The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter took place on the 23rd May 2018 in the Grand Temple of Freemasons’ Hall in London. This was to be a very different Annual Convocation as 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. Unfortunately the coach did not arrive on time so Su had to ring around to try and make alternative arrangements.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

Finally the first of two coaches arrived and the team set about loading up the coach and we departed for 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 and the Surrey Mark Master Masons stand in the lobby of the Grand Temple.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

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. 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; the Deputy Grand Superintendent. E.Comp. Alan Bayliss; 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.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

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 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.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

During the Convocation the ME Grand Superintendent was pleased to appoint E.Comp. Richard Knox as the Deputy Grand Superintendent. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. John Billett, formed a procession to escort the Deputy Grand Superintendent Designate into Provincial Grand Chapter.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

E.Comp. Richard Knox was presented, obligated and invested as the Deputy Grand Superintendent and took his place in the Deputy Grand Superintendent’s Chair. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies called the Companions of the Royal Arch Province of Surrey below the Rank of Deputy Grand Superintendent to Order and E.Comp. Richard Knox was proclaimed as Deputy Grand Superintendent in and over the Royal Arch Province of Surrey. Provincial Grand Chapter was then closed and family members were escorted to the Galleries by the Provincial Grand Stewards.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

The ME Grand Superintendent individually welcomed the many Distinguished Guests of the Province along with their wives and partners who were present. He then had much pleasure in presenting E.Comp. Alan Bayliss with a collarette and jewel to mark his long and distinguished service to the Province as Deputy Grand Superintendent.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

The ME Grand Superintendent re-appointed E.Comp. Stephen Dingvean as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E.Comp. Eugene Regan as Third Provincial Grand Principal. He then re-appointed E.Comps. Alan Cain, Rob Shephard and Steve Wigmore as Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals. After thanking E.Comp. Ian Smith for his support as an Official Visitor, Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals over the past seven years, he appointed E.Comp. Stephen Jones as Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

A total of 144 appointments and promotions in Provincial Grand Rank were announced, the recipients mounting the dais to be congratulated by the ME Grand Superintendent, including 32 Companions receiving first appointments in Past Provincial Grand Rank.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

The ME Grand Superintendent had much pleasure in presenting E.Comp. Pat Little of George Price Chapter No. 2096 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. Pat on receiving this award and thanked him for his loyal service to the Royal Arch Province of Surrey over the past 36 years.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

The ME Grand Superintendent then presented Certificates to two Companions who have shown exceptional support for their Chapters. E.Comps. Mark Threadgold of North Downs Chapter No. 7010, and Luke McGeary of the Bond of Friendship Chapter No. 8457, were escorted onto the dais to be congratulated and receive their Certificates for Merit Awards.

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 fifteen Chapters who have achieved Gold Awards since our last Annual Convocation.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

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 introduced Katie Roberts, Head of Voluntary Fundraising, and Karen Phillips, SE and Sussex Fundraising Manager from the Tadworth Children’s Trust. The ME Grand Superintendent had much pleasure in presenting them with a cheque for £7,500 towards the purchase of a Pegasus Bed for the Children’s Trust.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

Karen Phillips was then invited to talk about the Children’s Trust and the work they do to offer both residential and community-based rehabilitation services for children and young people with a brain injury (click here for more details of the Children’s Trust).

The ME Grand Superintendent then addressed Provincial Grand Chapter. During his address the ME Grand Superintendent paid tribute to E.Comp. Bruce Perry who was standing down as Deputy Grand Scribe E after many years of loyal service to the Province. He had much pleasure in presenting E.Comp. Bruce with a cheque in token of our appreciation.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

The ME Grand Superintendent accompanied by the 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.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

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 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

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.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

After the meal we all had a surprise when E.Comp. Robbie Dobbie proposed to Faye Stevenson. Fortunately Faye said yes.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

We then loaded everything onto the coach for the journey back to Oakfield Road to end a long but very rewarding day.

The 2018 Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter

To view all the photos of the day – click here

Article and photograph by Chris Eley


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