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The Early Days:-
In the 1890's When Johannesburg was nothing more than a series of mining camps, a group of dedicated Freemasons, some of whom were members of Jeppestown Lodge No 2481 E.C. decided to get together and form a Holy Royal Arch Chapter, which would be attached to Jeppestown Lodge, they would come under the Grand and Royal Chapter of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England.
The majority of founding members had held office in the existing Johannesburg Chapter No 2313. E.C.
After their formation and application to the Supreme Grand Chapter, The Charter was awarded to the Chapter on the 3rd of August 1898. Three of the founding members:- Rt. Wor. Bros. and M.E. Companions. Charles Aburrows, Joseph Waldie Pierson and George Samuel Burt Andrews, subsequently went on to serve as District Grand Masters of the Craft and Grand Superintendents of the Holy Royal Arch in the District of the Transvaal (South Africa North)
The Chapter was consecrated in the original Jeppestown Craft Lodge Temple which was located in Hans Street. Jeppestown, on Thursday the 2nd of February 1899, by E. Comp. H.F.E Pistorius. D.G. 2nd Principal assisted by E. Comp. C. Aburrows. D.G. 3rd Principal, E. Comp. J. DaSilva. D.G. Scribe E and E. Comp. W. B. Boyes. P.Z.
E. Comp. Edward Hancock was then duly installed as First Principal. E. Comp. William Dodds as Second Principal and. Comp. G.S. Burt Andrews as Third Principal.
The list of Founding Members is as follows:-
E. Companions. E. Hancock, W. Dodds, G.S. Burt Andrews, H.F.E. Pistorius, C. Aburrows, J. Waldie Pierson, W.B. Boyes, A.E. Dowling and Companions. W.J. Matthews, W. G. Compton, C.F. Kelly, H.H. Robins, C. Cardell, T. Pearson, and A.B. Inglis.
1899 to 1902:-
At the regular Convocation in August of 1899 it was resolved that as the Chapter was in its infancy, a letter was to be written to Jeppestown Lodge requesting a loan for the purchase of Chapter furniture, this loan was granted. (The loan was fully repaid by April 1905)
After the regular Convocation in August 1899, the Chapter went into recess until December 1902 due to the consequences of the Boer War.
1903 to Present:-
The Chapter resumed regular Convocations on the 22nd January 1903 and continues to do so right through to the present day, although it now meets at Freemasons Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg.
During the two great world wars, Companions from the Chapter served in His Majesty's forces. Four during the First war and eight during the second.
The Chapter Established a 750 pound bursary within the Transvaal Masonic Education Institution to realise in perpetuity a 30 pound per annum Bursary which is to be awarded to the Son or Daughter of a Mason.
The Chapter has over the last 100 years had over 400 joining members.
Member No 305 was E. Comp. Graham Robin Granger, who has joined the list of distinguished Companions from this Chapter, from First Principal and Past First Principal, right up to the rank of Deputy Grand Superintendent. He also held the Grand Rank of PJGD in the Craft. His sudden death in 2007 was a great loss to Jeppestown and Royal arch Masonry.
Jeppestown Chapter received its Centenary Warrant in 2001.
Jeppestown Chapter has had many notable milestones in its history. Probably the most important was being amongst the six chapters who petitioned Supreme Grand Chapter for the formation of the Transvaal District.
Historical Summary Prepared by E.Comp. Steve Cousens. Scribe E. DDGDC.