Dear Companions All,
As the festive season approaches, I would like to extend to everyone, warm and heartfelt greetings from Pru and myself. May you and all those you hold dear enjoy a peaceful and restful Christmas and a most prosperous and happy 2015.
In preparing this Christmas message, my last as your Grand Superintendent, I must admit to having mixed feelings. Understandably, I am sad to be leaving office after ten years of representing the Royal Arch Province of Buckinghamshire. It is ten years that I have enjoyed very much indeed, as they have been years of interesting and fulfilling experiences. I have especially enjoyed the privilege of visiting your Chapters and joining with you in your convocations. The welcomes I have received over the years have always been warm and generous and for this I thank you so much.
However, the sad feelings associated with my imminent departure are more than compensated for by the happy memories that I will take away and cherish so much, and the immense pride that I have felt whenever the Companions of Buckinghamshire have risen to the occasion; and you have always risen to the occasion. Take for example, the recent appeal by Supreme Grand Chapter on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons to mark the SGC bi-centenary celebrations. The achievement of Bucks Royal Arch Masons working together was most impressive and well above expectation. For that I thank you all.
Very recently, at the November Grand Superintendent’s reception held at the Beaconsfield Centre, I was astonished when my dear wife Pru was presented with a cheque for £3,000 to donate to a charity she hold very close to her heart, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This was to mark the completion of my ten year patent as Grand Superintendent, and was the result of wonderful contributions made by Bucks chapters. Furthermore, we were informed that “There is more where that comes from, but you are just going to have to wait a little longer.” Well Companions, all I can say is a very humble and sincere thank you to each and every one of you for your incredible generosity.
Dear Companions, there is one final favour I would request of you. Please do try your very best to attend the March 2015 Provincial Convocation and the installation of my successor, John Keeble. It is indeed a great encouragement to know that John is going to inherit a Province that is in a state of vigorous good health and I wish him good fortune. I also wish you all well and encourage you to continue to strive to make the very best of your membership of the Royal Arch. Please be careful always to encourage and support others in your chapters and do the best you can to introduce new members who are reaching that stage of their membership of the craft where is is beneficial and most desirable to contemplate completing their journey in Pure Antient Freemasonry. They will go on to thank you for it I am certain.
Most sincere and fraternal best wishes and do have a most enjoyable Christmas.
Dr. Richard J. H. Neale
M.E. Grand Superintendent