It is sometimes said that Friday 13th is ‘unlucky for some’, but those Companions who attended the Installation convocation of the Buckinghamshire First Principals’ Chapter on 13th January were fortunate indeed to hear a most interesting talk given by Companion Paul Hooley, MBE, JP. The two main themes of Comp. Paul’s talk were ‘A Sprig of Acacia’ and ‘Masonry’s Royal Stamp’. To commence his talk he described the uses to which the wood from the acacia tree is applied. For example, it is said that theTabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant were both crafted by Bezaleel from the wood of acacia.
Comp. Paul Hooley displaying the post-WW2 Victory stamps that were the main subjects of his talk to the Bucks First Principals’ Chapter in January.
The Royal stamp referred to in Paul’s talk is the commemorative 3d ‘Victory Stamp’, released by the Post Office for use on overseas mail, to mark the end of hostilities and celebrate the Allied victory at the end of World War Two. The chief designer of the stamp was none other than HRH King George VI, who was a very keen Freemason and philatelist. The design incorporates distinctive Masonic symbolism and is generally agreed by experts to be a ”classic” of its time, especially when compared with the contemporary commemorative 2½d stamp, which apparently, was designed by a committee and is far less elegant in appearance. The newly installed MEZ of the Bucks First Principals’ Chapter, E.Comp. Mick Sharp, said how grateful he was to Comp. Healy for such an interesting talk. For more information on the 3D Victory Stamp see “THE 1946 VICTORY STAMP” tab, under “RESOURCES” tab on the above menu bar.
The M.E. Grand Superintendent with the Principals and Scribes of the Bucks First Principals Chapter. From left to right, E.Comps. Trevor Stubbings, Roger Bashford, Mick Sharp, John Hurley, Dr. Richard Neale and Stephen Ramsay.
The installing Principal on this occasion was the M.E. Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Dr. Richard Neale who, in the absence of E.Comp. Arthur Driver (who is enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise with his wife), was privileged once again to conduct the installation of the new MEZ. The M.E. Grand Superintendent commented “This has been a most enjoyable convocation, made the more enjoyable by such a well presented and thought-provoking talk.” He continued “The Buckinghamshire First Principals’ Chapter is the premier chapter in the Province of Buckinghamshire. It is where we might reasonably expect to encounter Companions who will become the next generation of the Buckinghamshire Executive, as they make their presence know as members and eventually officers of this esteemed chapter. Every newly-installed First Principal should be encouraged to make it his priority to seek membership at the earliest opportunity.”