26 May The 2019 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter
The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter took place on the 22nd May 2019 in the Grand Temple of Freemasons’ Hall in London.
Again this year wives, partners and friends were invited, along with a number of Master Masons, to witness the Appointments and Promotions of the Companions receiving honours.
A team of volunteers gathered at Oakfield Road early that morning to load all the regalia and documentation onto the coach to take them to Great Queen Street.
After unloading the coach, everyone set about preparing the changing rooms and the Temple for the arrival of the Companions, as well as setting up the photo studio in Temple 10.
From 1.30 pm Companions of the Province and their guests started gathering in the Grand Temple.
Just after 2 pm the Companions were called to order to receive the distinguished guests, including Principals of neighbouring Provinces resplendent in their chains of office; senior members of the Craft Province of Surrey and other Masonic Orders and the Deputy Grand Superintendent. E.Comp. Richard Knox.
Finally, the entire Convocation was called to order by E.Comp. John Billett, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, to receive the Provincial Officers of the year accompanying the ME Grand Superintendent, Ian Chandler; and the Provincial Grand Principals, E.Comps. Stephen Dingvean and Eugene Regan, led by the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer and followed by the Provincial Grand Standard Bearers.
Provincial Grand Chapter was opened in due form by the Provincial Grand Principals who ascended the dais and took their seats, followed by the acting Officers of the year.
The ME Grand Superintendent then received the ME Second Grand Principal, Russell John Race, DL, and welcomed him to Provincial Grand Chapter.
The Convocation commenced with the ME Grand Superintendent briefly welcoming the many representatives of other Provinces and Masonic Orders.
He then welcomed the First Principals and newly Exalted Companions of Surrey Chapters to the Annual Convocation. While the business of Provincial Grand Chapter was being undertaken our hardworking Office Manager, Su Campion, entertained our many guests in the Drawing Room in Freemasons’ Hall.
During the Convocation the ME Grand Superintendent was pleased to re-appoint E.Comp. Richard Knox as the Deputy Grand Superintendent and E.Comp Stephen Dingvean as Second Provincial Grand Principal.
After thanking E.Comp. Eugene Regan for his support for the Royal Arch Province of Surrey over many years the ME Grand Superintendent announced that he was pleased to appoint E.Comp. Stephen Wigmore as the Third Provincial Grand Principal.
The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. John Billett, formed a procession to escort the Third Provincial Grand Principal Designate into Provincial Grand Chapter.
E.Comp. Stephen Wigmore was presented, obligated and invested as the Third Provincial Grand Principal and took his place in the Third Provincial Grand Principal’s Chair.
The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies called the Companions of the Royal Arch Province of Surrey below the rank of Third Provincial Grand Principal to Order and E.Comp. Stephen Wigmore was proclaimed Third Provincial Grand Principal in and over the Royal Arch Province of Surrey.
Provincial Grand Chapter was then closed and family members were escorted into the Grand Temple by the Provincial Grand Stewards.
The ME Grand Superintendent welcomed the families of members in attendance and then presented E.Comp. Eugene Regan with a Past Third Provincial Grand Principal’s collarette.
He then re-appointed E.Comp. Stephen Jones as Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals.
After thanking E.Comps. Alan Cain and Rob Shephard for their support as Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, he appointed E.Comps. Mark Watkins, Neil Powling and Ken Martin as Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals.
A total of 147 appointments and promotions in Provincial Grand Rank were announced, the recipients mounting the dais to be congratulated by the ME Grand Superintendent, including 42 Companions receiving first appointments in Past Provincial Grand Rank.
The ME Grand Superintendent had much pleasure in presenting E.Comp. Eric Head, PAGSoj, PPGSN, SLGCR, with his Certificate for Distinguished Service.
After the Provincial Grand Scribe E had read the certificate and citation the ME Grand Superintendent congratulated E.Comp. Eric on receiving this award and thanked him for his loyal service to the Royal Arch Province of Surrey over many years.
The ME Grand Superintendent then presented a Certificate for Companion Merit Award to Comp. Jo Sargent-Cain of Cyclist Filia Chapter No 6409 who has shown exceptional support for his Chapter.
The ME Grand Superintendent acknowledged the Royal Arch Representatives present asking them to wear their special pin and to speak to Master Masons regarding completing their Masonic journey by joining the Holy Royal Arch. The ME Grand Superintendent then presented Gold Award Certificates to the Chapters who have achieved Gold Awards since our last Annual Convocation.
After nominating his Official Visitors for the year the ME Grand Superintendent thanked them for their service and said how much the Province appreciates their efforts.
After a collection for charitable purposes was taken, the ME Grand Superintendent addressed Provincial Grand Chapter.
The ME Grand Superintendent accompanied by the ME Second Grand Principal, Grand Superintendents of other Provinces, and Provincial Officers left the Temple in procession to the echoing strains of a recessional fanfare by the Organist, E.Comp. Richard Baker. Following the Convocation the ME Grand Superintendent, the Deputy Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Grand Principals received their guests in the Drawing Room within the Grand Connaught Rooms.
The Companions of Surrey and their guests then dined in peace and harmony in the Grand Connaught Rooms where the customary Loyal and Masonic toasts were honoured.
During the meal the draw for the 500 Club Prizes was taken.
We then loaded everything onto the coach for the journey back to Oakfield Road to end a long but very rewarding day.