The 2020 Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Cambridgeshire was held on Monday 2nd November 2020 at the Masonic Hall, High Street, Newmarket, Suffolk.
In keeping with government regulations those present were limited to The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, William Dastur; the Second Provincial Grand Principal, David Blair; the Third Provincial Grand Principal Paul Gillingwater; the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, Edmund Brookes; the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, David Coupland and Excellent Companion David Sowman.
The Second Provincial Grand Principal reported the deaths of Cambridgeshire Companions since the last annual convocation, the Third Provincial Grand Principal read a prayer and the Companions stood in silent tribute.
The Minutes of the last Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation, held on 20th June 2019, were confirmed, accepted and subsequently signed as a true record of those proceedings. The report on the state of Royal Arch Masonry in the Province of Cambridgeshire from the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra was taken as read and the accounts for 2019-2020 were approved. These have been published in the Provincial Yearbook.
Excellent Companion Charlie Brown was declared to be elected as Provincial Grand Treasurer, with Excellent Companion Justin Curtis and Excellent Companion Chris Flood appointed as examiners of the accounts.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent appointed and installed Excellent Companion David Sowman as Second Provincial Grand Principal by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, who congratulated him and wished him a happy and successful tenure of office. He also thanked Excellent Comp David Blair for his service as Second Provincial Grand Principal.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then addressed the Companions thanking them for attending at short notice. He confirmed all the other 2020 Appointments and Promotions in Provincial Grand Chapter which had been effective from Tuesday 16th June and expressed the hope that he would be able to recognise the companions individually at the 2021 Annual Convocation. Noting the difficult times, the Grand Superintendent stressed the need to maintain good communications, and to keep in touch with all companions to preserve the spirit of Royal Arch masonry in Cambridgeshire.
While pending candidates were mostly members of Cambridgeshire craft lodges, it was essential to maintain their interest in the Royal Arch. Addressing the new Executive, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent advised them all that they had an important role in sustaining the degree and that they may need to serve longer than they had originally anticipated. When normal activity resumed resources would be stretched and they would have a vital role in representing him at both installations and exaltations. Smaller meetings might be more usual and he urged chapters who did not normally perform double ceremonies to consider using them to clear any backlog of candidates.
He also suggested sharing the work more than hitherto to avoid overloading key office holders and maintain the interest and involvement of more companions. Ending, he categorically stated “We Will Return!” and closed his address by thanking the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for making the meeting work so well.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then advised the Companions that for only the second time he was awarding his Certificate of Service to Royal Arch Masonry as a mark of exceptional service to the Province. He outlined the service of the companions he was honouring, Excellent Companion John Breeze of Etheldreda Chapter No 809 and Excellent Companion Douglas Forsdyke of the Chapter of Fidelity No 441. The Grand Superintendent advised that Companions Breeze and Forsdyke would receive their Certificates as soon as possible.
Thanks were expressed to Newmarket Masonic Hall for their hospitality and there being no further business, Provincial Grand Chapter was closed in due form. Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra confirmed that the next annual convocation would be held on Friday 2nd July 2021 at The West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.