The East Lancashire Royal Arch Presentation Team (ELRADT) exists for a number of reasons, but a fundamental reason is to be good and faithful representatives of the Provincial Grand Chapter of East Lancashire in “Foreign” parts.

On Tuesday 17th June the team were invited to attend the Criterion Chapter of Installed First Principals No 6220 to present “The Rise and Fall of the Twelve Tribes of Israel”. Criterion Chapter is based at Hoyle Court in Baildon in the County of West Yorkshire. That meant that the team had to set out earlier than usual, especially considering that the Chapter was to host more than 100 Companions, including the Grand Superintendent, Stewart Carley, together with his Deputy and the Second and Third Grand Principals of the Province.

The Criterion Chapter Principals and the Principal Guests with the ELRADT team

The team was well represented by fifteen of their number, who in their turn were supported by EComp David H Thompson, our own Second Provincial Grand Principal and one of ELRADT’s Vice Presidents EComp David Thornton who is the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals (APGP)  for the Western Area . Our very own EComp Harold Woodward who is a Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master as well as a Past APGP was also in attendance.  After an extensive, but quickly progressed agenda, the team were introduced by EComp David H Thompson who said a little about the team’s history and promised that we were present to entertain, as well as to educate. He finished by promising the 112 Companions who were present that they were going to see something really special.

Front row: EComps Keith Swettenham, Michael Porter, Terry Bailey, John Cavanagh, Leslie Taylor, Bob King and Len Pike. 
Back Row: EComps Russell Pike, Tony Freemont, Chris Cunliffe, Michael Williams, Niall Perry, Roger Holland and Graham Rawlinson.

“The Rise and Fall of the Twelve Tribes” is a lovely story, full of wit, whimsy, swordplay and tales of daring do. It introduces the audience to some of the brightest lights in the story of Freemasonry, Moses, David and Solomon all take to the stage, as do some characters who are less well known. But to really find out how good this piece of work is, you need to find out when it is next being performed and get along to it. Certainly, the Companions who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves and laughed along with the “jokes” and cried at the sad bits (not really).

However, it was at the Social Board that it really became clear to what extent the Companions had enjoyed this evening’s entertainment. In making his toast at the Social Board, the First Principal of the Chapter, EComp Paul Collinge, commented that this was the largest crowd that had been present at the Chapter for a considerable time, and then went on to say, “but then, Companions, this was one evening that you couldn’t have missed.”

Later, in making the toast to Visiting Companions, EComp Paul Duckworth said, “This was a wonderful story and interpretation that you saw tonight. I do believe that this was the best lecture that I have seen in a Royal Arch Chapter for many years.”  EComp Andrew Garnett, responding for the visitors, described it as a most interesting presentation, but then went on to say that, “it fulfilled the three Es, it was Entertainment, Educational and Enjoyable. I give the congratulations of all here present to the East Lancashire Team for an excellent evening. You were magnificent.” 

After the conclusion of the meal, the First Principal of Criterion Chapter presented EComp John Cavanagh, the leader of ELRADT, with a cheque for £200 which goes towards the Charity Account of the team’s host Chapter, Friendship No 44.