The following text is my presentation to W. Bro. Arthur Chanter…better known to us as Gordon
The Worshipful Master and brethren of St Thomas Lodge Number 4198 have given me the very great honour, privilege and indeed pleasure in presenting to you our Provincial Grand Master’s certificate marking your having served 60 years as a Freemason, or in your case owing to the Pandemic 61 years as a Freemason in this wonderful province of Devonshire.
For you were initiated into St Thomas Lodge number 4198 on 12th April 1961 by the then Worshipful Master Worshipful Brother Rodrick Bales, you were proposed by your father Worshipful Brother Edward Chanter who was Worshipful Master here in 1950 and seconded by your uncle Worshipful Brother A G Chanter who was Worshipful Master here in 1951. You were passed to the Second Degree or that of a Fellow Craft on the 10th May 1961 and Raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on the 13th July 1961.
You were born in Exeter on 15th March 1937 to parents Edward and Evelyn Chanter becoming a Brother for Robin. You were baptised at St Edmunds Church Exeter by your Grandfather the Rev Hare. Your family home then was at Harefield’s Thorverton where you grew up and attended Thorverton school before moving on to Exeter School in Exeter.
On completing your education, you started life in farming attending the Bicton Agricultural College, you later became a builder working for a building firm in Exeter before starting your own business which you carried on way after your retirement.
You married your wife Anne at St James’s Church Exeter on 2nd September 1961 and celebrated your Diamond Wedding last year, you have four children Jeremy Melanie Tara and Gareth, you also have 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Returning to your masonic life you progressed through the offices of St Thomas Lodge number 4198 following your Brother Robin and on Wednesday, 12th February 1975 he installed you as Worshipful Master which must have been a wonderful family occasion. You became a member of the famous team presenting Christmas lectures set up by Worshipful Brother James L Gore, Master here in 1949 and who went on to become the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of our Province. You along with Gordon Long and the late Gordon Edwards were known as the three Gordons and considered Masters of the ritual and the Christmas lectures still carried on today and I have been privileged to take part in those lectures. You and your brother Robin became founder members of the Old Exonian Lodge Number 9000 (The Exeter school Lodge). It was consecrated on 4th of September 1981 and you became Worshipful Master of the Old Exonian Lodge in 1987 once again following and being installed by your Brother Robin, you later became Director of Ceremonies of The Old Exonian Lodge number 9000.
You received your first Provincial appointment of PPrSGD then promoted to PPrJGW the very high rank you hold today. You were Exalted into St John the Baptist Chapter number 39 becoming First Principle on 7th July 2004 receiving Provincial Grand Chapter honours of Provincial Grand Steward and then promoted to PPrGSoj. You were Perfected into Perseverance Chapter Rose Croix number 664 becoming Most Wise Sovereign in 2012 and now holding the rank of 30th degree.
Brother Gordon 60 years is a long time, and you will have seen many changes in the world this country and in deed in Exeter over that long period you have lived through a World War and now living under the threat of another, you have lived under Two Monarchs, 19 Prime Ministers and Eight Provincial Grand Masters. You will have seen many changes in Freemasonry, to try and attract new members. But the basic Principles of Brotherly love relief and truth remain Principles you have upheld throughout your life.
On the 12th April 1961 you laid your foundation here in the North-East Part of St Thomas Lodge number 4198 and you have raised a superstructure perfect in its parts and honourable to you the builder.
Brother Gordon, I congratulate you and hope you continue to enjoy your masonry but more importantly that we may enjoy your company. Now on behalf of our Provincial Grand Master Rt W.Bro Ian Kingsbury who sends to you his best wishes and warmest congratulations I have much pleasure in presenting his certificate to you.
But I would first like to read the citation and may I offer you my own personal congratulations. Well done.
The Brethren then retired for an excellent festive board ending yet again another happy masonic evening.
W.Bro. Derek G Webber, PSGD
Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master