On Friday 7th Octoiber 2022 after a 2 year delay, Page Chapter belatedly celebrated their Centenary at the Masonic Hall,Rainbow Hill, Worcester. Their Annual Installation Ceremony was also conducted at this Convocation.
The Presiding Officer was the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Michael Phenix, accompanied by the Second Provincial Grand Principal Tim Jones, the Third Provincial Grand Principal Keith Evans and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Alan Bolton. In addition, a further sixteen Acting Provincial Grand Officers were in attendance, including the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Scribe E, Treasurer, Sword Bearer, Standard Bearers, Organist, Assistant Directors of Ceremonies and Stewards.
Fourteen of the Chapter Members were in attendance,together with four other Visitors and nine Provincial Officers in a special delegation from the Province of Shropshire – including the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Roger Pemberton and their Deputy Grand Superintendent and Third Principal.
In all, forty-seven Companions were in attendance to witness this very special occasion in the Chapter’s history and our MEGS gave a very warm welcome to all.
The Chapter was opened by the MEGS for the Province of Worcestershire, aided by his 2nd and 3rd Principals –after which there was a period of silence in memory of our late Queen,
The Proclamation and Induction of the Chapter’s Three Principals took place. Unfortunately, the M.E.Z., E.Comp. Philip Butler, was absent due to the coronavirus but was proclaimed as MEZ for a further year. In his absence, E.Comp. Bill Mason, at quite short notice, acted as M.E.Z. for the whole evening. E.Comp. Michael Pearman was inducted as H and E.Comp. Paul Webber was proclaimed as J for a further year. They invested their Officers.
The MEGS, E.Comp. John Michael Phenix, together with his Principal Officers, then resumed the Principals Chairs. He then addressed the Chapter stating that the purpose of this Convocation was to celebrate the Chapter’s Centenary – which had been delayed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the actual Centenary date, 27th August 2020, Members of the Chapter had been able to informally celebrate in the Car
Park of the Worcester Masonic Hall with drinks and cake! The MEGS reminded the
Companions of some of the national events that had taken place at the time of
their Consecration, including some strikes and unrest following the cessation
of the Great War.
The Provincial Scribe E, E.Comp. Brian Harper, then read extracts from the Consecration Minutes, including the fact that 78 Companions were in attendance, after which the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. Keith Evans, delivered a wonderful Oration.
In this he reminded the Companions that the first MEZ of the Chapter was E.Comp. William T Page – who at the time was Worcestershire’s MEGS, a position he held for 14 years from 1919 to 1933. The Consecrating Officer was E.Comp. P. Coleville Smith, the then Grand Scribe E. E.Comp. W T Page was also Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Worcestershire Craft Province for 34 years from 1899 to 1933. Page Lodge No. 3378 had been consecrated in 1909. E.Comp. Evans pointed out that as this celebration had been delayed following the recent coronavirus pandemic, the Consecration had also followed a
pandemic – the Spanish Flu, which was estimated to have taken 50 million lives worldwide between 1918 and 1920. He encouraged the Members with these words – “Today Companions we meet not only to celebrate, but to pledge ourselves anew to continue the great work started by your founders, and to rejoice in doing so. Remember Companions to act in conformity with the sublime precepts of our Order; do justice, love
mercy, practise charity, maintain harmony, and endeavour to live in unity and
brotherly love. Share your joy and brotherly love with the widerworld, offer succour and relief to those in need, both within our Order and without, and build up the common good. In fine, Companions of Page Chapter No. 3378, may the True and Living God Most High prosper your work, both within your Chapter and without, in the next 100 years to come and may He bless us all in our enjoyment of this wonderful Order”.
He concluded by quoting an Oration given in 1918 at the Consecration of the Lechmere-Hughes Volunteer Chapter No. 1874, which he felt was beautifully written and still relevant today – “It is something to have in our midst a strong body of men, bound by an oath to be faithful to their God, their Country and their King, who set forth before the world the beauty and power of discipline, obedience and submission to the powers that be. It behoves us, as members of such an institution, to be more and more circumspect in our
lives and conversations, that we may hand on to future generations the legacy
left by our fathers, pure and unsullied, as we have received it”.
The Provincial Scribe E then read the Centenary Charter, which the MEGS then presented to the Principals of the Chapter. The MEGS then presented the Members of the Chapter with their Centenary Jewels – after which the Consecration Hymn was sung.
Before closing the Chapter, the acting MEZ, E.Comp. Bill Mason, conferred Honorary Membership of the Chapter on the MEGS, E.Comp. John M Phenix and presented him with a Centenary Jewel. The MEGS expressed his delight and pledged to wear it with great respect fot the honour conferred on him.
After the closing of the Chapter, photographs were taken to record the event - after which the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies formed columns to escort the MEGS, the Chapter’s Principals and the other distinguished Companions from the Chapter Room.
There then followed a most enjoyable Festive Board., The usual Toasts were honoured and a Charity Collection was made in aid of the Worcestershire Royal Arch Charity
Fund. The Companions dispursed at 10.00pm.