On Saturday 13th January, nearly one hundred Royal Arch Companions gathered at Lampeter to witness a ceremony that had not been worked in the Province for nearly 25 years, that of Consecrating a new Royal Arch Chapter. The ceremony was presided over by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Alasdair James Ross, the Second Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. Robert Thomas, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. Michael Roberts, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. Phillip Jones and the Provincial Grand Scribe E, E.Comp. Anthony Trumper.
Once the companions were assembled, the distinguished guests and officers of Supreme Grand Chapter were admitted under the direction of E.Comp. Phillip Jones, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his deputies, E.Comps. Keith Tench and Martin Marks. The Consecrating Officers then proceeded to open the Royal Arch Chapter, following which M.E.Comp. Alasdair James Ross addressed the assembled companions to stress the importance of the meeting and his delight at seeing so many Royal Arch masons present.
The Consecrating Scribe E read the petition and Charter. E.Comp. Michael Roberts then delivered an oration specially prepared for the meeting. This was delivered with emotion and sincerity and a great deal of knowledge of the subject matter.
The Consecration element of the meeting saw the Consecrating Officer with his Principals carrying the elements of consecration and perambulating the Chapter three times, the fourth perambulation by the Consecrating Officer alone. On each perambulation the Consecrating Officer spread corn, wine, and oil, respectively. The Chapter petitioners formed around the Chapter facing outwards whilst the Consecrating Officer Dedicated the Chapter. He followed the Dedication by sprinkling salt – the symbol of friendship and fidelity. Once the companions were directed to face the East, the Consecrating Officer Constituted the Chapter.
Once the Chapter was Consecrated the Installation of the Three Principals of the new Chapter began. The Installation was worked by E.Comp. James Ross with the important duties of the Chapter being explained by E.Comp. Gareth Owen the Provincial Grand Scribe N. Following the Installation of E.Comp. David Rayson as First Principal, E.Comp. Ryland James, as Second Principal and E.Comp. Michael Eckley, as Third Principal the Investiture of Chapter Officers commenced.
The address to the Principals was delivered by E.Comp. James Ross. The address to the Officers was delivered by E.Comp. Robert Thomas. The address to the Companions was delivered by E.Comp. Michael Roberts. All three were delivered in a most sincere manner.
The Festive Board was a happy and joyous occasion with excellent companionship and great fayre. The responses to the toasts were delivered with great humour and sensitivity. The ME Grand Superintendent was on super form and his response well received. E.Comp. Alec Walker, in toasting him paid a personal tribute, and expressed his gratitude for the support he had given him during his tenure. The response to the toast to the Three Principals was given by E.Comp. David Rayson. The pride in being the First Principal was evident as he stood to respond. He paid tribute to the Chapter Founders and explained that this was the culmination of several year’s hard work. He concluded by thanking all involved in making the day happen.
The companions departed after attending a wonderful and rare ceremony, enjoying great company at the festive board, and witnessing some excellent and sincere responses to the toasts. With the Masonic Pedigree of the Three Principals and the number of Founders, this will be a highly successful Royal Arch Chapter within the Province of West Wales.