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.