During the White Ensign Lodge “Trafalgar Night” Meeting in 2004 the idea was floated that, to mark the 20 years of the Lodge in 2005, we should consider forming a White Ensign Holy Royal Arch Chapter.
Accordingly a meeting was called on 6th December, following the Lodge Officers Meeting, and some 14 members attended and it had been already identified some 7 Master Masons of the Lodge wished to be considered as Candidates.
The ground rules were laid down and it was agreed that membership would be restricted to those who had “Served under the Crown” together with those Lodge Reservists (the team of Lodge PIGs) who could lay claim to similar antecedents.
A target date of November 2005 was set and application was made to the Province and in turn Supreme Grand Chapter with the names required, following the February 2005 Founders Meeting. To our delight our Application was accepted and the real work began to bring it to fruition.
Founders Meetings were held bi-monthly and it was with some concern that it was learned that the Province could not conduct the Consecration in November, and eventually a date of Tuesday 20th December 2005 was set. By this time there were now some 19 Founders and the 7 Candidates were still showing a very good interest.
The morning before the Consecration it was identified that Province had not received the required Warrant due to it still needing the required signatures. It was therefore decreed that a fax copy of the Warrant with a covering letter of authority might have to suffice. However on the morning of Consecration a motor cycle courier was despatched from London to Bromsgrove with the Regular Warrant to the relief of many.
That afternoon, following a final rehearsal under the excellent direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. Henry France-Sargeant, P.G.St.B., and with the full Provincial Team in attendance, the Consecration took place with some 18 Founders, 20 Provincial Officers and some 71 invited Guests meeting in No 1 Lodge Room at Kings Heath, Birmingham. During the meeting the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. Michael Taylor, P.G.St.B., gave an excellent oration.
White Ensign Chapter No. 9169, the first RA Chapter to be consecrated in the Province for 11 years, was therefore duly commissioned with the following Officers:
Tuesday 3rd December once again provided a night of sheer enjoyment with a strong nautical flavour both in the Temple and on the Mess Deck on completion.
Some 26 Companions were on board, including 18 Members of the Crew, and 8 Taking Passage, to celebrate the 20th Installation Convocation. Those on board included the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. John M Phenix,(an Honorary Member), Acting 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, E. Comp. Ian M Fothergill, PGStB, PPrGJ, LGCR, and the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, E. Comp. Barry J Griffin, PGStB, all very ably escorted by E. Comp. Tim L Jones, PGStB the Provincial DC.
Unfortunately the MEZ Designate had just been discharged from Sick Bay following an emergency operation and will therefore not assume command until our June 2020 Convocation (04/06/2020). This left E. Comp. Frank Walters, PPrAGDC, on the bridge assisted by the Installation of E. Comp. Martin Green as H and the Induction of E. Comp. Len Venables, ProvGSwdB, as J.
Following the Convocation the ships company retired to the Mess Deck for an excellent meal and where the ships Welfare Officer managed to extract a total, including Gift Aid, of £136.25