After our recent Wrington Vale meeting I was all set to compose a piece for our page, with photographs, when I had problems with my new knee and arthritis it knocked me off course. Then on the 18th March I had an accident to beat all my other efforts at doing myself harm. As I went to step off the top stair my right knee gave way propelling me down all 13 stairs, my descent was arrested by a solid oak door. This earned me a fast trip in an ambulance, after the hour or so it took them to extract me from my hallway, I managed to do the following to myself: 9 fractured ribs front and back of my rib cage, fractured spine, torn right kidney, damaged bladder and pancreas, a hemothorax and pulmonary contusion and a huge hole in my scalp (17 staples and a fairly serious head injury) and a huge amount of fluid in my abdomen. The day in question has vanished from my memory the subsequent four I lived in a different reality apparently, I tried to escape twice.
I was discharged from hospital too early but, in thinking about it now, it was exactly the right time as the patient in the next bed went down with Covid-19!! With one day till my discharge from hospital Karen managed to order and get delivered a hospital bed for our sitting room. She had to buy it as there was no other options and the hospital didn’t want to let me out without it. My son and grandson put it together and my daughter managed to buy a new hospital mattress and bed table, also delivered same time as the bed, a real family effort (my daughter lives in Wiltshire). I am still using the bed down stairs.
As I was banned from the stairs and to be honest I had no desire to go up and down them, I managed to have 3 telephone surveys for a stair lift one using WhatsApp and within 24 hrs I had a lift ordered and fitted by a reputable company, with a good discount.
I left hospital with a rather nasty bladder infection, Serratia Liquefaciens, a horrible 3rd World bacteria, or one that lives in UK Hospitals, plus a catheter again, the catheter and infection are now gone.
What is amusing now, a couple of Doctor’s couldn’t help themselves and just blurted what they were thinking. One said “How come you’re still alive” and got a dagger look from the nurse. I was extensively bruised, dark purple from above my knee to chest, another Doctor said “On my God, I’ve only ever seen bruising that bad on a corpse”. Not the best bedside manner but I can laugh about it now.
During my recuperation I have been going through my airgun collection, fine tuning their accuracy and my skill. I have a nice set up with a lounge chair and foot-stool in the conservatory leading to the back garden where I can safely practice target shooting at about 25 yards. I can stretch it to 35 yards by putting the firing point in the sitting room (something I did when Karen was at work!!).
This was written by E Comp Barry Jones and forwarded to me. I am sure you will all wish Barry a speedy recovery.
If you have any stories of what you have been up to in the Lockdown, hopefully not one like Barry’s, then why not send them to me at email@example.com
The agenda was swiftly dealt with and we came to the main event the installation. E Comp Ben White was “J” elect and for our newer Companions as a past “Z” he only had to affirm his previous obligation and as he was already possession of the secrets and word of his chair he was invested with the robe and sceptre of his chair. E Comp David Bussell replaced E Comp John Vowles “Z” Elect who was then obligated and invested by E Comp Ian Angel. E Comp Ian carried out the work with sincerity and feeling, Ian is a very competent ritualist and in his year he has had a lot to deal with all out of his control but he kept going and handed over the Chapter to John with pride.
John took the 1st Principals chair and lead the Chapter through the meeting in his own style and invested his officers, so we are looking forward another good year at Wrington Vale. That is one of the reasons why Chapter is so enjoyable as we have 3 Principals each one has the opportunity to put their own personality into the chair which makes each meeting unique. The address to the Principal’s was delivered faultlessly by E Comp David as was the addresses to the Officers and Companions and to add to a very pleasant evening the Chapter was closed at about 1930hrs (Scribe E will have the exact time) so there was no rushing to return the Chapter to a Craft Lodge and for the Companions to arm themselves with a drink prior to the festive board. I cannot comment of the meal as it was my first outing since having a new knee and it was time for me to be taken home, I would like to thank all of the Companions that I spoke with for their very kind and sympathetic words of encouragement both members and visitors alike, it makes you proud to be a member of this organisation.
For the future February’s meeting the Exaltation of Bro Peter Cast, we also have candidates lined up for the rest of the year so busy time ahead for the Chapter plus we have to fit in the lectures. Also the Provincial meeting on the 21st May 2020 the Chapter has been honoured with E Comp David Weatherill on First Appointment receiving the Office of Provincial Grand Standard Bearer and myself being Promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sojourner.
Companions apologise yet again for the lateness of this post as the ill health spotlight got me again, not that I am particularly unwell just lots of me is broken.
The meeting was held on 14th October 2019 at Yatton our usual home with the DC having something to worry about as J, E Comp Gary Sharp was unavoidably detained at work. E Comp John D Bennett, PGSupt, stood in as J, I think John is working harder now than he did when he was Grand Superintendent. The meeting was to Exalt Bro Ian Burbage, AKA “Babs”, of The Forest of Mendip Lodge. The meeting went as they usually do at Wrington Vale with the 3 Principals working hard to produce a good ceremony for Ian, which they did. The Sojourners gave excellent performances as did the Companions who gave the lectures but then they always do! Comp Ian enjoyed the ceremony and looked impressed but the drama didn’t end there, it was the Treasurer’s turn to worry. The catering staff were having problems with the cooking range so there was a last minute change to the festive board menu, we got away with it.
For the future – the Installation meeting is on the 9th of December 2019 and E Comp David Dixon, Third Provincial Grand Principal, is visiting us and E Comp Ben White is having another go at J. We have a candidate to Exalt next year, the usual Lectures to give so the start of next year for Decembers team is starting to shape up nicely.
The fun for me never stops, on the 22nd November I am having a total knee replacement and knee cap resurfacing so my wife will bring me to the Installation meeting and I might have a ride on Yatton’s stair lift.
Companions I apologise for being a bit late with this post but I have been laid for the past week with an awful virus which I picked up at our meeting or next day at Fraternal visit to Exmouth which made me dizzy, burning up and a thumping head ache. My Wife grounded me from a meeting I was due to go to at Bath! Our 462nd Convocation was a very good and a smooth running evening with every one working very hard for the benefit of Bro Day, from the look on his face he was impressed and rightly so. From chatting to him he will be a very keen member of our Chapter. We where also honoured with the Presence of E Comp D John Bennett Past Grand Superintendent For Somerset and obviously E Comp Ray Beckingham Second Provincial Grand Principal and E Comp Neil Hurcum Third Provincial Grand Principal both produced their usual excellent contributions to the Ceremony( they are members). Even our guest don’t sit on the side lines E Comp Darrell Hinder Provincial Grand Sojourner joined in as Principal Sojourner and carried out his part with flair and did an excellent job. So again it was another very good meeting at Wrington Vale with the work being carried to our usual high standards. Our next meeting is Monday 13th May which will be an Exaltation as we have 3 Candidates waiting to join!! Don’t forget The Provincial Convocation on 16th May at the Webbington.
On a chilly 9th January evening 6 Companions from Wrington Vale Chapter made their way to Taunton to deliver the Somerset Sceptre to the Chapter of Sincerity, namely E Comp I Angell(MEZ), E Comp R Beckingham Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp, P Henley, E Comp M Golding, Comp D Golding and of course myself. Also present was E Comp Barry K. Woodside, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset. The MEGS was accompanied by a number of Active Provincial Officers including E Comp C Moore, The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. So really no place to hide. We all met up in the robing room casually chatting when MEZ asked the question who has the Sceptre I believe the reply was you do! to which he gave a negative reply, the last time he saw it was when it was presented to E Comp D Weatherill prior to Decembers installation. Scribe E could not be contacted, so advice was sought and we were told last time this happened a block of wood was used! Diligent search was made for said block of wood to no avail then a more frantic search for a suitable replacement was made the best we could come up with was a hammer, not really suitable as MEZ might take the easy way out and knock himself unconscious with it. So after MEGS and the Provincial team entered the Temple,we processed in and Ian did a very good job of “figuratively” presenting the Somerset Sceptre to The Chapter of Sincerity, which was received with smiles all round.
To the members of Wrington Vale I would recommend a visit to The Chapter of Sincerity as their ritual is very different to ours and interesting to witness, of course it was no help to Ian in preparing for February’s meeting. As to the location of miscreant Sceptre many helpful suggestions were banded around, the boot of Ian’s car or maybe Mrs Angell has found it thinking it was a present and is now proudly displaying it on a shelf at home and other such useful comments. However we strongly believe a very enthusiastic Companion when packing up after Decembers meeting has put it in the cupboard at Yatton(hopefully).
Companions last night we held the installation of E Comp Ian Angell as 1st Principal of the Chapter and we were honoured with the presence of E Comp Barry. K. Woodside, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, accompanied by E Comp Geof J Lester, Past Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp D Smith, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer and E Comp P.J. Harris Provincial Grand Steward. With a delegation from The Chapter of Perpetual Friendship no 135 to present the Somerset Sceptre, as it was MEGS first visit to our Chapter really not a meeting to be missed but we only managed 25 in the Temple.
Numbers aside E Comp David Weatherill the out going 1st Principal installed his successor with his well polished and near faultless ritual (I can say that as I was IPZ with the book). Ian took the centre chair and I suspect first night nerves got the better of him as he had a bit of a shaky start which was transmitted to H, E Comp John Vowels but all credit to them they pulled it together, J, E Comp Gary Sharp sat there oblivious (next time, he has the Historical lecture to do!). Once they got themselves under control they finished off the rest of the work very competently. Well done.
Companions once you take that middle chair the realisation dawns on you that everyone is looking at you and hanging on your next word. With MEGS looking at you along with the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals there is a touch or two of pressure. Of which I can whole heartedly understand as the WM of Hallam Lodge of Mark Master Masons at my last ceremony of Advancement the Assistant Grand Master was with us on a private visit, along with The Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, The Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, PGM for Monmouthshire, PPGM for Monmouthshire, a number of Grand Officers and Active Provincial Grand Officers. I could feel Ian’s pain. As they say we got there in the end with excellent performances from the supporting Companions as well. The evening was topped off with an nontraditional Christmas dinner! Thanks to our very charming Treasurer and Catering Officer E Comp David Bussell, but it tasted good. My rather pleasant evening was rounded off with me winning the rather good quality bottle of Whiskey in the raffle. All in all we had a good night and to those absent Companions, we missed you.
Dates for your dairy: 9th January 2019 – we are taking The Somerset Sceptre to The Chapter of Sincerity 261 at Taunton so come on Companions support Ian on his first trip out as 1st Principal. Also the second Monday in February, which is our next meeting when our new team will be preforming an Exaltation, also don’t forget the Chapter weekend in Bideford (contact Scribe E). The next couple of years looks good for Wrington Vale we have three confirmed candidates and one doing the paperwork. I almost forgot during the risings The MEGS announced that I was receiving at the May Provincial meeting first appointment as Provincial Grand Steward which makes me feel very proud and humbled at the same time and I am looking forward to it, also it is another honour to Wrington Vale Chapter. Companions have a very Happy Christmas and hopefully a successful New Year, see you all soon.
Companions, myself with a few members of Wrington Vale Chapter attended the Webbington Hotel on the 18th October to witness the installation of the new Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of and over the Province of Somerset, E Comp Barry K Woodside. As usual when we go to the Webbington the sun comes out and it becomes very hot in the hall.
The meeting was very well attended with all Chapters represented and only a very few empty chairs,(this will not be a long post as the minutes have already been published) there was also a large number of Chapter dignitaries form across the country. It was a very good ceremony well worth attending as these events only come around normally every 10 years(that was my second!) It was with immense pride that the Companions of Wrington Vale watched MEGS install E Comp Ray Beckingham as Second Provincial Grand Principle and E Comp Neil Hurcum as Third Provincial Grand Principle, a real honour for our Chapter. It was not a long meeting but well worth the trip to the Webbington. Companions if you ever get the opportunity to witness the Installation of any Masonic Leader in any Order that your in I recommend that you try and go, as I said they don’t come around very often. There is the chance to go along to one next year, when the date comes up put it in your dairy. I apologise for this post being late but for the past couple of weeks I have been dealing with a poorly dog with multiple trips to Langford Animal Hospital, She’s on the mend you would think there had been nothing wrong with her.
Monday 8th October saw our 460th convocation, which started with remembering the following Companions that had passed to the Grand Chapter above: E Comp Roy Brookman; E Comp Walter Wood and Comp Cedric Platt.
The Chapter was honoured with the presence of E Comp. D John Bennett, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, accompanied by E Comp G.J Lester Past Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. As we did not have a candidate we had decided to catch up on two of the Holy Royal Arch lectures, namely the Historical and the Symbolic in catechetical form (that was a mouth full for Z) both were done very well and meaningfully. For the new Companions catechetical means breaking the lecture into a form of questions and answers H takes the lead and 8 other Companions answer the questions, I was acting H and at least this time I didn’t miss anyone out!
It was a short but very useful and educational meeting and all in all very enjoyable, one really not to be missed. As we had a bit of time E Comp Ray explained about Solomon, which is a collection of lectures for Craft and Holy Royal Arch. E Comp Ian Angell was confirmed as Z elect, E Comp John Vowels, H, and Comp Gary Sharp, J. Installation is on the 10th December, so Companions lets have a good attendance to support E Comps David and Ian. The meeting ended early and with much delight the excellent festive board started early as well, all proceedings finishing just after 2100hrs (9pm).
2019 is our Centenary year so its is something to look forward to. The plans at the moment are to celebrate with a Chapter banner and the possibility of a Centenary Jewel, I imagine there’s more to come. Companions don’t forget the 18th at the Webbington, see you all there.
Companions, for those that missed the May meeting you missed out on a very interesting, detailed and informative talk on the Woman’s Order of Freemasonry by E Comp Sybil Vosey. As in previous years we decided to entertain our Ladies including them in the talk as well as the festive board.
We opened dealt with a bit of administration called off and our Ladies joined us with E Comp Sybil and her driver another Lady E Comp, followed by the Grand Superintendent and his team. E Comp Sybil then gave us a very detailed talk on the history, structure, Lodges and Orders of the Woman’s Order of Freemasonry. They started a bit different to us in that they where part of a French Co-ed Masonry, which means they admitted men and woman together. They broke away and formed their own female only order, their structure is similar to ours they have most of the other degrees as we do, they use the same regalia as we do except they wear a white gown like the Sojourners but a bit more feminine. The local lodge is Aqua Sulis 158, meeting near Bath, they hold their installation at Keynsham Masonic Hall. 2013 was the Order’s centenary.
After the talk the Ladies left, we called back on, MEGS and his team departed in due form, we finished off any outstanding business and closed.
A rather pleasant and relaxed evening which was finished off with a very good Festive Board.