RA News

Annual meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter 2019

The next Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter will be brought forward to Saturday, 15th June 2019 and will be convened at Cardiff Masonic Hall.

Keeping it in the family – a triple exaltation at RP St John Charles Chapter

On Wednesday 26th of September the R P St John Charles Chapter, Swansea, by dispensation exalted three new Companions, which in itself is a rare event. What made this even more special is that the three candidates are all from the same Craft Lodge and all from the same family.

All Past Masters of Sketty Hall Lodge, Companions Alan Owen and his two sons Richard and 
David were Exalted in excellent fashion by the Three Principals and Officers of the Chapter. The Chapter was honoured and delighted to welcome The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent D. Gerald Rowbottom into the Chapter to witness this unique occasion. Also in attendance was Excellent Companion Michael Coombes, Assistant to the Principals.

All those who witnessed the ceremony afterwards enjoyed a lovely festive board with a warm family atmosphere.
Pictured are the three Principals, E. Comps Gerald Davies, Kevin Mitchell and Adrian Parker with the three candidates and accompanied by The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent.

Calling all Companions of the Holy Royal Arch

This morning we received a communication from the Provincial Grand Chapter Office about a very special meeting of Sure & Steadfast Chapter No 8991 to take place in Cardiff Masonic Hall on Friday, 14th September 2018.

The meeting will take the form of a demonstration of an Exaltation according to the Aldersgate Ritual and the token candidate will be none other than our Past Provincial Grand Master, Captain Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards! The aim of the meeting is to raise £1,000 for the South Wales 2021 Festival in aid of the RMBI.

An invitation – under Rule 3 – to this meeting is extended to all Companions, who should contact the Scribe E of Sure & Steadfast Chapter, EComp Peter M. Kennedy on lynnm91@nullbtinternet.com.

An historic meeting such as this is not to be missed and is likely to fill up rapidly so if you are interested please contact EComp Peter Kennedy without delay!

Address by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over South Wales, Friday 15th June 2018

Companions, on Monday, it will be 100 days since we met in this beautiful Temple; for my Installation at the hands of the Most Excellent The Third Grand Principal. It has been a very busy and hugely enjoyable 14 weeks since that memorable day, including the Consecration of Cwm Rhondda Chapter here on 19th April and our Gala Dinner in Bridgend on 26th May and I must thank everyone who has made me and the Provincial representation so very welcome, throughout our wonderful Province and indeed when visiting our Kindred Provinces; when I have enjoyed the honour of representing South Wales and it is very pleasing to see so many friends here today; who have all made the journey to support us here today, in Cardiff.

The Craft Tercentenary provided us with a wonderful platform to show to the popular and uninstructed World what we are all about and the 426 Initiates we welcomed into our Lodges, in South Wales, provides us with interested and worthy Brethren, whom I sincerely hope will wish to extend their researches into the Holy Royal Arch. Indeed, in 2017, our total number of memberships increased by 24, which was the first increase in real terms since 2007. You will be pleased to know that the figures for 2018 are also encouraging, with both memberships and actual companions showing increases over 2017. You, everyone here today, are the best advertisement for the Royal Arch so please keep asking our friends to consider joining or indeed rejoining our ranks.

To maintain this momentum, it is essential that the Craft Royal Arch Representatives have an opportunity to speak at our Lodge meetings, and I am grateful to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for his full support and leadership in this aim.

Royal Arch membership is a very special addition to our Masonic journey, Companions. It is something to be hugely proud of and is the gateway to many other Orders & Degrees. We, as one of the larger Provinces in the Constitution enjoy a particular sense of history. Companions, the original Provincial Grand Lodge of South Wales was Consecrated in 1727 and subsequently divided into 2 Provinces (Eastern and Western Division) in 1848. This year we celebrate 10 years since we were renamed as South Wales and as our first Joint Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent, Theodore Mansel Talbot, would no doubt have said in 1848 – “look forward with pride and purpose”.

Your generosity as Companions of the Holy Royal Arch is truly staggering. As well as so generously donating to the 2021 Festival individually (through your membership of the Craft), all our Chapters have also donated to the Festival. To which end, Companion Deputy President (E.Comp Roy) and Chairman (E.Comp Sir Paul), I am delighted to announce that earlier this month, the Provincial Grand Treasurer transferred from Provincial Grand Chapter to the 2021 Festival a sum of £15,000. This brings our Royal Arch total contribution to date to “in excess” of £51,000. A total of which all of you Companions ought to be justly proud.”

As I said in my inaugural address, the current provision of Mandated Grand Officers has been reviewed and the Deputy Grand Superintendent will be in touch with the Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter, after the recess. Your input and invaluable experience will be essential in ensuring that we reward and inspire Companions to fully participate in our future.

I have a simple message; I want no Chapters to close. If you are in difficulty, for whatever reason, please contact the Deputy Grand Superintendent via the Provincial Office and we will do everything in our power to support you. Please do not wait until it may be too late. My colleague, E.Comp David Suter, the Past Provincial 2nd Grand Principal will head up a Team to attend and support Chapters who require support with their ritual. Full contact details will be populated on the Provincial Website.

Quite a few Companions have intimated to me that they would like new Chapters to be consecrated. Again, we will discuss the merits and any pitfalls with you to engender an open and honest conversation. I am certainly not averse to listening to your views. I would also recommend to all of you Installed First Principals to consider joining Hendre and Lord Swansea Chapters, where you will be most welcome.

To improve greater understanding of our joint Masonic direction of travel, we will hold a Joint Executive with the Craft Executive on Monday 02nd July. We have already met as the Executive Appointed today, agreed areas of responsibility and assigned leadership roles to named Officers.

We have today Invested a new Provincial Grand Almoner and Provincial Grand Charity Steward. Both these Officers will shortly also be Invested in the same office in Provincial Grand Lodge, together with the Provincial Grand Scribe E, Director of Ceremonies and Janitor.

The Almoner role has not been used as it was designed in our Chapters. Indeed, the Masonic Charitable Foundation would like queries and petitions to be made by whatever means at our disposal. The Chapter Almoner can help our Companions and families with that contact and also to care and enquire after Companions, if not attending; as they do in some of our Chapters, but not all.

Likewise, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward will liaise with you all to ensure that we are maximising our charitable efforts and being “smarter” with what we collect and give to so many charitable causes, all of which we appreciate and who contribute to the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. Today, once again, you will no doubt generously contribute to charity via Gift Aid envelopes and I would once again urge you to please go back to your Chapters and consider using Gift Aid envelopes at all of your Convocations and I emphasise the benefit of gift aid and the need to tick the gift aid box on the envelope, if you are a Tax payer.

You will no doubt note from the report of the General Purposes Committee, printed in the “Red Book” that should Elected Principals be unable to attend their Regular Installations, the Executive will not automatically expect to return a delegation to the subsequent convocation. However, should the Chapter concerned wish an Active Officer of Province to attend, please do contact the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra.

The quality of the design of the Red Book is in readiness to be populated on line, in the future – so that all of our membership can keep informed and up to date. That said, I am mindful that some of our membership, who are not fully engaged in electronic media, can sometimes feel left behind or disenfranchised. It is vital that we ensure that we communicate with all of our membership in the most appropriate form.

Finally Companions, I offer my personal congratulations to all Companions appointed and promoted today and congratulate all the retiring acting Officers who have been such wonderful Ambassadors for the Royal Arch. I cannot tell you what a great honour I deem it to be the one investing you today, on behalf of the Province.

I offer my personal thanks and gratitude to all those who have made today such a huge and enjoyable success and in particular, the Provincial Grand Scribe E, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremony, Provincial Officers on duty, the Office Team, Cardiff Masonic Hall Management & Staff and the “Set up Team” and for those who will so kindly pack away after we close this Convocation and for the “often unseen guiding hands” of those helping deliver their particular support. You know who you are!

Feel proud Companions, for I am very proud of you!

Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments 2018

At a Lunch in Hercules Pillars, Great Queen Street, London, presided over by The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, the Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter, who are members of Chapters in South Wales Promoted and Appointed today were congratulated:


As ME3GP, Gareth Jones


To Grand Sword Bearer, Sir Paul Williams
To Past Grand Sojourner, Paul Clement
To Past Grand Standard Bearer, Colin Best


To Past Grand Sword Bearer, William Jenkins
To Active Grand Standard Bearer, Peter Jones
To Past Grand Standard Bearer, Lyndon Howells & Clive Hughes
To Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, John Aylward

The Grand Superintendent paid tribute to the Past Deputy Grand Superintendent (and soon to be Provincial Senior Grand Warden) P. Colin Weatherall and thanked him for the manner in which he has always discharged his duty and for the dignity of his office, when due to the tragic passing of E.Comp. David Westall, Colin became our Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge.

The Grand Superintendent announced that following a very happy and successful term as Third and Second Provincial Grand Principal, David J. Suter will retire at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter in Cardiff Masonic Hall on Friday 15th June 2018. For the Masonic year ahead and in recognition of his outstanding service as our previous ProvGSE, E.Comp. Gwilym H. Jones will be Installed as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and E.Comp. Lance S. McPhail will be promoted to Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, with E.Comp. Jeffery T. Coles, PPrGReg, 1st Principal of Llanfair Chapter in 2002, serving as ProvGSN.

2018-2019 Provincial Year Book photographs

Calling all newly appointed Craft, Royal Arch, Mark and RAM officers.

The Provincial Photographer, has kindly agreed to conduct portrait sessions at the Bridgend Masonic Hall, Tremains Road. Bridgend CF31 2AP on Sunday 15th April,  Sunday April 22nd and Sunday May 6th, Starting at 10am, and finishing at 12 Midday, It shouldn’t take much of your time if you come prepared. (more…)

Installation of Grand Superintendent

On Saturday 10th March 2018, at Cardiff Masonic Hall, Excellent Companion D. Gerald Rowbottom was Installed as the Twelfth Grand Superintendent in and over South Wales. The especial Convocation was attended by 300 Companions, with 250 enjoying an excellent Luncheon; utilising all three dining rooms.

At 11am, Excellent Companion Gareth Jones, OBE, Most Excellent Third Grand Principal (The Installing Officer) processed into the Temple, together with Excellent Companion Graham C. King (Grand Superintendent in and over Gloucestershire and Herefordshire) acting as Second Grand Principal and Excellent Companion John D. Bennett (Grand Superintendent in and over Somerset) acting as Third Grand Principal and opened the Special Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter.

Under the direction of Excellent Companion Dr David R. Staples, Acting Grand Director of Ceremonies, a Deputation was formed and the Grand Superintendent Designate was escorted into Provincial Grand Chapter.

The Patent of Appointment was examined by the ME3GP and read by Excellent Companion Brigadier William E. Shackell, CBE, Grand Scribe E.

The Grand Superintendent Designate was duly Obligated, Robed, Invested with his Chain of Office and presented with his Sceptre. The ME3GP then invited the Grand Superintendent in and over South Wales to take his place in Provincial Grand Chapter.

The Grand Superintendent Appointed, Obligated and Invested E.Comp. David J. Suter, PGStB as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E.Comp. C. Hugh Thomas, OStJ, PGStB as Third Provincial Grand Principal.  The Grand Superintendent and Two Provincial Grand Principals were Proclaimed by the Acting Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The Grand Superintendent Appointed, Obligated and Invested E.Comp. William E. Jenkins as Deputy Grand Superintendent.

E.Comp. Phillip J. Purves, Acting Deputy GDC Proclaimed the Deputy Grand Superintendent.

The Grand Superintendent Appointed E.Comp. R. Michael Coombes, PGStB and E.Comp. Gwilym H. Jones, OStJ, PGStB as Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, E.Comp. Phillip A. Aubrey, PGStB, PPr3rdGP as ProvGSE and E.Comp. Peter Jones, PPrGSN as ProvGDC and confirmed the Appointment of the previously Invested 2017 Provincial Grand Officers.

Read the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent’s address here.