From Craft to the Holy Royal Arch
E Comp Olu Shonubi reflects on his experiences in joining his Royal Arch Chapter.
To all those who are thinking about joining a Chapter, let me tell you my story as a Companion of this supreme degree.
My journey started just after my raising in Craft when I was approached by my masonic father and godfather, E Comp Headley O’Brien. He mentioned Royal Arch as the next step for me but without adding any pressure to obtain my signature. Months passed. Craft is Comfortable, I thought to myself, why take on another order?
My Craft Mentor, E Comp Jeff Payton, also our Lodge’s Royal Arch representative, made a few attempts as well, but to no avail. I was fully aware that Jeff and Headley wouldn’t stop in their pursuit, and when I became the Junior Warden in the Lodge, something suddenly clicked. Somehow, it all fell into place.
A few months later, I joined the Royal Arch Chapter attached to my Lodge, Clarence and Avondale Chapter No 6790. The exaltation ceremony was something I will never forget. It was breath-taking, smooth, enjoyable and very fascinating. I am trying hard not to spoil it for those who are yet to take the steps.
My bearings came later when I was Principal Sojourner. As we had no Exaltees, I was able to practice the office duties with our former SVO. From that day, there was no looking back. The storytelling is fantastic, and I believe I speak for every Companion who has been through the office and delivered the work when I say that.
It was the turning point in my masonic journey. So many beautiful experiences have been shared, and so much knowledge gained.
One of the highlights for me was witnessing the explanation of the Royal Arch tracing board by the MetGC Demonstration team in April 2019. On the same day, I came across the book of our Chapter’s consecration and the first convocation held, which bears the names and signatures of the initial founders.
As covid restrictions started easing, we had an official visit from the Metropolitan Grand Chapter Inspector E Comp Nick Critchlow during our September convocation. At the next one, on the 19th of January 202, I had the immense honour of being installed as M.E.Z. This was something I had so much looked forward to ever since becoming a Companion, and I was relishing the opportunity to discharge the duties. The Royal Arch is a fascinating order for me. It isn’t exactly like Craft, but it’s definitely the perfect completion of the first three degrees. I guess it’s like everything in life; one has to find their feet.
In my Chapter, we are looking forward to exalting a new candidate on 13th April 2022. A ceremony that will be performed by the Metropolitan Grand Chapter’s team. And, if I may say so, we are glad to let them take over! I am very much looking forward to learning a lot more from them. Later on, we will be celebrating our Centenary. Onwards and Upwards, as we say.
To all the Companions of Clarence and Avondale Chapter No 6790, I want to say how I sincerely appreciate all that you have done, and I am very much looking forward to many more years ahead with you all.
Companions are welcome to attend any of our future convocations. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday in January, 2nd Wednesday in April and 4th Wednesday in September.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 48 April 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 48 here.