Not the Provincial Grand Chapter
Thursday 14th May 2020 would have been the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter at Greshams, we anticipated a gathering of 300 including many from other Provinces and London. However, with the suspension of Freemasonry due to the coronavirus our Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (MEGS) held several zoom meetings that day instead.
At the 11.00 hrs meeting 25 of his active officers attended, he gave them all a hearty welcome and thanked them for their unstinting support of the events that had taken place within the Royal Arch Province and whilst making Chapter visits and escorting the Executives as they too went about their duty in the Province. He also welcomed the PGM and thanked him for his support of the Provincial Royal Arch. MEGS then congratulated the following; Raymond Pascoe his Deputy for being promoted to PGSwdB. Nigel Gregory appointed to Active StdB, Kelvin Larcombe to PGStdB in Supreme Grand Chapter.
The amount of communications coming from UGLE/SGC has been unprecedented due to the coronavirus pandemic and he thanked the Craft for including the Royal Arch in all communications.
An update was given by the Provincial Almoner who requested that all chapter Almoners keep in contact with their members and also to keep in touch with the Lodge almoners and share the load, in particular those companions who are unable to attend that frequently. Felixstowe care home and surgeries are being looked after by Lodges and Chapters in Felixstowe with plenty of support and creature comforts and flowers.
We were reminded that some have lost their lives to the Virus and a moment of silence was held. A request that families and next of kin are not forgotten.
The Treasurer gave an update on finances.
The PGM informed us that UGLE guide lines are being followed Suffolk COVID fund has been set up and match funding is done. Looking after our own people/group is important, we don’t know what the future holds for us and what support may be required in the future when the lockdown is eased, we need to be prepared for a long haul. UGLE are supporting Time to Text, this supports the COVID-19 appeal. £10,000 has been match funded and £20,000 goes to UEA looking into the virus detection.
Dave Wilson the TLC rep reported that he has taken teddies to the hospital for distribution when its considered appropriate by the hospital.
MEGS thanked everyone once again and reminded them to keep safe and keep in touch. The use of Zoom is excellent and it allows those who are unable to attend regular meetings to get in touch and actually see many faces.
At the 3.00 pm Zoom meeting MEGS welcomed all the newly appointed active officers and said he was very disappointed that actual physical hand shakes couldn’t take place but he hoped that in the not too distant future he will be able to greet us all and we can begin to enjoy our Royal Arch ceremonies once again.
Provincial Scribe E, Nick Le-Grys gave his report followed by the Provincial Almoner/Mentor Paul Wreathall who requested the opportunity to be invited to any chapter that was having a social Zoom meeting just to make himself known and to find out how the chapter Almoners are managing.
Provincial Charity Steward, Brian Simpson gave his report which showed the support given to PGM 2019 festival along with support to many other causes.
The registrars report will be on the Royal Arch website. www.suffolkpgc.org.uk
The loss of companions due to COVID-19 and others due to other ailments was noted and a moments silence in respect of departed merit was noted.
MEGS thanked all who had been appointed and said he hoped it wouldn’t be too long before we enjoy the physical and actual ability of attending our ceremonies and convocations. He then thanked the PGM for his support.
The PGM reiterated his support of our Province as a whole and said it is our 1st priority. We are following UGLE guidelines and he gave an update on the area which we are part of which is Reginal coms Group 7. COVID-19 Suffolk appeal and if members wish to volunteer to add to it we shall get match funding.
MEGS then thanked everyone for attending the Zoom meeting and reminded everyone to be safe, take care and keep in touch.
At the 4.00 pm Zoom MEGS welcomed everyone and again in particular the PGM for supporting us. He congratulated all those who had received promotions and said he hope that in the not too distant future he will be able to physical greet each one of them.
Updates from the Treasure, Charity Steward were given.
The PGM again reiterated his whole hearted supported for the province as a whole. As a member of Regional Communications Group 7 £100,00 had been given to them and he gave updates on the support that had been given to UEA to support the virus detection project. He requested that we should have tight groups of supporters and to look after the health of each other.
MEGS thanked everyone for the support they are giving to the Royal Arch in Suffolk, their Chapters and to each other.
Letter of thanks to Adair Chapter
Please find attached a letter of thanks from Matron Morelos, and the photograph which was taken of you delivering the items with some members of our staff.
Thank you once again, and please pass on our thanks to all Members of the Adair Royal Arch Chapter for their kind donation.
Kind regards Maria
Suffolk Provincial Covid-19 Response
I imagine that every Suffolk freemason will be delighted to learn that the Province is setting aside funds as well as undertaking a range of direct activities to provide support and mitigate the effects on the population of the virus.
Support and appreciation for the efforts of key workers and NHS staff is in the forefront of minds, but I would like to draw your attention to the work done by the volunteer clinicians in the aptly-named SARS (Suffolk Accident Rescue Service). The volunteer doctors are well-known as the emergency response in cases of serious accident and operate throughout the county. What is probably not appreciated is that these doctors are currently working in hospitals, in ambulances, or providing remote clinical support to help combat COVID-19. I have included a photograph of a friend “togged up” in “Covid kit”. Whilst the NHS itself is funded by taxes, SARS is a charity and relies on fundraising to maintain its emergency response service. The burden placed on the charity by the additional demands has depleted the charity’s funds significantly. I wonder therefore whether:
The Province might shortlist the charity for support
Individual Chapters might consider a donation
Individual members might make a donation or take up the challenge described below.
SARS itself is raising funds by challenging the public to a “virtual race round Suffolk” whereby people are asked to walk, run, cycle, a distance the equivalent of the Suffolk boundary, 220 miles, all within the social distancing rules. The challenge finishes on Suffolk Day, 21st June. The money raised will provide PPE, a portable ventilator, and other vehicle and equipment costs. The link to the SARS Just Giving Page is: www.justgiving.com/campaign/racearoundsuffolk which includes details of how to become a fundraiser. Gwen and I have set up “Team Tom Peck’s” and we aim to beat the target by miles. Should anyone wish to support us our page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TeamTomPecks and we would be greatly boosted by any support received.
Looking forward to meeting everyone again later in the year.
Best wishes. Yours sincerely and fraternally
Mike Caddock, PDGSupt
SGC Grand Rank Promotions & Appointments
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp David J Boswell is pleased to confirm his following Suffolk Promotion in & Appointments to SGC Grand Rank.
Promotion: E Comp Raymond Keith Pascoe, Past Grand Sword Bearer. (PGSwdB)
1st Appointment to Active Grand Rank: E Comp Nigel Wallis Gibson Gregory, Grand Standard Bearer. (GStB)
1st Appointment to Past Grand Rank: E Comp Kelvin John Larcombe, Past Grand Standard Bearer. (PGStB)
Investiture is due to be on Thursday 30th April 2020, at Gt Queen St., London.
Further details will be available in the future.
All Companions can attend this meeting.
Another New Chapter is Consecrated
Aren’t we the lucky ones then! That is the comment I received many times from many of the diners at the festive board celebrating the consecration of East Point Millennium Chapter No 9704 which took place on Saturday 18th January 2020 at Lowestoft. So how did East Point Millennium Chapter (EPMC) begin.
A young craft Mason, and other Junior Craft Masons of East Point Millennium Lodge No 9704, said they would like to have their own Chapter and how do we go about it. This was the embryonic gene that started the process way back in 2018. Many meetings Q&A took place and today we are in our Province enjoying another Chapters beginning.
Lowestoft Masonic Centre is a very vibrant well apportioned centre with ample parking and an excellent catering and bar service. 9 Lodges meet there and only 2 chapters and several other Orders also meet there. It is an excellent venue and on Saturday 18th January over 100 Companions attended the Consecration of the EPMC No 9704. MEGS David John Boswell and his consecration team carried out a truly enjoyable ceremony. I have been involved in a number of Consecrations and they are always wonderful to witness and quite naturally there are particular aspects that relate to each ceremony and Chapter and this ceremony just hit the spot for Suffolk and EPMC. The Three Principals, George Slaughter as MEZ, Richard Dixon as H and Raymond Pascoe, myself, as J were ceremoniously inducted into their Chairs. As you can imagine the three of us all belong to many chapters, I belong to 7 chapters so when we came to close it was quite amusing in that we just couldn’t quite get it together but we succeeded and enjoyed it. A most enjoyable part of the closing was singing Jerusalem a lovely resounding hymn.
The festive board was itself a magnificent spread and I don’t think anyone went home wanting breakfast the following morning. The catering staff were exemplary, full marks must go to Lowestoft for their service. But as most of us who have held an administrative roll in Freemasonry, it’s the behind the scenes activities that go unnoticed or applauded. Mike Smith who is now the Scribe E has put an awful lot of time and effort into this including the work and support from the Provincial Scribe E Nick Le-Grys and the MEGS and his Executive team. These things don’t just happen this Province has now consecrated 3 chapters in two years which in itself is some considerable achievement and demonstrates the desire to have a Chapter associated with their Lodge.
So why the comment
Aren’t we the lucky ones then! Well… The comments.
Doesn’t our Megs, BOZ ,
know just how to make everyone feel at ease.
Ray we have got one of the best in Boz,
God help us if we get someone who doesn’t mix with us.
Ray its been the highlight of my Masonic
career today and our MEGS is one of the best.
Raymondo what a day and how great has it been to have David
consecrate this Chapter and to make us all feel important.
Ray I’ve been in Freemasonry a long time and your MEGS
is a real credit to you. Something to be proud of.
Raymond, I am so pleased we now have another Chapter in Lowestoft
and I do hope we can, all together, enjoy and support each other.
I do hope the Royal Arch Chapter Reps
go back and tell their Lodge members about today because
it has been a wonderful experience and I reckon there
are a few antis who would enjoy this.
Companions and Brethren, the future of this Chapter not only depends on the Lodge members of EPM Lodge to support it but for all Companions to give it some support when it can. Lowestoft is really fortunate in having so many Craft Lodges attending the venue that it can support the Chapters that meet there. The future of Freemasonry doesn’t just depend on getting new members, it requires us to give support in many ways to what we have and to listen to the young and junior ones who are willing to join and take part and expand Freemasonry.
Raymond Pascoe DGS
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