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Londonderry Chapter of Amity Banner Dedication

6

December 2017

Tuesday 5th December at the Wearside Masonic Temple, in Burdon Road, Sunderland witnessed a banner dedication for the Londonderry Chapter of Amity No. 2039.

 

The Chapter members were honoured with the presence of the Second Provincial Grand Principal, Gordon Brewis and a Deputation of Provincial Officers for this special evening.

 

New Banner Dedications are rare events in Royal Arch Masonry and this special evening in the Londonderry Chapter of Amity, had long been anticipated by everyone in the Chapter.

The symbolism of banners isn’t lost in Masonry, in particular in the Royal Arch, as banners were used as far back as the Old Testament during the time of Moses (1300BC). Banners helped keep order among the people as they travelled across the desert to the Promised Land.  Although some were made of heavily adorned materials, others were simply long wooden poles topped with ornaments.  The term banner is derived from the French “bannière”.

 

Perhaps the most often seen banner today, is the yearly and televised, ‘Trooping of the Colour’, which is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army. This has been a tradition of the British Infantry Regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier. On battlefields, a regiment’s colours or flags were used as rallying points.   Consequently, regiments would have their ensigns slowly march with their colours between the soldiers’ ranks to enable soldiers to recognise their regiments’ colours.

 

Gordon and the Deputation were then welcomed into the Chapter Room by the Chapter’s Principals, Richard Davison Zerubbabel, Steve Hanby Haggai and stand in Mike Davis as Joshua.

 

The first business of the evening was to Exalt John William Cox, a member of the Lodge of Concord No. 6859.   The ceremony was carried out in an excellent manner and enjoyed by everyone present.

 

Gordon then stepped forward to begin the dedication. He thanked the companions for the warmth of his welcome; this was not lost on those present as the boiler powering the heating in the building is out of service, therefore, the heating wasn’t on.  However, temporary space heaters had been supplied for the evening.

 

Gordon then focused on the optimism and sense of encouragement that the new banners bring to the Chapter as they look to the future in a positive and progressive manner.

Gordon described the historical meaning of each and offered an invaluable insight to their symbolism and meaning, not only in the Chapter Room but in the Bible. This offered an invaluable insight to companions old and new.

 

The new banners were purchased by the Chapter from its regalia fund as the old ones had seen better days.   The majority of the old banners had seen years of service in both Londonderry Chapter and Amity Chapter before they merged on 4th October 2011.

 

Richard Davison, the Chapter Zerubbabel, then rose to thank Gordon for the magnificent dedication of the banners and ensigns and thanked everyone who had turned up to mark an historical evening in the Chapter, making a night that will long be remembered.

 

 

 

 

 

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