A Tale of Two Chapters – a novel ‘link’

E Comp Leland M Lewis SLGCR

The Barnato Chapter No 2265 summonses had for many years been printed by one of our members, the late E Comp Tony Batkin, a professional printer amongst many other things. He was always jolly, bright and ‘larger than life’, famed in his industry for his enormous range of colourful, zany, and unique ties, and his love for cigars, hats, and lamb shanks!

In 2019 Tony evidently asked a mutual friend, E Comp Denis Gibney ProvGSN (Herts), of Penman’s Green No 8384 and Playgoers No 2705 Chapters, who is a professional graphic artist, if he would be so kind as to ‘tidy up’ the Barnato emblem, as over 93 years since the inception of the Chapter repeated copying and reprinting it had become rather ‘tatty’ – faint and indistinct.

Very sadly, shortly afterwards, in the autumn of 2019, E Comp Tony, previously always hale and hearty, became ill, was given a terminal diagnosis and passed to The Grand Chapter Above in January 2020.

Subsequently, our mutual friend Denis contacted me to ask me if I knew who the Scribe E of Barnato was – not being aware it was me – so that he could contact him about the Chapter emblem he had started working on for Tony!

I was able to send him an original jewel that I had inherited with the vast Chapter archives when I became Scribe E. This enabled Denis to complete a beautiful job on the emblem, for which we were extremely grateful and proudly displayed on our summonses and letterhead.

Meanwhile, in 2012, King David Lodge No 5719 closed and surrendered its warrant, so King David Chapter No 5719 became unattached. The daughter Lodge, Star of David Lodge No 7606, continued to thrive.

In 2017 we in King David Chapter, together with the Brethren in Star of David Lodge, got together and started working on trying to attach King David Chapter to Star of David Lodge. Little did we realise it would take four years and many delays and tribulations to achieve this! But finally, with huge gratitude to E Comp Simon Trott, MetAGSec, the attachment was achieved at the SGC Convocation on 29th April 2021, and with effect from 30th April 2021, we became King David Chapter No 7606!

This, of course, meant that we would need to get the emblem on our Summonses changed to show the new number. If the Barnato emblem had deteriorated in 93 years, despite being ‘just’ 68 years old, the King David emblem was a whole lot worse, having become little more than a vague pattern of red dots, looking, if anything, more like King Canute in sunglasses!

Not surprisingly, after his superb work for Barnato, I asked E Comp Denis if he could possibly consider also updating and improving the King David emblem – it turned out that this required a full redraw, which, happily, Denis was willing to do.

Hence both the London Chapters of which I am Scribe E now have beautiful emblems, brilliantly drawn, creating a novel ‘link’ of sort. All the Companions are very happy and extremely grateful to E Comp Denis for them.

We are very much looking forward to using the new emblem on the summons for our next Convocation on 15th November 2021, our first for 20 months.


This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 46 October 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 46.