So, this is it – 2013 drifted in quite unobtrusively and the World didn't actually end on 21 December as predicted by the Mayan. Thus re-assured, we can look forward to another exciting and challenging year ahead, certainly for the Royal Arch.
We can also look back on our Royal Arch successes in 2012. We successfully undertook two Team Visits to Waynflete and Gildenburg Chapters in April and December respectively. The Provincial Team was again very warmly received and such occasions give us an ideal opportunity to take out some of the pageantry of Provincial Grand Chapter to the host Chapters.
We also hosted a further Information Evening specifically designed for Master Masons and newly Exalted Companions. We were grateful to the hosting Centre at Corby. Such occasions now feature regularly in our annual programme, bringing together small groups of each to exchange ideas and experiences and to learn just a little more about the individual's progress towards the fourth and final stage of Pure Ancient Masonry.
We can also reflect on the success of our Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter held at Franklins Gardens in Northampton in June. The Home of Northampton Saints would not have been our preferred choice but the occasion was a great success with a record attendance and greater than ever number of visiting dignitaries. Some have suggested that, for the future, this should be regarded as an annual away fixture but that, of course, is another story.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent
EComp Wayne Williams
In 2013, we look forward to our next Team Visit to Stamford and Montagu Chapter in May. Further consideration will be given to Information Evenings later this year and into 2014 but undoubtedly our focus will be on the Bicentenary of the Holy Royal Arch which will culminate in a day of celebrations in London on 16 October. Inextricably linked to such a milestone is the ongoing success of our Appeal in support of the Royal College of Surgeons which will fund a further two medical research fellowships in the name of the Holy Royal Arch. This will provide a permanent memorial of our Bicentenary when the formal celebrations of the day have long since passed into the mists of time.
There has been much speculation about the proposed costings and the limited availability of reservations. Be assured, Companions, discussions still continue at the highest level. That said, anyone who successfully applies for a reservation may find it a rather expensive day if attending the demonstration ceremony in the morning, lunch in the Connaught Rooms, the Convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter in the afternoon over which the First Grand Principal, HRH The Duke of Kent, will preside and who will also grace us with his presence at the celebratory dinner in the evening at the Savoy Hotel.
Indications are that lunch and dinner will be over-subscribed. That suits us fine as in this Province. We have long since decided that we will host our own celebratory dinner in September 2013. I believe those Companions who have contributed so generously to the success of our Royal College of Surgeons Appeal should at least have the opportunity of celebrating their Bicentenary success within the Province and at a cost better suited to the pockets of the vast majority. We will therefore take advantage of the First Principals' Chapter meeting on Thursday 5 September, open up the Convocation to all Companions in the Province and have as our principal guests again not only representatives from the College but also the Second Grand Principal – E Comp George Pipon Francis - all of whom will address us.
We cannot confirm the venue but it is likely to be at our new Provincial Headquarters at Sheaf Close. I hope as many Companions as possible will make every effort to attend. It should be quite an occasion.
So here's to 2013. It will undoubtedly prove an exciting time, a challenging time no doubt, but an enjoyable time for us all in the true companionship of the Holy Royal Arch. Enjoy, Companions, and we will catch up again very soon but meanwhile, may TTALGMH continue to guard and guide us all.
A very happy but importantly, a very healthy New Year to you all.
E Comp Wayne Williams
Most Excellent Grand Superintendent