History of Berkshire Rose Croix Chapters
The St Cecilia Chapter Rose Croix is the sixth out of nine Berkshire Chapters to be formed and its Consecration Ceremony took place at the Berkshire Masonic Centre, Sindlesham, on Wednesday 17 November 1976. The eighteen Founding Members were:-
|John Frederick Manderfield||Ronald Francis Kempson||Frank Courtenay Price|
|George Owen||Colin Miles Sexton||Albert James Dance|
|Dudley Garsden-Fowler||Thomas Leslie Kirk||Sidney John Telling|
|Peter Hilton Bird||Samuel Walker||John Stafford Hayman|
|Roger Dwyer||Charles Frederick Sage||Frank Harold Walters|
|Trevor Owen Davies||Earl Campbell Hollow||George Edward D. Cowee|
The above, together with other Illustrious Brethren and Princes totalling 156, assembled in the Grand Temple at 11.30 am.
The Most Puissant Brother The Sovereign Grand Commander Sir Ralph Hone KCMG, MC, KBE, TD, QC, accompanied by the Most Illustrious Brother V. A. A. Elgood, MC, The Grand Treasurer General, Most Illustrious Brother The Reverend G. R. Brocklebank DSO, MC, The Grand Prior Most Illustrious Brother Sir Leonard Atkinson KBE, The Grand Chancellor, Most Illustrious Brother R. A. Ingham Clark, The Grand Secretary General, Members of the Supreme Council, accompanied by Very Illustrious Brothers E. W. C. Flavell DSO, MC, TD, TL, Inspector General for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and H. W. Franklin, The Inspector General for Somerset and Wiltshire, together with Very Illustrious Brother G. W. A. Millard, Grand Director of Ceremonies, Illustrious Brother E. S. South Grand Organist, Illustrious Brother R. J. McGarel-Groves, Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and Illustrious Brother J. Peart, Grand Outer Guard entered in Procession at 11.40 am. The Grand Chancellor then asked the Brethren to assist him to open a Supreme Council Chapter of Princes Rose Croix of Heredom.
An extract from correspondence received by the organising Founder following the consecration stated that: To mark the foundation of the St Cecilia Chapter Rose Croix No 811, ten Brethren from various parts of the country met at St Alphege Parish Church, Solihull, to ring a true and complete peal of 5039 changes of Grandsire Caters, on the bells. This was successfully accomplished in 3 hours and 17 minutes and was conducted by W. Bro Frank Courtenay Price [a St Cecilia Founding Member] Past Master of the Clavis Lodge No. 8585 in the Province of Oxfordshire. The ringers, who came from the Provinces of Oxfordshire. London, Essex, Leicestershire & Rutland, North East Yorkshire, Middlesex, Somerset and Berkshire are most pleased to send their greetings and congratulations to the Most Wise Sovereign [John Manderfield] and Founders of the Chapter.
The Founders fees were £25.00 and the annual subscriptions £15.00. The consecration luncheon amounted to £432.00. In 1978 thirty-five members were listed on the summons. By 1985 the numbers had grown to fifty-one.
The Chapter's name was suggested by Frank Courtenay Price. This was prompted by the fact that six of the Founding Members were organists and at the time it seemed apposite to call it St Cecilia, the Patron Saint of Music. The Chapter logo was also designed by Frank Price which is a facsimile of the organ frontispiece of Bath Abbey. At the Dedication Ceremony, the Past Secretary General, when lighting the tasse – which had been overfilled with methylated spirits – promptly caught the table over-cloth alight. It is reported to have been an impressive sight watching it burn furiously before the Director of Ceremonies, Illustrious Brother Roger Dwyer, eventually put it out.
Herbert William James Fielding was the first candidate for Perfection which was performed on 3 December 1976. He was a 65 year-old retired builder who was raised in the Christopher Wren Lodge No. 4855 on 25 March 1950. He was also a member of Old Windsor Lodge No 8060 and Berkshire Masters Lodge No. 3684. On this occasion the Intermediate Degrees were bestowed by Ill. Bro. Colin Sexton 30˚; the First Point performed by Ill. Bro. Frank Price 30˚ and the Second and Third Points by Ill. Bro. John Manderfield 30˚. Herbert Fielding retired from the Chapter in 1991 after 15 years as a member but having not been enthroned as MWS.