Freemasons Supporting ‘Scotty’s Little Soldiers’ with £4,000

Colchester Royal Arch Companions of Abbeygate Chapter No. 4219, raised £2,000 for ‘Scotty’s Little Soldiers,’

a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved British Forces children and young people. This sum was then match-funded by the King Sebbi Rose Croix Chapter No. 1208, which meets twice a year at Braintree in November and Frinton in June, making a grand total of £4,000.

Scotty’s provides beneficiaries with support and guidance through their childhood and offers some respite from the grief of losing a parent who has served in the Army, Navy or RAF Regular and Reserve Forces. It was chosen by Vishmu Ramoutar as the charity for his year as First Principal of Abbeygate Chapter. In May 2023, Vishmu will be succeeded by David Clayton who will then nominate his preferred charity.

When Len Wright, the Third Principle (three Principals rule a Royal Arch Chapter) was recently discharged from hospital, he had to ring a bell and the staff gathered round, clapping and congratulating him on completion of his treatment, so Arthur Cooke, the Scribe E (secretary), and the Companions of Abbeygate Chapter purchased a school bell which is now rung when good news is announced in the Chapter. Named the Len Wright Bell it was used for the first time in September 2022 to announce the Provincial Promotions awarded to Companions in the Chapter.

Founded in 1927, Abbeygate Chapter is already planning for its centenary celebrations in 2027 with a special focus on charity for which it has built up a strong track record thanks to the good work done by its Charity Steward, Tony Ackers. Abbeygate was awarded Essex Festival 2022 ‘Patron’ status by Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Superintendent of Essex Royal Arch Masons, for contributing £3,500 toward the £5.4 million raised for the Masonic Charitable Foundation which in turn has pledged £7 million to support charities and good causes in Essex over the next few years.  Other charities supported include St Helena Hospice, a local foodbank in Newtown and the Stroke Association.

On Friday 20th January 2023, author, Freemason and a former Detective Chief Inspector, Mike Neville, gave a fascinating and entertaining presentation to a well-attended meeting at Colchester. Entitled ‘Famous and Infamous Masons in Politics’ it was based on his new book to be released in the Spring called “Crafty Characters - Tales of Famous and Infamous Masons”.  It began with some well-known early Freemasons who became involved in politics including the Duke of Wellington, George Washington and Davy Crockett through to Winston Churchill and up to the present day. Mike has raised over £75,000 for charity as a Masonic speaker giving talks to over 500 lodges and Royal Arch chapters in England.

Vishnu Ramoutar also thanked Michael Church for giving a faultless presentation of the ‘Long Closing’ at the end of the meeting.  Seven Royal Arch Chapters meet at the St Giles Masonic Centre in Colchester, but Abbeygate is the only one which has a morning start. Bacon and egg rolls are served from 9am and the ‘Companions’ dine after the meeting with the same toasts and formalities, which so many enjoy, as those at Chapters which meet in the evenings. 

On Friday 30th June 2023 a Combined Chapter Meeting will be held for all seven Chapters with Colonel Andrew Jackson and Major Danny Lieght speaking about the history of the Parachute Regiment (founded by Freemason, Winston Churchill) and the Airborne Forces Charity.

Further information of the charity can be found from this link:


Top: Abbeygate Chapter L-R: Second Principal, David Clayton; Speaker, Mike Neville; First Principal, Vishnu Ramoutar and Michael Church.

Left: Len Wright with the Len Wright Bell.

Right: Scotty’s Little Soldiers logo – help their children smile.