However, before the regular business of the Chapter, there was the sad news of the passing of E. Comp Alan Fox PPrGReg and also of E. Comp John Culling PAGDC 2ndProvGPrin. The Companions stood to order with the sign of reverence in respect of departed merit.
The First Principal E. Comp Mitch Mitchell PAGDC, PPrGSwdB welcomed the guests from other First Principals Chapters which included: Berkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, East Surrey. Mid-Surrey, North Surrey, Clerkenwell First Principals, as well as from Middlesex – Southgate First Principals.
The First Principal also welcomed the Provincial Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E. Comp Peter Baker and E. Comp Roger Croome PGSupt.
The business of the Chapter was completed, which included the elections of the Principals for the ensuing year and the eagerly awaited moment was at hand.
The members shuffled in their seats in anticipation, but there was no sign of The Valuable Lady.
Regrettably the Speaker had been unavoidably detained and was not able to be present, Ah, dilemma !
With at least an hour and a half until the festive board something had to be done in earnest.
IS THERE A LECTURER IN THE HOUSE ?
Step up to the breach E. Comp David Pearson PPrScribeE, who just happened to have a pertinent Royal Arch Lecture in his case.
He hastened hither and produced a Lecture, which he accredited to E. Comp Mike Karn 3rdProvGPrin, but which he had adapted to present as occasion allowed.
Entitled “The Principals and Scribes of the Royal Arch” it described the period after the captivity in Babylon and the chronologies of the various protagonists in the Royal Arch story as well as their respective positions.
This gave mention to Biblical Books of Ezra and Nehemiah and the Temple reconstruction over a period.
This was a highly enlightening talk and was greeted with much acclaim by the Companions and was most certainly a further advancement in masonic knowledge.
Although the lecture did point out some time anomalies in the Royal Arch story as presented in Chapter, the critical thing was the teaching of the ritual and the important sentiments expressed therein.
This brought the time nicely up to “drinks time” before the Festive Board and after the regular notices given by Companion Scribe E, which also mentioned promotions and first appointments of Companions who were Members of the Chapter, the National Anthem was sung and the Chapter closed.
Incidentally, the seemingly esoteric title of the scheduled lecture “The Valuable Lady” was essentially a talk focussing on the relevance of the Royal Arch in Freemasonry today.
It will be presented on another occasion and it is earnestly awaited.
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