Norman Chapter celebrate 100 years.

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Picture of Richard Dixy, a visiting volunteer standing next to the MCF banner

Norman Chapter celebrate 100 years

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Norman Chapter celebrate 100 years.

Chris Sanford writes:

The Norman Chapter No.3502 held its Centenary Meeting on Thursday 12th October 2023 at the Franklin Rooms Gillingham. After the Chapter was opened and the normal business conclude .The Chapter received the Grand Superintendent , he being accompanied by the Second and Third Grand Principals, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, and 13 members of the Provincial team.

The MEZ of the Chapter E.Comp David Smisson offered the sceptre to the Grand Superintendent who accepted and took the chair of Z. This I am sure was a special moment for the Grand Superintendent this being his Mother Chapter. The Grand Superintendent mentioned the passing to the Grand Lodge above of ME.Comp Michael Robin Bailey, Past Grand Superintendent. The Grand Superintendent explained the purpose of the meeting and E.Comp Trevor Youens Scribe E gave a brief history of the Chapter, explaining that it was a brief history as history books had been printed and would be handed out to everyone at the festive board

picture of the cover of the consecration booklet

The Founding of Norman Chapter No.3502

The Norman Lodge No.3502 was asked to support an application to form a Royal Arch Chapter, and as it is required that a Chapter be attached to a Lodge, the Founders asked for it to be known as The Norman Royal Arch Chapter No.3502. The application for the formation of this new Chapter was signed in open Lodge of the Norman Lodge No.3502,

In 1923 Supreme Grand Chapter gave permission for the Chapter’s formation and agreed that The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent ME.Comp F S W Cornwallis (later First Baron Cornwallis), would Consecrate the new Chapter on Tuesday 26th June 1923 at the Masonic Temple, Franklin Road, Gillingham. Kent. The Chapter, however, was to have its meetings at the Masonic Hall, Manor Road, Chatham. Kent. The Norman Chapter, at its Consecration had 16 founding members, of which only four were members of Norman Lodge No.3502.

Centenary Booklet of the Norman Chapter

These four, interestingly enough were also Founding Members of the Norman Lodge itself. The Consecration Ceremony of the Chapter was performed by the Grand Superintendent, assisted by  the officers of the Provincial Grand Chapter.

picture of the founders jewel

The Centenary Warrant was the read out by the Provincial Grand Scribe E, E.Comp David Graeme and was presented to the MEZ, E.Comp David Smisson.  E.Comp Ian White the 3rd Grand Principal gave a very interesting and enjoyable Oration. The rest of the Chapter business was then concluded. A very enjoyable festive board followed during which a cheque for £1000.00 was presented to the Provincial Grand Charity Steward E.Comp Michael Smith towards the 2024 Festival.A bottle of malt whisky was presented to the Grand Superintendent from the Chapter along with a bouquet of flowers for the Grand Superintendents wife Margaret.

A picture of all those present at the celebration of the 100 Years
Picture of all the members present at the meeting in their regalia
Presentation picture of a cheque to  the Charity Steward Michael Smith.
Picture of those dining at the festive board

In the Beginning…

St Augustine  Chapter writes..

The Holy Royal Arch has a varied history in England.  Recognised and unrecognised depending on the Grand Lodge that was discussing the Order, with rituals as varied as there were numbers of Chapters, and with Irish, Scottish, and English workings offering different evolutionary paths.  Combine this with the current view that the Royal Arch degree “completes” the third degree and not being a stand-alone degree in the technical sense, makes the history of the Royal Arch an interesting one.

Members of the Demonstration Team

For their September meeting, St. Augustine Chapter No.972 had the privilege of receiving a lecture and demonstration from our own provincial demonstration team, entitled “In The Beginning – A glimpse of the early years of Royal Arch”.  The team consisting of Dennis Fordham, Bob Burns, David Pugh, Clive Manuel, Peter Bearman, Gordon Brown, and Mick Smith with the assistance of Matt Jury, gave a most entertaining and enlightening talk, history, and demonstration of parts of ancient ceremony and dress, taken from one of the oldest Chapters that still operate: Cana Chapter No.116 in the Province of East Lancashire.  This chapter has operated since the 1730’s unchanged and their history shows how early Chapters dressed, operated, and met.

Some of the early regalia

The lecture was well received and the attending companions, via varied questions, drew out even more information from the demonstration team.  Sadly, there was not enough time to answer all questions, and this fact itself showed how interested the companions were in the evenings labour!

It is this companion’s recommendation that more members should see the lecture as part of their ongoing daily advancements, and should you wish to invite the team to your chapter, further information can be received from Dennis Fordham by emailing: dnfordham@aol.com


Royal Arch Presentation Poster

We need your stories, so please let the comms team know of the the good work your Lodges and Chapters are doing throughout East Kent. Just drop us a line on news@ekprovince.co.uk