On what must have been the hottest day of the year so far, we held our Summer meeting at Yatton, where MEZ Ray Beckingham’s Chapter (Wrington Vale) meets – a busy and eventful agenda had 17 items!
Visitors from the Provinces of Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and Hereford were warmly (haha) welcomed, as well as First Principals of Somerset Chapters. Our own Grand Superintendent, Deputy and 2nd Provincial Principal were also present at this packed meeting.
Members of Abbey Chapter delivered the Travelling Sceptre for safe keeping,
after which the Chapter elected E Comp Ron Babbage as an Honorary Member and E Comps Richard Reeve, Alan Dummett and John Hewett as Joining Members.
The three Principals for 2018/2019 were then elected – Maldwyn Davies (Z), Andy Gray (H) and Richard Ellis (J). All three thanked the Companions for so honouring them. E Comp Bob Moore was re-elected as Treasurer, and he informs me that the cruise is booked!
To round off the meeting, E Comp Ray Beckingham delivered a very interesting and educational “Commentary on the Royal Arch” urging Companions to use it as a springboard for their own researches.
The Festive Board was a jolly affair, with dress code relaxed to permit removal of jackets – thank goodness!
On a beautiful evening at the picturesque Isle of Wedmore Golf Club 54 Companions, wives, partners and friends assembled for the Annual Dinner. It was great to be back at the Golf Club after a break to The Webbington.
E Comp Ray Beckingham as MEZ organised the event in his usual efficient way, explaining that only two weeks earlier there were only 10 people booked in. It was a very friendly evening, making new acquaintances, cementing old ones and generally having a superb evening.
E Comp Adrian Halliwell, DC, called those present for grace before settling down to a splendid meal, after which MEZ proposed the Loyal Toast then he gave a thanks to all concerned and wished everyone a safe drive home. No one rushed to leave and continued there chats and farewells before wending their ways home.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
6.00pm on Wednesday 6th September at Bridgwater, members of the Metropolitan Grand Chapter will present the next part of the Talking Heads dialogue, entitled ‘The Royal Arch in Camera – Your Chapter in Focus’. Be There or Be Square!
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget! Banner and Standards dedication by ME Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Team at our next meeting. Thursday 22nd June, 6.00pm start at Taunton Masonic Hall. Make sure you book now through Assistant Scribe E.
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.
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.
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….
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)
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.
The evening was rounded off with a convivial Festive Board…