New Booking Form for Bideford

Companions I trust that you have all been looking after yourselves and looking forward to the day when we can enjoy Freemasonry as before. To this end I am very optimistic that our annual Provincial Weekend at Bideford will take place as usual and am now happy to receive bookings and deposits for this wonderful event. Should however there be any health reasons that may require the event to be cancelled then any payments will of course be refunded. Please click here for the link to the booking form.

Keep Safe

E Comp  David Parslow
Provincial Events Organiser

Support for local communities with a total of £11,047.50 into the Covid-19 Relief Chest.

Provincial Grand Chapter
of Somerset
E. Comp. Andrew S. Clapp PAGDC
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
1 The Lindens, Worle, Weston-super-Mare. Somerset BS22 9LU
Tel: 01934 515018. Mobile: 075843 04213
Email: andrewclapp578@gmail.com

2nd June 2020.


Dear Companion Scribe E’s,

In the weeks following the end of March and in response to the joint communique by the MCF and UGLE, the Provincial Chapter of Somerset has been able to support our local communities with a total of £11,047.50 into the Covid-19 Relief Chest.

The Grand Superintendent was overwhelmed by your generosity and sends his best wishes to all those who gave donations and organised or took part in fundraising activities towards that marvellous figure.
It shows true Masonic support for the community and all Companions should be very proud of this achievement.
Please send this onto your members of your respective Chapters it helps to keep them updated on what we as a Province are responding to in this crisis.

I hope you are keeping well and safe, and look forward to the time we can all meet up and attend the meetings in our
wonderful Order.

Best Regards
Sincerely and Fraternally
Andy Clapp
E.Companion Andrew Clapp PAGDC
Provincial Grand Charity Steward

VE DAY COMMEMORATION FRIDAY 8TH MAY 2020

It is sad that due to Corona Virus, we are unable to Commemorate our heroes of WWII together, in person, or as a group on Friday 8th May, on the 75th Anniversary of V E Day. Nevertheless, we will not allow the day to go unmarked.

Let us remember and reflect on this 75th Anniversary on the enormous sacrifice, bravery and courage of all those British Servicemen and women who served and fought in WWII, in the Royal Air Force, the Army and the Royal Navy and those personnel from Allied Countries, Canada, the United States, Soviet Union, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, India, South Africa, Australia & New Zealand.

Also in our thoughts should be all the women who worked as Nurses, drove trucks, repaired and flew/delivered aircraft, worked in Munitions factories, in ship, tank and Aircraft Construction, in the Auxiliary Services, the Woman’s Land Army who performed so many duties, they are all deserving of our thoughts.

Those who served and survived, then served again, rebuilding our country they were a very special breed indeed and must never be forgotten.

Let us participate as individuals in the Special Events of the day this coming Friday 8th May: A 2 minutes silence at 11am which will be broadcast on the BBC.

The Nations Toast to the heroes of WWII at 3pm, Let us ALL stand at 3pm to “raise a glass” to toast all those who gave so much for our freedom during WWII.

Her Majesty the Queen will give a televised address to the Nation on the significance of VE Day from Windsor Castle at 9pm, the same time that her Father King George VI, gave his radio address on this day in 1945.

The Royal British Legion Exhortation:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We WILL remember them.”

Submitted by E Comp John Hawkins
Brotherly Love No 329

Things to do in the shutdown

Dear Companions,

I hope that you are all managing to cope with this lockdown, I realise some can go out but others like myself and Chris have to stay at home for three months. But then there are others worse off.

I realise that there are only so many jobs we can do at home, so may I take this opportunity to remind you that you still have the Solomon website to look up nuggets or longer talks on the Royal Arch, on https://solomon.ugle.org.uk

You could also learn a piece of ritual that you have never considered doing before, so that we as members of the Royal Arch can share the work between more of our companions rather than relying on the same people every meeting, if you are not sure what to learn please contact your Chapter D.C. who will assist you.

We will probably not meet until after the summer recess, although no decision has at this stage been made, so it gives you quite a long time to extend your knowledge of the ceremonies.

May I also remind you to keep in touch with one another through Twitter, Facebook, Zoom, Whats App or any other means so that we do not forget our Companions, we are all Almoners.

Best wishes to you all and Stay Safe,

Yours Sincerely & Fraternally,

Ray
E.Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal.

Easter Message from MEGS

Dear Companions
A month or so ago who would ever have imagined we would be spending this Easter in lockdown, no longer able to practice our long-held traditions of worship and religious celebration; not forgetting family gathering,
socialising with friends and in many cases with neighbours.
Yet here we are, all in isolation, anxious not only for family, friends and loved ones, but for all those in front line services struggling to look after our health and welfare. Making our own individual contribution to the
requirements for staying at home, social distancing in the interest of gaining valuable time for the health professionals, scientists and other professional bodies to hopefully stabilise and eventually eradicate this
dreadful viral pandemic. I am confident however, if we all heed the advice we’ve been given and encourage others to do likewise and stick to it, it will not be too much longer before we are able to resume our regular activities and meet once again in that love and harmony that we have all become very much accustomed to.

I wish you all a Very Happy and Peaceful Easter

Finally, Companions and once again please avoid all unnecessary contact in order to protect our brilliant NHS, but above all and whatever you do, please stay SAFE.
With very best wishes to you all,

Yours sincerely and fraternally

Barry

Barry K Woodside
Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset.

For the PDF version please follow this link

An Easter Message for the Ladies from MEGS wife Peg Woodside

10th April 2020
Dear Ladies
How are you all? I hope you are all keeping well and safe.
This is time of patience and tolerance for we ladies, keeping everyone happy, amused and well fed. I
have no doubt that you will have been busy re-arranging cupboards, gardening and undertaking all
manner of chores you don’t often get around to doing.
This dreadful pandemic as I am sure you will agree, is not only testing our ingenuity but is proving to
be the most trying of times for us all. We ladies have an innermost strength that comes to the fore
during difficult times and I am sure you will all be making the best use of it.
Look after yourselves. I send you all my love and best wishes. ‘Be Safe’
‘Happy Easter to you All’
Peg Woodside

E Comp Robert Ernest Biggs, PGSwdB, Deputy Grand Superintendent 2008 to 2013 1944 – 2020

E Comp Robert Ernest Biggs PGSwdB

Deputy Grand Superintendent 2008 to 2013

1944 – 2020

When I received the appointment as Grand Superintendent in late 2007 my first task was to select those Companions who were to assist me in the task. The 3rd Provincial Grand Principal had already been selected by E Comp Denis Calderley, E Comp Barry Woodside but I need to find a 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and there was never any doubt in my mind that the appointment should go to E Comp Bob Biggs. I had known Bob through his Craft Lodge, Severn, and Eldon Chapter and he had already served Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in 2005. He was also the first Provincial Charity Steward appointed by Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset holding the Office from 2005 until 2007.

A few weeks later during a conversation with the them Pro First Grand Principal the Marquis of Northampton he suggested to me that I should consider appointing a Deputy Grand Superintendent and again there was no doubt that this appointment should go to Bob Biggs with E Comp Keith Fisher being 2nd Provincial Principal. Bob accepted the challenge as always did, no excitement, just the attitude lets get on with the job and what a success he made of the appointment. Bob never made a big deal out of the things he did. Bob and I spent many hours together and travelled many hundreds of miles on Royal Arch Visits, we always had a pleasant journey with plenty to talk about.

During the five years that we worked together, we worked as a team with Bob always being the one who had his hand on the tiller, steading the ship. I cannot recall any time that we fell out and he worked tirelessly for Provincial Grand Chapter during those years. He was First Principal of Somerset First Principals Chapter in 2011 and of Calderley Chapter of Union in 2016. He took a leading part in the foundation of Quantock Chapter at Watchet and of Calderley Chapter and was also Chairman of the 2015 250th Celebration Committee.

Bob was very proud of what he had achieved both work and within Freemasonry but above all Bob Biggs was a family man, he was proud of Christine and how they worked as partners, he was so proud of his children Emma and Graham and of course his Grandchildren, he always managed to take the conversation to his Grandchildren. A visit to Bob’s home always meant that you had to have a tour of his beautiful garden and I have never seen such a tidy garden with all the vegetables in straight rows with nothing out of place.

It was such a shame that when Bob retired from active Office, his health started to fail and he and Christine could not do all the things that they had planned. Christine had already recovered from a serious illness through which Bob was her support and now it was Christine’s task to support Bob which she did so well. Just when they moved to a new home in Keynsham tragedy struck again when Christine sadly passed away.

The last two years without Christine have been difficult for Bob but during visits to him or during telephone conversations he never complained about things, but it was obvious that he was finding life difficult. He did find great support in his family and always steered the conversation around to speaking about them.

It was a great shame that Bob Biggs passed to the Grand Chapter Above when the Country was in lockdown and he could not be given the Funeral and Thanksgiving Service that he so richly deserved.

We have lost a wonderful Companions and Friend, he lived respected and has died regretted, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.

D John Bennett

Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments 2020

At the Annual Investiture of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England to be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 30th April 2020 the following Companions from Somerset are being honoured:-

First Appointments:

David John MEDLOCK DL Assistant Grand Sojourner
Neil Russell HURCUM Past Grand Standard Bearer
David Kenneth PARSLOW Past Grand Standard Bearer

These Appointments and Promotions are to be announced at the next Chapter meeting at the first rising.

Grand Lodge Appointments 2020

At the Annual Investiture of the United Grand Lodge of England to be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Wednesday 29th April 2020 the following brethren from Somerset are being honoured:-

First Appointments:

Christopher Anthony CLUFF Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works
Raymond JOHNSTONE-SMITH Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
Colin Ronald Frederick VINE Past Grand Standard Bearer
Barry Christopher DAVIES Past Assistant Grand Standard Bearer
Samuel Richard MAYER Past Assistant Grand Standard Bearer

Promotions:

Benjamin George William BATLEY Past Grand Sword Bearer
Martin Charles SLOCOMBE Past Senior Grand Deacon

We congratulate all of the above on their honours

SOUTH OF THE BORDER, DOWN MEXICO WAY? DEVON ACTUALLY

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.

John. M. Griffin. PGStB.