To keep our District informed of what’s happening in Royal Arch, this newsletter is created to share with our Companions, and this will be my final posting.
As my term winds down, I have grave concerns about the future of Capitular Masonry in the District and the Province. I think that Royal Arch is a sustainable organisation provided we work together to make it grow. The following are my concerns which I have communicated to Grand Chapter:
- Meeting quorum; The Quorum for Lodges is seven, whereas Chapter requires nine. This is outmoded and a roadblock to smaller Chapters who are sometimes unable to achieve Quorum due to members being away or sick. I will pursue this at Grand Chapter this month, to reduce the required quorum from 9 to 7. This will benefit all smaller Lodges throughout the Province whom are otherwise looking at dissolution and returning Charters.
- Grand Superintendent work; The policy that a Grand Superintendent and even his Secretary not do work in Chapter except when given special dispensation or doing it under the radar, was killing our ability to perform efficiently or effectively. I have been advised by the Grand Scribe E that we are allowed to do Work in the Chapters- this is a success for our District as it allows two well qualified members to do work and sit in Chairs as required by their Chapters.
- Recruitment; Master Masons are properly and correctly invited to join Chapter, rather than acting on his own. I invite all Members to feel free to extend an invitation to join, as long is you don’t hound them, which becomes improper solicitation!
I fully endorse the personal one on one contact with brethren as the ideal recruitment tool. I further strongly recommend that once a Lodge member has proven himself in the Master Mason Degree, that he be given an application for Royal Arch Masonry. I have printed and provided Applications to each Chapter in the District to facilitate this.
- Business in Chapter: Holding business in the MMM Degree rather than in the RAM Degree. This precedent has been set in the Lodges and I proposed we allow business to be done in the MMM degree and MEM degree as we work toward the RAM. This would allow new brothers to feel they are a part of their Chapter. We do business in the Lodges in the 1st degree so an E.A. can participate immediately in the operation of the Lodge. In Royal Arch new members have to wait until they receive the RAM degree which is a serious road block to their participation. In the small Chapters which have a limited number of members to begin with, it makes no sense to bar any brother from participation.
- Dues: Finally I advise we follow the precedent set by Grand Lodge where after one year of dues being unpaid, the Companion will be struck for non-payment of dues. This is killing our smaller Chapters, as they pay the per capita every year for non-paying members and have to expend inordinate amounts of time and effort in pursuing these dues owing.
Grand Chapter will be held in St. Catherine’s Thursday April 26 to Friday April 28, 2018. I will be installing my successor, William Boote as Grand Superintendent, District 15 and am sure that he will be a real asset to our District and to the North.
Shuniah Chapter No. 82 has a membership of 68 including 10 Life. There were 2 Deaths and 2 Demits in the past year. This Chapter under Ex. Comp. John Watson is experiencing a strong resurgence, with 5 MMM, 3 MEM and 3RAM degrees in 2017. In 2018 they have held 2 MMM, 4 MEM and have compled 5 RAM Degrees recently. Shuniah is perhaps the strongest of the Chapters and is growing at a healthy pace.
Golden Chapter No. 90, my Home Chapter, has 47 members at present after 7 Demits and 5 deaths. They have held 1 MMM and a MEM degree this month. This Chapter has been strongly supporting Golden Star Chapter in meetings and Degrees and is to be commended for their adherence to Masonic guidelines in this manner. Golden Chapter is under the hand of a new First Principal, Ex. Comp. Mark Nadeau, whom is instituting more practices and making a strong effort in having memory work done, thereby retaining members, he hopes. They are also making strong efforts at outreach in the three Lodges in Kenora to increase membership,. I fear that with the membership losses incurred by deaths and demits due to health, Golden Chapter is in serious trouble without an influx of new members.
Golden Star No. 254, under V. Ex. Comp. Michael Patey, has a membership of 43, with 4 deaths in the past year but no Demits. The Chapter held 2 MMM and 1 MEM prior to the District meeting and 2 RAM Degrees the following weekend, on my Official Visit. They are also processing an Application for Affiliation. Golden Star has struggled the past two years, but with the support of Golden Chapter and the influx of new members, they are becoming healthy once more.
I am pleased that the First Principals have continued to ensure there are back-ups for the Principals chairs and the Principal Sojourners as well. The problem is, we need new members in our Chapters to take up the work as our population ages. All Chapters in District 15 this year are seeing a resurgence of applications, and I am pleased to see that assistance from other Chapters is readily offered.
As I conclude this newsletter, I wish to thank everyone in the District for their support and dedication to Capitular Masonry. You have all made me very proud to be a member of District 15, and I thank you for your trust in allowing me to represent you as Grand Superintendent.
I especially wish to thank my Chairmen:
Benevolence: R. Ex. Comp. Andrew Skene
Chaplain: R. Ex. Com. Allan Schofield
Royal Arch Charities: Comp. Mark Nadeau
Webmaster: Ex. Comp. Tim King
Historian: R. Ex. Comp. Mike Abbott
and finally last but certainly not least; Public Relations: Ex. Comp. Jerry Tsubouchi.
And finally my greatest thanks goes to both my Secretary R. Ex. Comp Don Jones and ProTem Secretary R. Ex. Comp. Andrew Skene. You truly made my term of office so much easier, and without an exceptional Grand District Secretary, nothing can be achieved. I am fortunate to have had two.
R. Ex. Comp. Peter Hall, Grand Superintendent