The spark which gave birth to Potomac Royal Arch Chapter No. 88 was ignited one evening at Warren Chapter No. 5 in Warrenton, Virginia when PHP Luis Pages, who was in attendance with his brother Companion Felix Pages (both of whom were members of Warren Chapter No. 5) approached then Right Excellent Donald Leo McAndrews and asked how they could start a new Royal Arch Chapter. His first question was “Why?”. They responded by explaining that while advancing in age, they had become weary for the terribly long commute from their homes in Ashburn to Warrenton. R.E. Don’s first thought was that it was not really possible, but not wishing to discourage their enthusiasm, he suggested this could only be done if they could come up with at least 20 people who were interested. He further promised that he would research and let them know exactly how the process worked. He was quite sure that would be the end of the quest, but to his great surprise and delight, Companion Luis called him the following week, informed him he already had 12 people committed and was sure he would have 20 within another week. They convened a meeting at Ashburn-Sterling No. Lodge 288 and drew up a petition for a dispensation from the Grand High Priest to establish the new Chapter. Companion Don began receiving calls from the Grand High Priest wondering what was going on since Loudoun Chapter No. 55 was only 7½ miles away and surely Companions in Ashburn could drive that short distance. He also wondered if this would have a negative impact on Loudoun Chapter 55. Companion Don did his best to explain evening traffic patterns in Northern Virginia, but the Grand High Priest was very skeptical and thought something else must be going on. He was even more perplexed when he discovered that many of those signing the Petition were already members of Mt. Vernon Chapter No. 14, Arlington Chapter No. 35, and Annandale Chapter No. 77, all in Capitular District No. 1. Companion Don explain that they likely joined those Chapters when they lived in those areas, or that they worked in Washington, D.C. and found those Chapters convenient on their way home from work, or possibly that friends in those Chapters had enticed them to join. In any case, with the changes in workplace locations over the years and the radical increase in traffic, people just were not willing to fight the traffic to attend Chapter. Those who live in the Ashburn, Leesburg, Purcellville, and Lovettsville areas have an easy drive to Ashburn which is significantly closer than Front Royal or Winchester, Virginia. Upon this discovery, enthusiastic support grew. 20 signers quickly filled the Petition and there were also many Master Masons indicating an interest in joining. Potomac Royal Arch Chapter No. 88 thanks the Great Architect for Companions Luis and Felix igniting a spark that re-engaged many Companions who had not been attending Chapter, and for engaging many new members. Their vision created this Chapter.
The Chapter was Instituted and allowed to work under dispensation on February 8, 2011 with the following listed:
Dais Officers: Xerxes Herrington, High Priest, Brian Schreffler, King and Martin Juul, Scribe
Petitioners: Companions David Ayoub, George Azzouz, David Berger, Philip Brooks, Xerxes Herrington II, Martin Juul, Felix Pages, Luis Pages PHP, Donald McAndrews PDDGHP, Brian Schreffler and William Sutherland.
Affiliated: Companions Thomas Albrecht, Mauricio Carrasco PHP, Stuart Harp, Anthony Lacava DDGHP, David Lang and Rhey Solomon PDDGHP.
Exhalted: Nabil Abdallah, Francisco Aguillon, Billy Atkinson Jr, Raymon Bacchus, George Baker, Russell Baneck, Thomas Brierton, William Crane, Jeffrey Gould, Martin Gruszka, Jason Matchett, John Meehan, Collin Schwarz, Curt Schwarz, Gregory Schwarz, Jeffrey Schwarz, Daniel Sisco, David Wang and Donald Young
The Chapter was Chartered on November 18, 2011 with the following High Priests presiding since:
2011-12 Xerxes Herrington II
2012-13 Martin Juul
2013-14 Phil Brooks
2014-15 Jason Matchett
2015-16 Raymon Bacchus