The Companions of Thames Schools Chapter were honoured and delighted to be selected to assist the Province of Buckinghamshire to host an inter-Provincial visit from the Executive of the combined Royal Arch Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The convocation took place at the Marlow Masonic Centre on 11th December and was attended by 70 Companions, including many honoured guests from the Executives of both Provinces. Dr. Richard Neale was pleased to welcome the M.E. Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Graham King and his team of officers, including E.Comps. Anthony Stock DepGSupt., Jim Wiltshire 2ndProvGPrin. and many other distinguished Companions. A large contingent from the Buckinghamshire Executive was also in attendance, to make the Installation Convocation a most memorable and enjoyable experience for all present.
The convocation commenced with a pleasant surprise for the Chapter in the form of the presentation by Dr. Richard Neale of a Grand Superintendent’s Certificate of Meritorious Service to 99 year old E.Comp. Howard Pountney. (See report elsewhere in the News section.). The Companions were then treated to an excellent Installation ceremony conducted with great skill by the MEZ, E.Comp. Kenneth Coker and the Second Principal, E.Comp. Terence Coker (Kenneth’s brother) and Third Principal, E.Comp. Brian Palmer. The M.E. Grand Superintendent and the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals of Buckinghamshire then presented the addresses to the Principals, the Officers and the Companions of the Thames Schools Chapter.
There followed a most convivial festive board where Dr. Neale said how delighted he was to be able to welcome the representatives from the Royal Arch Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire into the midst of Buckinghamshire. This event marked six years of reciprocal visits between the Executive of both Provinces and according to Dr. Neale, “Marked the warmth, friendship and the enjoyment of each others’ company that existed between us.” The M.E. Grand Superintendent then presented the Chapter with a bottle of authentic anointing oil that he had acquired on his recent pilgrimage to the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. Finally, he complimented all the Companions present for exhibiting the values that distinguish Companions of the Royal Arch; “Laughter, friendship and above all, fun.”