ISSUE 9, April 2004

The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews

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Full of eastern promise

Royal Arch

The first moves in what is hoped will result in Supreme Grand Chapters being set up in Russia and Eastern Europe has begun. John Jackson reports.

Freemasonry is alive and well and living in Russia and Eastern Europe. As regular Grand Lodges are formed in these former communist countries, so the first tentative moves are underway to bring the Royal Arch to the region.
      The most advanced down the road is Hungary, which has a general agreement from the Committee of General Purposes of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England to form a local Supreme Grand Chapter.
      The Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary had brethren exalted through Cockfosters Chapter No. 6883, London, when two Hungarians became Royal Arch Masons on 8 November. Cockfosters will be exported to Hungary as a Founder Chapter. Some Hungarians have already been exalted into Peace and Hope Chapter No. 5925 (London).
      Cockfosters Chapter received special dispensation from Supreme Grand Chapter to hold a convocation in Budapest on 27 March, when 11 more Hungarians were exalted.
      Two other English Chapters are expected to assist Hungary and will also be exported, and English Masons living in Hungary are playing a key role, but it is likely to be at least three years before they form their own Supreme Grand Chapter.
      Exaltations have also taken place of brethren who are members of the Grand Lodge of Russia and the Regular Grand Lodge ‘Yugoslavia’ – not to be confused with the Grand Lodge of Yugoslavia, which the United Grand Lodge of England does not recognise.
      Harmony Chapter No. 5835 (Middlesex) hosted a meeting at Harrow in October to exalt Dmitriy Denisov, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia, and Vladimir Nikitin, then the Deputy Grand Secretary, now the Grand Secretary, of the Grand Lodge of Russia.
      There was simultaneous translation during the ceremony, and a further 17 Russians, including the Deputy Grand Master and the two Assistant Grand Masters, were exalted into Harmony Chapter on 30 March by a team of Middlesex Provincial officers under the direction of Deputy Grand Superintendent Ernie Ainsworth. David Cons, Grand Superintendent for Middlesex, has been invited to Moscow next summer.
      On 7 February, seven brethren from the Regular Grand Lodge ‘Yugoslavia’ were exalted into Eureka Chapter No. 4940, Cheshire, at Stockport, supported by Meridian Chapter No. 5060 and Norbury Chapter No. 5656.
      Those exalted included Jovan Vasiljevic, their Grand Master, who is a Professor of Pathology at the Institute of Pathology in Belgrade.
      Proposals to set up a Supreme Grand Chapter (which could be at least five years away) for these two Grand Lodges has still to be approved by the Supreme Grand Chapter of England.
      Other eastern European countries have also expressed an interest in taking part in Royal Arch Masonry.

Photographed after the Russian exaltation, front row (left to right): Ernest Ainsworth (Deputy Grand Superintendent), John Ling (Second Provincial Grand Principal), Vladimir Nikitin (Deputy Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Russia), Dmitriy Denisov (Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Russia), David Cons (Grand Superintendent), Robert Bethel (Third Provincial Grand Principal). Back Row (left to right): Ray Tillyer (Second Principal of Chapter), James Dunlop (First Principal of Chapter), Leonard Arch (Third Principal of Chapter).