Provincial Grand Chapter – Provincial Grand Convocation

Companions, it is my honour to stand before you today as Grand Superintendent. Twelve months ago we had the great privilege of having the Most Excellent Second Grand Principal, Most Excellent Companion George Pipon Francis, with us. That was indeed a very great honour for this Province and I am sure those in attendance on that day will well remember it.

A lot has happened in the last twelve months. The end of January in Harrogate saw something which had not happened in this Province for 88 years, in that the role of Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent was separated. How has this affected the “indissoluble link” between the Craft and the Royal Arch? I can assure you all this has had no affect whatsoever. The Provincial Grand Master and I will continue to work closely together to preserve and sustain that link.

Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, would you please escort the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master to me. Right Worshipful Brother David, at your Installation you presented this trophy depicting two hands clasped in friendship with an engraved plate reading”this is the indissoluble link”. I now have great pleasure into presenting it back to you in token of our close working relationship.

Companions, we must all support our Craft Lodges, the very basis of Freemasonry and without which none of us would be here today.

I would like to congratulate those Companions who received their first appointment or were promoted at the last Annual Convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter. If you would each stand as I read your names the Companions present can acknowledge you. As Past Grand Standard Bearer – Tony Brailsford, George Foster, Nigel Hall, David Mortimer and Keith Tolan. As Past Grand Sword Bearer – Jim Gray. As Past Deputy Grand Sword Bearer – David Stephen Pratt. Our sincere congratulations to each and every one of you.

I also congratulate the Companions who today have received their first rank, or have been promoted in, Provincial Grand Chapter. The honours are well deserved and are in recognition of your previous services to Royal Arch Masonry and the services you will hopefully give in the future.

Companions it is a delight to see you all here and I thank the members of this Province and all our friends from our neighbouring Provinces for taking the time out from your busy personal schedules to be here today.

I thank Excellent Companion Keith Tolan, Provincial Grand Scribe E, and Excellent Companion Mick Dyson, Ruth and the recently retired Susan from the Provincial Office for the hard work in organising today’s meeting.

I thank Excellent Companion Chris Carruthers, Provincial Grand Registrar, for his very comprehensive and informative report, which makes for very interesting reading.
I also thank Excellent Companion Gordon Jacobs, Provincial Grand Almoner, for his very interesting report. Mentoring plays a vital role within the Province as a whole and within individual Chapters and as a consequence I have asked the Third Provincial Grand Principal and the Provincial Almoner to look into the whole aspect of mentoring and to prepare a report on their findings. I await that report with great interest and in the sincere hope mentoring in this Province can achieve the highest level possible.

I must say a special thank you to all the Companions who have contributed towards the 2017 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution through your Chapters. Your generosity is beyond belief, as the monies donated are over and above that given through your Craft Lodges.

You will no doubt have heard about the possibility of forming a new Chapter in this Province under the “Universities Scheme” to attract young undergraduates and those with a university connection. The possibility of this being a peripatetic Chapter, meeting in the four university cities of Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and Huddersfield, is also being considered. A “steering committee” has been set up under the Chairmanship of Excellent Companion Philip Drury to determine the likely success of such a Chapter and I await the outcome of their findings with a great deal of interest.
Royal Arch Chapter is a very special Order within Freemasonry and is to be enjoyed by all. I must admit that the ritual is not that easy to understand so I would urge all newer Companions to give it time and all will become clear.

We have heard from the report of the Provincial Grand Registrar that recruitment into the Royal Arch in this Province is holding up well but we are still losing too many members within a short time of joining. What can we do to change that? When in your Craft Lodge a Master Mason has determined his next step in Freemasonry is to join the Royal Arch please ensure you encourage that Brother to join the right Chapter for him i.e. one that meets at the most suitable location and on the most suitable night. If he does not join such a Chapter then the likelihood of retaining a new Exaltee as a member will be diminished. Keep the Companions interested, involve them, make them feel wanted and an important part of the Chapter.
It is my wish the Royal Arch should be a caring Order. One in which we look after and care for one another. The words “in peace, love and harmony” will be very familiar to you all and let us strive to maintain those important principles. I have asked that I am informed, via the Provincial Office, of any ill or hospitalised Companion so that I am made aware of the problems which are being endured by my Companions.

In conclusion, I must state it is my great honour and privilege to serve you and all the Companions of this Province and with your help we can ensure the continued success of Royal Arch Masonry in this, the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.

May TTAELGMH always watch over you.

Posted in Holy Royal Arch Chapter on November 12th, 2014 by David Clough

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