Royal Arch News 

 

Supreme Grand Chapter appointment and promotion.

 

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid is delighted to confirm that The First Grand Principal HRH The Duke of Kent has been pleased to honour the Province with Tercentenary  Honours.

 

Michael Mossman is appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStB)

 

Tony Oke is promoted to Past Assistant Grand Sojourner (PAGSoj)

 

Michale and John will be invested at the Surpeme Grand Chapter meeting in November.

 

 

Longleat Quartet in Fine Form at Thynne Chapter Installation.

 

Companions of Thynne Chapter No.1478 and their visitors witnessed an excellent Installation Convocation last night in Warminster which received very high praise from the Deputy Grand Superintendent EComp Colin Cheshire who was the Presiding officer. 


Many congratulations to the Installing Principal Rob Evans who installed his successor Lindsay Young in a flawless manner.  In turn the new MEZ EComp Lindsay Young and his co-principals: Haggai John Caple and Joshua James Lowe carried out their parts of the ceremony in an exemplary fashion.

This was an all “1478” affair with all four Companions not only belonging to Thynne Chapter No.1478 by also member of Longleat Lodge No.1478.

 



Report by: EComp Michael Mossman Scribe E (Chapter No.1478)

 

Andrew Tiffin appointed 3rd Principal at Provincial Chapter Convocation 

 

At the annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter held at Melksham on Saturday 13th May 2017 the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent appointed and invested E Comp Andrew Tiffin to the office of 3rd Provincial Grand Principal.

 

In appointing Andrew the Grand Superintendent addressed a capacity audience and said "I express my grateful thanks to the Executive and outgoing Provincial Officers for their support and commitment over the last twelve months, here I make special mention of Excellent Companion Simon Ellingham the Past 3rd Provincial Grand Principal for his continued support and commitment over numerous years occupying all of the Director of Ceremonies Offices whilst just completing his second year as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, likewise Excellent Companion Russell Evans for his service and patience as Assistant Director of Ceremonies, and although Excellent Companion Tiffin has today been invested as 3rd Provincial Grand Provincial, the Province owes him a great debt of gratitude for the diligent manner in which he has administered our accounts.

 

In his spare time (I know that's a difficult concept to consider) Andrew is the Vice-Chairman of the Masonic Samaritan Fund 2017 Wiltshire Festival.  I'm not quite sure how he is going to find time to walk the dog following his new appointment.

 

E Comp John Reid also presented a cheque for £1,000 to E Comp Francis Wakem who accepted it on behalf of Victim Support (Wiltshire).

 

 

News and picture supplied by E Comp Alan Colman

Chapter of Agriculture receives Travelling Quaich

 

A splendid evening at Chapter of Agriculture No 9090 on Monday where Bro Alan Macrae was Exalted into Royal Arch Freemasonry in an exemplary style by the Chapter Companions witnessed by visitors from near and far including two Past Grand Superintendents.

 

In addition to the Exaltation, the Travelling Quaich was passed on by the Companions of Highworth Chapter No 9009 on its continuing journey round this wonderful Province.  EComps Jason Edwards, Simon Butler and Harvey Groves travelled from the North of the Province and, after a lengthy detour around Corsham, found the Masonic Hall where EComp Jason passed the Quaich into the care of Chapter of Agriculture in exemplary fashion.

 

As is now traditional, at the festive board, the Quaich was filled with single malt whisky and passed around the supper table for the companions to share the benefit of Scotland’s greatest export.

 

The next stop on the Travelling Quaich’s tour of the Province is the Provincial Convocation at Melksham on 13 May.

 

 

Pictures shows EComp Ian Johnstone sharing the Quaich with EComps Simon Butler and Harvey Groves.

 

News and picture supplied by E Comp Simon Ellingham

Chapter host a Quadripartite Convocation

 

 

At a special meeting of Lansdowne Chapter of Unity No.626 on Wednesday 29th March 2017, the Chapter hosted a Quadripartite Convocation on behalf of Provincial Grand Chapter. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendents EComp John Reid, had much pleasure in welcoming the MEGS and Executives from the Provincial Grand Chapters of Somerset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Dorset to Wiltshire. The Quadripartite Convocation is always a special occasion on the masonic calendar and a wonderful opportunity to meet up with our good friends from across the border.

 

The evening was also a very special night for WBro Ian Dunbar of Vale of Avon Lodge No.8432 who was exalted in the Holy Royal Arch. Many congratulations must go to the MEZ of the Chapter EComp Richard Wallis and all his Officers for performing an excellent Exaltation Ceremony. When you say the “pressure is on” well, on a night like this it was certainly “on” and the Chapter rose to the challenge and were not only a credit to themselves but also to the Province.

Following the ceremony the Companions were treated to a superb meal by the new caterers at Chippenham Masonic Centre and certainly no one went home hungry!  The MEGS John Reid in response to his toast paid tribute to the Past Grand Superintendents who first developed the idea of a Quadripartite Convocation and the current Grand Superintendents who keep the tradition going today.  The MEGS also thanked the Chapter Scribe Ezra, EComp Owen Flint of all his hard work in arranging the evening.

 

The MEGS John Reid took this opportunity to welcome Companion Ian Dunbar into the Royal Arch Chapter and presented him with a Provincial Tie and Napkin to mark his exaltation on this special evening.

 

 

The next Quadripartite Convocation will be hosted in 2018 by Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset and is something we are already looking forward to attending.

 

Words and picture submiited by EComp Andrew Tiffin assisted by EComp John Reid

 

Royal Arch Chapter Annual Luncheon for Grand Officers and Active Provincial Officers



The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, EComp John Reid and his wife Carole were pleased to host the informal annual Sunday Luncheon held at the Masonic Hall, Calne on 19 March 2017 when 68 Companions welcomed the PrGM EComp Phillip Bullock and his wife Sally, the Inspector General of the Anicent and Accepted Rite (Rose Croix) EComp Francis Wakem and his wife Dorothy, the Provincial Prior E Comp John Cave, the PrGM of the Mark Master Masons EComp Andy Beaumont and his wife Diana and the Provincial Communications Officer W Bro Des Morgan.

 

The 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, EComp Simon Ellingham addressed the gathering thanking the Grand Superintendent and his Executive for all their support to the Province over the year.  He said "It has been a very enjoyable and busy year, with two banner dedications, the Wiltshire Chapter of Agriculture and The Chapter of Harmony, and a team visit to the Methuen Chapter where the Provincial team performed a double exaltation ceremony."

 

Simon also mentioned the numerous inter Provincial visits and the fact that a member of the Executive had attended every meeting of the Chapters in Wiltshire.  In conclusion he thanked Carole Reid for all her support to John and as a small token of the Companions gratitude she was presented with a bouquet of flowers. The Grand Superintendent was also presented with a jar of sweets to keep up his sugar levels on his long journeys home. 

 

The Grand Superintendent, in response, thanked the Province for the support they had shown him during the last year.  E Comp John went on to describe the charities that the Province had supported during the year.  The Masonic Samaritan Fund and the Wiltshire 2017 Festival, Warminster Food Bank, Victim Support Wiltshire, Women’s Refuge Salisbury and Teddies for Loving Care.

 

Importantly he thanked all the wives and loved ones of all Freemasons in the Province who supported the work of their partners. He said that if it was not for their love, encouragement and understanding the Province would not be in such a strong position.

 

Events such as the luncheion do not 'just happen' and thanks were extended to the Provincial Scribe Paul Vogwell, and in particular his wife Sue for  the support she has given him over the past year.  E Comp Brian Amos for his hard work and that of his wife Yvonne in organising the lunch and for the table decorations.  Finally, thanks  to EComp Barry Cooper for setting up the hall, the bar staff and of course Andrew and Francis Evans for the meal which was enjoyed by everyone.

 

Words and picture submiited by EComp Brian Amos

It's a 'family fest' at St Aldhelm Chapter 

 

 

Front row left to right:

Stefan Reynolds (uncle), Peter Reed (grandfather), Nigel Reed PPrGSwdB (Father), Edward Reed (19 years) and Dr David Reed PPrGSoj (uncle).

 

Edward was Initiated on the 17th October 2015, by dispensation into the Whitson Lodge No 2943 in the Province of Bristol at the age of eighteen, by his father who was invited to take the Chair for such a memorable evening.  Edward is already the Inner Guard of the Lodge.

 

The First Principal Excellent Companion Tom Sheppard invited Excellent Companion Nigel Reed to take the Chair for the Exaltation ceremony.  Excellent Companion Nigel stated that it was a great pleasure for him to be able to Exalt Edward who is one of four sons, and that in 2006 he had Exalted his father, Peter Reed into the Chapter, and in due course he would like to see his other sons be Exalted into the Chapter.

 

To make the evening a family event Stefan Reynolds (uncle), Peter Reed (grandfather), Nigel Reed PPrGSwdB (Father), Edward Reed (19 years) and Dr David Reed PPrGSoj (uncle) all attended this very happy occasion.

 

Supplied by Excellent Companion Nigel Reed JP Scribe Ezra

St Edmund Chapter enjoys a very special moment 

 

E.Comp Keith McEvoy stood in as P Soj and conducted his father Bro Ken McEvoy around the Chapter during his Exaltation.  This was carried out in a most caring manner in mind of his father’s limited mobility.  Nevertheless, the ceremony proved to be a moving experience for all assembled, and the newly exalted Companion expressed his thanks for the kindness shown to him both before, during and after the ceremony.

 

With the Grand Superintendent and his Deputy present,  the Chapter was pleased to present  them with a cheque for £300 in support of the Province's Christmas 2017 chocolate appeal.

 

 

Photo by E Comp John Reid MEGS and words by E Comp Barry Cooper  (a dynamic duo)

Vale of White Horse Chapter No. 1770 presents cheque for Festival

 

On Wednesday 8th February 2017 EComp Philip Bullock (Provincial Grand Master of Wiltshire) and EComp Andrew Tiffin Provincial Treasurer were invited as guests of the MEZ EComp Ray Pipe, to visit the Vale of White Horse Royal Arch Chapter No.1770.   Although the Chapter meets in Faringdon, Oxfordshire they come under the banner of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Berkshire.  A delightful form of triangulation between three Provinces.

 

Following an excellent Exaltation Ceremony, MEZ Ray Pipe presented the Provincial Grand Master with a cheque for £500.00 towards the Masonic Samaritan Fund Wiltshire 2017Festival.  The PrGM warmly thanked the Companions of the Chapter for their very kind and generous donation and mentioned what a pleasant surprise it was to see so many Wiltshire Freemasons who are members of the Chapter and also the number visiting on the evening.  

 

The evening was rounded off with a lovely meal in the company of many good friends from both the Vale of White Horse Royal Arch Chapter and the Province of Wiltshire.

 

 

Photo: MEZ EComp Ray Pipe presenting the cheque to PrGM EComp Philip Bullock with the MEGS of Berkshire EComp Ian Hopgood

Highworth Chapter No. 9009 – Visit by Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire.

 

On Friday 27th January 2017 Highworth Chapter No. 9009 hosted a fraternal visit to Wiltshire by the Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire.  The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire welcomed his Buckinghamshire counterpart John Keeble who was accopmanied by members of his Provincial Executive and Provincial Team.  In total 22 Companions from Buckinghamshire visited Wiltshire.  

 

The Companions were treated to an excellent Exaltation Ceremony by the MEZ and Chapter Officers.  Later, at the supper table, John Reid welcomed the Chapter's newest member Companion David Plotkin and wished him many happy years in the Royal Arch.  Everyone was agreed the Companions of Highworth Chapter had provided an enjoyable evening.

 

 MEZ and Chapter Officers with Companion David Plotkin                                          a 'wee dram' for the Quaich

 

 MEGS of Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire with their Executive

Friday 13th 'lucky' for Chapter of Harmony No.663


A very enjoyable task awaited the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid and the Provincial Team when they visited Devizes and the January Regular Convocation of Chapter of Harmony No.663 to dedicate a new Chapter banner.  It didn't escape anyones notice that the meeting was being held on Friday 13th; thankfully no one was in the least superstitious and all went well.  

Immediately prior to the Banner dedication the Chapter carried out a very enjoyable Exaltation Ceremony and  welcomed Companion Geoffrey Brewer as the latest member of the Wiltshire Royal Arch family. The Chapter also balloted for another three Candidates for Exaltation.

The MEZ offered the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent the sceptre of the Chapter,  who having accepted it proceeded to dedicate the Chapter’s new banner ably assisted by members of the Provincial Executive and Provincial Team.

Pic (LtoR) showsE Comp John Cave,  Comp Ryan Hartley and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp John Reid presenting E Comp Ryan with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate.

 

An excellent Oration was  given by E.Comp. Michael Barratt the Provincial Grand Almoner, who had clearly spent some considerable time researching the Chapter’s history.  A copy of the Oration can be read on the Provincial website on the Royal Arch Lectures Page.

 

The evening ended with the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid congratulating the Chapter of Harmony on the design of their new banner.

 

New Banner for Chapter of Agriculture.

 

On Tuesday 10th January at  the Masonic Hall, Corsham, the Chapter of Agriculture No.9090 had their new banner dedicated. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid, was offered and accepted the sceptre of the Chapter and carried out the banner dedication with the assistance of members of the Provincial Executive and Provincial Team. 

 

This was the first banner dedication by the MEGS and the ceremony was conducted with sincerity and passion; coupled with a measured amount of light humour. The dedication was rounded off with an absolutely superb oration by the EComp Rev John Hughes.

 

After the Chapter was closed  the Companions of the Chapter joined with the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for a photograph with their new banner.

 

Provincial Grand Chapter donates 200 Christmas Selection Boxes 

 

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid accompanied by Tony Channing the Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Steward, presented 200 Christmas Selection Boxes to Warminster & District Foodbank.  

 

In presenting the Selection Boxes to Kay Kronenberg one of the Foodbank volunteers, John Reid, said “The donation is part of our Support Children at Christmas initiative and the donation is made on behalf of all Wiltshire Royal Arch Freemasons and their families. Provincial Grand Chapter always try to remain responsive to the needs of others within our Wiltshire community, especially at this time of the year, and hope this small gift will help brighten a young child’s Christmas”. 

 

 

Photo: John Reid presenting a Selection Box to Kay Kronenberg with Tony Channing and the other foodbank volunteers.

Royal Arch Chapter donate £300 to Victim Support (Wiltshire)


Royal Arch Freemasons have presented a £300 cheque to Katie Maclean, Senior Service Delivery Manager, Victim Support (Wiltshire) to help support young children who have either been a victim of crime or been affected by crime.

 

In presenting the cheque  the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid, said “We believe it is essential to support charities such as Victim Support (Wiltshire) as they offer vital help to young children across the county”

 

The money will be used to purchase items to meet the specific needs of a young  person such as: personal alarms,  books about anxiety to help worried children; night lights to help children sleep following a burglary; stress balls, notebooks/diaries to capture thoughts and anxieties; worry eaters and tangles.

 

Tony Channing, the Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Steward, accompanied the Grand Superintendent.



Photo 1. John Reid MEGS, Katie Maclean and Tony Channing        Photo 2. John Reid MEGS, with the Victim Support Team

 

The Victim Support team gave a very eye-opening presentation on the work they carry out in Wiltshire.

The Travelling Silver Quaich finds a new home in Salisbury

 

A delegation from St Edmund Chapter No. 4714 journeyed to the South of the Province and Salisbury where they effected the first handover between Chapters as the Travelling Silver Quaich starts it's journey around the Province.  

 

The Companions were then treated to an Exaltation ceremony conducted in an exemplary manner when Bro James Stirland was exalted into Stonehenge Chapter No.6114.

 

Four of the Chapter's visitors were from the Province of Somerset and, having noted the agenda included the Travelling Quaich handover, surprised the MEZ E Comp. Paul Turner by presenting a bottle of Glen Moray Malt Whisky to celebrate the occasion.  This was most graciously (and very quickly) accepted which ensured that it would be available to be shared by all in the celebration during the Festive Board.  Paul had also independently purchased a Malt Whisky for the occasion which by sheer coincidence happened also to be Glen Moray.  The significance was not lost on E Comp John Reid the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent  who commented on the fact that this was the same Brand as used when the Travelling Silver Quaich was presented to St Edmund Chapter No 4714.

 

Perhaps there is a subliminal message which is suggesting we may have to change the name "Travelling Quaich" to the "Glen Moray Cup"

 

Provincial Grand Chapter take the reins at Methuen Chapter

 

Tuesday 11th October saw a special evening at the MethuenChapter meeting in Marlborough, where 19 active officers from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire performed a double Exaltation in front of a packed temple in Marlborough.

The evening started normally with a smooth opening from the three Methuen principles, however when the provincial DC entered the temple you couldn’t fail to notice he didn’t have his normal mourning trousers on, having come to the meeting directly from work he had neglected to pack the correct attire so conducted the ceremony with his usual command and authority wearing paint splattered work trousers!

 

The Sceptre was handed over to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion John Reid by the Methuen MEZ, Andrew Smith and the MEGS then asked the provincial team to take the offices in the Chapter. The Ceremony was then continued until the Provincial DC pointed out that he had not changed over the second and third principals, this caused a mild panic with the current Methuen second principal!

 

With the provincial team hailing from all over the province and indeed originally the country it was not surprising that there were, by my count, 5 different workings used during the ceremony, these were however delivered flawlessly (I think!) and with a feeling that only comes from a deep knowledge and experience of the ceremony.

 

Companion David Vines and Companion Ashley Croft were exalted into the chapter in a manner fitting with the traditions of Methuen chapter in giving a very personal and warm welcome during the ceremony.

 

As time was moving on there was a Grand Chapter certificate presentation to Companion Robert Smith that was skilfully attended to by Excellent Companion Paul Vogwell the Provincial Scribe E in an uncondensed manner causing some companions to wonder if the caterers would lay on breakfast instead of dinner that evening!

The MEGS also presented a cheque for £200 to Kevin Logan from the Loganberry trust to help with their continuing work in the screening of men for prostate cancer.

 

 

All in all and entertaining, heartfelt ceremony performed by the provincial team in front of 57 companions and some attendees remarked that it would be nice this happening each year from the team at a different chapter in the province, perhaps even the provincial DC could wear his bespoke exaltation trousers again!

St Edmund Chapter receives Travelling Silver Quaich

 

Colin Cheshire, Deputy Grand Superintendent presided at the Installation Meeting of St Edmund Chapter No 4714 when E Comp Barry Cooper was installed as MEZ

 

John Reid - Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was also present and presented Barry with the 'travelling silver Quaich' in so doing he reminded the Companions of how much he had enjoyed the privilege and pleasure of visiting many Chapters, and in a desire to encourage visiting to one another’s Chapters introduced a travelling silver Quaich to be transferred from Chapter to Chapter. To see where the Quaich will be click here

 

 

E Comp John explained "A Quaich, is a drinking vessel  used to offer a welcome drink at a gathering between friends and strangers which incorporates trust between the giver and receiver,  in offering it to my friend  Barry Cooper and the St Edmund Chapter I am sure you will agree it is a fitting representation of the Companionship of our Order"

 

Having offered Barry the Quaich all that was required from Barry was for him to fill it with his favourite tipple, which just had to be a good Scottish Malt, and in fine tradition he managed to avoid wasting a drop. The Quaich was then passed around the assembled for all to admire and sample.  The Quaich will be transferred in November to the next Chapter in line

 

Many congratulations to Barry on being Installed as MEZ of this very fine Chapter and long may the tradition of passing the Quaich be maintained in the Province.  Below shows E Comp Lee Fuller, E Comp Richard Wright, and E comp Mark Fuller, IPZ watching the presentation

 

The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter - May 2016

 

A May day bathed in glorious sunshine greeted the Royal Arch Companions of Wiltshire and their visitors as they assembled in Melksham for the annual convocation of The Provincial Grand Chapter of Wiltshire.  Under the watchful eye of the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Richard M Palmer the rehearsal and the ceremony went without a hitch,  surely a good sign for the day ahead, and so it proved to be.  The Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Reid gave a warm Wiltshire welcome to the visitors many of whom had travelled a considerable distance for this wonderful occasion, their presence was certainly appreciated and the companions from the Province of Wiltshire confirmed this with a warm round of applause.

 

 

This year saw a new Second Grand Principal installed. Excellent Companion Peter John Read, PGStB replacing Excellent Companion A (Tony) J Oke, PGStB.  The Grand Superintendent paid tribute to Tony’s tireless work for the Province not just during time in office but throughout his Royal Arch Chapter career.  At the provincial lunch following the convocation a presentation was made to Tony for his unstinting service to the Province.  The good news is that Tony will not be retiring just yet and will continue to manage the successful Talking Heads programme which has been so well received throughout the Province.  We all wish Tony and his team 'all the very best for the next year'.

 

 

A full transcript of the Grand Superintendent's 2016 Annual Convocation address can be found on the Provincial website by clicking on the following link: http://www.pglwilts.org.uk/grand-superintendents-address-2016/  .

The Grand Superintendent reflects on how 'time flies'

 

As we enter the second quarter of 2016 I am minded to ask where has the last three months gone? as they do seem to have vanished so very quickly.

Yet should I be so surprised, after all I can often be heard telling newly Installed Zs how their year in office will pass by as a heartbeat, a breath of wind or in a twinkle of an eye, all expressions which remind us of the transitory nature of life.

Time flies never to be recalled.

As I write these words I am mindful of the sadness which affects a family when a loved one dies; it seems that no words can comfort, no actions can compensate and no amount of understanding can change the way one feels.  However, I am persuaded that life does indeed 'go on' and that eventually the darkness becomes a little less opaque and that with the help and support of friends 'things' become a little easier. To all Companions I would say, you are part of a large family and it behoves each of us to act as a family unit - in particular careing for those who are sick and in distress.

As a family we also experience moments of great joy such as the recent Installation of E Comp Philip Bullock in the Chair of Concord Chapter No.632.  Every Exaltation and Installation is a time to celebrate, one to welcome  a new Companion as he begins his journey of discovery within the Royal Arch, the other to acknowledge the progress a Companion has made in that same journey.

I am delighted to note the number of Exaltations planned for the coming year.  The work of the 'Talking Heads' team who have presented two performances of this very important message in Chippenham and Salisbury has been instrumental in providing a new perspective on the Holy Royal Arch to our Craft Brethren.  Once again I thank the Provincial Grand Master  for his support of the Talking Heads initiative.

The Holy Royal Arch is not immune to the harsh realities of life, especially the tough economic times our country is experiencing. Freemasonry is not the most expensive of 'hobbies' but when coupled with other interests and pastimes the financial impact  can soon become an issue.  It is against such a tough fiscal background that the Royal Arch must compete and i am delighted that new Companions  continue to join the Wiltshire Province.  

Our meetings are good fun, offering not only companionship but also the opportunity to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the whole Masonic journey.

I hope that many of you who view the Royal Arch pages on the website will recognise that we are a very active Province with friendly Chapters meeting across Wiltshire.  You can be assured of a warm welcome from the Companions of Wiltshire should you wish to take the next step in Freemasonry and join the Holy Royal Arch.

My very best wishes to you all

 

John Reid 

 

Grand Superintendent

Methuen Chapter Companions enjoy a wonderful family event

 

The Companions of Methuen Chapter No. 1533 and their guests witnessed a truly moving event and joyous occasion when E Comp Andrew Smith exalted his father Robert Smith into the Holy Royal Arch.

In a ceremony which was considered perfect in every respect, Andrew demonstrated all the attributes of an accomplished MEZ and was clearly very proud in being given the opportunity to welcome his father into what was described as 'the Premier' Chapter - one feels that comment may have a long run insofar as discussion around the province is concerned!

However there is no doubt that Methuen Chapter is a friendly place to be and the Royal Arch's newest Companion will find himself amongst friends as he continues his masonic journey beyond the Craft.

Companion Robert is currently Senior Warden in Lodge of Good Fellowship No.8388 and will be installed as Master by his son Andrew in October. 

 

The Grand Superintendent proves a dab hand behind the bar

 

The Grand Superintendent, John Reid always takes his duties very seriously whether delivering complex ritual, presenting certificates of just pouring a pint.

The smile on John's face was nothing compared to the look of surprise on the faces of Companions who were served by the 'boss'

Contrary to the comments from some 'wags' the Grand Superintendent's wallet does not have a combination lock - just a padlock!

 

 


 

HRH The Duke of Kent honours John Reid

 

To complete an amazing and eventful year for the Province, HRH The Duke of Kent has bestowed Craft Grand Rank on ME Comp John Reid.  At the forthcoming Annual Investiture John will become Junior Grand Deacon, an office currently held by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Stephen Bridge.

 

It is a great honour for both John and the Province and highly unusual for a Province to be able to claim 'back to back' acting Officers.

 

John said "I was truly amazed when I opened the letter from Freemasons' Hall esepcially when I read that the honour was to serve as a acting Officer, my second thought was to make a call to Stephen Bridge and get some tips on what I will have to do".

Provincial Chapter Officers' Lunch a great success
 

  

 

The Tom Tom drums must have been busy in Wiltshire on the 20th March when fifty-six Companions and their partners sat down to dine at the annual active Provincial Grand Chapter Officers’ lunch.  What an excellent meal it was, for which thanks must go to the caterers Andrew and Frances Evans.

 

Excellent Companion Tony Oke, 2ndPrGPrin, proposed the toast to the Province saying that this year as always had been very busy, with the usual large number of visits to other Provinces and for which they were always very grateful for the navigational aids Tom Tom, Garmin or just the Grand Superintendent’s well known sense of direction!

 

At the end of his speech Tony was handed a plain brown envelope, which contained his P45 (he is standing down as 2ndPrGPrin this year after three hardworking and very successful years). 

 

In reply John Reid thanked everyone for attending the lunch and for the Officers’ support over the year.  He also thanked Tony Oke for all his support over the years both as PrGSE and 2nd PrGPrin, and that although he was stepping down this year the Province had not finished with him yet, watch this space.


  

50 Year Certificate and surprise promotion for E Comp Alan Russell
 

On Saturday 27th February 2016 at a special gathering of members of Methuen Chapter No.1533 in Marlborough, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid presented EComp Alan Russell with a certificate to mark his 50 years service in the Royal Arch. 

 

EComp Alan, a retired RAF Officer, was exalted into Royal Commemoration Chapter No.1585 in 1966 and has also been a member of Chapter Singapore No.7178 and Wrington Vale Chapter No.1199 before joining Methuen Chapter in October 1998.

 

John thanked  Alan for his dedicated commitment and service and for everything he has done for the Royal Arch in Wiltshire and Methuen Chapter and presented him with an engraved wine glass to mark this special anniversary.

 

However, there was one further surprise to come for  Alan when the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent promoted him to Past Provincial Grand Sojourner and presented him with his new apron and collar badges.



Photo 1: The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John  Reid presenting EComp Alan Russell with his Certificate.


Photo 2: The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid promoting EComp Alan Russell.  Also in picture  with the Scribe E of the Chapter (Left)EComp Hilton Richards and MEZ of the Chapter (right) EComp Andrew Smith.


A wonderful evening for father and son

 

 


In an extraordinary sequence of events the tables were turned when Mark and Lee Fuller combined to welcome their father Brian into  the Holy Royal Arch.  

 

Having  Initiated his two sons into Staple Hill Lodge No. 6043, Mark in 1997 and Lee in 2003 it fell to the two siblings to exalt their father into the  St Edmund Chapter No. 4714.

 

A moving ceremony witnessed by The Grand Superintendent with his Deputy and the Provincial 2nd Grand Principal supporting, was conducted in an exemplary manner.  Bryan proved to be a popular choice for the Exaltation as five members of his Craft Lodge had also travelled to be in attendance.

 

Mark and Lee are third generation Freemasons and Grandfather was not excluded from this ceremony as part of his regalia was being put to good use by the candidate.

 

Both the Ritual and the Festive Board proved to be joyous and sometimes humorous occasions, a memorable evening for all involved.

The Grand Superintendent welcomes the Provincial Grand Master as Z 



Philip Bullock was Installed in the Chair of Concord Chapter No.632 in a ceremony attended by the 'great and good' of the Province including the Grand Superintendent John Reid and his Deputy Colin Cheshire.

 

A large turn out of Companions filled the Masonic Hall at Trowbridge and made for a wonderful atmosphere which added to the occasion.

 

E Comp Philip Bullock said "I am so pleased to have made this very important step in Royal Arch Masonry and I will do my very best to fulfil the duties of the office to which this evening I have been given the privilege of occupying".  

 

So say all of us.

 

The Chapter 'twitter' site lit up following the closing of the Chapter, a sure sign of keen interest in the events of the evening.

The Grand Superintendent joins in the festive fun

 

As we fast approach Christmas the Grand Superintendent has joined in the fun of the festive season and can be found in two guises on pages 8 and 9 of the Winter edition of Across The Plain.

Some Companions have asked the editor to publish a slightly larger image of the small picture on page 9 and we are delighted to reproduce it on the website.

E Comp John joins a host of Freemasons who have agreed to be transformed into 'Santa' look alikes as part of a competition organised by the editor of Across The Plain. 

If you haven't completed and returned your entry, please do so before 31 December 2015.  

 

There is a bottle of champagne on offer to the Companion who can name all eighteen Brethren who are masquerading as Santa Claus, and whose name is drawn by the Provincial Grand Master.

The Royal Arch welcomes some of its newest Companions
 

The month of November has brought together a number of newly Exalted Companions to the Royal Arch in Wiltshire.

Such are the numbers waiting to join two of the older Chapters in Wiltshire, Chapter of Concord N°632 meeting in Trowbridge and Chapter of Harmony N°663 meeting in Devizes, that three double ceremonies were held to welcome new Companions.

Following the Installation Ceremony at Chapter of Harmony, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was pleased to present Supreme Grand Chapter Certificates to Companions Gerrard Hamilton, Paul Robinson and Roger Hawker (see picture right).

Whilst at Chapter of Concord the newly Exalted Companions William Hughes and David Hibberson who shared in the double ceremony are shown with Companions Stephen Nuttall and Mark Manning who joined the Chapter earlier in the year. (see picture left)


Swindon Women's Aid - 50 selection boxes 

 

Warminster & District Foodbank has received 100 Christmas Selection Boxes from Wiltshire Royal Arch Freemasons.

Speaking about the donation, Andrew Tiffin , who first thought of the idea to support the Foodbank said “We believe it is essential to support the work undertaken by the Warminster & District Foodbank.

We live in challenging times and for some Christmas can be a time of even greater need especially if they have recently been made redundant or have fallen on hard times".

Tony Channing (pictured L) with Peter Cowen who organises the annual collection on behalf of Royal Arch Companions and Craft Freemasons.

Royal Arch gifts 100 selection boxes

 

Warminster & District Foodbank has received 100 Christmas Selection Boxes from Wiltshire Royal Arch Freemasons.

Speaking about the donation, Andrew Tiffin , who first thought of the idea to support the Foodbank said “We believe it is essential to support the work undertaken by the Warminster & District Foodbank.

We live in challenging times and for some Christmas can be a time of even greater need especially if they have recently been made redundant or have fallen on hard times".

Tony Channing (pictured L with John Reid and representatives of the Foodbank).

 


Talking Heads a Great Success

 

On Monday 23rd November 2015 at Lansdowne Chapter of Unity No.626 in Chippenham, the Chapter hosted the first presentation of “Talking heads” in Wiltshire by the Provincial Team.

Talking Heads is a short playlet that seeks to answer questions about the Royal Arch. It depicts an encounter between an experienced Past Master, who is also a Royal Arch Companion, and a relatively new Master Mason eager to learn more. The playlet covers the history of the Order and explains a little about the regalia – especially the jewel that is also worn in lodges – as well as discussing some of the links with the Craft.

The evening was a great success and eleven members of the Craft attended along with two very recently exalted Companions. Although “Talking Heads”  is designed to be performed in a Craft Lodge, for its first outing the Team was invited by Lansdowne Chapter of Unity to do a “Live Rehearsal”. The Chapter was opened, business quickly conducted and then closed and after the  Chapter was dismantled  the visiting Craft Brethren invited into the Temple.


The next performance of “Talking Heads” will take place at The City Lodge No.5955 in Salisbury on Thursday 19th January 2016. 

 

Further details are available from EComp Tony Oke or the Lodge Secretary.

 

The photo (above left) show the Chapter Principals, the two very recently exalted Companions and the eleven Craft Brethren who attended the event.

Inter Provincial Meeting 
 

On Monday 12th October one of the highlights of our Provincial calendar was to visit another Province and  fourteen Companions from Wiltshire travelled to Slough for the fifth inter-provincial visit between the Province of Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire.

At the Installation meeting of Grenfell Chapter No. 3077 at the Slough Masonic Centre, the ME Grand Superintendent of Buckinghamshire EComp John Keeble and his Provincial Team welcomed the ME Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire EComp John Reid, his executive and other active officers. The Companions of Wiltshire were not only treated to a very enjoyable Installation Convocation but to a most superb meal afterwards. 

When the ME Grand Superintendent of Buckinghamshire John Keeble addressed the forty eight Companions present he complimented the Past Grand Superintendents of Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire EComp Dr Richard Neal and EComp David Blanchard, for arranging these inter-provincial visits some years back.

In replying to the Visitors Toast the ME Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire John Reid thanked the Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire for their generous hospitality and the Companions of Grenfell Chapter for a wonderful evening.

Inter-provincial visits are always special evenings and we look forward to when the Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire visits Wiltshire again sometime in 2016.


Elias de Derham Chapter No.586 - Installation


The Deputy Grand Superintendent accompanied by the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals and members of the Provincial Team attended the Installation Convocation at Chapter Elias de Derham No. 586 on Wednesday 18th November. 

E Comp Colin Cheshire, DepGSupt congratulated the Chapter on a very enjoyable evening and how very pleased he was to see that all the appointed Chapter Officers were Companions who with natural progression would move forward to occupy the chair of Zerubbabel. 

He later commented "This just shows how healthy Chapter Elias de Derham is and with dedicated Companions coming through to occupy the Principals’ chairs bodes well for the Chapter’s future".

The newly installed Zerubbabel: E Comp Vincent Delderfield being congratulated by E Comp Colin Cheshire, DepGSupt.

Wiltshire Chapter of First Principals 
 

On Friday 25th September the Masonic Hall in Calne was the place to be, with a special Installation at the Chapter of First Principals.  

What made this event so special was the role of the Past Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Wiltshire E.Comp Blanchard who was installing the Past Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire E.Comp Wakem.  Two Companions definitely - 'not past it'

The evening was attended by the Provincial team along with the Provincial Grand Master, Philip Bullock and the Grand Superintendent,  John Reid  who were joined by many Grand Chapter and Provincial Chapter Officers.  

Be sure to come along to the next convocation of First Principals to enjoy what we feel sure will be an interesting and enjoyable meeting this Masonic year.


Thynne Chapter Make Donation 
 

On Wednesday 3rd June 2015, E.Comp Alan Faver, First Principal of Thynne Chapter No. 1478, presented a cheque for £250 to Salisbury Hospice, in recognition of the special care and attention they provide to terminally ill patients in the region.

Alan is seen in the photograph, presenting the cheque to Staff Nurse Miranda Walker outside the main entrance to the Hospice.  Earlier, in a meeting with Jane Winstanley of the Salisbury Hospice Charity, he said he was so impressed by the way that everybody looked after Barry Hillier, one of our Companions, that he felt the Chapter should show their appreciation by making a donation.

Jane expressed her thanks on behalf of the Hospice and confirmed how grateful they were to local Freemasonry for this and other similar contributions. 

Chapter of Friendship and Unity welcomes the Grand Superintendent

 

On Wednesday 29th May, the Chapter of Friendship and Unity welcomed the new Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Reid to their installation convocation at the Masonic Hall in Bradford on Avon.

The Grand Superintendent was accompanied by the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principles and the Deputy Grand Superintendent along with a number of Provincial Officers thus  ensuring the lodge room was full to capacity. The installation was a complete success with each new Principal installed with an ease that reflected the experience and dedication of all the officers performing that night.

 

When the MEZ, E Comp. Stuart Burrell installed E Comp  Swanson as H the newly installed second principal attempted to sit in the MEZ's chair!  After the excellent installation just performed MEZ was not about to give it up and directed H back to his proper seat. All three Provincial Grand Principals delivered their words flawlessly, a testament to the hard work they have undertaken.. After a fantastic meal is was agreed that the Chapter of Friendship and Unity is in safe hands for another year.

Wiltshire welcomes its new Grand Superintendent - E Comp John Reid

 

On Saturday 16th May at the Melksham Assembly Hall, Wiltshire Companions together with guests from other Provinces assembled to welcome E Comp John Reid as he was installed as the Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Wiltshire by the Most Excellent Second Grand Principal, George Pipon Francis.

An early start saw the Provincial team setting up the hall for the 10.00am rehearsal conducted under the ever watchful and expert eye of the Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Oliver Lodge. 

Oliver comforted the escort party with wise words saying “History shows that if you forget anything today you will remember it for the rest of your life… and so will everyone else”, wise words indeed and this advice ensured that indeed nothing was forgotten by either the escort party or indeed any member of team performing that day.

Once the rehearsal had been completed the room was setup for the lunch. Having finished the magnificent lunch, the Second Grand Principal, on behalf of the First Grand Principal, HRH the Duke of Kent, presented The Grand Superintendent designate with a 'Kent Cube', being a paperweight consisting of a gold medallion set in lucite. On one side of the medallion are the arms of the United Grand Lodge of England in low relief, on the obverse, the signature of the Most Excellent First Grand Principal. George Francis also presented John Reid with a pair of Grand Superintendents cuff links. The Grand Superintendent designate reciprocated by presenting the Second Grand Principal and other Grand Officers of the Supreme Grand Chapter party each with an engraved glass from the Companions of Wiltshire thanking them for their attendance and assistance on this special day. 

 

The installation ceremony went without a hitch with The Rev Malcolm CG Lane, Grand Superintendent of Monmouthshire acting as Second Grand Principal and Excellent Companion Kenneth L Benford, Grand Superintendent of Berkshire acting as Third Grand Principal, the precision on the floor being a testament to the rehearsal and hard work by everyone earlier in the day. The Grand Superintendent Installed E Comp Tony Oke as the Second Provincial Grand Principal and followed by E Comp Simon Ellingham as Third Provincial Grand Principal, finally E Comp Colin CC Cheshire was Installed as Deputy Grand Superintendent.