King Alfred 3169 October Installation

On Monday the 28th of October the King Alfred Chapter 3169 held their annual installation ceremony. The ceremony was attended by Excellent Companion Clive Lambert, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, accompanied by Excellent Companion Roger Bailey, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, John Hewett, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, and Jonathon Mansell, Provincial Grand Steward.

Following recent illness and operations, our current DC, E. Comp Ian White was not able to be DC on the night, so we were very grateful for the help provided by E. Comp Brian Horn from Inkerman 1222 as DC.

The chapter was opened by the outgoing First Principal, E. Comp. Sandy Glen who welcomed the Deputy Grand Superintendent.

The installation proceeded with E. Comp Dr Simon Sparkes being inducted to Z, and E. Comp Stuart Boyd was inducted as H.
As E.Comp David Mallinson was unfortunately not able to be present due to illness, E.Comp Arthur Rowe stood in as J for the remainder of the evening.

The rest of the officers were then appointed and invested to their respective offices.

The Deputy Grand Superintendent then gave the address to the Principals, which was followed by E. Comp Tom Gould from Inkerman 1222 (with our thanks) addressing the Officers and E. Comp Sandy Glen addressing the Companions.

The companions retired to an excellent festive board, to meet again for an exaltation on Monday 23 March 2020.

Stuart Boyd, Simon Sparkes and Arthur Rose (l-r) as the Principals for the night.

The Principals with Excellent Companion Clive Lambert, Deputy Grand Superintendent,  John Hewett, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, Excellent Companion Roger Bailey, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and Jonathon Mansell, Provincial Grand Steward.

Three Principals at the festive board.

Press release from The United Grand Lodge of England

THE WORLD’S OLDEST SOCIAL NETWORK AIMS TO GO VIRAL WITH NEW CAMPAIGN

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is launching a social media campaign to be the most featured venue as part of Open House London this weekend. Members of the public are being encouraged to visit the home of Freemasonry in England and Wales and post their pictures on social media using the hashtag #OHLFMH. Freemasons’ Hall welcomes over 200,000 visitors through its doors every year. UGLE has 50K Facebook followers, 26K Twitter followers and 24K followers on Instagram.

Please follow this link for the full Press Release

 

 

First Daylight Meeting for First Principals

This was our first ever daylight meeting and was very well attended by over 60 members and visitors. These visitors were from First Principals’ Chapters in Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire and Gloucester and Herefordshire, as well as others from around this Province.

The meeting commenced at 11:00 with MEZ E Comp Maldwyn Davies leading the proceedings. After the Chapter was opened MEGS, E Comp Barry Woodside was welcomed into the Chapter, together with a goodly numbers of Provincial Principals from this and other Provinces. These were all welcomed by MEZ who had visited all of the other First Principals’ Chapters during his three years going through the chairs. There were several First Principals from Somerset who were likewise greeted.

A ballot took place for five joining members which proved clear and those new members present were given the Chapter Hand Book containing the Bylaws, Ritual and an explanation of the progression through the Chapter.

Next item was a talk given by E Comp Maldwyn entitled “Formation of Supreme Grand Chapter”, which proved most interesting. This had been gleaned from Solomon and if anyone wishes to read it please contact MEZ who will point you in the right direction.

Next on the Agenda was to install the three Principals, before which MEZ thanked all of the Officers and members for their support over his three years progression through the Chairs. The new Principals Installed were:

E Comp Andy Gray as MEZ
E Comp Richard Ellis as H
E Comp John Griffin as J

The New Principals: E Comps Richard Ellis, H; Andy Gray, MEZ; John Griffin, J
E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, added to the former three

The Principals then re Appointed most of the Officers and those taking Office for the first time. This was followed by E Comp Barry Woodside giving the Address to the Principals; E Comp Keith Fisher that to the Officers and E Comp Matt Westley that to the Companions in his usual exuberant way.

E Comp Ray Beckingham gave a brief Almoner’s report as he had only been informed of two companions being unwell!

The Chapter was closed and the Principals and dignitaries retired from the Chapter and headed to the Festive Board, which was a tasty Mushroom Soup, Roast Pork and Bread and Butter Pudding. After the meal the Toasts  and speeches were given, with a good deal of conviviality amongst all.

A successful daylight meeting but will all First Principals’ meetings be in the daylight? watch this space…

IPMEGS Letter to Exmoor Chapter

TO ALL COMPANIONS OF EXMOOR CHAPTER, No 2390

When I retired as Grand Superintendent, the Companions of Exmoor Chapter very kindly presented me with a Gift Voucher for which I truly thank you. Jenny & I spent many hours deciding what to spend this gift on and finally we decided that we would have a couple of days away.

We had visited Guildford in Surrey about 10 years ago and when we were there, we paid a visit to The Watts Gallery in Compton. At that time the Gallery buildings were in a sorry state but since then a trust has been formed and, thanks mainly to a Lottery Grant, the Gallery was closed for 2 years and during this time the building and surrounding land was completely refurbished, and so we thought that it would be a great idea to pay a return visit.

The journey from Clevedon was not great and we had torrential rain most of the way up the M4 to Newbury but from there on the weather improved and it became very hot, but this did not have any effect on our visit to Compton. George Frederick Watts OM, who was born in 1817, was one of the great Victorian Artist, not only a Painter but also a Sculptor, he is also unique amongst other artists of the age in that he never belonged to any school of painters and was very much a ‘loner’.

Late in life in 1886 he married Mary Fraser-Tyler who was at that time 36 years old, George Frederick Watts was 69. Mary Watts was one of the first women to have professional training as an artist but after her marriage and discovering a seam of clay locally she started the Compton Pottery. Together they designed the Gallery and the Foundation Stone was laid by George Frederick Watts himself. They also built an Arts & Crafts House for themselves ‘Limnerslease’ which we also visited.

The Village had at that time a Cemetery but there was no Chapel and so Mary Watts, inspired the villagers to build one that she had designed, not only to build one but to decorate it. Compton Cemetery Chapel is covered with remarkable Celtic and Art Nouveau style decoration tiles, all being designed and made by 74 villagers. The outside is magnificent, but the interior is beyond words.

Our hotel for the night was situated in Aldershot and from the bedroom window we could see the wonderful statue of the Duke of Wellington which once stood on the Wellington Arch at the top of Constitution Hill in London but was removed to its present home in Aldershot because it was too heavy for the Arch.

The following morning, we made our way to West Green House Gardens at Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. This house was gifted to the National Trust by Victor Sassoon in 1971 but is not itself of importance although it is a beautiful house. A few years later the lease was taken by Alistair McAlpine who was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party during Mrs Thatcher’s premiership and as such was an IRA target. Three weeks after Alistair McAlpine gave up the lease an IRA bomb was planted in the front garden which caused extensive damage to the house.

Following this the National Trust restored the House and then a 99year lease was taken by Marylyn Abbot who is a professional Garden Designer but was formally the Marketing and Tourism Manager for Sydney Opera House and as a result of this instituted an Opera Season each summer at West Green House.

The resulting garden at West Green House is testament to her work and now provides a delightful series of walled gardens and beyond these a dramatic woodland garden that has many interesting follies and a wonderful walk around the lake. The small on-site restaurant also provides wonderful food and coffee.

Thank you Companions of Exmoor Chapter No 2390 at Minehead. We had a memorable time away and are very grateful to you all.

With our Best Wishes and Kind Regards

Jenny & John.

To view the letter in pdf format click here

Double Exaltation at King Alfred

On 10 May, the King Alfred meeting was special for two key reasons. Firstly there was to be a joint Exaltation, the only time this has been attempted in King Alfred Chapter, and secondly a number of eminent visiting companions stood in to assist in the ceremony, many at short notice.

The first task for the evening was for Z, E Comp Sandy Glen, to welcome E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, on his official visit, escorted by E Comp Jeff Lester, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The candidates for this special convocation were Mike Dew and his son Andrew Richards, both from Tivoli Lodge and proposed by Comp Danny Kennedy. They were conducted in the ceremony by Comp. Justin Pursey, and secondly by E Comp Malcolm Beard, the double Exaltation being specially arranged so that both candidates were involved in all parts.

In terms of the companions taking part in the ceremony, as he entered the Masonic Hall the past MEGS, E Comp John Bennett, was offered the opportunity to stand in as H and was delighted to assist. This was due to the current H standing in as Scribe E, who was unfortunately unavoidably absent.

Additionally, E Comp Tony Cooper, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, assisted as DC whilst E Comp Ian White was in hospital, and E Comp Andy Clapp, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, assisted as ADC (whilst Malcolm Beard was acting sojourner). Comp Bill Stagg brightened up the ceremony with music whilst our usual guest organist was absent. At short notice Comp Danny Kennedy stood in as Scribe N.

All present agreed that this double exaltation was a special occasion for all, with credit to Sandy Glen for all the organisation.

Here we see Sandy Glen as Z, John Bennett as stand-in H, Jeremy Thomas as J, with our candidates Andrew Richards (l) and Mike Dew (r)

Jeff Lester, Ray Beckingham and Matt Jarvis, Provincial Principal Grand Sojourner are shown above added to the former five.

1st Principals Annual Dinner

On a rather damp Friday evening, well it was wetter than we have ever had before at this venue, 53 Companions and ladies gathered at the Isle of Wedmore Golf Club for the Annual Dinner. E Comp Maldwyn Davies, as MEZ, organised the evening together with his wife Anne.

E Comp Maldwyn and wife Anne

We were honoured to have three Grand Superintendents and their wives with us, namely ME Comp Barry Woodside and Peggy, ME Comp John Bennett and Jenny and ME Comp Denis Calderley and Muriel.

Once again the menu and food were excellent and everyone enjoyed a pleasant time chatting with old and new acquaintances. The loyal Toast was given by MEZ and afterwards gave a warm welcome to all present and wished them a safe journey home looking forward to next year’s Dinner.

 

King Alfred May Exaltation

On Sunday 12 May the officers met for a rehearsal for the Exaltation the following night, however despite the meticulous planning from Z Sandy Glen, on that evening he unfortunately found himself too ill to be able to attend the following night. After a phone call, the existing H, Simon Sparkes readily agreed to stand in as Z, and Arthur Rowe assumed the position of H for the meeting.

The main business of the evening was a special exaltation, that of Nathan Henderson, son of Colin Henderson who is the guest organist. Stuart Boyd stood in as Principal Sojourner.

Our exaltee is seen below with his father Colin, and the 3 Principals.

The ceremony also had excellent renditions of the Mystical Lecture from E. Comps Ian White, Arthur Rowe and Terry Clark, and also the Symbolical Lecture from E. Comp Malcolm Beard and Comps Colin Henderson, Doug Walmsley and Justin Pursey. An explanation of the signs was given by Comp Danny Kennedy.

We look forward to our next convocation on 10 June, a double exaltation.

Somerset Royal Arch Annual Convocation 2019.

Thursday 16th May 2019 saw cars wending their way from all directions through winding country lanes to get to the Webbington Country Club and Spa, Loxton, where Somerset Royal Arch Annual Convocation was being held.

Arriving just after noon I found a variety of other early arrivals gathering in the reception area and on the decking outside. Bar snacks were ordered, to help the beers and spirits down, so that they would be able to get through the afternoon’s meeting ready for the evening meal. Fish finger sandwiches accompanied by chips seemed to be this year’s favourite.

The Devon contingent
E Comps Alan Perks and Andy Clapp PrGTreas
Barry catching up
More Somerset Companions enjoying the lunch break

Meanwhile, in the main hall, a temple had been laid out with furniture transported in from Bridgwater, by E Comp John Griffin’s team, where a variety of rehearsals were being made and the Provincial Scribe E and Registrar booked in those who were to receive first appointments and promotions and checked their papers for the meeting. Those who were to be active officers were instructed to don their regalia and report to the photographer on the end patio to have their mug shots taken and recorded.

E Comp David Dixon as 3rd PrGPrin and harassed PrGScrE Tony Beaumont sorting out the collar jewels
E Comps Tel Hayes, PrGTreas, Neil Hurcum, Pr3rdPrins, and Clive Lambert, DepGS, thirsty work at rehearsals.
W Bro William Allen behind the lens

Eventually, just after 3.00pm, the processions of Grand Officers and other Dignitaries were formed up and taken into their appropriate seats. Procession 3 was a very short one with a very important visitor, the ME

Comp Gareth Jones Third Grand Principal. Later in the meeting M E Comp Barry Woodside, Somerset’s Grand Superintendent, observed that as M E Comp Gareth had been unable to attend his Investiture the previous year it was a great pleasure to see him at this convocation.

ME Comp Gareth Jones, 3rdGPrins, E Comps: Ray Beckingham, 2nd PrGPrins, Barry Woodside, MEGS, David Dixon 3rdPrGPrins and Clive Lambert, DepGS

The meeting proceeded smoothly as such gatherings do. M E Comp Barry Woodside gave a quite long and very personal welcome to all the Dignitaries in attendance. The main business of the afternoon being the appointment of the new team and other appointments and promotions was carried out very smoothly much to the pleasure, I’m sure, of the Provincial DC, who I know had been extremely concerned that all should run without problems. The only minor hiccup was late on when the Provincial Scribe E lost his place with the list and re-announced a name that had gone through two previously. None of us are perfect!

PGM David Medlock and Barry Woodside, MEGS

Under AOB the MEGS commanded his DC to bring the Somerset PGM, W Bro David Medlock, forward. He then presented him with a large cheque from the Royal Arch to add to the Province’s 2020 Appeal. He also intimated that he hoped to give an even greater sum in the final year. The Chapter’s final business was then completed and the Provincial Chapter closed in due form.

ME Comp Gareth Jones with Barry Woodside, MEGS

At this point I had to make a rapid departure with my son-in-law as we had to get back to Sidmouth for a regular meeting of Perseverance Chapter. Traffic delays getting onto the motorway and then tractors from Taunton Racecourse through Corfe and up onto the Blackdowns delayed us somewhat but we arrived just in time for the main business of the evening. I’m therefore unable to report on proceedings during the evening meal at Loxton but am assured by an authoritative source that it all went very well. I close with two pictures provided by Bro William Allen of the Third Grand Principal with the MEGS.

Arthur W Rowe PAGDC

Postscript: Thanks to Arthur for his report above and here are some more bits and bobs from the day:

At 0900 the Provincial Team, assembled for the rehearsal under the guidance of E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, which was brought forward so that the Provincial Executive could have a meeting with the Third Grand Principal, ME Comp Gareth Jones OBE at 1100 in the Library.This meeting went well and involved looking at Somerset’s plans for the future and ways to recruit more Masons into the HRA, which is the natural next step for all Masons to complete their Third Degree.

After a brief respite the Team had a further rehearsal with 3rd Grand Principal M E Companion Gareth Jones OBE and his acting DC, E Comp Mark Hall.

At 1530 the Chapter was opened by MEGS, E Comp Barry K Woodside, then the Third Grand Principal, ME Comp Gareth Jones, was welcomed, accompanied by Grand Superintendents of other Provinces.

The Chapter was then presented with the Somerset Sceptre by MEZ of the Tyntesfield Chapter, E Comp Dale Sherman, which was to be passed on to the Parrett and Axe Chapter later in the ceremony to start another circuit of the Province.

The roll call of the Chapters of the Province was called with the usual responses of the Chapter’s members, followed by a report of the Grand Officers in attendance. The Minutes of the last Annual Convocation were confirmed and the adoption of the Accounts were also passed.

Grand Scribe Ezra then gave his report, click here to view it, after which the Treasurer , E comp Terry Hayes, was re-elected with the Account Examiner.

MEGS then re-appointed E Comp Clive Lambert as Deputy GS, E Comp Ray Beckingham as 2nd Pr G Principal, then he appointed, obligated and invested E Comp David Dixon as 3rd Pr G Principal. E Comp Barry then appointed and invested his Provincial Team and then those receiving honours for the first time and those being promoted.

MEGS rose to address the Companions, click here to view. He then presented the Somerset Sceptre to E Comp Steve Ablon MEZ of Parrett and Axe Chapter for onward delivery to Royal Cyrus Chapter on 26th June.

The Provincial Convocation was closed in peace and harmony followed by the first two verses of the National Anthem. The Companions then took a break before being seated at 1745 ready for the festive board.

ME Comp Gareth Jones with his goody bag from MEGS

At the Festive Board toasts were given to the Queen and Royal Arch and also the First Grand Principal followed by the ME 3rd Grand Principal proposed the toast to Barry, MEGS, who responded to it and presented ME Comp Gareth Jones with a bag of goodies including a bottle of Somerset Cider Brandy.

The companions having wined and dined made there way home, both near and far and no doubt talking about the wonderful Convocation.

Adrian Halliwell
Provincial Liaison Officer

Three Generations in Royal Cyrus Chapter

At the January 2019 convocation of Royal Cyrus Chapter James Adams was initiated into the Holy Royal Arch. This was a special occasion in more ways than one. The ceremony was led by James’ father Tim, 1st Principal of the Chapter, and part of the Mystical Lecture was presented by his grandfather, Companion Michael Adams. A further family connection was cemented by James wearing an apron originally owned by his grandfather.