1st Principals 28th June at Yatton

On what must have been the hottest day of the year so far, we held our Summer meeting at Yatton, where MEZ Ray Beckingham’s Chapter (Wrington Vale) meets – a busy and eventful agenda had 17 items!

MEZ musing on how well the rearsal went

Visitors from the Provinces of Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and Hereford were warmly (haha) welcomed, as well as First Principals of Somerset Chapters.  Our own Grand Superintendent, Deputy and 2nd Provincial Principal were also present at this packed meeting.

Welcoming visitors

Members of Abbey Chapter delivered the Travelling Sceptre for safe keeping,

Abbey Chapter delivering the Travelling Sceptre

after which the Chapter elected E Comp Ron Babbage as an Honorary Member and E Comps Richard Reeve, Alan Dummett and John Hewett as Joining Members.

Welcoming Joining Members
H wondering if he’ll be elected as MEZ

The three Principals for 2018/2019 were then elected – Maldwyn Davies (Z), Andy Gray (H) and Richard Ellis (J).  All three thanked the Companions for so honouring them.  E Comp Bob Moore was re-elected as Treasurer, and he informs me that the cruise is booked!

Andy Gray smiling?

To round off the meeting, E Comp Ray Beckingham delivered a very interesting and educational “Commentary on the Royal Arch” urging Companions to use it as a springboard for their own researches.

The Festive Board was a jolly affair, with dress code relaxed to permit removal of jackets – thank goodness!

Welcoming E Comp Ray Bennett,Deputy Grand Superintendent of Glos & Hereford

3746 1st Principals’ Summer Dinner

This popular annual event will be held on Saturday 2nd June 2018,and is open to all Members & Wives also 1st Principals of Somerset Chapters with Wives or Partners.
To be held at the picturesque Wedmore Golf Club 7pm for 7-30pm
Three Course Dinner (choice of menu) including Coffee & Mints £18.00. Contact E. Comp Ray Beckingham, no later than 25th May, if you would like to attend.

1st Principals Annual Dinner

14th July saw a gathering of members and their wives for the Chapter annual dinner.  This year, the Wedmore Golf Club not being available, MEZ John Rudge decided to try out The Webbington.  We were in the Garden Suite and could well have risked eating outside as it was such a lovely evening!

E Comp Steve Wilson andMrs Jenny du Kamp

E Comp John Rudge did well to make the event, having recently been in hospital. He presented his wife with a bouquet of flowers, thanking her for looking after him so well.

He also thanked members for attending what was a truly convivial evening. Good fellowship, good food and wine – what more could you ask for?

3746 1st Principals WOW factor!

In the words of E. Comp. Andy Gray (that well-known wit and philosopher) “You wait 40 years for a banner and then 13 come along all at once!”

Thursday 22nd June 2017 will go down as one of the most memorable meetings in the Chapter’s history.  On this auspicious date at Taunton Masonic Hall, the Chapter was joined by the Grand Superintendent and his Provincial Team in order to Dedicate the new Chapter Banner and 12 Tribal Ensigns.

MEZ John Rudge welcoming John Bennet, Grand Superintendent
MEZ John Rudge welcoming John Bennett, Grand Superintendent

Before that happened though, MEZ and their Excellencies welcomed visitors from the Provinces of Bristol, Gloucestershire & Hereford and Dorset, as well as visiting Principals of Somerset Chapters.

Comps. Charlie Barker (261), Brian Buckle (329) and Nigel Handbury (5221) were elected Joining Members and welcomed into the Chapter by the 3 Principals.

And now for the main event!  The Grand Superintendent took the Chair, together with the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Principals and the new Banner was paraded into the Chapter, carried by E. Comp. Neville Harrison, a PZ of the Chapter.

E Comp Neville Harrison presenting the new Banner
E Comp Neville Harrison presenting the new Banner
The Grand Superintendent addresses the Convocation
The Grand Superintendent addresses the Convocation

The 12 Ensigns were already in place and with much pomp and ceremony, these were dedicated by the MEGS and Principals.  The Chapter Banner and newly dedicated ensigns were then presented to the Chapter through MEZ E. Comp. John Rudge, who completed the ceremonial with an Oration on the origins and purpose of Banners.

Having worked so hard, the Provincial Team retired to the bar, the Chapter business was concluded and everyone else retired to the bar for a cooling thirst quencher before dining.

The dining room was buzzing with convivial chatter, and this memorable evening was brought to a close.

The Three Principals taking wine....
The Three Principals taking wine….



Somerset 1st Principals June Meeting, 2016

Minehead is not the easiest place to visit on a Friday afternoon, but M5 traffic didn’t deter a good number of members turning out for the 17th June meeting held by Dispensation at Minehead – only the second time this has happened in its history.  According to one long-standing member – “this will now be a tradition of the Chapter”!

The Principals welcomed visitors to the Chapter, including, for the first time, the Worshipful Master of the Somerset Installed Masters Lodge, W Bro Paul Cooper.  We hope the link between the Lodge and Chapter will be made stronger by continued visits of the WM to First Principals.  If the WM is not a Companion, that can’t happen, of course, but we have plenty of application forms….

Paul Cooper, WM of Installed Masters Lodge, being welcomed by MEZ

Three Joining Members were elected – E. Comps Ron Blackhurst, Ron Goacher and Edward White, but unfortunately Ron Goacher and Edward White couldn’t be present to be welcomed into the Chapter.  This was followed by the election of the Principals for the ensuing year – John Rudge (Z), Ray Beckingham (H) and Maldwyn Davies (J)

E Comp Ron Blackhurst receiving a warm welcome as our most recent Joining Member

First Principal Bob Moore settled into an interesting and thought provoking paper – ‘Reflections on Aspects of the Mystical Lecture’, which is well worth a repeat in the future.

The Chapter was closed and members made for the bar to cool off on what had turned into a warm evening.

John Lendon counting the takings from thirsty Companions

The evening was rounded off with a convivial Festive Board…



Keith Fisher psyching himself up for the Visitors Toast
MEZ Bob Moore raising a smile and paying tribute to E Comp Ron Babbage’s long service as DC
Ron Babbage caught smiling….

First Principal’s Annual Dinner

The ever popular Annual Summer Dinner of the Somerset First Principals Chapter No. 3746 took place on Friday 11th July 2014 at the picturesque Wedmore Golf Club.

On arrival Companion’s & their ladies were greeted by our Grand Superintendent D. John Bennett accompanied by his Deputy Bob Moore together with their ladies, Jenny & Val. To complete this distinguished welcoming committee, Second & Third Provincial Grand Principals Barry Woodside & Ray Beckingham together accompanied by their ladies Peggy & Chris made the set!