What an enjoyable evening we had in Bridgwater. The ceremony was somewhat simplified due to many officers remaining at post to allow the newer Companions to catch up.
The caterers did a splendid job and there were two candidates voted in for Exaltation plus a joining member, Comp Kevin Beavan, who not only received a very warm welcome but received one of the few rare remaining Centenary Royal Arch Chapter jewels to wear in perpetuity. Companion Gary Thomas was presented with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate by E.Comp. Ray Beckingham, Second Provincial Grand Principal.
Although there were a number of apologies the Installation Convocation turned out to be a great success.
E.Comp. John M Griffin, PGStBr, PrGJan, P3rdPGPr
My partner Greg are both paramedics that live in Congresbury and work in the local area. We just got back from climbing Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise money for the local air ambulance charity and are looking to host a number of coffee mornings in the area which would include a cake sale and the opportunity to learn CPR.
I was wondering if this is something that might be possible at Yatton Masonic hall? Or indeed any of your other venues?
Whilst working for the ambulance service both myself and Greg have seen first hand the importance of immediate and effective CPR, as it can literally be the difference between life and death. Evidence suggests that every minute that someone in cardiac arrest doesn’t receive CPR reduces their survivability by 10%. Despite these statistics only approximately 39% of cardiac arrests receive bystander CPR, which is significantly lower than most other westernised countries.
There is a big push nationally to train more people in how to deliver effective CPR and to give people the confidence to put it into practice.
We would be massively grateful if we could do our bit by hosting an event with yourselves. Plus cake makes it even more enjoyable!
If there is any Chapter or Craft Lodge or Masonic Centre interested in holding such a function please contact Helen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Annual Carol Service will be once again at Glastonbury but with this difference: it will be held at THE CHURCH OF ST BENEDICT’Snot The Church of St John the Baptist, at 3pm on Saturday 7th December 2019. See Flyer in link below for further information
The Chapter was opened in due form half an hour earlier than originally advertised but no was caught out, as everyone, well nearly everyone arrived very early. The numbers were 55 a very good turn out for a Chapter.
The Chapter was Honoured with the presence of ME Third Grand Principal Most Excellent Comp Gareth Jones, OBE, as guest of honour and of course our very own, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, in and over the Province of Somerset, E Comp Barry K Woodside, accompanied by the full works in the names of, Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive A F Lambert, PGSwdB, The Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Raymond F Beckingham, PAGSoj and Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp David J Dixon, together with the Provincial Team. Everything had been worked through with E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, and E Comp Jim Mitchell, Grand Standard Bearer. MEGS entered the Chapter with his escort was greeted by the acting ME, E Comp Harry Blinston who proffered the Sceptre and the MEGS at first returned it to Harry, who had a look of horror on his face! then MEGS realised that he was taking the chair and took it back. The relief on Harry’s face was obvious, I suspect that Barry was having a bit of fun with Harry. The Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals occupied the chairs of H and J. The PrGDC then replaced the Chapter ScN, Soj’s and Jan with the PrScN, PrSoj’s and the acting PrJan (me).
There was a report on the the door that the Grand Standard Bearer requested admission, he was admitted and reported that The Third Grand Principal was outside the door and demanded admission. He was admitted, accompanied by Grand Officers, paid due homage to the alter, was greeted by the MEGS and proffered the Sceptre which he returned to MEGS with dignity and took his seat. The G Supt gave and explanation as to the purpose of tonight’s Banner dedication, being Inkerman Chapter’s 150th year celebration, then called upon their Acting Z who gave a short but detail explanation of Inkerman Chapter’s history and the purpose of the meeting.
The PrGDC formed the deputation of the three Chapter Principals and Comp Lieutenant Col Ralph Howard to conduct the Banner into the chapter which was done with the Companions in good voice. Acting Z then presented the Banner to MEGS it was collected by the PrGStdb, uncovered. MEGS conducted the ceremony of Dedicating the the new Banner with companions again in good voice as it was paraded around the Chapter, assisted by the guest organist. PrG J gave the Dedication prayer. MEGS then presented the banner to E Comp H Blinston. The ceremony was completed with an excellent and very interesting Oration by E Comp D Dixon 3rd PrG Principal where he expanded on the history of the Chapter and how it got its name from a battle in the Crimean War. The PrG J gave the Patriarchal Benediction followed by a hymn. The Chapter Principals and Officers resumed their positions.
Then the rest of the Chapter business was conducted which was to Induct E Comp Syd Brailey as Z, as he was the oldest member of the Chapter (91) to celebrate the Chapter’s 150th year he was honoured with being the Chapter’s 1st Principal for the year, he assured all present that he did not attended the Chapter’s Consecration.
The Chapter was then closed in due form with the Third Grand Principal being escorted by the Provincial Grand Principals, the Chapter Principals and Grand Officers. It was a very good dedication ceremony which went smoothly and was enjoyed by all present. It was followed by a very good festive board which was conducted in good humour and harmony, finishing just after 2200hrs.
E Comp Barry Jones PrGStwd, CLO Wrington Vale Chapter 1199.
Calderley returned to Wedmore for its Annual Visit and was reasonably well attended, however, there was a substitute in the ranks, namely E Comp Richard Ellis standing in for Ray Beckingham as H. MEZ E Comp Keith Fisher welcomed all and in particular E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, who was not offered the Sceptre, that comes later.
Those officers not present at the Installation were duly Invested, but because of the resignation of E Comp Alan Holton, for personal reasons, five Officers were shuffled around to form the team.
Following the Notice of Motion at the last meeting Comp David Medlock, PGM, and E Comp David Dixon, 3rd PrGPrincipal, were elected as Honorary and Joining Members respectively.
The Three Principals for next year were declared: E Comp Ray Beckingham, MEZ; E Comp Matt Westley, H; and E Comp Chris Summers as J. E Comp Chris Moore was also declared as Treasurer.
The Sceptre was then taken by MEGS who started by complimenting Scribe E and AssScribe E, E Comps Julian May and John Bennett, for their work in producing the Chapter’s Members Handbook. He then got on to the main discussion topic for the evening which was closer cooperation between the Craft and HRA.
He introduced E Comp Neil Hurcum who would be undertaking this role.
Neil explained his role which was to: coordinate the HRA Reps, give them guidance, help and support; Fraternal visits by Supreme Grand Chapter Officers and members of the Executive. Neil is acting with E Comp Martin Slocombe, AssPGM, to visit about 21 Lodges each year and have return visits approximately every 3 to 4 years. It was suggested that on the Second Rising the HRA Rep could give a Nugget from Solomon referencing the HRA, which is after all the completion of the Third Degree. The HRA Reps will be contacted to give details of the Chapter members in their Lodge.
Neil stated that the four “Es” are required:
Engage – with the Non Companions
Enthuse – that HRA is the completion of the Third Degree
Encourage – brethren to join
Enjoy – the HRA is a really happy and spectacular group
The HRA Toolkit will be ready soon with a revised letter to Master Masons when they receive their Grand Lodge Certificate. A letter to any MM that is not in HRA. A trifold leaflet which will be a useful tool to give out.
A note to all to try and bring brethren into the HRA as at present there are 65% who are not members, so that joining the HRA should not be the exception but the norm!
Remember the new Exaltee who on being restored to light just said “WOW”.
MEGS thanked Neil and Martin for their delivery of the new initiate. He then called for E Comps John Smith and Julian May to be presented to him when he gave them the Grand Superintendent’s Award lapel pins, which replace the collarets that Grand Chapter had banned.
The next meeting of Calderley will be the Installation of E Comp Ray Beckingham in March and will be at the Clevedon Masonic Hall.
On the Forth Rising E Comp John Bennett gave Notice of Motion that he will propose that two Past PGMs, E Comps Stanley Hopkins and David Jenkins be made Honorary Members.
The meeting then closed and companions headed downstairs to the Festive Board, where a superb meal was had.
The Installation at Fidelity and Sincerity should have been a great one as the three Principals had been having regular LOIs throughout the closed season. However, our Third Principal has had to defer his Installation as his wife is not well. Still don’t panic DC! E Comp Chris Summers agreed to stand in for the evening.
Then the Companion due to give the Address to the Companions passed to the Grand Chapter above! Still don’t panic DC! A quick pone call the PrDC, E Comp Chris Moore, and he agreed to do it, panic over.
On the night the Principal Sojourner was delayed at work and couldn’t attend! Still don’t panic DC! E Comp Basil Tokelove was seconded for the evening.
ADC was on the high seas! Still don’t panic DC! E Comp Ron Troup agreed to sit in the chair.
The Chapter was then opened and E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd PrG Principal, was welcomed into the Chapter, he was accompanied by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, E Comp Barry Jones, PrGStwd, and E Comp Jim Nicol our Scribe E and PrAssScrE. There followed a eulogy for Comp Peter Lee and E Comp Keith Coleman who both passed to The Grand Chapter above, was given by our Almoner, E Comp Keith Smith.
The Minutes and adoption of the Accounts went smoothly before the main event of the evening: The Installation of the Principals- as MEZ – E Comp Jason Vincent, and as J – Comp Chris Waterhouse. Thankfully everything went almost to plan with a sigh of relief from the DC E Comp Adrian Halliwell.
The Principals then Appointed and Invested their Officers for the year. The new MEZ was then presented the Charter of the Chapter by IPZ, E Comp Andrew Kerslake, who was then presented with the IPZ collar and Perpetual IPZ’s Jewel.
On the Second and Third Rising E Comp Ray Beckingham gave his greetings and that of MEGS with some Provincial Parish Notices. On the Fourth Rising proposals were made for a candidate for Exaltation and also a new member.
The Chapter was then closed and companions moved to the dining room for a Festive Board of smoked Salmon on blinis, Roast pork medallions with all the trimmings followed by sherry trifle. E Comp Peter Chidzey gave the toast to the Provincial Officers which was responded to by E Comp Ray. That to the Principals was given by E Comp Jim Nicol and responded to by MEZ -Jason and J – Chris W. The toast to the Visitors was given at short notice by Principal Sojourner, Comp Duncan Sully-Dunbar, responder was E Comp Maldwyn Davies.
THE WORLD’S OLDEST SOCIAL NETWORK AIMS TO GO VIRAL WITH NEW CAMPAIGN
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is launching a social media campaign to be the most featured venue as part of Open House London this weekend. Members of the public are being encouraged to visit the home of Freemasonry in England and Wales and post their pictures on social media using the hashtag #OHLFMH. Freemasons’ Hall welcomes over 200,000 visitors through its doors every year. UGLE has 50K Facebook followers, 26K Twitter followers and 24K followers on Instagram.
This was our first ever daylight meeting and was very well attended by over 60 members and visitors. These visitors were from First Principals’ Chapters in Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire and Gloucester and Herefordshire, as well as others from around this Province.
The meeting commenced at 11:00 with MEZ E Comp Maldwyn Davies leading the proceedings. After the Chapter was opened MEGS, E Comp Barry Woodside was welcomed into the Chapter, together with a goodly numbers of Provincial Principals from this and other Provinces. These were all welcomed by MEZ who had visited all of the other First Principals’ Chapters during his three years going through the chairs. There were several First Principals from Somerset who were likewise greeted.
A ballot took place for five joining members which proved clear and those new members present were given the Chapter Hand Book containing the Bylaws, Ritual and an explanation of the progression through the Chapter.
Next item was a talk given by E Comp Maldwyn entitled “Formation of Supreme Grand Chapter”, which proved most interesting. This had been gleaned from Solomon and if anyone wishes to read it please contact MEZ who will point you in the right direction.
Next on the Agenda was to install the three Principals, before which MEZ thanked all of the Officers and members for their support over his three years progression through the Chairs. The new Principals Installed were:
E Comp Andy Gray as MEZ
E Comp Richard Ellis as H
E Comp John Griffin as J
The Principals then re Appointed most of the Officers and those taking Office for the first time. This was followed by E Comp Barry Woodside giving the Address to the Principals; E Comp Keith Fisher that to the Officers and E Comp Matt Westley that to the Companions in his usual exuberant way.
E Comp Ray Beckingham gave a brief Almoner’s report as he had only been informed of two companions being unwell!
The Chapter was closed and the Principals and dignitaries retired from the Chapter and headed to the Festive Board, which was a tasty Mushroom Soup, Roast Pork and Bread and Butter Pudding. After the meal the Toasts and speeches were given, with a good deal of conviviality amongst all.
A successful daylight meeting but will all First Principals’ meetings be in the daylight? watch this space…
When I retired as Grand Superintendent, the Companions of Exmoor Chapter very kindly presented me with a Gift Voucher for which I truly thank you. Jenny & I spent many hours deciding what to spend this gift on and finally we decided that we would have a couple of days away.
We had visited Guildford in Surrey about 10 years ago and when we were there, we paid a visit to The Watts Gallery in Compton. At that time the Gallery buildings were in a sorry state but since then a trust has been formed and, thanks mainly to a Lottery Grant, the Gallery was closed for 2 years and during this time the building and surrounding land was completely refurbished, and so we thought that it would be a great idea to pay a return visit.
The journey from Clevedon was not great and we had torrential rain most of the way up the M4 to Newbury but from there on the weather improved and it became very hot, but this did not have any effect on our visit to Compton. George Frederick Watts OM, who was born in 1817, was one of the great Victorian Artist, not only a Painter but also a Sculptor, he is also unique amongst other artists of the age in that he never belonged to any school of painters and was very much a ‘loner’.
Late in life in 1886 he married Mary Fraser-Tyler who was at that time 36 years old, George Frederick Watts was 69. Mary Watts was one of the first women to have professional training as an artist but after her marriage and discovering a seam of clay locally she started the Compton Pottery. Together they designed the Gallery and the Foundation Stone was laid by George Frederick Watts himself. They also built an Arts & Crafts House for themselves ‘Limnerslease’ which we also visited.
The Village had at that time a Cemetery but there was no Chapel and so Mary Watts, inspired the villagers to build one that she had designed, not only to build one but to decorate it. Compton Cemetery Chapel is covered with remarkable Celtic and Art Nouveau style decoration tiles, all being designed and made by 74 villagers. The outside is magnificent, but the interior is beyond words.
Our hotel for the night was situated in Aldershot and from the bedroom window we could see the wonderful statue of the Duke of Wellington which once stood on the Wellington Arch at the top of Constitution Hill in London but was removed to its present home in Aldershot because it was too heavy for the Arch.
The following morning, we made our way to West Green House Gardens at Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. This house was gifted to the National Trust by Victor Sassoon in 1971 but is not itself of importance although it is a beautiful house. A few years later the lease was taken by Alistair McAlpine who was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party during Mrs Thatcher’s premiership and as such was an IRA target. Three weeks after Alistair McAlpine gave up the lease an IRA bomb was planted in the front garden which caused extensive damage to the house.
Following this the National Trust restored the House and then a 99year lease was taken by Marylyn Abbot who is a professional Garden Designer but was formally the Marketing and Tourism Manager for Sydney Opera House and as a result of this instituted an Opera Season each summer at West Green House.
The resulting garden at West Green House is testament to her work and now provides a delightful series of walled gardens and beyond these a dramatic woodland garden that has many interesting follies and a wonderful walk around the lake. The small on-site restaurant also provides wonderful food and coffee.
Thank you Companions of Exmoor Chapter No 2390 at Minehead. We had a memorable time away and are very grateful to you all.
At the recent Provincial Chapter meeting the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Barry Woodside, gave a very generous gift to the Provincial Grand Master, Comp David Medlock, towards the 2020 Festival. Following this action the Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro David Maddern, sent a letter expressing the gratitude of the Provincial Grand Lodge. To read the letter follow this link.
Well done to all who have contributed to this donation and those Chapters mentioned in the letter.