Prince of Wales’s Chapter No 259 Three Long Service Certificates
6th September 2022, the convocation of the Prince of Wales's Chapter No 259 at 10 Duke Street was an extra special one for several reasons.
Firstly, it was the first visit of our new visiting officer, E Comp Timothy L’Estrange PGSN, Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent. Secondly, this occasion was an ideal opportunity to celebrate a unique event which was the presentation of long service certificates to three Companions; E Comp Christopher Oldham PDepGReg, E Comp Keith Smith PGSwdB and E Comp Lord Gough PGSN.
E Comp Timothy remarked that this was a very memorable occasion as not only was he delighted to present three long service certificates, but he knew all three recipients personally. This meant that in addition to the details available from Masonic records, he was able to recount some personal experiences as well.
E Comp Christopher Oldham had been exalted into the Prince of Wales's Chapter on 13th December 1965, with his proposer being his father. Progressing through the Chapter offices, he became MEZ in 1973 and in 1975. He took over from his father, who had been Scribe E for the past 14 years, in 1977, and he held this office until 1996. During this period, Christopher dealt with the arrangements leading to the exaltation of HRH Prince Michael of Kent into the Chapter in June 1979. Christopher was appointed Deputy Grand Registrar in 1986.
E Comp Keith Smith was a joining member of the Chapter on 114th June 1982, having been exalted into Libera Fidelis Chapter No 2101 on 115th March 1971, and was installed as MEZ in 1989. He was appointed a Grand Standard Bearer in 1988. In 1994 he once again became MEZ. Keith served as Scribe E from 1996 until 2008, during which time he oversaw the arrangements for the Chapter’s 600th convocation, which occurred in 2003. Keith was appointed PAGDC in 1998.
E Comp Lord Gough was exalted into the Chapter on 11th October 1971. In 1976, he was installed as MEZ by E Comp Christopher Oldham. Lord Gough presided during the difficulties experienced by the Chapter, in the late 1970s, with regard to numbers attending when the continued viability of the Chapter was in question and became MEZ again in 1980. He was a Grand Steward in both 1974 and 1991 and was appointed Grand Scribe N in 1986. From 1997 until 2007, Lord Gough was the Chapter treasurer and still regularly assists in ceremonies, frequently stepping in at the last minute.
The 25 Companions, who were in attendance, then retired to a splendid celebratory festive board held at Brooks’s Club, where a lively discussion ensued regarding the Chapter’s forthcoming bicentenary in 2024.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 50 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 50 here.