Connaught Chapter no. 3573 – Annual Ramble

The Companions of Connaught Chapter no. 3573, Midsomer Norton, will be making the most of the great British weather this summer with its Annual Ramble, schedule to take place at 11am on Sun 11th July 2021 . This year it will be around Litton Reservoir and Hinton Blewett followed by lunch at The Litton. Companions, their ladies and guests will be most welcome to attend, please confirm your place by emailing

For more details view the flyer here

Time for Tea! Connaught Chapter’s Sunday lunch

The weather proved brilliant for Connaught Chapter’s Sunday lunch on the 30th June 2019 when the Companions and their partners were invited to E Comp Patrick and Susan Haxell’s house and garden near Holcombe .

The event went well with an excellent hot and cold buffet followed by delicious sweets, cheeses and biscuits.

‘It was great to be able to sit outside on a beautiful summer’s day in the country and enjoy the luncheon in good company with plenty of entertaining conversation.’

The First Principal, E Comp Neil Arthur welcomed the guests and thanked all those who had provided a superb luncheon.

The event raised £269 for the 2022 Chapter Centenary fund.

Scribe E. E.Comp P. Haxell

Members, Ladies and Guests enjoying the sunshine.
Members, Ladies and Guests enjoying the sunshine.
Members, Ladies and Guests enjoying the sunshine.

Connaught well represented at the Provincial Convocation

On Thursday 16th May 2019, The Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset held its annual convocation at the Webbington Hotel, Axbridge. Several Companions of Connaught Chapter received honors on that day.  E.Comp Clive Lambert was reappointed as Deputy Grand Superintendent for Somerset. E.Comp Tony Cooper was promoted to Provincial Grand Sword Bearer. E.Comp Ray Conneely was reappointed as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and E. Comp Chris Brooke received his first Provincial Appointment as Provincial Grand Steward.

C.L.O Comp. C Harding

E. Comp Clive Lambert, Shortly after being reappointed
MEZ of Connaught Chapter Neil Arthur Congratulating E. Comp Tony Cooper on his promotion.
E. Comp Ray Conneely, Reappointed a Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
E. Comp Chris Brooke receiving his first Appointment as Provincial Grand Steward

Connaught’s Installation – March 2019

On Tuesday 12th March 2019, Connaught Chapter no. 3573 held its annual Installation Convocation. E. Comp. Neil J Arthur was Inducted as  Most Excellent Zerubbabel, E. Comp Peter Kuzemka was Installed as Haggai and E. Comp Frank A Silver was Inducted as Joshua.

The chapter received and welcomed E. Comp Ray F Beckingham, Second Provincial Grand Principal and E. Comp C John S Pinder, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies from the Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset.

After an exhilarating ceremony, the Chapter reconvened down stairs for the Festive Board;  the Companions enjoyed an excellent meal of Egg Mayonnaise, Steak Pie with Seasonal Vegetables,  Cheese Board and Coffee.

During the toasts IPZ E. Comp Mark Collins stood and thanked all of his Officers for the previous year as said and wished E. Comp Neil Arthur every success for his ensuing year. M E Z Neil Arthur then rose, thanked all of his officers for taking office this year. He then said he was excited for his year ahead having an Exaltation at the next meeting being held on the 2nd Tuesday in May.  He then spoke about the Chapters Annual Walk to be held on the first Sunday in July; every Companion with their Partners, Family and Friends would be most welcome to join. The walk would be followed by lunch in a local pub, details of which will be released soon.

C.L.O Comp. C Harding

Companions and Guests at the Festive Board
Companions and Guests at the Festive Board
Companions and Guests at the Festive Board
E. Companion Ray Beckingham addressing the Festive Board











Some of the Provincial Team in the Temple
Comp Andy Baird responding to the Visitors Toast

A  familiar face was Exalted into Connaught

A  familiar face was exalted into Connaught Chapter 3573, none other than W. Bro Chris James the IPM of Connaught Lodge 3573. Many well known and distinguished Companions had turned up to support him. Among them was the Grand Superintendent for Somerset E. Comp Barry Woodside and Deputy Grand Superintendent for Somerset E. Comp Clive Lambert. The current WM of Connaught Lodge  E. Comp Brian Parry was also in attendance.

The Grand Superintendent presented Comp. Ian Ramsden with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate.

The festive board was well attended with nearly 40 Companions Dining. Who were treated to an excellent meal of, Egg Mayonnaise, Roast Pork, Cheese and Biscuits with Coffee.

During the speeches E. Comp Tony Cooper, stood, welcomed and congratulated Comp. Chris James  on becoming a member of Connaught Chapter 3573. He explained Chris’s life before becoming a Freemason and how he had spent most of his working life in the Ambulance Service, carrying out various roles, how he moved around the country with his job, and how he was promoted through the ranks.  Chris responded and thanked everyone, for making the evening an enjoyable and memorable occasion for him.

Looking forward to the next meeting in November, Connaught Chapter 3573, pending a successful ballot will exalt Bro. Sean Biggins. If you would like to come along on the evening please get in touch.

C.L.O Comp. C Harding

Grand Superintendent Barry Woodside addressing the Companions.


E. Comp Tony Cooper proposing the toast to Comp Chris James


Comp. James responding to the Exaltees toast.

Another new companion at Connaught

A new Companion was Exalted into Connaught Chapter at its Regular November Convocation; Bro Sean Biggins, a relatively new member of Connaught Lodge. The meeting was very well attended with some 40 Companions.

Shortly after the Chapter was opened, the Janitor gave knocks on the door and admitted the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, who announced that: “E. Comp Ray Beckingham 2nd Principal for the Supreme Grand Chapter of Somerset, is without, demands admissions!” he was admitted in due form accompanied by Several Grand Officers and Active Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset.

Comp. Chris James’s Grand Chapter Certificate!

With the Chapter nearly full to the rafters, the Exaltation was carried out, our recently Exalted companion Comp. Chris James was presented with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate and 2 new joining members were proposed to be balloted for at the next regular Convocation in January.

The festive board had an excellent atmosphere, the Chapter was treated to Roast Lamb with Roast Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables.

After the excellent meal; E.Comp Tony Cooper, proposed the toast to our newly Exalted companion. Comp. Sean Biggins was anxious to respond and said that he was excited about being a member of this order and that he was looking forward to working with and helping the chapter wherever he could.

The MEZ Neil Arthur stood and thanked everyone for coming and wished everyone a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

C.L.O Comp. C Harding

Newly Exalted Comp. Sean Biggins responding!
E. Comp Ray Beckingham addressing the Companions!


Visitors Toast by E. Comp John Morris!
Address by MEZ Neil Arthur!
Festive Board!

C.L.O Comp. C Harding

Connaught 3573’s May Chapter Meeting

E Comp Alan Horton, DGS, congratulates Comp Bradley Freeman after presenting him with his Supreme Chapter Certificate.

At the May meeting, a packed house and a most memorable evening, during which Bro. Ian James Ramsden was exalted, Comp. Bradley Freeman received his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate

The Chapter was honoured by the presence of The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, D John Bennett. Before the MEGS was admitted, a ballot was held to make him and honorary member of the Chapter. With great relief!!! The ballot proved pure. The MEGS was then admitted and congratulated by their Excellencies on becoming a member, for which he thanked them and the Companions.

The ceremony then continued with the Exaltation of Bro Ian James Ramsden which proved a very good ceremony.

E Comp Mark Collins (MEZ) congratulates the newly exalted Comp Ian James Ramsden, alongside E Comp Neil Arthur (H) and E Comp Peter Kuzemka (J)
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of the Province of Somerset, E Comp D John Bennett, accompanied by E Comp Alan Horton, DPGS and E Comp Clive Lambert, 2nd PGP front row: (H) E Comp Neil Arthur, (MEZ) E Comp Mark Collins and (J) E Comp Peter Kuzemka
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, E. Comp D John Bennett and E Comp Tony Cooper, Connaught Chapter’s DC.

At the Festive Board E Comp Tony Cooper the Chapter DC proposed the Toast to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent. This being the last time he would visit us as MEGS it was felt necessary to thank him for the continuous 27 years of service he had dedicated to Somerset Royal Arch Masonry in words expressing the feelings of the Chapter and I’m sure all companions present. As a final tribute the Grand Superintendent unveiled a picture of himself, presented by the Chapter, which will hang with pride and reflect the admiration Connaught Chapter has for him.

Connaught’s Installation Meeting 2018

On Tuesday 13th March Connaught Chapter No.3573, held its Installation Meeting. The Visiting Provincial Principal was E Comp David Parslow, 3rdPrGPrin, with E Comp Sandy Glen, PrAGDC in attendance.

E Comp Russell Frayling, MEZ, Installed his successor, E Comp Mark Collins into 1st Principal’s Chair. E Comp Mark then Installed his Principals, E Comps Neil Arthur, H, and Peter Kuzemka, followed by his officers, all under the direction of his DC E Comp Tony Cooper.

In the words of the new CLO, Comp John Wenborn: “it was a terrific evening, well attended and enjoyed by all present”.

Three Principals – E Comps: Neil J Arthur (H), Mark P Collins (MEZ), and Peter Kuzemka (J)
E Comps: Neil J Arthur (H), Clive Lambert (2ndPrGPrin), Mark P Collins (MEZ), David K.Parslow (3rdPrGPrin), Sandy Glen (PrAGDC), and Peter Kuzemka (J).

Connaught Chapter Convocation 9th May.

Due to the pressures of work, and in two cases, illness, the Convocation was poorly attended. However, the offices were filled and the evening got under way.

As there was no candidate, a presentation of the Tracing board was given, led by our own E.Comp. Robert H Moore,P.Pr.Dep.G.Supt. This was given in catechetical form, which involved every Companion present and, I feel, advanced our Masonic knowledge at least one step.

Our Director of Ceremonies, E.Comp. Tony Cooper was absent due to illness, and it was reported that when the keys were collected from him,  he looked very unwell. So we all wish him a speedy recovery and a safe return to the Chapter (should he so desire).

It was with sadness we were told that this visit is to be the last for E.Comp. John Pickles as he feels too frail to continue. John has been a stalwart supporter of this Chapter for many years and has tried to overcome his disability for a long time but now must give in to age and ill health. John, you will still be kept informed and up to date with the Chapter, and we all wish you well for the future.

A Parish Notice.

The 2017 annual walk and lunch will be held this year on Sunday 8th July. Tony Cooper has very kindly agreed to prepare a two course lunch for the noble cost of £7:50 per head. Full details will shortly be sent to all Companions by email. All will be welcome, wives, girl friends, non Masonic friends, etc.

Installation Convocation of Connaught Chapter.

H, E.Comp. Mark Collins, Z, Russell Frayling, and J, E.Comp. Neill Arthur

The Installation Convocation was held on Tuesday 14th March and was attended by E.Comp. Clive Lambert, Provincial 3rd Grand Principal, accompanied by E.Comp. Adrian Halliwell, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The installation of the three Principals, MEZ,  E.Comp. Russell Frayling, H, E.Comp. Mark Collins and J, E.Comp. Neill Arthur, was carried out with dignity and sincerity. As the IPZ moved to the IPZ chair I think he grew 3 inches taller as the responsibility of the Chapter was removed from his shoulders.

The incoming Scribe N, Almoner and Charity Steward being unavoidably absent will be invested at the next Convocation.

AS the DC was needed elsewhere, the ADC took charge at the festive board, got slightly confused and ended up calling those present “Brother Companions”. However, we must cut the fellow some slack as he is getting on a bit !

The toast to the Visitors was given by E.Comp. John Morris and answered by E.Comp. Alex Carter, who said some very nice things about the narrators of the lectures at our January meeting.

One parish notice was given: Our annual Sunday Lunchtime walk will be on July 9th, and E.Comp. Tony Cooper and wife Dianne have agreed to cook for us again. Notice of time, start point and cost will be given nearer the date.

At the end of the evening, we started a new tradition by having a Tyler`s toast, ably given by Comp. Jim Arthur, who stood in at very short notice.

A very good and relaxed evening was had by all, and we look forward to our next Convocation, please see diary.