On the evening of the 20th February 2020 the ME Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, E.Comp. Barry Woodside, accompanied by his 2rd Provincial Grand Principal E.Comp. Ray Beckingham, the Past Provincial Grand Superintendent E.Comp. D John Bennett, plus Grand and Provincial Grand Officers, on the personal invitation of E.Comp. Arthur Rowe (dressed in a bright red waist coat) sojourned to Sidmouth, on the SOUTH COAST, not Mexico, but down Devonshire way.
The delegation from Somerset received an extremely warm welcome from the companions of PERSEVERANCE CHAPTER No164 on the occasion of their 99th Installation Convocation. An extended welcome was also received from the ME Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Devonshire, E.Comp. Simon Rowe who was also accompanied by his Provincial Officers. The past Grand Superintendent of Royal Berkshire, E.Comp. Benford now residing in Holsworthy, Devon, was also in attendance.
A most enjoyable and social festive board was well attended, where the wine, food and conversation flowed in splendid profusion. Old acquaintances were reunited and new friendships established. Thank you E.Comp. Arthur Rowe, now residing, South of the border down “Devonshire way” for a most appreciated and memorable invitation.
The Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset on the weekend of the 7th, 8th and 9th of February 2020, celebrated its 25th Anniversary of its Provincial Weekend in North Devon, at the Durrant Hotel, Bideford.
The event hosted by the Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Barry Woodside, and his delightful wife Peggy, turned out to be a raging success. Many thanks to the organiser E.Comp. David Parslow who no doubt had assistance from his wife.
The companions were made to feel most welcome by the staff of the Durrant Hotel at Bideford, North Devon. The food was excellent and the venue which culminated in and excellent dinner and the Grand Ball was superb. Even the live band who provided music at a volume level which did not impede conversation did an excellent job.
A contingent of companions and their ladies from Perpetual Friendship Chapter No135, Bridgwater, enjoyed a very pleasant and social weekend. Old friends got together and new friendship made. This 25th Anniversary certainly should be recorded in our archive for posterity. I am lead to believe the event was supported by 180 dining and attending the evening in this milestone of such a successful Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset.
E Comp John Griffin
Some photos courtesy of John Griffin
If you have any photos or a write-up please send them to me at: email@example.com, thanks. Adrian
Provincial Liaison Officer
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.
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.
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.
On Wednesday 13th November the MEGS E. Comp Barry Woodside led a lively team on the annual Provincial visit to the Somersetshire Chapter which meets at Mark Masons’ Hall. He was well supported by the team including the Deputy Grand Superintendent E. Comp Clive Lambert and the 2nd Grand Principal E. Comp Ray Beckingham. Previous to which a number attended Supreme Grand Chapter earlier in the day
Although there was no ceremony at the meeting E. Comp Ray Beckingham had prepared a talk entitled “Who do think you are?” which was performed by members of the Chapter and the Provincial team. This was well received by all attending as it gave details of the individuals that are mentioned in the Royal Arch ritual.
Following the closing of the Chapter the Festive Board was held. An excellent carvery was served together the usual amount of wine. Following which the team made their way home happy and content.
Barry Davies – Head of Communications
Andy Wade – Head of IT
Richard Dredge – Head of Social Media
David Parslow – Head of IT & Social Media for Royal Arch
POLITICS & SOCIAL MEDIA
Dear Brethren / Companion
One of Freemasonry’s core values is that of being non – political. This policy is absolutely clear at UGLE, Supreme Grand Chapter of England, and at Provincial level, HOWEVER, you as an individual share that responsibility.
When using Social Media it is essential to keep your political beliefs separate from your Masonic presence. We strongly advise you to take all steps necessary to ensure that you do not post your political beliefs on Masonic, shared or personal accounts.
Please bear in mind that this includes any of your original posts, plus likes and forwards. Please also be aware of liking or forwarding posts linked to group, pages, or organizations, as a post you ‘like’ may be linked to a group, page or organization with conflicting beliefs.
Such actions can bring Freemasonry into disrepute and threaten to undermine Freemasonry as a non-political Fraternity where men meet regardless of their religion, ethnicity or political beliefs.
If you have photographs of you wearing Masonic regalia, share Masonic content on your Social Media, or your profile and timeline content shows that you are a member of Freemasonry, it is easy for someone to confuse your personal beliefs with that of Freemasonry itself. Indeed this has already happened within the Craft.
Separate Social Media accounts for non-Masonic activities are easy to set up and we encourage you to do this in order to prevent any unfortunate conflicts of interest.
The Annual Carol Service will be once again at Glastonbury but with this difference: it will be held at THE CHURCH OF ST BENEDICT’Snot The Church of St John the Baptist, at 3pm on Saturday 7th December 2019. See Flyer in link below for further information
The Chapter was opened in due form half an hour earlier than originally advertised but no was caught out, as everyone, well nearly everyone arrived very early. The numbers were 55 a very good turn out for a Chapter.
The Chapter was Honoured with the presence of ME Third Grand Principal Most Excellent Comp Gareth Jones, OBE, as guest of honour and of course our very own, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, in and over the Province of Somerset, E Comp Barry K Woodside, accompanied by the full works in the names of, Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive A F Lambert, PGSwdB, The Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Raymond F Beckingham, PAGSoj and Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp David J Dixon, together with the Provincial Team. Everything had been worked through with E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, and E Comp Jim Mitchell, Grand Standard Bearer. MEGS entered the Chapter with his escort was greeted by the acting ME, E Comp Harry Blinston who proffered the Sceptre and the MEGS at first returned it to Harry, who had a look of horror on his face! then MEGS realised that he was taking the chair and took it back. The relief on Harry’s face was obvious, I suspect that Barry was having a bit of fun with Harry. The Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals occupied the chairs of H and J. The PrGDC then replaced the Chapter ScN, Soj’s and Jan with the PrScN, PrSoj’s and the acting PrJan (me).
There was a report on the the door that the Grand Standard Bearer requested admission, he was admitted and reported that The Third Grand Principal was outside the door and demanded admission. He was admitted, accompanied by Grand Officers, paid due homage to the alter, was greeted by the MEGS and proffered the Sceptre which he returned to MEGS with dignity and took his seat. The G Supt gave and explanation as to the purpose of tonight’s Banner dedication, being Inkerman Chapter’s 150th year celebration, then called upon their Acting Z who gave a short but detail explanation of Inkerman Chapter’s history and the purpose of the meeting.
The PrGDC formed the deputation of the three Chapter Principals and Comp Lieutenant Col Ralph Howard to conduct the Banner into the chapter which was done with the Companions in good voice. Acting Z then presented the Banner to MEGS it was collected by the PrGStdb, uncovered. MEGS conducted the ceremony of Dedicating the the new Banner with companions again in good voice as it was paraded around the Chapter, assisted by the guest organist. PrG J gave the Dedication prayer. MEGS then presented the banner to E Comp H Blinston. The ceremony was completed with an excellent and very interesting Oration by E Comp D Dixon 3rd PrG Principal where he expanded on the history of the Chapter and how it got its name from a battle in the Crimean War. The PrG J gave the Patriarchal Benediction followed by a hymn. The Chapter Principals and Officers resumed their positions.
Then the rest of the Chapter business was conducted which was to Induct E Comp Syd Brailey as Z, as he was the oldest member of the Chapter (91) to celebrate the Chapter’s 150th year he was honoured with being the Chapter’s 1st Principal for the year, he assured all present that he did not attended the Chapter’s Consecration.
The Chapter was then closed in due form with the Third Grand Principal being escorted by the Provincial Grand Principals, the Chapter Principals and Grand Officers. It was a very good dedication ceremony which went smoothly and was enjoyed by all present. It was followed by a very good festive board which was conducted in good humour and harmony, finishing just after 2200hrs.
E Comp Barry Jones PrGStwd, CLO Wrington Vale Chapter 1199.