GRAND MASTER ATTENDS ROYAL ARCH CONVOCATION AT ARA NO 53 ...cntd
Months of careful planning culminated in a highly successful event which also brought together a large number of officers from the Grand Chapter and Grand Lodge who accompanied their respective leaders.
First Principal of the Ara Chapter No.53, Very Excellent Companion, Peter Boswell received the Grand Superintendent, Right Excellent Companion Arthur Batty who accepted the sceptre to receive the Most Excellent Companion Brian White.
With Most Excellent Companion Brian White in control of the chapter he received the Grand Master and the work of the afternoon got underway.
There were two parts to the meeting. The first part saw the First Grand Principal and the Grand Master being introduced to the current sitting First Principals and Masters of the Chapters and the Lodges in the district. It was clear during this time that both men were well acquainted with many, if not all, of the Very Excellent and Worshipful brethren who were assembled to meet them. There was an obvious warmth and respect shown by all in what was a very enjoyable part of the afternoon.
Following some short remarks from both the First Grand Principal and the Grand Master to round off the first part of the meeting, Right Excellent Companion Dennis Waller (District Grand Master, Auckland Craft District) presented a hugely informative paper on the origins of the Royal Arch and its relationship with craft masonry before and since 1717. This paper was very well received with many companions and brethren commenting that they had learnt a lot from it and were keen to obtain a copy to take back to their chapters and lodges.
Having had control of his chapter handed back to him, Very Excellent Companion Peter Boswell went through his risings. The First Grand Principal and the Grand Master retired together along with their accompanying officers, drawing to a close a very successful and symbolic meeting.
With some good wine and a great festive banquet to mark the occasion the refectory proceedings were a fitting celebration of the historic meeting. Most Excellent Companion Brian White responded to the toast proposed to him by expressing his delight at the direction in which the relationship between chapter and craft was heading. He underscored the importance of cooperation and communication in his reply. He encouraged Royal Arch masons to look to their craft lodges and to ensure that they were in good health with good quality candidates being attracted to them. He pointed out that healthy craft lodges are essential for the improvement and development of the chapters.
Most Worshipful Brother Mark Winger was also very positive in his reply to the toast proposed to him, with temperance being the theme of his speech. While recognising the climate of cooperation and acknowledging the benefits that can arise from a closer relationship between Royal Arch and Craft masonry, he suggested that slow, steady and sustainable progress is his preference over hasty and rushed decisions that ultimately don’t deliver satisfaction for anyone.
He recognised the great work that had gone in to make the occasion so successful and thanked the companions and brethren behind it, leaving open the possibility for similar occasions to take place in the future.