Chapter of Concord 343

A Brief History of the Chapter of Concord No. 343 by W/Bro B Erett

The Lodge of Concord No. 343 was founded in 1814, when its number was 654. From 1832 to 1863, its number was changed to 429 and in 1863, it became 343. The present Chapter of Concord No. 343 was founded in 1944. Perhaps the most exciting discovery made during the research into this project, was that of the existence of a Chapter of Concord, No 429 here in Preston. It had occurred to me that for an old Lodge to exist for some 130 years before a chapter was formed, was rather strange. It came as a pleasant surprise to learn that this 'feeling' was not far wide of the mark. 429 was the number of the Lodge of Concord from 1832 to 1863 and there is no difficulty therefore, in making the connection between the Lodge of Concord and the earlier Chapter which was attached to it. That earlier Chapter of Concord was consecrated in 1818, when it was numbered 654.

This history concerns our Chapter of Concord, No 343. There are no founders left to guide us and to tell us of the events leading up to that consecration, but their names live on, in the circulars that call us to each convocation of the Chapter. We who follow in their footsteps owe them a great debt of gratitude.

In 1944, the World was in the grip of the second great conflict of the twentieth century. It was the year of the Normandy Landings, Oxford University won the Boat Race on the River Ouse, the Home Guard was stood down, and lemons were made available for Shrove Tuesday, at a cost of sixpence-halfpenny per pound (nearly three pence in modern coinage).

It was an eventful year in so many ways. The war dominated everyday life in the most important matters, as well as in those of a more trivial nature. It was not without significance for a group of Royal Arch Masons in Preston, who were not going to allow a small matter like the Second World War prevent them from going about their normal Masonic business.

No new Royal Arch Chapter had been consecrated in Preston since 1871. That was the year of the formation of the Chapter of Unanimity No. 113. Now, seventy-three years later, on the 9th October 1944, Winckley Chapter, No. 5438 and The Chapter of Concord, No 343, were consecrated. This is the story of The Chapter of Concord.

The first record of a meeting of our founders, is found in the minutes of Officers' Meetings and reads as follows:

"A meeting of prospective founders of a proposed new Chapter was held at the Bull and Royal Hotel, on Thursday April 13th 1944 at 6-30 p.m., convened by Ex. Comp. J. Sutcliffe.

Those present were:

Excellent Companions: Colonel R. Ord, J. Stevenson, F. Hall, J. Sutcliffe, J. Titterington.

Companions: G. Forrest Livesey, F. Hindle, H. Sample, T.E. Dallas, W. Parkinson, R. Baker,

P. Goldberg, E. Nield, F. Ward, E. Fleuriot and J.H. Clarkson.

Apology: for absence was received from Ex. Comp. T. Roper Ward.

This meeting was used to decide the name of the new Chapter, who would take office, when the Chapter would meet, joining fees, subscriptions and the other matters which were important at that time.

What is clear from these minutes, is that this meeting was not the first one held to consider the consecration of the new chapter. There will have been a number of previous meetings, probably of an informal nature, which were not minuted, but Thursday 13th April 1944 was the important one, which made the decisions which still affect us all these years later.

Developments were at an advanced stage in the petitioning for the new Winckley Chapter, to be attached to Winckley Lodge, No. 5438 and whose founders came mainly from the Chapter of Unanimity No. 113.

An agreement was made that the committees of the founders of the two proposed Chapters should co-operate to ensure that the consecrations, which would take place on the same day, Monday 9th October, 1944, should run smoothly.

There was some discussion regarding the banquet following the consecrations and the meeting was informed that the Installation meeting of the Progress Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 898 was due to be held at the Bull and Royal Hotel on the same day and it was therefore decided to hold the Festive Board in the Guild Hall.

The Founders of the proposed Chapters assembled at the Guild Hall early on Monday 9 October to meet Excellent Companion C.S. Hall, P.Pr.G.S.N., the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, who had already arrived. It was a raw, dull, October morning, but spirits were high, and during the process of completing the ceremonial furnishings to the D.C.'s satisfaction, jugs of steaming coffee from a nearby cafe were warmly appreciated.

Having been put through their drill by the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, the Companions were ready and merely had to wait for the great occasion to commence.

What do we know about these forward thinking men, whose names we see on all of our Chapter circulars? They had to be Royal Arch masons who were members of other chapters, so where did they come from? Research shows that their origins were varied. They came from other Chapters from various parts of the country, their occupations reflected a wide variety of experience. These were the very qualifications needed for the difficult task which lay ahead of them.

The war was still in progress and the outcome was far from certain at that time. Our founders were optimistic and confident, so much so, that it is doubted whether the thought ever entered their minds that what they were embarking upon might not succeed.

There were nineteen founders altogether and and the prominent ones are outlined:

Colonel Rudolf Ord. M.B.E. P.A.G.Soj.

Colonel Rudolf Ord, the first M.E.Z., was initiated in 1924 in the Lodge of Peace and Unity, No. 314 at the age of 35. His occupation was described as a Leather Merchant. Other Lodges of which he was a member were, Latham Lodge No. 2229, Liverpool, Lodge of Good Fellowship No. 5901, Preston, (founder), Quest Lodge No 5969, Manchester, (founder), St. Leonard's Lodge, No. 6132, Walton-le-Dale, (founder), Old Cliftonian Lodge, No. 3340, London, De Bon Cuer Lodge No. 6984, Walton-le-Dale, (founder), Lodge of Endeavour No 7036, Preston, (founder), Lodge Amounderness, No 7105, Preston (founder), and Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters, No. 7755, Preston (founder). He was Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Peace and Unity in 1934, Old Cliftonian Lodge, No 3340 in 1949 and of Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters, No 7755 in 1966. He was elected to honorary membership of 314, 5901, 6132, 3340, 6984, 7105, and 7755.

In the Royal Arch, he was exalted in the Holy Royal Architect Chapter, No 314 on 10 November 1930. He was installed as First Principal on 14 February 1941. he became a founder and the first M.E.Z. of the Chapter of Concord when he held the rank of P.Pr.G.S.N. In 1946, quite clearly in recognition of his efforts in the founding of the Chapter of Concord, he was appointed to the rank of P.A.G.Soj. A great honour, not only for himself, but also for the fledgling chapter. E.Comp Ord guided the companions through the first months and subsequently, played a large part in the Chapter business for many years to follow.

He went on to become a founder of Preston Guild Chapter No. 4408 in 1972. He was elected to honorary membership of both the Chapter of Concord and Preston Guild Chapter. In the Craft, he held the rank of P.J.G.D.

He was of German origin and had relatives in the Black Forest Area. He had a fine singing voice and was known to join with Comp. T. Roper Ward to entertain the companions.

Lt-Col. Ord served with the 4th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment in France from 1915 until 1917 when he held the rank of major. He was wounded in the third battle of Ypres and spent some two years in hospital recovering.

In 1923, he was appointed District Commissioner of the Boy Scouts and he was a magistrate from 1939 until 1963.

During World War II, he helped to form the Local Defence Volunteers. When it was changed to the Home Guard, he was given command with the rank of Lieutenant-colonel In 1946, he was awarded the M.B.E.

E. Comp Ord spent his last three years as a patient in St Joseph's Hospital and he died in 1982. He was, towards the end, both deaf and blind and it is rather distressing to read that as a consequence, he could not know anything of the business of the Chapter towards the end of his life.

E. Comp John Sutcliffe, P.Pr.G.S.N.

Jack Sutcliffe’s name is synonymous with the name Concord. He was initiated in the Lodge of Concord No 343 in 1910. He was an architect by profession and he became master of the lodge in 1927. He was treasurer from 1935 to 1942 and became Director of Ceremonies in 1944. His Past Master’s jewel is worn by the Immediate Past Master of the Lodge of Concord during his year as such, in honour of this highly respected mason. He was a founder member of Centenary and Endeavour Lodges and was a founder and first Master of Longton Lodge. Brother Sutcliffe was exalted in the Royal Preston Chapter No. 333 on 5 February 1925 and was First Principal in 1934.

He was another leading member of the group of companions who became founders of the Chapter of Concord. He was the first “H” and subsequently the second M.E.Z. At the time of the consecration, he held the rank of P.Pr.A.G.D.C. He was subsequently promoted to P.Pr.G.S.N. He was 65 years a mason and 51 years a Royal Arch mason. John Sutcliffe died in 1975 in his 92nd year.

Thomas Roper Ward

Roper Ward was a lithographer with the firm Septimus Ward Ltd of Preston. He was initiated on 16 May 1912 in the Lodge of Concord No 343. He became master of the lodge in 1932. He became a founder of Jubilee Lodge No. 5555 which was consecrated in 1935. He was a founder and first master of Penwortham Lodge No 5874, founder and second master of Priory Lodge No. 6027 and a founder of Olympia Lodge No 6812.

Brother Ward was exalted on 4 December 1930 in the Royal Preston Chapter No. 333. He was First Principal in 1941. He did not take office in the Chapter of Concord No 343.

Roper Ward was well known in Preston Masonic circles for his musical prowess. He was in great demand at Lodge and Chapter after proceedings and, in fact, at the consecration of both Winckley Chapter and the Chapter of Concord, he organised the choir. He died on 21 May 1956.

E. Comp. George Forrest Livesey, P.Pr.G.S.N.

Forrest Livesey was the fifth companion to be installed in the First Principal’s Chair. A pharmacist by profession, he was an initiate of Fraternity Lodge, No 4072 on 14 December 1921. He became the master of that lodge in 1936.

1944 was a busy year for him, because not only was he a founder of this Chapter, he was also a founder of Cuerden Lodge, No 6018 at Leyland, of which he was elected to honorary membership on 5 May 1946. Forrest Livesey was also a founder of Vanguard Lodge No. 7170 in 1953 and of Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7755 in 1961.

He was exalted in Unanimity Chapter, No 113 on 25 February 1937, in which chapter he did not take office. E. Comp. Livesey was a very active and committed mason, who was held in high esteem by all who knew him, both within and without Freemasonry.

He was a regular attender of the Chapter, in fact, the minutes show that between the consecration and his last attendance on Friday 15 May 1964, there were only seven occasions on which E. Comp Livesey did not attend a regular convocation of the Chapter.

He held the office of Group Representative on behalf of the Chapter from May 1948 until he tendered his resignation from that office in December 1964, a total of 16 years. He died in 1965.

E. Comp. Percy Goldberg, P.A.G.Soj

Percy Goldberg was initiated in the Centenary Lodge No 4908 on 26 April 1932, having been proposed by his life long friend, W. Bro Jack Sutcliffe. He was exalted in Royal Preston Chapter No 333 on 5 December 1935. He did not hold office in Royal Preston Chapter, preferring to occupy the offices in the new Chapter of Concord, of which he was fiercely proud of being a founder member. He was M.E.Z. in The Chapter of Concord in 1949.

Percy Goldberg was master of his mother Lodge in 1945. He was a founder and first master of the both the Lodge of Endeavour No 7036 and of Salwick Lodge No 7993. he also joined Latham Lodge no. 2229, Liverpool, the Lodge of Concord No 343 and Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters, No 7755.

In 1955, E. Comp Goldberg was appointed to the rank of P.Pr.G.S.N.,and In 1962, he was invested as P.A.G.Soj, a fitting reward for a man who had devoted so much time and effort to making our masonry so enjoyable.

He was elected an honorary member of the Chapter of Concord on 31 March 1978 and of the Royal Preston Chapter No 333 on 6 February 1992. Comp. E. Lowes, Scribe ‘E’ of Royal Preston Chapter reports that E. Comp. Goldberg was a very regular attender and that he managed to attend every meeting, except for one, in the last three years of his Life.

He was called to the Grand Lodge Above in October 1992, at the age of 92 years, over sixty years after his initiation. He is sadly missed by his companions of the Chapter of Concord, but his memory lives on in the part of the building named after him, The Percy Goldberg Suite. But, most important to us of the Chapter, as one of our revered founders, the last survivor has gone, but like them all, he is not forgotten.

Ernest Fury Fleuriot was born in Mauritius. He joined Royal Preston Lodge No. 333 on 13 October 1932 from Lodge Friendship No. 439, Mauritius, Scottish Constitution. He was living in Preston and was a ladies outfitter.

He was the holder of the Meritorious Service Medal, which was awarded to him as a result of action whilst serving as an engineer in the Navy. That decoration is one of considerable rarity and is considered to be the Lloyds equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Unfortunately, the medal was stolen some time ago, in the course of a burglary.

Brother Fleuriot was a founder of Preston Temple Lodge No. 6233 and was Worshipful Master in 1947.He was exalted in Royal Preston Chapter No. 333 in 1937. He did not hold office in either Royal Preston Chapter or the Chapter of Concord. He died in 1953.

The Consecration.

Two chapters were consecrated on 9th October 1944. The consecration of Winckley Chapter No. 5438 commenced at 1.45 p.m., followed by Concord at 4.0 p.m.

There were eighty-seven companions present when the Most Excellent the Grand Superintendent, Companion Arthur Foster, Excellent Companion W.S.S. Hannay, P.G.S.N., Provincial Second Grand Principal, Excellent Companion J.B. Goodall, Provincial Third Grand Principal, entered the Chapter Room, accompanied by ten assisting Consecrating Officers.

Among those present, were the founders of Winckley Chapter, including Dr. G.G. Wray, P.G.St.B., ‘Z, Geo. H. Guy, P.Pr.G.S.N., ‘H,’ and E. Pickering, P.Z., ‘J.’ Also present, were three members of the United States Army Air Force, Major S.H. McClelland a member of St. Annes Chapter, No. 2457, Capt. Walter G. Biggs, of Royal Preston Chapter, No. 333 and Charles H. Catlin, of Arnold Chapter, No. 254 Pennsylvania. These companions featured regularly in West Lancashire Freemasonry during the war years. Another visitor with an American connection, was John L Greenlee, of Benham Chapter, Kentucky No 170.

The Chapter was duly consecrated by the Most Excellent Companion, Arthur Foster, Grand Superintendent, assisted by the Provincial 2nd and 3rd Grand Principals.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Excellent Companion Rudolf Ord, P.Pr.G.S.N., Z-Designate, Excellent Companion John Sutcliffe, P.Pr.A.G.D.C., H-Designate, and Excellent Companion John Titterington, P.Z. J-Designate, were presented, in turn, by Excellent Companion J.H. Porter, P.A.G.Soj., to the Installing Officer, Ex. Comp. W.S.S. Hannay, P.G.S.N. Provincial Second Grand Principal, who duly installed them after they had re-affirmed the obligations of their respective chairs.

On Friday 20 October 1944, the first regular meeting of the new Chapter took place at the Bull and Royal Hotel , Church Street, Preston.

At the regular convocation of the chapter held on Friday 15 December 1944, Comp. Fleuriot proposed a move to the Masonic Temple, Saul Street. The proposition was supported by E. Comp. J. Sutcliffe and was carried unanimously.

The menu for the installation meeting on Friday 18 May, 1945 was:

(a) Hors D'Oeuvres, Fresh Salmon Salad, Cobs and Butter;

(b) Hot soup;

(c) Cold Fowl, Fresh Egg Dressing, Potato Salad, Cobs and Butter;

(d) Fancy Cakes, Baked Custards;

(e) Trifle (with Sherry);

(f) Cheese and Biscuits;

(g) Coffee:

Price, inclusive of service, 8/6d (42½p)

The war had not yet ended and rationing was still very much in force. It says much for the ingenuity of those companions that a menu such as this could be offered. However, a careful study of it will reveal that its contents should not be too difficult to obtain, as everything was ‘home produced.’ It is well known that comp. Percy Goldberg used to travel round the outlying districts, persuading friendly farmers and smallholders to part with chickens and any other produce, so that his brethren and companions could partake of refreshment after labour. In spite of the vicissitudes of the times, the companions on this day, dined in a manner of which we would not complain today.

On 19 October 1945, the convocation resolved, “That the charity collection of the October convocations be devoted to the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys 1952 Festival, until the sum of Fifty Guineas has been raised from this source.

So we come to the end of the first twelve months in the life of the new Chapter. Times were not always easy, but it is abundantly clear that the Chapter was vibrant and ready to meet the future with confidence.

20 May 1949. E. Comp. Percy Goldberg was installed as M.E.Z., E. Comp. Parkinson ‘H’ and Comp. R.H. Dilworth ‘J.’

20 October 1950. A letter was read to the companions from Companion James Rob Roy Campbell, which stated that owing to his ill-health, he was leaving for Tasmania, and it was with deep regret that he had to submit his resignation of membership of the Chapter. It was reported that the Treasurer has replied to the letter. With a name like that, he had to be something of a character.

E. Comp Goldberg then brought to the notice of the companions, the civic honour which had been conferred on one of our members, which was that Comp. J.J. Ward had been chosen as “Guild Mayor Elect,” and it was proposed by E. Comp. Goldberg, seconded by E. Comp. I. Spence and confirmed, such confirmation included the visiting companions, that a letter be sent to him, offering our congratulations, respects and good wishes. A wish was expressed that a circular, signed by all the members and visitors present be enclosed with the letter. (Jack Ward was a dental surgeon by profession, with premises in Moor Lane, near to its junction with Friargate. Since he was not a member of the Town Council, he was the last person to be elected Mayor as a private citizen).

17 May 1957. As the officers of Supreme Grand Chapter and Provincial Grand Chapter were saluted, special greetings were accorded to E. Comp. Percy Goldberg, on his appointment to Supreme Grand Chapter Rank. His rank was in fact, Past Grand Standard Bearer. He was only the second member of Concord Chapter to be honoured by Supreme Grand Chapter.

16 May 1958. The Most Excellent, E. Comp. W.H.S. Carline, on behalf of the Chapter, offered Congratulations to Comp. W.F. Pollard, on his appointment as a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Comp. Pollard thanked the Most Excellent and the Companions for their congratulations and good wishes.

26 March 1960. The Chapter was visited by E. Comp. W.S. Glenn, of Dundonald Chapter No 303, (Irish Constitution). The Most Excellent announced that a request had been received from the Registrar (equivalent to our Scribe ‘E’) of Dundonald Chapter to present a “Past King’s” certificate to E. Comp. Glenn. The Chapter of Concord was happy to assist in this matter and E. Comp. Percy Goldberg, P.A.G.Soj presented the certificate, which was signed in open Chapter.

It should be explained that there are some differences between the Irish and English Royal Arch workings. While this is not the place to go into details, it will merely be mentioned that the Irish equivalent to the M.E.Z. is titled, “King.”

24 March 1962. It was announced to the Chapter that E. Comp Percy Goldberg, P.G.Std.B had been promoted to the rank of P.A.G.Soj. He deservedly received the congratulations of the Chapter and suitably responded.

21 May 1965. This was an installation convocation and E. Comp W. Ryan had been installed as ‘Z’ E. Comp A.D. Eckersley as ‘H’ and Comp. W.F. Pollard as ‘J.’ As the most Excellent was appointing officers, he came to the office of A.D.C. E. Comp Jack Sutcliffe was to be re-appointed to this office, but at this juncture, he addressed the Most Excellent and the Chapter, stating that having given serious consideration at the last moment to this appointment, he had come to the conclusion that he felt it was time he retired from active office and requested that he be permitted to decline the appointment as A.D.C.

The Most Excellent expressed deep regret at E. Comp. Sutcliffe’s decision to decline the appointment and accepted his withdrawal with reluctance. The Most Excellent then paid handsome tribute to E. Comp. Sutcliffe, for the wonderful way in which he has served the Chapter in so many capacities. A proposition by the Most Excellent, that the Chapter place on record their appreciation of his invaluable service and companionship was seconded and approved with sincere feeling. Continuing with the appointment of officers, the Most Excellent then appointed E. Comp. J.G. Lund as A.D.C.

16 December 1966. A letter from Winckley Chapter No 5438 was read, regarding the 25th Anniversary of the two Chapters on 9 October 1969 and suggesting that the occasion be a joint celebration. This suggestion was favourably received and it was decided to form a committee to proceed with the arrangements.

There is no reference to be found in the Chapter minutes to confirm whether this celebration actually took place.

So we come to the end of the first 25 years of the Chapter’s existence. While there was little to report of great excitement, it has to be noted that those years were a time of consolidation, the Chapter going quietly from strength to strength. Those years were the longer term foundation, upon which the Chapter of Concord, Number 343 now stands.

17 October 1969. Not only was this the 100th convocation, it was also the 25th Anniversary meeting of the founding of the Chapter.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the first convocation of the Chapter, Scribe ‘E’ read the minutes of that first meeting, held on Friday 20th October 1944. Later, at the Festive Board, a birthday cake and sherry were provided, to toast the Chapter and those founders who were present. E. Comp. R. Ord, P.A.G.Soj. and E. Comp. J. Sutcliffe, P.Pr.G.S.N.

At the Officers’ Meeting, held on Friday 9 October 1970, The Most Excellent Companion C. Willacy brought to the attention of the meeting, the fact that most Chapters in Preston allowed Companions to be present at Installations. After some discussion, the general feeling of the meeting was that this should be the practice in Concord Chapter. However, at the suggestion of E. Comp. J.G. Lund, D.C., Scribe ‘E’ was instructed to write to E. Comps. R. Ord, J. Sutcliffe, P. Goldberg, I Spence and E.A. Briggs, informing them of the feeling of the meeting on this subject and asking for their comments, which would be further discussed at the Officers’ Meeting to be held on 11 December 1970.

On Friday 11 December 1970, the Officers further discussed the matter of allowing the Companions to be present at Installations. "...as a result of letters to founders and senior P.Z.s, E. Comp. J.G. Lund proposed and E. Comp. J.A. Parrott seconded, that future installations shall be open to all companions.

26 March 1971. The Most Excellent, Comp C. Willacy informed the companions, that at the installation in May, all companions would be welcome at the opening of the Chapter at 5.45pm and would be able to witness the greater part of the installation ceremony.

17 May 1974. An opening address was delivered by E. Comp. C. Willacy. This was the first occasion on which such an opening address was introduced.

On 26 March 1976, E. Comp. J.A. Parrott, P.Pr.G.Swd.B. Proposed that the three remaining founders;

E. Comp. R. Ord, P.A.G.Soj;

E. Comp. P. Goldberg, P.A.G.Soj; and

Comp. E. Nield; be elected as honorary members. The ensuing ballot proved in favour of the three founders.

E. Comp. Percy Goldberg, P.A.G.Soj, in reply, thanked all concerned for the great honour which had been afforded to him and hoped he could still be of service to the Chapter.

He asked the Chapter to accept the P.Z. jewel which had been presented to him in 1950, as a mark of respect and esteem for all companions of the Chapter, and wished that it be held and worn each year by the I.P.Z. The Most Excellent, E. Comp. A.H. Lavender, thanked E. Comp. Goldberg most sincerely for his splendid gift. That jewel is still so worn by the I.P.Z. to this day.

18 December 1992. The Most Excellent, Comp. H.S. Owen, informed the Chapter of the death of E. Comp. Percy Goldberg, P.A.G.Soj., and invited E. Comp. J.G. Lund, P.A.G.Soj., Past Assistant to the Grand Superintendent, to deliver an address to the companions. E. Comp. Lund had this to say:

“It came as something of a shock to many people, when they learned of the death of E. Comp. Percy Goldberg.”

He died on Sunday 25 October and was buried on Tuesday the 27th. There was no announcement of his death in the local paper and many who would have liked to pay their respects were unaware of his passing and interment until it was too late. Even more surprising, was the fact that someone who had played a prominent part in so many undertakings in the town, and done so much voluntary work in the area, should not have been recognised in the local press.

Percy Goldberg had been a magistrate for 20 years, and on committees, such as the Licensing Committee, which brought him in contact with the Police, so that they invited him to be president of the Police Club.

For 17 years, he was Chairman of the Regional Hospital Board and did great work for the local hospital.

For 10 years, he was a commissioner of the Inland Revenue.

As a businessman, with his shop in the Miller Arcade, he was President of the local Chamber of Trade in 1947/8 and the president of the local Rotary at the same time.

For many years, he was President of the Preston Light Opera Company, where his wife also played a prominent part.

During the war, he was, among other things, the Secretary of the Free Buffet on Preston Station, a facility much appreciated by the many service men who passed through and where they received free refreshments.

For nearly 40 years, he was Chairman of the Preston Children's Fund, a charity which still carries on the good work.

You would have thought that someone who had devoted so much of his time and energies to so many local efforts would have deserved some recognition by the local press.

But, we remember him as a Brother and a Companion.

He was the last of the Founders of this Chapter and I shall miss him very much. I remember him when he was First Principal of the Chapter. He was a most enthusiastic companion and I for one found him a source of great encouragement in my early years. He was always most approachable and when asked, was ever ready to give wise counsel and advice from his knowledge and experience. I liked him very much and I think he liked me, for whenever we met, we always had plenty to say to each other.

He will, of course, be always remembered for his work in the development of this Masonic Hall. After the sudden death of the first Chairman, he took over and for the next 23 years, he saw this place transformed from a non-conformist chapel, into a Masonic Hall which was the envy of all those who came to visit it, and it is very fitting that part of the building should be known as 'The Percy Goldberg Suite.'

Someone who had devoted so much of his time and energy for the benefit of others is one whom we can ill afford to lose and so we mourn his passing.

20 May 1994. This convocation saw the installation of E. Comp. H. Keith as M.E.Z., E. Comp W.E. Fry as H and of Comp. D. Stansfield as J. These were the principal officers for the golden jubilee year.

21 October 1994. This, the 200th convocation, marked the fiftieth anniversary of the consecration of the Chapter. The representing officer was E. Comp. W.R. Seddon, P.G.Std.B, Assistant to the Grand Superintendent. Also present were E. Comp. S.H. Hunt, P.A.G.Soj., Past Assistant to the Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. J.G. Lund, P.A.G.Soj., Past Assistant to the Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. Thomas Blackburn, P.A.G.Soj., E. Comp. E. Casson, P.G.Std.B, and E. Comp. C.M. Wiggins, Pr.G.S.N.

The minutes of the Consecration and the first regular convocations were read by E. Comp. R. Wilcock, P.Z.

The Chapter was addressed by E. Comp Seddon on the purpose of the meeting, in which he paid handsome tribute to our founders. He also praised the spirit of those companions who had carried on that which the founders had started and urged further optimism for the future of the Chapter.

A short address on the history of the Chapter was given by Comp. R.K. Erett, 2nd Asst. Soj., and an oration was presented by E. Comp. H.S. Owen, P.Z.

The festive board which followed was a joyous affair and was clearly enjoyed by all companions who were in attendance.

Several years have elapsed since that important milestone in our Chapter’s history. Those of us who have enjoyed our membership during those years are probably like me and think that very little of importance has happened. But just think of all of those companions who have become members in that time; of those companions who will, in the future, become synonymous with the name, “Chapter of Concord;” of all those companions who have occupied the chairs; and of those who are no longer with us.

The Chapter has had its ups and downs, but the companions have always risen to a challenge. Changes to the ritual have been adopted, which have made our ceremonies even more interesting than they were. More of the companions are involved in what the ceremonies. There is a happy atmosphere whenever the companions meet and the writer suspect that he is not not alone when he says that hes enjoy being here in his Chapter and that he is proud to be a member of it.