It was once again a very well attended meeting with about 24 Active Provincial Officers from both Devon and Somerset. Heading these were E Comps Simon Rowe MEGS Devon, and Barry Woodside, MEGS Somerset. It was sad to hear that E Comp Nick Male, MEZ, had a bereavement in the family that morning and was, understandably, unable to attend. At such short notice E Comp Rob Hendy was approached and with less than three hours notice, including travel, agreed to step in to the role.
The meeting was opened and E Comp Simon Rowe, with just a few of his team and Grand Officers processed in. He was proffered the Sceptre and rapidly returned it stating that he would need a little more time to swat up Z’s part. The meeting continued with a eulogy for Comp J D Crossman, a founder member, given by E Comp Bill Carnell. There followed the adoption of the minutes of September’s meeting and the adoption of the Chapter Accounts with thanks to the retiring Treasurer.
Next item on the agenda was the Installation of the three Principals. E Comp Andrew Kerslake took Scribe N’s post and Comp Richard Hill was presented to E Comp J and took his Obligation as J, E Comp Bill Carnell then took J’s chair and E Comp Chris Grubb was Obligated as H. Then E Comp Stanley Hopkins took H’s chair and E Comp Martyn Yates was Obligated as Z. The Chapter was then opened in the three Conclaves and the the three new Principals then Installed their team for the year.
The Chapter was closed and companions adjourned to the Festive Board which was a bit cosy with so many companions dining. There followed good food and company and a superb raffle and the meeting ended after 10:30pm.
On Monday the 19th November the Chapter was pleased to be able to have an Exaltation Ceremony with the new Principals doing their first ceremony. The chapter was opened and the usual items progressed seamlessly, when item 6 on the agenda was to Exalt Bro Gary Beasley, a member of Unity Lodge no 1332 from over the border in Devon.
Bro Gary was entrusted and entered into the Chapter where several Companions undertook the ritual: E Comp John Bennett gave the Address; E Comp Richard Gale gave the Signs; E Comps Andrew Kerslake, Peter Chidzey and Adrian Halliwell gave the Mystical Lecture.
Under the 2nd and 3rd Rising E Comp Jim Nicol, Scribe E, announced the names of those Companions who were to receive Provincial Honours at next May’s Provincial Convocation and these received an acclamation.
After the Closing the Companions then retired to the Festive Board of smoked Mackerel and Horseradish paté followed by Roast Turkey and all the trimmings, well it is nearly Christmas! The Toast to the Exaltee, Comp Gary, was given by his Proposer E Comp Jim Nicol, to which Comp Gary gave an excellent reply. The Toast to the Visitors was proposed by E Comp John Brown with his usual Scottish humour and was ably responded to by E Comp David Vaughan.
On the 14th November 2018, twenty Somerset Companions led by The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp Barry K Woodside, traveled up to the metropolis on their annual outing honouring the pledged made by the Past Grand Superintendent, E Comp D John Bennett, to support the Companions of The Somersetshire Chapter for as long into the future as we are able.
Many of the attending Companions made their first port of call to Supreme Grand Chapter where following the address by the Pro. First Grand Principal ME Comp Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, Supreme Grand Chapter was closed, allowing a delegation from the Royal College of Surgeons to be admitted and introduced. Following two extremely able and challenging dissertations the delegation, after receiving a standing ovation were excused and a recession parade was formed to escort the Grand Principals from the Temple.
A hasty retreat then ensued as the Somerset Companions made their way across to Davys at St. James’s for a buffet lunch and a helping of Davys finest ale, before departing to Mark Masons Hall for The Somersetshire Chapter Convocation. The Chapter Convocation proved a huge success with the Metropolitan Steward’s Chapter demonstrating an Exaltation Ceremony with added drama. The Assistant Metropolitan Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian Currans, PGSwdB, who was responsible for organising the demonstration was in attendance together with a number of his Senior Metropolitan Team.
Long may our committed and happy association continue with the Companions of The Somersetshire Chapter; and on this particular occasion, our thanks must surely go to all the participating Metropolitan Team for making the evening such an enjoyable and memorable occasion.
On 10th November some of Somerset’s Executive traveled to the Riviera Centre in Torquay for this gathering. All arrived fairly early and had plenty of opportunity of mingling with a considerable number of their peers from other masonic provinces as well as the locals. After tea, coffee and other liquid refreshment had been taken, the assembled company were called into the dining hall where lunch was to be served.
Ready to eat
Suitably replete there was a quick dash to don regalia and join the appropriate procession to be led into the conference hall/temple. Devonshire’s team have a professional photographer who had cameras set up in the balcony of the hall and took pictures of the following meeting. Find their web-site to view the many that I’m sure he will mount in due time. I close with a picture of Somerset’s representatives ready to join the meeting.
Provincial Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Somerset E Comp Barry K. Woodside The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Invites all Companions, Wives Partners and Friends
CAROLS & READINGS FOR CHRISTMAS
The Church of St John the Baptist, Glastonbury, Somerset
3pm On Saturday 1st December 2018
At the September meeting held at Wedmore the three Principals opened the Convocation. Companions of Taunton Deane Chapter, no 5221, lead by E Comp Roger Seaton, Z, presented the Somerset Sceptre to E Comp Richard Ellis for onward transport to Royal Sussex Chapter on 15th October. This will mean that Richard has to give it to himself!
The changes to the Bye-laws for the change of venue was approved and will be forwarded to Province for confirmation.
MEGS E Comp D John Bennett was welcomed and proffered the Sceptre by MEZ, E Comp Richard Ellis,. On this occasion MEGS took the Sceptre and the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals were placed in their respective chairs.
MEZ then informed MEGS that he wished that a new Honours Board be Dedicated by the team. A deputation of the three Principals of Calderley Chapter, with E Comp Maldwyn Davies standing in for E Comp Keith Fisher, asked for the Board to be dedicated. PrGJ then gave The Dedication Prayer and MEGS gave a brief history of Calderley Chapter. This was followed by the Dedication by MEGS and presentation back to MEZ.
There followed the discussion led by MEGS as this was why the Calderley Chapter was formed. E Comp John was disappointed by the low number of CLOs present and E Comp Adrian Halliwell, Provincial Liaison Officer, explained that he felt partly to blame as he didn’t forward the Summons as he was away. This will change in the future and Summonses will be sent from E Comp Julian May, Secretary.
MEGS also was unhappy with the lack of reports and updates to the web pages by CLOs and asked for an improvement and if CLOs were unable to do this that the Chapters should appoint a suitable replacement.
Chapters were reminded that Summonses should be sent to Province 21 days prior to their meeting. One Chapter stated that the Summons wasn’t sent because of the Data Protection Rules. This is incorrect as all Masons agree to their names appearing, if not they will have stated their preference.
Calderley Chapter requires a replacement DC as Barry Woodside will be busy for the next five years, any volunteers?
Membership to Calderley Chapter is open to any Companion to join, the more the merrier, it is a good discussion group.
Scribe Es are asked to advertise the Provincial Web on Summonses and correspondence ie www.somersetroyalarch.org
Comp Robert Colins gave a brief report on the Masonic Fishing Charity, see www.mtsfc.org.uk, and asked any keen anglers who would like to help in giving help to disabled, both mentally and physically, interact with others on a one-to-one basis, by taking them out of their usual environment and learning new skills. See Brochure click here and here and letter here.
MEGS then asked the PrGDC to return MEZ to his rightful chair and the other Principals were also returned to theirs.
After the usual risings the Chapter was closed and Companions headed for the Festive Board where they had an excellent meal prepared by Zenas Catering with E Comp Neil Hurcum, PrGJ helping out.
The Chapter met on a rather warm September meeting at Wellington. The Chapter was opened and E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, was admitted. He announced that MEGS, John Bennett, was outside the door accompanied by a Grand Officer and Members of the Provincial Team. He was admitted and proffered the Sceptre by E Comp Peter Chidzey, MEZ, which was instantly returned.
The proceedings continued with a ballot for an Exaltee which proved clear, and he will be exalted in November. The Accounts were adopted with thanks to the Treasurer, E Comp Keith Smith, and the Auditors.
A Grand Chapter Certificate was then presented to Comp Matt Layzell by MEGS who was at Matt’s Exaltation.
The main event was the Installation of the three Principals followed by the appointment of the officers, which went fairly smoothly.
Once the Installation was complete and photographs take the Companions adjourned to the dining room for the first meal delivered from our new caterer, which was excellent.
During the speeches MEGS was presented with a bottle of Wicked Wolf Gin made on Exmoor and with some tonic to help it down. Being John’s last visit to F & S as MEGS he responded to his toast warning that he would be back as an Honorary Member of the Chapter.
The opening meeting of the 2018 season was the held at Bridgwater by the Somerset 1st Principals Chapter on another warm evening. The Chapter was opened by the three Principals – Ray Beckingham, Z, Maldwyn Davies, H, and Andy Gray, J, and was immediately followed by the reception of MEGS D John Bennett, accompanied by E Comp Clive Lambert, 2nd Pr G Principal and visiting all the way from Worcestershire their DepGS E Comp John Phenix, E Comp Chris Moore, PrDC, and acting as Standard Bearer E Comp Sandy Glenn.
A most excellent eulogy for E Comp Walter Wood was given by E Comp Sid Brailey and companions stood to order. After the Minutes were approved the Principals welcomed the visiting members from other Provinces and 1st Principals from Somerset Chapters. There followed a ballot for two Joining Members, which proved clear, and for E Comp Ray Sheppard as the new Treasurer, which also was clear.
The main event of the evening was a talk given by E Comp Ray Beckingham entitled ‘Why Holy?, why Royal?, why Arch?’. This proved to be most enlightening and everyone must have gained their day’s advancement in masonic knowledge.
The next event was the Induction of the three Principals, E Comp Maldwyn as Z, E Comp Andy as H and E Comp Richard Ellis as J. The Principals then appointed and invested their Officers.
Following the Notice of Motion from the last meeting E Comp Martin Slowcombe proposed that £500 be donated to the 2020 Festival. This was duly carried. The Chapter was closed with a hymn and the Companions retired to the Festive Board.
At the Festive Board at the Toast to MEGS he was presented with a fine bottle of gin by MEZ and Megs duly responded. The Visitors Toast was given by E Comp John Griffen and responded to by E Comp Mike Phenix.