PROVINCE OF SOMERSET CHAPTER OF BROTHERLY LOVE No. 329 CENTENARY CHAPTER Consecrated on November 16th 1822 Meeting on 28th February 2019 at 6:30pm E. COMP. Derek Marpole Z E. COMP. William Spregg H E. COMP. Anthony Rash J
6th February 2019
The Masonic Hall, Hendford, Yeovil, Somerset,BA20 1TQ
Dear Sir and Companion,
The next Regular Convocation of the Chapter will be held on Thursday 28th February 2019 at 6.30 pm to which your prompt attendance is requested. Yours sincerely and fraternally
Christopher Jeffery Scribe E
1. To confirm the minutes of the last Regular Convocation held on Thursday 15th November 2018 as circulated to all members.
2. To deal with any matters arising therefrom.
3. To read the minutes of the Regular Convocation 100 years ago.
4. (a) Supreme Grand Chapter Communications (b) Provincial Grand Chapter Communications Letter of thanks from E Comp N Hurcum 3rd Prov G Prin, Joint Chapter/Craft statement (c) Correspondence Resignation
5. To receive the Provincial Travelling Sceptre from the Companions of the Chapter of Fidelity & Sincerity No.1966
6. To Ballot for as a candidate for Exaltation Bro Robert John MITCHELL,
7. Subject to successful ballot to Exalt Bro Robert John MITCHELL
When you have spent many months organising a weekend in North Devon the last thing you want is a forecast of snow but this was the news that David Parslow, the Provincial Events Organiser, woke to on Thursday 31st January 2019 and the forecasters were right as on Friday morning the West Country received a fairly substantial coating of snow. Before long many telephone calls were being made, however the Durrant House Hotel confirmed that there was no snow in Bideford. Many people decided to leave a little later although by mid-morning the M5, A361 and the A39 were all passable with ease although a few people, those who lived in the more remote areas of Somerset, were stuck at home and would have to leave travelling until Saturday as they would have to be dug out from their homes and drives.
By 6pm on Friday most of those attending had checked in and the bars were beginning to fill. A ‘help yourself’ Buffet Supper was served at 7pm and, as usual, proved to be a wonderful selection of food. Following this the Ballroom was cleared and ‘Johnny’ the resident DJ took over and a very enjoyable evening was had by all.
Saturday is always a free day and although it was cold, it was a bright day and it is always surprising where people manage to travel on that day. However by late afternoon all were back at the hotel and getting ready for the main event on Saturday evening.
The evening commenced with the usual reception in the Sir Richard Bar and, due to the fact that the Grand Superintendent was on holiday, the event was hosted by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Clive Lambert. This event really sets the scene for the evening and enables all Companions and their wives or partners to enjoy renewing friendships. Following this all Companions made their way to the Venetian Dining Room, where the Gala Dinner was to be held. The 2nd and 3rd Provincial Principals and their Ladies were welcomed into the Venetian Room by all those present and they were followed by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Companion Clive Lambert and Penny and after Grace, delivered by the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal the guest enjoyed a superb Dinner. After the Loyal Toast, the Toast to the Ladies was proposed by E Comp Alan Holton, the Past Deputy Grand Superintendent, whose humour and sincerity was much appreciated by all present.
A very touching reply to the Toast was given by Penny Fahe during which she thanked, on behalf of all the Ladies, the Province for organising a wonderful weekend. The formal part of the evening ended with the Deputy Grand Superintendent reading an Email from the Grand Superintendent wishing all those attending a very pleasant evening. The Deputy Grand Superintendent also thanked E Comp Graham Glazier and the Province of Dorset for their continued support. Dinner was followed by dancing with music again provided by ‘Freeway’.
Sunday morning was bright and dry and after breakfast all guest prepared to leave North Devon, many already looking forward to next year. 2020 will mark the 25th Anniversary of the first Provincial Grand Chapter Weekend held at the Rainbow Hotel Torquay in 1995.
If you are one of those Companions that have attended every Provincial Weekend since 1995 and intend to be at Bideford in 2020, E Comp David Parslow would like to hear from you, please contact him you might be in for a surprise.
If you wish to help us celebrate the 25th Anniversary please book in early.
With thanks for the Report by E Comp John Bennett, PGS
Dear Excellent Companions and Companions,
A Regular Convocation of the Chapter will be held at the Masonic Hall, Frome on Thursday 31st January 2019. The Convocation will commence promptly at 6.30pm, the duties of which you are summoned to attend.
Yours Faithfully & Fraternally,
E Comp Anthony Guthrie, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. To Open the Chapter
2. To read the Notice convening the Convocation
3. To confirm the Minutes of the Regular Convocation, held on Thursday 29th November 2018
4. Matters arising from those Minutes
5. To approve the Chapter Accounts for 2017-18 (circulated with the Summons)
6. To Ballot for, as a Candidate for Exaltation Bro Steven Peter Hall
7. Subject to a successful Ballot (Item 7), to Exalt Bro Steven Peter Hall
8. To transact Any Other Business
9. To Close the Chapter
Companions wishing to dine should either complete the on-line application sent out by E Comp Richard Dredge OR inform the Dining Steward, Comp Reg Brimson at: email@example.com. Applications to dine should be received no later than Monday 28th January 2019. The Dining Fee is £14.00 per head
MENU: Stilton & Celery Soup, Steak Pie served with Seasonal Vegetables, Cheese & Biscuits
Please ensure all Companions for whom a meal is required are notified to the Dining Steward no later than 4 working days before the Convocation. Brethren are reminded that the Dining Steward and Caterers are not Clairvoyant, if you have special dietary requirements you need to make them known in advance!!
If you know of any Brother who is ill, please notify the Almoner and/or Scribe E
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, Ex 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.
Royal Sussex Chapter No 53 holds its Convocation at Bath Masonic Hall and last year celebrated the 200th Anniversary of its consecrations. Life after such a momentous year will inevitably be a little flat but despite this the Chapter bravely organised a visit from the Royal Arch Presentation Team. This team is led by E Comp Ray Beckingham 2nd Provincial Grand Principal who acted as the narrator with E Comp Chris Fear performing the role of the Past Principal and E Comp Andy Clapp being the hapless newly Exalted Companion.
After opening the Chapter E Comp Ray Beckingham 2nd Provincial Grand Principal accompanied by E Comp D John Bennett, Past Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with E comp Geoff Lester acting as Director of Ceremonies was welcomed into the Chapter by the Principals after which E Comp Ray Beckingham introduced the play-let, ‘The Royal Arch In Camera’. This proved to be an excellent presentation and was well received by the Companions present with the question and answer session afterwards proving to be a very instructive time for all present.
Despite issuing invitations to Companions from the two other Chapters meeting at Bath, Royal Cumberland and St Luke’s there were no visiting Companions from either Chapter. In fact there were only 12 Companions present in total and although small in number it was certainly a very enjoyable evening.
These presentations take a great deal of work to put together, not only for the team but also for the hosting Chapter. They should not be seen as simply filling convocation when the Chapter does not have a Candidate but as an instructive evening, something different and a very entertaining occasion.
Royal Sussex Chapter is one of the smallest Chapters within Somerset but it is one Chapter where you are guaranteed a warm welcome, so please if you have a free evening consider a visit to Royal Sussex. The best way to learn about anything is to involve yourself in it and by visiting Royal Sussex you will probably be invited to be part of the Chapter by being allocated one of the Offices for the evening.
The next Convocation is to be held on Monday 18th March 2019, so go on Email the Scribe Ezra, E Comp John Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org and book yourself in.
The Provincial Grand Master Designate and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent have issued a Joint Statement leading the way to greater liaison between the Craft and Royal Arch. Please follow this LINK to view the Statement
Many Somerset Companions are very familiar with the working of Somersetshire Chapter No 2925 which meets at Mark Masons Hall and many have also enjoyed the hospitality extended to Somerset in November when the Provincial Team visits the Chapter. I have visited Somersetshire Chapter on many occasions and together with Companions from Somerset and London was instrumental in forming the strong bond that now exists between us. Due to pressure of being Grand Superintendent it has never been possible for me to visit the Chapter other than at the November Convocation however the year I was able to attend the Installation Convocation held on Tuesday 8th January 2019.
I was staying in London overnight as I had a meeting at Freemasons’ Hall the following day and after travelling to London and checking into my hotel it was a quick tube journey to St James and Mark Masons’ Hall. I was aware that there was a problem at Mark Masons’ Hall as a sewer in the road had collapsed and the authorities had restricted the use of the building which meant that all catering was suspended. The Chapter was faced with finding a suitable alternative. On arrival at Mark Masons’ Hall I was faced with traffic chaos and a noticed stating that there were ‘Deep Excavations’.
The Convocation was attended by 12 Companions, quite good for London, and I have already been asked to stand in as Haggai, which I was pleased to accept. I was also able to present the Address to the Principals on this occasion. Dinner had been booked at The Institute of Directors in Pall Mall. The Institute of Directors occupy the Grade I listed 116 Pall Mall in London, which is open to members and has rooms and function suites available for commercial hire. The building is owned by the Crown Estate, along with the large collection of artwork that decorates the rooms. Until 1978, the building was run by the United Services Club. The building was designed by John Nash, the 19th-century architect who also designed the Brighton Pavilion and Marble Arch, and constructed between 1826-28.
The Chapter dined in the magnificent Nash Dining Room and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended. We all departed at 9pm as most had to travel long distances home., the Past 1st Principal to Northallerton in Yorkshire, the 1st Principal to Middle Rasen in Lincolnshire and the 3rd Principal to Crayford in Kent.
The Chapter owes a great dept to the Scribe Ezra, Gerry Chilcott for the vast amount of work that he does to ensure the Chapter works so well with the membership so wide spread and it was through his good offices that we dined in such wonderful surroundings.
The Chapter is looking forward to the visit from Somerset Provincial Grand Chapter in November next, but I urge any Companion that are in London on a day when Somersetshire hold a Convocation to make every effort to attend and support the Somerset Chapter in London.
Wednesday 14th March 2018 was a very special day for Chapter of Sincerity No 261 – the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Chapter’s foundation in 1818.
The Principals and Companions of the Chapter were honoured by Supreme Grand Chapter attending mob-handed, when The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion D John Bennett, was accompanied by the entire Provincial Team. Our Dining Steward was very busy beforehand!
The Principals opened the Chapter with traditional 261 workings (as ever, an opening not seen by many visitors) and when Z, H and J proffered their Sceptres in deference, all were retained and MEGS with his team conducted the rest of the ceremony. Our first reading was from Excellent Companion Chris Partridge (J) who read the Minutes of the Chapter’s first Convocation (as Chapter No 497) held on 22nd December 1818.
At this first meeting, W Bro Aaron Smetham was Exalted, whilst Bros Henry Townsend and James Billet Passed the Chair in due form, after which they too were Exalted. For those who don’t know, at that time to be Exalted into a Chapter, a Brother must have been a Master in a Craft Lodge. If he had not been a Master, then he was conducted through a ceremony of “Passing the Chair” and could then be Exalted.
Further readings included the Minutes of the Centenary meeting in 1918 and the words of the Centenary Charter, including permission for the 25 subscribing Companions to wear a Centenary Jewel. We can account for three, leaving some 22 still to be found!
Following the readings, E Companions David Hartley & John Winston gave a brief history of the Chapter from 1818 to the present day, including background to the Chapter’s role in the creation of Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset in 1880.
Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra then read the words upon our new and very decorative 200th Anniversary Charter, soon to be hung at Taunton Masonic Hall.
There then followed the rededication of the Chapter, with E Comp Charlie Barker (Z) declaring to MEGS that the Chapter of Sincerity No 261, having achieved 200 years of service in this Royal Arch Province of Somerset, desired on this special occasion to rededicate the Chapter to continued service.
E Companion David Parslow gave an entertaining Oration, pointing out much that had happened on 22nd December. DID YOU KNOW – the birthday of Maurice and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees in 1949!
After the ceremony, a wonderful Festive Board was held with 90 Diners, based loosely on a Masonic menu from 1918. (Though the 3/6d dining fee could not be repeated!). In researching the menu, the bar was noted as stocking a brand of Champagne still in production and after some sleuthing, 2 bottles were sourced and presented to E Comp D John Bennett, one to be passed on to E Comp Dennis Calderley, who sadly could not attend.
Finally, in commemoration, all those attending were presented with a specially-designed lapel pin, as well as cuff links, and E Comp Charlie presented the Chapter with a 200 year-old decanter and Port glasses to be used by the Principals at all future Festive Boards.
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.