3746 1st Principals’ Summer Dinner

This popular annual event will be held on Saturday 2nd June 2018,and is open to all Members & Wives also 1st Principals of Somerset Chapters with Wives or Partners.
To be held at the picturesque Wedmore Golf Club 7pm for 7-30pm
Three Course Dinner (choice of menu) including Coffee & Mints £18.00. Contact E. Comp Ray Beckingham, no later than 25th May, if you would like to attend.

Somerset 1st Principals have another interesting evening, September 2017

The Chapter once again returned to its home at Bridgwater for the Installation Meeting on Wednesday 6th September, but with a difference! The Chapter was opened at 6:00pm and E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, was admitted. He informed the MEZ, E Comp John Rudge, that the MEGS E Comp D John Bennett was without accompanied by a numerous retinue and he demanded admission. MEZ welcomed MEGS and then announced the 2nd item on the Agenda which was to receive from comps of the Metropolitan Grand Chapter a presentation entitled “The Royal Arch in Camera – Your Chapter in Focus”.

The presentation was given by E Comps Simon Walsh, Ian Clark and, the late arrival, Robert Anderson. They proceeded to enthral all present with this very enlightening playlet, explaining the signs, officers of the chapters and historical facts. This presentation is a follow on to “Talking Heads” and can be given in Chapters throughout the Province ids by Ray Beckingham and hi wayfarers.

E Comp Simon Walsh – Narrator
E Comp Robert Anderson explaining the Scribe N’s (Andy Gray standing) role

On Completion of the presentation E Comp Ian Curran, the director of the presentation team took questions and MEGS thanked the team for travelling down to Somerset then presented each member with a bottle of Sheppy’s Apple Brandy.

The Metropolitan Team with MEGS E Comps Simon Walsh, Ian Clark, MEGS, Ian Curran and Robert Anderson

The usual items were dealt with and Representatives of 1st Principals Chapters from Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Hereford and Worcestershire were welcomed followed by Principals of Somerset Chapters.

Next item a ballot for joining members which proved clear this was followed by the Induction of Principals: E Comp Andy Gray as J, E Comp Maldwyn Davies as H and E Comp ray Beckingham as Z. MEZ then invested his officers and the addresses to the Principals was given by MEGS, that to the Officers by E Comp Keith Fisher and that to the Companions in his indomitably flamboyant way by E Comp Matt Wesley.

E Comps Maldwyn Davies, H, Ray Beckingham, Z, and Andy Gray, J.

In the absence of the Almoner, E Comp Terry Wood, E Comp Mark Bajona gave the Almoner’s report and then followed the next item a Ballot to bestow Honorary Membership on E Comp Terry Wood, which proved clear.

The Chapter was then closed and the companions proceeded downstairs to the newly refurbished dining room, which was undertaken during the closed season.

Adrian Halliwell, standing in for the Chapter’s CLO E Comp Ben White, and apologies for the poor quality of the photos!

1st Principals Annual Dinner

14th July saw a gathering of members and their wives for the Chapter annual dinner.  This year, the Wedmore Golf Club not being available, MEZ John Rudge decided to try out The Webbington.  We were in the Garden Suite and could well have risked eating outside as it was such a lovely evening!

E Comp Steve Wilson andMrs Jenny du Kamp

E Comp John Rudge did well to make the event, having recently been in hospital. He presented his wife with a bouquet of flowers, thanking her for looking after him so well.

He also thanked members for attending what was a truly convivial evening. Good fellowship, good food and wine – what more could you ask for?

3746 1st Principals WOW factor!

In the words of E. Comp. Andy Gray (that well-known wit and philosopher) “You wait 40 years for a banner and then 13 come along all at once!”

Thursday 22nd June 2017 will go down as one of the most memorable meetings in the Chapter’s history.  On this auspicious date at Taunton Masonic Hall, the Chapter was joined by the Grand Superintendent and his Provincial Team in order to Dedicate the new Chapter Banner and 12 Tribal Ensigns.

MEZ John Rudge welcoming John Bennet, Grand Superintendent
MEZ John Rudge welcoming John Bennett, Grand Superintendent

Before that happened though, MEZ and their Excellencies welcomed visitors from the Provinces of Bristol, Gloucestershire & Hereford and Dorset, as well as visiting Principals of Somerset Chapters.

Comps. Charlie Barker (261), Brian Buckle (329) and Nigel Handbury (5221) were elected Joining Members and welcomed into the Chapter by the 3 Principals.

And now for the main event!  The Grand Superintendent took the Chair, together with the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Principals and the new Banner was paraded into the Chapter, carried by E. Comp. Neville Harrison, a PZ of the Chapter.

E Comp Neville Harrison presenting the new Banner
E Comp Neville Harrison presenting the new Banner
The Grand Superintendent addresses the Convocation
The Grand Superintendent addresses the Convocation

The 12 Ensigns were already in place and with much pomp and ceremony, these were dedicated by the MEGS and Principals.  The Chapter Banner and newly dedicated ensigns were then presented to the Chapter through MEZ E. Comp. John Rudge, who completed the ceremonial with an Oration on the origins and purpose of Banners.

Having worked so hard, the Provincial Team retired to the bar, the Chapter business was concluded and everyone else retired to the bar for a cooling thirst quencher before dining.

The dining room was buzzing with convivial chatter, and this memorable evening was brought to a close.

The Three Principals taking wine....
The Three Principals taking wine….

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Somerset 1st Principals Installation, Sept 2016

Principals for 2016-7E Comps Ray Beckingham, H, John Rudge, Z, and Maldwyn Davies, J.
Principals for 2016-7: E Comps Ray Beckingham, H, John Rudge, Z, and Maldwyn Davies, J.

A rather warm evening in Bridgwater was the setting for the Installation Meeting with not quite the full-house that we usually have. The Chapter was opened and business dealt with quite speedily, visiting members of Dorset and Gloucester and Hereford 1st Principals were welcomed as well as Somerset Principals.

A ballot was taken for two Honorary Members, Bob Biggs and Joe Hawkins and for three Joining Members, all carried.

MEGS then proposed the adoption of the design for a Chapter Banner which again approved and will be Dedicated at the June Meeting in Taunton. E Comp Bob Moore (Z) then proposed the adoption of new By-laws which was passed and now passed on to Provincial and Supreme Grand Chapter.

E Comp Bob Moore then gave a talk entitled ‘The Symbolism of the Furnishings of a Royal Arch Chapter’. Once again in his eloquent and at times confrontational and thought provoking way Bob kept the companions enthralled and received a worthy applause.

Then followed the Induction of the three new Principals, E Comps John Rudge as Z, Ray Beckingham as H and Maldwyn Davies as J.

Three Principals with MEGS John Bennett
Three Principals with MEGS John Bennett

The Officers were then invested prior to which the outgoing Treasurer, E Comp Ray Sheppard and DC E Comp Ron Babbage were thanked for their long service in their posts, each received acclamation.

The Almoner, E Comp Terry Wood was unfortunately recovering from his three weeks in hospital but had passed his report to Scribe E. With nothing in AOB or the Risings the Chapter was closed and the majority retired to the Festive Board where an excellent meal and company were enjoyed.

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Happy Companions
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Really happy Companions
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E Comps Tony Beaumont, Clive Lambert and MEGS John Bennett enjoying the evening
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Taunton Brigade, E Comps Newton Scanlon, Rod Green and Neil Trood with, looking on happy-are-we-three, E Comps Tony Beaumont, Clive Lambert and MEGS John Bennett enjoying the evening
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Waiting for the mains
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Top table with Ron Babbage deep in thought

Somerset 1st Principals June Meeting, 2016

Minehead is not the easiest place to visit on a Friday afternoon, but M5 traffic didn’t deter a good number of members turning out for the 17th June meeting held by Dispensation at Minehead – only the second time this has happened in its history.  According to one long-standing member – “this will now be a tradition of the Chapter”!

The Principals welcomed visitors to the Chapter, including, for the first time, the Worshipful Master of the Somerset Installed Masters Lodge, W Bro Paul Cooper.  We hope the link between the Lodge and Chapter will be made stronger by continued visits of the WM to First Principals.  If the WM is not a Companion, that can’t happen, of course, but we have plenty of application forms….

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Paul Cooper, WM of Installed Masters Lodge, being welcomed by MEZ

Three Joining Members were elected – E. Comps Ron Blackhurst, Ron Goacher and Edward White, but unfortunately Ron Goacher and Edward White couldn’t be present to be welcomed into the Chapter.  This was followed by the election of the Principals for the ensuing year – John Rudge (Z), Ray Beckingham (H) and Maldwyn Davies (J)

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E Comp Ron Blackhurst receiving a warm welcome as our most recent Joining Member

First Principal Bob Moore settled into an interesting and thought provoking paper – ‘Reflections on Aspects of the Mystical Lecture’, which is well worth a repeat in the future.

The Chapter was closed and members made for the bar to cool off on what had turned into a warm evening.

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John Lendon counting the takings from thirsty Companions

The evening was rounded off with a convivial Festive Board…

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Keith Fisher psyching himself up for the Visitors Toast
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MEZ Bob Moore raising a smile and paying tribute to E Comp Ron Babbage’s long service as DC
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Ron Babbage caught smiling….

First Principal’s Annual Dinner

The ever popular Annual Summer Dinner of the Somerset First Principals Chapter No. 3746 took place on Friday 11th July 2014 at the picturesque Wedmore Golf Club.

On arrival Companion’s & their ladies were greeted by our Grand Superintendent D. John Bennett accompanied by his Deputy Bob Moore together with their ladies, Jenny & Val. To complete this distinguished welcoming committee, Second & Third Provincial Grand Principals Barry Woodside & Ray Beckingham together accompanied by their ladies Peggy & Chris made the set!