PROVINCIAL TEAM VISIT TO TYNTESFIELD CHAPTER 4494

Tyntesfield Chapter were honoured by the visit of Somerset Provincial Team in May to make it a very special evening for the latest Somerset Companion Bro Tom Francis of Wraxall Lodge.

Before the Provincial Team made their entrance, a deputation from Royal Cumberland Chapter No 41 presented the Travelling Sceptre in a very competent manner, which will be passed on the following week to the MEGS at the Provincial AGM.

*stock photo for illustration purposes only*

There followed a report on the door and E Comp Tony Cooper Pr Dep GDC advised that E Comp Barry K Woodside, MEGS, accompanied by his Team, demanded admission. The Provincial Team was processed into the Chapter and MEGS was warmly welcomed by E Comp Dale Sherman, MEZ, who proffered his Sceptre which was retained and the MEGS took the chair, the Provincial team then took the places of the Chapter Officers.

Main item of the evening was to Exalt Bro Tom Francis. With MEGS calmly steering his Team through the ceremony, ably assisted by E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd Pr Principal, as H and E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr Principal, as J. E Comp Clive Lambert, Dep GS, read the Prayers, Readings and narrated what the Janitor was explaining outside the door to Bro Tom, which added more meaning to the 60 or more Companions within the Chapter. E Comp Darrell Hinder, Pr Prin G Soj, was ably assisted by Pr Asst G Sojs E Comp John Pinder and Stand-in E Comp Geoff Lester guiding Comp Tom around the chapter and through his ceremony of being exalted.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr Principal, gave an explanation of the signs, whilst the Mystical Lecture was given by E Comp Ray Conneely, Pr Dep G DC, E Comp Chris Moore, Pr G DC, and E Comp Andy Gray, Pr Archivist. On completion of the Exaltation MEGS presented Comp Tom with a set of cuff links only given to Companions Exalted by the Provincial Team, these are similar to the Provincial crest but with the Grand Superintendent’s crest in the centre. The constant smile of Comp Tom was commented upon and he was led to a seat in the Chapter.

The MEGS then returned the Sceptre to MEZ and the Chapter Officers were reinstated. MEZ, E Comp Dale Sherman, thanked MEGS and the Team for a wonderful ceremony.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr G Prin, was then called upon to present Grand Chapter Certificates to Comps Colin Fraser and Jon Trott.

The Provincial team then took their leave from the Chapter whilst other Chapter matters were considered.

An excellent and merry festive board was then enjoyed by the Companions.

The Provincial Team left Tyntesfield Chapter in good heart and in a healthy position with two more candidates proposed and to be exalted in December 2019 and February 2020.

* a huge thanks to E Comp Ian Disdel for help with the words and who is who *

Now for my bit from the heart, I have said before I am the Calderley Liaison Officer for our Chapter as well as the ADC, my good friend and mentor who I look up to, E Comp Ian Disdel, emailed me a couple of days before asking if I could stand in as DC, YIKES I had never done that before and only doing the job as ADC once I felt a bit out of my depth, as always if asked I will do anything to  help and to the best of my ability, thus I agreed to take on the DC role for one night only, my good friend E Comp Richard Reeves who is our DC was called away on other Provincial Masonic Business so was unable to take post on this convocation.

Blimey no pressure on me then, I had to fill Richard’s big boots and the Provincial Team were coming too, Ian reassured me all would be OK with a bit of polishing off at rehearsal, he would be there to make sure I was pointed in the right direction. Ian is a good mentor to have as an ex DC who was quite simply marvellous at the job as is Richard, we had the rehearsal the night before and all went well, I went home literally in a dream all night of what lay ahead, even waking up saying in my confident manor, TO ORDER COMPANIONS not to order Brethren as I kept having to remind myself, you may laugh but I wanted to do a good job not only for myself but also my chapter and our team, especially in front of the Provincial Team.

I must say the meeting was first class, my heart beating like a marching band of the Kings Men going into battle, all of our team did a brilliant job and pulled our part of the ceremony off first class.

What can I say about the Provincial Team, sheer poetry in motion that was a pleasure, nay honour, to watch, like watching a well oiled machine. Comp Tom’s face was a picture to behold at that certain part of the ceremony when he could see clearly what was happening, it made it all come flooding back to when I was raised and looked on in amazement in a state of pride and confusion, but all has become clear since.

The festive board for me was really Jolly as DC (for one night only) I got to sit on the top table, WOW what an experience that was,  I watched as these E Comps had a jolly time and I had learnt so much already, Ian helped me to call for the fire and indeed several other parts of what happens at the festive board too, I even got to do The Janitors Toast, a job I know well as I was the Tyler for my craft lodge for 4 years. All in all a truly amazing evening that I loved being part of so much even though my heart rate was through the roof.

I truly can’t urge all MM and above enough to join a Royal Arch Chapter, the ceremonies are something to behold, the camaraderie and friendliness of the order is second to none, so why not complete your Masonic Circle instead of having a piece missing, I promise you will thank me if you do.

Lastly before I finish this, I must send a massive thank you to Comp Ken Hill from our Royal Arch Chapter Tyntesfield 4494, he kindly donated us a cheque for £50 this will go such a long way, when I say us I mean my branch that I am The Chairman of The Somerset Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity, the charity is totally funded and run by freemasonry although it is an outside charity, we at the Somerset Branch that I head up need all the help we can get to help OUR kids or adults here in Somerset who have special needs, take a look at the website for YOU may be able to help more than you think. www.mtsfc.org

Comp Ken Hill Of Tyntesfield 4494 presenting me with a cheque

Provincial Team visit Brotherly Love

The Provincial Team joined together to perform an Exaltation for the Chapter of Brotherly Love in Yeovil. Unusually the Team were in the Chapter for the opening as 329 have a unique way of opening their convocation. E Comp Derek Marpole opened the Chapter and then greeted MEGS, E Comp Barry Woodside, proffered him the Sceptre which was returned for a short while. The other agenda items were covered and a ballot was taken for Bro Daniel Burnell, a member of the Lodge of Science No 437, as a candidate for Exaltation.

E Comps Norman Crang, MEGS and Ken Crang

The ballot proved clear, thank goodness and the Provincial DC, E Comp Chris Moore, then presented MEGS to MEZ who then took the Sceptre. His next duty was to call for PrDC to present to him E Comps Norman and Ken Crang. The shocked Companions were then presented with the MEGS Award for their exemplary commitment to not only 329 but also the Province of Somerset, giving a brief history of their life in HRA.

The Provincial Rulers taking the high chairs; E Comps Ray Beckingham, Clive Lambert and Neil Hurcum

E Comp Clive Lambert then took over Z’s office, E Comp Ray Beckingham as H and E Comp Neil Hurcum as J. The other Provincial Officers took their respective seats and E Comp Clive announced the next item on the Agenda to Exalt Bro David Burnell.

E Comps Doug Stembridge, Pr 1st Ass Soj, Darryl Hinder, Pr Prin Soj, Daniel and Alan Perks

The Prov Prin Soj,  E Comp Darryl Hinder, then retired to entrust Daniel and returned having done so. E Comp Andy Clapp, acting Prov Janitor, then announced to E Comp Tony Guthrie, Prov Scribe N, that Bro David was prepared and E Comp Alan Perks, Prov 2nd Ass Soj, brought David in.  The Ceremony then proceeded with Prov 2nd Principal leading the first part. After the candidate took his Obligation he retired and was reintroduced with E Comp Darryl taking the lead. On the next entry E Comp Doug Stembridge, 1st Ass Soj, took over from Darryl.

E Comp Neil Hurcum gave the Signs followed by the Mystical Lecture which was presented by E Comps Roger Reina, Tony Cooper and Adrian Halliwell.

E Comps Ray Beckingham, 2nd Pr Prin, Clive Lambert, DGS, Barry Woodside, MEGS, Comp Daniel Burnell and Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr Prin

Comp Daniel was then presented with the MEGS’s special Cuff Links which he gives only to those Companions who are Exalted by the Provincial Team. On the completion of which the Officers of 329 were returned to their rightful places with thanks given by MEZ to the Provincial Team on an excellent Ceremony and MEGS to allow the Team to undertake the Ceremony.

On the 2nd and 3rd Rising MEGS asked that as many members of 329 to attend the Annul Convocation to support their members be appointed/promoted to Provincial Rank. The Provincial Team assembled under the direction of PrDC and retired from the Chapter.

The Chapter was then closed in peace and harmony and all proceeded downstairs for the Festive Board.

 

Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments 2019

At the Annual Investiture of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England to be
held at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 25th April 2019 the following
Companions from Somerset are being honoured:-

First Appointment:

E Comp Clive Albert Francis LAMBERT PGSwdB
E Comp Roger REINA PGStdB
E Comp Andrew Stuart CLAPP PAGDC

We congratulate these three on their honours.

Also our MEGS Barry Keith WOODSIDE  will be appointed Junior Grand Deacon at the Grand Lodge at Freemasons’ Hall on Wednesday 24th April 2019. Congratulation Barry.

Calderley Chapter Installation 2019

The Calderley Chapter was attended by E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, who was attended by E Comps Tony Cooper, PrDGDC, and E Comp Alan McMurray, PrGStwd, acting as Standard Bearer. E Comp Barry was welcomed by MEZ, E Comp Richard Ellis, who presented him with the Sceptre which was returned with thanks. The Minutes of the last convocation having been circulated were approved and there were no matters arising.

A ballot was taken for Joining Members, E Comps Neil Hurcum,3rd Prov G Principal and Roger Reina, Prov G Registrar. The Ballot proved clear and they were welcomed into the Chapter.

The Three Principals for 2019/20: E Comps Ray Beckingham, H, Keith Fisher, Z , Matt Westley, J

The main event was announced and E Comp Richard Ellis Inducted his successor E Comp Keith Fisher,  who then did likewise for E Comp Ray Beckingham as H, who then Inducted E Comp Matt Westley as J. E Comp Keith then Appointed and Invested His Officers for the coming year.

Next item on the Agenda was to proffer the Sceptre again to E Comp Barry Woodside who this time retained it and took the chair. Their several discussions in this period, a few are listed herein:

  • MEGS was disappointed that there were not more CLOs attending as only 9 CLOs were present which somewhat defeated the object of CLO’s duties to attend as Honorary Members.
  • Solomon was discussed and it was suggested that if the Chapters in the Province didn’t have a ceremony they may wish to give a presentation form Solomon’s website. Either contact E Comp Ray Beckingham or E Comp Maldwyn Davies. If there are good speakers in the Chapter’s they could do it. E Comp Neil Hurcum suggested that it would be nice if a couple of CLOs could give a nugget each from Solomon
  • Conversion from the Craft to HRA is not good as the rate is about 27% and HRA reps in the craft lodges are to be asked to encourage Brethren to complete the masonic journey by joining the Royal Arch.
  • E Comp Martin Slocombe gave a brief resume on the Grand Officers’ Mess which has fallen by the wayside. He stated that he had undertaken a questionnaire in the northern part of the Province and had received favourable comments for it to be resurrected under the new name of Somerset Grand Officers’ Forum. This would be open to all Craft and Chapter Grand Officers.

E Comp Barry then thanked all those who contributed to the lively debate and returned the Sceptre to E  Comp Keith to conduct AOB, when the MEGS rose to give a Notice of Motion that at the next meeting he would be proposing Comp. David Medlock, the Provincial Grand Master Designate, as an Honorary member of the Chapter. This was followed by E Comp John Bennett who rose to give a Notice of Motion to propose E Comp David Dixon, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal Designate as a member of the Chapter.

The Chapter was closed and the companions proceeded down stairs to enjoy the Festive Board.

E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, with E Comp Tony Cooper, PrDGDC, and MEZ E Comp Keith Fisher listening to the MEGS’s response to his toast.

 

Provincial Team Visit to Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter

The Provincial Team were out in force for the Exaltation meeting at the Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter at Burnham-on-sea on Friday 22nd February. Despite a two vehicle fire on the M5 which caused several of the team being late for rehearsal, the Chapter was opened in due form by E Comp Ted Toon, MEZ, assisted by E Comps Graham Puddy, H, and Peter Greenway, J, before E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, requested admission. He announced that E Comp Barry K Woodside, MEGS, accompanied by his Team demanded admission. The Team processed in and MEZ proffered the Sceptre to E Comp Barry which was gratefully taken on this occasion.

The Provincial Officers then replaced the Chapter Officers ready for the next item on the Agenda – to Exalt Bro Paul Vinecombe. With MEGS directing the Team, E Comp Ray Beckingham, Pr 2nd Principal as H and E Comp Neil Hurcum as J. E Comp Clive Lambert read the Prayers, Readings and narrated what the Janitor was explaining outside the door to Bro Paul, with the Prov Sojourners, undertaking their several parts, together with E Comp David Parslow standing in as Scribe N.

The Mystical Lecture was given by E Comp  Ray Conneely, PrDGDC, E comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, and E Comp Adrian Halliwell, PrLiaison Officer. On completion of the Exaltation MEGS presented Comp Paul with a set of cuff links, similar to the Provincial crest but with the Grand Superintendents crest in the centre. MEGS is continuing that of his predecessor E Comp John Bennett.

The MEGS then returned the Sceptre to MEZ and the Chapter Officers were reinstated. MEZ, E Comp Ted Toon, thanked MEGS and the Team for a wonderful evening and thought that it was an excellent Exaltation which demonstrated how the work can be split between the Principals and The Sojourners, which The Chapter were considering for adoption.

The Provincial Team processed out after the Second Rising for the Festive Board, which ended quite late.

The Principals, Provincial Principals with Comp Paul Vinecombe
The Principals of the Chapter and Province,from l-r E Comps: Ray Beckingham, Graham Puddy, Clive Lambert, Barry Woodside, Ted Toon, Peter Greenway and Neil Hurcum

Provincial 3rd Principal for 2019-2020 Announced

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp Barry Woodside has much pleasure in announcing that at the Provincial Convocation on 16th May he will install E Comp David Dixon of Royal Cumberland Chapter No.41 as Provincial 3rd Grand Principal.

E Comp David was Exalted into Royal Cumberland in April 2007 passing through all the offices becoming MEZ in November 2014. He was made 1st  Assistant Provincial Grand Sojourner in May 2015. He became a joining member of Somerset 1st Principals in June that year.

We wish David all the best for the forthcoming year.

Bideford 2019 and The Day the Snow Came

  • When you have spent many months organising a weekend in North Devon the last thing you want is a forecast of snow but this was the news that David Parslow, the Provincial Events Organiser, woke to on Thursday 31st January 2019 and the forecasters were right as on Friday morning the West Country received a fairly substantial coating of snow. Before long many telephone calls were being made, however the Durrant House Hotel confirmed that there was no snow in Bideford. Many people decided to leave a little later although by mid-morning the M5, A361 and the A39 were all passable with ease although a few people, those who lived in the more remote areas of Somerset, were stuck at home and would have to leave travelling until Saturday as they would have to be dug out from their homes and drives.
The Organiser E Comp David and wife Jo Parslow, looking relieved 

By 6pm on Friday most of those attending had checked in and the bars were beginning to fill. A ‘help yourself’ Buffet Supper was served at 7pm and, as usual, proved to be a wonderful selection of food. Following this the Ballroom was cleared and ‘Johnny’ the resident DJ took over and a very enjoyable evening was had by all.

Saturday is always a free day and although it was cold, it was a bright day and it is always surprising where people manage to travel on that day. However by late afternoon all were back at the hotel and getting ready for the main event on Saturday evening.

The Three Principals, E Companions Neil Hurcum, 3rd, Clive Lambert, DepGS, Ray Beckingham, 2nd, and their Ladies
Alan Proposing the Toast to the Ladies

The evening commenced with the usual reception in the Sir Richard Bar and, due to the fact that the Grand Superintendent was on holiday, the event was hosted by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Clive Lambert. This event really sets the scene for the evening and enables all Companions and their wives or partners to enjoy renewing friendships. Following this all Companions made their way to the Venetian Dining Room, where the Gala Dinner was to be held. The 2nd and 3rd Provincial Principals and their Ladies were welcomed into the Venetian Room by all those present and they were followed by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Companion Clive Lambert and Penny and after Grace, delivered by the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal the guest enjoyed a superb Dinner. After the Loyal Toast, the Toast to the Ladies was proposed by E Comp Alan Holton, the Past Deputy Grand Superintendent, whose humour and sincerity was much appreciated by all present.

Penny replying to the Ladies Toast with Clive and Chris Moore, Provincial DC looking on

A very touching reply to the Toast was given by Penny Fahe during which she thanked, on behalf of all the Ladies, the Province for organising a wonderful weekend. The formal part of the evening ended with the Deputy Grand Superintendent reading an Email from the Grand Superintendent wishing all those attending a very pleasant evening. The Deputy Grand Superintendent also thanked E Comp Graham Glazier and the Province of Dorset for their continued support. Dinner was followed by dancing with music again provided by ‘Freeway’.

Sunday morning was bright and dry and after breakfast all guest prepared to leave North Devon, many already looking forward to next year. 2020 will mark the 25th Anniversary of the first Provincial Grand Chapter Weekend held at the Rainbow Hotel Torquay in 1995.

If you are one of those Companions that have attended every Provincial Weekend since 1995 and intend to be at Bideford in 2020, E Comp David Parslow would like to hear from you, please contact him you might be in for a surprise.

If you wish to help us celebrate the 25th Anniversary please book in early.

E Comp David Attwater standing to pour rose wine to his partner Christine and E Comp Charlie and Karen Barker with the dining room full with approx 215 guests

With thanks for the Report by E Comp John Bennett, PGS

CHRISTMAS GREETING FROM THE GRAND SUPERINTENDENT

 


This year is proving to be another successful year and an exciting period of change in The Royal Arch in Somerset. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your hard work, commitment and support throughout. We have a wonderful family atmosphere within the Royal Arch and I know it’s something that we all treasure and will continue to nurture long into the future.
It is also that time of the year when we shall all be celebrating Christmas in various ways; Peggy and I would like to wish you all a very Happy & Peaceful Christmas and a Healthy and Wonderful New Year.
Yours sincerely and fraternally

Barry K Woodside

Provincial Team visit to Somersetshire Chapter

On the 14th November 2018, twenty Somerset Companions led by The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp Barry K Woodside, traveled up to the metropolis on their annual outing honouring the pledged made by the Past Grand Superintendent, E Comp D John Bennett, to support the Companions of The Somersetshire Chapter for as long into the future as we are able.

Many of the attending Companions made their first port of call to Supreme Grand Chapter where following the address by the Pro. First Grand Principal ME Comp Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, Supreme Grand Chapter was closed, allowing a delegation from the Royal College of Surgeons to be admitted and introduced. Following two extremely able and challenging dissertations the delegation, after receiving a standing ovation were excused and a recession parade was formed to escort the Grand Principals from the Temple.

A hasty retreat then ensued as the Somerset Companions made their way across to Davys at St. James’s for a buffet lunch and a helping of Davys finest ale, before departing to Mark Masons Hall for The Somersetshire Chapter Convocation. The Chapter Convocation proved a huge success with the Metropolitan Steward’s Chapter demonstrating an Exaltation Ceremony with added drama. The Assistant Metropolitan Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian Currans, PGSwdB, who was responsible for organising the demonstration was in attendance together with a number of his Senior Metropolitan Team.

Long may our committed and happy association continue with the Companions of The Somersetshire Chapter; and on this particular occasion, our thanks must surely go to all the participating Metropolitan Team for making the evening such an enjoyable and memorable occasion.