M.E. Grand Superintendent Dr. Richard Neale presents E.Comp. Howard Pountney with his Certificate of Meritorious Service
Having recently celebrated his 99th birthday in November, E.Comp. Howard Pountney was pleased and surprised to receive an unexpected award of a Certificate of Meritorious Service from the M.E. Grand Superintendent, during the December convocation of the Thames Schools Chapter.
E.Comp. Howard was attending a rare and rather special Royal Arch event on 11th December. The Thames Schools Chapter had been appointed to assist the Province of Buckinghamshire to host a visit from the Gloucester and Herefordshire Provincial Executive team (see news report elsewhere for full report). He was taken aback when, following the impressive entrance of the two Grand Superintendents and their teams, the Grand Superintendent for Buckinghamshire took the chair and requested that Howard be escorted into his presence. Dr. Richard Neale then informed the assembled Companions of Howard’s remarkable career in Freemasonry, which commenced with his Initiation in London into the Carbon Lodge No. 2910 in April 1952, to be followed in1969 by his Exaltation into the Carbon Chapter. He then became a founder of the Thames Schools Chapter on 11th May 1983, becoming MEZ in 1985. Howard, who is also a member of the Bucks First Principals Chapter, was awarded the rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe “N” in 1999. Dr. Neale then presented Howard with his Certificate of Meritorious Service, telling him how pleased and proud he was to be able to do this at such an important and prestigious occasion.
E.Comp. Howard has been a staunch supported of the Thames Schools Chapter and, as well as a making a regular attendance at convocations, is always willing and able to deliver the Mystical Lecture in its entirety to an awed convocation. Nowadays, it has to be the Traditional version however, as Howard is not too sure about being able to master the Permissive Alternative version. “As Howard is approaching his centenary in November next year, I am sure that no one will begrudge him sticking with the version with which he is most familiar.” explained an ebullient Richard Neale.
E.Comp. Pountney’s outstanding achievement was greeted with approbation by the assembled Companions from both Provinces, including his delighted colleagues in the Thames Schools Chapter.