Earlham Chapter: Fest22 Platinum Status.
On behalf of the Chapter, Charity Steward Graham Verby receives the Fest22 Platinum Award from Third Provincial Grand Principal Elliott Chevin. (Deputy Grand Superintendent Designate.)
In 1953, Earlham Lodge No. 7266 was consecrated in Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street; it attracted initiates and joining members from the Jewish faith community, although of course, not exclusively. The Lodge transferred to Chingford Masonic Centre in 1992. Earlham Chapter was consecrated in 1987 and its membership reflected that of the Lodge; later, the Chapter also transferred to Essex and was re-consecrated by, the then Grand Superintendent, Sir Neil Thorne: it continues to thrive.
It is understandable that for most Essex masons, Fest22 priorities are lodge-based; however, the setting of Chapter targets is an opportunity for the Royal Arch in Essex to show its identity and demonstrate its worth.
Retiring after a career in investment banking, Graham Verby joined Freemasonry seven years ago and the Chapter, two years later. No pun on investment banking intended, Graham soon proved to be a great Lodge and Chapter asset. There are some special masons for whom learning and performing ritual is not their choice. Yet, how valuable over the years has it has proved when such masons fully apply their talents in the discharge of other necessary offices
On joining the Chapter, Graham was soon appointed Charity Steward, enjoyed the support of the Companions and a Fest22 Patron award. Contagion confusion challenged traditional, inter-personal, fund-raising activities; yet whilst Graham is (unconvincingly) a self-proclaimed technophobe, alternative avenues of donating, including QR coding, were adopted. At interview and Initiation, it is indicated that charitable giving, without detriment to self or connections, is a masonic thing; supporting Provincial festivals is the default way of so doing. During 2020, it was apparent to Graham that there were, available, “purse strings to be loosened”; that is to say, funding streams available to enable Fest22 Platinum status – Charity Steward and Chapter realised and agreed that, “We can do this” and did so.
The message is, Freemasonry enables us to do more than what we think we can. For those Chapters who have not achieved Patron status there is still time. For those that have, think the unthinkable, think Platinum. ‘We can do this’.