The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with the Provincial Delegation
It is quite possible that the Chapter of Union No 268, consecrated in August 1824, is the oldest Royal Arch Chapter in the Southern Area. Fortunately, it is still going strong and it was, therefore, pleased to host a Joint Convocation of Southern Area’s Chapters on Tuesday 7th March 2017. On this occasion the members of the Chapter were honoured to welcome EComp Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent. He was accompanied by EComp Paul Rose, PGSwdB, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp David Thompson, PAGSoj, the Second Provincial Grand Principal, EComp the Rev David Halford, PGStB, the Third Provincial Grand Principal and EComp Edward Barlow, PGStB, the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for our area. In addition, they were just as happy to welcome the many other important and honoured guests of all ranks. In total there were just about 90 Companions of our order present in the Lodge Room of Ashton Masonic Hall, a number large enough to make even that room seem crowded. One of the great pleasures of the evening was seeing the room so full of companions.
Sir David took the First Principal’s Chair and immediately introduced the main business of the evening, which was to receive a presentation, entitled, “The Perfection of the Platonic Bodies” which had been specially written for this evening’s Convocation by EComp Professor Tony Freemont, one of the Royal Arch District Officers (RADO) for the Southern Area. Tony had not only written this piece, but had organised the Demonstration, recruited the presenters and took a significant part in the performance as well. He had been ably assisted by the other RADO’s from Southern Area, William Wootton, Russell Pike and Harry Kearney, as well as by one of our Immediate Past RADOs David Hoyle, but you could easily see the hand of the master craftsman on his work.
I must admit that I have never heard anything about these “Platonic Bodies” before this evening, though I was assured by Tony that many of our Masonic Halls have sets of them crafted out of stone or wood. On the night we were entertained by the sight of these Platonic Bodies lovingly crafted out of plastic and coloured in pastel colours, pink, green and blue. I do not think that the colour was at all important. It was certainly a night for making a daily advancement in one’s masonic knowledge, personally I think I probably made enough for several weeks. I did wish, at times, that I had studied Maths rather than History as it might have better enabled me to understand such esoterica as the importance of the number 720 or the exact meaning of a “totient number”. I must ask Tony to explain that to me some time. But that is just me being flippant, the real importance of the evening’s presentation was concerned with a deeper understanding of the symbolical nature of our Order. The Platonic bodies cast light on the central symbol of the Royal Arch, the Triple Tau and upon the breast jewel of our order, which was so cleverly dissected by the presenters. The format of the presentation was similar to that of the “Talking Heads” presentation, but the content was of an entirely different order. I learned a great deal about the Royal Arch Degree this evening, a great deal that I will not forget in a long time, and I know that I am not the only one who felt that way.
Later on, at the superb Social Board, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent commented on the evening’s work, saying “This has been a fabulous night. You have all been so kind and hospitable and I thank you all for allowing me to share this wonderful evening with you. It has been a delight, a wonderful evening.” The First Principal of the Chapter of Union, EComp Tom Smith, presented Sir David with a cheque for £250 towards the ELMC, on behalf of the Chapter and Sir David accepted it with pleasure, reassuring the Chapter that it would be put to good use. Finally, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Paul Rose, thanked the Chapter of Union for hosting “a truly fascinating evening”, commenting that “some of us may take some time thinking about what we heard tonight.” In my case it will keep me thinking for a very long time indeed.
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