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  • Latest Information

    PRINCIPAL’S VISITS FOR THE REST OF THE 2020 SEASON HAVE BEEN CANCELLED 

     

    Dates for your Diaries

    The Provincial Chapter Weekend on 5th to 7th February 2021 at Bideford has been cancelled

Covid-19 instructions December 2020

Companions all

Please see the joint statement from MEGS and PGM regarding the latest Covid-19 instructions:

Follow this link

Rose Croix Christmas Carol Service

The Somerset Rose Croix  will be holding a virtual Christmas Carol Service on Thursday 10th December 2020 from 7:00pm. This event is being opened for members of other orders and their families and you are most welcome to join in the evening. For more information please see the Rose Croix Provincial website for details by following this link 

2021 Bideford weekend cancelled

It is with regret that a decision has been made by the Executive to cancel the Provincial Grand Chapter weekend booked for the first weekend of February 2021.

This decision was not taken lightly but after a balanced consideration of the risks of needing to cancel later. These included, the uncertainty of whether a vaccine will be available in time, the restrictions on the number of attendees etc.

It was hoped that the event could be postponed until later in the year if possible but the Hotel advised there were no available alternative dates.

Hopefully there will be no issues in 2022 and as such the Hotel is booked for Friday 4th February so please put this date in your diary.

Respectfully

E Comp David Parslow

Provincial Events Organiser

 

Who is Your Weekly Quiz Master?

That is the question!

Comp Mike Marshal

Since the beginning of April Companions of the Province of Somerset have been receiving each Tuesday a weekly light-hearted quiz. How did this weekly event start? Well looking back to March this year we all had our first experience of Lockdown which brought with it isolation from friends and family. A depressing period and so to help bring a small ray of light to an otherwise dark time and provide a bit of fun to the members of my mother Lodge, Vivary No. 8654, in Taunton, I started sending them weekly picture quizzes. E Comp Barry Woodside, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, who as member of Vivary Lodge started to get drawn into these quizzes and thought that Companions of Somerset’s Holy Royal Arch would like to join in the fun. So for the past eight months I have been compiling two quizzes each week, a total of around 800 questions to date.

The quizzes cover the usual subjects of History, Geography Science and Popular Culture but I try to give each one a twist, such as naming plants that share their names with animals, identifying chocolate bars from their adverts, naming fictional characters “other halves”. Plus the use of cryptic picture clues to Underground stations and Instrumental Hits for example. Of course there have been more traditional quizzes to bring things back on track, quizzes to identify Somerset towns that have a Masonic Hall, famous city Squares, Musicals and even a look back at the year 2000.

I have been writing and presenting quizzes since 2000 and it all started after I attended a charity quiz where the organiser had taken all the questions from a quiz book and a not very up to date one at that! I thought that if people were paying money then they deserved to be entertained with original material and original formats which would encourage them to return time and again.

I set out to write and research questions that would be unique, not to be found in usual quiz books and importantly would be fun as well as informative.

Vivary Quiz night at Taunton Masonic Hall

Over the following 20 years I have written many thousands of questions and together with my wife as adjudicator have presented quizzes for organisations including village halls, churches, Scouts, Twinning Associations, and even Masonic Lodges in fact for anyone who wants to raise monies for a good cause.

Back in the beginning of April when I put together the first weekly Quiz for Companions little did I think that this would be the first of thirty two (and still counting!) As we go into Lockdown 2 look out for further quizzes – we all need something to bring a smile to our faces in these unusual times.

Comp Mike Marshall

Chapter of St George No. 3158

Annual Convocation 22nd October 2020 Clevedon Masonic Hall

A much reduced meeting with only six members present because of the restrictions imposed by government for Covid-19. Those present were E Comps Barry Woodside, MEGS, Chris Moore, Prov DC, Tony Beaumont, Prov Scribe E, David Dixon, Prov 3rd Principal, Geoff Lester, Prov 3rd Principal designate, and D John Bennett, PGS, acting as 2nd Provv Principal. E Comp Neil Hurcum acted as Janitor but was outside all of the time. The Annual Convocation was opened by MEGS at 16:30 in at the Masonic Hall Clevedon

Once the Convocation was opened the items on the Agenda were worked through as follows:

To confirm the minutes of the Annual Convocation held at The Webbington Hotel & Spa,Loxton, Somerset, on Thursday 17th May 2019.

In Memoriam.

The Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st December
2019 will be presented and if approved, adopted.

To receive the report of The Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra.

To Elect a Provincial Grand Treasurer for the ensuing year.

To Elect an Account Examiner for the ensuing year.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will re-appoint E.Comp. Clive A F Lambert
PGSwdB in absentia as Deputy Grand Superintendent.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will re-appoint E.Comp. Raymond F Beckingham,PAGSoj, in absentia as Second Provincial Grand Principal.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will appoint, obligate, invest and install E.Comp. Geoffrey Lester as Third Provincial Grand Principal.

The Most Excellent Grans Superintendent will re-affirm the appointments and promotions
conferred on Thursday 21st May 2020.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent addressed the Companions. To see this please follow this link.

Any other business.

To close Provincial Grand Chapter.

E Comp Geoff Lester, newly installed 3rd Principal, with MEGS and PGS

E Comps Barry, John, Geoff, Tony and Neil enjoyed a meal provide by Zena at Clevedon.

The day started at 4.30 and after dinner the building was vacated at 7.30.

Clevedon Social Hub organised a socially

THANK YOU !! 

Clevedon Social Hub organised a socially distanced Macmillan Coffee Morning supported by the Past MEGS John and Jenny as well as a number of Adair, Chapter Marine and Wrington Vale companions.

(Don’t tell Philip but we even used the Chapter Marine Bell!)

Some superb baking, good company and Great Fundraising!

allowed the Social Hub to donate a fantastic

£300

to W.Bro Peter Niccol and his going Sober for October”

in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. A super effort, especial thanks to Zena for her donation of all the sandwiches!

Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation

As you are fully aware, the Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation did not take place on 21st May due to the current circumstances relating to Covid-19, and the subsequent announcement by The Grand Master and First Grand Principal, HRH the Duke of Kent, suspending Masonic activity until July 2020 at the earliest.

However, Provincial Grand Chapter is in the initial stages of planning a much reduced Annual Convocation to be held at Clevedon Masonic Hall, on 22nd October 2020.

The intention is to hold a Convocation of invited participants only, up to a maximum of about 25 persons, with the intention of installing E. Comp. Geoff Lester as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, approving our finances and electing a Treasurer etc. etc. It is anticipated that the duration of the Convocation will be no more than about 45 minutes, and of course there will be no Festive Board.

It is entirely possible that this very recent restriction of no more than six persons gathered together will still be in force, in which case the Convocation will still take place with a bare minimum quorum of six Companions taken from these 25 persons.

October Convocation of the Chapter of Brotherly Love

The Chapter was opened in

To receive the Symbolical & Historical Lectures

The Historical lecture was presented by E Comp W. Rash (J) and assisted by Comps: Part A Frank Suter, Part B Brian Gay , Part C Alan Watkins, Part D Grant Lyons, Part E Ken Sherring, Part F Rob Mitchell

The Symbolical lecture was presented by E Comp D. Spregg (H) assisted by Comps: Part 1 Rob Mitchell, Part 2 Adrian Horsey, Part 3 Alan Watkins, Part 4 Gary Hall, Part 5 Frank Suter, Part 6 E.Comp Clive Barlow, Part 7 E.Comp John Hawkins 8. E.Comp Brian Buckle

FREEMASONS SUPPORT WELLS CATHEDRAL BOUNCE BACK APPEAL WITH £10,000 DONATION

Barry Woodside, MEGS,VR Dr John Davis and David Medlock, PGM

Following 3 months of closure, Wells Cathedral has reopened its doors for services and visitors. During the lockdown some 70,000 people have been unable to visit and now the Cathedral faces a very real financial challenge to support its unique heritage and historic buildings. To help with this a Bounce Back Appeal has been launched together with a sponsored pilgrimage. The proceeds of the Pilgrimage will be shared between St. Margaret’s Hospice and the appeal.

Somerset Freemasons, who have always had a close relationship with the Cathedral were pleased to support the appeal with a donation of £10,000. The Dean of Wells, The VR Dr John Davis said “The Freemasons have been great friends of Wells Cathedral in the past, and their generosity and friendship in the present crisis is hugely appreciated. The pandemic and experience of lockdown have been very painful for so many people. Now more than ever, support is needed to sustain the Cathedral and all that it does in its community. The Chapter of Wells and I thank the Somerset Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their support.”

Somerset’s leading Freemasons, David Medlock and Barry Woodside said “All during the lockdown Freemasons have supported their local communities, often unnoticed. They include manufacturing PPE for Doctors Surgeries, Nursing Homes and local Police, distributing food parcels to the needy and supporting Women’s Refuge Centres. We have donated Tablet PC’s to local hospitals to enable Covid-19 patients to keep in touch with their loved ones and distributed teddies to comfort children who find themselves in A &E. Freemasonry really is part of our community and we are delighted to be able to help Wells Cathedral at this difficult time.”

To see a letter of thanks from Very Reverend Dr John Davis please follow this link

Easing of Lockdown – Letter from MEGS

Dear Comp Scribe Ezra and Companions all,

Further to the recent correspondence you will have received from the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, you will also by now have received and I trust been able to digest the content of the Provincial Grand Master’s letter dated 10th July 2020, (copy attached) in relation to the resumption of Masonic
activities from the 18th July.

The contents are self-explanatory and address the very sensitive and difficult circumstances that we are all currently faced with; to that end I can confirm that I am in full agreement with Right Worshipful Brother David Medlock’s assessment and I would therefore respectfully request that
you all accede to his recommendations and continue to do so until further notice.

Chapter Scribe E’s are reminded that all matters relating to administration under the Book of Constitutions including the short-term changes to ceremonial matters, are to be directed to the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, E Comp Tony Beaumont for assistance and or clarification. Additional advice/assistance on ceremonial matters can be obtained from the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Chris Moore.

Companions, believe you me this action has not been taken lightly, or to frustrate any of those who might be anxious to resume their regular Masonic activities, it has been taken with your best interests at heart and to protect your safety, health and welfare as well as those nearest and dearest
to you. Similarly, all Provincial visitations; official or otherwise will remain suspended until further notice.

In the meantime, and until we meet again please continue to stay healthy, look after yourselves and above all keep SAFE.

With very best wishes to you all,
Yours sincerely and fraternally

Barry

Barry K Woodside

Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset.

For the full letter and that from the PGM follow this link