am sure that we have all had the distinct honour to be present at a meeting, somewhere in Southern Area, where Norman has done a significant piece of ritual almost at the drop of a hat, or where the esteemed APGP has eschewed his position to act as DC, or Principal, of a Chapter that needed a bit of help on the night. Norman has always taken an active part and long may he continue to do so. This night, Norman took over from EComp Jim Mayall and wore the First Principal’s gown and acted as“Ringmaster” for the ceremony. There is nothing strange about that. On this occasion Norman was the perfect First Principal, and carried out his part of the proceedings in an excellent manner.
The Provincial and Chapter Principals together with some members of 3 Shires Chapter
Afterwards, at the Social Board, and after enjoying an excellent repast, EComp William Porter, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, addressed himself to both aspects of the meeting. Addressing the work done by the Chapter Representatives in the Joint Convocation, he said, “This has been a very special night. Seeing so many gifted ritualists working together to produce so splendid a piece of work made me realise how rich an area this is.” Later, referring to the part played by EComp Norman Clarke, he said, “I agreed with all the very nice things that were said about Norman, upstairs in the Chapter Room when you made a presentation to him. Norman is a quiet but very hard working leader who has done a great deal for the Royal Arch in the Southern Area. It has been a great joy to have worked with him in the last few years.”
In his response, EComp Norman Clarke began by thanking the First Principal of 3 Shires Chapter. “I was greatly honoured that you allowed me to take the meeting tonight. I would especially like to thank all of those who took part and made this such a splendid meeting. Finally, I would like to thank all of the Companions who have supported me in my years as your APGP.”
You will find copies of all of the photographs taken on the night, and you can download any that you might want to keep, by following the link below.
GREAT QUEEN ST – SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER – BI CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Some 30 Companions from all over the Province of East Lancashire travelled down to London on Wednesday 16th October 2013 to witness a full day’s celebration to mark the Royal Arch’s Bi-Centenary.
The day started at 11am in the Grand Temple when the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Chapter performed a demonstration of the Ceremony of Exaltation using the changes authorised in 2004.
There then followed a luncheon from 1pm onwards in the Connaught Rooms presided over by the Pro First Grand Principal Peter Lowndes.
At 4.30pm a Convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter was opened to a packed Grand Temple. We arrived in plenty of time as the Temple was filling up
The Convocation was presided over by the ME the First Grand Principal HRH the Duke of Kent KG. The regular business was then presented by the President of the Board of the Committee of General Purposes covering Petitions for New Chapters, Centenary Charters, Amalgamations, Transfers and Erasures - details of which had all been included in the circular convening the Convocation.
There then followed the actual Bi-Centenary celebrations. This started with a historical presentation entitled “Pure Antient Masonry Triumphant” by EComp John Hamill PGSwdB which was met with spontaneous acclamation.
An oration by EComp the Revd Dr J.R.H. Railton PGSwdB was then delivered which was similarly received.
Greetings and congratulations followed given by the First Grand Principal of Scotland and the Grand King of Ireland.
Finally, the ME the First Grand Principal addressed the Convocation. He made particular reference to the appeal which he had launched three years earlier to support the Royal College of Surgeons in their desire to give as many bursaries as possible to their junior members to carry out medical research. The appeal was for every Companion in the Royal Arch throughout the Country to donate £10 which it was hoped would achieve a target figure of One Million Pounds. The First Grand Principal then announced, that with pledges and donations, a sum of Two Million Pounds had already been raised and the appeal would remain open until the end of 2013. When the figure was announced, rapturous applause took place. Furthermore, he wanted to celebrate the occasion by making additional first appointments to past Grand Rank on the scale of one for every Province or District.
To mark this most historical occasion, a solid silver tureen engraved with the dates 1813 – 2013 was presented to the ME the First Grand Principal from Supreme Grand Chapter for it to be prominently displayed during festive occasions.
After Supreme Grand Chapter was closed a dinner took place in the Savoy Hotel, again presided over by the ME the First Grand Principal which rounded off a very enjoyable and satisfying celebration of the Bi-Centenary of the Royal Arch.
The Province was represented at all events which took place over the whole day. Over thirty Companions attended the afternoon Convocation. Almost everybody from the Royal Arch Provincial Cabinet were in attendance as were senior members of the Craft Cabinet and our ME Grand Superintendent, Sir David Trippier, expressed his appreciation of the support he had received on the day.
Twenty two Companions went to and from London by train in First Class style at a very considerably reduced fare due to the efforts of EComp David Thompson, our Second Provincial Grand Principal, who purchased all of the cheapest fares available exactly three months before the date of travel. We thank him for his efforts.
The ME Grand Superintendent visits Tonge Hall Chapter No 8763
The ME Grand Superintendent, Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, accompanied by the members
and visitors attending the installation meeting of Tonge Hall Chapter No 8763.
On Monday, 7th October 2013, the members of Tonge Hall Chapter No 8763, which meet at Audenshaw, were delighted to welcome Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, the ME Grand Superintendent, as their special guest. Other guests included EComp Norman Clarke, APGP for the area, EComp John Pearson, Audenshaw District Chairman, [APGM designate], and EComp John Farrington, Provincial Scribe Ezra.
The purpose of the meeting was to witness the installation of EComp David H Thompson, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, as First Principal, EComp John King as Second Principal and EComp John Cavanagh as Third Principal of the Chapter. All three Principals were very ably installed with the rest of the meeting being undertaken to a very high standard.
Whilst the Chapter is already a Grand Patron of the 2015 Festival, The ME Grand Superintendent was presented with a cheque for £382.85 to further support the Festival.
Following the meeting all were invited to enjoy a champagne reception where a selection of hot and cold canapés were served. During which time the ME Grand Superintendent welcomed the opportunity to meet the other Companions present.
An excellent meal followed, consisting of Beef Olives, Melon and Parma ham served in Port, Lobster Thermidor with King Prawns and spiced Crab, Fine Lemon flan, followed by various cheeses and coffee. A truly enjoyable and successful evening for all who attended.
New Pedestal and Carpet for Manchester Royal Arch Chapters
As if the events at the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers’ Chapter No.3747 meeting on 10th October 2013 were not newsworthy enough, the Chapter also saw the ‘unveiling’ of a magnificent new Royal Arch Chapter pedestal, sitting on a splendid new vaulted carpet, resplendent with the Royal Arch colours.
The pedestal was constructed – we feel sure to the precise dimensions and proportions of the original – by Companion Nigel Johnson from Reddish Chapter No. 3615 in Audenshaw.
Companion Johnson was present at the meeting and received due acknowledgement from the Acting MEZ, EComp Bill Porter and acclaim from the assembled Companions. Although not yet qualified to join the Chapter, Comp Johnson was assured by EComp Porter that he would be made most welcome when he was eventually eligible.
The carpet, which like the pedestal can be used in any Chapter meeting in Bridge Street, was specially commissioned and presented by the Friends of Freemasons’ Hall.
The Chapter Room with it's New Carpet and Pedestal
The New Pedestal
The Demonstration Team visit
Derbyshire Principals Chapter No 8509
On Thursday 27th June the East Lancashire Royal Arch Demonstration Team (ELRADT) forayed outside of our own Province to visit the Derbyshire Principals Chapter No 8509 at their installation meeting in Chesterfield Masonic Hall where we were very warmly welcomed. It is fair to say that a packed temple seemed to thoroughly enjoy our presentation of twelve sections of “The Rise and Fall of the Twelve Tribes of Israel”.
The photograph above shows the Team who visited Chesterfield.
On the Front Row, L-R: EComps Bill Cavanagh, Mike Williams, John Cavanagh, David Thornton and Keith Swettenham.
Back Row L-R: EComps Fraser McCord, Dennis Heskett, Tony Freemont, Russell Pike, Chris Cunliffe, Graham Rawlinson,
Terry Bailey, Alan Baxendale and Kevin Hall.
After conducting a full programme of normal business, which included the Installation of the Principals and the election of a rejoining member, the First Principal, EComp D.M.Bevan PProvGSN, introduced our Vice President. On this occasion we were very pleased to be accompanied by EComp David Thornton PGStB who is our Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for the Western Area of our Province, and thus one of the Vice Presidents of ELRADT. He introduced the team by saying how pleased he was to be able to accompany them and how he was certain that all of those present would have the opportunity to learn something new in an enjoyable and light hearted way.
The three new Principals of the Derbyshire Installed Principals Chapter,
L – R: EComp S. Bamber PProvGSN – Second Principal: EComp D. M. Bevan PProvGSN –
First Principal and EComp C. Cantrell PProvGSN – Third Principal
After the completion of the performance which was met by acclamation, the team were first congratulated by the First Principal of the Chapter who said that he was sure that everyone who had witnessed the performance would have gained something significant from it. The team were also praised by the Second Provincial Grand Principal for Derbyshire, EComp Simon Peter Gaskin PGStB, who was in attendance, accompanied by the Third Provincial Grand Principal for Derbyshire, EComp Keith Allen Overton PGStB. In congratulating the team on the quality and light hearted presentation of their work, the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal further commented that this was the right way to get over the message of our Order. He also added that he was sure that the Grand Superintendent for Derbyshire, EComp Thomas Briggs, would have thoroughly enjoyed the evening and had only been prevented from attending because he was representing his Province at Northampton’s Provincial Grand Chapter Meeting.
Then, after enjoying the pleasures of the Social Board and the continued hospitality, we set off on the long journey back to the civilisation of East Lancashire, happy in the knowledge that we had done our best.
The 22nd Annual Royal Arch Charity Banquet
The 22nd Annual Royal Arch Charity Banquet was held at Freemasons’ Hall, Manchester on 14th June 2013 when Ladies and Companions gathered for a champagne reception in the Memorial Hall before being ushered into the Derby Suite for a fabulous meal.
MEGSupt Sir David Trippier and Lady Trippier
Our host for the evening was EComp Bill Porter, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, who was ably introduced by the Acting Provincial Director of Ceremonies, EComp Gerald Hodson.
Bill welcomed the gathering with his customary wit and referred to the selection of wines for the evening, enthralling and captivating us with his eloquent (and to many of us previously unknown) mastery of the French language. Bill noted that we had already sampled the Baron Albert (pronounced ‘Albert’) champagne, or, as it was better known, ‘Le Fizz’ or ‘Le Pop’.
EComp William John Porter and Mrs Porter
EComp John Farrington, Mrs Farrington
and VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill
The Morgon Louis Latour red wine which would be served with the main course was likened to our former Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra – a deep ‘Garnet’, firm and dark with a fruity aroma and a well-rounded finish in the mouth. But enough about Alan!
Following Grace by EComp The Reverend Donald Pryce, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, the guests made short work of the Smoked Salmon Extravaganza, followed by Spiced Carrot and Basil Soup, before the piece-de-resistance, the Birchstead Beef in a Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce. To finish, we enjoyed a Fresh Fruit Flan (try saying that after a bottle of Morgon Louis Latour) with Clotted Cream, Cheese and Biscuits with a choice of port or brandy and finally – for those had left enough room, Coffee and Petit Fours.
EComp David H Thompson and Mrs Thompson
EComp the Rev'd Donald Keith Pryce
and Mrs Pryce
Sir David and Lady Ruth Trippier were in splendid form as they circulated among the guests, both during and after the dinner. There had been a few anxious moments earlier in the evening when Lady Ruth found herself ‘locked in’ at Chambers after her colleagues had left for the weekend. Fortunately, a keyholder was located and released Lady Ruth from her unexpected incarceration in time for the banquet!
We were once again delighted to have the company of EComp Arthur Axford, Past Deputy Grand Superintendent, the visionary behind the first such Royal Arch Banquet in 1991, along with members of his family.
The raffle raised £1,340, with the first prize of a huge bottle of Bell’s Whisky going to EComp Stephen Boyle who was still looking remarkably pleased with himself in the Derby Bar, long after the meal was over.
In his closing remarks, EComp Bill Porter expressed fulsome thanks to the Royal Arch Banquet Committee under the leadership of EComp Peter Messum and to the catering team, led by John Fryer, and announced that next year’s banquet will be held on 13th June 2014 at Manchester Cathedral where a far greater number of guests can be accommodated.
Investiture of Excellent Companion Paul Aspinall ProvGSN as an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals
Horizon Chapter was chosen as the host chapter for the investiture of Excellent Companion Paul Aspinall, ProvGSN, as an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals (APGP).
The Chapter was opened in the usual manner by the three principals of the chapter. There was then a report on the door of the chapter and EComp Henri Lyons, the Provincial DC was admitted. The Chapter then stood to order as the Most Excellent Grand Superintendant, accompanied by the Provincial Delegation were admitted.
There was a full attendance by the Provincial delegation, consisting of the Second and Third Provincial Principals, along with the Deputy Grand Superintendant, the Provincial Sword and Standard Bearers, several other APGP's and Grand Officers. Also attending was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Derek Thornhill PGSwdBr, along with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Martin Roche SGD.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendant, Sir David Trippier, then took the chair of the chapter and proceeded to invest EComp Paul Aspinall with the badge of his office. EComp Paul Aspinall was then perambulated around the chapter by the Provincial DC to the spontaneous acclaim of those present.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendant, the Provincial Delegation and EComp Aspinall then retired from the chapter. The chapter was then closed by the three principals and the assembled companions retired to the festive board for a most enjoyable celebration.
The Chapter Principals with the Provincial Delegation
The Grand Superintendant and Provincial Principals with the Chapter Principals and EComp Paul Aspinall
EComp Paul Aspinall APGP, with the Provincial Principals
Companions enjoy the festive board
EComp Aspinall enjoys the occasion
Rochdale Chapter of First Principals No 9211
Thursday 22nd March 2012
The Chapter was opened and the Minutes of the previous convocation confirmed. The next business on the Summons was to elect officers for the ensuing year.
This was followed by a report, and the ME Grand Superintendent, EComp Sir David Trippier accompanied by a Provincial Deputation demanded admission. The Deputation was received into the Chapter
The ME Grand Superintendent, the second and third Provincial Grand Principals were then placed in the three Principals chairs and the ME Grand Superintendent introduced each member of the Deputation to the Companions.
A paper entitled ‘The Genuine Secrets of a Master Mason’ was then presented by the Chapter’s Scribe E, EComp Nigel Love.
The Chapter MEZ, EComp Alan Stancliffe presented a donation from the Good Causes account to the ME Grand Superintendent, who then addressed the companions.
The ME Grand Superintendent then conferred a promotion to the rank of PProv1stAGSoj to EComp David L Greenhalgh who was unable to be present at the recent meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter due to other RA Masonic commitments.
The Chapter Principles were then returned to their rightful chairs and a collection of Alms was then taken.
The ME Grand Superintendent and The Provincial Deputation then retired from the Chapter to the acclaim of the Companions.
The festive board was excellent and was followed by the traditional Toasts following which the ME Grand Superintendent, Sir David Tripper, addressed the Companions
The evening was brought to a close by the Janitors toast, which was proposed by EComp Stephen J Holt.
The ME Grand Superintendent EComp Sir David Trippier and the Chapter Scribe E EComp Nigel Love.
The ME Grand Superintendent EComp Sir David Trippier, together with the Provincial Deputation and
the three Principals of the Rochdale Chapter of First Principals No 9211
The ME Grand Superintendent EComp Sir David Trippier, and the Provincial Deputation
The ME Grand Superintendent EComp Sir David Trippier, together with the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals, Ecomp’s Wesley Marchant and Rev.Donald K Pryce and the three Principals of the Rochdale Chapter of First Principals No 9211, Ecomp’s Alan D Stancliffe, David Norbury and Paul Holt who is the area District Officer Royal Arch.
Perseverance Chapter 345
EComp Jim Fallow retires as DORA
Following 5 years’ service to the then Blackburn District and now East Ribble District Excellent Companion Jim Fallow PProvDepGReg stood down as DORA at the Installation of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent.
The three principals of Perseverance Chapter with EComp Jim Fallow, nursing his bottle of Glenmorangie, EComp Paul Aspinall ProvGSN, District Chairman holding the decanter, EComp Joe Lamb, District Treasurer and EComp Bob Allen, District Secretary
To recognise his service the District Chairman, Excellent Companion Paul Aspinall ProvGSN, along with a District team attended Jim’s Chapter, Perseverance Chapter, to present Jim with a crystal decanter to mark his service to the District. EComp Aspinall also presented Jim with a bottle of Glenmorangie, because as Paul said “An empty decanter is no good to anybody!”
Making the Presentation EComp Aspinall reflected on the sterling work Jim had done during his tenure of office, and thanked him for his dedicated service.
Due to the amalgamation of districts Jim will not be replaced as DORA, but EComp Gordon McMillan will continue as the lone DORA for the East Ribble District.
EComp Paul Aspinall ProvGSN, presenting EComp Fallow with his decanter