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Gaborone Royal Arch Chapter Number 8781 English Constitution was consecrated on the 29th August 1981 at the Masonic Temple in Gaborone, Botswana. It was the first Royal Arch Chapter under the English Constitution to be formed in Botswana, and is still the only Chapter under this Constitution in Botswana.
Several of the 15 founder members of the Chapter were exalted in Austral Chapter in Mafeking, which was the closest Chapter under the English Constitution to Gaborone, in order to form Gaborone Royal Arch Chapter in Gaborone.
The Chapter was formed under the District of the Transvaal, and The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the District of the Transvaal, E.Comp.E.T.Ablett was the consecrating officer.
The First Principals of Gaborone Royal Arch Chapter were E.Comp.D.E.Burden as MEZ, E.Comp.D.A.Forbes as EH, and Companion E.M.Beazley as EJ.
Such is the transient nature of the population of Botswana, especially in the expatriate community, that of the original 15 founding members, only E.Companion R.C.A.Richardson is still a subscribing member of the Chapter.
During the first year of the Chapter, 9 exaltees or joining members joined the Chapter to make it a very good year, and the Chapter has continued to be a strong Chapter in terms of recruitment.
The current membership of the Chapter as at the 31st May 2010 was 37 subscribing members and 5 honorary members , making a total of 42 members.
In 2001 the Chapter moved from the original Masonic Temple where it was consecrated, to the New Masonic Temple which the Masons of Botswana had built from funds raised. The new Masonic Temple in Gaborone is shared with 3 craft lodges, 1 Mark Lodge, 1 Royal Ark Mariners Lodge, 1 Sovereign Chapter 18th degree, 1 Knights Templar Preceptory and one other Chapter which falls under the Scottish Constitution.
On the 4th February 2006, the Chapter celebrated its 100th Meeting in its 25th year, and a special dinner with specially made commemorative glasses was held at the Masonic Temple in Gaborone.
In 2009, E.Companion Reg Richardson, a founder member of the Chapter, was the first member of Gaborone Royal Arch Chapter to be awarded Grand Chapter Rank, when he received the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. He remains the only Grand Chapter officer amongst the subscribing members of the Chapter.
Gaborone Royal Arch Chapter remains part of the renamed District of South Africa North.
The Chapter meets 4 times a year, with the Installation meeting on the first Saturday in August, and regular meetings on the first Friday in November, February and May. Visitors are always welcome.
Gaborone Royal Arch Chapter 8781 EC
Block 9 off Santandibe Road