At the November meeting of Fidelity and Sincerity we had good number of guests for a double ceremony in one night. The Chapter was opened and MEGS, E Comp Barry Woodside, personal guest of the DC, was welcomed by E Comp Jason Vincent and proffered the Sceptre. Knowing what was coming MEGS returned the Sceptre, H offered his but was also declined, good luck Chris next time perhaps?
The Almoner, E Comp Keith Smith, gave a report on various members and their ladies health including his own wife who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Next on the Agenda was to Invest E Comp Paul Spoors as H. He was presented to MEZ by E comp Adrian Halliwell, DC, and took his Obligation. Those below the rank of 2nd Principal retired and a Conclave of 2nd Principals was then declared. E Comp Paul was then invested with Robe, Collar and Sceptre and took his Chair. The companions were readmitted and MEZ gave the Robe Address. MEGS then delivered the Address to H.
Next item was to ballot for a Joining Member and a Candidate for Exaltation which proved clear, thank goodness, as W Bro Alan Clayton was to be Exalted that evening.
Alan was duly Exalted into the Chapter which was carried brilliantly by all those taking part, this is due to the Principals and Sojourners volunteering to have a “boys’ night” every Wednesday to practice the upcoming ceremonies. Congratulations everyone.
There being no further business the Rising were taken. On the Second Rising MEGS rose to thank the Chapter and then called on the DC to present E Comp Keith Smith to him. MEGS then gave a resume of Keith’s masonic career detailing his devoted work as Almoner for both this Chapter and also F&S Craft Lodge. He then presented him with the Grand Superintendent’s Award Certificate and Lapel Pin. Keith was so taken aback he couldn’t respond, it’s not often this happens, he he!
The Chapter was then closed in peace and harmony and Companions headed for a very convivial Festive Board.
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 Sunday Luncheon was held at the Oake Manor Golf Club. This was organised by E Comp Andrew Kerslake, MEZ, and was well attended by 11 Companions and their partners. The starters having been devoured we all headed for the carvery which had a choice of three meats, as well as a vegetarian option, with loads of vegetables. The puddings were very delicious and only two decided to abstain. It was a great event and lots of talking was going on at both tables and talk of a Christmas outing was thrown into the melting pot!
At the April Convocation Fidelity and Sincerity had a most enjoyable and informative ceremony. The chapter was pleased to receive E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, accompanied by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC. E Comp Barry was proffered the Sceptre by E Comp Andrew Kerslake, MEZ, which was returned with thanks.
The chapter was unfortunately hit by two cancellations at a very late hour so a substitute to act as J, E comp Keith Kerslake, was clothed though, his part was to only undertake the readings. There had also been two other subs brought off the bench, E Comp Peter Chidzey as Principal Sojourner, E Comp John Brown as Scribe N and E Comp Mike Condick as IPZ. The evening was to undertake a demonstration Exaltation with timely interruptions from Scribe E, Jim Nicol, with snippets of information. E Comp Jim had borrowed this from E Comp Bob Moore. Comp Gary Beasley acted as candidate, he was not hoodwinked, and he was entrusted inside the temple, so that all could see what happened, especially Gary.
The demonstration was completed and the agenda items were duly processed. E Comp Jason Vincent was elected as Z, E Comp Paul Spoors was elected H in his absence, as was Comp Chris Waterhouse for the office of J. E Comp Keith Smith was re-elected as Treasurer and the remaining officers were left for the incoming Principals to appoint.
E Comp Ron Troup, the Charity Steward then proposed that £300 be donated to the Musgrove Park Hospital Scanner Appeal, which was duly seconded and carried.
The Chapter was then closed and during the Risings MEGS commented on the quality of the evening and said that he was looking forward to seeing many from 1966 at the Provincial Convocation where several members of the Chapter would receive honours and promotions.
The evening finished off with a tasty Festive Board and conviviality.
At the February meeting of 1966 we were pleased to receive E Comp Clive Lambert, DepGS, accompanied by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC. This was a special meeting as we received the Somerset Sceptre from Exmoor Chapter, No 2390, all the way from Minehead. The Sceptre was presented to E Comp Andrew Kerslake, MEZ, by E Comp Phil Thresher, MEZ of Exmoor, accompanied by seven companions, including E Comp John Bennett, hon member.
The evening’s work was to deliver the Historical and Symbolical Lectures given in Catechetical form by companions of 1966. E Comp Paul Spoors, J, directed the Historical and E Comp Keith Kerslake, stand in for H, directed the Symbolical. There followed an explanation of the HRA Tracing Board, this was under the direction of E Comp Jim Nicol, Scribe E, with the 16 parts spread around the members and guests. E Comp Bob Moore commented that it was the first time he had partaken in the explanation without being in charge!
E Comp Clive then presented a Grand Chapter Certificate to Comp Garry Beasley who was sporting an elegant NHS boot after dropping his motorcycle and fracturing his heel.
The chapter was then closed with hymn and the first verse of the National Anthem and most of the companions adjourned to the dining room for an excellent meal of Bangers and Mash followed by Treacle Tart and Custard, mmmmm! The toast to the visitors was given by E Comp Chris Summers and ably responded to by E Comp Phil Thresher.
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.
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.
On Sunday 15th July a small number of the Chapter met up at the White Horse, Bradford on Tone for the Annual Sunday Lunch. Numbers were down because of the extreme heat and the World Cup Final. The Lunch was organised by MEZ, Peter Chidzey, and was enjoyed by all present.
At the April Convocation we were honoured with the presence of E Comp Clive Lambert, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, accompanied by E Comp John Smith, Provincial Grand Almoner, and E Comp Sandy Glen, Provincial AssDC.
The Chapter was opened an MEZ, E Comp Peter Chidzey welcomed E Comp Clive Lambert and proffered the Sceptre which E Comp Clive thanked MEZ and swiftly returned it.
The Lectures were undertaken in catechetical form firstly with E Comp Joshua, Jason Vincent,gave the Historical Lecture directing five companions. The second lecture, Symbolical, was given by E Comp Haggai, Andrew Kerslake with the assistance of eight comps. Finally the Mystical Lecture was undertaken by E Comps Andrew Kerslake, Chris Summers and Adrian Halliwell.
Next item was to elect the Principals and Treasurer for the ensuing year, there being no other nominations the following were declared:
As Z, E Comp Andrew Kerslake
As H, E Comp Jason Vincent and
As J, Comp Paul Spoors
As Treasurer E Comp Keith Smith
Other voting was carried out and at he 2nd Rising E Comp Jim Nicol announced the following appointments: in Chapter E Comp Jim Nicol, PrAssScribe E, Comp Barry Renwick, PrGOrganist and Comp Keith Smith, ProvGSteward; in the Craft, E Comp Adrian Halliwell as PrSGD; and in Mark, E Comp Mike Condick, Grand Standard Bearer.
After the Chapter was closed photos were taken and everyone went to the dining room for an enjoyable Supper.
What a superb meeting was had at the February Convocation: The Provincial Team were in attendance and two ceremonies were being undertaken. The caterer had requested an 8:30 start time and so certain parts of the ceremonies were curtailed. Unfortunately E Comp Andrew Kerslake had been suffering with a cold and bad cough and couldn’t take part in the ceremony so the DC, E Comp Adrian Halliwell, asked the Provincial Haggai, E Comp Clive Lambert, if he would take the role, which he was pleased to do.
The Chapter was opened by E Comp Peter Chidzey, MEZ, bang on 6:30pm with all companions seated in the temple, which saved the processing in of MEGS and The Team and the usual agenda items were dealt with quickly. The ballot for Bro Matt Layzell proved clear and the Principal Sojourner retired to entrust him. Bro Matt was then brought into the Chapter and the ceremony continued. During the Exaltation the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Principals did the readings and prayers, MEGS, E Comp John Bennett, delivered the Obligation, DGS, E Comp Alan Holton, the Address, and E Comp Barry Woodside the Explanation of the Signs. Comp Matt was presented by MEGS the Exaltee’s Guide and a set of cufflinks.
Part two of the evening was the Dedication of the Square and Compasses in memory of E Comp Walter Cole, PG Soj. MEGS was presented to MEZ who proffered the Sceptre which E Comp John took and thanked MEZ on behalf of himself and the Team for allowing them to Dedicate the Square and Compasses. The Principals and Officers places were taken by the Provincial Officers under the direction of E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC. MEGS then gave a short introduction of what would be happening and why. MEZ then requested the Square and Compasses to be dedicated. A deputation of MEZ, 3rd Principal, E Comp Jason Vincent, and E Comp Adrian Halliwell formed up in the south and retired from the Chapter. They returned, with the addition of E Comp Andrew Kerslake, H of 1966, with E Comp Adrian bearing the Square and Compasses, which he then took around the Chapter. When this was completed the items were placed on a pedestal and E Comp Adrian read an appreciation of E Comp Walter and his life in and out of masonry. The prayers of Dedication were then given and MEGS then invited the Officers of 1966 to resume their seats. MEZ then thanked the Team for this Dedication Ceremony.
The meeting was then completed and closed at 8:15pm, without a retiring procession, and Companions then adjourned to the Festive Board. The Provincial Team were spread out among the members of 1966 so that a good atmosphere was had throughout. During the Speeches MEZ thanked MEGS and The Team for the wonderful job they had done which would have been really appreciated by E Comp Walter. MEGS responded and thanked the Chapter for allowing the Team to do this Dedication which has never been done for the Square and Compasses before, and talked of how Walter was well known and liked around this and other Provinces. The Toast to the Exaltee was given by E Comp Haggai to which Comp Matt responded thanking the Chapter and the Provincial Team. The Toast to the Visitors was given by E Comp Jim Nicol, Scribe E, and response by E Comp J Peter Layzell, cousin of Comp Matt, with some family history and what a wonderful evening this had been.
On the Parish Notices, MEZ thanked those that had stood in this evening at very short notice, especially E Comp Clive Lambert, E Comp Jim Hill and E Comp Ron Troup, and also Comp Chris Waterhouse, Principal Sojourner, who had learnt the whole of the Sojourners’ parts at a few days notice.