This year’s Annual Convocation was held on 18th May 2023, at The Webbington Hotel, Loxton. The rehearsal was called at 09:00with the Provincial Team and others. It was an interesting rehearsal with lots of decisions about who goes where and when but very successful.
The new Provincial Team then retired and returned dressed in full regalia for a team photo, herding cats comes to mind! Comp David Flack once again was our photographer for the day and you can see them in this article, thanks David.
The Convocation was opened at 11:00 with MEGS, E Comp Ray Guthrie, E Comp Neil Hurcum, H and E Comp Geoff Lester, J, doing the honours. MEGS then welcomed those from other Provinces and Leaders for other Orders in Somerset including E Comp David Medlock, PAGM.
A roll call of the Chapters showed that all Chapters were represented. The Provincial Treasurer, E Comp Tel Hayes, gave his last report, this was his last as Treasurer, having served for eight years in that office. Tel becomes Accounts Examiner, so poacher turned game keeper me thinks? His final act was to propose the Provincial Chapter dues be raised by £1.00 per member/Chapter, which was carried.
E Comp Charlie Barker, PrGScrE, gave his report for the last year, which can be read HERE. This included the Installation of Ray as MEGS by ME Comp Gareth Jones, 3rd Grand Principal; the Provincial Team’s activities; the Executive’s visits; Provincial Ball and Officers Lunch. etc.
MEGS then thanked E Comp Clive Lambert on his period as Deputy Grand Superintendent, noting the time that he stepped up and kept the Province going following the death of E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS. Clive was then presented with a Past DGS’s collarette. Clive will be taking succeed Ill Ray Johnson-Smith as Inspector General for the District of Somerset in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
MEGS then appointed, obligated, invested and installed E Comp Neil Hurcum as Deputy Grand Superintendent, following the reading of his Patent.
E Comp Martin Slocombe was appointed, obligated, invested and installed as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal. MEGS Thanked E comp Geoff Lester for his work as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal and then appointed, obligated, invested and installed E Comp David Maddern in his place. Geoff was later invested as Provincial Charity Steward.
MEGS then appointed and invested Provincial Grand Officers and conferred Past ranks and Promotions. See details HERE.
E Comp Ray then addressed the companions, this can be read HERE. Amongst his address he thanked those Companions who were stepping down from Provincial office after many years service. Congratulated those companions who had been appointed to/promoted in Supreme Grand Chapter. He also encouraged companions to help in recruiting more Craft Masons into Chapter and see if those companions who had ceased to be in Chapters would like to come back, stating that a lot has changed over the years, especially the ritual, with most of the chapters sharing the work.
He also referred to the support for the Foodbanks and stated that over £8000 had been donated to them. MEGS said that the Province is offering an assisted funding scheme to Chapters to increase the amount of their donation with help from the Provincial Charity fund. Your Chapter Charity Steward can get information from our new Provincial Charity Steward E Comp Geoff Lester.
E Comp Ray then said that in his inaugural address a year ago today that he would endeavour to visit all the Chapters in the Province in his first year. He managed 26 out of the 29.
The Provincial Chapter was then closed and the retiring collection was for the Foodbank.
A most enjoyable Festive Board was held with MEGS Proposing Toast to The King And Royal Arch, The First Grand Principal and E Comp Neil Hurcum Proposed the Toast to E Comp Ray, who suitably responded.
Once again we would like to thank Comp David Flack for his great photographs