Friday 1st March saw Connaught Chapter host the Centenary Celebrations of The Bradford and District Royal Arch Council.


A packed temple at Westbourne House, Otley, hosted a myriad of dignitaries, including The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, together with the Most Excellent Second Grand Principal for Supreme Grand Chapter.


A very interesting ceremony was conducted, which included a history of The Bradford and District Royal Arch Council, presentations of centenary pins to Past Presidents, culminating in a very well deserved promotion of E Comp John Watson on the floor.


The festive board was very enjoyable and the raffle for the 2028 Festival raised £470.


A superb evening all round!!

The Holy Royal Arch in Ilkley 

The Holy Royal Arch, which meets in Chapters, along with the better-known Craft Lodges, are the two membership organisations which together constitute what is known as, Pure, Antient, Freemasonry.

To become a member of a Royal Arch Chapter, you must first be Initiated as a Freemason in a Craft Lodge, progress through its 3 Degree ceremonies to become a ‘Master Mason’ and remain a subscribing member of a Lodge. 

The Royal Arch is not a further Degree but is a ‘further step’ for the advancement of the Masonic knowledge of the Master Mason. 

When taking the 3 rd Degree in a Craft Lodge, the Master Mason is told that the ‘genuine secrets of a Master Mason’ were lost. In the Royal Arch, it is revealed how those secrets were recovered, what they were and how to apply that knowledge to his morality. 

For historical and practical reasons, the ceremony of the Royal Arch is not practiced in Craft Lodges, nor is it obligatory to become a member.

However, a full knowledge of Pure, Antient Freemasonry will not be gained without it and the journey begun in a Craft Lodge will never be completed. Olicana Chapter No 1522 meets at the Masonic Hall, Cunliffe Road, Ilkley, on the first Monday in October, November, December, February, March and the last Monday in April. 

In July 2021 Olicana Chapter No 1522 celebrated 100 years of continuous working. Members of the Chapter are drawn from Lodges in Settle, Bradford and Leeds in addition to the Lodges meeting in Ilkley.

Becoming a Royal Arch Mason will widen one’s circle of acquaintances and friendships. Being a member opens opportunities to become a member in a number of other Masonic Orders.


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