Chapter of Rectitude– Feb 2019
Companions, as you all hopefully know, the Grand Superintendent believes that a Royal Arch Freemason is not properly dressed without a smile. One who certainly takes this to heart is EComp John Starley, the Provincial Grand Joshua. He was presiding at the Chapter of Rectitude over in Rugby and from the moment he opened the Chapter to saying his goodbyes at the end of the Festive Board, his beaming smile rarely, if ever, left his lips. This may have been because EComp John knew what treat awaited the companions assembled, or it may have been because he was looking forward to the short drive home which would be considerably quicker than others! It could also have been because Rectitude is the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra’s Mother Chapter and, as a Past ProvGSE himself, they share a certain affinity.
The Provincial Team was completed by EComps Peter Huckle and Trevor Siddall acting as the Provincial Second and Third Grand Principals respectively – which some (mainly EComp Trevor Siddall!!) claim to be the dream team. They were all quietly kept in order by the escorting DC, EComp Derek Hughes, who did an excellent job through out the evening, especially with his proclamation.
We were all treated to the installation of all three Principals which, as previously stated, is certainly not a given these days. With two or more inductions common and even proclamations on occasions, it is great to see such a healthy progression within a chapter. All three Principals were installed in a most sensitive manner with each address to the robes being given by their predecessor in what seems to be a common practice (we simply ask for volunteers in my chapter!). It was a sure sign that the companions had worked hard in preparation. The big guns (aka the Provincial Team) were then brought out for the addresses to the Principals, Officers and the Chapter, all of which were delivered with aplomb as one would expect of senior Provincial Officers.
The meeting continued with the usual business but one item in particular caught our attention for reasons that will become apparent. As with many older lodges and chapters, historical minutes are often read and the Chapter of Rectitude is no different. A summary of the minutes of the meeting which took place on the 20th February 1919 were shared which described not only the installation of the Principals but also the exaltation of two members of the Lodge of Rectitude with another being proposed for exaltation at the next meeting! I know that some (possibly mostly those residing in and around Birmingham) suggest that you go to Rugby one day and come back the next. Heaven knows what time that meeting back in 1919 finished and perhaps it is from where the spurious reputation stems. Dear reader, for the record, I can assure you that I returned to Birmingham well before midnight!
After an enjoyable meeting, the Festive Board beckoned. With some enthusiastic intoning from the new Joshua, we were off to a good start. The food at Arnold House was superb, especially the beef which was simply scrummy – well done to Sian and her team! All in all, companions, it was a splendid evening so, next time you are invited to a meeting at Rugby, simply accept and go and have a thoroughly good Masonic evening. I cannot, however, guarantee what time you’d get home!!!