Letchworth Chapter Celebrates 75th Anniversary

(Pictured Right to Left EComps Adrian Filer acting H, Philip Rowland 2nd Grand Principal, Robert Bramley Deputy Grand Superintendent, Dale Robertson MEZ, Steve Devine acting J, Rev Barry Jobber 3rd Grand Principal and David Williams APGP)

The 75th Anniversary of the consecration was held at Christleton on 25th January 2019 with an attendance of 48 including the Deputy Grand Superintendent, 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals, 3 Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals together with a number of Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter and Acting Provincial Officers.

The Deputy Grand Superintendent E Companion J Robert Bramley delivered the Oration and E Companion Albert Elliott, the Historian, reported on a number of important characters who had been and were members of the Chapter and some interesting happenings particularly during the last 25 years.

The occasion was marked by a donation of £750 to the Provincial Charities (£10 for each year of its existence) and at the Festive Board which followed all attendees were presented with a copy of the Chapter History and an inscribed whisky tumbler as a memento of this important milestone

Letchworth Chapter No 5272 was Consecrated at Clifton Road Masonic Hall, Birkenhead on 25th September 1943 by the then Deputy Provincial Grand Master Joseph Wainwright PAGSoj – the office of Deputy Grand Superintendent was not created until many years later. The Chapter was attached to Letchworth Lodge No 5272 and 61 Companions attended the Consecration from as far afield as Southport in the North and Ruthin in the south together with a joining member from Birmingham with the first exaltees being proposed at the Consecration.

With the cessation of hostilities and the upsurge in interest in Freemasonry both Letchworth Lodge and Letchworth Chapter flourished with the Chapter performing double exaltation ceremonies on a regular basis. Such was the eminence of the Chapter that 4 Companions were honoured with Supreme Grand Chapter appointments.

Recruitment to the Craft began to stagnate in the late 1980’s and the regular flow of candidates from, in particular, Letchworth Lodge and Tollemache Lodge No 4736, slowed down and after Letchworth Lodge returned its warrant in 2005 new exaltees slowed to a trickle mainly from Gateways Lodge No 6374 which met at Christleton. The Chapter was indebted to the Devine family, father, four sons and two grandsons who were ever ready to accept appointment to many of the Chapter offices on a regular basis to ensure it continued to survive.

As a direct result of falling membership a decision to relocate to Christleton and the first meeting was held there in January 2008. The expected influx of candidates did not at first materialise with numbers continuing to fall leading to an attendance of only 6 at the January 2012 meeting. Those in attendance retired to a local hostelry and determined to carry on. A survival plan was created and the search for new members was put in to action with a Blue Table event being held in January 2014 which was addressed by the then APGP E Companion Philip E Rowland. This meeting produced a number of candidates for exaltation as well as joining members and the Chapter is again flourishing with 19 active members together with two active Honorary Members.