E.Comp Richard Stratton receives 50 Years certificate to Royal Arch Masonry from Jonathan Arnold, Deputy Grand Superintendent in Cornwall, PGSwdB


This history was presented by Jonathan Arnold, PGSwdB, DepGS Cornwall, 21st May 2024

Richard, you have been a very active mason and tracking down exactly where you have been, when and what you have done has been enlightening!

Born on 22th July 1941, you were initiated pre-decimalisation on 17th June 1969, into Plymouth Hoe Lodge No. 4235, who were then meeting right ‘on the Hoe’. I’m told you paid your fees in pounds, shillings and pence! Rising through the ranks, you became their WM in 1976.

Since then, you have been through the Master’s Chair a further three times;

West Buckland School Lodge No.9037, of which you were a Founder Member, in both 1982 and again in 2006/7 and Old Plymothian and Mannamedian Lodge No. 6279, in 2000/1, the latter being a Lodge I have visited from time to time being an OPM, myself.

You were promoted to PPJGW by the Province of Devonshire on 23rd April 1994, and I understand you received your 50th Year Certificate in the Craft, pre-covid(?).

Turning to the Holy Royal Arch….

Having been Exalted in Duncombe Chapter No.1486, in Kingsbridge, South Devon, on 15th Jan 1973, you became their MEZ in 1982, and went on to serve as their Almoner between 2005 and 2009. Over much of that period, you were also very much involved with Caradon Chapter No.8543, having joined them in 1991; you served as their ScE from 1992 to 1998, before a 6-year stint as an Asst Soj and becoming their MEZ in 2007, a post you held for 2 years, before a year ‘outside the door’ as Janitor. Meanwhile, you had also been a member of the Brunswick Chapter No.159, for a couple of years, and become involved with a potential new Chapter here in St Columb.

Being the Proprietor of Wrays, a Jewellers and Masonic Regalia shop in Plymouth, you were asked by Roy Trelease, a Devon-based mason, to assist with forming a new Chapter. This you happily did, supplying much of the regalia, originally donated by the founder members. On 5th March 1994, at the Consecration meeting for this Chapter, the Duke of Cornwall Chapter No.1529, you were appointed as a founder Steward, whilst Roy became its founder MEZ.


L to R: E.Comp Richard Stratton, E.Comp Jonathan Arnold Deputy Grand Superintendent in Cornwall and E.Comp Frederick James Marks


Amongst the items donated by you were the East and West Bibles and the Sojourners regalia, all still in use today.

Following your appointment to the office of Steward, bearing in mind your other Masonic commitments, you did not progress within Duke of Cornwall, but you have attended regularly for many years, delivering The Mystical Lecture and Explanation of the Signs.

In addition to your commitment to all these Chapters, you were also a Companion of a Chapter in Brittany (France) and were elected their 1st Principal. Sadly, you never took this office as your election coincided with a falling out between the English and French Grand Lodges, which culminated in the First Grand Principal ordering a withdrawal of all English masons from any Lodges or Chapters in the French Constitution.

In 1994 you were appointed PPGScN on this side of the Tamar, whilst the otherside ‘caught up’ in 1995. Having sat with members of the Devon Chapter Exec last week, E. Comp. Paul Hughes, their DGS, in particular asked me to pass on his best wishes to you – I gather your paths have crossed in Plymouth over the years.

(In 2006 you proposed Frederick James Marks – a past first Principal of Friendship Chapter No.202, as a joining member; Fred has been ever present at The DofC since he joined and I am delighted he is able to be at this meeting today.

E Comp Richard you have been a stalwart supporter of the Royal Arch in Cornwall – on behalf of the MEGS for Cornwall, David Pascoe, thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do! Many Congratulations on achieving this historic milestone.