Philip William Arnold Lever – 50 Years of Royal Arch Service

At the regular convocation of Gladsmuir Chapter No 1385 held on Thursday 27th June 2024, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp David Hampton had the pleasure of presenting E Comp Philip Lever with a certificate to mark his 50 years’ loyal service to Royal Arch Masonry in Hertfordshire.

Before he presented the certificate, the Deputy Grand Superintendent read a brief history of E Comp
Phil’s masonic journey, as follows:

“Philip William Arnold Lever (aka Phil) was born in Bolton, Lancashire on 8th September 1940 For those who were around at that time, it was the height of the “Battle of Britain” and the Germans had started saturation bombing of London the night before. However, to defend our shores, “Big Bertha” cannons in Dover shot heavy shells to the French coast and bombers attacked German, French & Norwegian Harbors to prevent embarkations.

In music, “I’ll Never Smile Again” by Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra featuring vocals by Frank Sinatra & the vocal group the Pied Pipers topped the American Billboard Charts for 15 weeks. In 1946, the Lever family moved to Totteridge (then officially in Hertfordshire) and in 1952, you went to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammer School in Barnet, which is still a very successful and highly regarded school, being awarded the Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year in 2022.

In 1959, you went onto further education, studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Nottingham where you attained a BSc Degree. After University, you initially started working for Standard Telephone and Cables, New Southgate but in 1965 had a career change into IT, a new and developing technology, and moved to Hampstead where you met your future wife, Margaret. In 1967, you changed jobs again to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and eventually headed the IT team.

In 1971, you moved to Hatfield and became actively involved in Freemasonry in 1972, when your father, W Bro Arnold Lever, initiated you in the Bergnet Lodge No. 6841 on Tuesday 14th March, with two of your Uncles being present and one delivering the Charge after Initiation. 1974 was a big year for you, masonically speaking, as on Monday 25th March, you were advanced into the Mark Degree in the East Hertfordshire Lodge and three days later, on Thursday 28 th March, exalted into this Chapter. On Monday the 22 nd April 1974, you were elevated in the East Hertfordshire Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners.

In 1976, you obviously still had a bit of spare time, as you gained a BA degree with the Open University and In 1981 you moved to Welwyn Garden City. In the Craft, your masonic journey developed apace – you were Master of Bergnet Lodge in 1979, and again in 1995 & 1996 and held various offices as Treasurer, Secretary, DC and Charity Steward. You were also Master of High Barnet Past Masters 8746 in 2005.
In the Province of Hertfordshire, you served as Provincial Grand Registrar in 1986, was promoted to
PPJGW in 1996, and to the Grand Rank of PGStB in 2005.

In the Holy Royal Arch, you were First Principal in this Chapter three times, firstly in 1987, then 2006 & 2019 and have held the offices of Charity Steward, Director of Ceremonies, Assistant Director of Ceremonies and Treasurer. You have also been the First Principal of Hertfordshire First Principals Chapter 4090, High Barnet Past Principals Chapter 8746 and White Star Chapter8727.

In the Province, under the Past Grand Superintendent, E Comp Sidney Tuck, you served as Assistant Scribe Ezra from 1998 to 2002. Under the Past Grand Superintendent, E Comp Alec Fuller, you served as Scribe Ezra from 2002 to 2006 and under Past Grand Superintendent, E Comp Joh Ilott, you servedas 3rd PGP from 2007 to 2009 and 2 nd PGP from 2009 to 2011. In Supreme Grand Chapter you were appointed PAGDC in 2000 and promoted to PAGSoj in 2008.

In Royal & Select Masters, you were admitted in 1989 and was TIM of your Council in 2000, and Deputy District DC from 2003 to 2007. You received Grand Rank in that order in 2006, and most recently were promoted in 2020 to PGCaptGuard.

In East Hertfordshire Lodge of MMM you attained the WM chair in 1983 and again in 2012 & 2019 and have also held the offices of Treasurer, Director of Ceremonies, Charity Steward and most recently Chaplain.

In the Province you served as Provincial Grand Master Overseer and were promoted to Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden in 1994, followed by appointment to Past Grand Standard Bearer in Mark Grand Lodge in 2006.

In RAM, you served as Commander in 1988 and 2011 and have also held the office of Charity Steward. You were awarded RAM Provincial Grand Rank in 1994, and RAM Grand Rank in 2000. As we all know, you are a keen golfer, playing 3 times a week, but there is one thing that continually gets mentioned when discussing your Golfing prowess….your shorts and those knees, renowned throughout the Province!!

E Comp Phil, I have known you for the best part of 30 years, through our mutual friend, the Past Deputy Grand Superintendent, the late E Comp Ian Clift, and as a mark of our esteem and affection, and with grateful thanks for all you have done over the last 50 years in Royal Arch Masonry, I have great pleasure of presenting you with this 50 year certificate but before I do I will read the citation………”

Following the citation E Comp David offered his congratulations and that of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp James Sharpley in achieving another 50 year milestone in his masonic journey in Hertfordshire.

David J Hampton
Deputy Grand Superintendent