On Saturday the 18th January the historic temple at Albany Road in Sittingbourne was the setting for Gore Court Chapter 8231 first red table meeting. It was a dismal dark afternoon outside, but a warm friendly welcome greeted us we arrive in the bar for what was going to be an interesting meeting for both the members of Gore Court Chapter and their guests.
The Masonic Hall which stands on the junction of the Public Car Park behind the Baptist Church and Albany Road and paints a picture of a typical dower Victorian building. Rebuilt from a former stable and consecrated on 1889 by the Provincial Grand Master of Kent, Lord Amherst. It has a Masonic Temple on the first floor and a Function Hall with Bar, a small comfortable Room for smaller functions and meetings and a small Kitchen, car parking at the front. The oldest Lodge meeting at the Hall is St. Michael’s No. 1273, formed in 1869 but our hosts today were a young dynamic Chapter, Gore Court only consecrated in 1999 and still having the luxury of Founder members alive, who later we would toast.
The Chapter meeting was opened on time and a limited about of business was dealt with brilliantly by two acting officers, Mike Balkwell as Scribe E and a relatively unknown companion Mark Bassant as DC. The Principals closed the chapter and returned to the bar; all still dress in their Chapter aprons. There were meet by four very keen Brethren from different Lodges who were now chatting to John Baker the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal and Roger Croucher past 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, who had stayed in the bar to greet the brethren on their arrival.
John and Roger now in the Grand officer’s regalia entered the temple with the brethren to start the second part of the Red table meeting. Their Principal started the meeting by explaining who they represented and the role of each position. They were followed by a brief explanation by Scribe Ezra, Scribe Nehemiah and the Principal Sojourner.
The main part of the meeting was then taken up by Roger Croucher’s explanation of the History of The Holy Royal Arch and it relationship with Craft. John Baker continue this theme bring us into the modern day and expanding the close relationship Chapter has with the Craft, “the indissoluble link”, the reasons we were Chapter jewels at a craft meeting and what those jewels meant. The Red table meeting finished with a question and answer session were the visiting brethren asked some interesting questions which John and Roger answers with candour.
Enlighten Companions and Brethren returned to the bar before the festive board to chat and the buzz of infusionism was very noticeable. Gore Court Red table was an instant success with one of the Brethren asking to become a member.
The two old framed cartoons are in the small robing room and just caught my interest!