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Chapter Convocation 2024

Saturday 18th May 2024 saw The Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Durham, with the Fed in Dunston being the venue. The various car parks quickly filled as the Stewards displayed their usual immaculate organising skills to make sure all went with precision so that the Companions could enter the venue and robe in the resplendent crimson, purple and blue of the Royal Arch.

This is being premier event in the Royal Arch Masonic calendar, it provides an opportunity for Companions from Masonic Halls throughout the province, along with distinguished guests to renew old friendships, meet future friends and of course, support the many Companions being either appointed or Promoted in Provincial Grand Chapter.

Provincial Grand Chapter as always looked magnificent; many thanks go to all those responsible for the setting up which had been ongoing from Friday evening.

As the processions entered the Chapter Room the familiar throng of the Provincial Grand Organ reverberated around the auditorium, as always played so eloquently by Richard Scothon, whilst the Companions stood to order to receive the Grand Superintendent and his Co-Principals.

With Provincial Grand Chapter opened in due form, apologies and minutes of the previous Convocation confirmed it was time for all present to remember in Memoriam the 48 companions we lost since our last meeting in May 2024.

After the Roll Call of Acting Provincial Grand Chapter Officers and Chapters, the Grand Superintendent welcomed the Companions, his Distinguished Guests, and Heads of Other Orders.

With the Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Statement of Accounts considered and accepted by the Companions present and the Treasurer re-elected for another 12 months along with the newly elected “account examiner” EComp Grary Taylor, it was time to perform the most important and pleasurable part of the day, to appoint, invest and promote those companions receiving honours.

At this point in the proceedings, John paid tribute to E Comp David Hanson who stood down as Second Provincial Grand Principal, he thanked David for his dedication and sterling commitment to the Royal Arch and invested him with a Collarette to mark his retirement after some 3 years of active service. David thanked John for his kind words and reciprocated by presenting John with his Durham 2029 MBF Festival Grand Patron Collarette, cementing the indissoluble link with the Companion Orders and mainstream Freemasonry within the Province.

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies retired to escort E Comp William Henry Carlyon, PGStB, into Grand Chapter to be Appointed and invested as The Second Grand Principal, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Stephen Ranson, PPGSwdB, was who was on holiday will be appointed at Full Team Visit to Unity Chapter C661 on Wednesday, 29th of May 2024.

To see the full list of Appointments and Promotions Click Here.

With the appointees safely back to their respective seats, the escorting carrousel of Provincial Stewards retired back to their positions within the Provincial Grand Chapter the Grand Superintendent addressed Provincial Grand Chapter.

In his address, John paid tribute to the companions he had the privilege to invest, along with those retiring acting officers for their tremendous support, and those Companions appointed to or promoted in Grand Rank at the April annual investiture meeting of the Supreme Grand Chapter, who were introduced and applauded with acclamation. Turning to the days meeting John thanked the many Companions present for their support in such high numbers, a testament to their commitment to Royal Arch Masonry,

Under the guidance of the Pro Grand Master and Pro 1st Grand Principal, whose visionary “Strategy 2022 and Beyond” emphasises the integral bond between the Craft and The Royal Arch, In Durham, we have long embraced the principle that the Craft and Royal Arch are not disparate entities but rather integral parts of one cohesive organisation. This unity has been a cornerstone of our tradition, guiding our actions and strengthening our bonds for some years now. As we come together today, we renew our dedication to fostering this unity and ensuring its enduring presence within our fraternity. Let us reflect on the values that unite us and the shared principles that define our organisation. He asked the Companions to celebrate the rich heritage of the Royal Arch while looking towards the future with optimism and determination. Together, we will continue to uphold the legacy of unity that has been passed down through generations, ensuring that the bond between the Craft and Royal Arch remains unbreakable.

We find ourselves in a position where 42% of our Craft brethren are companions and I would love to see that figure rise. It is imperative that we actively encourage our brethren to join this esteemed order, unlocking the deeper mysteries and enhancing their Masonic journey. With this goal in mind, he extended heartfelt gratitude to all the Lodges and Chapters, Brethren, and Companions who dedicated their efforts to organising, supporting, and participating in our Royal Arch Awareness Month.

He then stated that our commitment to spreading awareness about the Royal Arch is commendable and reflects our shared dedication to enriching the Masonic experience for all. By shining a spotlight on the beauty and significance of the Royal Arch, we pave the way for more brethren to embark on this transformative journey. As I have said many times “We are all stronger together!” Enjoy the day companions.

To Read The Grand Superintendent’s Address in Full Click Here

A collection was then taken for the 2032 Festival in Aid of The Masonic Charitable Foundation raising over £2,000 inclusive of gift aid.

After the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra informed the Convocation that there was no other business, Provincial Grand Chapter was closed in due form, followed by a rousing two verses of the National Anthem.

As the Companions chatted in the bar areas the Provincial Stewards along with the staff from The Fed transformed the auditorium for the banquet in record time ready for the  Companions, to be seated to enjoy a fantastic banquet.

Following the traditional toasts The Past Provincial 2nd Grand Principal, David Hanson delivered a warm and sincere toast to The Grand Superintendent, The Deputy Grand Superintendent E Comp Michael Stuart Shaw, PGSwdB proposed the toast to the Distinguished guests. Another thoroughly enjoyable Convocation ended with the Companions making their way home, extremely proud to have taken part in the day’s proceedings.

Congratulations to all who received a Provincial Appointment.

Stronger Together.

Gallery of photos here: –

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