Holy Royal Arch Masonry in Devonshire
 
 
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A Busy Night at Perseverance Chapter’s Installation
February 20th was the Chapter’s 99th Installation Meeting. As well as the members of the Provincial Executive and their current Officers several members had invited some high-ranking guests too. More on this later. However, at the duly appointed hour the Chapter Principals entered the Temple ready to start the evening’s meeting for the last time as a team. Before they started, I was able to take this photograph of them then I scuttled out. L to R - we have E Comps James Sentance DC, Tony Culley H, Patrick Cleaver MEZ and Jeff Millar J. In the background are a few other members of the Chapter who may well be known to Companions reading this report. Meanwhile downstairs E Comp Mark Richardson PrDGDC was trying to get the large party who would form the MEGS’s escort organised and ready to be processed in. On my return they were all bunched up in the one corner with just about room to bring them together for the following picture.
Hidden among this throng are two Grand Superintendents, three Past Grand Superintendents, two 2nd Provincial Grand Principals and one 3rd Provincial Grand Principal. This now becomes like one of these games where you have to try to find them. Just to complete the pictures of Grand Officers present the second shows the Janitor and the photographer outside the Temple entrance (Thanks to Tony Cooper).
While these pictures were being taken the Chapter was duly opened then E Comp Mark was admitted to announce the presence of E Comp Simon Rowe MEGS with his supporting entourage. It was a tight fit to get them all lined up in the Temple then E Comp Simon was greeted and seated before everyone streamed to their appointed chairs.
Then on into the induction of the new MEZ and Installation of the H. Unfortunately Comp Steve Broadbent, who was to be made J, was unable to be present. Unable, because he had to be in Stockholm for work. As a senior manager in Flybe his movements are a bit “up in the air” at present as the company is resolving its problems and future. It is hoped that things will be a bit more “down to earth” by the next meeting for him to be placed in his chair.  The induction of E Comp Tony Culley as MEZ and the Installation of E Comp Jeff Millar as H were handled in a very relaxed and efficient manner. E Comp Ray Hamilton had taken the chair of J and remained there for the rest of the evening. The Chapter’s Officers were then appointed and invested. E Comp Simon Rowe gave the Address to the Principals and E Comp Roger Smith PrGScN the one to the Companions.
The rest of the business was then completed including the approval of increased subs for next year, without objection, the Treasurer had sort of blamed this on increases in Provincial dues.  Before the procession out this picture was taken - In the front we have E Comps J Millar H, Simon Rowe MEGS, Tony Culley MEZ, Barry Woodside MEGS (Somerset) and Ray Hamilton acting J. At the rear we see three Past Grand Superintendents, E Comps Chris Pengelly (Devonshire), Ken Benford (Royal Berkshire) and John Bennett (Somerset). I not sure whether they should be seen as Guardian Angels or Praying Mantis!
The rest of the early business was then attended to. Arriving at the main item on the agenda the MEZ gave the DC a bit of a start by stating that he was adding a small item not on the agenda. He went on to take the opportunity of issuing a number of personal thank yous to all those who had supported and helped him over the last three years. There was particular thanks to the DC for his efforts to ensure there was no lapsing into “Leicestershire and Rutland” working. 
After the meal the standard toasts and fires were given. When the toast to the Grand Superintendent was announced the Chapter’s Scribe E, E Comp Chris Taylor, rose and turned this into a thank you to E Comp Simon for all he had done for the Royal Arch in Devonshire. He moved on to present some special gifts from Perseverance Chapter. A bottle of “Plymouth” gin and an inscribed drinking vessel to help him down it. E Comp Simon replied in a most grateful manner. I hope the following pictures convey the general happiness that pervaded the after proceedings. 
Despite all that had happened during the evening it was still a very reasonable finish time and I’m given to understand that each of the Somerset crew reached their homes by midnight and I’m informed that they, at least, had had a terrific visit.
Arthur W Rowe PAGDC
Pictures by J Griffin and A W Rowe – Prose A W Rowe
P.S.
Devonshire Companions, EComp. Martin Heskins is the Webmaster for Devonshire’s own Royal Arch Web site which he has laboured long and hard. Now please show him some support by sending him entries for this news page. They don’t need to be as massive as this epistle. Just a few paragraphs and a couple of pictures about special evenings you’ve had would be most appreciated. Most modern mobile phones have cameras totally adequate for what’s needed.
 
Fortescue Chapter marks its first 150 years.
On Wednesday 20th November Companions from around the Province gathered in Honiton to mark and celebrate 150 years since the Consecration of Fortescue Chapter No 847.  Fortescue Chapter’s first few years are very unclear as minutes and records were either lost or not retained. It was, however, clear that E Comp John Seagar Grundy was a driving force throughout that period having been MEZ in both 1869 and 1874. He is understood to have moved to Honiton from Chapter No 885 in Canterbury, New Zealand!  I’m afraid that the original Charter is now too faded and time worn for me to get a clear picture so all I can offer here is a picture of the Centenary Charter. Anyone desperate to view the Consecration one will need to make a visit to Honiton. With the Chapter regularly opened the early business was swiftly attended to.  The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (MEGS),
   EComp Simon W Rowe, accompanied by E Comp Stephen Joint, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, and supported by a retinue of Grand and Provincial Grand Officers was formally received into the meeting. He quickly returned the proffered Sceptre to the MEZ, E Comp Roger Price. Moving on through the agenda the next main item was the presentation of a brief history of Fortescue Chapter. This was carried out with due aplomb by EComp Bob Munro who very capably added a few asides of his own.  The text of this presentation was also included in a souvenir menu booklet placed on every place at the evening’s table. In advance of the meeting I had been sent a copy so that I could pick out the bones from it that I felt worth including in this report. Having read it twice, I felt it was far too good an offering to be picked at so here is a link to it in a separate page that I’m sure you will find of interest.  EComp Bob was warmly applauded for his presentation and sincere thanks expressed to all those who had participated in its production.  Next the MEGS addressed the Chapter. EComp Simon made a very profound presentation stressing the values of Freemasonry and the deep Companionship the members of the Royal Arch share. E Comp Roger Price then cleared the top of his pedestal before bringing out an Embroidered Drape he had had commissioned to hang over the 1st Principal’s Pedestal.
The embroidery had been completed by his very talented sister-in-law and finished and trimmed by his wife. In the first picture we see the Chapter Principals, E Comps N H Morse H – R Price MEZ – A J Sexton J, ensconced in their seats behind the new drape. In the second they are joined by E Comps S Rowe, S Joint and R Munro for a more informal inspection of the detail in the drape.
   
After the presentation had been completed the rest of the evening’s business was soon completed and the Chapter closed. After the pictures above had been taken it was back downstairs to remove and pack away regalia before taking liquid refreshment. After a short while those Companions dining moved to their positions at Table where a most excellent meal was served. Toasts were well received and there were many raffle prizes and an auction which raised a large amount for Charity. It certainly was a memorable evening.  
   
EComp  Arthur Rowe 
 
Devon & Somerset Farmers Chapter 2019 Installation
On Friday 29th November Companions gathered from across the two Provinces for the Chapter’s Annual Installation meeting at Uffculme. Devonshire Official Visitors were led by E Comp Chris Roach DGSupt (the MEGS being detained in Tenerife with his wife) while Somerset was led by the MEGS E Comp Barry Woodside. After much recent inclement weather it proved to be a dry crisp evening.
Many arrived early to indulge in the tea/coffee and biscuits that were provided and it proved an excellent opportunity for convivial conversation among old friends and new. As start time approached Companions other than those in the later procession donned regalia and made their way to the temple.
The meeting was smoothly opened by the outgoing Principals with the initial business and the opening address moving easily along. The visiting dignitaries were then received into the gathering and, followed by their supporters, duly seated. Cheques for their Provinces’ respective Charites were presented to E Comps Roach and Woodside. Comp Winter and E Comps Hill and Grubb were each taken through their Obligations in an efficient manner. All below the rank of first Principal were asked to retire then E Comp M W Yates Installed E Comp C R Grubb as MEZ. The new MEZ then Installed E Comp R Hill as H followed by Comp R Winter being made J.
The MEZ then appointed and Invested the Officers to serve with them.  It’s worth recording here that, despite a few minor hiccups in the floor work, all of the spoken ritual was very well performed with few prompts and great sincerity. The rest of the evening’s business and the closing address were deftly attended to before all the visiting dignitaries left to return downstairs while the Chapter’s Companions and their visitors completed the last rising and duly closed the Chapter.  Companions re-gathered in the dining hall with plenty of time to acquire liquid refreshment before the Company was called to table for Grace. An excellent meal of Prawn Cocktail, Carrot and Coriander Soup, Roast Beef, Apple and Mincemeat Pie and Cheese and Biscuits was served. The preparation, presentation and tastiness of the mail was to a high standard. After the toasts the raffles raised a goodly sum for charity.
All too soon the convocation was over and it was time for goodbyes. The Officers of the Chapter should congratulate themselves on an efficient and well- presented evening’s ceremony. I complete this report with some pictures taken at the end of the meeting and at table.

Arthur W Rowe
   
Queen Victoria Chapter No. 2655
The Red Table Evening hosted by The Queen Victoria Chapter No 2655 was a
great success.

The evening was supported by E.Comp. Simon Rowe Most Excellent Grand
Superintendent, E.Comp. John Sevieri Deputy Provincial Grand Superintendent
and E.Comp. Paul Hughes 2nd Provincial Grand Principal. In attendance were
Companions from a number of Chapters who were accompanied by many Brethren from their Lodges eager to learn more about the HRA.

After a short talk and question session a buffet was held for all those
present.
The atmosphere throughout the evening was one of true Companionship, which epitomises what the HRA is all about.


EComp. Andy Vodden
    
 
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