On 3rd November 2021 congratulations were conveyed by Centenarian Victor Matthew Crowley to his fellow Royal Arch Companions at Westcliff Chapter No. 2903 on the occasion of the Chapter celebrating its Centenary. With happy reminisces of many enjoyable times past, present and to come in Freemasonry, Victor was unable to attend this special occasion of the Chapter in which he was Exalted in May 2017
Initiated into the Craft in 1943 and appointed to Past Provincial Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works in 1960, Victor became a Founding Member and Primus Master in 1973 of Lodge of Harmony No 8476 which meets at Rochford Masonic Hall. Further Provincial Craft promotions followed as Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer and as Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden on his Platinum Anniversary in the Craft in 2013.
After being a Master Mason for 74 years and wanting to join the more relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Royal Arch Masonry to experience for himself the colourful and rewarding ceremony of exaltation, Victor decided to take the Fourth Regular Step in Freemasonry and was exalted into Westcliff Chapter, which meets at Saxon Hall in Southend, in which he is now the 2nd Assistant Sojourner.
At Victor’s exaltation on 16th May 2017, David Wilson, as a Provincial Assistant Director of Ceremonies escorted Clive Rees who was then the Second Provincial Grand Principal and both were in attendance at the Chapter Centenary Convocation with many of the Royal Arch Executive including David who is now an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals.
Now in his 79th year in Freemasonry, why did Victor wait so long to become a Companion in the Royal Arch to complete the final part of the four-stage journey from Initiation to Exaltation? One possible explanation is that after his initiation his late father taught him to be cautious and as Brian Catt, the Scribe Ezra of Westcliff Chapter, explained 'told Victor not to rush into additional Masonic Orders'. Fortunately, Victor did eventually discover that Royal Arch Masonry is less formal, more colourful and rewarding and that its ritual is some of the best in Freemasonry.
Companions across the Province who have also discovered the secret of the Royal Arch all send their congratulations and best wishes to Westcliff Chapter and Victor Crowley, a 100-Year Chapter with a 100-Year Companion.