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Provincial Grand Chapter Meeting 2024

A superb day of companionship celebrating service, personal achievement and the promise of a great year ahead.

Provincial Grand Principles of East Kent 2024

The Provincial Grand Principles

From left to right, EComp Ian White, Second Provincial Grand Principal, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Neil Hamilton Johnstone, and EComp Graeme Wyles, Third Provincial Grand Principal.

Provincial stewards on hand to welcome companions
Reception team in readiness
Provincial DC and his assistants making final preparations
On arrival, a warm welcome was provided by the provincial stewards whilst inside everything was being set up in readiness for the arrival of the companions.

Wherever one looked, and our roving photographer companion Mark Howells looked everywhere, a well oiled machine was working away to make the meeting a special, enjoyable and memorable occasion.

The Chapter was set up, everyone had run through their parts, the choir had held a rehearsal, the Principles had been briefed by the DC, and the companions were seated – So let the show begin!

Provincial director of ceremonies briefs the principles
Provincila choir at rehearsals
Principles chairs
Companions seated ready for the meeting to start
The Director of Ceremonies called the companions to order and the distinguished guests, past principles and the provincial officers entered the Chapter. The Chapter was opened and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent welcomed the distinguished guests and companions assembled.

Excellent Companion Ian White was installed as Second Provincial Grand Principle and Excellent Companion Graeme Wyles as Third Provincial Grand Principle. The MEGS thanked Excellent Companion Terry McGlone for his work during his time as Second Provincial Grand Principle.

There followed a moment of reflection of those companions that had sadly departed since the last convocation.

As ever, the highlight of the day was the appointments and promotions this was followed by presentations by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent to two very deserving Companions.

 

Second Grand Principal, Russell John Race, was invited to speak at the East Kent Provincial Grand Chapter.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent welcomed ME Companion Russell Race DL, who recently stepped down as Second Grand Principal, Supreme Grand Chapter after 9 years in the office. The MEGS invited ME Comp Russell to say a few words.

ME Comp Russell reinforced the message that Craft Masonry and Royal Arch are one organisation and that brethren should complete their journey in the Royal Arch before they consider joining other orders.

 

The ME Grand Superintendent gave his report to the meeting, in which he spoke of the good work that was being done in the Province to promote Archway and how this will help us to grow our numbers and enjoy our Royal Arch Masonry.

On other matters, he thanked the choir for making our meetings special and paid tribute to them, having sadly lost a number of their members in recent times.

Recipients of the MEGS award
The recipients of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent’s Awards, EComp Brian Richard Ledger of Agricola Chapter (right) and EComp Ron Martin of Pentangle Chapter (left).

EComp Brian Ledger was exalted into Agricola Chapter on 1st March 1974, just over 50 years ago and he received his 50 years Long Service Award at the Convocation of that Chapter on 1st March this year – 50 years to the day.

He became the first Joining Member of the Crane Chapter; his father was one of 9 founders of that Chapter and they were both subsequently made honorary members at the same meeting in March 1999.

He has been MEZ of the Agricola Chapter on one occasion and of the Crane Chapter twice, he has been Janitor of the Agricola Chapter for 25 years and the Ashford Chapter for 3 years.

He received RA Provincial Rank in 1992, promoted in 1999 and again in 2006 to PPrGSN, that year he was also appointed to the Grand Rank of PAGDC.

He has been actively involved in his local community for many years. He is a founding member of the Headcorn Historical Society and a long-standing member of his local church.

In his working life he was a driver for Boots the chemist and was the Headcorn village postman for a number of years – once again roles at the heart of the community.

He is an avid supporter of many charities including St John Ambulance and the “Porchlight Foundation” a charity for the homeless, both being very close to his heart.

EComp Brian is a regular volunteer at the Museum and Library and should have been there today, but was persuaded otherwise!

The second award went to EComp Ron Martin of Pentangle Chapter. Exalted into Pentangle Chapter 47 yrs ago, in March 1977. He was Installed as MEZ in 1983 and subsequently became Treasurer in 1986, an office he held for 21years; at the age of 86 he became Treasurer once more and still holds that Office today.

He has been described to me as having extraordinary commitment to Freemasonry, particularly the Royal Arch, and not just to Pentangle Chapter but to the Province in general. A very committed member of his Chapter rarely missing a meeting, and happy to fill any office with little or no notice.

A ‘Medway Man’ he was educated at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School when it was in the centre of Rochester City and became a Chartered Civil Engineer, eventually leading the team that widened the M2 Medway Bridge in 1992.

Over the years he has maintained his support of, and commitment to, his old school where was a Governor for 15 years and Chair of Governors for three years. He also served for 20 years on the Sir Joseph Williamson trust, before handing over to ME Comp Russell Race! His love of hockey eventually led him to become President of the Medway Towns Hockey Association.

EComp Ron has a history of involvement with many non-Masonic charities. For example he still ‘volunteers’ and is a member and past Chairman of the Thames and Medway Canal Association and on sunny days can still be seen helping to clean the canal and towpaths.

After the meeting the companions enjoyed some welcome refreshment and friendly banter. This was followed by a very enjoyable festive board with the usual toasts and entertainment from the choir.

Below is a selection of the many photos that Mark Howells took on the day. 

Bring on Ronnie O'Sullivan