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Continue to Enjoy Your Royal Arch Masonry


May 2018

Wednesday 23rdMay 2018 saw the Lancastrian Suite, Dunston, once more awash with crimson, purple and blue and that could mean only one thing, The Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Durham.


It has been said many times before but to many Companions this is the highlight of the year when Royal Arch Masons from Masonic Halls throughput the Province, as well as further afield gather en-masse to renew old friendships, meet future friends and of course to support the many Companions being either appointed or Promoted in Provincial Grand Chapter.


It is quite a sight to see Provincial Grand Chapter set up in such a large area and by the time the Companions stood to order to receive the Grand Superintendent and his Co-Principals the room was a stunning mass of colour from the hundreds of Companions decked in their relevant coloured apron, sash and collarette combinations.


With Provincial Grand Chapter opened in due form and apologies and minutes of the previous Convocation confirmed it was time for the Companions present to pay their respects to Companions who had passed to the Grand Chapter above since the last regular Convocation. This for obvious reasons is always a poignant part of the proceedings but an important part of who we are as each individual took a moment to reflect and pay tribute to someone close to them or their Chapter.


After the Roll Call of Acting Provincial Grand Chapter Officers and Chapters the Grand Superintendent welcomed the Companions, his Distinguished Guests and Heads of other Orders.


With the Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Statement of Accounts considered and accepted by the Companions present and the Treasurer re-elected for another 12 months along with the official Auditors it was time to fire up the carrousel of as the Grand Superintendent Appointed, Invested and Promoted the worthy Companions who were lucky enough to receive a letter of appointment on the 1stApril 2018.


To see a ful list of the Appointments and Promotions Click Here


With the Companions newly invested, safely back in their seats and the escorting carrousel of Director of Ceremonies retired back to their position within Provincial Grand Chapter the Grand Superintendent, EComp Norman Eric Heaviside addressed Provincial Grand Chapter.


In his address he paid tribute to the Companions he had had the privilege of investing as well as the Companions who had received Supreme Grand Rank since the last Convocation.


He also talked about Setting the Scene and the success it has had since its introduction, Talking Heads, the new initiative being rolled out across the Province, Royal Arch Representatives and the important role they will play in the future, Chapter Installations and the importance of performing a ceremony, he also thanked the Companions who had accompanied him the many successful Deputations throughout the year and finished with his now famous strapline urging the Companions the “Continue to Enjoy Your Royal Arch Masonry”.


In closing the Provincial Grand Master informed the Companions that all good things must come to an end, he talked about how much he had enjoyed being Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of this wonderful Province. He then informed all present that he was to retire on 5th October and the new Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of the Province of Durham would be installed on the 6th October at the Lancastrian Suite and that person would be non other than Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro John Arthur. Eric then thanked everyone again and stated that he was sure than John would do an outstanding job of taking the Province forward. This was followed by an standing ovation by the Companions present that resounded around the venue for a considerable time.


To read the full address delivered by the Grand Superintendent click here.


A collection was then taken in aid of the 2021 Festival raising an extremely generous amount. After the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra informed the Convocation that there was no other business Provincial Grand Chapter was then closed in due form with the same pomp and ceremony which it was opened and the Companions all raised the roof with the first verse of the National Anthem.


A fabulous festive board followed with the usual wine taking with the Grand Superintendent and of course the toasts which were all performed impeccably. One of note had to be the toast to the Grand Superintendent, proposed by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Paul Philip Paterson. This particular toast brought the house down and will be remembered by all who attended as it had the perfect balance of humour, respect, sentiment and knowledge, and of course was delivered in a manner we are accustomed to from Paul.


Roll on next year!


***Click here to view the pictures of the event via our Flickr feed***

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