The look of shock on Fred’s face was a picture! That was the view of those Companions attending Innsworth Chapter’s 14th of December convocation. Determined to keep the meeting on track for a 1.15pm lunch, Scribe Ezra, E Comp Fred Wood, was feeling pleased that the Chapter Principals had arrived at the risings on time. The ME Grand Superintendent being in attendance that morning, E Comp Michael Holland rose as anticipated at the conclusion of the second rising to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Unannounced and to a nonplussed assembly he then summoned forward the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, E Comp Bob Stacey PGStB to read out a citation. Well that wasn’t on his notes and a puzzled Fred could be seen checking his papers. It was when he heard the name Excellent Companion Frederick Charles Wood PPGSN being read out that a now visibly shocked Scribe E realised that he was being awarded the ME Grand Superintendent’s Certificate for Meritorious Service to Royal Arch Masonry.
During the presentation E Comp Michael Holland gave a brief summary of now visibly proud Fred’s masonic career which started initially as a German mason some 30 years ago while serving as an army officer in the then divided City of Berlin. Fred went on to join Innsworth Lodge in June 1990, followed a year later with exaltation into Innsworth Chapter. Fred, who regards himself as a passionate Royal Arch Mason, served the Chapter as 1st Principal in 1998 and again in 2003. He completed an initial year as Scribe E in 2001 and returned to that office in 2009 and has continued looking after the Chapter’s affairs and growth ever since. In 2017 he was promoted to PPGSN. After the presentation Fred went on to say ‘I am humbled to receive such a prestigious award and it is truly the pinnacle of my time in Freemasonry. It came a complete surprise to me and it does show that secrets can remain hidden, even from a former Intelligence officer!’ The Rulers and Companions of the Holy Royal Arch Province of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire offer their hearty congratulations to Fred and wish him many enjoyable years filling the inscribed pewter tankard that accompanied the award.