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.

King Alfred Chapter 3169 May 2018

King Alfred Chapter met on Monday 14th May 2018 with E. Comp Jeremy Thomas as Z, E. Comp Arthur Rowe standing in as H (for E. Comp Sandy Glen who was unwell at short notice), and E. Comp Tony Wilsher-Day as J.

The main business of this meeting centred on advancement in Chapter knowledge.

Firstly the Historical Lecture was delivered under the direction of J, and some of the newer Companions took part as follows:

Part 1   Comp. Justin Percy
Part 2   Comp. Graham Caulfield
Part 3   Comp. Lindsay Edmonds and E. Comp Simon Sparkes

Secondly E. Comp Sandy Glen had obtained a quiz for the Companions to test their knowledge. Unfortunately as E. Comp Sandy Glen was not able to be present, E. Comp Simon Sparkes acted as question master. The questions covered a wide variety of areas such as the history of King Alfred Chapter, the arrangement of the Chapter and its ornaments, historical parts of the ritual (including some from the Historical Lecture we had just heard that often proved illusive!) and definitions for example where does vellum come from.

The answer sheets had been arranged numbering 1 to 25 in a grid with the numbers arranged randomly for each Companion, so the winner was to be the first Companion with 5 correct answers in a row, in a manner similar to bingo. Some early calls did not have fully correct answers, and finally joint winners were announced with E.Comp Arthur Rowe and E.Comp Tony Helliker. As these are among the most experienced Companions in our Chapter, the question master was prompted to announce that “age and experience beat youth and enthusiasm!”

Here we see the question master flanked by the winners.

The evening concluded with an excellent festive board and we look forward to the next meeting on 11th June.

Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter 17th May 2018

Once again this meeting was held on a beautiful day at the Webbington Hotel and Spa. The morning was taken up with setting up the room with the chapter furniture being brought to the venue by E Comp John Griffin. There was a run through by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, with the other DCs and Stewards before a full rehearsal starting at 11:30.

MEGS – “Chris where do we stand”
PrGDC -“According to your script…”

The new Officers collected their Jewels from E Comp Roger Reina, Pr Grand Registrar, and, being suitably, clothed had their photos taken by E Comp Arthur Rowe.

The Companions were all seated for 3:00pm and the processions started at 3:10pm with the Principals of the Chapters of Somerset, followed by distinguished guests, Grand Superintendents of other Provinces, E Comp George Pippon Francis, P 2nd Grand Principal accompanied by E Comp Denis Calderley, and finally MEGS D John Bennett and the Provincial Team. The Chapter was opened in due form and hymn.

The First Principal of Tyntesfield Chapter presented MEGS with the Somerset Sceptre which was placed on Scribe E’s table for the duration. Following the Roll Call of Chapters and attendance of Provincial Grand Officers the Minutes of the previous Convocation were reported as distributed to all Chapters and submitted for approval which was confirmed. The Companions then stood in memory of those Somerset Companions who died during the 1st World War, to mark the centenary of the end of that war. In Memoriam was then read by E Comp Pr Grand Registrar.

The Provincial Grand Treasurer, E Comp Terry Hayes, then gave a report of the past year, followed by E Comp Tony Beaumont, Pr Grand Scribe E, giving his report [click here to view].

MEGS the reappointed E Comp Alan Holton as deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive Lambert as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and then Appointed, Obligated, Invested and Installed E Comp Neil Hurcum as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, thanking E Comp David Parslow for the excellent year he had in that Office. MEGS the invested the 28 Officers of the Provincial Team and 46 first appointments/promotions, with a few absences.

MEGS then gave his address [click here to read] to the meeting noting his 10 years in the post where he was installed by E Comp George Pippon Francis, and other memorable events over that period.

MEGS then presented the Somerset Sceptre to E Comp Bob Moore, 1st Principal of Exmoor Chapter, to commence the next round of visits.

The Provincial Chapter was closed with Hymn and the first two verses of the National Anthem and then the distinguished companions, and Provincial Principals retired in procession.

E Comp George Pippon Francis proposing the Toast to MEGS
MEGS John Bennett replying to his Toast

After trips to the bar the Companions assembled for the Festive Board where MEGS was welcomed with acclamation and the meal was taken with plenty of communication with known and other Companions. After the meal MEGS gave the Loyal Toast followed by other toasts notably that by E Comp Gorge Pippon to MEGS, followed by the presentation of a cheque from all the Chapters by E Comp Alan Holton in the Province and a Basket of fruit. MEGS suitably replied in his usual lighthearted manner.

The Festive Board with well known Companions listening to the speeches

The day being ended the Companions wended their way home, some as far as Sussex! Overall a magnificent day that was enjoyed by all.

More photos to follow

Wrington Vale Chapter May Meeting

Companions, for those that missed the May meeting you missed out on a very interesting, detailed and informative talk on the Woman’s Order of Freemasonry by E Comp Sybil Vosey. As in previous years we decided to entertain our Ladies including them in the talk as well as the festive board.

We opened dealt with a bit of administration called off and our Ladies joined us with E Comp Sybil and her driver another Lady E Comp, followed by the Grand Superintendent and his team. E Comp Sybil then gave us a very detailed talk on the history, structure, Lodges and Orders  of the Woman’s Order of Freemasonry. They started a bit different to us in that they where part of a French Co-ed Masonry, which means they admitted men and woman together. They broke away and formed their own female only order, their structure is similar to ours they have most of the other degrees as we do, they use the same regalia as we do except they wear a white gown like the Sojourners but a bit more feminine. The local lodge is Aqua Sulis 158, meeting near Bath, they hold their installation at Keynsham Masonic Hall. 2013 was the Order’s centenary.

After the talk  the Ladies left, we called back on, MEGS and his team departed in due form, we finished off any outstanding business and closed.

A rather pleasant and relaxed evening which was finished off with a very good Festive Board.

The Principals and their Good Ladies
The Principals, MEGS and his wife Jenny,
E Comp Sybil and her companion
The Principals and Somerset’s Grand Principals
Its always good to see a full dining room, a Festive Board that full makes a happy Treasurer








E Comp Barry Jones, CLO, Wrington Vale.

Tyntesfield Chapter 4494

I am writing this on behalf of the Tyntesfield Chapters CLO, Comp Rob Collins, I had privilege to attend the Chapter’s May meeting which was an Exaltation  of a former colleague of mine, a Retired Police Officer, and embarrassingly  his name has escaped me, we even worked in the same department!!

The Chapter was a bit thin on the ground due to some unforeseen and last minute problems but I have to say it no way affected the quality of the ceremony that the candidate witnessed. To a member the Chapter pulled together and produced an excellent high quality Exaltation that was a real pleasure to witness. The Principals work was first class, the Principal Sojourner was outstanding, a real pleasure to listen to, and the work done by the other Officers and last minute replacements was also excellent. It was heart warming to see a Chapter pull together at what some might consider a disaster and produce a Ceremony that is one of the best (outside my own Chapter, I had to put that!!) that I have seen. The candidate was treated to a first class Exaltation which I believe he really enjoyed and took it all in. Well done Tyntesfield. I am looking forward to my next visit.

On Behalf of Comp Rob  Collins, CLO, Tyntesfield Chapter,

E Comp Barry Jones, CLO, Wrington Vale Chapter.

Congratulations to E Comp Neil

At the recent Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter I with other members of Wrington Vale looked on in great pride and pleasure as our very own Scribe E (and very hard working), E Comp Neil Hurcum, was Appointed, Obligated, Invested and Installed by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent as The Third Grand Principal. Very well deserved Neil well done. It’s not the first time the Chapter has been so Honoured as E Comp Ray Beckingham has held this office as have others before my time (I can tell you my history book arrives). It is a great Honour for the Chapter to have Neil hold this High Office as it is a mark of how successful we as a Chapter have been.

Neil on behalf of the entire Chapter I offer you congratulations, again well deserved and have a great time as Third Grand Principal of The Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset. An achievement to be very proud of, as the Chapter is.

The Cat is out of the bag
Time to Celebrate
The Real Deal

St. Keyna Chapter Installation and Cheque presentation

Thursday May 10th marked the date of the Installation at the St Keyna Chapter, which was very well attended. The meeting was preceded by the presentation of a cheque for £900 to the Brain Tumour Charity by the Principals and the Charity Steward, Comp Barry Dryland, to Emma Cronin, Community Fundraising Manager for the South West. (She is the one in the middle !!)
Through its fundraising activities and medical research it has convinced the NHS to commit over £30 million pounds to developing treatments and searching for methods to eradicate this condition which is highly prevalent in children. Partly due to their efforts and perseverance, the diagnosis time has been reduced from over 14 weeks to less than 7, enabling an earlier intervention leading to reduced recovery times and fewer fatalities.

The new Principals are E Comp Frank Sims as Z, E Comp Andrew Bardens as H and E Comp Steve Coles as J. The Chapter was honoured with the presence of E Comp Clive Lambert, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, an old friend of the Chapter who delivered the address to the Principals in excellent fashion.

The festive board was first class and there was a great balance of humour, banter and camaraderie amongst the Companions, who were unanimous in their support for the newly installed Principals. The chapter is in for another great year.
Speak to your lodge Holy Royal Arch Representative about completing the journey.

Grateful thanks to EComp Barry McCormack for this write up and photo.

Annual Provincial Convocation – 17th May 2018 – Programme

The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter
will be held at
The Webbington Hotel & Spa, Loxton, Nr Axbridge, Somerset
Thursday 17th May 2018 at 3.30pm
Under the Banner of
Sincerity Chapter No.261

The Timetable is approximately as follows:
2.30pm Active officers, appointed for 2018/2019, to collect the jewel of
their office from Scribe E’s table in the Chapter.
3.00pm All Companions to be seated in the Chapter room.
3.00-3.25pm Distinguished Guests and Grand Officers will process into
the Chapter.
Visiting Grand Superintendents will process into the Chapter.
The First Principals of all Somerset Chapters will enter into the Chapter
and be arranged under the banner of Sincerity Chapter No 261.
The Provincial Team will enter the Chapter.
3.30pm Provincial Grand Chapter will be opened by the Most Excellent
Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Grand Principals.
About 4.45pm Provincial Grand Chapter will be closed.
5.45pm Companions will be seated for Dinner.
6.00pm Dinner will be served
About 7.30 to 8.00pm Companions will depart.


Order of Procedure.
1.Excellent Companion D. John Bennett, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in
and over the Province of Somerset, and Officers of the Provincial Grand Chapter of
Somerset will enter in procession.
2. Provincial Grand Chapter will be opened in due form.
3. Opening Hymn.
4. The First Principal of Tyntesfield Chapter No 4494 will present the Somerset Sceptre to
the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for safe keeping during the Provincial
5. To call the Roll of Chapters within the Province.
6. The attendance of Provincial Grand Officers will be reported.
7. To confirm the minutes of the Annual Convocation held at The Webbington Hotel & Spa,
Loxton, Nr Axbridge, Somerset, on Thursday 18th May 2017.
8. In Memoriam.
9. The Provincial Grand Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st
December 2017 will be presented and if approved, adopted.
10. To receive the report of The Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra.
11. To Elect a Provincial Grand Treasurer for the ensuing year.
12. To Elect an Account Examiner for the ensuing year.
13. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will appoint, obligate, invest and install
E.Comp. Neil R. Hurcum as Third Provincial Grand Principal.
14. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will appoint and invest Provincial Grand
Chapter Officers for the ensuing year and confer Past Provincial Grand Chapter
Rank and Promotions
15. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will address the Companions.
16. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will present the Somerset Sceptre to the
First Principal of Exmoor Chapter No 2390.
17. Any other business.
18. To receive apologies.
19. To close Provincial Grand Chapter.
20. Closing Hymn and Collection of Alms.
21. The first and second verse of the National Anthem will be sung.

Royal Cumberland RAC No.41 – April 2018 Convocation

Provincial Grand Principals with the Chapter Principals

Our well attended April meeting was an auspicious occasion when following the opening of the convocation, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, E. Comp. D. John Bennett, accompanied by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals, and a number of other Officers of the Province were admitted.

E. Comp. Frank Silver (centre) with the Principals of both Royal Cumberland and the Province

Having been warmly welcomed, the MEGS assumed the chair of Z to conduct the main business of the evening, to dedicate the Chapters new Sceptres, which was carried out magnificently to a ceremonial never before seen, and which left a lasting impression in the minds of many companions present. The Sceptres were made and donated by E. Comp. Frank Silver.

Comp. Bob Cole receiving his “lifetime” achievement certificate from the MEGS

He was also able to take the opportunity to present a “lifetime” achievement certificate to Companion Bob Cole to commemorate his 50-years as a Royal Arch Mason.

MEGS D. John Bennett receiving commemorative glassware from E. Comp. Roger Karn (Z)

The MEZ of Royal Cumberland Chapter E.Comp Roger Karn graciously thanked the MEGS for the magnificent manner in which he had conducted the ceremonial, and presented to him, on this his final official visit to the Chapter, a piece of commemorative glassware, not only for him to reflect on his evening with the members of Royal Cumberland but also for the unstinting contribution he has made to Royal Arch Chapters in Somerset during his time as Grand Superintendent for the Province of Somerset.

Comp. Tony Gay receiving his Royal Arch Chapter Certificate from E. Comp. Chris Moore Prov.G.DC

E. Comp. Chris Moore, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, concluded an impressive meeting by explaining and presenting the Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate to Companion Tony Gay, our newest member.

The Chapter being closed, the Companions retired to a festive board where the atmosphere was full of brotherly love, harmony, and concord, concluding with the appropriate toasts.