For further details about the Holy Royal Arch Chapters listed below refer to The Victorian Masonic Guide, published every six months by the United Grand Lodge of Victoria or contact the Grand Sribe Ezra.
Mail to: Grand Scribe Ezra
Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Victoria
In most cases, you will have been invited to join a Holy Royal Arch Chapter by a member of that Chapter or you will have approached a member of a Chapter and asked him to propose you. Please don’t be shy about asking.
Your proposer will provide you with an Application for Exaltation (aka Schedule F) which he can obtain from his Chapter Scribe Ezra.
Your proposer will hand your completed application form to the Chapter Scribe Ezra who will give notice of it on the Chapter Summons.
A ballot will be held and, if successful, you will be admitted into the Holy Royal Arch Degree in two stages. The first is to be Instructed in the Excellent Master Mason Degree. A ceremony of instruction can often happen on the same night as the ballot. The second, taken at a subsequent convocation, is to be Exalted as a Royal Arch Freemason.
Prior to the Instruction Ceremony you will be asked to sign a Declaration, in which you promise to follow the rules of the Order, and to pay the necessary dues.
Bring your own VSL if you would like to be obligated on it.
Ensure that regalia – an apron, a sash and a jewel – has been arranged for you and that the apron has been adjusted to fit around your waist.
Your progress along a Pathway of Enlightenment commences with the Instruction in the Excellent Master Mason Degree. This is a colourful ceremony in which you will learn things that will prepare you for the next ceremony. The Exaltation Ceremony is an impressive one in which you will make a significant discovery and become a Companion of the Order. You will be accompanied every step of the way, in both ceremonies, by an Officer of the Chapter so all you need to do is relax and enjoy it.
You must be a Master Mason and have held your Master Mason’s Certificate for a minimum of six months and continue as a subscribing member in good standing of a Craft Lodge in Freemasonry Victoria or of a Craft Lodge in a jurisdiction recognized by Freemasonry Victoria.
You must agree to conform to the Rules of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Victoria, the by-laws and the ancient usages, established customs and landmarks of the Order.
This is an open invitation, to anyone who wishes, to send in a question (even with a proposed answer, if you like) to the editor (see Contact page) or Grand Scribe Ezra (see Find a Chapter page for contact details).
First Grand Principals usually serve two years in office. The first installation may be termed “public” and is generally conducted in the Dallas Brooks Hall. Craft Masons and non-Masons, including ladies, are encouraged to attend the ceremony. In the second year a more “private” installation ceremony is held in the Lord Somers Room and is usually attended by Holy Royal Arch Masons only. The Grand Banquet follows the Ceremony of Installation, and in comfortable surrounds Companions and ladies enjoy good food, good wine and good company. The happy relaxed atmosphere is enhanced by good entertainment, ranging from solo artists to a 20 piece orchestra.
In Victorian Royal Arch Masonry the Most Eminent First Grand Principal or the Right Eminent Deputy First Grand Principal conducts the Ceremony of Installation in every Holy Royal Arch Chapter in the jurisdiction each year.
Given the number of Chapters in Victoria this makes for a demanding task. However, it has the decided advantage of allowing the First Grand Principal and his Grand Officers ample opportunity to meet a large proportion of the membership of the Order in their own Chapters.
In 1989 Supreme Grand Chapter began sharing its administration with Grand Mark. The Joint Secretariat company, Chamar Pty Ltd (CHApter/MARk) operates from the offices on the ground floor of the Masonic Centre of Victoria. The Grand Scribe Ezra is also the Grand Secretary. Considerable benefits have accrued to both degrees by this “togetherness”.
By arrangement with the United Grand Lodge of Victoria, Holy Royal Arch Chapters are permitted to make official visits to Craft Lodges wearing HRA regalia. While every seventh Craft Mason already belongs to the HRA, these visits nevertheless provide the window of opportunity to bring our Order to the notice of our Craft Brethren. By a similar arrangement, HRA jewels may be worn when in Mark regalia.
Charity, one of the cornerstones of our institution, is practised by both individual chapters and Supreme Grand Chapter. In addition to donations to the Royal Freemasons Homes and the Freemasons Hospital, an ongoing programme called the “We Care” Appeal (in conjunction with Grand Mark) has brought children from the Philippines for corrective cranial surgery and also provided funds for the publication of several technical books by the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.
Holy Royal Arch Chapters usually meet five or six times a year. Office-bearers, or those wishing to become office-bearers, are expected to attend rehearsals which usually occur a few days before each meeting.
A Chapter Convocation usually lasts about two hours and is generally followed by a meal which is called the Festive Board. Attendance at the Festive Board is not compulsory but affords the members an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company in informal surroundings and so attendance is highly recommended.
Each member pays annual fees which are set by each Chapter according to its circumstances. In addition, each member pays an annual capitation fee to Grand Chapter via his HRA Chapter. Members pay only one annual capitation fee irrespective of how many HRA Chapters they belong to. Some Chapters also charge a fee of about $10/person for the meal.
New regalia is available from the usual Masonic regalia suppliers, however second-hand regalia is usually available.