A Little Bit of Somerset Royal Arch in Oxfordshire

Friday 11th October 2019 was not the ideal afternoon to be travelling to Caversham, there was persistent rain and the M4 is always busy on a Friday afternoon. Never the less that is where I found myself on that Friday afternoon but if I thought the Motorway was busy it was nothing compared with crossing Reading at 5pm on a Friday.

The reason for me travelling to Caversham, which is in Berkshire although in the Masonic Province of Oxfordshire, was to be at the Installation of Caversham Chapter No 3831 who meet at Caversham Masonic Hall and there I would witness the Installation into the 1st Principal’s Chair of E Comp Michael Boswell, the son of my very good friend E Comp David Boswell, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, in and over, the Province of Suffolk. Although Michael used to live in Reading and is a member of a Craft Lodge in Windsor he now lives in Ipswich and a large contingent of Companions travelled to Caversham from Suffolk for the event. The Chapter was also honoured with the presence of E Comp Russell Race the 2nd Grand Principal and E Comp James Hilditch, the Grand Superintendent in and over, the Province of Oxfordshire and also six visiting Grand Superintendents, Graham Glazier Dorset, John Keeble Buckinghamshire, John Reid Wiltshire, Ian Hopgood Berkshire, Ian Chandler, Surrey and  John Phenix Worcestershire with two Past Grand Superintendents, Ken Benford Berkshire and John Bennett Somerset. Added to these there were several Deputy Grand Superintendents, Past & Present and most of the Provincial Royal Arch Provincial Team from Oxfordshire all making a very full Chapter.

After Opening the Chapter and proffering his Sceptre to both the 2nd Grand Principal and the Grand Superintendent of Oxfordshire, the new Principals were obligated in the normal way but it was at this point that the 1st Principal of Caversham Chapter invited E Comp David Boswell to take the Chair and to install his son, something that Michael was totally unaware of and which resulted in a very emotional ceremony and one that was presented faultlessly by David. Following the appointment of the Officers E Comp David Boswell stood in the West of the Chapter and presented the Address to the Principals, something that is never presented in either Oxfordshire or Suffolk but E Comp David had heard this in Somerset and was determined to present the address on the occasion of his sons Installation, just a little bit of Somerset in Oxfordshire, for a moment!

At the conclusion of the Convocation both E Comp David Boswell and E Comp Russell Race were both proposed as Honourary Members of the Caversham Chapter and following this a superb Installation Dinner was served at Reading Golf Club where the usual Toast were acknowledged.

Leaving Caversham at 10.30pm and then having to drive back to Somerset in the rain is not everyone’s ideal way to end an evening at a Royal Arch Chapter Convocation but when you have attended such a unique occasion it was well worth it.