On Friday 29th November Companions gathered from across the two Provinces for the Chapter’s Annual Installation meeting at Uffculme. Devonshire Official Visitors were led by E Comp Chris Roach DGSupt (the MEGS being detained in Tenerife with his wife) while Somerset was led by the MEGS E Comp Barry Woodside. After much recent inclement weather it proved to be a dry crisp evening.
Many arrived early to indulge in the tea/coffee and biscuits that were provided and it proved an excellent opportunity for convivial conversation among old friends and new. As start time approached Companions other than those in the later procession donned regalia and made their way to the temple.
The meeting was smoothly opened by the outgoing Principals with the initial business and the opening address moving easily along. The visiting dignitaries were then received into the gathering and, followed by their supporters, duly seated. Cheques for their Provinces’ respective Charities were presented to E Comps Roach and Woodside. Comp Winter and E Comps Hill and Grubb were each taken through their Obligations in an efficient manner. All below the rank of first Principal were asked to retire then E Comp M W Yates Installed E Comp C R Grubb as MEZ. The new MEZ then Installed E Comp R Hill as H followed by Comp R Winter being made J. The MEZ then appointed and Invested the Officers to serve with them.
It’s worth recording here that, despite a few minor hiccups in the floor work, all of the spoken ritual was very well performed with few prompts and great sincerity. The rest of the evening’s business and the closing address were deftly attended to before all the visiting dignitaries left to return downstairs while the Chapter’s Companions and their visitors completed the last rising and duly closed the Chapter.
Companions regathered in the dining hall with plenty of time to acquire liquid refreshment before the Company was called to table for Grace. An excellent meal of Prawn Cocktail, Carrot and Coriander Soup, Roast Beef, Apple and Mincemeat Pie and Cheese and Biscuits was served. The preparation, presentation and tastiness of the mail was to a high standard. After the toasts the raffles raised a goodly sum for charity.
All too soon the convocation was over and it was time for goodbyes. The Officers of the Chapter should congratulate themselves on an efficient and well presented evening’s ceremony. I complete this report with some pictures taken at the end of the meeting and at Table.
There follows shots of either end of top table and wider views into the room.
In closing I must record my thanks to E Comp Chris Summers for so graciously letting me take over his duties as the Chapter Liaison Officer and producing this report. I trust I met his expectations and his own high standards.
E Comp Arthur W Rowe