On Saturday 20th January 2018 saw the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Foundation of Royal Sussex Chapter No 53 in 1818. This special Convocation was attended by E Comp D John Bennett, MEGS, and the Provincial Team. There was also a goodly number of wives/partners supporting the companions from both Royal Sussex, Provincial team and visitors, about 80 in all.
The Chapter was opened at 3:00pm by Comps of Royal Sussex.The dispensation was read, minutes confirmed and other Chapter business completed. It was then called off. The ladies and visitors were then seated inside the magnificent chapter room at 3:45pm. The First Principal welcomed all the ladies and guests and outlined what was planned for the afternoon. MEGS was announced by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, who was then paraded in with the Provincial Team before being proffered the Sceptre by E Comp Richard Ellis, MEZ, with suitable words of greeting, which on this occasion MEGS retained it and the Provincial Team then took their seats replacing the Royal Sussex Officers.
MEGS then gave an explanation of why this meeting could not be classed as a Bi-centenary celebration as there was not continual records of the Chapter retained by Supreme Grand Chapter, but it was considered that the Province of Somerset should mark this historic occasion. The opening hymn, ‘Oh Worship the King’, was then sung followed by Comp Michael Bowyer who read the Charter of Constitution, as re-issued in 1857, as the records from 1818 to 1857 were lost. Next E Comp Mervyn Small read the Minutes of the October meeting of 1857.
The next hymn sung, ‘Glorious things of Thee are spoken’ was sung, then Comp Bernard Couzens read the Centenary Charter. E Comp John Nicholson then read the Minutes of the Centenary Convocation followed by the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal giving a brief and at times humorous history of Royal Sussex. Next on the list was the reading of the 200th Anniversary Charter by E Comp Tony Beaumont, Provincial Scribe E. The third hymn, ‘Immortal invisible’, was sung.
The Principals and the members of Royal Sussex Chapter were assembled in the East and MEZ thanked the MEGS which was followed by a prayer, then observations by E Comp Alan Holton, DGS, and E Comp Clive Lambert, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, and a further prayer by MEGS. The 200th Anniversary Charter was then presented to MEZ who suitably responded. The Patriarchal Benediction followed and the final hymn, ‘God of Abram Praise’, was sung.
The MEZ then received his Sceptre back from MEGS and resumed his chair. Officers of Royal Sussex were then returned to their respective seats and the National Anthem was sung. The Provincial Team then withdrew followed by the ladies and the Chapter was then closed.
A wine reception was then held and much discussion was had before moving upstairs for the Festive Board where, all were served a delicious three course meal followed by coffee. Unfortunately, Comp Jason Leake, Royal Sussex’s Principal Sojourner, was taken ill and an ambulance was called. As a consequence he was taken to RUH and has been diagnosed with having had a heart attack, stents have been fitted and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Having had a most informative and friendly evening Companions and ladies wended their way home commenting on what a wonderful time had been had by all.
E Comp Adrian Halliwell
Provincial Calderley Liaison Officer