The Prince Michael of Kent Chapter is a Middlesex Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter and is primarily for the association of Provincial Grand Officers present and past, of the Royal Arch Province of Middlesex, who have served the Office of Provincial Grand Steward of the Royal Arch, in the Province of Middlesex.
On Tuesday 19th February 1991, 210 companions from 65 different chapters congregated for a special event. There were many eminent members of the Province present at the occasion, which because of the numbers involved, entailed the use of the Rose Room of the Twickenham rugby ground.
The reason, of course, was that it was the consecration of this Chapter, the only chapter bearing the name of the Provincial Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, and the members of which consisted of those who were to be crucial to the smooth running of the Provincial Grand Chapter, namely the Provincial Stewards. It was pleasing that Prince Michael accepted honorary membership.
The consecration was conducted by the ME Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. Gordon Bourne, and the oration was given by a companion who was later to become the Third Grand Principal, E. Comp. the Rev Peter Hemingway. Peter Hemingway said in his oration, “Today we see the birth of a chapter consecrated to service. Surely, companions, there can be no greater aim.”
There were 34 founders and E. Comp. Peter Rogers, Ernest Roberts, and the Rev David Bonner were designated the First, Second and Third Principals respectively.
But how did this all come about? I suppose it was inevitable that the Chapter would eventually have been formed, considering the contribution that Prince Michael of Kent Lodge had been making to the Province since 1984. However, there is a definite character who stands out when one looks at the histories of the Prince Michael of Kent Craft Lodge, Chapter and Mark Lodge. It is E. Comp. Tony Sheppardson.
Tony was asked to be the organising founder and first secretary of the Lodge. Six years later Gordon Bourne asked Tony, “we would like a Prince Michael of Kent Chapter, would you organise it?” And Tony made it happen.
At that time, after trailing records it was found that very few of the 100 or so past stewards were senior members of the Province. It was therefore decided to allow the inclusion also of Craft Stewards as members to help with the aims of service to the Province.
And in twenty years subsequently it has been a kingpin in the smooth running of Provincial Grand Chapter.
Additionally, it has provided a New Life Initiative to help those chapters struggling with numbers. It has definitely lived up to the aim to which it was dedicated, service.
The Ceremony of Dedicating A Banner for Prince Michael of Kent Chapter, No. 9120 was carried out at Twickenham District Masonic Centre on Thursday 17th November 2011 by :
E. Comp. Roger J. Croome, QPM, ME Grand Superintendent – Dedicating Officer,
E. Comp. Jack E. Flint, PGSwdB, DepGSupt
E. Comp. Michael W. Dean, PGStB, ProvGSE
E. Comp. Derek J. Mauri, PAGDC, 2ndProvGPrin
E. Comp. Paul J. Huggins, PAGDC, 3rdProvGPrin
E. Comp. Joseph Dawson, ProvGSN
E. Comp. Nigel A. Codron, ProvGDC
Principals of Prince Michael of Kent Chapter at the dedication:
E.Comp. Roy Constable, PGStB, PAProvGPrin – MEZ
E.Comp. Ray Peck, PPrGSN – H
E.Comp. Bryan Dyer, PPrGSN – J
Prince Michael of Kent Chapter No. 9120 History extracted from an Oration given by E. Comp Paul Huggins, PAGDC, 3rdProvGPrin.