ISSUE 20, January 2007
Editorial
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Collarettes
The Committee has for some time been aware that certain Grand Superintendents have been presenting retiring Deputy Grand Superintendents, and in some cases retiring Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals, with a collarette, to which is attached the relevant past rank jewel.
    The Committee is satisfied that there is at present no warrant in either the Royal Arch Regulations or the Book of Constitutions for such jewels being worn, but notes that, in the Craft, collarettes and jewels may be worn by Past Deputy and Assistant Provincial or District Grand Masters.
    After consultation with Grand Superintendents generally, the Committee has concluded that the practice has much to commend it. It accordingly recommends that Past Deputy Grand Superintendents and Past Provincial and District Grand Principals, as well as their Metropolitan counterparts (including Past Metropolitan Group Chairmen), should in future be permitted to wear the relevant jewels suspended from tri-coloured collarettes, but only within the Metropolitan Area, Province or District in which the Companion previously served.
    Notice of motion to amend the Royal Arch Regulations was tabled.
Charitable Payments
In accordance with practice in recent years, the Committee has authorised payments to each of the four main Masonic Charities and the Heritage and Educational Trust of the London Grand Rank Association of sums for each of the four Charities of £5,000 and the Heritage and Educational Trust of £1,000.
A Mozart Celebration
To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Bro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a talk with musical illustrations was given by E Comp Andrew Pearmain about the greatest Masonic composer’s life, his Freemasonry and his music.
Speech by E Comp The Rev Elkan Levy to Supreme Grand Chapter
The Holy Royal Arch – Enjoyment, Recruitment, Retention

The Royal Arch is a most beautiful degree. It stands beyond Craft Masonry as the culmination of the candidate’s journey through pure Antient Masonry.
    The beautiful lesson that this degree teaches, places man in the context of eternity. A brother becomes a complete Mason when he takes the Holy Royal Arch, and it is therefore our duty to ensure that this degree is as widely disseminated as possible.
    However, because Chapter deals with a different set of relationships, it will appeal to brethren on a different level to the Craft, and partly for different reasons. To those who find it attractive, the Royal Arch is a never-ending source of interest, study reflection and self-awareness. In many ways, it is the serious Mason’s degree.
    Recruitment is a problem, and this is for reasons that significantly go beyond Freemasonry. We live in a world where people tend not to join organisations, with the possible exception of the health club.
    Religious bodies of all denominations, Rotary, Scouts, clubs of various types, all suffer from the effect that television and the Internet is having on human behaviour.
    Isolation and loneliness can readily occur in the midst of crowds. All of us here know the warm sense of brotherhood and friendship that comes with membership of Freemasonry. The Holy Royal Arch is known as the friendly degree; we should stress this when recruiting, and welcome the candidates with genuine warmth.
    Recruitment to the Royal Arch will increase in proportion to the publicity that we give to it within our own Lodges, and the image we project. Chapter should be seen as something special, and membership of the Degree as an exaltation, a higher sense of Freemasonry. Masters of Craft Lodges should be encouraged to take wine, at least once a year, with Companions of Chapters – any Chapter, not just the one moored to that particular Lodge.
    If there is a Chapter closely involved with the Lodge, the names of the Principals could be publicised within the Lodge. The respect that junior brethren tend to feel towards senior members of their Lodges could then be channelled into joining those brethren in the Lodge’s Chapter.
    The candidate would be able, should he so wish, to complete his journey through pure Antient Masonry in company with those brethren with whom he is already familiar. We need to stress the brotherhood of Masonry.
    Retention will often be a question of involvement. The new ritual, more comprehensible and understandable, can easily be mastered in bite-sized chunks.
    Not everyone will work the ritual to the same high standard. Inevitably there will be variations, but a sense of enjoyment and participation will carry the Chapter along, and raise its standards.
    Those that need help, will be helped and encouraged. We need to explain the Royal Arch to its new exaltees, and we need to encourage them in a non-judgemental way.
    Progress is not always easy – many Companions can only progress with difficulty, but we must help them to do so, even if only an inch at a time.
    The more a Companion participates, the more he gets involved, the more will he feel a sense of belonging to his Chapter, and the loyalty that follows from ownership. Retention will become much easier, and those Companions who are happy in their Chapters will themselves bring in their brethren from the Craft, Finally, enjoyment. There is no point in being a miserable Freemason. Freemasonry in its widest sense, and particularly this Degree, with its interesting and dramatic story, its strong sense of morality, its deep lesson and its happy atmosphere, is here to be enjoyed, not to be endured.
    Freemasonry is important in today’s society. It encourages mutual respect and tolerance, qualities that are becoming increasingly necessary in a progressively fractured world. It adheres to standards of morality and behaviour in a society that seems increasingly unable to tell right from wrong.
    But, most of all, it is fun. The grand design of being happy and communicating happiness affects and benefits us all. The Royal Arch is there to be enjoyed. If we can communicate our sense of enjoyment, all the rest – recruitment, retention, growth – will inevitably follow.
    Mozart enjoyed being a Freemason – so should we!

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