Lodge of St Michael

The Lodge of

St. Michael No. 7833 

 

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Next Craft meeting Thursday 26th September

1st Degree

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Next Chapter Meeting

17th October 2024

Note 6:15 Start

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New Tracing Board Commissioned:

see the Chapter Blog Page for 26th April

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Leslie Thornett

Read about our Worshipful Master on the Brethren Page.

 Read about the Chapter Installation in the Chapter Blog

Christopher Prior, MEZ

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CHAPTER 2023

 

Wednesday 20th December

Kingston Chapter 100

report by John Burton

I made my 33rd visit to Kingston Chapter 1010. I arrived at Beverley Rd Masonic Hall with about fifteen minutes to spare, parked up, registered my car, paid for my meal, got changed, signed in and went upstairs to the temple.

There were quite a few visitors so we all sat together which made a change as so often I have been the only visitor. The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by the three Principals. E Comp N Armstrong was Z, E Comp R F Bate was H and E Comp E R Wildman was J. The Chapter then received the Representative of the MEGS, E Comp G Sunley under the direction of his DC E Comp S Waudby. The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

There then followed a presentation entitled "Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with a Masonic Twist." It was narrated by E Comps N Armstrong and E R Wildman, who made a good Scrooge. Some of the photographs were very moving and the whole presentation was very well put together and received. If any MEZ reads this blog and is stuck for what to do on a Chapter night I can thoroughly recommend they give the above presentation a go: they will not be disappointed, it was BRILL.

There was then a discussion on the future of the Kingston Chapter 1010 and the possible options. It was a very frank and interesting discussion and certain conclusions were reached. I hope they succeed in what they and other Chapters are trying to do; doing nothing will probably lead to extinction.

A ballot was held for a country member which was successful. Various Reports where given and I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter St Michael 7833.

The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form. We all left went down stairs got changed and made our way to the festive board. Being at Beverley Rd I have never had a bad meal and the meal that night did not disappoint. I had Paté to start, Christmas Turkey Dinner, and Orange and Chocolate Cake for dessert. Toasts were given after the singing of the National Anthem, and the Representative spoke about the use of electronic media within the Province.

Then it was time to leave. What a great night was had by all; nobody left disappointed. I can recommend the Kingston Chapter for anyone to visit I certainly will be back next month. This is my last visit of this year, but there'll more to come in 2024!

John Burton MEZ
 

 

 

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 Craig 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 Maurier 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 nebula 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, Representative

 

Wednesday 6th December 2023:

Thesaurus Chapter Visit

report by John Burton

My 32nd visit was to the Thesaurus Chapter 3891 at Dagger Lane. My wife Angela gave me a lift there, so I arrived well in time. I found a few Companions I had met on the circuit so we got chatting about this and that, then the Steward turned up and I paid for my meal.

I ordered a full fat coke which I downed very quickly as I was thirsty and got changed.

I made my way upstairs signed in the visitors book and went into the Temple where I plonked myself down in the best seat in the house and settle in for a great night. The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by E Comps Malcolm Thomas Dale, Stephen James Burns and Graham Anthony Robinson, Z, H and J. The minutes were approved and signed, then those Officers who were present but not at the installation were installed by the Z.

Pin on Bible & Torah

There then followed a brilliant rendition of the Twelve Tribes and Banners of Israel by E Comp Richard L East. This was something I had not heard before so I found it very interesting and made the journey there worthwhile.

The Charity Steward and the Almoner gave their reports. As the  only visitor I gave greetings for the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and found out later that I was the first visitor the new Z had had since he became MEZ so that was a feather in the cap of St Michael Chapter as I am determined to let it be know that we are open for business and all are welcome.

The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we made our way downstairs for the festive board, which was a Christmas dinner. The conversation was varied and stimulating: at one point it was about The Magic Roundabout and while those of us of a more mature age could remember the various characters involved, the younger members just looked on in amusement and scratched their heads wondering what we were talking about and what was so funny.

After the toasts it was time to leave. I phoned Angela and she kindly picked me up. On our way home I told her what a brilliant night I had had.

Given the chance I will certainly visit Thesaurus Chapter again.

John Burton MEZ

 

Tuesday 28th November 2023:

Wilberforce Chapter Visit

report by John Burton

My 31st visit this year was to Wilberforce Chapter 2134. It was was my first visit to this Chapter, and I was the only visitor. I arrived on time, parked my car in Beverley Railway Station car park and made my way to the Masonic Hall on Trinity Lane. Inside I met the Wilberforce Companions, paid for my meal and had a non alcoholic drink at the bar while chatting with them.

Upstairs in the Temple I found my usual seat and eagerly awaited the start of the ceremony. The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by Excellent Companions David Johnstone, Raymond Mckee and  Maurice Thorpe, Z, H and J respectively. David thanked me for coming and hoped I would have a great evening.

The business was the presentation of a Grand Chapter Certificate to Comp Mike Kennedy. It was done in a very unusual way, split between four Companions, each delivering a different part of the whole. It actually worked very well; it might be tried in the Chapter of St Michael the next time we present a Grand Chapter Certificate, (food for thought for the incoming Z?)

The Accounts for the year were presented and approved. The Almoner and Charity Steward gave their reports.

I extended hearty greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833, assuring the MEZ that I had enjoyed the evening, and the Wilberforce Chapter was closed in due and ancient form.

We divested ourselves of our regalia and made our way to the festive board which was up to the usual high standard I had come to expect at Trinity Lane. The conversation flowed in all directions covering a variety of subjects including the state of the Chapters in Hull and Beverley and the dwindling numbers attending and applying to join. Toasts were given in the customary manner.

As I made  my way back to my car and drove home I had time to reflect on what I had heard and what the future may hold for the Chapter of St Michael. Sad to consider this noble institution in decline, I wondered how we might reverse the trend. Discussion is certainly needed.

John Burton MEZ

 

Friday 24th November 2023 (pm):

De la Pole Chapter Installation

report by John Burton

I made my second visit of the day and my 30th overall to the De La Pole Chapter 1605 at the Masonic Hall Beverley Rd. I made my way there through traffic; as this was their installation meeting the start time was a lot earlier than their normal seven o' clock start, it was due to start at 5:30. I arrived in the nick of time, changed and made my way up into the temple which by this time was heated so it was a pleasant stay.
 
The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by E Comp Yvon S Martin (Z),  E Comp Peter Moore (H) and E Comp John Appleby (J). The DC E Comp Steven Waudby requested that the Representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintenden, E Comp Howard Newton be granted admission; he was escorted in, had a few words with the Z and sat down. On seeing who it was I realised I had met him when I visited the Ridings Tablers Chapter earlier in the month as he is a member there (see 7th November below.)
 
The minutes were confirmed and signed. The next event was the installation of the three new Principals E Comp Peter Moore was installed as the new Z, E Comp John Appleby was the new H and Companion Graham Thornalley was installed as the new J.
 
The whole installation ceremony went very smoothly even though there were a few last minute stand-ins. E Comp Jim Kerr, Scribe E, not only did that job but stood in as the DC as well. The MEZ then installed his Officers for the year; there where quite a few missing but those present were installed in what was a very enjoyable night.
 
The correspondence was read and apologies given. and I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833.
 
The three new Principals then closed the Chapter in due and ancient form and we all had a group photograph taken before making our way downstairs.
 
I put away my regalia and ordered my usual two cans of full fat coke (as I would be driving later) and made my way to the festive board. This evening the main course was braised steak. As usual with Luke Pyrah, the Beverley Rd chef it was a superb meal: no complaints from me or anyone else for that matter.
 
Toasts and speeches followed and songs sung, all too soon we came to the parting toast. We all left as friends and I looked forward to meeting those Companions on the visiting circuit again.
 
I made my way back to my car and gave Eddie Wildman a lift home. and as I drove home reflecting what a great day I had had. Two visits, two great ceremonies, two superb meals, great conversations and companionship: what a brilliant way to spend a Friday. I got home content and totally stuffed. 
John Burton MEZ  
 

 

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

report by John Burton

My 29th visit as MEZ was to the Wyke Millenium Chapter 9696 at Beverley Rd. It is my favourite place to visit: very easy parking, always a warm welcome and the food is superb. I arrived early for the 11:00 meeting, paid for my meal, and joined in the conversations with the Companions presen, reflecting that I'd  been here so often I almost felt like a member.

I took my favourite seat upstairs. Wyke Millennium was opened in the same way we do things in the Chapter of St Michael because we both work the Domatic ritual. The three Principals were E Comp Anthony Craig Maurier,  E Comp Stephen Graham Ives and E Comp Alexander Hoggard. The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed and signed.

The next item was to Exalt Bro Robert Edward Gwatkin who is a member of the Lord Bolton Lodge 3263. The ceremony went very smoothly - it was clear everybody had put a lot of work into getting it right. This was not surprising as this was their first exaltation for six years. After the ceremony was over correspondence and apologies  were given. I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter St Michael 7833 and the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form. (Eddie Wildman stood with me for C7833 - he played the organ and his account of today's meeting can be seen on the Humber website for this date.)

I was glad to get back downstairs as the Masonic Hall was cold and I was almost shivering.  I got changed, bought two full fat cokes and made my way to the dining hall for the festive board for Luke Pyrah's famous three meat buffet lunch. As usual he did us proud; what a meal! People went back for seconds (me included) and one Companion took a doggy bag home with him.

I always have an excellent meal at Beverly Rd: the chef knows his job and as usual many photographs of the meal were taken before it was served up. There was great conversation with the Companions, concluding with only two toasts. Then it was time to leave, we all parted as friends and I made my way home thinking that in a few hours I would be back at Beverley Rd Masonic Hall for another visit - but that is for another blog.

[Photo: Graham Ives (H), Craig Maurier (MEZ), Bob Gwatkin (Comp) and Alex Hoggard (J) by ERW.]

 John Burton MEZ

 

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 TN&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

 

Thursday 16th November 2023:

Constitutional Election Night

report by John Burton

My 28th visit as MEZ of the Chapter of St Michael was to the Constitutional Chapter 294 in Beverley. I arrived early and went upstairs to look in the temple at the Chapter Tracing Board which I had heard about in a presentation by E Comp Bazza Longstaff at the Wyke Millenium Chapter 9696 (see 27th October below.)

It was larger than I had expected but very interesting, and the Chapter carpet was woven to the same design.

I like the way the Constitutional Chapter operates in that everything is done sitting down which I am told is unique and nobody knows why.

The Chapter was opened in the distinctive Constitutional manner by E Comps Mark Green, David L Turner and Roger Lewis, Z, H and J respectively. The minutes of the last meeting were approved and signed then a ballot to grant two members honorary membership was passed.

E Comps David L Turner, Roger Lewis were duly elected as Z and H and Comp Keith Charlesworth as J; E Comp Mark Green was elected as Treasurer.

Reports were submitted from the Almoner and Charity Steward, after which E Comp Gavin Collinson gave a brilliant explanation when he presented a Grand Chapter Certificate to Companion Hedley Wilson.

I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael.

We all headed downstairs: the Festive Board which was as usual up to a very high and enjoyable standard so much so people went for back for seconds and took some of it home.

The conversation at the table was long and interesting but sadly had to come to an end as the two toasts were given and the Festive Board came to an end.

It had been a great night which I thoroughly enjoyed so I will definitely be going back for their next meeting in January.

John Burton MEZ

 

Tuesday 7th November 2023:

Ridings Tablers' Chapter Exaltation

report by John Burton

My 27th visit was to the Ridings Tablers Chapter 9586. I drove to Beverley, parked in the railway station car park, walked the short distance to the Masonic Hall on Trinity Lane and went in. There was a warm friendly greeting awaiting me as I made my way to the bar. Soon it was time to go upstairs and change and once again find my favourite seat in the temple from where I get a good view of the proceedings.

The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by E Comp John Bridges (Z), E Comp John W L Ellwood  (H) and E Comp John R J Watson (J). The dispensation for the meeting was read out and retained in the minutes.

The minutes for the meeting on 8th June and that held at Beverly Rd on 30 September were approved. I was at the latter - a brilliant meeting, see 30th September below.

The next business was to exalt Bro Michael Francis Coates. There was a knock at the door and Bro Mike was led into the temple where he answered certain question put to him by H, and he answered them very well with no prompts. He had obviously done his home work as had all the ritualists who took part in the exaltation that evening. The secrets were communicated by E Comp Stephen Hastings, the working tools by E Comp Christopher R Harland, the charge was delivered by E Comp Barry Hughs and the warrant was given by E Comp Mark J Green.

The highlight of the evening was the Lecture of the Pedestal given by E Comp Gavin Collinson; it is not often I have heard this particular Lecture given and it was done flawlessly and with style. The Candidate did appear to enjoy himself once he got into the ceremony, he will doubtless remember it for a very long time.

Next on the agenda was the election of the three Principals for the following year. E Comp John W L Ellwood was nominated as MEZ, E Comp John R J Watson as H and Comp Martin Clark as J. A ballot was then held, prepared by the DC and opened by the Scribe N.  After the the Principal Sojourner closed the ballot it was presented and proved favourable, so the triumvirate was duly elected. The same procedure was adopted to elect the Treasurer for the coming year. They were the shortest ballots I have  ever seen but were done with style. The two Account Examiners were similarly elected: the whole evening was done in a very efficient way.

Reports were given by the Treasurer, Almoner and the Charity Steward. I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833. The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we all retired.

It was a great festive board consisting of a large bowl of chicken curry and a raspberry shortcake for dessert. The cook who comes from Prague in the Czech Republic did an outstanding job; everybody said what an excellent meal it was. The main toast was given to the new Companion, Michael Francis Coates who replied to it very well. E Comp Terry Fisher of the Humber Chapter 57 responded magnificently to the visitors toast.

All too soon the parting toast was given and we all parted as friends and made our way to our homes.On the drive back I had time to think and reflect on what a great night it had been: good food, great company and a lovely ceremony - what a great way to spend a Tuesday night.

 John Burton MEZ

 

 

Friday 27th October 2023 pm:

De la Pole Chapter Election Night and Exaltation at Beverley Road

report by John Burton

This was my second visit of the day, (see below) again at Beverley Road Masonic Hall, and my 26th in total as First Principal of the Chapter of St Michael. This evening I was at the De La Pole Chapter 1605.

The meeting started at 1900 hrs so I arrived early; what a joy not to have a problem with parking my car or having to leave it miles away and walk a distance to the meeting. I enjoyed another a full fat coke at the bar. That's 39 grams of sugar and 156 calories. I was happy to learn that the meal was another three meat buffet - that's largely salad, I thought, so sod the diet. I was going to make the most of a splendid meal with not a thought about my waistline. I had heard after a year on the circuit with all the weight you put on visiting it takes you two years to lose it, and I can see why.

I changed into my Chapter apron wondering why it seemed rather tight and went upstairs. My usual seat in the north was invitingly vacant and I settled in for a good night.

The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by the three Principals, E Comp Yvon S Martin, E Comp Peter Moore and E Comp John Appleby. E Comp David Nicoll then delivered a Eulogy for Comp Peter Henry Grantham who had passed to the Grand Chapter above in August. The minutes were then confirmed and signed by the MEZ.

In accordance with rule 48 of the Chapter Book of Constitution and there being no other nominations the three Principals, Treasurer and Janitor were declared; E Comp Peter Moore as MEZ, E Comp John Appleby as H and Comp Graham Thornalley as J. E Comp Peter Spencer (still absent following a heart attack) was to be Treasurer and E Comp Ronald Stone was to be Janitor. The Chapter then nominated two members to be accounts examiners. 

The next business was to exalt Brother Jason David Moore, who was escorted into the Chapter where the H asked him certain questions which he answered perfectly without a prompt. He had obviously done his homework and put in the effort in to learn his lines (unlike some I have seen in the past elsewhere.) The Janitor, E Comp Peter Robson delivered the Secrets, and the Working Tools were explained by the Organist, E Comp David G Nicoll. All did their floor work with very few prompts indicating either they all had very good memories or they had put in a lot of work to reach the standard attained.

There then followed reports from the Almoner, Charity Steward and Mentor.

The Chapter was closed in due and ancient form and I gave greetings on Behalf of the Chapter St Michael 7833. We then went downstairs and I looked forward to the festive board even though it was the same fare as in the morning (you can never tire of very well prepared good food - it is the icing on the cake of a good meeting and I have never heard anyone complain about the buffet or any other meals at Beverley Rd.)

I responded (for the second time that day) to the visitors toast, I still get nervous even after all this time on the circuit. The parting toast was given, hands were shaken and we all made our way home. I had had a great day: two visits to two great Chapters and to top it all, two superb festive boards. What a way to spend a Friday. I drove home a very contented Chapter Mason, though with a nagging feeling that my trousers seemed a little tight.

John Burton MEZ 

 

Friday 27th October 2023 am:

Domatic Ritual at Beverley Road

report by John Burton

On Friday morning I started out on my 25th visit of the year. This was to the Wyke Millenium Chapter 9696 which meets at Beverley Rd Masonic Hall. I like going there: it's easy parking and the food is always superb. It is a pity, I thought, that when the Lodge of St Michael 7833 had a chance to move from Dagger Lane to Beverey Rd they blew it and voted to stay put; in the long run a big mistake, in my opinion.

Anyway I arrived early, (C606 is a daylight Chapter) registered my car and paid for my meal. I purchased a full fat coke and mingled with the Companions until it was time to change and go upstairs to the Temple.

I remember attending on Saturday 30th September (see below) for the Ridings Tablers Chapter meeting. After first opening in the Craft it moved into the fourth degree: it was a great ceremony  done as was practised in the 18th century so I am told. It has been published on Facebook and had over 60,000 hits: a great way to get the good publicity that Masonry needs.

The Wyke Millennium Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by E Comp Anthony Craig Maurier (Z), E Comp Stephen Graham Ives (H) and E Comp Alexander Hoggard (J). This Chapter use the Domatic Ritual as does the Chapter of St Michael 7833 so it was easy to follow.

There was the a knock at the door and E Comp Steven Waudby, DC to the Representative of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, announced that E Comp Nigel Weightman PAGSoj, P2ndProvGPrin requested admittance. This being granted, an escort was formed and E Comp Weightman entered the Chapter and was greeted by the three Principals. The minutes of the previous meeting were passed as a true and accurate record and were duly signed by the Most Excellent.

The next item was a presentation entitled “An Introduction to Chapter Tracing Boards" by E Comp Bazza Longstaff. It was a very interesting talk on the development of Chapter tracing boards and the involvement of Supreme Grand Chapter in their design and explanation. The talk was illustrated with some stunning and very interesting slides of old tracing boards, and one in particular caught my attention: that in the Beverley Masonic Hall. I will be looking at it closely as I am due to visit the Trinity Lane Masonic Hall early next month, (more on that in a future blog.)

The talk was very well received by all present. I paid very close attention as I deliver the official explanations for all three Tracing Board in the Craft, and Bazza was providing useful background.

Three ballots were then held collectively for a joining member, a honorary member and a candidate for exaltation. All three proved favourable. The risings were then done and I gave greetings on behalf as MEZ of the Chapter St Michael 7833, supported by E Comp Eddie Wildman who had already given hearty greetings as an officer of United Grand Chapter.

The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we retired downstairs to the festive board which was a three meat buffet, my favourite.

After the meal the loyal toast was preceded by the National Anthem. E Comp Weightman in responding to toast five, spoke of the the usefulness of the Book of Exra in aiding understanding of much of the Chapter ritual. I replied to the toast on behalf of the visitors; I am starting to like public speaking although I still get very nervous before I stand up.

As I returned my car afterwards I reflected on a great visit, a buffet almost too magnificent to eat and, with a touch of sadness, that the Lodge of St Michael had possibly missed a golden opportunity to move to this venue, and in doing so greatly improve the long term prospects of the Lodge and, by extension, the Chapter.  But as Soren Kierkegaard remarked: "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

John Burton MEZ

 

Friday 27th October 2023 am:

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 the MEZ E Comp Craig Maurier who asked if I'd play the organ seeing as I was there.

That 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! 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:

Thesaurus Chapter Installation

Report by John Burton

On 25th October I made my 24th Chapter visit, which was to the Thesaurus Chapter 3891 at Dagger Lane. I arrived early, parked my car on South Church side and walked a short distance to the Masonic Hall where I was warmly greeted. Fortified by a full fat coke from the bar, I mingled with the Companions present.

I went upstairs to sign in and saw E Comp Jim Kerr the Provincial DC drilling the team accompanying the Provincial Grand Superintendent to make sure everything went like clockwork. I quickly made myself scarce and escaped to the safety of the other Companions.

Clad in regalia, I returned upstairs, sat in what I consider the best observation position in the temple and settled back to watch the ceremony. The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by E Comp Robert Marshall Mckenna (Z), E Comp Malcolm Thomas Dale (H) and E Comp Stephen James Burns (J).

There was a knock at the door and E Comp Jim Kerr, Prov DC was admitted who said in his broad Scottish accent "At the door of the Chapter stands Excellent Companion Dr David Chambers, Provincial Grand Superintendent, and he demands admittance." Under the guidance of the Prov DC the MEGS was preceded by his full team which included the Prov Grand Sword Bearer and the Prov Grand Standard Bearer.

The MEGS was conducted to his place, and he introduced the team who then took their seats. The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed and signed off.

The next business was to install the three Principals for the coming year: E Comp Malcolm Thomas Dale who was installed as Z, E Comp Stephen James Burns as H and Comp Graham Anthony Robinson as J. I enjoyed the whole installation.

The Robes where then explained, the Scarlet Robe by E Comp Robert Marshall Mckenna (IPZ), the Purple Robe by E Comp Malcolm Thomas Dale (Z) and the Blue Robe by E Comp Stephen James Burns (H). The Chapter Warrant was delivered by E Comp Robert Marshall Mckenna. The new officers were then invested by the new Z. The Chapter then received reports from the Treasurer, Charity Steward and the Almoner.

I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter St Michael 7833. The three new Principals then closed the Chapter in due and ancient form and the MEGS and his team retired under the watchful eye and distinctive accents of the Prov DC.

We went downstairs to enjoy the festive board. Songs were sung and speeches were made, the highlight being the response from the MEGS. I responded on behalf of the visitors. We all parted in good spirits and as friends: some of the Provincial Team had a substantial drive ahead of them. I walked back to my car after having a great night wondering when the Chapter of St Michael will get a visit from the PGS and his full Team. Hopefully it won't be long!

John Burton MEZ

 

  

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.

 

Tuesday 24th October 2023:

Brough Chapter

report by John Burton

I made my 23rd visit to the Brough Chapter 5464 in Sutton. It is not very far from where I live so I drove myself there, parked up and walked the short distance to the Masonic building on College Street. I had arrived early, so paid for my meal, and drank a full fat Coke whilst chatting to the Companions I had met on the circuit and the Brough Chapter Companions I had met on my previous visits.

The time came to get changed and make my way up to the temple where I greeted the Brough Chapter Scribe E, E Comp Peter Wright who is also a member of St Michael Chapter. We had a short conversation, (that is to say I managed to get in the occasional word,) then it was time for the Chapter to be opened in due and ancient form. This was done by the three Principals: E Comp John Derek Wilson (Z), E Comp Michael Thomas Shakesby (H) and E Comp Ian Syddall who was standing in as J.

The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed and signed, The next business was to install Companion Andrew Chan as J, as he was not able to be present at the installation ceremony.

The installation of Comp Chan was interesting to watch and it is nice that as MEZ I don't have to leave any more ceremonies but can stay and watch them throughout. The accounts of the previous year were presented and approved.

The Almoner then gave his report and collected Alms. The Charity Steward was up next giving his report which was well received. I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833.

The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we all went back downstairs to the festive board which was up to Sutton Masonic Hall's usual very high standard. Toasts were given, songs sung, and the evening came to a close all too soon.

As I walked back to my car to go home I reflected on what a great evening it had been and the conversations I'd had and the people I'd met.

John Burton MEZ

 

 

 

Thursday 19th October 2023:

Chapter of St Michael 7833

View from the Lower Deck

by J Elect

 

We met at 18:15 for Chapter, the slightly earlier time seems appropriate somehow!

Comp David Whittall and I arrived with plenty of time to spare: David had bought a cake with him as requested by the Z, E Comp John Burton. What had he in mind?

Tonight's meeting was a Business Night; we assembled and opened the Chapter and prepared for a busy agenda. Sadly Ex Comp Eddie Wildman was otherwise engaged so we sang the opening and closing hymns unaccompanied, untunefully.

After confirming the minutes we set about the Chapter Accounts as E Comp David Boughton delivered his report which sadly including the exclusion (or cessation) of one member for non payment.

Next was the election of the three Principals and Treasurer. There being no other contenders, E Comp Stephen Prior was elected as the incoming Z; E CompJohn Boughton as H, and Comp Peter Stokes (me) as J for next year. David Broughton was elected to continue as Treasurer.

Scribe E, E Comp Stephen Longthorpe anounced there were two resignations, one from a founder member, Our visitor from Kingston Chapter suggested that we offer him Honoury Membership as we should work to keep our founders. This proposal was adopted and Scribe E was asked to contact the member with the proposal. 

There being no other business the Chapter was closed and we retired down to the Festive Board.

A Three Meat Salad was served accompanied by coleslaw and pasta salad and new potatoes. This was followed by strawberries and ice cream.

The traditional Questions were asked and answered. The five regular toasts having been completed, The most Excellent Zerubbabel announced that it was thirty-one years since the Chapter was founded and that we still had some founding Companions with us. E Comps Peter Barnes, Terry Black and John Broughton were toasted as founders and John Broughton (The original J) responded.

A cake was cut and served (ah - now I understood why David had brought a cake with him - and a very nice fruit cake it was) and conversations flowed.  A further toast was proposed to the incoming Three Principals to which I responded. Now (sadly - we were having such a good time) the Janitor's toast was submitted and we assembled to sing Auld Lang Syne before departing for home.  

 Comp Peter Stokes J Elect

 

Thursday 19th October 2023:

Chapter of St Michael 7833

View from the Upper Deck

by the Most Excellent Zerubbabel

 

This was my final full night in the chair as Zerubbabel of St Michael Chapter 7833 (sniff!) I arrived early as there were some items to discuss with our Scribe E, E Comp Steve Longthorp. These sorted, I returned downstairs and mingled with the Companions and chatted to our visitor, E Comp Malcolm Brocklesby of the Kingston Chapter 1010 who had promised me he would visit. 

I then saw E Comp David Whittall our Principal Sojourner to ask about the cake I had asked his wife to make. I need not have been concerned: as usual she had baked a beautiful cake which graced the table for our Founders Night (it not only looked good - it was delicious - thanks Mrs W!)

Back upstairs we put on our regalia and the three Principals: (Z, E Comp John Burton; H, E Comp Steven Prior; and J, E Comp John Broughton) opened the Chapter in due and ancient form. Our visitor was welcomed and the minutes were confirmed. We then received the Treasurer's report and accounts from E Comp David Broughton. I am no expert but we seem to be in a very healthy position financially. The report and accounts were confirmed and adopted without much discussion indicating what a good job he'd done.

The next business was to elect the Three Principals for the coming year: E Comp Steven Prior to be the new Z; E Comp John Broughton to be the new H; and Companion Peter Stokes to be the new J. All were carried with no objections much to my relief. E Com David Broughton was re-elected as the Treasurer again for next year.

The Three Principals elect where then empowered to appoint the remaining Chapter offices by mutual consent. Two account examiners were then elected for the ensuing yea:r E Comp Terry Lynn and Comp Les Thornett. The Almoner, E Comp David Whittall  then gave his report.

Greetings were given from E Comp Brocklesby and the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form.

At the festive board I had tried something a little bit different: a three meat cold buffet which seemed to go down well. The highlight of the meal was me being photographed and videoed cutting the cake which was then distributed to the companions present (the cake, not the video.) Toasts were given and we all parted as friends and made our way home.

Permit me to take this opportunity to thank my team for the support this year. Thanks, guys!

But this will not be my last blog, don't worry! I have four more months as MEZ before I leave; plenty of time to get in lots more visits which I very much enjoy.  

 

Wednesday 18th October 2023:

Kingston Chapter 1010

Report by John Burton

 

My 22nd visit was to the Kingston Chapter 1010 at Beverley Rd. Arriving with time to spare I paid for my meal, signed the visitors book and enjoyed a full fat coke. It was then time to change and go up into the temple.

I sat with the other two visitors and the Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by Z, E Comp Neil Armstrong; H, E Comp Richard F Bate; and J, E Comp Eddie Wildman. The minutes were approved and signed.

There then followed the investiture of the officers not present at the installation: P Soj Comp M Whereat; Almoner,  E Comp M K Booth; and 1st Assistant Soj Comp G Crossland. A Grand Chapter Certificate was presented to Companion  Crossland by E Comp Simon Ramshaw.

There then followed a debate on the future of the Kingston Chapter with four possible options postulated: 1, do nothing; 2, fight for new Chapter Members; 3, amalgamation with other Chapters; 4, surrender warrant -  in effect go out of existence. The debate which followed was very lively with arguments for and against the various options put forward but always in the great Masonic tradition of honest, truthful and friendly debate. In the end a motion was put forward which was that the Chapter would form a working committee and examine all the options with a view to amalgamation with other interested Chapters and report back within a short time frame.

I have to say as an outsider looking in and listening and, I might add, being permitted to take part in the debate, it is a discussion that other Chapters in the city are going to have to have, and some sometimes very painful decisions are going to have to be made. Putting our heads in the sand and doing nothing does not seem to me to be a sensible option.

The motion was put to the vote and was carried. I will be interested to see where Kingston Chapter takes this in the future. It could end up being the blueprint for other Chapters in the city: where one goes others will surely follow.

There was a ballot to make a companion an Honorary member which proved favourable. Greetings were then given and I gave greetings as Z for the Chapter of St Michael 7833. The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we all want downstairs to change, and relished the festive board, which was up to the very high standard I have come to expect when ever I have visited Beverley Rd. After the meal  only two toasts were given and we all parted as friends. As I drove home I reflected on what I had heard and what it might mean for the Chapter to which I belong.

John Burton MEZ

 

Wednesday 11th October 2023:

Minerva Chapter

Report by John Burton

I made my 21st visit to The Minerva Chapter 250 for their installation night. Minerva meets in the same building as St Michael, but there are subtle differences in the set-up of the temple and in the ritual itself.

I arrived earl, ordered a full fat coke at the bar (I would be driving home later) and had a few conversations on various topics with the Companions present, (I didn't know that the Minerva Chapter was founded in 1783 - it's not surprising there are differences) then it was time to get changed and go up into the temple.

The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by Z, E Comp Tadeusz Krawczyk; H, E Comp Mark Hartley; and J, E Comp Ben Kelly. On taking their seats a report was given that E Comp James Kerr, the Provincial DC was at the door of the Chapter and he sought admission. The request being granted, he announced that at the door of the Chapter was E Comp, Trevor Collinson Assistant to the Three Grand Principals accompanied by an escort of Active Provincial Officers, and he requested their admittance. Once they had entered and been introduced they took their seats and the installation ceremony continued.

The minutes of the last regular meeting were confirmed. The new three Principals for the ensuing year were installed: Z, E Comp Mark Hartley; H, E Comp Ben Kelly; and J, Comp Kevin Marshall. The Officers for the ensuing year were invested.

The Robes worn by the three Principals were then explained. The Scarlet Robe by Comp Kurt Crawford, the Purple Robe by E Comp Danny Betts and the Blue Robe by E Comp Chris Brown. The Almoner's report was given. The Treasurer's report and accounts were presented by E Comp Steve Cox, which where then adopted. The Charity Steward's report was given by Scribe E, E Comp Chris Brown.

Greetings were then given and I extended them on behalf of St Michael Chapter 7833. The three new  Principals then closed the Chapter in due and ancient form and we all retired to the Festive Board. Toasts were given and speeches were made and all too soon it all ended. We all parted friends and went our separate ways home. (For E Comp Eddie Wildman's account, please see the Minerva Blog page.)

I had a splendid evening and I will go back for the warm and friendly welcome I received. 

[Photograph by ERW]

John Burton MEZ

 

Tuesday 3rd October 2023:

Technical Chapter

Report by John Burton

I made my 20th visit as MEZ of the Chapter of St Michael to the Technical Chapter 5666. I arrived on time paid for my meal and registered my car and ordered a can of full fat coke and had a few conversations with the people present until it was time to change and make my way up in to the Temple for the Exaltation ceremony.

The Chapter was opened in due and ancient form by the three Principals: E Comp Malcolm Brocklesby was Z,  E Comp Jon Paul Robinson was H and E Comp Ian Parkinson was J. There then followed the election of the three Principals for the upcoming year, who were: Z, E Comp Jon Paul Robinson; H, E Comp Ian Parkinson; and J, Comp Robert John Atkinson. There being no other nominations they were declared elected nem com. Companion  Robert John Atkinson was elected unopposed as the Treasurer.

The next business was to elect two members to be Account Examiners for the next year; E Comp Jonathan Sykes and Comp David Turner. There then was a ballot for the Candidate, Bro Steven James Walker. The DC prepared the ballot and it was opened by the Scribe E, E Comp Steve Berry.

The C5666 members then cast their votes and the ballot was closed by the Principal Sojourner Comp Mark Cusack. It having proved favourable, the Candidate was then admitted. He answered the questions put to him by E Comp Ian Parkinson without a prompt, and the Ceremony of Exaltation then proceeded. It ran like clockwork; it was clear the participants had put a lot of time and effort into getting it right and to a high standard.

The secrets where given by E Comp Steve Berry, the working tools by Comp Dave Green and the historical lecture by Comp Adam Tunnicliffe. Newly exalted Companion Walker was then allowed to retire to restore himself to his personal comforts.

There then followed reports from the Charity Steward and the Almoner.

E Comp Eddie Wildman then presented a Grand Chapter Certificate which was very well received.

I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833.

The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form after which we made our way downstairs to change and go to the festive board which was up to the highstandard I have come to expect at Beverley Rd. The toasts where given and I replied on behalf of the visitors; all too soon the evening was over.

I drove home after having an enjoyable time. The Technical Chapter is well worth a visit: you are made to feel very welcome.

[Photograph of Comp Mark Cusack, Principal Sojourner with newly exalted Companion Steve Walker by ERW. Note both are wearing their Chapter jewels with white ribbons.]

John Burton MEZ

 

Saturday 30th September 2023:

Joint Craft and Chapter - double meeting

Report by John Burton

My 19th visit as MEZ was to the Ridings Tablers Lodge and Chapter 9586 for a very unusual Exaltation. I was told it was the first time in the Province and maybe in the UK this had been done. 

The Ridings Tablers had moved from their regular meeting place in Beverley to the Beverley Rd Masonic hall in Hull. I left home early and went to pick up our Craft Worshipful Master Peter Stokes to take him to the event. It was due to start at 10:30; we got there at 09:45 and the car park was almost full even that early stage.

We made our way in had a drink and a few chats with various people and then changed into our Craft Lodge regalia and went into the smaller Lodge room for the first act. The Worshipful Master of the Ridings Tablers, W Bro Martin E Clark opened the Lodge in due and ancient form, after which the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Dr David Chambers and his full team were admitted. By this time the little temple was full to bursting.

The Candidate for exaltation, Bro Ian K Brough was let in and it was announced that the ballot for him to be admitted into the Chapter had been successful upon which there was a sigh of relief from the Master. The Craft Lodge was then called off and we all came downstairs to change into our Chapter regalia and went back upstairs into the main temple to watch Bro Brough's exaltation ceremony.

The Chapter was already open as they had had a successful ballot for the Candidate. We all took our seats and watched a very well presented exaltation ceremony, at the end of which the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form. We left to go back into the small temple to close the Lodge in due and ancient form.

We then went back into the main temple for photographs to be taken where our Lodge WM Peter Stokes took a collection on his mobile phone. (See his comments on the Blog page.) We then retired downstairs and changed for the festive board.

The meal was (as you would expect at Beverley Rd) superb. £500 was raised in the raffle and donations and given to the Sea and Army Cadets who provided the table service. Two toasts were given and then it was time to go home. I am sure the exaltee Ian Brough had had a day he will never forget (I know I had) and the talk as we left was it must be done again, which I hope it will be as it was so remarkable.

John Burton MEZ


Saturday 16th September 2023:

Convocation at York

Report by David Broughton

The day of the Chapter Convocation was my last as an Active Provincial Officer.

I have enjoyed the experience immensely although I was a little apprehensive at taking on the role, however I need not have worried. I met some wonderful people and have been to some interesting Chapters; the ones that stand out are Salebia (Selby), Howden and Pickering. My only regret of my year in office is not visiting more Chapters in the North of our area. I am probably too long in the tooth to get an active role again, but never mind!

My journey to the convocation was uneventful along the A1079 and A64. I arrived at the Racecourse entrance to find that a car boot was taking place. Anyone who has been to this car boot event will know that it is massive and attracts thousands of people. I thought to myself that parking would be an issue but as luck would have it, as I drove up someone pulled out of a space and I quickly moved in.

The gods were on my side. Into the Racecourse I went only to find a Book Fair taking place. York Racecourse was certainly taking advantage of their space!

In our area I discovered I should have been there for a rehearsal at 8.00am. I didn’t get the email; I suspect that was because another standard bearer was carrying the flag into the hall.

The actual convocation has been written about by Eddie so I will not go on about that: read Eddie's report below this one.

I will however mention something that surprised me. During the MEGS' address, he mentioned the web site which the Province has. He mentioned that of the 3000 plus members, only 345 members are registered users of which 116 were either Secretaries or scribe Ezras. I personally think that this is a very low figure considering that the vast majority of our Lodges and Chapters use the internet to send summons etc. Based on these figures very few of our members actually go on the website which makes me think that very few people actually read the reports put on our own website. The Provincial website is easily found on Google, (other search engines are available). Alternatively, click on the link here.

The MEGS also mentioned the forthcoming festival, but enough from me for now. If you want to know more, log on to the Provincial website where you will find the full MEGS address and festival information.

The convocation ended in harmony and those who were staying for lunch went to the bar, I however found my car, saw Peter Wright leaving who I think thought I was going to run him over (no comments please) and drove home. Job done!!!!


David Broughton PPAGSoj (yes that’s right, I even got promoted.)

 

Saturday 16th September 2023:

Convocation at York

Report by Eddie Wildman

I'm not used to two six o' clocks in one day, and Craig, bless him, thoughtfully rang me at six to make sure I was out of bed and to say that he'd pick me up in ten minutes. I'd everything laid out ready (I hoped) and even had time for a cup of tea before he arrived, then we were on our way to York in jig time.

E Comp Craig Maurier is an early bird and chattered on matters masonic as I gradually adjusted to wide-awake mode. I was looking forward to him receiving the active Chapter rank of Provincial Grand Steward in the Masonic Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings. He had duties to perform along with other Stewards which is why we were so unconscionably early, under the able direction of E Comp James Kerr, Provincial Grand DC, I watched with interest as the Companions were directed hither and yon with astonishing efficiency. Some were gently admonished; two had forgotten their jackets. Jimmy managed somehow to find jackets for them whilst delegating Stewards to different areas with specific tasks. I carefully kept out of the way.

The Chapter had already been set up in the Voltigeur Suite and I persuaded a Companion brandishing his phone to take a pic of me on my camera. Meanwhile, on the floor below, stalls were being set up in the robing area with masonic ties and regalia on sale; interesting Masonic jewels (consult E Comp Richard Theaker, who has a fine collection of rare items;) the latest design in Masonic gloves, and - thankfully, cups of coffee. It was there I met E Comp Hiten Thaker who had received Grand Chapter honours with me in London. "I see we're sitting together again," he said. "Why aren't you wearing your tailcoat?"

Damn. I knew I'd forgotten something. "Everybody will be looking at you," I said, "so I didn't bother."

Our rank merited seats with a good view of the ceremony, which was impressive. We were almost the last to be paraded in before the entry of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Dr David Chambers and the Provincial Rulers - a great honour - and E Comp Nick Page played suitable music on the keyboard.

The Chapter of St Michael 7833 was represented not only by myself as a member but also as one of the Grand Officers of the year. It was pleasing to see E Comp David Broughton - who has contributed blog articles to this website - receive his promotion from Active Rank to Past Provincial Assistant Grand Sojourner. I quietly murmured congratulations to him as he passed, with a frisson of pride that he and so many of my friends were officially recognised for their contributions to Chapter Masonry.


The three Principals looked magnificent in their robes and chains: the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Dr David Chambers in the scarlet robe of office, the Second Grand Principal Excellent Companion Richard John Smedley in the rich deep blue of Haggai, and Excellent Companion Mark Iveson PPGScN in the lighter blue of Joshua. These three opened the Chapter magnificently before taking their seats after which the MEGS addressed the Companions, welcoming distinguished guests from neighbouring Provinces and conducting the business side of the meeting with enviable alacrity.

Nearly seventy Companions received honours that morning, some continuing the tasks in which they were already engaged, others coming forward to receive their collars. 

The Most Excellent addressed the Companions speaking of the limitations in the number of awards he was allowed to confer, but also exhorting those with talents that might be of service to the Chapter or Craft to make themsleves known. Why should someone with useful expertise have to wait several years before his skills might be used to promote masonry? The MEGS mentioned media skills, but was keen to learn of whatever else could be offered. Another theme was a pre-festival plug and the suggestion that a standing order would be a useful way to contribute. The Chapter was closed in due and ancient form.

Many of the Companions stayed for the meal (which Hiten Thaker told me later had been excellent) but Craig and I, both having meetings later that day, had decided to forgo lunch. 

The drive back was comfortable (E Comp Maurier is an excellent chauffeur - thanks, Craig!) There was time, I decided, for a short nap before the evening's Second Degree at Technical Craft Lodge and the second six o' clock of the day.

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 7th September 2023:

Humber Chapter 57

Report by John Burton

I made my 18th visit to the HUMBER CHAPTER 57. I arrived early and had a drink (I wasn't driving) and a few conversations and then it was time to get changed and sign in.

I took a front seat and was joined by E Comp Eddie Wildman, who was there, unusually, as a visitor and not as Organist. The three Principals were: Z, E Comp Malcolm Forbes; H, E Comp Richard Smedley; and J, E Comp Terry Fisher who was a substitute for E Comp Charles Alexander. They opened the Chapter in due and ancient form.

The minutes of the last meeting where confirmed. The presentation due to be given that evening (Freemasons to the Moon) was not given due to unforeseen circumstances. Then the Almoners and Charity Stewards gave their reports.

The Most Excellent then asked if there was any other business and E Comp Eddie Wildman stood to propose a discussion on a possible merger between the Humber Chapter 57 and the Kingston Chapter 1010 and possibly other chapters. The discussion that followed was intense and lively to say the least and I think the outcome was that the matter should be looked at more closely and a meeting be arranged between all the Chapters concerned to see if there was a way forward.

This might be useful discussion topic for other Chapters within the city and beyond - our changing society and the exigencies of Covid have impacted on Freemasonry and indeed other societies.

I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and Eddie gave greetings as J of the Kingston Chapter 1010. E Comp Des Hinshelwood gave greetings for sister Chapters in the Masonic Province of Cambridgeshire. The three Principals then closed the Chapter in due and ancient form and we retired to the festive board, where the talk was all about what had just been discussed upstairs.

At the end of the meal we all parted as friends and we went our separate ways. My wife came and picked me up and took me home; during the journey I had time to think about what I had heard and the possible future of Chapter Masonry in Hull and elsewhere.

John Burton MEZ

 

 

Wednesday 9th August 2023:

Minerva Chapter 250

Report by John Burton

I made my seventeenth visit as MEZ to the Minerva Chapter 250. Consecrated in 1783 this is one of the oldest Chapters in the Province and it has met at Dagger Lane since 1802. I arrived early and signed in; I was the only visitor that night. I sat in my favourite seat in the Temple and waited for the exaltation ceremony to begin.

The three Principals E Com Tadeusz Krawczyk who was Z, E Com Mark Hartley who was H, and E Comp Ben Kelley who was J opened the Chapter in due and ancient form. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved. The next business was to elect the three Principals and Treasurer for the ensuing year, These were E Comp Mark Hartley (MEZ), E Comp Ben Kelley (H) and Comp Kevin Marshall as J. E Comp Steve Cox was elected to be Treasurer for the ensuing year and E Comp Tadeusz Krawczyk to be Janitor (the Chapter equivalent of Outer Guard or Tyler.)

There then followed a ballot for Bro Darren Ian Wiseman as a Candidate for exaltation. The DC, E Comp Danny Betts prepared the ballot and Scribe E, E Com Chris M Brown opened it. The rest of the companions of the Minerva Chapter proceeded to cast their votes, and the Principal Sojourner, Comp James Ashby-Kelly closed the ballot. Upon presentation to the three Principals it proved favourable, and the Candidate, who was waiting outside in some trepidation, was so informed. The DC then destroyed the ballot.

The exaltation ceremony then proceeded and Bro Wiseman was conducted in. He answered the questions put to him by E Comp Mark Hartley without a prompt, so he had evidently done his homework and learnt his lines.

The exaltation continued with very few prompts; the Companions had obviously put a lot of effort into making the night one to remember for the Candidate. E Comp Chris Brown explained the Secrets and Clothing and E Comp Peter Willerby delivered the Charge, after which Companion Wiseman was then led out to restore himself to his own comforts.

There was then received the Almoners, Treasurers and Charity Stewards reports. I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and the Minerva Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form.

We all came downstairs to the festive board which was well received. I won a bottle of Rioja on the raffle so I was well pleased. The parting toast was given and we all took our leave of each other; my wife came and picked me up and I went home contented after having had a splendid evening.

E Comp John Burton MEZ

 

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).

 

 

Thursday 4th July 2023:

Technical Chapter 5666

REPORT BY JOHN BURTON


My sixteenth visit was to the Technical Chapter 5666. I arrived at Beverly Rd Masonic building with plenty of time to spare, went in and was made to feel very welcome and joined in various conversations. I saw the Steward, paid for my meal, got changed and went upstairs, not forgetting to sign in.

I sat in my favourite chair from where I can see everything that happens. The opening began with the three Principals E Comp Malcolm Brocklesby who was Z, E Comp Jon Paul Robinson who was H, and E Comp Ian Parkinson who was J, taking their respective chairs. The minutes of the previous Chapter meeting were approved and signed by the Z.

The next business was to exalt a member of the Ridings Tablers Lodge 9586 (Name witheld for security reasons.) It is said that the Chapter is a continuation of the third degree which was true in this case. The Brother came in dressed as though for his third degree and faultlessly answered certain questions put to him. You could see he had put a lot of effort in to learning what he had to know. I think he will be a very good ritualist in the future of the Chapter.

The exaltation continued with very little prompts it was apparent that a great deal of effort had been put in by all concerned. At the end the exaltee was allowed to leave and restore himself to his own clothes. In the meantime greetings where given and I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter St Michael 7833. The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we left, shaking hands with the new exaltee who had not had time to come back in and was standing just outside the door.

I came down the stairs got changed and sat down at the festive board, which was up to the usual very high standard expected at Beverly Rd. The conversation around the table was very pleasant and the evening flew by. I won a bottle of vodka in the raffle and then it was all over. I had a great evening and I will be going back again soon.

E Comp John Burton. MEZ

 

 

Wednesday 14th June 2023:

Minerva Chapter 250

REPORT BY JOHN BURTON

My 15th visit of the year as Zerubabbel was to Minerva Chapter 250 on Wednesday 14th June. This was the first time I had visited this Chapter. I arrived early to get a parking place, I was in luck there was one available so I reversed straight in (no Reginald Molehouse for me.) I made my way to the Masonic building on Dagger lane and went in.

It was a very hot day so I ordered a can of full fat coke sat down to meet and talk to the Companions who had already arrived and those who came later. When it was time I got changed and made my way upstairs to the temple and signed in. As I entered the temple their MEZ had a word with me, thanked me for coming, told me they were doing an exaltation and I was to sit back and enjoy.

I sat down in what in the Craft Lodge is the Senior Deacon's seat - this is the most comfortable in the temple and enables you to see everything that is going on.

The three Principals consisting of Z, E Comp Tadeusz Krawczyk; H, E Comp Mark Hartley; and J, E Comp Ben Kelly entered and opened the Chapter in due and ancient form. The Principal Sojourner, Comp James Ashby-Kelly was invested as he was missing at the installation.

There then followed a ballot for two joining members: E Comp Malcolm Forbes, Comp Ian Montgomery and the Candidate for exaltation, Brother Simon Tompkins. The DC, E Comp Danny Betts was asked to prepare the ballot which he did. The Scribe E, E Comp Chris M Brown opened the ballot after which the companions of the Chapter proceeded to cast their votes. Comp James Ashby-Kelly, the Principal Sojourner closed the ballot. The DC then presented the ballot which the MEZ announced had proved favourable to all three which was greeted with applause.

Comp Ian Montgomery was then invited to take a seat in the Chapter as a joining member.

Brother Simon Tompkins was then led in and exalted in a ceremony the like of which I have never seen before, after which he was led out of the Chapter to restore himself to his usual comforts. Meanwhile the Almoner, Treasurer and Charity Steward gave reports. The new-made Companion Simon Tompkins then entered and took a seat in the Chapter.

I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833.

The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we came down to have the Festive Board. The conversation flowed and I was made to feel very welcome. The national anthem was sung and the regular toasts were given; I replied on behalf of the visitors and I thanked everybody for a great evening.

I will definitely be going back to visit as they have another exaltation at their next meeting. I made my way to my car and drove home happy and content.

J Burton MEZ
 

 

 Monday 12th June 2023:

Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter 9611

REPORT BY DAVID BROUGHTON

This is probably my last visit as an active provincial officer and as luck would have it, I am at the same Chapter as my first visit. The chapter in question is the Provincial Stewards Chapter 9611 which usually meets in Malton but as the Malton Masonic Hall is very small, the installation meeting was held at Beverley Masonic Hall, Trinity Lane, Beverley.
I arrived in good time and as it was one of the hottest days of the year (so far), it is fair to say that I was sweating like a pig (old Yorkshire phrase) particularly as I was wearing the Masonic uniform (wool serge 3-piece suit).

Upstairs I went for our rehearsal, and put on my regalia. The meeting commenced with the Chapter opened in true and ancient form.

In the Provincial army paraded, followed by the dignitaries and Grand Chapter Officers and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Dr David Chambers was then brought in by E Comp Jimmy (2 kilts) Kerr who was on his first official visit as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. And a good job he did!

The ceremony continued with the proposal of six new Provincial Stewards.

The three Principals were then installed. They are: MEZ: E Comp Mark Green; H: E Comp Ian Bailey; and J: E Comp Peter Robson after which the Officers were also installed in a ceremony somewhat different to what we usually do at the Chapter of St Michael.

The appointments are for two years in the Provincial Stewards Chapter.

After the usual reports, E Comp Mark Green presented “The Smedders Award”. This award was given to the Provincial Stewards Chapter by E Comp Richard Smedley, past MEZ. It is a Provincial Stewards Chapter wand. (Apparently when someone is appointed an active steward it is for two years, the first year you are provided with a wand but the second year you have to either buy your own, or beg, steal or borrow from another steward. The Smedders award is given to the Provincial Steward who completes the most visits. This year it was awarded to E Comp Peter Bebb. He was very surprised and delighted to receive it.

The meeting was then closed and we adjourned to the festive board. We were well served by the Hull Sea Cadets who gratefully received the proceeds of the raffle as well as a donation from the MEGS charity fund.

All too soon the evening came to an end and it was back to the car, (jacket and waistcoat thrown in the back) and home to bed.

 E Comp David Broughton ProvGStdB

 

 

Thursday 8th June 2023:

RTL9586

REPORT BY JOHN BURTON

I made my fourteenth visit as MEZ to the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586. This was my second time at Trinity Lane Beverley. I arrived early and made paid for my meal. As always I was given a very friendly welcome. I got changed and made my way up to the Chapter temple and selected my seat for the evening.

On the summons it said they whre going to do a practice exaltation, but due to unforeseen circumstances plan B was implemented. The three Principals entered and opened the Chapter; (this time the sceptres were in place) and the minutes were approved. There then followed a talk on the Pedestal differences between Constitution and Humber ritual. This was given at very very short notice by E Com Roger Lewis who is a member of the Constitutional Chapter 294. It was a very stimulating talk and a lot of interesting points and differences were brought out. When he had finished a round of applause was given.

There then followed various items of Chapter business after which I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833. The Chapter was closed in due and ancient form and we all retired to the festive board. The food was up to the high standard expected at Beverly Masonic Hall. Two toasts where given, the National Anthem sung and we all parted as friends and made our way back to our homes. It had been a very enjoyable evening: the conversation flowed at the festive board and I was made to feel very welcome and felt at home, I will be going again.

John Burton MEZ

 

Tuesday 6th June 2023:

TECHNICAL CHAPTER 5666

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

[For Eddie Wildman's report see the Minerva blog page for this date.]

 

My 13th visit was to the Technical Chapter 5666 on D Day, Tuesday 6th June. I had no need to arrive early as there is easy parking at Beverly Rd. I arrived about 18:15 hrs and made my way into the building where the first thing I did was pay for my meal (more about that later.) I changed into my Chapter regalia and introduced myself to the seven other visitors. This was the second time I had visited this Chapter so I knew many of the folk there. 

I then made my way up into the Temple where I selected a seat from where I could see everything as I had never seen an Exaltation ceremony in this Chapter before. I was not disappointed.

The three Principals, E Comps Malcolm Brocklesby (MEZ), Jon Paul Robinson (H) and Ian Parkinson (J) opened the Chapter in due and ancient form and sat in their respective chairs. The Most Excellent Zerubbabel then installed his 1st Asst Sojourn, Comp Arash Vesali who had not been present at the installation meeting.

There was then a ballot for a Brother from the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 who wished to join the Chapter. The Scribe E, E Comp Steve Berry opened the ballot, the rest of the Companions then proceeded to cast their votes by means of placing a token indicating "for" or "against" in the ballot box, and the ballot was closed by the Principal Sojourner Comp Mark Cusack. The ballot box was then presented to the three Principals and found to be favourable which was greeted with applause.

The next business was the Exaltation of Brother Alan Rose Newton. This seemed to be a natural progression from the Craft, as he came in garbed as a Candidate for the Third Degree, (with an interesting inclusion from the first.) Questions were asked by the Z and answered (very well) by the Candidate.

The Chapter practises Humber Chapter ritual which I found very interesting: it distributes the ritual between more people than we do in the Chapter of St Michael, where the Z does most of the work.

The Setting the Scene interpolations were read by the Scribe E.

E Comp Eddie Wildman, sitting next to me, was taking notes, so I pinched the following paragraph from his blog:

Brother Kieron was admitted as a Master Mason, entrusted with the necessary words for readmission, and readmitted as a questing sojourner, led round the Chapter by two Companion Sojourners and admitted to a virtual chamber where he was bidden to find something before retiring again to prepare for the next part of his journey. The most dramatic episode, the sojourners' discovery, was recounted fluently and compellingly by Comp Mark Cusack, and the newly appointed First Assistant Sojourner also pushed the story forward.

The secrets and signs were given by E Comp William Turner-Bone who delivered them with no prompt, which is no mean feat. The Working Tools were explained by Comp David Green, and the Mystical Lecture, divided between three Companions, was brilliantly begun by Comp Adam Tunnicliffe, who has only recently been made a Companion himself. The Charge was delivered by E Comp Keith Challis.

The Candidate was led out and the meeting continued while he changed into regular Chapter regalia. There were reports from the Almoner, Charity Steward and the Technical Lodge 5666. Companion Kieron then re entered on a report and was conducted to a seat.

I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael 7833, the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form and we all proceeded to the festive board.

The meal was a three meat buffet which I have had before and was just as impressive and tasty as the last one. Toasts were given, speeches were made and at the end of the evening we all parted as friends.

I had an excellent night and enjoyed every minute of it. The Technical Chapter is having another Exaltation next month to which I will be going; I can thoroughly recommend it for Companions to visit.

[Photograph of Jon Paul Robinson (H), Kieron Newton (Companion), Malcolm Brocklesby (MEZ) and Ian Parkinson (J) by ERW]

 John Burton MEZ

 

Thursday 1st June 2023:

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

I made my 12th visit to The Humber Chapter 57 which meets at Dagger Lane. I arrived early, primarily to get a car parking space nearby. I was in luck; a car pulled out just as I arrived so I reversed straight in.

I changed into my Chapter regalia and went upstairs. Last time I was there it was a closed opening so visitors were only admitted after the start; this time to my surprise I was told to go straight in and watched everything from the beginning to the end. The three Principals were E Comp Malcolm Forbes who was Z, E Comp Richard Smedley who was H and E Comp Charles Alexander who was J. They opened the Chapter and arrived at their seats when the DC made a dash for the door and disappeared outside. The Companions wondered if he was ill or been caught short, but all was well, revealed when he reappeared carrying the three sceptres, which someone had not put out, and no one had noticed.

E Comp Malcolm Forbes informed the Companions that E Comp Richard Smedley had been awarded the active rank of 2nd Provincial Grand Sojourner which was received with applause.

The next order of business was to invest any officers not present at the installation. Companion Craig Morrison was invested as First Assistant Sojourner, E Comp Trevor Whitfield as Second Assistant Sojourner and E Comp Sergei Byelov as Assistant Scribe E.

There then followed a series of reports, propositions and apologies. I gave greetings on behalf of The Chapter of St Michael 7833 (supported by E Comp Eddie Wildman, who was playing the organ on this occasion - for his report see the Humber Chapter blog) and greetings were extended from the Thesaurus Chapter 3891 and Kingston Chapter 1010 before the Principal Sojourner, E Comp Stephen Hastings gave greetings from the Companions of the Humber Chapter 57.

The Chapter was closed in due and ancient form: it was at this point I noticed Malcolm Forbes' arm was still in a plaster which it had been the last time I was there two months ago, so with that in mind he had performed extremely well that evening.

We then retired to the festive board which was not bad. The conversations I had were excellent and I had a very good evening. The national anthem was sung and two toasts were given. We all parted as friends after having had an excellent evening. I will be going again to meet up with this very amicable Chapter.

[Photograph of E Comps Richard Smedley, Malcolm Forbes and Charles Alexander by Eddie Wildman.]

John Burton MEZ

 

Wednesday 24th May 2023 (Beverley Rd):

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

I made my eleventh visit to Thesaurus Chapter 3891. I arrived early and had a long good conversation with some of the members and then it was time to get ready. I put on my regalia and went up to the temple and as it was at Dagger Lane I sat in my favourite place, which is in the Senior Deacon's seat in the north-east corner. I relaxed and settled down to watch the proceedings. I had been informed by the Scribe E that it was a business night and I was interested to see this, as the Thesaurus Chapter practises Humber working, unlike the Domatic ritual used at the Chapter of St Michael.

The three Principals entered. The MEZ was E Comp Robert Marshall McKenna, H was E Comp Malcolm Thomas Dale, and J was E Comp Stephen James Burns.

The first order of business was to invest any Officers not present at the installation, and to his surprise E Comp Michael L East was invested as ADC.

The DC E Comp David A Crofts then stood and congratulated the Most Excellent Zerubbabel on his last ceremony where he had invited all the members to stand up and briefly talk about themselves.

E Comp McKenna then asked the DC as he was not present at the last meeting if he would like to stand up and talk about himself to the Companions. This came as a bit of a shock to E Comp Crofts who seemed a bit taken aback as he thought he had got away with it, but agreed to do so and told us about his life both inside and outside Masonry. The members applauded after he had finished,

The Z then turned to me and asked if I would like to do the same, and give a talk on my life both inside and outside freemasonry. This came as a big surprise as I had not expected to contribute to the meeting. However I stood up and gave a talk about my life which lasted about ten minutes. After I had finished and sat down the members clapped and the Most Excellent thanked me for giving the talk which he said he found interesting.

The business of the evening then continued with the elections of the new Z, H and J who were: Z, E Comp Malcolm Thomas Dale; H, E Comp Stephen James Burns; and J, Companion Graham Robinson. The MEZ then received reports from the Almoner, Charity Steward and the Treasurer.

The meeting was the closed in due and ancient form and we all retired to the dining room for the festive board which consisted of Mushroom Soup, Cottage Pie and vegetables, and for dessert Eton Mess.

The National Anthem was sung and various toasts were given. I responded on behalf of the visitors and the festive board was closed, after which we all shook hands and parted as friends. I had a superb night: the conversation was interesting and flowed well. I was made to feel very welcome and left with the thought I must go back and visit again.

John Burton MEZ

 

Wednesday 24th May 2023 (Beverley Rd):

EDDIE REPORTS

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:

St Michael, Chapter Origins, The Pedestal and Platonic Solids

EDDIE REPORTS

 

It was wonderful to be recognised on the Chapter of St Michael summons as a Grand Chapter Officer - thanks, Steve! The Chapter meeting was small but lively, but I will leave it to our illustrious Most Excellent Zerubbabel to tell us about it - and the interesting Festive Board afterwards.

For my report, and the recipe for Smoked Mackerel Paté, go to http://humber57.org.uk/?Humber-Chapter-Blog for enlightenment.

Eddie Wildman

 

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

 

Thursday 18th May was my second Chapter meeting in the Chair. I had gone through my usual routine, that of rehearsing my lines walking my dog. This time it flowed so I stopped after the first run through. I arrived early went upstairs to make sure there were no last minute changes - and there were: I was "volunteered" to be part of the evening's presentation.

The three Principals formed up and the Chapter meeting got underway. It was opened in due and ancient form, the visitor, E Comp Neil Armstrong, MEZ of the Kingston Lodge 1010 was welcomed, and the minutes agreed and signed.

There then followed a series of short talks, the first one entitled "History of Chapter Masonry" was given by E Comp Steve Longthorp, the second, entitled "Platonic Solids and Platonic Bodies" was given by E Comp J Burton, and thirdly an Explanation of the Pedestal was given by E Comp David Broughton and E Comp Jack Chapman.

E Comp Eddie Wildman then stood up and gave us some of his thoughts on what he had just heard. The Chapter was then closed and we all retired to the dining room for the festive board. The first verse of the national anthem was sung and two toasts were given. We all then went our separate  ways after having had a great evening.

John Burton MEZ

 

--ooOoo--

 Thursday 11th May 2023:

Lonsborough Chapter 734

DAVID BROUGHTON REPORTS

I am on my way to BBB (Breezy, Bracing, Bridlington) and Londesborough Chapter 734 for their regular meeting, the date being altered by special dispensation.

The Chapter was opened and the Provincial Grand Director of ceremonies entered and informed the Principals that Excellent Companion Dr David Chambers was at the door and demanded admission. The team of active Provincial Officers escorted the MEGS into the temple and he took the Chair.

The purpose of the dispensation was to install the new Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals E Comp Richard John Smedley as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E Comp Mark Iveson as Third Provincial Grand Principal.

Also appointed was E Comp Jimmy Kerr as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.

This was a very rare occasion as we had in attendance the MEGS, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Patrick Clare Joseph Cambage, the Second Provincial Grand Principal E Comp Richard John Smedley and theThird Provincial Grand Principal E Comp Mark Iveson as well as the retiring Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals E Comp Paul Harper and E Comp Christopher Thomas. All the rulers together in one room!

 

The three Principals of Londesborough Chapter then retook their chairs and closed in the usual manner and after the photo session (also available on the provincial website) we adjourned downstairs to the bar and festive board. We had the usual excellent festive board with good conversation. All too soon the evening ended and the journey home commenced.

E Comp David Broughton ProvGStdB

[Bob Newman, Sword Bearer, Gary Sunley (Chapter H), Richard Smedley (new 2ndPGP), MEGS David Chambers, Ken Shaw (Chapter MEZ), Pat Cambage (Dep MEGS), Mark Iveson (new 3rd PGP), Graham Jessop (Chapter J) and David Broughton, Standard Bearer.]

 

 

Tuesday 2nd May 2023:

Technical Royal Arch Chapter 5666

EDDIE REPORTS

I was delighted to visit the Technical Companions at Beverley Road, though numbers were less than usual; Comp Bill Turner-Bone had had a fall and was not there to play the organ or to give the Almoner's report - we all wish him well. It was, however, an opportunity for Hiten Thaker and me to give greetings in our new pinnies from Supreme Grand Chapter - thank you, Most Excellent, for the kind words and the drink!

It was an enjoyable visit, and I gave greetings as J of the Kingston Chapter 1010. But as a member of the Chapter of St Michael 7833, I also stood with E Comp John Burton when he congratulated the MEZ,  E Comp Malcolm Brocklesby, for the meeting's content. I defer to him as First Principal, of course, and am privileged that he is completing this report.

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

On Tuesday 2nd May I made my 10th visit, this time to Technical Chapter 5666. I arrived at Beverley Rd just in time having been delayed by traffic, paid for my meal and got changed and went into the temple. I was starting to find my way around as I have been here a few times before.

I sat in my usual seat and the ceremony began with the three Principals entering. The MEZ was Excellent Companion Malcom Brocklesby, H was E Comp Philip Harry Daniels and J was E Comp Frank Lovely. They performed the opening and reached their various chairs to find someone had forgotten to put out their sceptres. This omission was quickly rectified. The Z then congratulated E Companion Eddie Wildman on his promotion to Supreme Grand Chapter which was received with acclamation, E Companion replied with great modesty, insisting that E Comp Hiten Thaker, who had also received promotion to PAGDC also be recognised.  Companion Alan Jopling was then installed as The Treasurer for the year.

A ballot then was taken which proved favourable to the Candidate.

We then listened to the Symbolical Lecture given by Companion Robert Atkinson which was favourably received, Excellent Companion Eddie Wildman then proceeded to ask several questions which were well answered. There then followed the Historical lecture given by Excellent Companion Paul Hillary; no questions were asked this time!

Other business was then conducted. I gave greetings on behalf of The Chapter St Michael 7833. The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we retired to the festive board. The food as usual at Beverley Rd was very very good. The conversation flowed all night though no speeches were made. Following the singing of the National Anthem and two toasts, a raffle was drawn and I won a bottle of wine, The evening was concluded and we parted friends: a great time was had by all. 

 John Burton MEZ

 

Friday 28th April 2023 p.m.:

De la Pole Discussion

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

My 9th visit was to the De La Pole Chapter 1605. I arrived early so I could chat and mingle with the other Companions there.

I had expected to see an exaltation but was told on arrival that the Candidate could not attend because of work commitments so I entered the temple wondering what was going to take place. The Three Principals were: Z, E Comp Yvon S Martin; H, E Comp Peter Moore: and J, E Comp John Appleby. They opened the Chapter in due form and announced that the exaltation would not take place and that the DC, Excellent Companion Ron Stone would give a talk and pose the question why younger masons where not attending the LOI.

There then followed a very lively debate as to what the causes were and possible solutions, and in the end the Companions present (me included even though I had contributed to the discussion) concluded that there was no magic bullet to solve the problem, which was a great shame as the LOI contributes so much to a successful Lodge.

The Principals closed the Chapter in due and ancient form and we retired to the festive board, where the food as usual was very good (as I have come to expect at Beverly Rd.) The conversations flowed and a good time was had by all, it came to an end all too soon. Toasts were given, speeches made and everybody parted as friends having had a great time together.

I then drove home, took my dog out for a walk and felt very tired,* I am certainly enjoying this visiting and have lots more planned.

 * This is probably nothing to do with having eaten two Beverley Road dinners on the same day - Editor.

John Burton MEZ

 

Friday 28th April 2023 a.m.:

Daylight Chapter 9696

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 Anthony 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 Anthony 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

 

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. 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 problem. 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) Principlals 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

 

 

 

Tuesday 25th April 2023:

 

St Michael Companions out in force at Brough Chapter

chris thomas, john derek wilsonMEZ John Burton had the support of several C7833 members at the Installation ceremony for the Brough Chapter 5464, including E Comp David Broughton, one of the active Provincial team, E Comp Peter Wright, who is Scribe E for Brough, Comps Peter Stokes and myself, who being unable to plug in the organ, had an easy night at the Masonic Hall, College Street, Sutton upon Hull on this occasion. This was the venue where the Chapter of St Michael began, in 1962, three years after the Brough Chapter itself was consecrated.

I have no doubt some of the above characters will make more valuable contributions to this webpage than I, so my remarks are few: 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. Comp 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 (including E Comp David Broughton) who remarked at the festive board how pleased he was to see one of his team installed into the Chair of Zerubbabel, especially as this was his last visit in the capacity of Third Provincial Grand Principal.

That's the broad picture. See below for reports by some others, and http://humber57.org.uk/?Humber-Chapter-Blog for this date for the HC57 report.

The photograph of E Comps Chris Thomas and John Wilson is by Comp Peter Stokes.

E Comp Eddie Wildman

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

On Tuesday 25th I had my 7th visit, this time to Brough Chapter. It was their Installation night and there was a lot of gold on display that night what with the Third Grand Principal and his team. I had arrived early; my wife had brought me so I had time to mingle and talk to people before the ceremony kicked off. I decided to have a can of full fat coke, a decision I was to regret later on. I entered the temple found a nice comfy spot with a good view settled down to watch. The ceremony was progressing along nicely when I had a call of nature. I asked the new MEZ, E Companion John Derek Wilson for permission to leave and hurried out. I returned much happier and at the end I gave greetings on behalf of the Chapter of St Michael, pleased that so many were there from C7833. The ceremony was closed in due and ancient form and we went downstairs to enjoy the festive board. The food as usual was first rate. I replied on behalf of the visitors; speeches were made and all too soon it was all over. We all parted as friends and I came home after having a great night.

John Burton MEZ

 

PETER STOKES REPORTS

A view from the Lower Deck

I had spoken with John Derek Wilson, the incoming MEZ at a previous Craft meeting and he had invited me along to the Brough Chapter Installation in Sutton upon Hull. It was a pleasant surprise to see so many familiar faces from my home Chapter.

I do not go on many Chapter visits so when the Principals made their entry I was amazed at how different it was to our ritual. Sitting back and watching with interest as the Chapter was opened and then the Third Principal and his team of active officers admitted under the direction of his DC, all was moving along to a successful installation. Then at the critical moment I and other Companions were invited to leave for a short time as I had not been in the Chairs.

When readmitted the new team was installed and then the Chapter closed after a brilliant address to all the Companions by E Comp Keith Challis.

We retired to the ground floor for the Festive board, Egg Mayonaise was followed by Roast Loin of Pork, Rice Pudding and Cheese and Biscuits. Later we toasted and responded with our own MEZ, John Burton replying to the visitors toast. All too soon the parting toast was raised Happy to have met Sad to part Happy meet again....and we will!

 Photograph Z, J, H, 3rd Principal and Provincial Team by Peter Stokes

Companion Peter Stokes, 1at Assistant Sojourner

 

 

Thursday 20th April 2023:

Prima Exaltatio in Quinquennium

It occasionally happens (this is the third occasion this year) when a Candidate expresses doubts about being named on a website which is open to public view. It is a sad indictment that some employers are known to be anti-Masonic, and those working for them keep a low profile lest it spoil their chance of advancement. While we have no secrets to hide, it is wise to be cautious. I have no doubt that whatever campaigns are exercised, Freemasonry will always be challenged by the ignorant and indifferent.

I once asked a recalcitrant pupil at school the difference between ignorance and indifference. "I don't know and I don't care," he said.

So, for the first exaltation in five years, there is no photograph of the Candidate, and he will remain anonymous. He enjoyed the ceremony, however, remarking at the festive board that he found it challenging but interesting, and he thanked the Companions for the huge amount of hard work they'd done in putting everything together. I only had a little piece to do - the third part of the traditional history - but it seemed to take forever to commit it to memory. E Comp John Burton (MEZ) again impressed everyone by reciting huge sections of ritual apparently effortlessly. E Comp Stephen Prior (H) likewise demonstrated amazing recall, and E Comp John Stanley Broughton intoned J's lines with a fine ecumenical flair, this being his second time in that role (indeed, he was the Founding E Comp Joshua in 1992.)

But enough from the organ grinder. Here are the MEZ's comments:

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

Thursday 20 April was a big day; my first time at a Chapter meeting sitting in the big chair for real. It was to be an exaltation, the first one the Chapter had performed in five years so everybody was going to be a little rusty.

I went through my normal routine that morning of going through my lines while walking the dog. This time it went a lot better than the last occasion and the words flowed, so after one go I stopped while I was winning.

I arrived at the Chapter early, met the Candidate and went upstairs to get ready.

I was very nervous as I entered the Ceremony as the Most Excellent Zerubbabel because everything revolves around the central Chair. I started badly, got the opening wrong, then relaxed after which everything flowed. The Candidate was exalted (he must remain anonymous for various reasons, see Eddie's comments above), greetings were received and the Chapter was closed in due and ancient form. I left the temple and gave a big sigh of relief as the evening had passed of without a hitch; in fact, with the dedication of my team, who had obviously put in a great deal of work to produce such a successful ceremony, it had gone like clockwork.

We came downstairs to the festive board and had a good meal. Toasts were given, speeches made and we all parted friends after having a splendid evening. Having done my first Chapter meeting as Z I have been blooded, so to speak, so I am looking forward to our next meeting in May.

 John Burton, MEZ

 

 

Thursday 13th April 2023:

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

My sixth MEZ visit was to the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586 in Beverley. I drove to Beverley, parked the car up and walked the short distance from the car park to the Masonic Lodge. I had a very warm welcome as I stepped through the door and was shown where to hang my coat and get changed.

The Chapter was opened in a very similar manner to the Constitutional Chapter 297 which I visited in March (see below). It was a mixture of Craft and Chapter working; as this is a new Chapter (2017) I had expected it to be more modern. The main difference was that in C9586 we stood up for the start and finish whereas in C297 we were sat down. The Chapter officers where Z, E Comp  John D Bridges; H, E Comp John W L Ellwood; and J, E Companion J R J Watson.

Two officers not present at the installation were invested: E Comp K Raper was appointed as ADC and Steward, and Companion A Green was also appointed as a Steward. There then followed a presentation entitled What's in the bag by E Comp Howard B Newton, which was an explanation about the five platonic solids placed on the chapter floor.

The five are 1, THE TETRAHEDRAN which represents Fire,

2, THE OCTOHEDRAN which represents Air,

3, THE HEXAHEDRON which represents Earth,

4, THE ICOSAHEDRON which represents Water.

5, THE DODECAHEDRON which represents The Universe.

The full explanation was very interesting; one of the best I have heard. If any Companion gets a chance to hear this presentation I can thoroughly recommend they give it a hearing. The Chapter was then closed in due and ancient form and we all retired to a very good festive board.

They had decided on an Indian themed meal, which was onion bhaji to start, beef curry and rice as the main, and apple pie and ice cream for dessert, all cooked to perfection. This was my second meal at the Beverley Masonic Hall and I have been impressed both times. Songs and speeches where given and everybody had a great time, me included. All too soon the evening finished and I left, replete mentally and physically having met some very interesting people.

John Burton MEZ

 

Thursday 6th April 2023:

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

My fifth visit as MEZ was to the HUMBER CHAPTER 57 on Thursday 6th April: an installation with Excellent Companion Malcolm Forbes going in as Z, Excellent Companion Richard Smedley going in as H and Excellent Companion Charles Alexander going in as J. Unfortunately E Comp Smedley was not able to be present, so E Comp Stephen Hastings took the Chair of Haggai throughout the evening.

The visitors assembled outside the door of the Chapter and just like Black Rod when there is the State Opening of Parliament, it was slammed in our faces and we had to wait outside until after the private opening when we were permitted to enter. (It was just like standing outside the headmaster's office waiting to be summoned.)

Anyway the big moment came and we were allowed in; we hurried to take our places just in case they changed their minds. There was a knock at the door and the Representative of the MEG, Excellent Companion Martin Monaghan was announced. His DC asked for him to be allowed to enter and was given permission, upon which he was escorted in, said a few words and was escorted to his seat.

The installation ceremony then proceeded smoothly. Unfortunately the Z Elect, Excellent Companion Malcolm Forbes had broken his hand: he had only one arm in his robe and his apron kept falling down, but eventually the ceremony was complete. 

Companion Charles Alexander was installed as J and the Officers for the year installed.

The Chapter was closed in due and ancient form and we came down for the festive board, which consisted of melon starter, pork chops with roast spuds, peas and carrots for the main and New York cheese cake for dessert.The conversation flowed well and so did the drink and in no time at all the toasts and speeches were upon us. All too soon the evening came to an end we all parted friends hoping to meet up again on the visiting circuit. I can say I had an excellent evening and will be back for more. 

[Photograph of Malcolm Forbes nursing his fractured hand by Eddie Wildman]

John Burton MEZ

 

Friday 31st March 2023:

DAVID BROUGHTON AT SALEBIA CHAPTER

Provincial Team Visit to Salebeia Chapter No 566 Selby.

I wended my way to Selby along the A63 and A19 crossing the River Ouse on what was the Selby Toll Bridge. It ceased to be a toll bridge in 1991 when the fee to cross was 7p. When crossing I reminisced about the long queues that used to form as the bridge keeper was out collecting the 7p’s. The council purchased the bridge in 1991 and abolished the toll. Apparently in 1986 during the miners strike, miners blockaded the bridge hence cutting off Selby, hence the council's decision to purchase the bridge.

I was part of the Provincial team supporting E Comp Pat Cambage at the installation of the three Principals of Salebeia Chapter 566. This visit was originally to have taken place on Friday 7th April (Good Friday) but dispensation was given to alter the meeting.

I arrived in good time and was fortunate to park within ten yards of the entrance. I was warmly greeted and made to feel very welcome. It is an old building consisting of many small rooms with the Lodge room upstairs. It was purchased by the Freemasons of Selby about 200 years ago.

The appointed hour arrived, we assembled and escorted the DGS into the temple.

The ceremony proceeded and the three Principals were installed: E Comp C Rhodes as Z, E Comp
K Richardson as H and E Comp Hunt as J.

The ceremony continued with the installation of the other officers.

The proceedings ended and we adjourned to the bar and dining room. An excellent festive board was enjoyed by all with wine and port on the table (a pity I was driving) for all to enjoy. The dining room was set with circular tables with no top table as such, the Principals and officers were spread around the tables. It made a very enjoyable festive board. The unusual table arrangements was an excellent idea and good for conversation which included all on the table.

All too soon the evening ended with a Masonic chain and the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
Fortunately, the weather had improved (it had stopped raining) as I made my way back over
the ex toll bridge and home.

E Comp David Broughton PGStdB

 

Tuesday 28th March 2023:

 

DAVID BROUGHTON AT VICTORY CHAPTER

Provincial Team Visit to Victory Chapter 4042 in Pickering.

 

I set off for Pickering in good time for what would have been a pleasant drive across the Yorkshire Wolds to the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. Unfortunately, it was pouring down with rain so the journey was not the best.

However, I arrived in good time, parked in the main car park and as it had stopped raining, I decided to leave my raincoat in the car.

I wended my way to Bridge Street looking for the white door between the butcher's and another shop. Opening the door I was met with a passageway similar to what you would find between terraced houses and at the bottom was the Masonic Hall. A listed building.

The occasion was the installation of the three Principals, E Comp John Peter Buffoni as Z, E Comp Charles Hill as H and Comp Steve Berry as J in the presence of our MEGS, Most Excellent Companion Dr David Chambers and the Provincial team, in which I am the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer.

The Chapter DC, Ex Comp Andrew Hallsworth PPGSN then asked the installing Z E Comp John Peter Scott if it was his desire that the usual installation custom was put in place, to which the latter agreed. A box of Roses chocolates was then passed round the attending companions. A novel idea!

The ceremony then progressed which was somewhat different to our ceremony, which isn’t surprising as every one I have seen has been different.

After the installation of the Three Principals, the officers were installed and the DC was asked how long he had been doing the job of DC in the Chapter? He replied "Thirty years!"

That must be some kind of record.

The MEGS then presented E Comp Scott with his past Z jewel.

The meeting was closed in the usual manner and we processed out.

The seating in the temple is akin to the seating you would find in a cinema before these new-fangled multiscreen cinemas appeared, so needless to say, they were quite “cosy” as we all seem to have got wider in the rear end. A pity they were not like the “courting seats” we had in the old Tower Cinema where you could sit with the girl (or boy) of your dreams without an armrest between you!  I am sure we all know what I mean!

I should mention that I mean we would need one seat each, not share it as a courting couple.

Downstairs we went to the festive board which was a very convivial occasion, we were all made to feel very welcome and an excellent meal was enjoyed by all.

All too soon the toasts were given and we all went our separate ways.

Fortunately, it was not raining so I didn’t regret leaving my coat in the car.

David Broughton PGStdB

 

 

 

Wednesday 22nd March 2023:

CHAPTER OF ST ANDREW 4683

REPORT BY JOHN BURTON:

My fourth visit as MEZ was to the CHAPTER OF ST ANDREW 4683, which meets at Beverley Rd. I like Beverley Rd as it is very easy to park. I went in and who should I meet but our own Eddie Wildman, who was there as J for the KINGSTON CHAPTER 1010.

The ceremony started with the three Principals Excellent Companion Paul Bull MEZ, Excellent Companion Roy Newton H and Excellent Companion Jason Garland J processing in. I was impressed with their ritual as they needed very few prompts. After the opening there followed lectures: The Working Tools, The Pedestal, and The Tracing Board. As one who has been known to do the odd tracing board in the other three degrees I was very interested in this as I had not known there was a Chapter Tracing Board.

Just for information, when you enter the temple in Dagger Lane the first picture on the wall on the right is a Chapter Tracing board (pictured to the right of this text) and quite different to the one lectured upon this evening. At Trinity Lane Beverley, the Chapter Tracing Board in the alcove is akin to the one pictured to the left of this text. Both Tracing Boards illustrated here are by John Harris.

The lecture on the Working Tolls was delivered by Excellent Companion Ian Sugarman, who is the Chapter's Scribe E. The Pedestal was delivered from memory by Excellent Companion Ray Newton who is the Chapter H with very few prompts. The Cana Chapter Pre-Union Tracing Board (pictured below) was delivered by Excellent Companion Brian Daragon, that did interest me: I will have to see if there is one for our Chapter. The ceremony was closed in due and ancient form and we retired to the festive board. The MEZ had to go back to work so the Chair was taken by Excellent Companion Mike Graham. The food was excellent: we had lamb for the main course. I can recommend the food to any one of our Chapter members who visits any time at Beverley Rd. The conversation was very stimulating and a good time was had by all.

All too soon it came to an end, so we all parted as friends and went our separate ways. I drove home after having a very enjoyable evening. The fact I had to get up for work in the morning didn't matter.

John Burton MEZ

 

REPORT BY EDDIE WILDMAN:

What a pity there were so few there - this was one of the best "lecture" meetings I've attended for years! The Chapter of St Andrew's first meeting after installation saw thirteen Companions in the Temple, four of us were visitors. E Comp John Burton represented the Chapter of St Michael, of course, and I was pleased to stand while he gave greetings; I was there also in the capacity of J of the Kingston Chapter 1010.

Salutes were given to the Grand Chapter Officers present: Excellent Companions Mike Graham PGStdB and Ian Sugarman PAGDC. E Comp Paul Bull was proclaimed as Most Excellent Zerubbabel (he having been unable to attend in January) and Companion James Billaney as First Assistant Sojourner. 

The main thrust of the evening was to receive three lectures.

The first was an explanation of the Working Tools; laid out on the floor of the Chapter for perusal - every Chapter Mason is familiar with them, as they were employed by the Sojourners when clearing the foundation for the new Temple. E Comp Ian Sugarman spoke of their spiritual meaning and how they might be figuratively used to improve our lives and actions.

E Comp Roy Newton PPGSoj gave a brilliant explanation of the Pedestal ("I'm not sure I'll be able to do it - it was twenty years ago when I last did it") which despite his protestations was an admirable feat of memory. We learnt about the traditional Hebrew characters thereon, the mathematical figures on the top, and the intentions of its designer with regard to its placing in the Sanctum Sanctorum.

E Comp Brian Daragon PPGSwdB gave the third lecture: an explanation of the Cana Chapter Pre-Union Tracing Board, which I have never seen before. Photographs of this East Lancashire discovery were thoughtfully supplied by Scribe E.

(Royal Arch Tracing Boards fell out of use in the 1830s; those on display at Beverley and at Dagger Lane, Hull, are completely different.)

E Comp Daragon explained the curve of the Catenarian Arch, and of the sun at its zenith shining on the plate of gold, alluding to the Sojourners' discovery and the spiritual meaning behind the several elements, beginning with the removed plug stone or key, The significance of numbers (the fifteen stones forming the arch, the four steps, three crowns, the tetragrammaton etc) was explained, though I confess a personal scepticism with numerology, alphanumeric calculations and onomancy. The esoteric significance of the architectural orders was mentioned, and the symbolisms connected with the triple tau, with an interesting diversion on the history of the development of Chapter aprons in the early nineteenth century

Other features of the tracing board were explained - the various allusions to the deity, the trowel and sword and their connection with the rebuilding of the Temple, the geometric figures, the initials and the pre-Union flight of four steps, which, Brian argued, compound the assertion that the Holy Royal Arch is the Fourth step after the three steps of the Craft.

My brief summary does not do justice to the lecture, and if you discover it is to be repeated, I exhort you to go and hear it.

The Chapter was closed shortly afterwards, and we went to eat - Luke Pyrah had put on a top-quality spread as always (I love lamb, but the grilled salmon fillet with Hollandaise Sauce looked equally delicious.)

Two toasts sufficed - and home early, enriched in mind and body. A tremendous evening.

Eddie Wildman, J in 1010

 

 

Monday 20th March 2023:

DAVID BROUGHTON REPORTS ON HIS HOWDEN VISIT

 

In Howden I visited St Cuthberts Chapter 630 installation meeting supporting E Comp Paul Harper along with other members of the Active Provincial Team.

Prior to this visit, I had never been to the Masonic Hall in Howden and It is very impressive inside.

The appointed hour arrived and we made our way up the narrow winding staircase to the temple and after the Chapter was opened we processed in.

It was a somewhat shortened ceremony as the MEZ, E Comp Tony Griffiths, was staying in situ, and H, E Comp Gerald Geldar, had occupied the Principals' Chairs on a previous occasion, as had J, E Comp Derek Victor Clarkson.The other officers who were present were duly obligated.

There was to be a presentation of two Grand Chapter Certificates but unfortunately tthe had not arrived from Grand Chapter so we as Provincial Officers earned our keep by giving a presentation on the history of the Grand Chapter certificate which had been written by E Comp Paul Harper.

We each had a different part to play; it was very informative. It is something that we could perhaps consider doing at one of our own Chapter meetings with the approval of our Lecture Master, Jack Chapman.

After the meeting we, descended the spiral staircase (carefully) and enjoyed a very pleasant festive board.

 On a separate note, it was nice to see E Comp/W Bro G Gelder who has always been a great supporter of our Preceptors Festival. He was disappointed that we were not holding the festival this year but agreed that in view of the circumstances, it was the right decision. Gerald always came to the Preceptors festival with the Bro Norman Scott, known affectionately as Super Sub. I personally am convinced that Norman could recite the entire emulation ritual. I am sure that those who knew Norman remember him with great fondness.

 David Broughton ProvGStdB

 

Thursday 16th March 2023:

EXALTATION DEFERRED

JOHN BURTON REPORTS


Constitutional Chapter 297 meets in the MasonicHall in Trinity Lane, Beverley. It was the first time I had been in this particular building so I was looking forward to it.

I arrived in good time and was met with a warm friendly atmosphere. I headed straight for the bar as I needed a drink, paid for my meal and joined in the conversation as I had lots of questions about the Chapter and the Hall.

Too soon I had to change and make my way up the stairs to the temple. It was almost square in shape. I had been looking forward to watching an exaltation but was informed when I got there that due to unavoidable circumstances it would not now take place, so the did a reenactment instead using a Candidate who had recently been exalted. E Comp Mark James Green was in the MEZ Chair, with E Comps David Turner and John Chrystal as H and J.

The ceremony was very strange as it seemed to be a mixture of bits from the third degree and new bits I had never seen before, so I was watching very closely as this was all very new to me.

I was later told the ceremony was very old which was why it was unusual. The Chapter dates from 1794. Another part of the ceremony that was different was all greetings were given sitting down (as was everybody in the opening and closing) so I had a very interesting and informative evening indeed.

After the closing we all retired to the festive board where the conversation flowed and I made quite a few new friends whom I am sure I will meet again on the circuit. All too soon the evening ended following songs and speeches; we shook hands and I made my way back to my car and returned home after having had a marvellous time.

 

John Burton MEZ

 

Wednesday 15th March 2023:

Kingston Chapter Installation

An Alternative view by Peter Stokes 1st Assistant Sojourner.

E Comp Eddie Wildman had anounced he was being installed as J, so the Chapter of St Michael turned up to show support.MEZ John Burton, Les Thornett and myself were visitors and E Comp David Boughton was there as part of the Provincial Guard.

The Greetings were warm and friendly and Excellent Companion erek Broderick (birthday) had bought the drinks for everybody. As with other Chapters, the home team was a bit thin on the ground, extra support was there from Humber Chapter 57.

The Chapter was opened promptly by E Comp P A Goldthorpe MEZ and we quickly came to order. There was a knock at the door, and E Comp Karl Pease (DC to 3rd G Principal) he announced that the 3rd Grand Principal was at the door and he demanded admitance, This was allowed under the guidance of the DC. and the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal Chris Thomas was admitted.

The ceremonial bits over we got down to the main event, Installing Neil, Dave and Eddie as Z H and J respectively.After the obligations Les and I had to leave having not taken the chair ourselves, but upon our return we were to witness the investment of officers and recital of The Robes, this was done in the reverse order to our own chapter. Members of Humber 57 Chapter gave the robes recital and all performed well. The installation complete we passed through any other business into the closing ceremony after which we retired to the festive board.

After J (Eddie) had said Grace, we dined on Tomato and Basil Soup, Beef Berguignon, Sponge Pudding with Golden Syrup; it was time for the formal part to the evening. Under the Directorship of E Comp M Watkinson the toasts were carried out, When it came to Officers of Provincial Grand Chapter, E Comp Neil read a portion of E Comp Chris Thomas's CV before proposing the toast, E Comp Chris Thomas responded with greetings from The Most Excellent Grand Superintendant and brought other news from province.

The toast  to the new MEZ and his team was followed by the singing of The Principals song by E Comp Richard Smedley of Humber  Chapter 57, we all joined in for the chorus.

The past team was toasted and a raffle was drawn, but the evening was passing all too quickly. After the parting toast we made ready for home,happy to have met, sad to part happy meet again.

 Photograph by Peter Stokes                                                                                                Peter Stokes 1st Ass Souj

 

Wednesday 15th March 2023:

KINGSTON CHAPTER INSTALLATION

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

I went on my second visit as MEZ to KINGSTON CHAPTER No 1010. I was accompanied by two fellow St Michael Companions, Les Thornett and Peter Stokes. We were there to see one of our other Companions, Excellent Companion Eddie Wildman installed into the Chair of Joshua.

I arrived, paid for my meal, made sure my car was registered for the car park and proceeded to the bar for a drink. The atmosphere was very friendly and groups of people were standing around talking while getting ready to go upstairs to the Temple. I put on my regalia and made my way up to the Temple, sat down and waited for the ceremony of installation to start.

The proceedings opened and then the Representative of the Provincial Grand Superintendent informed us that one of the Provincial Rulers demanded admission. Excellent Companion Christopher John Thomas, Third Grand Principal was duly admitted accompanied by his Provincial team which included our own Excellent Companion David Broughton. I touched my forelock  as he passed me by and they all sat down.

The installation ceremony then proceeded without a hitch, with E Comp Paul Goldthorpe reelinquishing his place to Neil Armstrong, the latter leaving the H Chair for Richard Bate, who vacated the J Chair for Eddie Wildman, and an enjoyable time was had by all. Officers were invested, and the Chapter was then closed in due form. Photographs were taken for the various Chapter blogs including our own.

I enjoyed the ceremony as it was the first installation ceremony I had been to except my own where I was not kicked out, so it was a case of relax and enjoy. We came down and had an excellent festive board. Speeches where made, songs sung and a great time had by all. Too soon it was all over so we all parted friends and I came home after having had a superb evening.

[Photograph of Comps Thornett, Stokes, Broughton and Burton by Eddie Wildman.]

E Comp John Burton MEZ

 

Friday 24th February  2023:

FIRST VISIT WITH THE NEW FIRST PRINCIPAL

JOHN BURTON REPORTS

My first visit as MEZ was to WYKE MILLENIUM Chapter 9696. This is an unusual Chapter as it is a daylight one. I arrived early and found the members very friendly and talkative. We entered the temple and everything kicked off at 11:00 sharp. This Chapter uses the Domatic Ritual, the same as the Chapter of St Michael, at which I was a bit surprised at as I thought we were the only ones in the area to use this ritual. So it was easy to follow.

The Chapter was opened, the minutes confirmed and then there was a presentation celebrating twenty years of the history of the Chapter which was consecrated on 1st February 2003. Companion Alex Hoggard's presentation proved very interesting and at the end one of the Founders stood up and added a few choice nuggets of additional information which had not been recorded in the original Chapter minutes.

After that we had an illustrated presentation called The Chapter Officers' Jewels and their Symbology by the Wyke Millennium Companions. I was presented when the Zerubbabel jewel and its meaning were described. Again this was a very interesting talk; so fascinating the time seemed to fly by.

The Chapter was then closed and we retired to the Festive Board. I have never been to Beverley Road Masonic Hall and had a bad meal and today was no exception. The food was superb - as was the conversation. I certainly learnt a thing or two about Chapter Masonry and the future direction that Supreme Grand Chapter might take. At the end of the meal the toasts were given and the Most Excellent, E Comp Antony Craig Maurier, thanked everybody for coming.

I left very satisfied and content with my first visit, the first, I hope, of many.

John Burton MEZ

 

 

Thursday 16th February 2023:

INSTALLATION OF THE THREE PRINCIPALS

This evening saw the annual change of Officers of the Chapter of St Michael 7833. The triumvirate figurative Chairs of Joshua (son of Josadech the High Priest), Haggai (the Prophet) and Zerubbabel (Prince of the People) were newly occupied by, respectively, Excellent Companions John Stanley Broughton, Stephen Christopher Prior and John Irving Burton.

E Comp Prior PPAGSoj is in the purple robe, E Comp Burton MEZ in the crimson robe, and E Comp Broughton in the blue robe emblamatic of universal benificence and charity, virtues we are told, which to a Mason should be as expansive as the Blue Arch of Heaven itself. 

It was a happy gathering despite the sudden absences of a number of significant Companions struck by covid-related problems or renal issues; the Almoner, E Comp David Thomas Whittall, spoke of their regret at not being with us: he has been busy in recent weeks monitoring the health of the Chapter. They are not on the group photograph taken after the ceremony (see top of page) but still very much in our minds.

I will leave to others the pleasant task of writing about the ceremony, except for the following brief personal observation: - E Comp Peter Henry Barnes insisting on installing his successor despite the discomfort of Parkinson's Disease - for loyalty, commitment, dependability and all-round effort, he has set the gold standard for the Chapter - and with E Comp Peter Wright PPGScN taking on the role of Installing DC at short notice and commanding the Chapter with impeccable authority this was a  meeting to remember. 

So here is an account by Peter Stokes, who as WM of the Lodge of St Michael 7833  is a frequent contributor to this website (see the Blog Page), followed by a word from our new Zerubbabel. My brief account, slightly enlarged, may be found on the Humber Lodge website. 

Eddie Wildman

From Peter Stokes:

As previously stated, a much depleted attendance for an Installation due to illness and other factors but we are Freemasons and we are adaptable; a quick reorganisation  and we proceeded with the agenda. 

The organ was also unwell on this occasion so we carried on without the accompaniment of organist Excellent Companion Eddie Wildman. This gave a whole new meaning to the expression "a bunch of keys".

The Chapter was duly assembled and the summons read. There was a knock at the door and the Provincial DC John Wilson was admitted. He anounced that at the door of our Chapter was Excellent Companion Bill Hartley, representing the Most Excellent Provincial Grand Superintendent, requested admisson. E Companions Wildman and Lynn retired to form an escort. When E Comp Hartley took his seat in the Chapter the main event could begin.

First the  obligations: with the incoming J and H having previously been Z, their obligations were taken as read and reaffirmed. Our oncoming MEZ, being a first timer, had to be fully obligated and sworn in. The installation team in place, those below the rank of Installed Principal were asked to retire. When invited back in the Principals had been installed and were declared Joshua, Haggai and Zerubbabel for the forthcoming year.

Next on the agenda was the investment of Officers followed by the explanation of the robes: Blue for J,  Purple for H and Red for Z. (see the photograph at the beginning of today's entry.) The ceremony complete we resumed the agenda, we were reminded of missing Companians by the Almoner, a brief report was supplied by the Charity Steward, then the Chapter was closed. We retired down to the hall for the festive board.

A sumptious meal of Mushroom Soup, Beef and Ale Pie with Apple Pie and Custard was served by the companions and all ate heartily. Coffee was served and the Toasts commenced, After the toast to Provincial Companions,the visiting Representative Ex Comp Bill Hartley, responded. A past member of both Lodge and Chapter he was complimentary of both the ceremony and the happy atmosphere bringing special reference to the outgoing Z Ex Comp Peter Barnes who despite the constraints of Parkinson's had performed his time well. Terry Lynn sang The Principals' Song accompanied by Ex Comp  Eddie Wildman on the keyboard, John Burton (MEZ) gave his reply, saying he had been well impressed with the ceremony. Terry Lynn proposed a toast to the outgoing Z Ex Comp Peter Barnes and his team.  Finally the Janitors toast was submitted after which we linked arms and sang  Auld Lang Syne

Home time, Happy to meet, sad to part, happy meet again.

Peter Stokes

 

From John Irving Burton, MEZ:

Last night I was installed as the new Most Excellent Zerubbabel into the Chapter of St Michael 7833.

At one point not so long ago it looked like the meeting would have to be postponed as I was ill in hospital. However everything came together and a great night was had by all.

I was as nervous as a kitten. I had done my usual routine of running through my lines while walking my dog. After all the practice I have put in while walking him, my dog probably know the ceremony as well if not better than I do. It did not go as well as hoped and after trying a couple of times failing to get the ritual flowing  I gave up hoping it would come good on the night.

There was not a lot of traffic and I arrived early. I spent the time talking to people and getting more and more nervous. Then the ceremony began, and somehow everything then fell into place. I remembered my words, not perfectly but a lot better than my attempt in the morning walking the dog.

The organ was broken so I hope it is repaired soon: when we sang there was nobody singing the same tune! It sounded ghastly - what a difference music makes!

I was installed in a very moving and unforgettable ceremony. The time seemed to fly by and then I was the main man and it did not seem to be as bad as I thought it would be. Everything came flooding back to me, and I started to relax and enjoy the moment.

We paraded out then went back in to have our photographs taken - my wife has already dropped one on her phone to show to people. Then it was down stairs for the festive board: soup, meat pie veg and dessert. Before the toast began, the historic Grand Lodge Questions were asked in the traditional Chapter of St Michael manner, and the Principal Sojourner, E Comp David Whittall answered correctly and fluently. Toasts where given, and our Representative of the Provincial Grand Superintendent, E Comp William Hartley PAGDC responded eloquently, commending E Comp Peter Barnes on the work he had done not only for the Chapter but for Freemasonry in general. Speeches followed the toasts to the new and old teams, and E Comp Terry Lynn rendered the Principals' Song magnificently.

At the end we sang Auld lang Syne and departed in friendship. It is a night I will never forget and was worth all the hard work. As MEZ I intend to make as many visits as I can to put the Chapter of St Michael 7833 on the map and to tell people a warm welcome awaits should they decide to visit us - readers, please take note! 

John Irving Burton MEZ

 

 

 

Wednesday 25th January 2023:

DAVID BROUGHTON AT ST  ANDREWS 4683

I attended the Chapter of St Andrew 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

 

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: I have a lot to learn.

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

Eddie Wildman

 

 Previous Chapter blogs may be found in Chapter 2022

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