Following their being installed into the Principals Chairs the three Principals held their first Exaltation Ceremony at the Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter, and was accompanied by E Comp Alan Holton, Deputy Grand Superintendent, and his DC E Comp Adrian Halliwell.
Due to sickness of several officers or their family, late changes had to be made, E Comp Julian Frost stepping in as Principal Sojourner, E Comp Matt Jarvis deserting the IPZ post and becoming 1st Assistant Sojourner, E Comp Fred Body became IPZ and E Comp John Kidd stepped up to Director of Ceremonies. Despite all the changes the Exaltee, Bro Alan Chambers, was treated to a very good ceremony.
Comp Tommy Boll was presented with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate by E Comp Alan Holton.
At the festive board the call was made to one of the “ancients”, E Comp Trevor Cooper, who acted as Director of Ceremonies and ensured that proceedings continued in a friendly and congenial way. Birthday greetings were sung to E Comp Bob Smith who celebrated his 76th birthday on that day.
The annual Installation meeting was held at the Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter, Burnham-on-Sea, on Friday 24th November. The Grand Superintendent, E Comp D. John Bennett, was in attendance with Alexander ‘Sandy’ Glenn, acting as his DC. Also present from the Province were E Comps John Smith, Provincial Almoner, Richard Conneely, Standard Bearer, and Keith Kerslake, Steward.
The Installation Ceremony was fairly short due to the Induction of Zerubbabel, E Comp Chris Perry, and the Induction of Haggai, E Comp Ted Toon. The only one with any work was Ted Toon, who Installed Comp Graham Puddy into the chair of Joshua. The Grand Superintendent addressed the Principals and various Companions gave the other addresses.
At the festive board the usual Royal Arch toast were honoured. A raffle raised £125 for the MEZ’s chosen charity of the year.
A very successful Installation meeting was held at the Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter, Burnham on Sea. 40 companions joined the meeting and 37 dined. E Comp Matthew Jarvis was installed as first Principal, which was remarkable in its own way, having been exalted into the Chapter on 24th February 2012, starting as Principal Sojourner in that November and working his way to the Principal’s chair. Matthew is at present Junior Deacon in his mother lodge. Second Principal was E Comp Chris Perry who joined the Chapter in September 2013, having been first Principal in the Star of Gwynedd Chapter, Anglesey. Third Principal is E Comp. Jeff Body, who was exalted by the Provincial team in February 2010, he has progressed the hard way by being appointed to all the posts on his way to the top. The Chapter was joined by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Barry Woodside and the Provincial DC Chris Moore. As will be seen there was a very convivial festive board where the usual toasts were honoured.
The evening started early at 4:30 for the Provincial Team who were to perform the Ceremony of the Veils. This was the first Team Visit of the current Masonic Year and was a special evening for 291 Chapter, more later.
The Chapter was opened in due form by E Comp David Smith, MEZ, and the first item of the Agenda was the passing to the Grand Chapter above of E Comp Tom E Smith, PPGSoj (Surrey) on 26th July. The eulogy was given and Companions stood to order in respect of departed merit. Once the minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed there was an alarm and E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, was admitted. He announced that MEGS E Comp D John Bennett was without with the Provincial Team and he demanded admission. MEGS then entered and was welcomed by MEZ and proffered the sceptre, which on this occasion he accepted. He then explained what was going to happen and the Team took their respective places for the Veils cerenomy. The Chapter was then Called Off.
Supreme Grand Chapter had given permission for the Ceremony of the Veils to be undertaken once a year by MEGS. The ceremony is similar to the Passing of the Veils as undertaken by Bristol Chapters in their Exaltation ceremonies.
Comp Will Human, the candidate for the evening, who had been held up in traffic on the M5, arriving just in time, was received and the ceremony continued. E Comp Barry Woodside, DepGSupt, acted as narrator which saw the candidate progress through the three coloured veils whence he was asked for the passwords and then he retired. This is where the Exaltation Ceremony as we know it would begin.
MEGS then Called On the Chapter and presented Provincial Steward’s lapel badges to E Comps John Kidd and Tony Schofield. The next item on the Agenda was to present a 50 years certificate and lapel badge to E Comp Reg Ferm. MEGS gave a detailed history of Reg’s progress through the Royal Arch culminating in his appointment as PAGSoj. E Comp Reg thanked the MEGS for those kind words and the Chapter for the many years of their company. Two Grand Chapter Certificates were presented to Companions Andrew Cruickshank and Peter Rouse by E Comp Clive Lambert, Third Prov Grand Principal.
MEGS then asked MEZ be presented and was thanked for allowing the Team to undertake the ceremony and returned the Sceptre. He then presented the Chapter with a copy of the Holy Royal Arch Tracing Board, detailing the history and hoped that, should there be a ceremony without a candidate then a member of the Executive would be pleased to give a short lecture on the Board. MEZ thanked MEGS and the Team for a wonderful and informative evening. MEGS and the Provincial Team retired and the labours of the evening continued:
The three Principals for the following year were declared, E Comp Matt Jarvis as Z; E Comp,Chris Perry as H and Comp Jeff Body as J. Likewise E Comp Tony Schofield was declared at Treasurer.
Other elections were then taken and following the Risings the Chapter was closed and companions retired for the Festive Board which was enjoyed by all. The evening’s raffle proceeds were donated to the Burnham Rescue Boats.
Bro. Tony Saunter, Tynte Lodge, Bridgwater and Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter Burnham-on-Sea, held a summer evening barbeque in his garden in July in aid of 3 charities. Lots of hard work by all the family ensured the success of this day. Tony, who works in the butchery trade was able to obtain the meat at a reasonable price! After the food the guests were entertained by a live group. The evening realised the grand total of £1,700 which will be divided equally between, St Margaret’s Hospice, Children’s Hospice SW and the Princes Trust Bridgwater. Thank you the Saunters for all your hard work, a job well done.