CHAPTER of ROYAL ARCH MASONS
(Known as CAPITULAR DEGREES)
The Chapters of the Royal Arch are the first bodies of York Rite Masonry. Their three degrees (The Mark Master, The Most Excellent Master and The Holy Royal Arch) teach members that the great beliefs of Freemasonry are never truly lost, and that through persistence and perseverance all things can be discovered and understood.
MARK MASTER – The work on the Temple continues. Consider this as developing the Fellowcraft Degree. There, we are taught that the knowledge we received can be honour and the profit of others. Here, a beautiful lesson is exemplified, inculcating the value of fellowship and acceptance of others. We see the truth that although we are often misunderstood, underrated and criticized, there is ONE who will make the rejected stone the head of the corner.
MOST EXCELLENT MASTER – This is a significant Degree in Ancient Craft Masonry. King Solomon’s Temple, which was begun so auspiciously and halted so dramatically in the Third Degree, is completed amid much rejoicing and great splendor. The labourers of the Craft are given the blessing of the Lord, who descended as fire from heaven. King Solomon, in his gratitude, received and acknowledged them as Most Excellent Masters. Proficient in their work, they are empowered to travel and receive Master’s Wages, charged with the responsibility of sharing their Masonic Light and Knowledge with those less informed.
THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH – This degree we are told, was removed from the Symbolic Degrees, of which it was once a part, to reserve it for the more earnest seeker of Light in Masonry. Originally only Past Masters of Lodges were admitted to these supreme secrets (... which meant that very few received them). Now it is the keystone of our rites. Here, we find the completion of the Master Mason Degree and the recovery of the Word. After the death of King Solomon, his magnificent Temple was destroyed and the Israelites carried away as captives to Babylon, where they lived for another 70 years.
When liberated by King Cyrus of Persia, many of them returned to Jerusalem and began rebuilding the Temple. While this work was going on and the remains of the first Temple were being cleared away, many interesting and valuable discoveries were made, chief of which was the Lost Word of the Master. Throughout the degree, we learn the benefits of humbleness, working to make ourselves better men and companions to our brothers by the fervency and zeal of our endeavours:
“… for then, and only then can you feel that friendship, that union, that zeal and that purity of heart”.
The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New Brunswick was established in March 1887 following agreement from the several Chapters already practicing in the province under the Grand Chapters of Scotland and Ireland as early as 1790. It was agreed that they would adopt the ritual used by the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, but interestingly it retained the Officer Titles of the non-American system.
Grand Convocation of the Grand Chapter of New Brunswick meets on the third Saturday of June each year.
MEC Eric J. Johnson, The Grand Scribe Ezra
There were several Royal Arch Chapters in what we know as New Brunswick working under the jurisdictions of Scotland, England, Ireland and Canada dating back as early as 1790. Previous to this year there was a General Chapter in the City of Saint John, which worked under the warrant of a Lodge called Hiram No. 17. The warrants of Masonic Lodges allowed the conferring of the Chapter degrees by the General Chapters so held under them. Such Chapters, it further appears, could hold their meetings under one or any number of Lodge Warrants, upon notification to the Grand Lodge issuing such Warrants.
Moves to create a Grand Royal Arch Chapter in the province rose and dwindled several times since the 1790’s, especially after the fervour of Confederation in 1867. The real impetus started in 1886 with Fredericton Chapter and Carleton Chapter leading the movement.
The First Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New Brunswick was held in the City of Saint John on March 22, 1887.
The Chapters of Royal Arch Masons in New Brunswick:
- Carleton Chapter #1
- Fredericton Chapter #2
- New Brunswick Chapter #3 (...dark)
- Union Chapter #4 (...dark)
- St-Stephen Chapter #6 (...dark)
- Botsford Chapter #7
- Woodstock Chapter #8 (...dark)
- Sussex Chapter #9 (...dark)
- Edmundston Chapter #10 (...dark)
- Campbellton Chapter #11 (...dark)
- Walton Chapter #12 (...dark)
- Roy E. Crawford Chapter #13 (...dark)
Carleton Chapter #1
New Brunswick's oldest Chapter, we were instituted in 1805. We meet at the Luxor Temple located at 14 McLaughlin Crescent, Saint John (East), New Brunswick. Our meetings take place on the Third Thursday of February, March, April, May, October, November and December.
2020 First Principal - V. Ex. Comp. Dave Cunningham
Scribe Ezra - M. Ex. Comp. Eric Johnson
Botsford Chapter #7
Botsford Chapter #7 was instituted on August 10th, 1879. In 1995, Walton Chapter of Salisbury (est. 1930) was merged into Botsford Chapter. Botsford Chapter meets on the third Wednesday in the months of March, April, May, June, September, October, November, and December at the Moncton Temple located at 115 Alma Street, Moncton.
First Principal - Ex. Companion James Buchanan
Scribe Ezra - Rt. Em. Comp. Stephen Smith
Fredericton Chapter #2
First Principal - Ex. Comp. Gerry Russon
Scribe Ezra - Ex. Comp. Joel MacDonald
Grand Chapter Officers
First Grand Principal
MEC Chris Kitson
Immediate Past F.G.P.
MEC Mike Crofts
Second Grand Principal
REC Tim Yates
Third Grand Principal
REC Ed Stansfield
Grand Scribe Ezra
MEC Eric Johnson
Grand Scribe Nehemiah
MEC Richard Golding
MEC Mike Crofts
Grand Principal Sojourner
REC Tom Roberts
Grand District Superintendent #1
MEC Adam Scott
REC Stephen Gouzoules
Grand Director of Ceremonies
VEC Marc Gaudet
Grand Senior Sojourner
VEC Mark Walsh
Grand Junior Sojourner
VEC Gale Rae
REC Alban Watson
Grand Standard Bearer #1
VEC Joel MacDonald
Grand Standard Bearer #2
VEC Dave Cunningham
Grand Outer Guard
REC Scott Catell