Royal Arch Chapter

THE STRAND CHAPTER

Of

ROYAL ARCH MASONS

No: 1987

The Consecration of the Strand Chapter No: 1987 was held on Wednesday 24th September 1924 at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, Kingsway, WC2 at 5.30pm. The consecrating officer was Ex. Comp J.S.Granville Grenfall, Grand Director of Ceremonies assisted by Ex. Comp H.Passmore Edwards, BA, PAGSoj as H, Ex. Comp Rev C.J.Smith, MA, PGStBr as J, Ex. Comp John Phillips, PAGDC as SN and Ex. Comp T.F.Anderson, DepGDC as DC.

 

A HISTORY

[The History up to 1974 is taken from “A Retrospect” prepared by E.Comp C.H.Smith]

The decision to form the Strand Chapter was taken in 1923.It was to be attached to the Strand Lodge and the consent of the Lodge was given on 8th November 1923. The petition was endorsed to this effect and was signed by the Master, George Cox, and the two Wardens.

The Petitioners were:

  Chapter Lodge
James Alfred Hunt 1851, 3411   3411
Raymond Alexander Miles 2705 1987
George Edward Kimp 2705 1987
Albert Frederick Paddon 3301 3301
Thomas Welham 1851 1987
Henry Stafford Bounds 2705 1987
Stanley John Meadows 3411 1987
Henry James Treleaven Kibblewhite      3408 1987
Sydney Ellis   157 1987
Reginald  Clark   901 1987
Gerald John Fitzgerald 1507 1987
Ernest Leopold Taylor 3661 1987
Alfred Sandland 1155    55
C.E.George 1615 1987

 The first three Principals were to be:

  • R.A.Miles………..Z
  • G.E.Kimp………..H
  • A.F.Paddon……..J

The Charter of the Strand Chapter was granted on 6th February 1924 by command of the ME First Grand Principal, HRH the Duke of Conaught and Strathern, KG, and was signed by:

  • ME Comp Lord Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE……………..Pro Z
  • ME Comp Sir Frederick Halsey, Bart, PC……….H
  • ME Comp V. Rev J.S.Brownrigg, MA……………….J
  • E Comp Sir Colville Smith………………………………G.Scribe.E
  • E Comp The Earl of Malmesbury……………………G.Scribe N

E.Comp G.E.Kimp, H designate of the Strand Chapter, died before the Consecration of the Chapter took place and the Charter is endorsed by the Grand Scribe E giving approval for the appointment of E.Comp E.L.Taylor as H designate in his place.

The Chapter was consecrated on Wednesday, 24th September 1924 at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2.

The Consecrating Officer was E.Comp J.S.Granville Grenfell, Grand Director of Ceremonies. He was assisted by:

  • E.Comp H.Passmore Edwards, BA, PAGSojr, as H
  • E.Comp Rev C.J.Smith, MA, PGStB, as J
  • E.Comp John Phillips, PAGDC, as SN
  • E.Comp T.F.Anderson, DepGDC as DC

At the close of the Consecration Ceremony the three Principals designate were duly inducted into their Chairs and the Officers were then invested.

Each of the Consecrating Officers was presented with a special jewel to mark the occasion and all were elected Honorary Members of the Chapter.

It is interesting to note that E.Comp Passmore Edwards had been an Honorary member of the Strand Lodge since 1905. A fine and strict ritualist, he was Preceptor of the Strand Lodge of Instruction for twenty years from 1904 to 1924.

The list of Founders and First Officers of the Chapter is as follows:

E.Comp J.A.Hunt IPZ
E.Comp R.A.Miles MEZ
E.Comp E.L.Taylor H
E.Comp A.F.Paddon J
   Comp S.J.Meadows Scribe E
   Comp T.Welham Scribe N
   Comp C.E.George Treasurer           
   Comp H.S.Bounds PS
   Comp H.Elias 1st Asst S
   Comp R.Clark 2nd Asst S
   Comp H.J.T.Kibblewhite     DC
   Comp S.Ellis Steward
E.Comp J.MacNaughton Janitor
   Comp A.Sandland  
   Comp H.J.Osborne  
   Comp G.Fitzgerald  

The first Regular Convocation of the Chapter was held at the Hotel Cecil, Strand WC2, on 21st October 1924. The MEZ was unable to be present owing to illness and his place was taken by E.Comp H.Passmore Edwards, PAGSojr, who had acted as H at the Consecration Ceremony and was now an Honorary Member of the Chapter. Two candidates were Exalted.

Meeting Places

From 1924 to 1930 the Chapter met at the Hotel Cecil (where the Strand Lodge also met) on the fourth Tuesday in January, March and October (Installation).

In 1930 the Hotel Cecil was sold to Shell Mex Ltd, and it was resolved that both Chapter and Lodge should transfer to the Hotel Metropole in Northumberland Avenue. The Chapter met thenceforward on the third Friday in September (Installation), December and March.

There seems to have been some dissatisfaction with the accommodation provided at the Metropole, its Victorian atmosphere and the inadequacy of its catering, and at a special Convocation on 1st January 1937 it was resolved that the Chapter should remove to the Piccadilly Hotel and that the meetings should be held on the first Friday in January (Installation), March and May.

The association with the Piccadilly Hotel proved more enduring and lasted for thirty-five years. The effect of the war is reflected in the fact that from January 1941 onwards, meetings were usually held at 12.30pm and were followed by luncheon.

In 1943 it was resolved to spread the meetings of the Chapter more evenly over the year and the dates were altered to the first Fridays in January (Installation), May and September.

A sad note in 1943 was that the Piccadilly Hotel could no longer supply wine, but only a limited quantity of whisky and beer, and that the price of the meal had to be increased to 12/6d per head, which included the use of the Temple. Worse was to come later in the year when it was reported that the Hotel would no longer be able to provide meals. “Refreshments” could be served after meetings, but this solution was rejected by the Chapter and in 1944 we find the Chapter meeting at the Piccadilly Hotel and afterwards lunching or dining at the Holborn Restaurant.

It was not until January 1947 that the Chapter dined again at the Piccadilly Hotel. By then the time of the meetings had reverted to the late afternoon.

In 1972 the Piccadilly served notice that they proposed to close the Regency Temple there and the Strand Chapter was obliged to move. After a period of anxious search, satisfactory accommodation was found at the Windsor Hotel, 56-62 Lancaster Gate W2, and this was the Chapter’s venue from January 1973. The dates of the meetings had to be altered to the first Friday in January (Installation), the second Friday in May and the third Friday in September.