SGC Convocation & Lunch - 28th April 2022
Over 53 Companions from Berkshire attended the Supreme Grand Chapter Investiture Convocation on the 28th April 2022 to see four of their number receive Grand Chapter Appointments and Promotions. This was a very well attended meeting all round and it was obvious, that all those present were very happy to be celebrating the resumption of their Royal Arch Masonry, following the lifting of all remaining Covid restrictions on such gatherings.
The Investiture of Grand Officers is always an eye-catching occasion and an example of how spectacular the Masonic Ceremonial proceedings can be, with around 200 Companions receiving Appointments and Promotions in a very slick and well-organized manner. All receiving much applause, particularly those Companions from District Grand Chapters overseas, who had travelled great distances to receive their honours.
The Berkshire Companions were delighted to see the PGM, E Comp Anthony Howlett-Bolton receive a Promotion to the Acting Rank of Deputy Grand Sword Bearer, along with E Comp Colin Townsend Green and E Comp Guy Barlow, who both received First Appointments as Past Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies.
E Comp Bill Rhymes was also due to receive a Promotion to Past Grand Standard Bearer, but unfortunately was unable to join the procession, though his award was no less celebrated than the others.
Lunch following the meeting was once again held at the Concert Artistes Club in Bedford Street. A short walk from Great Queen Street. This was the first occasion that this popular event had been arranged by E Comp Rob Wilkinson, having taken on the task from E Comp Brian Bicknell, and it went without a hitch. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, together with his Deputy, two Co-Principals and the Provincial Grand Master, presided over the formalities. As usual the meal was a sumptuous and boisterous affair with much wine taking and the usual Masonic toasts.
Following which the new Grand Officers and those newly promoted were presented with further badges of Office, by E Comp Rob Wilkinson, to ensure they were suitably equipped for their Offices.
Deputy Grand Sword Bearer P Grand Standard Bearer P Assistant GDC P Assistant GDC A man of many hats A man of vision
More Pictures in the Gallery
Date posted: 2 May 2022
SGC Grand Rank Appointments - 28th April 2022
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Date posted: 3 April 2022
Brian Celebrates 50 years with the RA
Brian W J Chase, PAGSoj, PPGH
Celebrating 50 years or Royal Arch Masonry
Congratulations are due to Brian who celebrated almost 52 years of Royal Arch Masonry at a meeting of Sandhurst Chapter No. 8505, on the 2nd February 2022.
Brian had achieved 50 years of service in June 2020, when it had been planned to celebrate this remarkable landmark anniversary, but due to the suspension of all Masonic activity earlier, in March 2020, all such plans were put in abeyance.
The opportunity to do this fell to the Sandhurst Chapter who wished to ensure that Brian’s work would be suitably recognised.
To mark the occasion 20 Members and guests of Sandhurst Chapter gathered to the hear the ME Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian Hopgood give a thorough and extensive summary of Brian’s achievements in Freemasonry and in the Sporting arena, over the period of his extraordinary and lengthy career. As a token of gratitude and to mark the 50th Anniversary, the ME Grand Superintendent then presented Brain with a framed Certificate expressing his thanks.
Brian was Exalted into the Wellesley Chapter No. 1899 on the 8th June 1970 and served all the Chapter Offices, reaching the First Principal’s Chair in 1983. He went on to serve as IPZ and Assistant Scribe E for many years. He was honoured by the Province in 1986 with the rank of Past Assistant Provincial Grand Sojourner, and subsequently in 1991 was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar before being appointed as Third Provincial Grand Principal in 1998, and then Second Provincial Grand Principal in 2002.
He received recognition from Supreme Grand Chapter with the appointment as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1993, and promoted to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Sojourner in 2002.
During his busy career Brian found time to be a Founder Member of the Sandhurst Chapter No. 8505 in 1978, and of the Heather Chapter No. 3131 in 1991, where he was the founding First Principal. When he is not in any other Office he likes to play the Organ and many Chapter meetings have been enlivened with his music. He is currently the Organist with the Sandhurst Chapter
Brian’s Masonry has been extensive and involved, both in the Craft and Royal Arch, and not only in Berkshire, but also in Middlesex as a member of the Gooch Lodge No. 1238, and Middlesex Masters No. 3420, and in Wiltshire as a member of the Chapter of Rectitude No. 335. In Berkshire Craft in particular, Brian received many honours, reaching that of Past Provincial; Junior Grand Warden in 1993 before going on to serve as the Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary in 1994 and then Provincial Grand Secretary from 2007 to 2010. He currently holds the UGLE Grand Rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon.
It is quite apparent that Brian is not somebody happy to sit on the side lines, but one who needs to be engaged with his hobby, and we have all benefitted from his selfless efforts in helping to shape the Masonry we enjoy in Berkshire today.
Brian, you have earned the grateful thanks of all in the Province and we wish you many more years to enjoy the fruits of your labours.
Date posted: 7 February 2022
"Retirement" of Mike Warner, PAGDC, PProvGH
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian Hopgood, made an unannounced visit to the St John's Chapter No 795, at Windsor on the 18th November 2021. The purpose of this “Ninja” visit was to surprise E Comp Mike Warner, the recently retired Second Provincial Grand Principal and present him with his Past Principal's collarette, a certificate and retirement gift, which he had been unable to carry out at the Annual Convocation on the 17th September 2021, as Mike had been unable to attend.
Mike had no idea what was about to unfold, the Chapter members had managed to keep it from him until the unexpected “report” on the door. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was admitted with much enthusiasm and having explained the purpose of his surprise visit, gave a wonderful oration on Mike's Royal Arch history, highlighting his commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to the Province for his 13 years active Provincial Service. He was then presented with a certificate marking the gratitude of the Province, and a gift of a Mont Blanc pen, along with a personal gift from the MEGS. At the conclusion of the presentation Mike was left speechless - something that has never happened before!
This very special evening was supported by The Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Jem Whitmore and 7 Acting Provincial Officers.
Following the Meeting, the Companions retired to enjoy a lively Festive Board at The Bexley Arms, Windsor, where the Chumley Badge of Excellence made its usual appearance.
Few Companions escaped having to wear it, not even MEGS managed to avoid the privilege. If any Companion would like to know more, come and visit St John’s Chapter, all will be explained.
Date posted: 24 November 2021
Keeping In Touch
If you want to know more about the various ways in which Lodges and Chapters can keep in touch with their members and Masonry, and how modern technology can help you, have a look at the excellent suggestions on the Craft Website, by clicking the link below.
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Date posted: 16 June 2020