ISSUE 16, January 2006
Editorial
Historic: Sherlock Holmes incarnate
Travel: In the Footsteps of the Incas
Sport: Batting for England
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Supreme Grand Chapter: First Grand Principal's speech and Committee of General Purposes
Royal Masonic Girls' School: Stories in windows
Specialist Lodges: Brotherhood of the Angle
    Napoleonic Wars: A Mason's Word
International: Macedonia: New Grand Lodge consecrated and Enthusiasm unbound
Grand Lodge: Development of Freemasons' Hall
Masonic Rebels: Rise and fall
Bristol Museum: A Phoenix from the Ashes
Freemasonry and Religion: United in diversity
Library and Museum: Most glorious of them all
First Aid: Masons learn to shock
Education: The Third Degree and Forthcoming events
Masonic Charities, Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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Above
E Comp Bill Holland, MEZ of Treaty of Uxbridge Chapter No. 8379, Middlesex (centre), after exalting Comp Lubomir Nikolov (left) and Comp Nikolay Mirinchev last October


The personal freedoms arising from the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in the 1990s has resulted in a surge of interest in Freemasonry in former Iron Curtain countries and Grand Lodges, which had been dormant since before the Second World War.
    With many of their members thirsting for knowledge, leaders of Freemasonry in these emerging Grand Lodges have asked the Supreme Grand Chapter of England to assist them with the introduction of Royal Arch Masonry into their respective countries. The first such request came from the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary in June 2003.
    To achieve this objective, Supreme Grand Chapter has followed a well-trodden path. Firstly, a Chapter is identified which has decided to close. The existing companions retain their membership (if they wish) and hopefully will continue to hold office, especially the important administrative offices.
    Brethren from the overseas Grand Lodge, who are suitably qualified, then come to England to be exalted into the Chapter. They take an office and work through the progressive offices to eventually become First Principal. Thereafter, the overseas companions are encouraged to take administrative office wherever possible while continuing to absorb the ethos of the Royal Arch and learn the lessons it teaches.
    It requires a minimum of three Chapters to request that they be set up and constituted as a Supreme Grand Chapter, so this process of populating moribund Chapters is repeated, usually in tandem, until the new Supreme Grand Chapter is ready to be constituted. At that point the Chapters are exported to the new Supreme Grand Chapter and are erased from the English register.
    Supreme Grand Chapter is helping to introduce the Royal Arch into Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Estonia at present and there have been expressions of interest in English Royal Arch Masonry from other countries.
    The furthest advanced is the project in Hungary, where two Chapters Cockfosters No. 6883 from London and Heston No. 4888 from Middlesex are currently meeting by dispensation in Budapest. Both Chapters have 23 members who have either joined the Chapter or have been exalted since the project began, and the first Hungarian has just completed his year as First Principal.
    The introduction of the Royal Arch into Estonia is happening through the good offices of Hackney Brook Dependable Chapter No. 7397 from London. Although this project only started in 2005, the first Estonians to join the Chapter, including the Grand Master, were already Royal Arch Masons in the Grand Chapter of Finland and one of them has already been invested as First Principal and exalted his first candidate.
    With the exception of Serbia, all these projects are using Chapters in either London or Middlesex. The project to introduce the Royal Arch into Serbia is progressing through Eureka Chapter No. 4940 in Cheshire.
    All of these different projects have a significant backlog of candidates who are presenting themselves for exaltation, but only two candidates are exalted at each meeting. The interest and enthusiasm shown by all the exaltees is infectious and has increased demand for exaltation from among their own brethren.
    Supreme Grand Chapter is most grateful to the Royal Arch Provinces of Middlesex and Cheshire as well as the Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London for not only introducing suitable Chapters for these projects, but also for liaising between Supreme Grand Chapter and the Chapter Scribes E to make sure that everything progresses smoothly.
    Thanks also go to the companions of these Chapters who have embraced these projects with enthusiasm and are happy to be associated with a venture which is extending Masonic light and knowledge to a wider audience.

Chris Radmore is Masonic Assistant to the Grand Scribe E


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