The History of Masefield Chapter

1997 onwards

Most Excellent Grand Superintendent

The name of E.Comp. Richard B.W. Price has already been mentioned in our Second part of the history, but his continuing rise through the Ranks is to dominate the start of the Third section of history (and with good reason). On 1st May 1997 his dedication to Royal Arch Masonry was rewarded by the M.E. First Grand Principal, when he appointed him P.A.G.D.C.

On a very wintry morning on Thursday 29th January 2004 at the Three Counties Showground at Malvern in Worcestershire, Masefield Chapter's own Excellent Companion Richard B W Price PAGDC was installed as the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Worcestershire.

The ceremony was rehearsed by the Grand Director of Ceremonies, assisted by two Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies. The Ruling M E Z's of the following Chapters of Worcestershire formed an escort:- 252, 280, 377, 498, 529 & 560. M E Z of Masefield Chapter acted as Chain Bearer.

The Severn Hall at the Three Counties Showground was well filled and at 11.30am, Excellent Companion Richard B W Price was escorted by the Ruling Zerrubabels into the assembled Provincial Grand Chapter and duly installed as Grand Superintendent according to Ancient Custom by Most Excellent Companion David Kenneth Williamson, Past Grand Third Principal, assisted by other Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter..

Most Excellent Comp. Price then addressed the Chapter, including an outline of the principles behind proposed changes to Royal Arch being discussed by Supreme Grand Chapter, and his own reflections.

The Grand Superintendent then invested E Comp. T. Victor Condliffe, P.G.Swd.B., as Deputy Grand Superintendent and confirmed the appointment of the Provincial Second and Third Principals and the other Officers of Provincial Grand Chapter.

The Chapter was then duly closed and the Grand Superintendent was escorted from the Chapter accompanied by the Installing Grand Officers and Provincial Grand Officers.

E.Comp. Richard B.W. Price held this position untill April 2010 when his warrant expired. In reconisition of his service he was promoted to P.G.Swd.B. making him a V.W.Bro. in the Craft.

29th January 2004

Olympic Hero, Tommy Godwin, P.Prov.G.S.N.

(Picture from the Solihull News).

E.Comp. Tommy GodwinSenior Chapter member Tommy Godwin is a man who has lived an extraordinary life and who can now add another accolade to his lengthy list of achievements - he has just become an author. Tommy, who is now President of the Solihull Cycling Club, became a double Olympic Bronze medallist in the 1948 Games in London. He was also National Champion and winner of countless other top class events before he went on to coach the national squad. He is now an Ambassador for Birmingham in the 2012 Olympic Games and is trying to persuade the Chinese Team to base themselves here.

His book "It Wasn't That Easy" tells of his life as an exceptional competitor in the days of amateur sport and of his principal competition in the form of that other great cyclist of the era, Reg Harris. The book also encompasses the personal aspects of Tommy's life working as an electrician for BSA to support his wife Eileen and their family, and his relationship with his father Charlie, who was Tommy's manager and coach. The book gives insight into life in the middle of the 20th Century as well as the thrills of bike racing.

"It Wasn't That Easy" is published by the John Pinkerton Memorial Fund and costs £15 plus £1.50 p&p (cheques payable to the Veteran-Cycle Club or V-CC). The book is available from bibibugg@ukz.net. Tommy's book only has a limited print run so buy now before you miss out on the wonderful read that is "It Wasn't That Easy".

July 2007

E Comp Richard Price Praised by the Mayor of Solihull

E Comp Richard Price Praised by the Mayor of Solihull

(article and picture from issue 16 : October 2010 Worcestershire Source).

The Mayor and Mayoress of Solihull, Councillor Norman Davis and his wife Brenda, were delighted to welcome E. Comp Richard Price and his wife Beryl to the Mayors parlour for afternoon Tea on Wednesday 12 May 2010.

He warmly thanked E. Comp Richard for his years of service as the recently retired Grand Superintendent and praised the magnificent fund-raising activities of all Royal Arch Companions under E. Comp Richard's leadership over the last six years.

E.Comp. Richard Price (left) and his wife Beryl (far right), pictured with Cllr. Norman Davies, Mayor of Solihull, and his wife Brenda in the Mator’s parlour.

May 2010

Lucky P.Soj. Winner From Masefield Chapter No 2034.

main article and picture from issue 16 : October 2010 Worcestershire Source.

The Provincial Craft Luncheon held on Sunday, 26th September 2010 at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Bromsgrove proved to be a lucky outing for Companion P.Soj. Paul Lewis of Masefield Chapter No. 2034.
Brethren (together with their partners) who received Provincial Craft Honours as first appointments or promotions this year received an invitation to attend in recognition of their preferment.

The second such event with nearly 100 guests joined the Provincial Grand Master and other Craft Rulers to enjoy good food, wine and company. The Provincial Grand Master proposed a toast to the newly honoured Brethren, explaining that they were the "crème de la crème" of the Province, but that the recipients should now be directed to achieving even more in their Lodges and the Province.

Gift Aid envelopes were distributed to those present, with the promise that one would be drawn to win a special prize, generously donated by the Holiday Inn Hotel. Nearly £500 inclusive of Gift Aid was collected - and W Bro Paul Lewis, a newly appointed Steward, of Frankley St. George Lodge No 8212 (also Comp.P.Soj. of Masefield Chapter No 2034) was the lucky winner of a dinner, bed and breakfast break at the Holiday Inn with his wife Angelina.
(pictured with the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro. Richard Goddard (left) Angelina and Paul Lewis)

September 2010

Keeping it in the Family at Masefield Chapter No. 2034.

Masefield Chapter  No. 2034On 1st October 2012, Masefield Chapter No. 2034 held its first meeting of the new Masonic Season, welcoming the Worcestershire Provincial Team, comprising from left to right: E. Comp. I. M. Fothergill, P.G.Std.B., 3rd Prov. Grand Principal as J., E. Comp. C. G. Pagett, P.A.G.Soj., as H. and M. G. Taylor, P.G.Soj., 2nd Prov. Grand Principal acting as Z.

The installation ceremony saw father and son move to M.E.Z. and H. of the Chapter. Jim Lewis was installed as M.E.Z. and his son Paul Lewis was installed into the H. Chair. The only drawback was that Comp. Jonathon Whittaker was not well enough to attend and be installed in to the J. Chair, along with several other Masefield Companions suffering from ill health: we wish them a speedy recovery.

The evening was typically friendly and relaxed as commented by E. Comp I. M. Fothergill,
Masefield Chapter  No. 2034
"The Provincial Team enjoyed yet another superb Installation Convocation and Festive Board with the members of Masefield Chapter and congratulate them on their excellent response to the 2013 Appeal."

The Chapter looks forward to two new members being Exalted this season, one of whom is the grandson of Jim Lewis, and who knows; with months until the end of the season, there may be a third Exaltation to round off a fantastic, fraternal family of R.A. Freemasons!

October 2012

Obituary E. Comp. T. C. Godwin P.Pr.G.S.N.

E. Companion Tommy died on Saturday 3rd November 2012 two days before what would have been his 92nd birthday.

He was Exalted into Masefield Chapter No 2034 on 3rd February 1975 and was made an Honorary Member in 2010 after 35 years of loyal service. The Senior Past Master of St. Oswald Lodge No 5094 with the rank of P.Pr.S.G.W. and was awarded the Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate (50 years service) in 2006. He was also made an Honorary Member of the Lodge in 2010.

Tommy was very much a cycling legend winning bronze medals in the 1 Km. Time Trial and also the Team Pursuit at the London hosted Olympic Games in 1948. He was made an Ambassador representing Birmingham for the London 2012 Olympics and was chosen as a torch bearer. He carried the Olympic Flame through a section of Solihull at the age of 91.

In 2011 it was announced that Tommy Godwin had been inducted into the BBC Midlands Sports Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of Stanley Matthews and Gordon Banks. Many other tributes could be paid to Tommy, not least his efforts in raising money for charity.

3rd November 2012

Tribute to the late E.Companion T. C. Godwin 1912 -2012

By E.Comp. Brian Crowden. P.Prov.G.S.N.

Tommy GodwinMy earliest recollection of Tommy Godwin was in 1945. It was a cycle race, a 25 mile time trial in which we were both competing. He finished second in that event, in which there were 100 plus competitors. I was 17 years of age whilst he was 24 and I was just beginning to become interested in cycle racing. As I soon found out, Tommy was one of the leading track cyclists in the midlands: he soon became one of my sporting hero’s, as I am sure he was to many others. He won five national track championships in the years up to 1950 for which success he was awarded five solid gold medals. He also won outright four valuable trophies. In order to do so he had to win each one on 3 separate occasions. The trophies were the Birmingham Small Arms (B.S.A.) Gold Vase, the B.S.A. Gold Column, the Murratty Gold Cup and the Dunlop Cup. I am pretty sure that the promoters did not expect them to go quite so quickly, but Tommy had other ideas.

In 1939 Tommy had been summoned to London to take part in selection trials for the 1940 Olympics, but the Olympics of course never took place because of the Second World War. In the 1948 Olympics he won two bronze medals and this achievement gave both him and his father, who trained him, a great sense of pride. At that time the competitors were strictly amateurs and Tommy was working at the B.S.A. to support himself and his family. There were no Lottery payments, nor professional coaches and advisors: you had to supply your own equipment.

In addition, track racing facilities were very poor. The nearest hard track to Birmingham was at Coventry. It had very shallow banking and lots of bumps. Most track racing was carried out on grass at open sports meetings put on by some of the larger firms such as the B.S.A. and Cadbury’s. Therefore, our cyclists were at a distinct disadvantage to that of their continental competitors, who generally trained on superb tracks with much better facilities. This I think makes Tommy’s Olympic and international achievements all the more impressive.

After the 1948 Olympics Tommy was chosen to represent his country internationally, visiting countries all over the world and eventually becoming the national team manager in 1959. He was also made the first British National coach in 1963, for which he was unpaid except for expenses.

He became a Freemason in 1956, being proposed into St. Oswold Lodge No. 5094 by his close friend W.Bro. Eric Thornton another prominent cyclist. He always took an active part in the running of the Lodge and its ceremonies and eventually became their Senior Past Master, with the rank of P.Prov.S.G.W. In 2006 he was presented with the Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate marking 50 years’ service. In 2010 Tommy was made an honorary member of his Lodge.

Tommy was Exhalted into Masefield Chapter in 1975. He was proposed by E.Companion Don Alexander and seconded by Don’s son, John Alexander. I was a Steward at the time and was delighted to be given the opportunity to act as Principal Sojourner in the ceremony when the Principal Sojourner was unable to attend. Tommy, now being a member of our Chapter, led to a rekindling of our previous cycling connection and the development of a close friendship. Tommy took a very active part in the workings of the chapter and achieved the rank of P.Prov.G.S.N. In 2010 he was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his many years of loyal service. He was actively involved in charity work, which was very likely influenced to some extent by his membership of Rotary in 1964, giving him the opportunity to get involved in fund raising projects. He was greatly involved in the Queen Alexandra College for the Blind, which had a training workshop for the visually handicapped teaching them to become cycle mechanics. Tommy approached Raliegh and other Firms and obtained workshop equipment for them. When he was 60, Tommy cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds for the College. There are many other examples of his charitable work. In 2006 he was invited to be Ambassador for the City of Birmingham to the 2012 Olympics: he was over the moon with this appointment.

Although he told Seb Coe that he would be 91 if he lived to see the games, Seb Coe replied that it had all been arranged and so there were no excuses for not being there. He put his heart and soul into this new job which involved many visits to London and around the country, meeting people who were organising the games, appearing on television and radio, visiting schools and colleges etc to talk about his sporting achievements.

He became a torch bearer carrying the Olympic Flame through Solihull and even managing to trot the last few yards. He was awarded an honorary degree in Loughborough University and was also inducted into the Midland Sporting Hall of Fame. I think that Tommy would be the first person to admit that with the 2012 Olympics fever which gripped the country and the increased popularity of cycling due to the success of our racing cyclists, his fame and popularity in the last years of his life was at least equal if not greater than it was in his heyday.

He was a brilliant Ambassador for Birmingham, a caring person, very proud of his sporting achievements, but very aware of the debt he owed to the support given by his father, his wife, his daughter and her husband, and also his grandson. I believe that he enjoyed his last years very much and will long be remembered by his many friends for his great qualities.

4th December 2012

E. Comp. S. W. S. (Bill) Southgate

Masefield Chapter salute one of their Masonic Nomads.

E. Comp. S. W. S.  SouthgateMasefield Chapter are saluting one of their Masonic Nomads, E. Comp. S. W. S. (Bill) Southgate. Bill is to be Appointed and Invested as Provincial 1st Asst Grand Sojourner at our April Convocation followed by his Appointment and Investiture as a Past Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar in the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight in June.

Heartiest Congratulations to a well travelled Companion.

18 December 2012

Keeping it in the Family.

Keeping it in the FamilyThe M.E. Grand Superintendent, Colin Brown, accompanied by the Second Grand Principal, E.Comp. Michael Taylor, Third Grand Principal, E.Comp. David Bell and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies E.Comp. Keith Evans were all in attendance to open the Chapter and perform the very popular work of “Illuminating the Pedestal”.

The MEZ made no bones about the fact he was a little nervous, but nevertheless conducted the ceremony admirably. E.Comp. Jonathon Whittaker, (H Elect) made his own grand entrance sporting his latest "go fast" wheelchair which did not pose any difficulties for the Directors of Ceremonies. An inducted J Elect (E.Comp. Ian White, P.Pr.G.Soj.) completed the hat trick and the festive board beckoned us.

Thirty-six Companions sat down to dine. MEGS thanked his growing team of Acting Officers and Promoted Officers who support our Chapters, and the sum of £217 was raised for Charity. With two Candidates lined up for the December and February meetings it turned out to be a great start to the Masefield Chapter 2013 - 2014 season.

October 2013

A Red Letter Day for Masefield RA 2034.

The Royal Arch Chapter meeting on Monday 2nd December 2013 was a real Red Letter day. With over thirty Companions in attendance.A Red Letter Day for Masefield The meeting was opened, and all in attendance looked forward to yet another new Brother taking his "Next Regular Step" into the Holy Royal Arch. The Exaltee clearly enjoyed the Ceremony and afterwards, was able to sit back and relax as the proceedings moved towards the closing. Just a mere report or two from the Scribe E. who announced he had received not just one but three letters from members of the Chapter. The following Provincial Grand Chapter honours had been received by:

  • E.Comp. J.H. Crowther, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
  • E.Comp. D.S. Carey, Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.
  • E.Comp. A. Birch, Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer.

All had accepted, and we look forward to seeing them receive their honours at the Provincial Grand Chapter meeting at the University of Birmingham on 12th April 2014 when the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Colin Peter Thomas Brown will be in attendance to appoint or promote them.

December 2013

Vellum or Parchment?

The Presiding Provincial TeamAt the Masefield Chapter No. 2034 Installation Meeting on Monday 6th October, the Chapter Room was filled with guests from the Provinces of Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

The Presiding Provincial Team was headed by The Deputy Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Michael G. Taylor, P.A.G.Soj., accompanied by the Second Provincial Grand Principal E.Comp. M.D. Cox, P.A.G.D.C., and the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. J. M. Phenix, P.G.St.B., assisted by the Deputy Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. S. Turner.

New Masonic FriendsDue to work requirements, unfortunately the MEZ was not able to install the MEZ Elect so this Office was very ably undertaken by Past Grand Superintendent, Richard Price.

After the Installation Ceremony was completed, a presentation took place in which Kings Norton Chapter No. 4001 to the Members of St. Martins Chapter No. 4011 (Warks) returned their first Minutes Book, which had been lost for over 20 years. Was this Vellum or Parchment? Probably neither, but certainly this dusty old hand written Minute Book recorded the original 24 years history of St. Martins Chapter which they were very glad to have returned to them, curiously from the environment of a dark attic belonging to a Non Mason (a discovery which he deemed of importance) who by chance happened to know E.Comp. Ken Oliver, Scribe E of Kings Norton Chapter 4011.

New PrincipalsThe reason for this event taking place at the Masefield Chapter meeting, was because both these Chapters meet on the same day in different Provinces, and the Masefield Companions were only too pleased to play host and to make so many new Masonic friends.

New Third Provincial Grand Principal From Masefield

E. Comp. John Crowther, Prov. GSNSaturday 12th November at Worcestershire Installed First Principals Chapter some 70+ Companions of the Chapter attend at Worcester for their Regular Convocation. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent announced that E. Comp. John Crowther, Prov. GSN, of Masefield Chapter No. 2034 would be Installed as Third Provincial Grand Principal at the Provincial Meeting in April 2017.

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