Photo captions From left, Ken McQueen, Brian White, Tony Russell and Ken Burt – VE Comp Warren Oakly, E Comp Barry Gillum (the Chapter’s longest-serving member at over 45 years), and VE Comp Ewan Peat (the oldest member at 84 years of age – Brian White and Tony Russell cut the cake at the Solway Park
Photo Credit – Graeme Evans
Wairarapa Chapter No 10 celebrated its 125th Anniversary in fine style at the Masterton Masonic Centre and later at the Solway Park hotel on July 22.
The First Grand Principal, ME Comp Brian White, was in attendance, along with Second Grand Principal RE Comp Ken McQueen, who is a member and PZ (four times!) of the Chapter; RE Comp Ken Burt, Grand Superintendent of the Wellington District, and a large number of members and visiting Companions.
The Chapter opened, received senior officers, and closed in order that ladies and others could be present for the event, and the proceedings began with a welcome from First Principal Tony Russell (who is serving his third term in the role).
Highlights of the meeting were a presentation on Royal Arch Freemasonry by the Central Division Grand Lecturer, RE Comp Geoffrey Coker, and the history of the Chapter, given by E Comp Don Staples. It is of note that this Chapter has always been the only one in the Wairarapa.
The Chapter also made a very generous and welcome donation of $500 to the Jubilee Memorial Scholarship Fund, and took much pleasure in the announcement by Ken Burt that Chapter stalwart Malcolm Oldcorn was to be awarded Special Grand Rank in the 2018 appointments and promotions in Grand Chapter officers. Malcolm has been the Chapter’s Director of Ceremonies for a mere 26 years!
The group then adjourned to the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park and enjoyed a very convivial evening featuring a superb three-course dinner.
Proposing the toast to the Chapter, Ken McQueen focused on the men who have supported and enjoyed Royal Arch Freemasonry in the Wairarapa in and through the Chapter over the years.
“This Chapter has had many eminent men, dedicated and hard-working, pass through its portals,” he said.
“We have amongst us some who have served the Chapter for 40 years and more, and along with them we remember the characters whom we have shared our time with in the Chapter. Long may they stay in our hearts and memories.
“We look forward to the next 125 years, and I cannot doubt that our future conduct, and that of our successors, will be calculated still to increase the lustre of our justly esteemed Chapter.”
A beautiful 125th birthday cake was cut by a top-table team of Brian White and Tony Russell.
The Chapter’s well-deserved reputation for “characters” is clearly thriving, judging by the number of such Companions and others present who made the most of a well-organised, excellent event.