First Principals Annual Dinner

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.

Chapter Marine Donation to Springboard

The following is a letter from Springboard Opportunity Group following a generous donation from Chapter Marine 232

Liz Smith
Business Manager
Springboard Opportunity Group
2a Princes Road, Clevedon, BS21 7SZ
01275 341113 / 07894 273033

£1000 donation from Clevedon Freemasons.

Springboard is a charity supporting children from birth to 5 years old with additional needs and disabilities, and their families.

Springboard’s vision is where every child from birth to 5 years in North Somerset has the care, education, support and opportunity they need to reach their full potential. It was started by a small group of parents in 1986 who needed help with their very young children who all had disabilities. Springboard now provides a vital service for around 100 children per week. 

Every weekday in term time Springboard runs specialist play and learning sessions from four settings in Clevedon and Weston–Super–Mare and also weekly Stay and Play sessions for children with their parents/carers. Springboard have a Family Support Service and a Traded Inclusion Service.

Liz Smith, Springboard Business Manager, said “We depend heavily on support from the community to enable us to continue to work with children and families. We recently made a difficult decision that our minibus had come to the end of its useful life.
This generous donation of £1000 from Chapter Marine Masons at Clevedon will be used to take children from our base on outings around the local area, using hired minibuses or community transport.

Matt Westley, 1st Principal on right and Peter Harris, 2nd Principal of Chapter Marine Masons presenting a cheque for £1000 to the Springboard Opportunity Group at Clevedon. Matt Westley said “Masons are always looking to give support to local good causes. Anyone looking for information can contact us on 07572 543837”.

Annual Convocation in Pictures

Setting up the Chapter
E Comp George Francis and MEGS
The New Rulers
The 2017/18 Rulers
Devonshire Companions
E Comp Denis Calderley and George Francis with the Rulers
Provincial DCs: E Comps Geof Lester [ADC], Adrian Halliwell [DDC], Chris Moore [DC], Tony Cooper [DDC] and Sandy Glen [ADC]
Very Distinguished Companions
E Comp George Francis and MEGS after the Convocation
John loves fruit
MEGS responding to his toast
Time for Arthur to pack away the camera and head home. Thanks Arthur

With many thanks to E Comp Arthur Rowe for his dedication to capturing the essence of the Provincial Convocation 2018


E. Comp. Harry Price receiving his 50th Anniversary Certificate from the Grand Superintendent

The Installation meeting of Taunton Deane Chapter no 5221 was held on Friday 25th May 2018. The chapter was honoured by the presence of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent D. John Bennett, the Deputy Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Alan Holton, the Second Provincial Grand Principle E. Companion Clive Lambert, the Past Third Grand Principle Excellent Companion David Parslow as well as a number of Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter and Active Provincial Grand Officers. The Chapter was opened in due form and E. Comp. Kevin Hill asked the Grand Superintendent if he would like to present a 50th Anniversary Certificate to E. Comp. Harry Price. E. Comp. John gave a brief history of Harry’s life as a Royal Arch Mason and presented the Certificate to Harry accompanied by a round of acclamation.

The three Installing Principles installed their successors with great efficiency. E. Comp. Peter Roworth installed E. Comp. Harry Price as Third Principle, E. Comp. Roger Seaton installed E. Comp. Peter Roworth as Second Principle and E. Comp. Kevin Hill installed E. Comp. Roger Seaton as First Principle. The officers were invested and E. Comp. David Parslow gave the address to the Principles. The chapter was closed and E. Comp. Sidney French gave an excellent rendition of the Royal Arch Charge.

The Companions retired to an excellent festive Board of Smoked Salmon, Roast Lamb and vegetables in season followed by Apple Crumble and Custard. The proceedings were completed by 9.45pm. E. Comp. Harry was pleased with the early finish as he had an early start on Saturday to travel to Wembley to watch the Championship Playoff Final which ended with the right result Aston Villa 0- Fulham 1.

The newly installed principals and distinguished guests

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