After a gap of two years, it was great to be back at Kings Norton Golf Club for the annual Royal Arch Principals’ and Past Principals’ Dinner. A gathering of 112 Warwickshire companions had gathered to hear the Grand Superintendent’s address and to hear the news of what happens next in the Province.
After a splendid meal, preceded and concluded with melodious grace intoned by the 3rd Principal, and pondering over Trevor Siddall’s cryptic picture quiz, we all sat back and listened intently to the Grand Superintendent.
The first question answered was which Chapter was best represented. Perhaps the almost predictable result was that the winners were Athol Chapter with a most impressive attendance.
The Grand Superintendent encouraged use of the Membership Pathway, and the expanded Royal Arch Pathway which is due to be published shortly. He also mentioned the introduction of the Hermes system, which is intended to assist the Scribes of Chapter with their work. Royal Arch Representatives (possibly to be considered as Guides) are also to have improved support material and emphasis. In his New Year video, the Grand Superintendent had mentioned the combining of the administrative functions of the Royal Arch and the Province. This is intended to take place with effect from the Annual meetings being held on 12th May.
The Grand Superintendent expressed his gratitude to E Comp Paul Regan and E Comp Gary Evans (Chief Whip) for organising the event.
Then came the highlight of the evening – what happens at the Annual Convocation. The first point is that the event will be earlier – 12th May – and will be held in the morning followed by lunch, and with the Annual Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in the afternoon.
So to the changes in the Executive Team. The MEGS announced that E Comp Philip Gough will be retiring after six years as Deputy Grand Superintendent. The MEGS paid a fulsome tribute to E Comp Phil for all he has done over the past six years, and thanked him for being his right hand man and for his wise counsel.
In his place, he is to appoint E Comp David Graham, wearing a striped tie for those who may not have seen him, who was appointed to the newly introduced office of Assistant to the Provincial Grand principals in 2021. E Comp John Starley remains as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and E Comp Nigel Hawkins will continue as the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal.
Then came the question of who becomes the new Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals. To loud applause, the MEGS announced that E Comp John Hayward, of the Chapter of Faith and Hope 4772, who has been thoroughly involved in Royal Arch for many years, will be taking on this position.
Having listened intently to the Grand Superintendent, it was time to start to think with E Comp Trevor Siddall’s 30 question quiz challenge. The quiz went down very well, and when the answers were revealed, accompanying groans were heard in all directions, when wise men realised their knowledge wasn’t quite what they thought. Thanks are extended to Trevor for his time in assembling the quiz.
A great evening, enjoyed by one and all. The Grand Superintendent wished us a safe journey and implored us to enjoy our Royal Arch Freemasonry and keep the smile that all Royal Arch Companions wear.