On Monday 25th November the Grand Superintendent travelled up to Wiltshire to Lansdowne Chapter No. 626 meeting in Chippenham to accompany the Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Wiltshire, E Comp John Reid with the sole purpose of a joint 50th Veterans Certificate presentation to E Comp Ian Jacobs a Past Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire, 1995-2008.
E Comp Ian Jacobs was the consecrating Joshua of Calderley Chapter of Union No. 906 when it was consecrated on the 7th April 2011 at The Webbington Hotel and Spa, Loxton. The full consecrating team was selected by the officiating First Principal, E Comp Denis Calderley a Past Grand Superintendent of Somerset.
All of the consecrating team had been selected from a selection of Past Grand Superintendents from our adjoining Provinces who just happened to have served in their respective Provinces at the same time as E Comp Denis; their participation resulted in them all being made Honorary Members of the Chapter.
The three Principals of the Chapter, E Comp’s C M Tarbitten (Z), M J Emmett (H) and P Ginger (J) on behalf of the members of the Chapter presented E Comp Ian with a magnificently engraved whisky decanter and twin whisky glasses, much to Ian’s utter dismay and delight, particularly as he had no idea as to what was install for him, there being no mention of any such presentation in the Chapter Summons, the only agenda items reflecting the customary chapter business. It was only to be the high attendance that aroused Ian’s suspicions that something was afoot. With the formalities of the presentation completed E Comp Ian took full advantage to address the chapter with an emotional recounting of his happy 50-year service to the Holy Royal Arch and finally thanking all the companions for their friendship and support throughout his extraordinary and privileged Royal Arch Journey.
Following a full agenda and with the presentations successfully concluded, the companions retired to the ground floor dining room where a hearty and enjoyable festive board of stew and dumplings was enjoyed by all.
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
This year is proving to be another successful year a period of consolidation, with ever closer ties between The Craft and The Holy Royal Arch. I would like therefore, to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for your hard work, commitment and support throughout. The wonderful atmosphere we continue to experience within the Royal Arch in Somerset is without doubt attributed to your companionship and friendship alike. Long may that continue well into the future. It is also that time of the year when we shall all be celebrating this Festive Season in various ways; Peggy and I would like to wish you all a very Happy & Joyous Christmas and above all a Healthy and Wonderful New Year.
Companions of Taunton Deane Chapter met on Tuesday 3rd December with a potential Exaltee but due to illness the candidate was unable to attend. This did not deter the Companions present.
E. Comp. Ray was welcomed by the MEZ who proffered him the Sceptre which E. Comp. Ray took, looked at it very carefully and quickly returned it to the MEZ.
The Chapter was fortunate to have a willing candidate in the form of E. Comp. John Bennett who had been made an honorary member earlier this year and now can claim to have been Exalted according to Aldersgate ritual.
The Companions retired and enjoyed a dinner of Chicken Liver Pate and Roast Beef.
On Friday 29th November Companions gathered from across the two Provinces for the Chapter’s Annual Installation meeting at Uffculme. Devonshire Official Visitors were led by E Comp Chris Roach DGSupt (the MEGS being detained in Tenerife with his wife) while Somerset was led by the MEGS E Comp Barry Woodside. After much recent inclement weather it proved to be a dry crisp evening.
Many arrived early to indulge in the tea/coffee and biscuits that were provided and it proved an excellent opportunity for convivial conversation among old friends and new. As start time approached Companions other than those in the later procession donned regalia and made their way to the temple.
The meeting was smoothly opened by the outgoing Principals with the initial business and the opening address moving easily along. The visiting dignitaries were then received into the gathering and, followed by their supporters, duly seated. Cheques for their Provinces’ respective Charities were presented to E Comps Roach and Woodside. Comp Winter and E Comps Hill and Grubb were each taken through their Obligations in an efficient manner. All below the rank of first Principal were asked to retire then E Comp M W Yates Installed E Comp C R Grubb as MEZ. The new MEZ then Installed E Comp R Hill as H followed by Comp R Winter being made J. The MEZ then appointed and Invested the Officers to serve with them.
It’s worth recording here that, despite a few minor hiccups in the floor work, all of the spoken ritual was very well performed with few prompts and great sincerity. The rest of the evening’s business and the closing address were deftly attended to before all the visiting dignitaries left to return downstairs while the Chapter’s Companions and their visitors completed the last rising and duly closed the Chapter.
Companions regathered in the dining hall with plenty of time to acquire liquid refreshment before the Company was called to table for Grace. An excellent meal of Prawn Cocktail, Carrot and Coriander Soup, Roast Beef, Apple and Mincemeat Pie and Cheese and Biscuits was served. The preparation, presentation and tastiness of the mail was to a high standard. After the toasts the raffles raised a goodly sum for charity.
All too soon the convocation was over and it was time for goodbyes. The Officers of the Chapter should congratulate themselves on an efficient and well presented evening’s ceremony. I complete this report with some pictures taken at the end of the meeting and at Table.
There follows shots of either end of top table and wider views into the room.
In closing I must record my thanks to E Comp Chris Summers for so graciously letting me take over his duties as the Chapter Liaison Officer and producing this report. I trust I met his expectations and his own high standards.
What a superb meeting at Perpetual Friendship in Bridgwater. With several stand-ins for sick brethren I can only heap praise on the quality of their ritual. MEGS, E comp Barry Woodside had invited himself to the meeting, more why later, and was proffered the Sceptre by MEZ, E Comp Barrie Crow, which MEGS thanked him for but returned it to Barrie for him to proceed with the evening.
E Comp John Night, being unavoidably absent at the Installation meeting was invested as DC.
The main event of the evening was to Exalt Bro Justin Meadows, a member of Perpetual Lodge No 135. First up was E Comp Gary Boon, J, who gave a near word perfect asking the question, it was clear and very well delivered, which set the standard for the rest of the working. Next up was E Comp Steve Dare, acting as H. Steve was given a week’s notice but you wouldn’t have thought so! To complete the first part of the ceremony MEZ was also spot on.
135 usee their almost original ritual and the expanded Mystical Lecture is broken into two parts, E Comp Norman Hucker undertook the first part and E Comp Jerry Hayes the second. Once again it was superbly given and so good to listen to.
After the ceremony MEGS congratulated Justin along with the Principals. The Treasurer being absent it fell on E Comp David Attwater to give his report. There followed the Almoner’s report on companions and their wives who are suffering ill health.
On the Second Rising MEGS reported that because of the Provincial Almoner’s unfortunate accident E Comp Tony Cooper and Comp Chris Dyer would be sharing John’s duties until he makes a full recovery. He then called on the DC to present Comp Chris Dyer to him. He then presented the MEGS Award pin to replace the collar jewel that he had been given previously, with suitable comments on his past and future activities looking after the Provincial Almoners duties in the south and west of the Province.
The chapter was closed in peace and harmony and and companions adjourned downstairs to enjoy the festive board.
Thursday 21st November saw the Annual Installation at the Yeovil Masonic Hall of the Principals of the Chapter of Brotherly Love.
The meeting was opened in its own usual style. Following which there was a knock on the door and E.Comp. Roger Bailey, Provincial ADC, announced that the Deputy Grand Superintendent E.Comp. Clive Lambert was without and demanded admission. An escort was formed and the DGS was escorted into the Chapter along with the Prov. Standard Bearer, E.Comp. Gerald Morgan, and Prov. Steward, E.Comp. Clive Brooke. The MEZ E.Comp. Derek Marpole proffered the Sceptre to the DGS who said that he was aware of the amount of effort that had been made by all for the evening and he was not going to take that away from them and he returned the Sceptre.
The usual business was completed followed by the reading of the Antient Minutes and the Chapter was then infused with incense.
Before the Installation of the new Principals the outgoing MEZ had the pleasure of welcoming E. Comp D John Bennett, PGS of Somerset, as an Honorary Member of the Chapter and presented him with a copy of the by-laws. E.Comp. Bennet suitably thanked the members of the Chapter for the honour accorded to him.
The meeting continued with the Installation of E.Comp. William Spregg into the Chair of Z, E.Comp. Anthony Rash into the Chair of H and Comp. Adrian Watkins into the Chair of J. The explanation of the Robes and Sceptres were delivered by the out going Principals to their successors.
The MEZ then appointed the Officers for the year. Then E.Comp. Clive Lambert delivered the Address to the Principals, the Address to the Officers by E.Comp. John Pinder and to the Companions by E.Comp. Alan Holton.
Having had two candidates proposed at the previous meeting, a ballot was taken for Bro. Christopher James of the Lodge of Brotherly Love 329 and Bro. Allan Barrie of Royal Naval Lodge 2761 which proved in favour of both.
E.Comp Lambert then presented a Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate, in a very informative way, to Companion Alan Watkins.
After the usual business and Risings the Chapter was closed and the Companions retired to the festive board.
On Saturday 9th November some of Somerset’s more senior members travelled to the South West Riviera with E Comp Barry Woodside our MEGS. Arriving at the Riviera Centre in Torquay they joined many Companions from Provinces across the South of England. It has to be recorded that it was not “Riviera” weather. However, once in the dry Companionship was found to be present in vast amount. This picture shows most of the Somerset Companions who had travelled to the Convocation.
The 2019 gathering would mark the 9th Anniversary of E Comp Simon Rowe’s tenure as MEGS of Devonshire. As his Warrant is for a ten year period it is anticipated that Supreme Grand Chapter will be announcing his successor during 2020. He’s shown here with E Comp Barry Woodside and E Comp Graham Glazier the MEGS of Dorset.
In Devon, Lunch is taken before the Convocation with tea and biscuits available afterwards for those not wishing to join the queues that quickly build up as drivers attempt to escape via the single exit.
There was a rather special guest at the gathering in the person of the Third Grand Principal, ME Comp Gareth Jones. He is shown below with E Comp Simon Rowe at table. There follows a series of other picture taken during the meal featuring the Somerset Companions.
Despite the hundreds dining the meal proved excellent, which is indeed a credit to the caterers at a venue of this size. After lunch and minimal toasts and speeches the Companions quickly donned regalia and made their way into the main hall. The ceremonial went smoothly apart from the MEGS’s microphone going on the blink shortly after the opening ceremony. It was torn off and a hand version provided soon after. I’m sure those interesting in more detail about the meeting will find such on the Devonshire web-site in due course. Meeting over it was fond farewells then back out to face the elements, which had not relented much. It had been a most enjoyable gathering.
At the November meeting of Fidelity and Sincerity we had good number of guests for a double ceremony in one night. The Chapter was opened and MEGS, E Comp Barry Woodside, personal guest of the DC, was welcomed by E Comp Jason Vincent and proffered the Sceptre. Knowing what was coming MEGS returned the Sceptre, H offered his but was also declined, good luck Chris next time perhaps?
The Almoner, E Comp Keith Smith, gave a report on various members and their ladies health including his own wife who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Next on the Agenda was to Invest E Comp Paul Spoors as H. He was presented to MEZ by E comp Adrian Halliwell, DC, and took his Obligation. Those below the rank of 2nd Principal retired and a Conclave of 2nd Principals was then declared. E Comp Paul was then invested with Robe, Collar and Sceptre and took his Chair. The companions were readmitted and MEZ gave the Robe Address. MEGS then delivered the Address to H.
Next item was to ballot for a Joining Member and a Candidate for Exaltation which proved clear, thank goodness, as W Bro Alan Clayton was to be Exalted that evening.
Alan was duly Exalted into the Chapter which was carried brilliantly by all those taking part, this is due to the Principals and Sojourners volunteering to have a “boys’ night” every Wednesday to practice the upcoming ceremonies. Congratulations everyone.
There being no further business the Rising were taken. On the Second Rising MEGS rose to thank the Chapter and then called on the DC to present E Comp Keith Smith to him. MEGS then gave a resume of Keith’s masonic career detailing his devoted work as Almoner for both this Chapter and also F&S Craft Lodge. He then presented him with the Grand Superintendent’s Award Certificate and Lapel Pin. Keith was so taken aback he couldn’t respond, it’s not often this happens, he he!
The Chapter was then closed in peace and harmony and Companions headed for a very convivial Festive Board.