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David Terry

 

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May 21, 2024, 09:55
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Chapter Blog

 

The Humber Royal Arch Chapter meets five months of the year

on the first Thursday of January, April, June, September & November

 

To join a Chapter, Brethren must wait at least one month after completing their third degree in the Craft.

Meetings commence at 6.30pm, except our installation evening in the April when the start time is 4.30pm. We meet at The Masonic Hall, Prince Street, Dagger Lane, Kingston Upon Hull.

Fees for joining are considerably less than those required by the Craft, currently £48.00.

 

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST CHAPTER BLOGS

 

 

Friday 26th April 2024:

 WMC and Luke's Delicious Buffet

  

I was invited to attend the Installation meeting of the Wyke Millennium Chapter 9696 as a guest of the MEZ, E Comp Craig Maurier, and spent a delightful morning away from the chores of washing and ironing. A daytime Chapter, it was particularly well attended as the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was accompanied by a team of Active Provincial Grand Officers, amongst whom the Banner Bearer, E Comp Malvin Sharpless was looking remarkably fit after his recent operation. I took a snapshot as he rehearsed carrying the flag for the Province.

At eleven o' clock, Craig opened the Chapter and the MEGS' DC, E Comp Jimmy Kerr reported that the leader of the Province was outside demanding admission. I played as the splendid procession assembled as an escort (my playing was improving now my injured thumb was healing) and Most Excellent Companion Doctor David Chambers entered, greeted everyone warmly and remarked how he and his Team were looking forward to the ceremony being followed by one of Luke Pyrah's famous buffet lunches.

The minutes were confirmed and signed, and the MEZ appointed E Comp Andrew Hoggard as Installing DC. The Zed Elect, E Comp Stephen Graham Ives relinquished the robes he was wearing (Haggai) to E Comp Tim Dillon and was obligated in the presence of all the Companions by MEZ Craig Maurier. All Offices were declared vacant, those below the rank of Installed Principals briefly retired while E Comp Iveson was again presented by the DC and smartly Installed by E Comp Maurier. He was presented with the robe and sceptre of Zerubbabel, after which he appointed E Comp Maurier as IPZ and then closed the conclave under the direction of the DC.

Others were admitted by degrees: E Comps Malcolm John Forbes and Alex Hoggard were inducted as Haggai and Joshua respectively.

The new MEZ appointed and invested his officers, and the IPZ presented him with the Charter, Book of Constitutions and the Bylaws.

E Comp Bazza Longstaff gave a sterling account of the Principles' Robes and Sceptres and their symbolism in his distinctive Geordie accent.

Next there was a presentation of a Grand Chapter Certificate to Comp Robert Gwatkins, with a difference. Topped and tailed by the Grand Superintendent, an account was given by four Companions from the Provincial Team showing the development of the Chapter and its certificate from the intervention of Lawrence Dermott in 1751, Lord Blaney in 1766 and later notables, and the symbolism of the features appearing on the certificate.

The newly-appointed Mentor, E Comp Longstaff, then spoke learnedly about his specialist subject, tracing boards, telling the Chapter that he had commissioned a special design to be painted for the WMC. See his blog below.

A candidate was proposed; he will be balloted for at the next meeting.

E Comp Iveson closed the Chapter, and the MEGS and his team retired. "Thank you for a brilliant day," said the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent. All returned for a swift photograph.

 

I was pleased to be one of the three Kingston Chapter members there; Tony Burke and Mike Price and I stood for greetings. While part of the Provincial Team, E Comps David Terry and Malvin Sharpless could not give greetings on behalf of Humber Chapter 57, and as a member of C 9696 Malcolm Forbes couldn't either. I gave greetings from the Chapter of St Michael.

The Festive Board lived up to expectations. The beautiful dispay of delicious food was soon demolished, and Companions patted their tummies contentedly during the toasts. In response to the fourth toast, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent spoke of Change in the world of Freemasonry, the vanishing barrier between the Craft and the Royal Arch, the convocation in May with a new inclusive format for families, and the Festival 2029. E Comp David Terry sang the Principals song following the toast to the Principals and Officers of the Wyke Millennium Chapter, and the MEZ responded suitably before submitting the Parting Toast.

A delightful day. Well done all!

 

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist.

 

Bazza's Blog

 Wyke Millennium Chapter Tracing Board

Chapter 9696 is now the proud owner of a Tracing Board based on design dated c1810, which has disappeared from its originating home, Cyrus Chapter 21 in London. There was, alas, no trace of the original in the museum, but the Librarian, Martin Cherry kindly took me to view an apron believed to have belonged the Antients, which was very similar to the original tracing board.  

I was delighted when E Comp Ron Baker PPAGDC (Bucks) agreed to paint a Tracing Board for the Wyke Millennium Chapter 9696 incorporating some of the original unusual inclusions and details along with the five Platonic solids which feature in the C9696 layout. There will be a lecture on the new TB in due course.

Barry Andrew Longstaff PGStwd, Principal Sojourner.

 

 Thursday 18th April 2024:

The Chapter of St Michael 7833 met at Dagger Lane and opened whereupon a snippet was read regarding the descent of the Sojourners into a hitherto hidden vault - there are different versions of the story to be found. Eddie Wildman suggested that there were questions arising from this, and after brief discussion the Chapter was closed.

Thursday 4th April 2024:

 A Gathering of Brotherhood

In the hallowed chambers of Dagger Lane, where history and symbolism converge, I waited with my fellow visiting Companions, together with the Representative of the Grand Superintendent E Comp Hiten Thaker to be admitted into the Humber Royal Arch Chapter; an integral part of Freemasonry, the Order delves into the mysteries concealed within the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple. We entered, stepping beyond the veil entering a realm where legend and reality intertwine.

The Humber Chapter room, with its opulent architecture and rich symbolism, set the stage. The room, adorned with iconic symbolism, resonated with centuries of tradition. The flicker of candlelight danced across the faces of Companions, creating an atmosphere of reverence and anticipation

The room hushed, and with the officers in their positions the installation commenced; The Three Principals, representing Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, stood at the heart of the Arch. Their words echoing through the ages, connecting the present to the ancient past as they installed their successors.

Installing Director of Ceremonies Terry Fisher presented Joshua Elect, E Comp Stephen Hastings; Haggai Elect, E Comp Charles Alexander; and Zerubbabel Elect E Comp David Terry respectively.

The central moment of the installation ceremony unfolded like a sacred drama. The drama culminating in revelation - a glimpse of divine truth, as E Comp Malcolm Forbes placed his successor into the First Principals chair and was in turn bestowed as IPZ.

Each of the three Principals are distinguished by a coloured robe, which represents an allusion to their office. For Companions to decipher those cryptic messages, an explanation of each robe was given unlocking layers of meaning. E Comp Trevor Whitfield explained the Scarlet robe; E Comp Richard Smedley the Purple robe and E Comp Terry Fisher the Blue robe.

After the Officers of the year had been invested, E Comp Hastings gave the Address to the Companions with great aplomb.

Kingston Chapter was well represented by E Comp Eddie Wildman (Haggai), E Comp Mike Price (Joshua) and myself (Scribe Ezra). We had witnessed a sincere and heart-felt ceremony, the dignity of which had been slightly marred by random unnecessary audible comments. 

As the meeting drew to a close, Companions rose from their seats, the closing ritual, with its solemn words and symbolic actions, sealed the bonds forged during the gathering.

At the Festive board, we exchanged our aprons for laughter, conversations flowed freely, and the clinking of glasses echoed the spirit of unity. We were honoured to be served upon by the Hull Sea Cadets, who were a credit to their unit, impeccably turned out and like the crew of HMS Pinafore were ‘attentive to their duty.’ MEZ David Terry made a monetary presentation to them which was accompanied by the warm acclamation of the Companions. The various toasts and responses followed, and on behalf of the visitors I responded to their toast.

E Comp Richard Smedley sang the Principals song and was thanked by a clearly moved MEZ.

In the quiet moment as I walked past the shadows of Hull Minster to my car after this enjoyable convocation, I reflected that although the last table candle had been extinguished, Companions carried the light within them. They left the Chapter, not as individuals, but as part of an unbroken chain. And in that unity, they find strength, purpose, and the timeless legacy of Freemasonry. Royal Arch is a brotherhood within a brotherhood, a sanctuary for seekers.

Well done Humber Chapter, I look forward to the next time.

[Top Photo credit: E Comp E. Wildman; L to R; E Comp Richard East, Hiten Thaker, Charles Alexander, David Terry and Stephen Hastings]

[Lower Photo credit: E Comp Stephen Hastings]

Neil Armstrong Scribe E.

 

 

Thursday 15th February 2024:

Chapter of St Michael 7833 Installation

There is a pleasing rhythm to the opening of the Royal Arch Chapter ceremony: on behalf of all present, the Principals of the Chapter state their intention to keep the peace and unity of the convocation, paying respects to the Most High in a threefold repetition formula while the Companions stand to order.

Excellent Companion John Irving Burton (members of the Chapter recognise each other as Companions, those who have taken Principals' Chairs are designated Excellent Companions) opened the Chapter of St Michael fluently and authoritatively; this was his last night in Office, and he took his place in the East with dignity. Scribe Nehemia, Comp Shaun Rennison, answered the knock at the door to admit E Comp Craig Maurier, Director of Ceremonies to the Representative of the Most Excellent the Grand Superintendent, E Comp Hitendra B Thaker PAGDC. An escort was formed for this worthy Grand Chapter Officer, who on entering and greeting the triumvirate, took his seat in the Chapter after which the opening was completed and the minutes of the last meeting confirmed.

It was a pleasure to welcome back E Comp Henderson as a joining member; Paul has had severe health issues for the past handful of years and the MEZ spoke for us all when he greeted him. One other item of business took place; a Notice of Motion from the Scribe E, E Comp Stephen Norman Longthorpe PPGReg proposing the reduction of numbers of Committee members.

Despite two of the Principals being recycled (Peter Stokes is the new boy on the block) it was quite a long ceremony, though there was no sense of wasted time. The Principals Elect were obligated respectively, those ineligible to see the Installations into the Chairs of Joshua, Haggai and Zerubbabel retiring at the appropriate junctures under the direction of the Installing DC, founder member Terence William Black PPGScN, and readmitted when the Chairs were occupied by the new Principals. (The Chapter was convened as a Conclave of Installed Principals, unsuprisingly, for the Inner Working.) The DC proclaimed the Installed Principals: Excellent Companions Stephen Christopher Prior as Most Excellent Zerubbabel, John Stanley Broughton as Haggai and Peter James Stokes as Joshua.

The robes were then explained (the colours have particular meanings, as do the emblems at the top of the staffs carried by the Principals) - the crimson robe of the MEZ by Comp David Whittall, the purple robe of H by E Comp Jackie Chapman, and the blue robe by E Comp David Broughton.

John Burton, (now Past Zed - a delightful term implying that the bearer has reached the end of the alphabet) presented the Warrant or Charter. Impressively, John had delivered all his ritual entirely from memory, and continued thusly.

The DC, E Comp Terry Black  presented the MEZ with the Book of Constitutions, the Provincial bylaws and the bylaws of the Chapter of St Michael. E Comp Prior then appointed and invested his Officers for the ensuing year,

"That concludes the ceremony of your installation," said Terry, smiling at the new First Principal. "You may now continue with the regular business of the Chapter."

The closing of the Chapter reiterated the threefold repetition, and E Comps Prior, Broughton and Stokes were splendid. The Companions retired, though getting them back for a photoshot was troublesome as some were already removing regalia and heading for the bar, but I managed eventually to take a snapshot. The focus isn't as sharp as I would have liked, but this is probably not a bad thing. 

The Festive Board was happy; a tasty chicken meal in convivial company. It was quite late, however when the coffee cups were filled, and the DC moved the toasts along with alacrity. Most toasts were brief, as were most responses. E Companion Hiten Thaker stood in response to Toast Five, and complimented the Chapter on the behaviour of the members both upstairs and down: "This is how gentlemen should meet." Sadly deploring the declension of Chapters throughout the country, he had positive words regarding the efforts of C7833 in overcoming these difficulties. He mentioned the Provincial initiatives in this area, recommending the Companions to the Archway Scheme and forwarning of the upcoming Festival 2029 Enterprise, saying there was a planned Indian Jamboree Night in the pipeline. He spoke of his own introduction to Chapter Freemasonry in Zambia, and the flight back in the dark; his wife and the other wives, realising that the landing strip was not illuminated, came out with lights so that the plane could touchdown safely. He concluded his speech by presenting E Comp Burton with his PZ jewel while the Companions applauded.

E Comp Terry Black gave a brief toast to Stephen Prior and his team, but for all its brevity, it was sincere. Stephen responded similarly.

The Chapter Preceptor, E Comp Chapman in his toast to John Burton and his officers, spoke of the year flying by, of John's immaculate ritual ("Tonight he was excellent," he said, unnecessarily) and his increasing skills in producing website reports, reflecting the forty visits he'd undertaken during the year. John responded suitably, for the most part reiterating the comments he'd put on this website on 14th February.

David Whittall toasted the visitors (six, from four Sister Chapters) in his usual amusing and welcoming manner, and E Comp Collier, MEZ of C5129 responded, with congratulations to the new team, and in particular to E Comp Stokes.

At some stage (perhaps before the ceremony began) the MEZ had lost one arm of his reading glasses but this didn't stop him drawing the raffle, wherein I continued my losing streak. The raffle raised a hundred pounds.

The Almoner's Toast in the Chapter of St Michael is uniquely honoured by the Craft points. An "Absent Brethren" hymn, especially composed for the Chapter by two Founder members (see the Music page) is followed in both Craft and Chapter by "Auld Lang Syne", the Brethren/Companions joining hands before taking their leave of each other.

Altogether a splendid evening.

 

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

 

Wednesday 24th January 2024:

Chapter of St Andrew 4683 Installation and 75th Aniversary

by David Terry

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance! I think this must be the Provincial Grand DC James Kerr’s mantra because, as an Active Officer in the Province I had received an email from Jimmie 2 Kilts detailing exactly what was expected of the Team who were to accompany and support The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Dr David Chambers. Delighted to receive this email I telephoned Jim and offered him a lift to Beverley Road as I was almost passing his front door.

It was a late start for an Installation: 7pm! I prepared myself for a late night. We arrived at the Lodge in good time and were greeted with great bon-homie by the members of St Andrews Chapter, visiting Companions and members of the Provincial Team.

The Chapter was opened with the Provincial Team waiting patiently with-out the door; the sweet notes of E Comp Wildman’s organ-playing drifting through the closed door giving us an idea of how the opening was progressing. A report was sounded and the Provincial DC entered the Chapter and announced that the Most Excellent Superintendent demanded admission. The
team of Active Officers followed by the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, E Comp Trevor Collinson and Grand Officers entered the Chapter, followed by the Sword Bearer and Standard Bearer (our own E Comp Malvin Sharpless). MEGS then entered, saluted the Three Principals and made his way to the dais where he greeted E Comp Paul Bull (MEZ), E Comp Danny Betts (H) and E Comp Jason Garland, (J).

Minutes were approved and then the main event commenced; the Installation of the Principals for the ensuing year. It would be difficult to better the ceremony that we witnessed. Great credit must go to all the installing team and their Lecture Master, E Comp Ian Sugarman for their attention to detail and great efficiency. E Comp Michael Graham was proclaimed MEZ: with such an experienced Companion at the helm the Chapter of St Andrew can look forward to an eventful year. E Comp Jason Garland progressed up the chain and was installed and proclaimed H and the Comp Edward Brook installed and proclaimed as J.

The Purple and Blue Robes were explained by E Comp Brian Daragon, the warrant presented by the immediate Past Z, Paul Bull; Officers were invested and the Charge delivered by E Comp  Mike Graham. We were privileged to witness a truly excellent ceremony: polished and sincere. The visitors were impressed by the dedication shown by all involved.

The next business of the evening was the presentation of Supreme Grand Chapter Certificates to Comps Philip John Beadle and Craig Ashley David Eastburn.

The Grand Superintendent undertook this work assisted by five Provincial Officers (I was lucky enough to be one). Along with the usual explanation of the certificate a great deal of history was explained by the team. I believe this was the first time this format has been used and it was greatly appreciated by the Companions.

Greetings were given and recorded and the new team closed the Chapter with aplomb.

Then it was down to an excellent Festive Board, where I thanked my lucky stars I had ordered the salmon rather than the pie as time was marching on and the prospect of a full stomach at a late hour is less appealing than in my earlier years. The five usual toasts were submitted, Most Excellent Superintendent David responding to toast four in his eloquent and natural manner. We learned that he approves of change; wants to involve family, and invited any Companion with skills to make themselves known to Province. Younger men will progress; length of membership will not be an automatic path to progression; Festival 2029 was dwelt upon and the Chapter congratulated on a superb evening.

Toast six was given by E Comp Trevor Collinson. This toast was to the Chapter of St Andrew on its 75th Anniversary. Consecrated on 15th January 1949 by the Marquis of Zetlan, there were twenty-three founder members (the number of members today). In 1974 the Chapter had 98 members. There had been ups and downs but it is obvious that St Andrew Chapter 4683 in now thriving.

E Comp. Ian Sugarman proposed the toast to New and Retiring Principals when
we learned that, by two dispensations E Comp Paul Bull had completed four years in Z’s Chair. He deserves a well-earned rest.
MEZ responded. The toast to Sister Chapters and Visiting Companions was proposed by Principal Sojourner Brian Daragon (17 years in that Office!) and the response given by Mark Hartley MEZ of Minerva Chapter.

Thankfully the toasts were short and to the point, Mark expressing the visitors' appreciation for such an excellent evening.

Absent, Sick and Sea-faring Companions were remembered and then MEZ gave the parting toast.

Goodbyes given, hands shaken, Jim and I returned to our homes reflecting on the journey home on what a superb evening we had experienced and what a joy Chapter Masonry is when it is performed well and with understanding.

I continued to reflect on the evening throughout the night; maybe the cheese instead of dessert was a bad idea! I still haven’t discovered where Mrs Terry has hidden the Rennies!

[Photo of Chapter with the MEGS by Nick Michell, Jim Kerr and Dr David Chambers by ERW.]

David Terry

 

Thursday 18th January 2024:

Constitutional Chapter Installation

by Malcolm Forbes

 

Although a member of Constitutional Lodge 294, this was my first visit to Constitutional Chapter, which meets at Trinity Lane, Beverley. I attended in my capacity of Z of Humber Chapter 57.

I arrived at 5.0 pm in time for a 5.30 pm start time. I felt at home amongst the Companions, most of whom are also members of Constitutional Lodge.

The early arrival allowed time to meet the representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion David Sanders, the Provincial Grand Registrar, who had travelled from Northallerton.

Amongst the visitors was E Comp John Burton, the Z of the Chapter of St Michael 7833. E Comp Burton has been a regular visitor to Humber Chapter.

The meeting was opened by Z, E Comp Mark Green alongside E Comp David Turner as H and E Comp John Chrystal as J. The ritual in the opening and the Installation ceremony of the Chapter differs in one respect from other Chapters in that the Companions remain seated including when prayers are offered and during the greetings.

The DC E Comp Alan Woodeson initially presented E Comp Keith Charlesworth for Installation as J. E Comp John Chrystal was then installed as H. E Comp David Turner, who had taken the Office of Z twice before, was then proclaimed as Z.

The standard of ritual set by E Comp Green and E Comp Turner and their Officers was exemplary. E Comp Woodeson was singled out for praise..

Altogether there were five visitors. I gave greetings on behalf of Humber Chapter. Constitutional Chapter has adopted its own ritual which added to the fascination and drama of the meeting.

Although there were only thirteen Companions dining at the Festive Board the dining room was vibrant and the conversations were many and varied. Nine toasts were delivered.

On his first representative visit E Comp Sanders praised the Chapter for its commitment and hard work in delivering a memorable evening. He also emphasised, as an Almoner himself, the vital role that the Almoner performs within a Lodge/Chapter.

The Principal's Song was sung by E Comp Roger Lewis. E Comp Turner remarked how moved he was by the sincerity of its delivery.

Acting Principal Sojourner E Comp Gavin Collinson proposed the toast to the visitors. I was pleased to respond to the toast on their behalf.

The parting toast was given by E Comp Green.

The Chapter can look forward to a bright future with exaltations planned for the forthcoming year. The Chapter keeps the bar high for other Chapters to seek to match.

Malcolm Forbes MEZ

 

 

Wednesday 17th January 2024:

 

January Chapter Blues

 

by Eddie Wildman, J

 

The Kingston Chapter meeting was sparse and brief; it was a struggle to fill the offices on this bitterly cold evening. With the two visitors - John Burton, MEZ of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and Malcolm Forbes, MEZ of the Humber Chapter 57, we just reached double figures.

 

Nonetheless the Kingston First Principal, Neil Armstrong and Companion Garry Crossland had set up the Chapter earlier in the day and E Comp Louis Morgan had set up the tables for the festive board. Luke the Chef had kindly agreed to accommodate us despite the reduced number. The meeting went ahead.

 

Scribe E Mike Price gave an interesting paper showing the inclusivity of Chapter Masonry into the Craft in the Eighteenth Century. the Treasurer. E Comp Tony Burke presented the accounts, and the team for next year was announced by the Z Elect, E Comp Richard Bate.

 

A notice of motion following from the discussions regarding the future of Chapter Freemasonry in Hull with regard to C10101 was proposed - watch this space.

 

The Festive Board was a cosy gathering and Luke's steak pie was very welcome. Conversation ranged widely, encompassing cricket matches, astronomy and the Northern Lights. John Burton - a regular supporter, remarked that it was amazing how much there was to talk about. Tony Burke observed on the way out that despite the parcity of members there was still a terrific atmosphere. He was right - the January blues were not so bad, we left with smiles on our faces.

 

It was an early finish - around 8:30. John B kindly offered me a lift home, which I was glad to accept, and I wrote up these notes post haste, looking forward to an early night.

 

The next meeting will be Richard's installation as MEZ. How the year has flown!

 

Eddie Wildman J

 

Thursday 4th January 2024:

Humber Discussion

by Eddie Wildman, visitor

At the publication of the re-edited Humber Chapter ritual in 1923 the membership was a steady 238 members. Dating back to a period before the formation of United Grand Chapter in 1817, (the first meeting was in 1811) for well over a century its membership was restricted only to Brethren of the Humber Lodge.

Times have changed. The membership is now 24. Currently, the Chapter is struggling.

This is endemic. E Comp Richard Smedley, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and currently Haggai of the Humber Chapter has his finger firmly on the pulse of Chapter Masonry in the Province and remarked that this problem was not only in Hull, nor of the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings, but was a national issue. 

As a visitor (along with E Comps Malcolm Watkinson and Mike Price of the Kingston Chapter1010, and as a member of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 along with the First Principal, E Comp John Burton) I was well aware that the Kingston Chapter, at least, was discussing similar issues along with other local Chapters.

Discussion ensued; various aspects of problems regarding amalgamation, the handing in of warrants and the apparent apathy of some Chapter Companions in general were aired. With the control of H, Z and J (E Comps Smedley, Forbes and Alexander) It was agreed that some action should be taken. Precisely what is as yet uncertain (much the same as in the Kingston discussions.) There is still a tendency to argue about the icing on the cake before discussing the ingredients of the cake itself, I noticed.

Congratulations to E Companions Steve Hastings and David Terry who have been elected to take the Chapter forward from the Installation in April - and good luck!

 

To the Rescue

by David Terry

 

Two or three weeks ago, in the build up to Christmas an email appeared in my in-box from Humber Chapter’s Scribe Ezra, Excellent Companion Ian Sydall. The contents alarmed me. At our business meeting on the first Thursday of January 2024 there was to be no continuity as the positions of “Z” and “J” were vacant: would any Companion put his name into the hat for election?

I have been a member of Humber Chapter for more years than I care to remember, however I still remember the breathtaking experience of my “exaltation” watched by some forty Companions. That said, I then spent a number of years somewhat mystified by the degree. It appeared to be a complex story with the participants entering and leaving the Chapter room with alarming regularity. To my shame it is only in recent years that I have begun to understand the significance of the “4th Degree”, thanks to that wonderful educational tool Solomon and now Archway.

Even after occupying the Three Principals' Chairs some years ago, the scales didn’t drop from my eyes; now the odd scale has dropped off and I see a little light through a very small aperture!

Humber Chapter, along with many Chapters in England is struggling to recruit new members. We, and I include myself in the collective “We” have become apathetic in encouraging Master Masons to complete their Masonic journey. I know Covid has not helped but I believe that the apathy started long before then. The Exaltation Ceremony needs to be performed to a reasonably high standard for it to have any meaning. I know learning ritual is not easy and it takes effort; one Chapter in the North of the Province that I visited have decided that books will be used at all times, so that the Exaltees will not be scared off. Worth a try, I guess.

It didn’t take me many hours of soul searching to throw my hat into the ring by replying to Scribe Ezra’s email and offering my services in any capacity the Chapter thought fit and on a visit to Kingston Chapter No 1010 last month I was delighted to have a discussion with a fellow visitor from Humber Chapter, E Comp Steve Hastings. He too was
prepared to put his name forward.

To cut a long story short, on election night I became the Z Elect and Steve the J Elect. E Comp Richard Smedley graciously backed down from making Z a two horse race. Richard is Second Provincial Grand Principal and always the willing horse but Province prefers Rulers to refrain from taking the Z’s chair unless in extreme circumstances.

Thus Steve and I were voted in and now the fun starts! E Comp  Steve (J), E Comp Charles Alexander (our present J but destined to become H in April) and myself (Z) will do our best for Humber!

I don’t know what the next year holds for our Chapter; amalgamation? Handing in our warrant along with other Chapters and forming a new Super Chapter or do we fight to keep our historic Chapter and make it a thriving unit of which we can all be proud?

Time will tell and I will try my hardest to fulfil the wishes of our members with enthusiasm and a degree of excitement!

David Terry P1stAGSoj and Z Elect

 

  

Wednesday 20th December 2023:

Kingston Chapter 1010

Christmas Meeting

The KIngston Chapter Convocation at Beverley Road was well attended by contemporary standards; Companions from the Chapter of St Michael 7833, Hull Old Grammarians' 5129, Wyke Millennium 9696 and others were there, and the mood was amicable; as one of the Principals I was nervous as there was to be a discussion about the future of the Chapter, and I have no doubt this concern was shared by E Comps Neil Armstrong (MEZ) and Richard Bate (H). I was also nervous about the first part of the meeting; I'd been working hard on Neil's illustrated presentation, which required five distinct voice changes for the characters portrayed - but I'm getting ahead of myself, as usual.

Neil, Richard and I were urgently summoned by the Director of Ceremonies in a convenient room adjoining the Lodge a few minutes before the meeting convened. He had not been entirely happy, he informed us, at our entry at the last meeting, and wanted us to smarten up. He rehearsed us carefully, making us repeat the moves until a decent rhythm was established without any hesitation, then, while we were still going through the process in our heads, announced our arrival and ushered us into the Chapter, calling the Companions to order with great authority.

He had been correct, of course. Without a second's pause or hesitation, we filed in, arranged ourselves with geometric precision and were into the opening prayer. The symbolic sharing of the word was choreographed to a nicety and the dignified advance around the banners elegantly managed. Even the lifting of the sceptres was dignified and coordinated. I, for one, gave a silent sigh of relief and sent telepathic thanks to E Comp Watkinson for having created order out of chaos in so timely a manner as we took our places and Neil bid the Companions be seated.

Neil opened the Chapter without fuss, and a report announced that E Comp Steve Waudby, DC to the Representative requested admission. On entry, he informed the Companions that the Representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Garry Sunley PGStB required entry. An escort was formed, and E Comp Sunley entered.

October's minutes were confirmed and signed (Mike Price, the Scribe E, exercises a similar puntiliousness to the paperwork as the DC enforces with the Companions) and then the MEZ announced the next item: "To receive an illustrated presentation, entitled Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with a Masonic Twist, narrated by MEZ and J."

Neil had been working for some months on this presentation, which takes Dickens' familiar tale and looks at those aspects which might strike a chord with Freemasons - especially in the Third Degree. He had deftly interwoven the events of Victorian Hull into his narrative, superbly illustrated on Power Point (operated by Comp Gary Crossland, 1st Asst Soj) while Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the Spirits made their appearances in interleaved recitations of the author's text. 

Neil and I had rehearsed, of course, editing the presentation until it was a suitable length; Gary had followed the script (and its frequent changes during rehearsals) to change the pictures at precisely the right points (sometimes mid-sentence) and it all came together nicely. From the initial "Bah Humbug!" to Tiny Tim's words at the end it was better than I had expected. Knowing how much time and effort Neil had put into this - not only the research, the illustrations and the writing of the script, but the frequent amendments, erasures and inclusions that certainly enhanced my background knowledge as Neil spoke of notable benefactors in the City of Hull in the Victorian era, I felt proud to have worked with him on this. 

It went down well, and many of the Companions said afterwards how they'd enjoyed it. E Comp Derek Broderick, familiar with all known TV productions of "A Christmas Carol" and the intention of watching some of them again this Christmas, was silently reciting some of the text from memory as Marley pointed the ponderous chain Scrooge had forged for himself. "No pressure," I said to myself, adjusting my nightcap carefully.

Back in regalia, sceptre neatly cradled, I listened in admiration as Scribe E outlined the outcome of his survey following last month's meeting.  The Agenda item: As doing nothing is not a viable longer term option and there is no appetite for surrendering the Chapter's Warrant, the Chapter pursues all available options for recruitment whilst probing joint action with other Chapters placed similarly and ascertains the process for amalgamation should that prove necessary" was dealt with without any issues. We were somewhat closer to a solution, it now being ascertained that some who had hitherto expressed an interest had withdrawn, but there were other Chapters still keen to look at potential solutions, and it was now apparant what was not viable, usefully limiting the way ahead. E Comp Ramshawe wisely pointed out that a time factor be included in the eventual proposition. There were comodious comments from interested parties representing Sister Chapters. Watch this space.

The Chapter was closed and the Companions went to the dining room: E Comp Morgan had organised place settings - with Christmas crackers, and after a brief delay (E. Comp Steve Waudby, on call, sorted out a helicopter computer crisis using his laptop and prevented a major medical emergency without even breaking into a sweat) we all enjoyed Luke's superb cooking. E Comp Sunley spoke of the availability of electronic communications from the Province and urged the Luddites amongst us to be brave and go online. E Comp David Terry on behalf of the visitors remarked he'd witnessed a Dickens of a performance and commended Neil on his research. There were other visitors from Humber, too, with E Comps Malcolm Forbes, Stanley Smith and Steve Hastings lending their support.

I was tired when I arrived home, and delayed this report until the next day. One more performance this year, I noticed - the Lodge of St Michael 7833, to which I'd been asked to bring The Twelve Days of Christmas. As this will be the final performance of Five Gold Rings I'm looking forward to it.

[Photograph of E Comps R F Bate, Garry Sunley, Neil Armstrong and Eddie Wildman by E Comp M H Watkinson.]

Eddie Wildman, J.

 

 

Wednesday 13th December 2023:

Denison Chapter Installation

by Eddie Wildman, Rep.

Rain spattered the windscreen as we travelled to Scarborough; it was a cold, dank, dismal day and the light started to fade as Excellent Companion Craig Maurier drove along Beverley Road. I don't like night driving at the best of times, and on this gloomy afternoon, the lights of the queing cars ahead reflecting on the wet roads, it looked as though the trip to the North Yorkshire seaside town was going to be tedious. Fortunately, Craig was behind the wheel. Mr Google, monitoring the traffic flow kept revising our estimated arrival time - I was glad we'd set off early.

We were lucky with parking, finding a space on St Nicholas Cliff. The Grand Hotel was dramatically illuminated against the cloudy sky, and we hurried into the Masonic Hall opposite, wincing at the drop in temperature between the car and the venue. Other Companions were arriving too - we had half an hour before the Installation meeting of Denison Chapter 1248 at six o' clock, plenty of time to sign in, meet and greet. Craig was my DC; I was representing the Most Excellent Grand Principal. Craig familiarised himself with the Chapter Room - the last time he'd visited it had been as one of the Daggards in the Ancient Ceremony.

It was cold outside, but we were warmly welcomed. There were over a couple of dozen present, from the Denison Chapter 1248, Old Globe Chapter 200 and others, some of them very prestigious Grand Chapter Officers, which made me nervous. The opening, was literally a closed door to me, but I was honoured with an escort of Provincial Officers and took my place next to the MEZ, E Comp John White before the minutes of the last meeting were signed. There was a succesful ballot for a new member.

Consecrated in 1870 when HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales was Grand Master, the Chapter was celebrating its 147th installation, under the reign of five monarchs. The MEZ, E Comp John White, was well in command. The Third Principal, E Comp Debenham was unwell and had been advised not to attend, but the MEZ succesfully installed E Comp Barry Morrow as First Principal, and Comp Richard Abdy was installed as Third Principal; in the meantime, his place was taken by the Treasurer, E Comp David Grisdale.

E Comp Morrow appointed and invested his Officers for the coming year, and members of the Old Globe Chapter gave the addresses to the Principals, the Officers and the Companions, a nice touch, demonstrating the strong link between the Chapters. The DC, E Comp Tom Tomlinson, a well respected stalwart of the Chapter (and superb ritualist) relinquished his collar to E Comp Jamie Wallis and was invested as Principal Sojourner, a demanding role with which he is undoubtedly already familiar. The Chapter is in the happy position of having more Companions than Excellent Companions, though not all were present at the Installation.

The festive board was Vegetable Soup followed by Meat Pie; two courses only, which at 8:30 in the evening is an ample sufficiency - as Craig remarked on the way home "We only eat dessert because it's put in front of us."

I was pleased to pass on the greetings of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and to congratulate the Chapter as it moves forward. E Comp Wallis gavelled the toasts on with great facility and we were away just after 9:30.

The clouds had rolled away and the roads were mostly empty as we headed homewards. It was a beautiful clear night, and I persuaded Craig to stop in a layby in the middle of nowhere on the North York Moors. We got out of the car and looked at the sky which was ablaze with stars; I have never before witnessed the heavens as clearly as this in this country. Betelgeuse and Rigel, opposite corners of the Archer's trapezium were seperated by Orion's belt and the 24 light-year wide cloud of the "sword handle" below the first star in Orion's belt (Alnitak) was the brightest I have ever seen it. Craig saw a shooting star (actually a meteor) in the Gemini constallation as we turned away - I missed it as I was still focussed on the south sky.

"It's clear why so many past civilizations have built stories round the stars," mused Craig, starting the car. He has delivered a number of lmasonic ectures on this subject. "When you see them like tonight it is awesome."

I agreed. Some of humanity's finest legends and myths derive from the progression of the night sky. As Freemasons, of course, we should not confuse the worship of Creation with the worship of the Creator, and I pondered on this as our journey continued. I was delighted to see an owl briefly illumated by the headlights as we sped past a copse of trees and turned my mind to the mysteries of Nature and of Science. I felt privileged to belong to a fraternity that values such things. Long may it continue.

I was tired when Craig dropped me off - he of course, would be journeying on over the Humber Bridge, and would get to bed considerably later than me. Thanks, Craig! I collected my tail-coat and case and unlocked my front door. It had been a delightful evening.

 [Photograph: E Comps David Grisdale (Stand in H), Barry Morrow, (MEZ) and Richard Adby (J)]

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 14th November 2023 (pm):

De la Pole Chapter Installation

by Eddie Wildman, Gatecrasher

Well, not exactly a gatecrasher - but it was a late decision. Normally the second Friday is reserved for the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586, but this event had been moved to accommodate the Craft Masters' Dinner in York; I had a free evening, and a rare opportunity to visit de la Pole Chapter 1605. I rang Jimmy Kerr, who is Scribe E (that's "Secretary" for the uninitiated - both words having a common Latin root meaning one keeps secrets, or one who writes) and asked him if I would be able to attend. "Och aye," he said, "I've had a couple o' cancellations; there willna be a problem providing ye wi' a meal." "Two Kilts," I replied (he's proud of his nickname) "I'll see you there." "Aye," he cut in, "And dinna forget we're kicking off at five o'clock. Dinna be late!" "Och aye, Celtic the noo," I answered, after making sure I'd put the receiver doon, sorry, down.

As soon as I saw him upstairs at Beverley Road Jimmy Kerr stopped me in my tracks. "Eddie," he said, "will ye do me a wee favour? Will ye be Janitor?"

(While the office generally entails remaining outside of the Lodge Room/Chapter, I knew there'd be little objection to me slipping inside where it was warmer once the meeting was under way. The Janitor basically mans the exit and entry during the ceremony. I agreed. Unusually, numbers were down, especially for an installation, the time of year when new officers are appointed, and I was happy to be able to help.)

Jimmy was doing two jobs, Scribe E and Installing Director of Ceremonies. I imagined him reeling from one post to the other while I admitted the Companions: "Password?" "Come on, Eddie, you know me - you know I'm a member." "No password, no entry." I brandished my sword mightily.

It surprised me how many had forgotten the word to gain entry, tee hee. But I was adamant.

The meeting started, and I saw little of it other than through the tiny wicket inset in the door, and at the appropriate time I proclaimed the Representative's DC, Excellent Companion Steve Waudby of the Provincial Grand Stewards' Chapter 9696 (it was my only speaking part so I made the most of it) who, when admitted, announced that the Representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Howard Newton requested admission. An escort was formed and processed smartly in before the DC and Rep entered, all to appropriately solemn organ music by E Comp Dave Nicoll.

I snuck in (like following a royal procession with a bucket and shovel) leaving the door slightly ajar in case there were any latecomers who needed running through.

The ceremony itself ran smoothly under the sceptre of the MEZ E Comp Yvon Martin; the professionalism of the senior members quickly rectifying any little slips in procedure. I had to admire Jimmy who had only been told that morning that he'd be coordinating the show. Companion Graham Thornalley was presented and asked if he would comply with the essential duties and responsibilities of Joshua. He formally agreed. E Comp John Appleby (who I think had had his hair cut specially for the occasion and must have reminded him of his years as an army cadet) removed his blue robe of office and promised to discharge his duties as Haggai until a successor was installed in his place; likewise Peter Moore proclaimed his willingness to take on the responsibilities of Zerubbabel elect, leaving his purple robe in his seat.

Exit time: those below the rank of Third Principal retired, except for Companion Thornalley, who was entrusted with the pasword before being allowed to leave. J2K asked those below the rank of Second Principal to leave (there was none) and E Comp Appleby was invested with the robe and sceptre of H; he being recycled was already in possession of the password and terms of obligation. Those below the rank of 1st Principal were asked to retire and E Comp Peter Moore was entrusted with the password to the Chair of Zerubbabel and after scriptural extracts were read, installed. 

The Chapter was declared a regularly constituted conclave of Third Principals and  Companion Thornalley reentered and stood for his scriptural lessons before being installed into the Third Chair, that of Joshua, son of Josadech, the High Priest.

The remaining Companions were admitted and J2K with his usual panache proclaimed the three Principals for the ensuing year before explaining the scarlet robe of Zerubbabel to that worthy Companion.Companion Russell Garbutt dilated on the purple robe of H with the accompanying jewel and sceptre; E Comp Appleby gave the meaning of the blue robe to Joshua.

Yvon Martin, now IPZ, entrusted his successor with the warrant and presented him with the Book of Constitutions and the Bylaws.

E Companion Moore appointed and invested his officers.

There was a presentation of the Tom Moxley IPZ jewel to E Comp Martin; this had been discovered in New Zealand in 2020 and returned to its mother Lodge; now it passes annually to those retiring from the Chair of Zerubbabel.

E Comp Martin thanked the Installing officers saying he was pleased and proud of them all before closing the Chapter in due form.

At the mention of a photograph, the Companions virtually clambered over each other to get in the picture. Don't ask me for all their names!

The festive board was magnificent; braised beef. Luke Pyrah, the chef assured me that the apple crumble had no calories whatsoever, but I think he was crossing his fingers as he told me. I was seated close to John Burton (St Michael) and Chris Lefevre (Andrew Marvell) both trenchers, and they began talking about doggie bags and dogs. Neil Armstrong (Kingston) next to me joined in and I discovered a whole new canine world of bites, whines and growls was out there - something I'd never experienced. "I had an assortment of dogs until I married," said one, "but she's barking mad." They discussed the problems of dog hair: "Moulting?" said Chris "- I just give her a once-over with the hoover." I felt quite left out as they discussed the peculiarities of shaggy rotweillers from the rescue shelter, littering and how owners should be trained. Fortunately the DC called us to order for the toasts.

E Comp Howard Newton spoke persuasively about reciprocal meetings and the Scarborough Rainbow Centre, to which the raffle proceeds were donated. E Comp Paul Greenwood toasted the Three Principals and their officers, enlarging on Peter Moore's being "a great asset" with his organisational skills; in response the MEZ hoped he could "seriously improve the harmony of this excellent Chapter." Yvon Martin, in response to Malcolm Brocklesby's toast to the IPZ gave a sincere thank you for his welcome into the Chapter. Neil Armstrong's response to the toast to the visitors was typically him; short and fluent.

It had been an excellent evening after an excellent day, and John Burton kindly gave me a lift home - thanks, everybody!

Eddie Wildman, gatecrasher

 

 

Friday 24th November 2023 (am):

Wyke Millennium Chapter Exaltation

 by Eddie Wildman

The Wyke Millennium Chapter 9696 is a daylight Chapter - that is to say, it meets in the morning and concludes with lunch, and I attended at Craig Maurier's request. "Most unusually, we're exalting a Candidate," he told me, "He's a member of Lord Bolton Lodge." Actually, he's the WM (see 11th November on the blog page.)

I was of course happy to attend  and to play the organ, and witnessed a fine exaltation ceremony, though it was quite different in detail from any other I've seen. Robert Gwatkin, now a Companion of the Supreme Degree was privileged to be under the direction of E Comp Bazza Longstaff, Principal Sojourner, whose flair for the dramatic brought the ceremony to life: the arrival of the  Sojourners in MM aprons, the explanation of the drawing of lots, the use of the lifeline and the subsequent discovery transformed the familiar account into a fresh story; other Companions delivered their ritual with similar zeal. E Comps Alex Hoggard, Graham Ives and Craig Maurier took the Chairs of J, H and MEZ respectively.

This small but perfectly formed Chapter closed after greetings: I was pleased to be able as an Officer of Supreme Grand Chapter to extend hearty good wishes to E Comps Maurier, Ives and Hoggard and the rest of the Companions and to compliment them for the excellence of the work done. Greetings were also given by E Comp John Burton from the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and E Comp Mike Price from the Kingston Chapter 1010; their accounts may be found on their websites for this date.

Luke Pyrah's buffet lunch was exquisite.

[Photo L to R: E Comp Graham Ives, H; E Comp Craig Maurier. MEZ; Comp Rob Gwatkin; E Comp Alex Hoggard, J.]

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

 

Thursday 23rd November 2023:

Craig and Eddie at Burlington Royal Arch Chapter

I travelled with E Comp Craig Maurier to Bridlington for the Burlington Royal Arch Chapter 3975 Installation and we enjoyed a friendly meeting; there were familiar faces present amongst the couple of dozen present, but most of the Companions were from the East Coast of YN&ER.

I was representing the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent; Craig was my DC, and we were welcolmed into the Masonic Hall at St John's Avenue Bridlington. I was particularly pleased to see the Chapter Treasurer, E Comp David Baker there, as his wife was unwell. He'd nonetheless gone to ensure all was in place beforehand, and left to look after his wife as the Chapter meeting began - such commitment is an example to us all. LIkewise the Secretary, who had supplied me with the minutes of the last year of meetings: he was still recovering from an operation, but took pains to check all was well with Craig and me - thank you, too, W Bro Emmerson!

Many of the members are around the three score years and ten mark (with a few exeptions) but this didn't impact on the quality of the ritual. There was a comfortable, relaxed quality to the procedure. The opening was led by E Comp Anthony Randle who relinquished the MEZ's Chair to E Comp Peter Shawcross; E Comp David Knowles moved up from J to H (having taken the latter at short notice when E Comp Jeffrey Harden became seriously ill) and E Comp  Harden, now again in rude health, was placed in the Chair of Joshua.

Anthony Randle's gesture of triumphant relief having succesfully installed his successor will doubtless be remembered by all the Companions for many years to come.

There is no need to dilate on each individual bit of the ritual; it was a most enjoyable meeting, matched by a convivial Festive Board. After extending the best wishes of the MEGS in response to the fifth toast and speaking briefly about his mantra about Change being the Order of the Day, it was a pleasure to compliment the Chapter on its 382nd regular convocation since its consecration in 1945, and to wish all the Companions and visitors well for the future.

[Photo: David Knowles (H), Eddie Wildman (Rep), Peter Shawcross (Z) and William Emmerson (J) by Chris Randle.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Tuesday 7th November 2023:

Report on the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586

by Terry Fisher

MEZ Burton has written a very comprehensive report of the proceedings of Tuesday 7th November on the St Michael website, which I would have difficulty improving. The ceremony was conducted flawlessly, I think because as a member of Humber Chapter, the Ridings Tablers' version is somewhat different to the one I am used to.

That said, apart from making new friends and re-establishing old acquaintances, what enjoyment would there be in vising a Lodge or Chapter and witnessing the same ritual every time? Ridings Chapter is unique, and well worth a visit (they tell me it is different every time!) I don’t believe that. Everyone put their very best into making Mike's Exaltation special. I felt very privileged to have been invited, and even more when, at the Festive Board the Principal Sojourner named me to reply on behalf of the visitors. I hope I did them well. A great evening, one I will look back on with nostalgia.

E Comp Terry Fisher PPGReg

 

Thursday 3rd November 2023:

Report on the meeting of Humber Chapter 57 

by Malcolm Forbes

On a squally night of wind and rain eleven Companions attended the Chapter meeting. Due to the inclement weather and heavy traffic in the City Centre two Companions arrived after the meeting was duly opened.

Two of the three Principals were unable to attend the meeting, so Excellent Companion David Terry stood in as Haggai and Excellent Companion Terry Fisher stood in as Joshua to accompany MEZ Excellent Companion Malcolm Forbes in opening the Chapter. No visitors were in attendance.

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 7th September were confirmed and presented by Scribe Ezra Excellent Companion Ian Syddall for the MEZ to sign.

As usual, Chapter Almoner E Comp David Terry presented a comprehensive Almoner's report. E Comp Charles Alexander, the Installed J, was unable to attend due to acute fibromyalgia. Installed Scribe Nehemiah, E Comp Malvin Sharpless, was unable to attend as he is awaiting a further surgical procedure. E Comp Des Hinshelwood stood in for him as Scribe N. Installed Second Assistant Sojourner, E Comp Trevor Whitfield, was unwell. E Comp Bob Wallace stood in for him. Updates were given on the health of E Comp Mike Potts and Comp Ken Graham.

The Charity Steward's report was delivered in person by E Comp Ian Syddall. He reported back on the annual Provincial Charities Information Day held at Escrick on 26th October which the MEZ had also attended. It was agreed that the Chapter should purchase £50 worth of Provincial lottery tickets.

Chapter Treasurer E Comp Terry Fisher delivered the Treasurer's report. He reported on the Chapter's investment portfolio which along with Humber Lodge's investment portfolio is currently unable to receive any return on capital or dividends due to investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority into alleged misconduct by a financial intermediary. E Comp Fisher is confident that the funds are safe and that dividend payments will be met following the investigation.
A discussion took place subsequently on Chapter planning for the future. In the light of dwindling attendance at Chapter meetings a number of scenarios were explored to promote Chapter masonry and Humber Chapter in particular. As part of a joint approach with other Chapters currently meeting at Dagger Lane Humber Chapter Companions would be encouraged to attend other Chapter meetings in the hope that Companions from other Chapters would similarly attend Humber Chapter meetings. The possibility of inviting speakers to Chapter meetings and the possibility of joint social events with other Chapters were also discussed. The Chapter does need to be more proactive in recruiting Master Masons for exaltation from Humber Lodge and elsewhere. The Chapter is grateful to E Comp Charles Alexander for setting up a Chapter Facebook page.

Following the greetings the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form.

The Festive Board was attended by ten diners. The atmosphere was very relaxed. Following two toasts, the MEZ thanked everyone for attending and reminded Companions that the next Chapter meeting is due to be held on 4th January 2024. The parting toast was delivered by the MEZ.

Companions had enjoyed a fine evening. Even the rain had relented on exit from the Masonic Hall.

Malcolm Forbes MEZ.

 

 

Friday 27th October 2023: 

 Chapter Tracing Boards

report by Eddie Wildman

I hadn't told anyone I was going to visit the Wyke Millennium Chapter 9696 as I wasn't sure my schedule would permit it, but I turned up at at Beverley Road Masonic Hall at half-past ten ay em to be greeted by E Comp Trevor Whitfield. The MEZ, E Comp Craig Maurier asked if I'd play the organ seeing as I was there. It was good to see  them both.

Playing didn't pose a problem, of course, but Craig insisted I stayed for lunch - not that I needed much persuading as Luke the Chef was preparing a buffet. "Zero calories," I told myself. E Comp John Burton's eyes lit up when he learned it was to be a buffet. "I do enjoy coming here," he told me.

After the dignified Chapter opening there was a knock at the door from the Rep's DC, E Comp Steven Waudby, ProvGStwd, who informed us that E Comp Nigel Weightman, PAGSoj, Past Second Provincial Grand Principal requested admission; an escort was formed and E Comp Weightman entered and greeted the Three Principals, E Comps Maurier, Ives and Hoggard before taking his seat.

The illustrated lecture "An Introduction to Chapter Tracing Boards" prepared by the Principal Sojourner, E Comp Bazza Longstaff, was an interesting reflection on the development of the Boards, the supervision and involvement of Supreme Grand Chapter in the official explanations thereof, the removal of overtly Christian elements in the ritual and a stunning collection of images of unique Tracing Boards. The narrative was shared between several Companions (with varying degrees of audibility) which, as the Rep remarked in response to the fifth toast, later, was a jolly good idea.

Three ballots were taken collectively and succesfully, and after propositions, correspondance and apologies, the Chapter was closed.

The buffet was delicious and the chocolate cake was wicked. John Burton went back for second helpings.

Excellent Companion Nigel Weightman, unaware that some wicked doodler was drawing a caricature of him on the tablecloth, complimented the Chapter on its good work and commended those who had taken part in the presentation. A keen historian, he spoke of the value of exploring the background to the Chapter stories, remarking that the Book of Ezra lent an interesting insight into the some of the matters touched upon during the presentation. It had been an enlightening lunchtime - thank you, Wyke Millennium Chapter!

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Wednesday 25th October 2023:

Double Exaltation at St Andrew 4683

Report by Eddie Wildman

Excellent Companion Trevor Whitfield of Humber Chapter 57 greeted me at the Beverley Road Masonic Hall. "I've never seen a double exaltation ceremony before," he told me, "so I decided to come along." There were a number of visitors; Kingston Chapter's three Principals were there along with Malcolm Watkinson and Mike Price; the Hull Old Grammarians' Chapter 5129 also supplied five, and I gave greetings, of course from the Chapter of St Michael 7833, so the meeting was well attended. I felt a smidgeon of sympathy for the MEZ, E Comp Paul Bull: he was in Stuttgart and unable to be with us. Having taken the Chair at the start of the covid outbreak and still continuing his term of Office he has been without ceremonies for some considerable time; now there were two Candidates at once while he couldn't be present.

E Comp Michael Graham PGStdB kindly stood in for the Most Excellent Zerubbabel and his authoritative tones immediately set a high standard. The minutes of the May meeting were swiftly approved and a ballot for Brothers Craig Ashley David Eastburn and James Philip Beadle proved successful. Having been nervously waiting in the wings, they were entrusted with the password for entry to the Chapter by the M E Joshua, E Comp Jason Garland, and after the setting of the scene by Scribe E, E Comp Ian Sugarman PAGDC, they came in as Sojourners, conducted by the Principal Sojourner E Comp Brian Daragon PPGSwdB. They were conducted to the figurative site of their enacted discovery and there obligated by the MEZ. He congratulated them on becoming Companions, and H, E Comp Roy Newton and J, E Comp Garland exhorted them to consider the significance of their revelation before they retired with the PS.

Companion Robert Thirsk set the scene for the back-story about to be enacted after which the Sojourners were readmitted to assist in the preparation of the building of the new Temple. E Comp Daragon gave a dramatic account of the Sojourners' discovery, ably assisted by Companions Eastburn and Beadle, and evidence thereof was dramatically presented to the Three Most Excellent Grands. 

E Comp Newton PPGSoj explained the pedestal with commendable fluency, highlighting the connection between the Royal Arch Chapter and the Craft. E Comp Sugarman elegantly communicated the secrets, the "overworked Haggai" delivered the Charge. E Comp Graham presented them with the jewels of the Order and the Chapter bylaws.

Subsequent Chapter business was dealt with expeditiously, greetings (with sincere congratulations on the excellent ceremony) were extended and the Chapter was duly closed.

Luke's fare for the Festive Board was superb as ever despite the late hour, and the MEZ rattled through the toasts. Brian Daragon proposed the toast to Craig Eastburn, James Billaney proposed the toast to Philip Beadle. The toastees responded, saying how interesting and inspiring it was, "a journey through time." E Comp Whitfield, who had thoroughly enjoyed his soup, salmon and lemon meringue, patted his tummy contentedly. "An excellent ceremony," he said, "and an excellent meal."

His remark was expanded upon by E Comp Nigel Collier of the HOGs' Chapter 5129, who in responding to the visitors toast said "It's never boring here - we were made to feel welcome, the ritual was fabulous and I loved the drama." The visitors were very lucky in winning the raffle prizes.

Let me take the opportunity to thank the Chapter of St Andrew for the invitation to be there: a most enjoyable evening!

[Photo: Craig Eastburn, Brian Daragon and Philip Beadle; three Sojourners.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Wednesday 11th October 2023:

 Minerva Chapter Installation

 

While Installations frequently start at an earlier hour than normal, Minerva Chapter 250 began at 6:30 as usual with the entry of the three Principals: MEZ, E Comp Tadeusz Krawczyk; H, E Comp Mark Hartley; and J, E Comp Ben Kelly. The triumvirate opened the Chapter in due form, the organist softly playing Cwm Rhonnda as the triple triangle was formed. An alarm announced that the Provincial DC, E Comp Jim Kerr requested admission; he in turn announced the presence of E Comp Trevor Collinson, Assistant to the Three Grand Principals with a team of Active Provincial Officers. (E Comp Collinson later explained that his accompaniment of a Provincial Team was to underline the close connection with the status of the APGMs in the Craft.) This impressive array of Provincial rank having taken their places (including E Comp David Terry), the MEZ welcomed everybody. The minutes were signed and the Installation proceeded.

Under the direction of E Comp Richard Theaker ProvGSwdB as Installing DC and E Comp Danny Betts as Installing Chaplain, Companion Kevin Marshall was presented and charged to accept the precepts of the Order dictated by E Comp Kelly, to all of which he agreed. After a prayer for his welfare he took a solemn obligation regarding the duties of the Third Chair of the Order. A similar process was practised for Ben Kelly and Mark Hartley.

Companions below the rank of First Grand Principal retired and E Comp Hartley was entrusted with the OT readings, invested and installed as MEZ, E Comp Kelly was similarly installed as H and Comp Marshall as J. The Companions were admitted and the three Principals were proclaimed. The Warrant was presented with the rules and regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter and various bylaws, after which the Officers were invested. Companion Kurt Crawford gave an excellent rendition of the Scarlet robe. The address to the Companions was given by E Comp Ogram PPGSwdB. I gave greetings as an Officer of Supreme Grand Chapter, greetings were given from the fine array of Provincial Officers and visitors including C294, C1010 and C7833 before the Chapter was closed in due form. The Principal Sojourner, Companion Antonio Ramirez was word perfect. I managed to take a photograph before everyone hastened to the dining room below.

Tomato and Basil soup, Braised Steak and Eton mess - a substantial meal, but the Companions did it justice. The fifth toast was preceded by E Comp Hartley's grief account of E Comp Collinson's naval and police career and his sailing on the west coast of Scotland and appreciating the single malt whiskies available around there. E Comp Collinson in response gave greetings from the MEGS, congratulated E Comps Cox and Theaker for their Provincial honours awarded at the recent Chapter convocation, and congratulated the Chapter on the average age of its members, mentioning new initiatives being put into place to address the decline of membership over the Province. The parting toast was given by Danny Betts.

Eddie Wildman.

 

Tuesday 3rd October 2023:

Technical Chapter 5666

by Steve Hastings

 

I received an email from Steve Berry the Scribe E of Technical Chapter on Sunday night asking me, at short notice, if I could deliver the Communication (Secrets) on Tuesday Night, apparently, I’d been “volunteered” by Jimmie 2kilts who had seen me deliver them at the RTLC on on Saturday!

And as Steve remarked “it’s you or we’ll have to read them to the Candidate” well, how could I say no to such an offer?

The circumstances around the request are very unfortunate as E Comp William Turner-Bone who was to deliver the Communication had to submit his apologies, due to the sad lost of his mother.

The Chapter was opened in due form and proceeded through the order of business
as per the summons. Excellent Companion Jon Paul Robinson, Excellent Companion Ian Parkinson and Companion Robert John Atkinson were nominated and accepted as Zerubbabel, Haggai and Joshua elect for the coming year, Companion Alan Brian Jopling was nominated and elected as Treasurer.

The main business of the evening was to Ballot for, and if successful, exalt Bro Steven Walker. Following a positive ballot Bro Steven Walker was presented before the Chapter to answer the necessary question, which he did without any hesitation. He then retired form the Chapter, Part One of the "setting the scene" was read to the Companions while Bro Walker was being prepared for the continuation of the ceremony.

On his return  he was then obligated by the Zerubbabel Malcolm Brocklesby.

He retired again and Part Two of the "setting the scene" was read to the Companions.

He returned accompanied by the Principal Sojourner and the First Assistant Sojourner who both delivered the story of their request to work and the discovery that they made.

The ceremony then continued with the explanations.  The Working Tools were explained with impeccably by Companion Dave Green, the Historic Lecture was delivered with understanding and great thought by Companion Adam Tunnicliffe. The Charge was delivered by Excellent Companion Keith Challis in a manner that only someone with his years and service in Masonry could deliver.

For my small part - I delivered the communication using the ritual that we use at Ridings Tablers Chapter, albeit a different version to the ritual that Technical 5666 use (which I have since been advised is Humber); hopefully this might prompt Companion Steve Walker to visit RTL 9586 and Humber 57 Chapters to observe how the rest of our exaltation ceremony differs.*

The whole evening was further enhanced by the outstanding musical accompaniment of Excellent Companion Eddie Wildman.

I would just like to say that it was a true privilege to be part of such an excellent ceremony which anyone witnessing it would, I’m sure, agree.

The Principal Sojourner Companion Mark Cusack delivered his part brilliantly and even remembered the last two lines at the end (anyone who has ever been in the role of Principal Sojourner for an exaltation ceremony will know what I mean!)

Downstairs after the meeting we all enjoyed the festive board, which was of the standard that we’ve all come to welcome and expect at Beverley Road, excellent food and good conversation.

[Photo of proposer Mark Cusack and newly made Companion Steve Walker by ERW.]

* Steve is too modest. The communication is a lengthy and significant piece of ritual and it was delivered flawlessly - I was well impressed -Ed.

Steve Hastings

 

Thursday 7th September 2023:

Humber Chapter

Our regular Chapter meeting was attended by eleven Companions of Humber Chapter 57 and two visitors namely Excellent Companion Eddie Wildman, a Companion of Kingston Chapter 1010 and current J, and Excellent Companion John Burton, a Companion of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and current Z.

Excellent Companion Terry Fisher stood in as Joshua.

The visitors were invited in to attend the opening of the Chapter.

Due to the unavailability of the speaker who was to give a talk to the meeting, the main business of the meeting was to discuss the way forward for the Chapter. An open discussion took place on the merits or otherwise of entering into discussions with Chapters based at Beverley Road Masonic Hall with a view to possible links or mergers. At this stage no votes or binding decisions were taken as it was felt that all Humber Chapter Companions needed to participate in the discussions and their consent given to any proposals which may be put forward.

Scribe Ezra, Excellent Companion Ian Syddall agreed to make informal contact with specific Chapters at Beverley Road with a view to testing the water as to whether any one or more Chapters there might be interested in having joint discussions with Humber Chapter representatives to resolve any common problems relating to sustainability which the Chapters as a whole may currently be facing.

The discussion was wide ranging, open and frank as various scenarios were explored.

Following on from the discussion Excellent Companion Richard Smedley reminded Companions that if possible they should attend the Chapter Convocation at York racecourse on 16th September where, inter alia, Excellent Companion David Terry, the Humber Chapter Almoner, will receive Honours.

A reminder was also given that a Chapter Lodge of Instruction will take place on 5th October.

Following the greetings, the Chapter was closed in due and antient form.

The Companions enjoyed a two course meal at the Festive Board. As always the atmosphere and company were very convivial. Two toasts were submitted. The parting toast was delivered by Z.

Malcolm Forbes - Z

 

Thursday 20th July 2023:

Humber Installed Principals Chapter of Royal Arch Masons 2494

"For an evening in the middle of summer," Charles said as he drove us through a veritable waterfall on the way to Driffield, "I've never seen anything like it." It was as though heaven had turned the taps on full and left them running. 

We were visiting the Humber Installed Principals Chapter 2494 which meets at Lockwood Street and were in plenty of time for the seven o' clock start. Charles was attending as a Principal of the Humber Chapter 57; I was going as a Principal of Kingston Chapter 1010, and we'd be joined by another Kingston Principal, E Comp Richard Bate. I think it was the first time for us all to be at this Chapter here, but we decided to show the flag, as it were.

It was a particular pleasure to see Richard Smedley (Humber 57) and Hiten Thacker (Technical 5666) - both Supreme Grand Chapter Officers ballotted for and accepted as members of this prestigious assembly, along with E Comp Tony Moriarty (Beacon 4362) though the latter was not in attendance. Hiten kindly lent me his phone so I could take a snapshot of him and Richard afterwards - thanks, Hiten, and congratulations both! It was also good to see E Comp Peter Wright (Chapter of St Michael 7833) as DC and it was on his behalf as well as my own I gave greetings at the end of the meeting.

It was a business meeting as the next gathering will be the Installation. The MEZ, E Comp Howard Newton conducted the proceedings with rapid equanimity, investing those not present at the last meeting, sorting the election of the Three Principals for next year, presiding over the elections of other officers before calling for the ballot.

The main thrust of the meeting, however, was E Comp David Bryan's  presentation on "The Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate." He began by placing it in historical perspective: the "Gloria" was created shortly after the United Grand Chapter was formed in 1817, printed, as opposed to the hand-drawn certificates in previous years, and provided evidence that the Ancients and Moderns were now conjoined and that the Royal Arch was the completion of pure and antient freemasonry.

Features of the certificate were explained which without the historical perspective might have appeared anomalous; the initials, the simple pedestal, the seal, the chequered pavement, the blazing star, the delta, Solomon's seal, the embossed seal.

The function of the certificate was explained and the items which serve to identify it as a Masonic passport and to prevent it being counterfeited, a practice more prevalent in the Victorian era than nowadays. E Comp Bryan concluded his brief but pithy dissertation to the spontaneous applause of the Chapter.

The two-course meal was tasty and the conversation at E Comp Gillyon's end of the table convivial; I am much wiser than I was before about cockroach infestations in countries abroad.

The sky was clear though the roads were wet on the return journey, until Charles dropped me off at home and rain began to spatter the windscreen. "Oh no, it's starting again," yelped Charles. "I'm getting out of here!"

Eddie Wildman, "J" (1010), Organist (7833).

 

 

Tuesday 4th July 2023:

This evening was probably the best Chapter Ceremony I have ever seen. I don't mean it was free from mistakes - there was an occasional prompt needed, but what was strikingly evident was that all those taking part thoroughly understood their roles, what they were saying, and how they said it.

Some Chapter meetings, I am sad to confess, are under-rehearsed, scripts are read rather than memorised (and too often not read beforehand - it is embarrassing to hear grown men struggling with some of the words, especially nowadays when they can be typed into a laptop which will actually pronounce them on request) and with no conception of what the ceremony means. It isn't easy, I admit, for the story swaps from one scene to another like a TV Soap in places, including flashbacks, but with the new "Setting the Scene" interpolations explaining to the Companions exactly what to expect, it is much simpler than some people make out.

Tonight, at the Technical Chapter 5666 there was no such embarrassment. The Most Excellent Zerubbabel, E Comp Malcolm Brocklesby led his team with confidence, setting a fine example. I was delighted to be there not only as a visitor but as Organist (Comp Bill Turner-Bone is still recovering from a hand operation) - but principally because the Candidate was well known to me (and many others) as a fine man and Mason and a thoroughly good egg; I wanted to see him Exalted into what is regarded as the completion of the first three degrees. Unfortunately the sensitive nature of his work renders it unwise to name him, so I'll refer to him henceforth as 006. Similarly his friends (and now Companions) from another Lodge cannot share photographs of him using Whatsapp, etc., unless he is pixilated out, which rather defeats the object.

Nine visitors attended, from four sister Chapters, altogether there were thirty-two present, a good turn-out in the current climate of declining numbers. E Comp Brocklesby welcomed everyone and opened the Chapter; Brother 006 presented himself for examination, answered the questions without hesitation and retired for preparation. E Comp Scribe Ezra (Steve Berry) "set the scene" explaining King Cyrus' decision to free the captives (who after seventy years were proving a drain on resources in Babylon) and let them return to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was still in ruins, and Bro 006 arrived at the site for a new temple where he and his workmates made a discovery.

Had this been presented on a wide screen in glorious technicolour, at this point, sweeping strings punctuated by horn chords would have climbed in a vast crescenfo to a fanfare, but instead, dramatically, the story pauses here. 

The Candidate was still in the dark until he was obligated by the MEZ when things began to become clearer. He retired again and returned for a flahback explanation, now as a sojourner seeking work.

 "Guide me O thou great Jehovah" (Cwm Rhondda), "Jerusalem", "Jerusalem my happy home", etc., and snatches from "The Holy City" formed most of the background music I played, not that many will have been aware of what I was doing, as it was mainly pianissimo passages during perambulations.

So what did the Sojourners discover? How did they react to having their identity challenged? What was their reward? I'm not going to tell you. But it was all made clear to Comp 006, and to the watching Companions who gave the proceedings their full attention.

Explanations followed - Comp Bill Turner-Bone explained the signs and the sharing of the word in his usual immaculate manner, Comp David Green pointed out the working tools beautifully and Comp Adam Tunnicliffe excelled himself in the Mystical Lecture. Excellent Companion Keith Challis delivered the charge with the solemnity of Moses addressing the Tribe Leaders. To watchers and participants, the whole experience was quietly emotional and deeply moving.

Just before the Chapter closed there was a proposition for another new member - congratulations, Technical Chapter! Excellence begets excellence and with the efforts being made (and so obviously paying off) there is no doubt that C5666 is climbing towards the top of the league. Last month saw an Exaltation in this Chapter too. (See 6th June, Minerva blog.) The Ridings Tablers' crew gathered for a photo but Companion 006 modestly declined. They were remarkably well behaved.

I wasn't sat with the RTL 9586 lads or with E Comp John Burton of the Chapter of St Michael 7833, but with Comp Bill Turner-Bone on my right, E Comp Phil Daniels and Comp David Turner opposite, I was in musical company, but we didn't talk about music - Comp Mark Cusack, Principal Sojourner, kept us all well amused. It was a convivial evening, rounded off with Philip and David singing "Happy to meet again."

When I turned on my phone later there were lots of congratulatory emails to Companion 006 from the RTL 9586 - marvellously supportive! Well done everybody.

[Photograph of Eddie and the RTL Chapter visitors by Comp 006.]

Eddie Wildman, temporary Organist.

 

 

Tuesday 6th June 2023:

To see Eddie Wildman's report on the Exaltation at the Technical Chapter 5666 see the Minerva blog page for this date.

 

Thursday 1st June 2023:

While there was to be no ceremony at the Humber Chapter 57 meeting, I wanted to be there for several reasons. Firstly, many of the members of Humber Chapter are Brethren in the Humber Craft, and it is always a pleasure to see them. Secondly, I wanted to see in particular on this occasion Excellent Companion Richard Smedley, who was not only installed as Haggai, but was also recognised as the Province's New Second Grand Principal. The Companions stood and applauded Richard on his appointment.

The third reason was that Companion Craig Morrison, having recently become a member, was attending his first meeting as First Assistant Sojourner. Craig brings a dignity and enthusiasm into Freemasonry, both in the Craft and Chapter, and when he offered me a lift to Dagger Lane on this occasion I was delighted to accept. An ex-military man, he achieves a shine on his shoes that no-one can match.

It was delightful to see E Comp Malvin Sharpless in attendence after his recent heart surgery. Many of us were surprised to discover that Malvin actually had a heart, but it was good to see him back and on top form as Scribe Nehemiah and also Lecture Master, prompting where necessary: nothing escaped his eagle eye (except, perhaps, the missing sceptres.) E Comp Bob Wallace was there too, the customary smile on his face.

Congratulations, too to those others invested with Offices this evening, E Comps Trevor Whitfield PGSN as Second Assistant Sojourner, and Sergei Byelov PPGAsstSoj as Assistant Scribe E, though on this occasion Sergei remained by the door in the absence of E Comp Michael Potts.

The MEZ, E Comp Malcolm Forbes (who arrived only minutes before the Chapter was to open on account of the unexpected impossibility of parking nearby) was understandably a little flustered at the outset, particularly as the sceptres had somehow been left behind in the setting up of the Chapter, but rallied magnificently and welcolmed the three visitors: E Comps Richard East (PZ Thesaurus Chapter 3891), John Burton (MEZ St Michael 7833) and me (J Kingston 1010) - I was playing the organ and suspect Malcolm didn't realise I was a visitor as I generally play for Humber Craft. 

Excellent Companion David Terry reported as the Chapter Almoner that Companion Ken Graham, whom he visited in the infirmary, is now esconced in Connought Court, where he is much happier. The Principal Sojourner,  E Comp Stephen Hastings informed the Chapter that E Comp Barrie Jeffery's hip operation had been postponed and further tests were now taking place. The Almoner remarked on the success of the Ladies' Lunch on the 21st May (see the Blog Page) mentioning the thank-you cards received and regretting that there had not been more support from the Brethren and Companions.

The Treasurer, E Comp Terry Fisher, gave a breakdown of the Humber shares in the current economic climate, and the Scribe E, E Comp Ian Syddall proposed that funds be supplied for the number of missing jewels in the Chapter that need replacing. Correspondence having been distributed by email, the Scribe E suggested that apologies were taken as read.

Greetings were extended from Supreme Grand Chapter (Richard Smedley and me), from Provincial Grand Chapter (most of the Companions) and from the visitors, mentioned above. The  Most Excellent Zerubbabel thanked everyone for coming and reminded the Humber Companions that the next meeting will be on Thursday 7th September. Several Companions hoped that the MEZ will have had a haircut before then, but I suspect this was simply jealousy. 

It was a lively Festive Board; Excellent Companion Winston Pannett PPGSN had organised an enjoyable meal (with cheesecake) and as visitors we had much to discuss, yet with the reduced toasts we finished early. I only just managed to catch the three Principals, (L to R) E Comp Richard Smedley (H), E Comp Malcolm Forbes with his injured hand still in plaster (MEZ) and E Comp Charles Alexander (J) for a photograph before everybody retired.

A pleasant evening, and a good meal in splendid company.

E Comp Eddie Wildman PGADC, gatecrasher.

 

Wednesday 24th May 2023:

The Chapter of St Andrew 4683 was sparsely attended, several members being away on holiday, but the MEZ, E Comp Paul Bull efficiently opened a smart Chapter, assisted by E Comps Roy Newton and Jason Garland at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road. E Comp Ian Sugarman PAGDC as both Scribe E and acting DC had set up the Chapter in minimalist style, and the ceremony of Opening and Closing was managed briefly but devoutly, and the Companions retired downstairs for the Lecture, an informal presentation of Eddie Wildman's "Confession of a Masonic Organist" in the dining hall before the meal was served.

"That brought back many memories," said E Comp Danny Betts afterwards, and indeed, Eddie Wildman had seen the nodding heads and smiles that had accompanied the music "Workers' Playtime" and "The Archers". The brief account of a Masonic Organist's duties and the vast variety of music used in Lodges both in the UK and abroad seemed to meet with the Companions' approval - and the bottle of whisky was an unexpected but very welcome reward.

Fish and chips followed, and a minimum of toasts, so I found myself driving home in daylight having enjoyed a stress-free evening. Thanks, St Andrew!

[Photograph of Eddie with his recorder by Nigel Collier.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 18th May 2023:

My first visit as an Officer in Supreme Grand Chapter went unrecognised in the Chapter of St Michael 7833 until the Most Excellent Haggai pointed it out - thanks, Stephen! Thanks also to Steve Longthorp who had put me on the summons with PAGDC after my name. The meeting was sparsely attended - the visitor, E Comp Neil Armstrong, MEZ of the Kingston Chapter 1010 was my guest, and the subject matter was a series of mini lectures regarding the origins of the Chapter (possibly French), the application of the Platonic Solids to Chapter Masonry as symbolically representing the Universe, and an explanation of features on the Pedestal. I was able to reflect on changes made over the years in Chapter Masonry, and remark that the thoughts offered on this occasion demanded further questions. Neil and I will discuss this as a possibility for material for the Kingston Chapter in the future.

The meal was very satisfying: Roy Uffindall, the chef treated us with mackerel paté. chicken and ham pie (bless him, he made mine without ham as I have a pork allergy) and cheesecake. I asked him how to make the mackerel paté. "Easy," he said. "Smoked mackerel, grated horseradish, Dijon mustard and crème fraîche with freshly ground black pepper, chopped unsalted butter and a little lemon juice. Blend the fish, add the rest of the mix, transfer to ramekins and plate up with side salad - chopped spring onions go nicely."

Very tasty. Thanks, Roy!

There being only thirteen diners, the tables were pushed together into a square and the discussion was illuminating, not only about Chapter matters but about Freemasonry in general. Our latest member, remarked that changing circumstances in working requirements and social dynamics excacerbated by the covid pandemic necessitate a reassessment of the age of the members in Freemasonry; young people now have little opportunity to consider societies such as ours until they are approaching forty - perhaps we were looking at this from the wrong direction. I was well impressed.

The possible application of a chap who prefers to wear skirts rather than trousers was considered with mixed feelings. "I understand we are supposed to embrace diversity," one Companion said, "but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that." Another Companion warned that the situation might be a deliberate set-up to put us to the test and attack us for sexism or some other modern offence. "Don't worry," said the potential interviewer, "I was taught to be cautious."

MEZ John Burton's report on the meeting is on the L7833 website.

[Photograph of Roy Uffindall by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, J of Kingston Chapter 1010

 

Tuesday 2nd May 2023:

Eddie Wildman visited Technical Chapter; for an account by him and John Burton of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 please check the Saint Michael website for this date on https://www.lodge7833.org.uk/?Chapter_Blog .

 

Friday 28th April 2023:

Excellent Companion Craig Maurier is well known to the Humber Brethren and Companions. Amongst his many activities, he is (again) the MEZ of the Wyke Millennium Chapter. Here is a report from E Comp John Burton of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 who was at the Installation ceremony.

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

The 8th visit of my year as Z was to The Wyke Millenium Chapter 9696. It was the second time I had visited; I arrived with plenty of time to spare. The top end of Beverley Road was very congested for a Friday morning: this Chapter is a daylight one.

I am beginning to see the attraction of belonging to a daylight Chapter, especially if you are retired and don't like going out at night.

This was the installation meeting and as C9696 works Domatic Ritual (as we do in the Chapter of St Michael) I found it easier to follow than some Chapters I have visited. The Companions assembled and the opening was at 11 o' clock. The three Principals were Z, E Companion Antony Craig Maurier; H, E Companion Malcolm John Forbes; and J, E Companion Stephen Graham Ives. The Representative of the  Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was E Comp William E Glanville who entered, exchanged words with the Z and took his seat.

The installation ceremony then proceeded like clockwork. The new Principals were installed: E Comp Antony Craig Maurier reinstalled as MEZ; the new H was E Comp Stephen Graham Ives, and the new J was E Comp Alexander Hoggard. The Z then invested and installed his new officers, the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form and we all retired downstairs to the festive board.

What a sight greeted us when we entered the dining room: the chef had prepared a buffet which he told me he had been working on since 7 o' clock in the morning. It looked like something you would see in one of those very posh and expensive London hotels, it was almost a shame to go and spoil it by eating it. Everybody tucked in heartily and ate their fill: not a lot was left. Speeches were made songs sung and in no time at all it was the end. The parting toast was given and we departed for our various homes. I had a very good time there, it is worth going for the buffet alone. The conversation flowed and everybody was very friendly just as it should be, I will definitely be going again.

John Burton MEZ C7833

 

Thursday 27th April 2023:

 Supreme Grand Chapter in London

 EDDIE WILDMAN REPORTS

 Unusually, I'd slept well. I'd had an early night and so didn't feel too dreadful at five ay em when I clambered out of the pit. I'd laid out my morning suit and checked my regailia was ready in my new Masonic case, and double-checked my train ticket - last year's panic with the tickets for Southampton was still in my mind. I decided gainst taking my hearing aid. It's not comfortable. Isabel tells me I should persist with it, but it magnifies the background noise as well as close-up sounds, so it simply makes the confusion louder. I didn't need it at Great Queen Street - but more of that later.

Before six o' clock the roads were quiet - that is to say, one could hear individual vehicles passing. I caught a bus into town, reflecting that it was a lovely day - the sun had a promising pinkish glow. I arrived at Hull Interchange without incident and quailed a little at seeing the new ticket barriers at Hull Paragon, but they weren't turned on. I'm not a Luddite, but I am scared of electronic technology which I am sure is inimically disposed towards me. The bronze statue of Philip Larkin seemed to consider them beneath his notice.

The 06:26 arrived in good time and I hoisted myself aboard, still half asleep. I found my reserved seat - an adenoidal announcement apologised that there had been a systems failure in registering bookings, giving the impression that this was all the computer's fault, but I wondered if it was part of the electronic world's conspiracy where I was concerned. Other passengers were consulting laptops and mobile phones with that early-morning glazed expression that suggested their minds were still in bed while their bodies were going through the motions of being awake. I smiled internally. This wasn't, for me, another boring day. I was being honoured with Supreme Grand Chapter Rank at the Masonic Headquarters in London.

The word honour, along with gallantry, valour and courtesy is part of the medieval definition of "chivalrous" - associated with the code for knighthood. I suspect that the word chivalrous implied having a horse (Old French "chevalier"?) and that literary convention depicted steam trains as iron horses, but curtailed that side-track; no way was I a knight in shining armour. The fifth of the Twelve Commandments is to "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." (This is the first command with a promise, incidentally. The Hebrew word for honour, kabed, literally means "to be heavy": in Moses' time, something that was heavy (like gold) was considered valuable, and therefore to be treasured.

I took out my notebook to scribble these ideas down. "Honour carries weight." I also jotted down related thoughts about those without honour, of being called an "apron-chaser" by a dishonourable man I know (he took the view that anyone of higher rank than him didn't deserve it and he was referring to Freemasonry in general - like so many others, he had deliberately misunderstood the concept of honour and responsibility. Jealously should be no part of Freemasonry ("Brethren, you are of too generous a disposition to envy their preferment") but alas, this is not always the case. I maintain that while it's nice to be important, it's more important to be nice.

At Doncaster I was joined by an attractive yhoung lady with blonde streaks in her dark hair. Nadine was going to London to work and was still in auto-pilot mode. She didn't speak, but prepared herself for the day in a practised routine. SHe had brought a cardboard cup of Costa coffee and some bacon bakery creation with her and tapped fluent instructions into her laptop (¿Iaptapped? could this be a new word - I think "laptapping" is a guitar technique) with her left hand while she fed her face with her right. It was difficult to avoid looking at her screen, though the plethora of messages, emails and texts held no interest for me and I studiously looked out of the window while she deployed her mobile phone and pulled up Venn diagrams and texts about environmental health awareness. The day, I noticed, was becoming increasingly hazy and the sun looked like an alka-selzer tablet dissolving slowly in the sky. The train seemed to take on an air of determination as it headed towards the metropolis. Even though it was not yet eight o' clock, everyone was beginning to wake up. I dozed, a little uncomfortable but feeling morally obliged to turn my head away from Nadine's screen. 

We sped past a field of black cattle who ignored the hurtling carriages. I wondered what might be going through their bovine minds, which led on to thoughts about Artificial Intelligence and the recent developments in the field my godson Alastair had been telling me about. It was scary - he'd recorded a sample of my voice, then applied it to a computer-generated text about the view of the Earth from space. He played it back to me, and it sounded like a professor lecturing on Radio 4 on some educational programme. He took a recording of "Eye of the Tiger" and substituted Michael Jackson's voice for the original - and I couldn't tell it wasn't the King of Pop singing. 

Will my meagre skills as a writer be supplanted by the electronic conspiracy? Robert Heinlein anticipated this in The Number of the Beast in 1980 - where computor intelligence and the consequences thereof are integral to the plot. It is not a great book, and it justly received bad reviews; Heinlein is writing for himself, not for his readers. Nonetheless, I like it. [Alistair, the relevent bit is Chapter XLVIII - I looked it up afterwards.]

I would probably have fallen asleep philosophising about cattle and intelligence and the purpose of life - and whether a mitochondrium could be regarded as cleverer than a virus, when Nadine disconnected her laptop and turned into a human being. I complimented her on her obvious skill with electronics and she told me that the laptop was her constant work companion; she wasn't a regular traveller but worked from home. Married and with a young family, she had moved to Doncaster to escape the "silly prices" in Essex and was spending a few days in face-to-face meetings regarding various properties, leaving her young family in the care of her mother-in-law.

A few passengers had boarded at Grantham - the first people I'd seen wearing ties, which seem to have gone out of fashion - a three piece suit and an open-neck shirt is now de rigeur for the well-dressed man about town. "Spot the Freemason" I said to myself - sober suit, morning dress, tie and polished shoes. We do tend to be conservative. But we're not immune to fashion, or, indeed to change, despite charges to the contrary. Changes of dress have followed fashionable trends over the years. I'm currently working on a history of the Minerva Lodge 250 and have recently remarked on the supplanting of the tricorne with the topper. I entertained the idea of turning up at Great Queen Street in silk stockings, long waistcoat and powdered perruque wig: "Sorry, sir, you are not wearing the correct tie, you can't go in."

I said goodbye to Nadine and took a tube to Covent Garden without difficulty (though placing a debit card on the screen to get through the barrier still doesn't feel right to me. I also discovered it wouldn't accept my bus bass.) I made my way to Grand Lodge. The tower end was covered in scaffolding, but I'd been sent clear instructions: Grand Officers enter by the Great Queen Street Entrance and proceed to the Acting Grand Officers' or Past Grand Officers' Room, whichever is appropriate, to clothe. I proceeded with dignity to the correct changing room, put on my sparkling new regalia, and went in search of coffee.

On the way I met Jono, (now Very Worshipful Brother Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith after his Craft promotion yesterday,) Ian Johnson, Ian Syddall and other old friends who were just arriving. In the coffee bar I met Jeffrey Gillyon talking to Hiten Thaker (also promoted) and also Chris Thomas (who will be promoted in May to Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the regular Craft convocation in York.) It's good to meet friends. Charles Darwin wrote "A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth" and I am privileged to have so many.

Photographs are not permitted in the Grand Temple though there were some people who used their phones for this purpose before an Assistant DC warned them that this was forbidden. One can't be too careful, I suppose. I'd persuaded a kindly gent to take a snapshot of me in the waiting room before we were summoned in an elderly crocodile to our designated seats. There were cards with our names on to be sure we didn't get it wrong.

I don't know who was playing the organ, but it was an impressive selection while we assembled. Hiten Thacker was allocated seat C56, I was in seat C58 and on my left was a gentleman from a Lodge in Macclesfield. "You're from Hull, are you?" he said. "Do you know someone there called Stephen Prior?" I admitted I did. "Ah, I know Stephen," he smiled. "He's a good chap. We were in the Beneficent Lodge together. Give him my regards. My name's Ken Williams." I agreed to do so. E Comp Williams was a knowledgable musician and when the first two verses of the national anthem were sung at the end he delivered the bass line with confident authority.

The regular convocation of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England (the term "Holy" is not encouraged as it implies a religious affiliation to which we do not subscribe) was superbly choreographed from start to finish. The Pro First Grand Principal Jonathan Spence was in charge of the proceedings of course, and the opening was beautiful, dignified and meaningful. Will those Chapters who fumble through the words, resort to reading and seem to regard the whole exercise as some sort of joke please take note; from the initial invocation, the sharing of words and the solemnity of the ceremony, this was a spiritually uplifting experience, and I felt proud to be part of it, albeit as a spectator. The Royal Arch focus is on Man's duty to his God; here I was very much aware of the Higher Power overseeing everything that takes place upon this Earth.

The presenting of scores of chains and hundreds of collars, accompanied by shaking hands must be a daunting prospect, but the Most Excellent still had as warm a smile on his face at the end as when he'd started. I smiled too as I received my collar (hold in the left hand, badge to the front, stand on the third step, shake hands lightly, say "Thank you sir") which was deftly adjusted by a DC during the handshake - and it was over in seconds; but the memory is one to treasure, one of this year's highlights. The First Grand Principal turned on his discreet microphone after the many presentations.

Further business concerned new Chapters, erasures of old ones,  amalgamations, and the inauguration of the Grand Chapter of Denmark. I was interested to the decline in numbers of Chapters  since 2013 and in the number of Grand Chapter Certificates issued (3,436 in 2013, 2,235 in 2022) but equally aware of changing trends in addressing these issues. The key point was the need for Craft and Chapter to work seamlessly together, and that the Chapter is an integral part of the Craft rather than an "add-on". I reflected on the way home (as, indeed, I scribbled these words in my notebook) that the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings has been promoting this for the last few years: "Chapter Masonry is the Fourth Side of the Square."

I was pleased to hear that we were advised to consider that Chapter ceremonies can be overloaded by the lectures, that the sharing of the words and the signs are essential, but "the committee is aware that constraints of time and other factors make it inadvisable for multiple lectures to be given at the same meeting that a candidate is exalted." Another directive was that "in some circumstances it may be desirable for any or all of the lectures to be delivered by competent companions below the rank of Installed First (or Second or Third) Principals in order that the dignity of the ceremony may be properly obtained."

In other words, smarten up, lads! If it is worth doing, it is worth doing properly.

I decided to return via Holborne and called in the Shakespeare's Head (walk to the end of Queen Street, it's at eleven o' clock over the road,) where the recently promoted Howard Newton was looking for places for the dozen or so YN&ER companions who would gather for a pint and a bite to eat (those not dining in the Connaught Rooms) and shook hands with him and Richard Smedley who had also beaten the rush, but considering the time, and knowing I would be giving a certificate presentation that evening, gave apologies and headed for Kings Cross via the tube.

The train journey back was easy and I wrote up these notes and revised my words for the certificate presentation and for the North East Corner Address to be delivered on Friday. I looked for the black cows, but they had probably wandered off somewhere or they were hiding. It began to rain as we drew into Hull, but it is an easy stroll to Dagger Lane, where Roy the Chef made me a welcome cup of tea.

The Lodge of St Michael business meeting and certificate presentation went well, too, though I was now tired (I'm not used to having two five o' clocks in one day.) Stephen Prior remembered Ken Williams. "Oh yes, I know him from Beneficent," he said, and proceeded to tell me all I'd already heard about it. "Ken's a good chap," he smiled.

Dave Whittall gave me and Peter Stokes, the WM a lift home, for which I'm very grateful. "Peter, please will you do the write-up for tonight's meeting?" I asked as I alighted. "Certainly, he said." So, exhausted but happy, I had an early night.

 Eddie Wildman PAGDC

 IAN SYDDALL REPORTS

 

At the Chapter Convocation at Grand Chapter Great Queen Street, on Thursday 27th April a number of Companions attended from the Province of YNER, to support those Companions receiving Grand Honours either Active or Promotions, those receiving honours from Yorkshire North and East Riding.
They were:
Eddie Wildman
Hiten Thaker
Howard Newton
Martin Eggermont
Pat Cambage
The picture shows some of those supporting.

They are from left to right:
William Glanville: Provincial Grand Scribe E
Chris Thomas: Third Provincial Grand Principal
Jonathan MM Smith: Past Deputy Grand Superintendent
Barrie Jefferies PPGSoj
Ian Syddall PPGStwd
Ian Johnson PPGScN
Jack Sharpe PPGScN (and the day before in the Craft convocation promoted to the Grand rank of PGStB Laughing)
Richard Smedley PGStB
Following the Chapter meeting we met at the Shakespeare Head for celebratory drinks and a bite to eat, this for some proved a very long day as the train back to Hull was not scheduled to leave till 20.30, however there was a 10-15 minute delay.
But an excellent day - Well done to all honourees and the supporting clan!

Ian Syddall

 

Tuesday 25th April 2023:

Brough Chapter Installation

chris thomas, john derek wilsonI travelled on the bus to College Street, Sutton upon Hull rather than drive to the Masonic Lodge there, as I wanted to have a drink after the ceremony. This would be my last Chapter meeting as Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah as in two days time, God willing, I'd be receiving Grand Chapter honours, and I wanted to enjoy the moment as an officer of the Province. I was delighted to see a healthy contingent there from the Chapter of St Michael 7833 (of which I'm a member) but also E Comps David Terry and Trevor Whitfield from Humber Chapter 57 along with Comp Craig Fish, who stood in for the Second Assistant Sojourner. I'd not gone to play the organ, and so sat with Trevor to enjoy the ceremony. On this occasion I was representing the Kingston Chapter 1010 as J.

E Comp Denis James Scarah, MEZ, installed his successor, E Comp John Derek Wilson, and the latter installed E Comp Michael Thomas Shakesby as H. Companion Chan was unable to be present and will be installed as J on a future occasion.

This was witnessed by the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Christopher John Thomas and an impressive team of Active Provincial Officers, and he remarked at the festive board how pleased he was to see one of his team (E Comp John Derek Wilson Prov AGDC) installed into the Chair of Zerubbabel, especially as this was Chris's last visit in the capacity of Third Provincial Grand Principal. 

The ceremony had an interesting but effective choreography; a stand-in J was required (and later replaced by the retired Z - indeed many officers were stand-ins) and the Installing DC (the Chapter's Scribe E, E Comp Peter Wright) escorted the Companions round the Chapter with panache.

It was particularly pleasing to see E Comp Shakesby there - he has been having horrendous problems with dislocated vertebrae and was walking with a stick. He's also grown a beard.

Particular mention must be made of the address to the Companions given by E Comp Keith Challis of the Technical Chapter 5666. He stood, silently and modestly, nodded as though gathering his thoughts, and began to speak, and such was the quiet power of his words - almost conversational in delivery, yet measured, without hurrying, that everyone's attention was riveted. When Keith told us "we should be children of humilty" there was a wonderful silence - I'm sure others, like me, were taking on board what was being said. It was a moving performance.

Even Trevor Whitfield, that sternest of critics when it comes to ritual, looked at me afterwards, and said "That was good."

While it was a happy gathering, E Comp Alan Hatfield PPGSN, who gave the toasts to the Principals and Newly Appointed Officers  and the Retiring First Principal and Officers, remarked that with the Provincial Team and the visitors there, the Brough Companions were outnumbered by nearly three to one. Both E Comp Wilson and E Comp Scarah spoke of the need of improving attendance and taking the Chapter forward.

Chris Thomas grinned at me as I took my leave with David Terry who had offered to drive me home. "See you in London on Thursday," he said.

The photograph of E Comps Chris Thomas and John Wilson is by Comp Peter Stokes. The snapshot of the Provincial team  and the Principals is by me. Chris, who is an expert photographer, will doubtless tell me the faces are out of focus. Believe me, it's better that way.

E Comp Eddie Wildman

 

 

Thursday 6th April:

The Most Excellent Zerubbabel, Stanley James Smith PPAGDC presided over a somewhat reduced team for the Installation ceremony - possibly on account of the Easter holiday. The business of the evening was to receive the Representative of the MEGS, E Comp Martin Monaghan ProvGReg (his DC, E Comp Tony Randell organised an escort) and, after the signing of the minutes and a brief ballot, the Installations of the Principals Elect. E Comp Richard Smedley was unable to attend, and the Office of Haggai was occupied by E Comp Stephen Hastings, who relinquished his position as Principal Sojourner to take on this role. His performance throughout was superb; it was a pleasure to see ritual performed without recourse to written assistance. His obligation of Companion Charles Alexander as Joshua was masterly.

There was an unexpected caveat with the installation of the MEZ: E Comp Malcolm Forbes had broken his arm in South Africa (falling off Table Mountain, some of the Companions remarked) and the necessity of a sling made some of the moves difficult, but the Installing DC, E Comp Terry Fisher was very solicitous and all went smoothly. E Comp Smith obligated and installed Malcolm.

Mention should be made of the readings prior to the installations, beautifully delivered by E Comp J Winston Pannett PPGScN; his conversational rendition was compelling - how Winston missed a career on radio or TV is beyond my understanding - even though most of us had heard the scriptural stories before, we all listened, agog to find out what was going to happen next.

Next Comp Alexander was installed into the Chair of Joshua in the Humber Chapter after being invested with his robes, jewel and sceptre. The Installing DC proclaimed the Most Excellents Zerubbabel and Joshua to all the Companions, after which E Comp David Terry  explained the Mez's regalia and E Comp Bob Wallace did likewise with that of Joshua.

I tried to take a photograph afterwards - but for some reason the exposure is awful. Sorry about that!

The newly installed MEZ appointed his Officers, and E Comp Malcolm Forbes thanked everyone for their efforts. Greetings were given from visiting Chapters, and I was proud to stand with them when E Comps Neil Armstrong (MEZ of Kingston Chapter 1010) and John Burton (MEZ of the Chapter of St Michael 7833) extended best wishes to E Comp Forbes.

At the Festive Board (delicious - all the more so as I was a guest of E Comp Winston Pannett - thanks, Winston!) E Comp Monaghan, who had travelled all the way from Stokesley, said kind words about the ceremony, complimenting the Companions on the ritual: "The essence of Chapter Masonry is not only what you say, but how you say it" and advising on the need to embrace change in "promoting the indisoluble link between Craft and Chapter Masonry" while remaining positive about the future.

I'd enjoyed a pleasant evening in good company.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Wednesday 15th March 2023: 

Installation at Kingston Chapter 1010

 

Humber Chapter had a call to arms from Kingston Chapter 1010, meeting at Masonic Hall Beverley Road.
“Can you help in our Installation meeting on Wednesday 15th March, we are short of members and require some support to carry out some of the ritual."
Our MEZ was going to be away so could not attend; however, with a prompt reply, Companions in the names of E Comps Richard Smedley, Trevor Whitfield, Stephen Hastings, David Terry and myself agreed to attend.

We were warmly greeted and found that one of their Companions had generously agreed to pay the drinks bill for ALL that night, (moderation was the key or was it abstinence, the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something) as each one of the Humber Companions was driving. But thank you Kingston Chapter.

There was a Ruler that evening: the Third Provincial Grand Principal, Excellent Companion Christopher John Thomas, announced by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Karl Pease, and an impressive escort of Brand Chapter and Active Provincial Officers.

The business of the evening was KIngston Chapter's Installation.

E Comp Paul Goldthorpe, the incumbent MEZ installed his successor as 1st Principal, Zerubbabel E Comp Neil Armstrong, and what a splendid job he did.
E Comp Richard Bate was installed as 2nd Principal, Haggai; and E Comp Eddie Wildman was installed as 3rd Principal, Joshua.
The Scriptures and Prayers were given by the Humber Companions Stephen Hastings and Richard Smedley,
The Scarlet Robe Presented by David Terry,
The Purple Robe Presented by Trevor Whitfield,
The Blue Robe Presented by Ian Syddall,
The Epochal and Valedictory Addresses were given by Malcolm Booth.


The meeting closed in due form.

The Festive Board was a very delicious menu and a very enjoyable occasion with visitors from the Chapter of St Michael 7833, De la Pole Chapter 1605 and elsewhere: WELL DONE! Kingston Chapter!

Companions we wish you success in the coming year and we hope to see you at the Humber Chapter in the future . . .

BUT beware . . .

We will definitely be back. SMIB

[Photograph of the Humber Chapter visitors by Eddie Wildman, photograph of the 3rd Grand Principal with the new Z, H & J and the team by Jimmy Kerr.]

Ian Syddall

 

 

Tuesday 7th March 2023:

Installation at Technical Chapter 5666

While I regularly attend the Technical Lodge, I am not a frequent visitor to the Chapter, but was invited by the MEZ Elect, E Comp Brocklesby to be there for the Installation. The regular organist, Comp Bill Turner-Bone has recently had surgery on his right hand and is still strapped up with a complexity of splints and bandages, and I agreed to perform his duties.

I grabbed a bag of music from the side of the piano and discovered when I reached Beverley Road (thanks Peter for the lift!) that most of what I'd brought was baroque music, and I decided there and then that where possible I would play selections from the baroque era (i.e. from about 1600 to 1750.) I played Bach as the Companions gathered and used Bach chorales as gentle background music, appropriate, felt, for the dignity and colour of the Chapter, with the twelve banners displayed and the flickering lights of the six candles in their peculiar formation.

The MEZ E Comp Sykes and his coprincipals opened the Chapter in due form; a selection from Handel accompanied their perambulations. A knock at the door introduced Comp Martin Clark ProvGStwd and he announced that the Representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Trevor Collinson ProvGSc N was asking for permission to enter.

An escort was provided and the Rep and his DC entered to Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Te Deum (this piece was written at the end of the seventeenth century - but the theme was used as the introductory music for the European Broadcasting Union (founded 1950) and for many TV programmes, including the Eurovision Song Contest.) Both Martin and Trevor are tall men and I felt dwarfed as they swept past.

E Comp Chris Bodsworth was appointed as Installing DC (a task undertaken with calm authority and efficiency) and he collected the Companions appropriately as Comp Ian Parkinson was obligated as J, E Comp Jon Paul Robinson was ob;igated as H and E Comp Malcolm Brocklesby was obligated as MEZ.

This done, E Comp Sykes declared all offices vacant and asked those below the rank of an Installed Principal to retire. More melodies by Handel saw them out.

Haggai and Joshua Elect were entrusted with their passwords and they too retired. Malcolm Brocklesby was magnificently installed as Most Excellent Zerubbabel, and the other Principals likewise admitted and installed. The Board of Installed Principals was closed, and E Comp Bodsworth asked the Installing Scribe N to invite the others to return.

The March from Judas Maccabeus saw the reentry of the rest of the Companions. The new MEZ appointed his officers (Purcell, Vivaldi and Telemman) and the Principals' robes were explained by Companions Laughlin, Tunnicliffe and Green. E Comp Keith Challis gave the epochal address.

E Comp Trevor Collinson presented Comp Tunnicliffe with his Chapter certificate.

The Chapter closed to the strains of the Pachelbel Canon after the singing of the closing hymn. Danny Laughton took a picture of some of the Technical Companions and one or two others managed to get in view. Someone is hiding behind one of the banners - possibly Keith Challis.

The Festive Board was excellent; Comp David Turner sang the Principals Song brilliantly, and E Comp Jimmy (2kilts) Kerr responded poetically to the toast to the visitors on behalf of all nine of us. (Jimmy gave me a lift home too - thanks!)

[Photograph by Danny Laughton.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 16th February 2023:

Installation at the Chapter of St Michael

Despite last-minute emergencies (two key players down with covid and a renal attack) the Chapter of St Michael 7833 rallied round magnificently for the Installation of E Companions John Irving Burton as MEZ, Stephen Christopher Prior as H and John Stanley Broughton as J in the Black and White Room at Dagger Lane. The organ was out of action with what I suspect is a mechanical fault, so I was redundant as organist upstairs so I took on the role of Substitute Joshua until John Broughton was invested with his blue robe and sceptre. All the Companions gave of their best: particular mention should be made however of the retiring MEZ, E Comp Peter Henry Barnes, who despite the increasing ravages of Parkinson's Disease insisted on installing his successor. He had the full support of all present, and in my view set the gold standard for commitment, loyalty and sheer hard work. E Comp Terry Lynn remarked afterwards in the toast to the outgoing officers: "Peter, I salute you." 

E Comp Terence William Black, the regular DC having been rushed into hospital (thankfully we understand that things are now under control) W Bro Peter Wright PPGScN took on the duties of the installing DC and conducted the Companions through a superbly smooth-running ceremony. E Comp John Irving Burton, known for his prodigious memory and delivery of ritual took the First Principal's Chair with aplomb. The MEZ spoke at the festive board, thanking E Comp Terry Lynn PPGScN for his melodic rendition of The Principals' Song and remarking how moving it was for the recipient. He also thanked all who took part and looked to the future, hoping that he would be accompanied during forthcoming visits.

The evening concluded traditionally with Auld Lang Syne.

[Photograph of E Comps Prior (H), Burton (MEZ) and Broughton (J) by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, redundant organist.

 

Friday 27th January 2023:

Ridings Tablers' Chapter of Royal Arch Masons Installation

Although the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586 is only five years old (and some of that time hampered by covid) the ritual was stunning; and while it is probably invidious to mention names, I don't apologise for singling out Excellent Companion Howard B Newton as MEZ for a flawless delivery from beginning to end. It was a prompt six o' clock start at Trinity Lane, Beverley and the colourful Chapter opening was managed smoothly. E Comp Brian McIntosh gave a report that the Representative of the ME Grand Superintendent was outside the Chapter; an escort retired to flank the admission of E Comp Martin Monaghan ProvGReg. Reports had been distributed electronically, there was little to add other than an announcement that the raffle proceeds that evening would go to the Hull Sea Cadets. who would be serving the meal later.

The incumbent Most Excellent Zerubbabel, E Comp Howard B Newton PGSB thanked his team of officers for a happy year. The Principals for the next year were presented and obligated and placed in their respective Chairs with elegant efficiency, the colours and signification of their robes described. Before the investment of the Officers, the line up was as follows: E Comp John D Bridges PP3rdGPrin PGStB as MEZ, E Comp John W L Ellwood as H and E Comp Kohn R Watson PPGReg as J. (The IPZ referred to them at the Festive Board as the Three Johns.) The Officers were appointed and invested, amongst them the DepGrandSupt and the Prov2ndGPrin; an impressive line-up. E Comp Stephen Hastings ProvGSwdB, the Lodge Treasurer, is also a member of Humber Chapter, and the organist a member of Humber Lodge.

The Festive Board (at which the Scribe N, Comp Martin E Clark ProvGStwd managed to consume not only two huge dumplings with the beef stew but also two enormous helpings of treacle sponge pudding and custard) was lively with ten toasts throughout the evening. E Comp David J Burnett sang the Principals Song and everyone joined in the chorus, and E Comp David Johnstone PPScN of the Wilbeforce gave a tour de force response to the visitors' toast, to appreciative groans at his awful jokes. A great evening.

[Photograph L to R: E Comps John Ellwood (H), Brian McIntosh (DC to Rep), John Bridges (MEZ), Martin Monaghan (Rep) and John Watson (J) by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

 

Wednesday 25th January 2023:

David Broughton at St Andrews 4683

I attended St Andrews chapter Beverley Road as part of the Provincial team supporting our 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, Ex Comp Christopher Thomas PGStB. It was their installation ceremony.

The appointed hour arrived and we made our way upstairs to the temple and we processed in. This was a somewhat shortened and different ceremony as only J was installed, (E Comp Jason Garland) the other Principals were staying in situ. E Comp Roy Newton was H. Many of the other officers (including the MEZ) could not be installed due to holidays, illness, work commitments etc. and will be invested in March.

We then processed out and made our way downstairs to the festive board which was a very convivial event made so much the better for the fact that I won on the raffle. Perhaps the odds were better as unfortunately not many were in attendance!

David Broughton, Chapter of St Michael

 

 

Wednesday 18th January 2023:

Eddie Wildman joins Kingston Chapter

This evening I visited Beverley Road Masonic Hall for a meeting of the Kingston Chapter 1010 for its business meeting. Although the attendance was only a dozen or so, the Chapter was beautifully laid out and warm – it was below freezing outside, and I’d walked, so I was pleased to be comfortable again. The minutes having been confirmed, the next business was a ballot, and I waited outside while the Companions voted for me as a joining member.

The ballot was successful and I was escorted in by the DC, Excellent Companion Malcolm Watkinson, and presented to the three Principals. I felt so proud!

The next business was the election of the Principals for the following year, which begins in March and E Comp Neil Armstrong was elected as 1st Principal, E Comp Richard Bate as 2nd Principal and I was elected as 3rd Principal.

Other elections followed, and the MEZ Elect’s list of Officers received before the Almoner and Charity Steward gave their reports.

I’m looking forward to 15th March; the Kingston ritual is quite different to the Domatic working practised by the Chapter of St Michael and the Humber working used in C57: I have a lot to learn.

If you’re a Companion in the Supreme Degree, I hope you can come along!

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Friday 13th January 2023:

Yesterday's Chapter Report from Charles Alexander

[Charles was installed into the Chair of King Solomon in the Humber Craft meeting on Tuesday 10th January - see the blog for that event on the Craft Blog page. His broken ankle didn't prevent him from having a good time, and he has thrown himself enthusiastically into fulfilling his responsibilities as the Master of the Lodge, managing to attend not only the Chapter business meeting on the 12th  but also the Thesaurus Craft meeting which was in the adjacent Lodge Room, accompanied by other members of Humber Chapter. He sent the following report from the Hull Royal Infirmary, whilst waiting for a review of his fracture and hoping the pot was going to be removed.*]

From the Waiting Room of the HRI Fracture Clinic:

With all the Companions promptly gathered the Chapter was opened in Short Form as this was a business meeting. Reports were submitted by the Almoner and Charity Steward, and the three Principals for next year proposed and accepted: Malcolm Forbes as Z, Richard Smedley as H and me as J. The Treasurer and Scribe E were proposed and elected, and it was agreed that the Three Principals would nominate the other Officers in good time for the April Chapter meeting (Installation).  Decisions were made regarding fees and ongoing costs, and the Chapter was closed in short form, the Companions swiftly replacing their Chapter regalia with Craft aprons. We then entered the Thesaurus meeting on a report: Stan Smith, Malcolm Forbes, Richard Smedley, Terry Fisher, David Terry, Ian Syddall, Steve Hastings, Ian Douglas, Bob Wallace, Des Hinchellwood and myself, and saluted the Thesaurus WM, Steve Jordan en masse. We witnessed an excellent first degree ceremony and joined the Brethren at the Festive Board. A great night was had by all the Companions (and Brethren) and we enjoyed good company and convivial conversation.

Charles Alexander, J Elect, WM

* It was. "Free!" read the email, sent soon after 12.30.

 

Wednesday 26th October 2022:

 

Three Humber Chapter Masons attended Alexandra Chapter 1511 at the Hornsea Masonic Hall to see our Lodge Brother Craig Morrison exalted into the Royal Arch degree, Excellent Companion Ian Sydall, Companion Craig Fish, and I were there,

I travelled with Craig Fish to Hornsea and we met the others at the Masonic Hall. The Chapter was all laid out in the usual manner that you would expect for an exaltation ceremony, but the Alexandra ritual is entirely unique.

Ian was asked to fill in for the Scribe N position; he commented that it was just as well that he had brought his ritual book, but was informed that it was no use here! He was supplied with a ritual book of Alexandra ritual to read from and it was certainly different.

It is always good to visit and see how the others do things.

It was an enjoyable ceremony and a pleasure to see Brther Craig become Companion Craig. The festive board afterwards was a great end to a great evening: good food and good company.

I look forward to another visit to Hornsea.

[Photograph of Companion Morrison in his Chapter regalia by Charles Alexander.]

Companion Charles Alexander

 

 

Wednesday 19th October 2022:

There were a couple of dozen Companions at the Kingston Chapter 1010; some of them very distinguished, including M Excellent Companions Allan Brundell and Jeffrey Gillyon, but the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Karl Pease announced that Excellent Companion Paul Harper, Second Grand Principal, was in attendance and demanded admission. The dignity and colour of the active Provincial Officers accompanying was impressive, and the Second Grand Provincial took the Chair of Zerubbabel to introduce the eminent escort.

The main business of the evening was the exaltation of two Candidates, Brothers Gary Crossland and Nicholas Gillyon. It was a well-rehearsed ceremony. The three Principals (the Chapter is under the direction of a triumverate), E Companions P A Goldthorpe (MEZ), N Armstrong (H) and R F Bate (J) led from the front, as it were with confident unhesitating ritual. The story unfolded of the Journeyman Builders, now free of Babylonian captivity, travelled as Master Masons to the sacked city of Jerusalem with the intention of assisting in its restoration. (To find out what happened next, you'll have to join.)

The ceremony was conducted with great dignity. It is a good while since an Exaltation ceremony has been performed at Kingston, and this was the first time the explanatory interpolations had been included, but it was all remarkably error-free: all who participated had made a great effort to learn their words and to ensure a meaningful ceremony for Gary and Nick.

I gave greetings as a Companion of the Ridings Tabler's Chapter 9586, but stood with E Comps John Broughton and David Broughton when the former gave hearty salutations from the Chapter of St Michael 7833.

The Festive Board was as excellent as always, and the Second Grand Principal, speaking of the post-covid reduction in numbers in Chapters generally and the challenge to recover therefrom, congratulated the KIngston Chapter on its succesful double ceremony, and congratulated Gary and Nick on their becoming members of the Holy Royal Arch Chapter.

[Photos of N Armstrong, N Gillyon, P Goldthorpe, G Crossland and R Bate, and of Nick and Gary in Chapter regalia by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 30th July 2022:

A special convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Yorkshire North and East Ridings saw the afternoon installation of E Comp Dr David Chambers PGStB as Grand Superintendent in and over the Province by the Pro Grand Principal, Most Excellent Companion Peter Geoffrey Lowndes at the Central Hall, University of York, following the Provincial Grand Lodge Installation in the morning (see this date on the Craft Blog page.)

During lunch, the Provincial Stewards were preparing the hall for the afternoon session, and dealing with various crises - W Bro Gordon Setterfirld took a tumble , I understand, and broke his spectacles, but it can't have been too serious as I saw him at lunch tucking into his steak pie with gusto.

The central throne representing the seat of the Royal Solomon now became one of three (the Chapter is under the direction of a triumvirate, for those non-Chapter Masons reading this) and the symbolic flooring, set out with candles (batteries) and the five platonic solids careully placed in the centre of the main floor. Off to one side, the scarlet, blue and crimson robes for the investiture of the Most Excellent Grands were carefully placed on a chair. I hoped that the scarlet robe had been readjusted for Dr Chambers: it had been skilfully tailored with cunning tucks for Jeffrey Gillyon, who is somewhat shorter. I needn't have worried - the Three Principals looked tall and stately when robed, and the scarlet velvet went all the way down to the ground. E Comp Dr David Chambers was installed magnificently and he re-appointed the Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Paul Harper. As the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Chris Thomas, was unable to be present, he will be officially invested on a later occasion; E Comp Phil Harrison stood in for him on this occasion. Once again, the organisation of the Grand Officers and Companions under the directorship of E Comp Charles Hopkinson-Woolley, Grand Director of ceremonies, (pictured) was brilliantly managed.

Humber Chapter Companions in the persons of Richard Smedley, Malvin Sharpless, Stephen Hastings, Stanley Smith, Bill Burnett and Ian Syddall were present. Here is Malvin's account, which modestly fails to mention his appointment and investment as Provincial Grand Tyler and Provincial Grand Janitor.

 Chapter Investiture

After an excellent Morning at the Craft Investiture, lunch was taken, and it was a great time to meet old and make new friend, then on to the afternoon’s Investiture.

The opening of the the Chapter by the Grand Companions was an excellent sight to see, especilly by the DC Team who were incredibly impressive.

The actual ceremony of Installation was carried out in a sterling and dignified manner, followed by our Provincial Grand Superintendent appointing and investing his team.

The Grand Superintendent's address was similar to the one given in the morning, stressing togetherness in the Province and requesting Craft Masons to invite non-members of the Chapter to join and complete their Craft Journey; this was well received, but obviously preaching to the converted. He mentioned again the attendance on the day of the support from other Orders at the meeting and hoped that this would continue throughout his leadership term.

It was wonderful to be present at both ceremonies, but slightly disappointing that more members of the orders were not present to witness the events, especially as it was a great chance to see the Grand Team at work without having to travel to London.

 

 Malvin Sharpless

 

 

 

  

Monday 18th July 2022:

An email from the Provincial Grand Secretary/Scribe E published today announced that Excellent Companion Malvin Sharpless of the Humber Chapter 57 will be appointed as Provincial Grand Janitor  with effect from the 1st August, and will be invested in September. Congratulations to Malvin, who is taking over the Office, and also that of Provincial Grand Tyler, from E Comp Peter Spencer, who has served for many years in these prestigious posts. This is also an honour for the Humber Chapter, and we wish both Malvin and Peter well.

Malvin Sharpless, PPJGW is the Lecture Master of the Holderness Lodge 3563 and also a member of the Mark Degree and other Orders. He is a keen golfer.

[Photograph lifted from Facebook]

 

 

Thursday 9th June 2022:

Circumstances contrived against the regular meeting of the Humber Chapter: some Companios were ill, others on holiday. The traffic was unusually snarled this evening and some were delayed. In Dagger Lane, another Lodge was booked to meet in the usual room, and the Red Room was in a state of chaos, there being at that time a major clearout of furniture and artifacts used by the building. A space was cleared, however, a minimum Chapter set up, and, there being enough Companions present to declare the meeting quorate, the MEZ E Comp. Richard Smedley opened the Chapter in short order, whereupon all necessary business was dealt with, briefly but efficiently, and the Chapter closed with equal celerity. Indeed, it was during the closing that another Companion arrived - for the meeting had begun early and been completed before 6:30; but Malcolm found compensation for his journey by remaining for the Thesaurus Craft meeting - and the Street Party which took the place of the Festive Board - see this date on the Blog page.

 

Thursday 19th May 2022:

 

For an account of the meeting of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 on this date please click on the link.

 

 

Friday 29th April 2022:

The Ridings Tablers' Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry 9586 moved the April meeting to the fifth Friday of the month; there had been clashes with bank holidays and other orders, and it is possible that the move may become permanent, as the MEZ, E Comp Howard B Newton PGSB intimated in a notice of motion. Excellent Companion John Bridges took the Chair of H, and E Companion Stephen Hastings ProvGSWdB (who is also a member of the Humber Chapter 57) stood in as J. The first meeting after the Installation saw an excellent presentation by E Comp Mark Green PAGDC explaining some of the more obscure aspects of this colourful degree, making them more comprehensible in well-reasoned arguments and with good humour. This he followed with a quiz; this was equally interesting and gave rise to meaningful conversations afterwards. I, for one, realised I had modified my attitude to the Chapter as I had considered its meaning. As Organist, I have been with the 9586 Chapter from its constitution in 2017, and would encourage Brethren who have not yet completed the fourth side of their Masonic Square to consider joining this - or any other Chapter. While some Brethren would excoriate this remark, there is no ob;igation to join the Chapter connected to your Lodge, and widening one's circle of friends has much to recommend it.

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 28th April 2022:

Excellent Companion Richard Smedley, a member of both Humber Craft and Chapter, was awarded honours from the United Grand Lodge/Chapter: see his remarks on the Craft Blog page!

 

Friday 22nd April 2022:

Malcolm Forbes and Craig Maurier take Chapter Chairs - by E Comp Forbes:

 

I attended the Wyke Millennium Daylight Chapter 9696 for its Installation meeting which began at 11.00 am at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull.

The First Principal, E Comp Andrew Hoggard opened the meeting with E Comp Craig Maurier as Second Principal or Haggai and myself as Third Principal or Joshua.

After the Opening the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Paul Cooper, a Companion of Londesborough Chapter 734, introduced E Comp Gavin Collinson, a Companion of Constitutional Chapter 294, as Provincial representative of the Provincial Grand Superintendent. I know Gavin well as in 2019 I visited the USA with him and members of Constitutional Lodge 294 on a tour of Masonic Lodges in Washington and Boston. I subsequently became a member of Constitutional Lodge.

I installed E Comp Steven Ives into the Office of Joshua. Craig Maurier as the newly installed First Principal installed me into the Office of Haggai.

The ritual is Domatic and differs from Humber ritual used for example in Humber Chapter 57. The Installation ritual was also different to my Installation as Haggai in Humber Chapter on 7th April 2022 as it was not necessary to undertake a long ceremony to proclaim me as H in Wyke Millennium Chapter. 

I was grateful to E Comp John Stebbings as Director of Ceremnies for his support in the ceremony.

The Installation of other Chapter Officers took place after the Installation of the three Principals. 

There was a relaxed atmosphere in the meeting. No visitors apart from the representatives from Province attended. 

We sat down to the Festive Board at 12.30 p.m. As the bar was not open dining Steward Louis Morgan used his ingenuity to purchase three bottles of wine. As H I sat between the two Provincial representatives. Conversation with E Comp Paul Cooper turned to our mutual love of cricket and our experiences as umpires in local cricket leagues.

With the dining tables being in the form of a rectangle it was possible to talk easily to other Companions across the table and there was much lighthearted conversation.

E Comp Gavin Collinson in his reply to the Companions provided encouraging words to the Chapter.

Everyone enjoyed the meeting and Festive Board.

E Comp Malcolm Forbes (H)

 

 

Wednesday 19th October 2022:

 

Thursday 21st April 2022:

A small but select convocation of Excellent Companions and Companions of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 saw the brief but meaningful ceremony of E Comp Peter Henry Barnes PPGReg being installed into the figurative Chair of Zerubabbel, Prince of the People a month later than originally intended, as illness had precluded his attendance the previous month. The Offices of the other two Principals were filled by E Comps John Irving Burton (H) and Stephen Christopher Prior (J) and Peter was ably placed into his seat by the previous incumbent, E Comp Peter Wright PGScN with gentle dignity. There were no visitors on this occasion, and the Festive Board was arranged as a large square which encouraged the fraternal closeness of the Companions present. The Assistant Scribe E, Excellent Companion John Stanley Broughton PPGScN gave a rousing toast to the Three Principals, and the Song to the same was melodically rendered by E Comp Terry James Lynn PPGScN accompanied by Eddie Wildman who is also a member. The meeting finished surprisingly early (this report being complete before 10.00 pm) but in a happy mood.

[Picture of E Comp Peter Barnes by Companion Peter James Stokes, 1stAsstSoj]

Eddie Wildman

Thursday 7th April 2022:

Humber Chapter Installation:

The 6:00 start for the Humber 57 Chapter installation was somewhat delayed as unexpected absences left Offices unfilled. These were kindly occupied by some of the visitors, who outnumbered the Humber Companions: but covid had taken its toll amongst these too - there were several empty places at the festive board afterwards. However, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion Jeffrey Gyllyon demanded admission along with the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith PGSwdB and an impressive team of active officers to witness the installation of E Comp Stanley Smith as Z, E Comp Malcolm Forbes as H and E Comp Richard Smedley as J. The latter is, of course also a member of the team of Active Provincial Officers, as is E Comp Ian Syddall, both who feature elsewhere on this website. E Comp Stanley Smith appointed and invested the Chapter Officers for the ensuing year.

The dearth of meetings during lockdown had obviously impacted on the Chapter's familiarity with the ritual (the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent said that the ceremony left him speechless) but E Comp Smith indicated that he intended to move things forward in the coming year. Indeed, his work both before going into, and on taking the First Principal's Chair was entirely from memory; he was familiar with the ritual and sequence of events, setting a good standard to follow.

The next item was a presentation of a certificate to Excellent Companion James Winston Pannett acknowledging his fifty years' service in the Royal Arch, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent "interviewed" E Comp Pannett much in the manner of a "This is Your Life" programme, encouraging him to talk about his upbringing in Stockton-on-Tees, his work in the Royal Air Force as a Radar Operator when called up for National Service and his resumption of his retail career, leading up to twenty-nine successful and happy years in Hessle. 

The Festive Board was a fine repast with waitress service. Having played the organ in the Lodge Room upstairs, I now transferred to the downstairs keyboard where the National Anthem was sung. Toasts following the meal were sometimes followed by musical "points". The  The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent spoke of declining numbers in Freemasonry in general and of the Chapter in particular, noting that while the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings was doing better than most, thirty years ago there were double the number of Freemasons. He intimated that as society has changed, our attitudes sometimes need adjustment to accommodate the different demands of young people nowadays if we are to arrest the decline.  Following the toast remembering the Absent Brethren submitted by Scribe E, E Comp Malvin Sharpless, the hymn Melita, written by Hull-born Johann Bacchus Dykes over a hundred and sixty years ago was sung. The Companions were in fine voice.

The highlight for me however was Excellent Companion Philip Daniel's rendition of the Principals Song, in which everybody joined in the chorus. Philip also responded to the toast to the visitors, giving a fascinating insight into the ancient Sanhedrin which figures in the Chapter ritual, and its historical connections evidenced in Jerusalem.

It had been a full evening, and some of the visitors had quite a distance to travel, and the Companions took their leave of each other before 10:30.

 Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

[Photographs of the Provincial Team with the new Humber Chapter Principals; of (Left to Right) the MEGS with E Comps Forbes, Smith and Smedly; and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp Jeffrey Gillyon with E Comp Winston Pannett PPGScN by Eddie Wildman.]

 

 

Wednesday 23rd March 2022:

Eddie Wildman visits the Chapter of St Andrew 4683:

Despite the late hour of starting (the summons reads 7.00 pm) and the amount of work to be done, the Chapter of St Andrew 4683 performed a swift moving but meaningful ceremony under the watchful eyes of the three Principals, Excellent Companion Michael Graham PGStBtaking the Chair of the Most Excellent Zerubbabel, Excellent Companion Roy Newton that of Haggai and Excellent Companion Daniel Betts (installed that evening) that of Joshua.

After Companion Ian Montgomery set the scene, the two Candidates for Royal Arch Freemasonry, Brothers William Charlton and Robert Thirsk were admitted and answered the necessary questions to show their proficiency in the third degree. Excellent Companion Brian Daragon PPGSwdB conducted them through the ceremony.

I shall not dilate on the details of the beautiful and colourful working, which while removed from that of the Craft is nonetheless a completion of the first three degrees. Their obligations completed, William and Robert retired for preparation while Companion Montgomery explained the disposition of the Sanhedrin; the Candidates returned as Sojourners to present themselves. A further explanation clarified the passage of events leading to the rewards received by the Sojourners following their remarkable discovery. E Comp Daragon brilliantly narrated the circumstances as Principal Sojourner, bringing the story alive.

The Secrets were communicated by the Scribe E, Excellent Companion Ian Sugarman PAGDC, E Comp Roy Newton explained what was expected of Companions Charlton and Thirsk in an eloquent peroration from the dais, and E Comp Mike Graham presented a Royal Arch jewel to each along with the by-laws, congratulating them on achieving admission into the sublime degree,

Companion Malcolm Forbes gave greetings from the Humber Chapter 57 before everyone went below to a sumpteous Festive Board. 

[Photograph of Comps Charlton, Daragon and Thirsk by Comp Matt Owen]

Eddie Wildman PPGScN

 

Tuesday 22nd March 2022:

Ian Syddall visits the Wilberforce Chapter 2134:

I visited Wilberforce Chapter 2134 on Tuesday 22nd March they meet at the Masonic Hall Trinity Lane Beverley HU17 0DY, which meet three times a year on the third Tuesday of March October and November.

As usual for the Wilberforce Chapter, I was greeted with warmth and humour

Although the number of visitors only numbered three it was quality!

The three Principals were:

• MEZ Alan Allinson
• Haggai E Comp Gary Shores
• Joshua E Comp Donald McKernan

The business of the evening was to elect three Principals and a Treasurer for the ensuing year, the following were elected:

• MEZ E Comp Gary Shores
• Haggai E Comp Donald McKernan
• Joshua Comp Ray McKee
• Treasurer E Comp Bill Glanville ProvGScE

They carried out a ballot which was successful and then exalted Mr Dwain Longley, who is a member of the Wilberforce Craft Lodge.

The floor work was carried out under the control of the DC David Johnstone PPGScE competently, thoughtfully, and with consideration of the whole team. The three Sojourners were excellent.

The festive board again was full of welcoming banter and good food with excellent company. The visitors toast was responded to by newly made Joshua Mark Buscombe of the Hull Old Grammarians’ Chapter 5129. They meet at the Masonic Hall, 7 Dagger Lane, Hull HU1 2LU five times per year (Feb, Mar, Jul, Oct & Dec) on the first Thursday of the month, the same venue, of course, as the Humber Chapter 57.

[Portrait of William Wilberforce by Karl Anton Hickel, 1794]

 

Wednesday 16th March 2022:

Eddie Wildman writes as guest organist at the Kingston Chapter 1010:

Just before the end of the Installation meeting, E Comp. Richard John Smedley, as the Most Excellent Zerubbabel of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter 9611 and J Elect of the Humber Chapter 57 introduced himself to the Companions, explaining that he was their newly appointed Chapter Liaison Officerr, but that he was not a spy in the camp, rather a useful assistant should any difficulties arise.

It had been a splendid ceremony. E Comp Eddie Wildman (who gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833) congratulated the new team on the enjoyable ceremony, full of dignity and sincerity. The IPZ, E Comp Louis Morgan (who did much of the behind-the-scenes organising of the evening) had gracefully installed his successor, E Comp Paul Goldthorpe, and the latter installed H, E Companion Neil Armstrong, who subsequently placed E Companion Richard Bate in to the Chair of J. All this was under the well choreographed direction of E Comp Malcolm Watkinson, Installing DC.

The toasts at the Festive Board included that to Provincial Officers, and the Representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Companion Philip Harrison remarked on the many changes that had taken place in Freemasonry during lockdown and mentioned that special reference would be made to Chapter Masonry at the Convocation in York in May.

Richard Smedley sang the Principals Song: "Here's to the Three of them, One, Two, Three!" and the Companions joined in the chorus.

It was a happy meeting, and the Companions took their leave with smiles on their faces.

[L to R: Neil Armstrong (H), Paul Goldthorpe (Z) and Richard Bate (J). Photograph by Tony Burke]

 

 

Monday 14th March 2022:

Stephen Hastings, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in the Grand Superintendent's Provincial Team and Past Z of the Humber Chapter 57 kindly submitted the following report:

 

On Monday 14th March I attended the rearranged Installation meeting of the Chapter of St Michae 7833.

The meeting was originally due to take place on the 17th of February but due to several of the members contracting covid or reported feeling unwell, following their last rehearsal before the planned meeting, it was felt wise to cancel it and rearrange the date.

It was once again a huge privilege to be part of the Active Provincial Team along with Humber Chapter member Excellent Companion Ian Syddall escorting the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion Jeffrey Gillyon, and the Deputy Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith; this was going to be a special night for  the Chapter of St Michael!

However, things didn’t go the way they had planned as the Zerubabbal elect was unwell and unable to attend the meeting. This is the second Chapter installation that Ian and I have attended recently where the Zerubabbal elect was not available , maybe covid hasn’t finished with us yet?

The installation went ahead with a couple of last-minute replacements who performed very well under the circumstances but, obviously the first Principal was not installed, this is planned to take place at their next meeting, 21st April.

1st Principal’s Chair (not changed until the next meeting in April) 

2nd Principal’s Chair Excellent Companion John Irvin Burton

3rd Principal’s Chair Excellent Companion Stephen Christopher Prior, PPAGSoj

Following the installation of the 2nd and 3rd Principals the Chapter officers were invested by the soon to be outgoing 1st Principal, Excellent Companion Peter Wright PPGScN.

The remaining Chapter business of the evening was completed, and the Chapter closed in due harmony.

All active Provincial Officers lined up under the direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Excellent Companion Mark Hall and escorted the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and the Deputy Grand Superintendent out of the Temple.

The festive board downstairs was very enjoyable with some friendly banter and conversation between us.
Following the meal the usual toasts were given apart from the Toast to the outgoing and incoming 1st Principals and their respective teams.

Stephen Hastings ProvGSwdB

 

 

 Thursday 3rd March 2022:

E Comp. Howard Newton stood in at short notice for the Second Provincial Grand Principal, Paul Harper, who having tested positive for Covid, wisely declined to visit Hull Old Grammarians' Chapter 5129 for the Installation meeting. Humber Chapter member Richard Smedley  performed magnificently as DC and the escort gave dignity to the proceedings. Unfortunately not all the Principals elected for office were able to attend, but the Chapter DC John W Plater skillfully choreographed a smooth exchange of First Principals; E Comp Graeme Reid relinquished the MEZ Chair to E Comp Nigel Collier, and Comp Mark Luscombe took his obligation and moved into the Chair of Joshua after which officers were appointed and invested. E Companion Paul Ralph, one of the Daggards, gave a harmonious rendition of the Song to the Principals at the Festive Board, accompanied by E Comp Eddie Wildman, who had played the Old School Song during the ceremony and was delighted that a number of the older Companions still recognised it.

[Photograph of E Comp Nigel Collier, MEZ by Eddie Wildman]

 

 

Wednesday 2nd March 2022:

Ian and Steve sojourn to Driffield, capital of the Wolds:

 

On Wednesday 2nd March I attended the Sykes Chapter No 1040 which meets at the Masonic Hall, Lockwood Street, Driffield. YO25 6RU.

This was an Installation Meeting and I was part of the active officers team escorting the Deputy Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith, PGSwdB, and once again with Humber Chapter member Excellent Comp Stephen Hastings, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, who on this occasion very kindly picked me up. Thank you Stephen!

There was a total of twelve active officers in attendance and due to various absences only eleven members.
The Installation did not go to plan as the 1st Principal was absent due to a recent fall but was carried out with sincerity and feeling.

Due to the number of absent companions and the fact that the incoming “Z” was absent the business of the evening was altered accordingly; the officers for the year were not invested. It is planned to do this in April when the new “Z” is installed.

We had a superb festive board, enjoyable and friendly company, and again the toasts for the evening were reduced, nevertheless it had been a brilliant, enjoyable evening. Well Done Sykes Chapter!

Ian Syddall

 

Tuesday 1st March 2022:

Ian Syddall's  visit to Beverley Road for a Chapter meeting:

 

On Tuesday 1st March I attended the Technical Chapter No 5666 which meets at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull, The Chapter was consecrated in the year 1946.

This was their Installation Meeting and I was the personal guest of the incoming 1st Principal Excellent Companion Jonathan Sykes, I was also part of the Provincial team escorting the 2nd Grand Principal, E Comp Paul Harper PGStdB, along with another Humber Chapter member E Comp Stephen Hastings Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.

The Installation was carried out with sincerity and feeling. The three installed Principals were:

I was asked to respond to the visitors toast, which I gladly accepted, having been given plenty of notice, I thought I had prepared well, however, I had written into my response a part congratulating Comp Paul Burton on receiving his 50th certificate, although this year he is actually 60 years in the Technical Chapter having joined in 1961/62 according to the summons’ But he was not well so there was a change and I quickly changed my response.

Now when I have attended Technical Chapter previously Excellent Companion Mike Cheeseman (who was the Provincial Mentor for Chapter and is a member of Technical Lodge) has always asked me to read out a Nugget, so this time I was prepared. ("I'll show him," I thought.) Here it is:

"The word 'Companion' originally came from a military background and referred to soldiers who shared bread together as messmates. It derives from the Latin words com and panis, meaning ‘with bread’.

"In the Royal Arch, our relationship is closer to the Almighty than that of the Craft, and therefore our relationship to each other is a closer one. The term Brother is not enough in the Royal Arch, we needed something more, and we have it in the relationship of a Companion.

"We should be proud of this bond, this relationship, and to call each other 'Companion.'"

We had a superb festive board, enjoyable and friendly company, I thanked the Principle Sojourner Companion Mark Cusack for the terms of his toast and the Companions on the way they had received my response.

 Ian Syddall

  

 

Tuesday 22nd February 2022:

Ian Syddall is not only a member of the Humber Chapter 57, but also of Brough Chapter 5464. Here are his notes from the palindromically dated meeting 22.02.2022:

 

A visit to Brough Chapter 5464

 

On Tuesday 22nd February, I attended in my capacity as 1st Principal, Zerubbabel of the Brough Chapter 5464 who meet at the Masonic Hall, College Street, Sutton upon Hull HU7 4UP. This Chapter was consecrated on the 19th November 1959,

This was my final full meeting as Zerubbabel and the business was to confirm which Companions would be the next three Principals of the Chapter.

Due to the COVID restrictions the succession through various officers had not gone to plan, so it was agreed to install Past Excellent Companions into the 1st and 2nd Principals’ positions. The line-up for next year reads as follows:

          1st Principal’s Chair (Zerubbabel) Excellent Companion Dennis Scarah PPGStdB

          2nd Principal’s Chair (Haggai) Excellent Companion Steve Bisby PPGSwdB

          3rd Principals Chair (Joshua) Companion Michael Shakesby

The rest of the meeting was transacted in accordance with the byelaws but with a touch of fun, Brough Chapter have always had the balance right.

We had one visitor (who did not stay for the festive board): the Provincial Liaison Officer for Brough, E Companion David Terry, a member of Humber 57 Chapter.

The only disappointing aspect of the evening was the paucity of members attending from our roll of thirty; nevertheless it was as usual, good company and good food.

Ian Syddall

 

  

Thursday 17th February 2022:

After a rehearsal for the Installation of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 on the Monday before the event, one of the Principals felt ill on the way home, and taking a covid test, proved positive. Quite rightly, he informed all those who had been present and a warning went round to all members- and a couple of days later, two others who had been there also tested positive. The visiting Provincial team was informed along with other booked-in visitors and the meeting has been postponed, with the full agreement of the Province. Congratulations to Stephen Prior, who took prompt action and thereby averted possible disaster for many vulnerable Companions and their families! The Chapter Organist, who had not attended the rehearsal, took the opportunity to visit the Constitutional Chapter 294 in Beverley where a Brother was exalted according to the distinctive ritual practised by this ancient Chapter. Two Humber Brethren were there, in the persons of Eddie Wildman and John Ellwood, members of the Ridings Tablers' Chapter (See 18th January.)

Eddie Wildman

Friday 28th January 2022:

Eddie Wildman reports on the RTLC

I am a founder member of the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586. Its warrant of Constitution is dated 18th November 2017 so its development has been severely hampered by the covid pandemic. Consequently the installation this evening had some recycling amongst the Companions.  Companion John William Ellwood (a member of Humber Craft Lodge) took the Chair of Joshua, or 3rd Principal, while E Comp John Bridges PP3rdGPrin stepped into the Office of Haggai, and E Companion Howard B Newton moved up to the Chair of Most Excellent Zerubbabel. E Companion Steve Hastings ProvGSwdB, the RTC Treasurer who formed part of the escort when the Ruler demanded admission, is also a member of Humber Chapter 57.

 

I do not report on all the meetings I attend - some Brethren and Companions have manifestly struggled post-pandemic and are still building their teams, but this meeting was one of the best performances of a Chapter Installation I have witnessed. Manifestly well rehearsed and choreographed, the meeting flowed while retaining the good humour that characterises the Ridings Tablers' Lodge and Chapter. The only Companion with an open ritual book was the Lecture Master, and he was rarely required to prompt. I was most impressed by the delivery of the ritual regarding the robes worn by the three principals: E Comp Fred Harrison, Lecture Master explained the Z's robe; E Comp Tony Dyer , Mentor, dilated on the H's robe; and Comp Ian Dixon, a newly-made Companion, gave the ritual for the robe of Joshua. All three word perfect.

The visiting Ruler was Excellent Companion Paul Harper, PGSB, Second Grand Principal and he presented the IPZ, E Comp Chris Harland with his collar and an IPZ jewel, remarking that it was an emblem of figurative graduation and deserving of respect for the work done as MEZ. At the festive board afterwards, Chris thanked everyone, but made particular mention of the stalwart organisation and management of E Comp Mark Green, whose efforts had kept the Chapter in good fettle during particularly trying times. The spontaneous applause following his comments indicated that the Companions were whole-heartedly in agreement.

 A splendid evening, well supported by RTC Companions and lots of visitors.

 Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 6th January 2022:

Here is E. Comp Ian Syddall's report on the Election Night Meeting of Humber Chapter 57,

However, he has cunningly interpolated  historical information in the form of nuggets regarding the three historic Principals who preside over the Chapter. The interpolated report may be found on the Chapter Nuggets Page. Here is the precis version.

 

The Humber Chapter No 57 Convocation on Thursday 6th January 2022 at 6:30 pm.

 

There were several apologies one of which was from the current “Z” E. Companion Michael Edwin Potts, who was suffering from “COVID” his replacement on this occasion was E Companion David Terry.

As usual for the Humber Chapter there was a private opening: this was the business meeting and on this occasion there were no visitors.

At this meeting the Companions agreed who will be our next three Principals for the new current year, our installation being April 7th 2022.

The Companions elected were:

 

      • E Comp Stanley J. Smith PPAGDC as 1st Principal, Zerubbabel;

     • E Comp Malcolm Forbes as 2nd Principal, Haggai;

     • E Comp Richard Smedley as 3rd Principal, Joshua;

 

      Other business on the night was as follows:

      • A Notice of Motion was given by E. Companion Richard Smedley to make E. Comp John            Proudley and E. Comp Kenneth Graham Honorary Members of Humber 57 Chapter.

     • E. Companion Winston Pannett on behalf of the Treasurer proposed that the subscriptions         be raised by £3.00 to £48.00 per year, as of the 1st of January 2022, this was seconded by             Comp Charles Alexander and passed by the Companions.

      • Greetings were extended:

      E Comp Hastings gave greetings from Provincial Grand Chapter.
      E Comp Whitfield gave greetings from the Past Zerubbabels of the Humber Chapter.

      The Convocation was then closed in due and ancient form at 19.05pm.

Ian Syddall

 

Wednesday 15th December 2021:

Kingston Chapter 1010 welcomed the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp Jeffrey Gillyon and his team of active Provincial Officers and a fifty years service certificate was presented by the MEGS to E Companion DErek Broderick PAst G Soj. It was a convivial occasion, the interview of Derek Broderick a delight. Neil Armstrong gave a superb illustrated presentation "Looking for a better life" - 150 years of Kingston Chapter to celebrate the sesquicentennial, a masterpice highlighting the difficult Dickensian state of Hull's poorer quarters and the efforts of the Kingston Lodge and Chapter to address the issues of poverty and disease. The festive board was a lively gathering, full of Christmas spirit.

Eddie Wildman

 

Tuesday 9th November 2021:

At the Craft meeting W Bro Ian Syddall Prov G Charity Steward was officially honoured with the Office of Royal Arch Representative for Humber 57, replacing Bro Mark Lindsay who presided in this post from 2020. We welcome Ian in this important role and look forward to his contributions to the Craft meetings and his increasing involvement with the Chapter.

At that same meeting he gave a report that the next Humber Chapter meeting would be on the 6th January 2022, and at which it was hoped a Provincial Team would attend. While this will be a business meeting, the occasion will be enhanced by a presentation of a fifty-year certificate to Excellent Companion Winston Pannett. (You can read about Winston on the zoom Page for "oth May 2020,)

Charity is of course an essential part of Freemasonry, and you can read something about it on our Charity page; a percentage of our subscriptions is automatically used by the United Grand Lodge of England for Charity, and there are many other ways in which the Brethren contribute. Having Ian in the Humber Lodge 57 is a bonus for us as his expertise in how to best deploy resources is very useful.

The astute reader will observe that on the photograph with this text Ian is not wearing a Craft apron, but the apron and sash of the Royal Arch or Chapter. The Chapter is regarded as the "fourth degree", continuing the teachings of the Craft in a higher level, and Master Masons are encouraged to consider taking their Freemasonry to this level. It is not necessary to join the Chapter attached to the Craft Lodge: many Masons extend their circle of friends and venues by joining Chapters elsewhere,

[Photograph by Eddie Wildman]

 

Thursday 4th November 2021:

I was the only visitor at the Humber Chapter 57, giving greetings from the Chapter of St Michael 7833, and there were few Companions. The Chapter Room was minimally set up: indeed, for the purposes of the evening, the full robing and display of the banners was not needed: the pedestal sufficed. It was felt that a rehearsal beforehand might have been useful, but E Comp Malcolm Forbes gave a well enunciated lecture on the subject of Cricket and Freemasonry, in which he spoke of eminent cricketers who had also been Masons.

E Comp Jack Whileblood was remembered in an eloquent eulogy by E Comp David Terry, and there was lively discussion about the correct protocol regarding a member who had failed to pay his subs.

E Comp Ian Syddall's Charity report following the meeting at Escrick can be seen on the Charity Page dated 21st October 2021. The festive board was excellent.

Eddie Wildman

 

Wednesday 13th October 2021:

 

Other than in discrete groups of half a dozen and through the occasional zoom, it has been a long time since the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586 met, and its return to an unrestricted meeting at Trinity Lane Beverley saw a succesful ballot for two joining members, and for the Exaltation of Brother Andrew Cooke. A surprise visit of the Provincial 2nd Grand Principal and a team of Officers added to the occasion. Although still in its infancy, the RTC has begun a number of "traditions" including the wearing of red socks for the occasion. Perhaps a new tradition has begun with the Principal Sojourner from Yorkshire, who rendered his script in an accent redolent of the Dales.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

 Wednesday 21st October 2020:

It's now Official!

Many congratulations to E Comp. Stephen Charles Hastings, IPZ of the Humber 57 Chapter, for his promotion to Active Office in the Provincial Team - Provincial Grand Sword Bearer. Stephen (shown here in a pre-face mask photograph) is also a significant member of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge and Chapter 9685.

Humber Chapter E Comp. Ian Syddall (see the photograph in the article below) also has been awarded active Provincial rank as Provincial Grand Steward. Although the pandemic doesn't permit us to applaud them publicly (the Convocation in November will be limited by the Rule of Six) the Humber Chapter Companion are proud of you both. Well done, Stephen and Ian - it is good to see excellence rewarded.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Thursday 3rd September 2020:

The Humber Chapter Installation which should have take place in April was held in the black and white Lodge Room at Dagger Lane, and in accordance with the government guidelines and instructions from UGLE and Province was in a streamlined format, without robes, sceptres etc., and without the banners, other than the four principal banners and the Royal Arch logo now traditionally displayed on the east wall during Craft meetings, and hence permanently in place. Last minute apologies had reduced the gathering to a baker's dozen (including the two visitors, E Comp Paul Harper, Deputy Grand Superintendent, and E Comp Eddie Wildman, WM of the Humber Lodge.) Most of the Brethren were members of the premier Lodge in the Province: it was good to see familiar faces, plus those of friends from elsewhere, albeit partially hidden by the fine masonic masks kindly supplied by Bro Craig Morrison.

E Companion Ian Syddall (recently promoted to PGStwd - see the next article) presided as the outgoing Zerubabbel, supported by E Comps Sergei Byelov (now PPGAstSoj) and Stephen Hastings (now PGSwdB) as stand-in H and J., while the "new team" occupied different seats at a suitable sociable interval in front. E Comp Richard Smedley (MEZ of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter, the first post-lockdown MEZ in the Province, see next article below) as the Installing Director of Ceremonies lent dignity and authority to the occasion.

Following a eulogy for E Comp Mark Philips the ceremony proceeded smoothly and efficiently; as all but the incoming Zerubbabel had held such offices before, it was a short period before E Comp Mike Potts was installed as First Principal,  E Comp Stanley Smith was installed as Haggai and E Comp Malcolm Forbes was installed as Joshua,  The Deputy Grand Superintendent spoke briefly and eloquently about the way forward, acknowledging that it would not be easy, but confident that the Chapter would prosper in the future.

There was no festive board so the Companions took their leave of each other in the Lodge Room and made their way home before sunset.

[Pictured L to R: E Comp Ian Syddall, retiring Z; E Comp Mike Potts, MEZ; E Comp. Stan Smith, H; E Comp Mike Forbes, J. Photos by ERW.]

 

Monday 27th July 2020:

First Post-Lock-down Chapter Meeting.

 

In the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings, the first Chapter meeting after lock-down was the installation of the MEZ, H and J of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter 9611, moved by dispensation from Malton to Trinity Lane Beverley.

The event took place in the elegant panelled dining hall, observing Covid-19 protocols, with appropriate social distancing and a minimum of regalia and equipment. The MEZ, E Comp Bill Glanville PPGScN opened the Chapter and the Acting Director of Ceremonies, E Comp David Knowles PPGSwd announced the entrance of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Jeffrey Gillyon. The Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith was already in attendance.

Having already been elected, and having been previously installed elsewhere, the three elected Principals were installed by announcement.

E Comp Richard Smedley was installed as MEZ, E Comp Mark Richardson as H and E Comp Mark Green as J. The MEZ announced his officers.

After the Almoner’s report, the Provincial Stewards for 2020-21 (all Provincial Grand Stewards are chosen by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent) were proposed. These included E Comp Paul Cooper of Londesborough Chapter 734 and E Comp Ian Syddall, MEZ of Humber Chapter 57. These Companions were present and stood to acknowledge the honour.

Humber was well represented that evening, with Richard Smedley ProvAGDC, Sergei Byelov PPGStwd (retiring J), Ian Syddall (soon to become ProvGS) and Eddie Wildman, PPGScN, guest organist for the occasion.

At the risings greetings were given by the MEGS who took the opportunity to say that it was no easy task getting Freemasonry up and running again, and the help of the Provincial Stewards in both Craft and Chapter was needed. He encouraged telephoning absent Brethren and Companions as a more friendly way of keeping in touch. He intimated that later in the year a full initiation ceremony would be demonstrated for the benefit of those initiated under the coronavirus health and safety restrictions. This, he said, would include the Entered Apprentice Song!

The Chapter was closed and the Companions retired.

 [Photographs with social distancing by Eddie Wildman]

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CHAPTER NUGGETS 

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HUMBER PAST ZERUBBABELS