Since the beginning of April Companions of the Province of Somerset have been receiving each Tuesday a weekly light-hearted quiz. How did this weekly event start? Well looking back to March this year we all had our first experience of Lockdown which brought with it isolation from friends and family. A depressing period and so to help bring a small ray of light to an otherwise dark time and provide a bit of fun to the members of my mother Lodge, Vivary No. 8654, in Taunton, I started sending them weekly picture quizzes. E Comp Barry Woodside, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, who as member of Vivary Lodge started to get drawn into these quizzes and thought that Companions of Somerset’s Holy Royal Arch would like to join in the fun. So for the past eight months I have been compiling two quizzes each week, a total of around 800 questions to date.
The quizzes cover the usual subjects of History, Geography Science and Popular Culture but I try to give each one a twist, such as naming plants that share their names with animals, identifying chocolate bars from their adverts, naming fictional characters “other halves”. Plus the use of cryptic picture clues to Underground stations and Instrumental Hits for example. Of course there have been more traditional quizzes to bring things back on track, quizzes to identify Somerset towns that have a Masonic Hall, famous city Squares, Musicals and even a look back at the year 2000.
I have been writing and presenting quizzes since 2000 and it all started after I attended a charity quiz where the organiser had taken all the questions from a quiz book and a not very up to date one at that! I thought that if people were paying money then they deserved to be entertained with original material and original formats which would encourage them to return time and again.
I set out to write and research questions that would be unique, not to be found in usual quiz books and importantly would be fun as well as informative.
Over the following 20 years I have written many thousands of questions and together with my wife as adjudicator have presented quizzes for organisations including village halls, churches, Scouts, Twinning Associations, and even Masonic Lodges in fact for anyone who wants to raise monies for a good cause.
Back in the beginning of April when I put together the first weekly Quiz for Companions little did I think that this would be the first of thirty two (and still counting!) As we go into Lockdown 2 look out for further quizzes – we all need something to bring a smile to our faces in these unusual times.
E Comp Peter Light, MEZ of the Chapter of St George, no 3158, passed to the Grand Chapter Above on Wednesday 6th May 2020 at home with his family around him. Peter had been suffering from cancer for the past eight weeks.
E Comp Peter was a well liked and respected member of the Chapter and Craft, he was enthusiastic in all that he did and looked to bring more into our organisation. A keen wine maker and friendly, generous and kind hearted person.
As the Covid-19 shutdown is upon us there could not be the usual funeral service, family only could attend. As a consequence E Comp Adrian Halliwell, a friend of Peter and a fellow member of Vivary Lodge, organised a Guard of Honour to line the approach road to the Taunton Deane Crematorium. Companions of his own Chapter, others from Taunton Chapters and Brethren from Vivary Lodge, and wives, formed the Guard of Honour, about 35 in all, showed their respect. He will be sorely missed.
The Chapter was opened and E Comp Neil Tinkley, PrAsstGDC, announced that E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, was without accompanied by three Supreme Grand Chapter Officers and a member of the Provincial Team, and demanded admission. An escort was formed and MEGS entered the Chapter and was warmly greeted by MEZ, E Comp Peter Light.
The meeting then proceeded with Minutes and AOB then a Ballot was held for Bro Vaughn Whereat which, thank goodness, proved clear, as he was the candidate for the evening. The Exaltation then proceeded with excellent ritual from the main two Companions, MEZ and stand in Principal Sojourner, E Comp Neil Troud.
On the Second Rising MEGS delivered the 50 year’s Certificate for E Comp John Widdicombe. He also gave a resumé E Comp John’s life through Masonry and in particular the Holy Royal Arch. Unfortunately E Comp John is in poor health and cannot make the meetings and it was asked if the Almoner, E Comp Rod Green, would arrange for the Certificate to be delivered.
E Comp Adrian Halliwell
Provincial Liaison Officer
On 31st October E Comp Peter Light, MEZ, was pleased to Exalt his Candidate Bro Matt Landy. After the Chapter was opened E Comp Rod Green was Invested with his collars, yes collars, as Almoner and Ass Scr E as he was absent at the Installation ceremony. Rod was also standing in as H.
A ballot was held for a Joining Member, Comp Michael Meatyard, which proved clear and he was welcomed in the Chapter.
Next item on the Agenda was to carry out the Exaltation of Matt Landy, a member of Vivary Lodge, which MEZ is also a member. The ceremony went very well especially as the Principal Sojourner was also standing in. There was no problem with this as E Comp Neil Trood was the man in the hot seat. All those that know Neil are well aware of his superb ritual, even more amazing as he is just shy of his 87th Birthday. Comp Matt was duly shown the Charter of the chapter and presented with the By-laws.
The Almoner gave a report on those Companions who were unwell, making a special report on E Comp Terry Wood who was recovering from another stroke. There being no other items on the Agenda the Chapter was closed in peace and harmony and the Companions adjourned upstairs for the Festive Board.
E Comp Adrian Halliwell Provincial Liaison Officer
The Chapter was pleased to welcome the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Ray Beckingham, accompanied by E Comp John Pinder, PrAssDC, and the MEZ, E Comp Simon Cassling proffered him the Sceptre hoping Ray would take over the ceremony. The Sceptre was returned with thanks but Ray hadn’t brushed up his Installation ritual. The MEZ then ran through the Agenda items until he got to the main item to Install the three Principals: E Comp Peter Light was Installed into the Chair of Zerubbabel; E Comp Kenneth Clarke as Haggai and Comp Michael Day as Jeshua.
The MEZ then appointed his officers and the addresses to the Principals, Officers and Companions was then given by E Comp Ray Beckingham, E Comp Neil Trood and E Comp David Bates respectively. Following this the IPZ, E Comp Simon Cassling was presented with a Past Z perpetual jewel which he thanked the companions of the Chapter of St George for.
The final items on the Agenda were completed and the Companions retired for the Festive Board. E Comp Peter produced some of his finest Merlot for his guests and White Port for all. The Toast to the Province was given E Comp David Palmer, Scribe E, which was ably replied to BY E Comp Ray Beckingham, That to the new Principals by E Comp Simon Johnson, ADC, and all three of the Principals replied. The Toast to the Installing Principals was given by E Comp John Rudge, DC, to which E Comp Simon Cassling, IPZ, responded. The toast to the Visitors was given by Comp Kevin Perry and responded to by E Comp Adrian Halliwell.
On Thursday 28th February the Chapter was pleased to receive a demonstration of “The Royal Arch in Camera” by E Comps Ray Beckingham, 2nd Prov Grand Principal, Maldwyn Davies and Charlie Barker. The Janitor gave an alarm on the door and E comp Charlie was admitted, wrongly dressed and giving the wrong salutation, which soon went as E Comp Ray put him straight! The three then ran through the in Camera with explanations of various parts of the Royal Arch ritual and historical information of the Officers in a Chapter.
On Completion a round of applause was given with thanks from the MEZ Simon Cassling, who once again had traveled over from Brussels that day.
The rest of the agenda then continued with the announcement of the three Principals to be installed in May, E Comp Peter Light as Z, Ken Clarke as H, and Michael Day as J, also the Treasurer, Comp Brian Whiteside, was announced.
The Chapter was closed after the rising and all adjourned to the Festive Board for a most convivial dinner.
The December convocation was a busy evening for the Chapter. The M E Comp John Bennett was welcomed and during the evening presented the Grand Chapter Certificate to Comp Guy Annan.
The Somerset Sceptre was delivered by a deputation from the Parratt and Axe Chapter No 814, lead by E Comp Gerald Morgan, and duly received by E Comp Neil Trood as the Z of the Chapter.
The Companions of the Chapter then proceeded to participate in the Ceremony of the Description of the Banners to advance the masonic knowledge of many newer members.
A lively and seasonal festive board was enhanced by an excellent response to the visitors’ toast by E Comp David Wakely, from the visiting Chapter, who delivered ritual on the “12 days of turkey”.
Despite the distance and the January weather six Companions, led by E Comp Neil Trood made the trip to Midsomer Norton to deliver the Somerset Sceptre to Connaught Lodge No 3573.
During the evening a distinguished member of the host Chapter, E Comp Ron Babbage, was made an honorary member of the Chapter in recognition of his many years of service to Freemasonry and the Chapter. The visiting Scribe E, David Palmer was particularly keen to congratulate E Comp Ron – both being fellow Cornishmen.
Bro Guy Annan was exalted from The Lodge of St George to become a companion of the Chapter of St George at the October Convocation.
The ceremony was conducted By E Comp Neil Trood as the first Principal this being his first convocation following installation in May. Part of the Mystical Lecture being delivered by a distinguished guest – E Comp Barry Woodside.
Comp Guy is shown being congratulated after the ceremony.