On Sunday 15th July a small number of the Chapter met up at the White Horse, Bradford on Tone for the Annual Sunday Lunch. Numbers were down because of the extreme heat and the World Cup Final. The Lunch was organised by MEZ, Peter Chidzey, and was enjoyed by all present.
As you know, E Comp D John Bennett, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, will officially retire on 17th October next, and the Most Excellent the First Grand Principal has been pleased to appoint E Comp Barry Keith Woodside, PGSwdB, to the office of Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset with effect from 18th October next.
It is very heartening to report that the whole evening last Thursday was most enjoyable, and why not, Freemasonry is our Hobby! When the main Players prepare themselves so well the result, including the work from the floor and an excellent Candidate was a delight to witness. A truism comes to mind Work hard, and Enjoyment follows (well done Ken too).
Our Provincial Liaison Officer, E Comp Adrian Halliwell, has requested a report to accompany the photos sent for the Chapter Provincial web site. Companions all in Yeovil it’s so good to say the Ceremony was what we had come to expect in the past from 329 a leading Chapter in our Province. I heard the word – ‘Brotherly Love, good working again – No books, Congratulations…..!
We had a very good number of visitors two John’s from Benevolence Chapter, Sherborne Dorset, the Candidate’s father who spoke warmly of his experience that evening was E Comp Derrick Lyons, PPGReg, Chantry Bodina 9121, and Brother- in-law, E Comp Paul Kitt also of 9121.
On a beautiful evening at the picturesque Isle of Wedmore Golf Club 54 Companions, wives, partners and friends assembled for the Annual Dinner. It was great to be back at the Golf Club after a break to The Webbington.
E Comp Ray Beckingham as MEZ organised the event in his usual efficient way, explaining that only two weeks earlier there were only 10 people booked in. It was a very friendly evening, making new acquaintances, cementing old ones and generally having a superb evening.
E Comp Adrian Halliwell, DC, called those present for grace before settling down to a splendid meal, after which MEZ proposed the Loyal Toast then he gave a thanks to all concerned and wished everyone a safe drive home. No one rushed to leave and continued there chats and farewells before wending their ways home.
Springboard is a charity supporting children from birth to 5 years old with additional needs and disabilities, and their families.
Springboard’s vision is where every child from birth to 5 years in North Somerset has the care, education, support and opportunity they need to reach their full potential. It was started by a small group of parents in 1986 who needed help with their very young children who all had disabilities. Springboard now provides a vital service for around 100 children per week.
Every weekday in term time Springboard runs specialist play and learning sessions from four settings in Clevedon and Weston–Super–Mare and also weekly Stay and Play sessions for children with their parents/carers. Springboard have a Family Support Service and a Traded Inclusion Service.
Liz Smith, Springboard Business Manager, said “We depend heavily on support from the community to enable us to continue to work with children and families. We recently made a difficult decision that our minibus had come to the end of its useful life. This generous donation of £1000 from Chapter Marine Masons at Clevedon will be used to take children from our base on outings around the local area, using hired minibuses or community transport.
At the May meeting, a packed house and a most memorable evening, during which Bro. Ian James Ramsden was exalted, Comp. Bradley Freeman received his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate
The Chapter was honoured by the presence of The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, D John Bennett. Before the MEGS was admitted, a ballot was held to make him and honorary member of the Chapter. With great relief!!! The ballot proved pure. The MEGS was then admitted and congratulated by their Excellencies on becoming a member, for which he thanked them and the Companions.
The ceremony then continued with the Exaltation of Bro Ian James Ramsden which proved a very good ceremony.
At the Festive Board E Comp Tony Cooper the Chapter DC proposed the Toast to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent. This being the last time he would visit us as MEGS it was felt necessary to thank him for the continuous 27 years of service he had dedicated to Somerset Royal Arch Masonry in words expressing the feelings of the Chapter and I’m sure all companions present. As a final tribute the Grand Superintendent unveiled a picture of himself, presented by the Chapter, which will hang with pride and reflect the admiration Connaught Chapter has for him.
Once again this meeting was held on a beautiful day at the Webbington Hotel and Spa. The morning was taken up with setting up the room with the chapter furniture being brought to the venue by E Comp John Griffin. There was a run through by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, with the other DCs and Stewards before a full rehearsal starting at 11:30.
The new Officers collected their Jewels from E Comp Roger Reina, Pr Grand Registrar, and, being suitably, clothed had their photos taken by E Comp Arthur Rowe.
The Companions were all seated for 3:00pm and the processions started at 3:10pm with the Principals of the Chapters of Somerset, followed by distinguished guests, Grand Superintendents of other Provinces, E Comp George Pippon Francis, P 2nd Grand Principal accompanied by E Comp Denis Calderley, and finally MEGS D John Bennett and the Provincial Team. The Chapter was opened in due form and hymn.
The First Principal of Tyntesfield Chapter presented MEGS with the Somerset Sceptre which was placed on Scribe E’s table for the duration. Following the Roll Call of Chapters and attendance of Provincial Grand Officers the Minutes of the previous Convocation were reported as distributed to all Chapters and submitted for approval which was confirmed. The Companions then stood in memory of those Somerset Companions who died during the 1st World War, to mark the centenary of the end of that war. In Memoriam was then read by E Comp Pr Grand Registrar.
The Provincial Grand Treasurer, E Comp Terry Hayes, then gave a report of the past year, followed by E Comp Tony Beaumont, Pr Grand Scribe E, giving his report [click here to view].
MEGS the reappointed E Comp Alan Holton as deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive Lambert as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and then Appointed, Obligated, Invested and Installed E Comp Neil Hurcum as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, thanking E Comp David Parslow for the excellent year he had in that Office. MEGS the invested the 28 Officers of the Provincial Team and 46 first appointments/promotions, with a few absences.
MEGS then gave his address [click here to read] to the meeting noting his 10 years in the post where he was installed by E Comp George Pippon Francis, and other memorable events over that period.
MEGS then presented the Somerset Sceptre to E Comp Bob Moore, 1st Principal of Exmoor Chapter, to commence the next round of visits.
The Provincial Chapter was closed with Hymn and the first two verses of the National Anthem and then the distinguished companions, and Provincial Principals retired in procession.
After trips to the bar the Companions assembled for the Festive Board where MEGS was welcomed with acclamation and the meal was taken with plenty of communication with known and other Companions. After the meal MEGS gave the Loyal Toast followed by other toasts notably that by E Comp Gorge Pippon to MEGS, followed by the presentation of a cheque from all the Chapters by E Comp Alan Holton in the Province and a Basket of fruit. MEGS suitably replied in his usual lighthearted manner.
The day being ended the Companions wended their way home, some as far as Sussex! Overall a magnificent day that was enjoyed by all.
The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter will be held at The Webbington Hotel & Spa, Loxton, Nr Axbridge, Somerset on Thursday 17th May 2018 at 3.30pm Under the Banner of Sincerity Chapter No.261
PROGRAMME FOR THE PROVINCIAL CONVOCATION The Timetable is approximately as follows: 2.30pm Active officers, appointed for 2018/2019, to collect the jewel of their office from Scribe E’s table in the Chapter. 3.00pm All Companions to be seated in the Chapter room. 3.00-3.25pm Distinguished Guests and Grand Officers will process into the Chapter. Visiting Grand Superintendents will process into the Chapter. The First Principals of all Somerset Chapters will enter into the Chapter and be arranged under the banner of Sincerity Chapter No 261. The Provincial Team will enter the Chapter. 3.30pm Provincial Grand Chapter will be opened by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Grand Principals. About 4.45pm Provincial Grand Chapter will be closed. 5.45pm Companions will be seated for Dinner. 6.00pm Dinner will be served About 7.30 to 8.00pm Companions will depart.
Order of Procedure. 1.Excellent Companion D. John Bennett, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, and Officers of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset will enter in procession. 2. Provincial Grand Chapter will be opened in due form. 3. Opening Hymn. 4. The First Principal of Tyntesfield Chapter No 4494 will present the Somerset Sceptre to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for safe keeping during the Provincial Convocation. 5. To call the Roll of Chapters within the Province. 6. The attendance of Provincial Grand Officers will be reported. 7. To confirm the minutes of the Annual Convocation held at The Webbington Hotel & Spa, Loxton, Nr Axbridge, Somerset, on Thursday 18th May 2017. 8. In Memoriam. 9. The Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st December 2017 will be presented and if approved, adopted. 10. To receive the report of The Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra. 11. To Elect a Provincial Grand Treasurer for the ensuing year. 12. To Elect an Account Examiner for the ensuing year. 13. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will appoint, obligate, invest and install E.Comp. Neil R. Hurcum as Third Provincial Grand Principal. 14. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will appoint and invest Provincial Grand Chapter Officers for the ensuing year and confer Past Provincial Grand Chapter Rank and Promotions 15. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will address the Companions. 16. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will present the Somerset Sceptre to the First Principal of Exmoor Chapter No 2390. 17. Any other business. 18. To receive apologies. 19. To close Provincial Grand Chapter. 20. Closing Hymn and Collection of Alms. 21. The first and second verse of the National Anthem will be sung.
The Chapter of Perpetual Friendship will be celebrating its Centenary with a special meeting on 1st October 2018. As places will be limited at Bridgwater Masonic Hall the Companions have been asked to book in as soon as possible. Please see the summons by following this SUMMONS LINK.
For more information please contact Scribe E, details as per summons.