Once again the Provincial Convocation was held at the Webbington Hotel and Spa on Thursday 18th May on a beautiful sunny day. A rehearsal was held at 12:00 and everyone involved were able to run through their parts under E Comp Chris Moore’s direction, well as DC he had to work for his supper. At or before 2:30 the active Officers for 2017-2018 collected their collar jewels and then had their portrait taken by E Comp Arthur Rowe for inclusion on the Provincial Website. The companions settled down by 3:00 and waited the arrival of Somerset Chapter’s First Principals, Supreme Grand Chapter Officers, Rulers of other Degrees and all of the dignitaries from Provinces around Somerset and beyond who entered in procession en mass. Once they were all seated E Comp Chris Moore called on Companions to rise to receive E Comp D John Bennett, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset accompanied by the Provincial Team.
The Provincial Chapter was opened in due form with opening hymn and then the First Principal of Tyntesfield Chapter, no 4494, E Comp John Mansell, presented the Somerset Sceptre to MEGS which was accepted and placed in view of all. The roll of Somerset Chapters was called and each were acknowledged in various forms. Next MEGS then welcomed each of the representatives of other Provinces and rulers in other Degrees.
Next item was to confirm the Minutes of the Annual Convocation held on Thursday 19th May 2016. Then Companions stood to order as a Poppy Wreath was paraded in by E Comp John Sillett to commemorate those Somerset Companions that had fallen during the Great War and E Comp Cullum, Provincial Grand Registrar, read the roll call of those Somerset Companions who had passed to the Grand Chapter above then E Comp Clive Lambert, 3rd Grand Principal, read a prayer.
The Accounts for 2016 were then passed and E Comp Tony Beaumont, Provincial Scribe E, gave his report for the year. Election of the Provincial Treasurer, E Comp Terry Hayes, and Account Examiner, E Comp Ray Sheppard, were carried.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent appointed, obligated, invested and installed: E Comp Alan G. R. Holton, PGStdB, as Deputy Grand Superintendent; E.Comp. Clive A.F. Lambert as Second Provincial Grand Principal; and E.Comp. David K Parslow as Third Provincial Grand Principal. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then appointed and invested Provincial Grand Chapter Officers for the ensuing year and conferred Past Provincial Grand Chapter Rank and Promotions on other companions. During which a companion from Cornwall, the same one as last year, passed out and the Saint John’s Ambulance medic was called and the companion was taken out to get fresh air and recover.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent then addressed the Companions giving details of the past year and looking to the future season. He then presented the Somerset Sceptre to the First Principal of Adair Chapter, No 1750, E Comp John Hewett, for safe keeping.
E Comp Charlie Barker, First Principal of Sincerity Chapter, no 261, then offered that at next year’s Convocation be under he banner of Sincerity Chapter, which was accepted.
Other items on the Agenda were carried and the Chapter closed in peace and harmony followed by the first and third verses of the Nation Anthem. MEGS and rulers then retired from the Chapter followed by distinguished guests.
After a shorter recess than hoped the Companions moved to the dining room for 6:30pm start to dinner of a fan of Melon with ice sorbet, Roasted butterflied pork escallops and raspberry cheese cake. It didn’t matter that this was not as on the menu as everyone enjoyed the meal. There followed Toasts given by MEGS to Queen and Royal Arch, First Grand Principal, Supreme Grand Chapter before E Comp Alan Holton proposed the toast to ME John Bennett who was then given a basket of fruit for his wife Jenny. MEGS then responded with his usual flair and the evening was completed with companions wending their way home in clear skies and a marvellous sunset.
Apologies for their not being any photos with this report but they will be added in the not too distant future! And here they are: follow this link to see them.