250th Anniversary of Royal Arch in Darlington
250th Anniversary of Holy Royal Arch Masonry in Darlington
It was an amazing evening on Tuesday October 8th 2019 at the Masonic Hall Archer Street, Darlington, where The Chapter of Vigilance hosted and celebrated with the other Darlington Chapters the 250th Anniversary of Holy Royal Arch Masonry in Darlington. A Team Visit of Provincial Grand Chapter Officers, was led by the MEGS John Arthur.
Over 100 companions were in attendance of which 96 dined and enjoyed a magnificent festive board.
After the chapter was opened, the MEGS and the Provincial Deputation were warmly welcomed into the Chapter Room.
The evening began with Ray Snaith, presenting an informative and educational talk on the Emergence, Development and Continuity of Royal Arch Masonry in Darlington 1769-2019.
The background information of masonic activity 1725-1769 concluded with the consecration of the first regular freemason lodge in Darlington (Restoration 263) in 1761 and the first lodge to practise some form of Royal Arch Masonry (The Hierarchical Lodge of Royal Arch Masters in 1769).
Frequent visitors to Restoration lodge around that time were from Army Regiments who held travelling warrants and one in particular was the Inniskillings Horse Regiment Lodge No.123.
The presentation then continued with Scribe E Claude Stewart reading the Minutes from The Hierarchical Lodge, of Royal Arch Masters, which included the design of the lodge badge. This original minute book was lost but later found in 1941 and is now in the Provincial Library. Five of the seven founders were members of Restoration Lodge
Andrew Leigh MEZ of Chapter of Vigilance 111, stood and talked about The Chapter of Vigilance No 56 being consecrated in 1788 in a private room in Priestgate in Darlington. The founders were past rulers of The Hierarchical Lodge of Royal Arch Masters and Past Masters of Restoration Lodge.
Ray talked about how it had taken 135 years for the next chapter to be consecrated; the Darlington Chapter No 1379, attached to the second oldest lodge in Darlington – Marquess of Ripon lodge 1379 on 20th September 1923. Darren Martin MEZ of the chapter then stood and gave a brief talk on the chapter consecration.
65 years later the Dunelm Chapter 4079 was consecrated 7th May 1988. Chris Wood MEZ stood and gave a brief talk on the chapter consecration.
5 years after the consecration of Dunelm Chapter, another chapter was consecrated; Nevill Chapter of Installed First Principals 9441 on 20th March 1993.and Andrew Foster MEZ gave a brief account of its history.
The Youngest Chapter in Darlington is the Indaba Chapter 9454; which was consecrated in Stockton on Tees on 21st March 1998 but was always designated to hold its meetings in Darlington. Clive Warham MEZ gave a brief account of the consecration
Paul Farrell IPZ then stood and talked about the Regimental links of the 5th and 4/7 Inniskillings to Darlington.
Ray concluded his talk by explaining the word ‘Invenimus’ on the Chapter Jewel meaning ‘We Have Found’ and the title of the talk…’Ivenimus…We have Found…..(in the Holy Royal Arch the true essence of Freemasonry)’
During the Risings, Michael Shaw (Deputy Grand Superintendent), replied on behalf of Grand Lodge, Andrew Leigh MEZ then presented John Arthur MEGS with a cheque for £250 to the Durham 2021 Festival. Jason Whitelaw MEZ of Washington Chapter 4346 gave the Visitors response.
At the festive board, a magnificent meal was served for all those who dined.
In the reply to his toast, John Arthur, MEGS stated ’What a Delight and Education’ everyone had had this evening. John also thanks the chapter for the £250 cheque he had been presented with previously for the 2021 festival and the flowers presented by Andrew Leigh. John then praised the chapter of Vigilance 111, for having ‘Got it right’ on their approach to the Royal Arch and were ‘Moving with the Times’.
In the reply to the Provincial Chapters Officers Toast, Rakesh Bhalla stood up and thanked everyone for the invitation to attend and thanked Ray Snaith for his talk.
Then Rakesh spoke about the Talking Heads and the forecoming new talk on the role of the Principal Sojourner.
All who attended had a fantastic time.
TLC Teddy Initiative……
“thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”
Community Support Grants…..
“The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”
Provincial Annual Meeting….
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”
The Royal Arch…..
“I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”
What have you gained?
“I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”
In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative
“A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”
What Freemasonry has done for you?
“The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you
One of the best things I have ever done…
“Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”