Tyntesfield Chapter were honoured by the visit of Somerset Provincial Team in May to make it a very special evening for the latest Somerset Companion Bro Tom Francis of Wraxall Lodge.
Before the Provincial Team made their entrance, a deputation from Royal Cumberland Chapter No 41 presented the Travelling Sceptre in a very competent manner, which will be passed on the following week to the MEGS at the Provincial AGM.
*stock photo for illustration purposes only*
There followed a report on the door and E Comp Tony Cooper Pr Dep GDC advised that E Comp Barry K Woodside, MEGS, accompanied by his Team, demanded admission. The Provincial Team was processed into the Chapter and MEGS was warmly welcomed by E Comp Dale Sherman, MEZ, who proffered his Sceptre which was retained and the MEGS took the chair, the Provincial team then took the places of the Chapter Officers.
Main item of the evening was to Exalt Bro Tom Francis. With MEGS calmly steering his Team through the ceremony, ably assisted by E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd Pr Principal, as H and E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr Principal, as J. E Comp Clive Lambert, Dep GS, read the Prayers, Readings and narrated what the Janitor was explaining outside the door to Bro Tom, which added more meaning to the 60 or more Companions within the Chapter. E Comp Darrell Hinder, Pr Prin G Soj, was ably assisted by Pr Asst G Sojs E Comp John Pinder and Stand-in E Comp Geoff Lester guiding Comp Tom around the chapter and through his ceremony of being exalted.
E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr Principal, gave an explanation of the signs, whilst the Mystical Lecture was given by E Comp Ray Conneely, Pr Dep G DC, E Comp Chris Moore, Pr G DC, and E Comp Andy Gray, Pr Archivist. On completion of the Exaltation MEGS presented Comp Tom with a set of cuff links only given to Companions Exalted by the Provincial Team, these are similar to the Provincial crest but with the Grand Superintendent’s crest in the centre. The constant smile of Comp Tom was commented upon and he was led to a seat in the Chapter.
The MEGS then returned the Sceptre to MEZ and the Chapter Officers were reinstated. MEZ, E Comp Dale Sherman, thanked MEGS and the Team for a wonderful ceremony.
E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Pr G Prin, was then called upon to present Grand Chapter Certificates to Comps Colin Fraser and Jon Trott.
The Provincial team then took their leave from the Chapter whilst other Chapter matters were considered.
An excellent and merry festive board was then enjoyed by the Companions.
The Provincial Team left Tyntesfield Chapter in good heart and in a healthy position with two more candidates proposed and to be exalted in December 2019 and February 2020.
* a huge thanks to E Comp Ian Disdel for help with the words and who is who *
Now for my bit from the heart, I have said before I am the Calderley Liaison Officer for our Chapter as well as the ADC, my good friend and mentor who I look up to, E Comp Ian Disdel, emailed me a couple of days before asking if I could stand in as DC, YIKES I had never done that before and only doing the job as ADC once I felt a bit out of my depth, as always if asked I will do anything to help and to the best of my ability, thus I agreed to take on the DC role for one night only, my good friend E Comp Richard Reeves who is our DC was called away on other Provincial Masonic Business so was unable to take post on this convocation.
Blimey no pressure on me then, I had to fill Richard’s big boots and the Provincial Team were coming too, Ian reassured me all would be OK with a bit of polishing off at rehearsal, he would be there to make sure I was pointed in the right direction. Ian is a good mentor to have as an ex DC who was quite simply marvellous at the job as is Richard, we had the rehearsal the night before and all went well, I went home literally in a dream all night of what lay ahead, even waking up saying in my confident manor, TO ORDER COMPANIONS not to order Brethren as I kept having to remind myself, you may laugh but I wanted to do a good job not only for myself but also my chapter and our team, especially in front of the Provincial Team.
I must say the meeting was first class, my heart beating like a marching band of the Kings Men going into battle, all of our team did a brilliant job and pulled our part of the ceremony off first class.
What can I say about the Provincial Team, sheer poetry in motion that was a pleasure, nay honour, to watch, like watching a well oiled machine. Comp Tom’s face was a picture to behold at that certain part of the ceremony when he could see clearly what was happening, it made it all come flooding back to when I was raised and looked on in amazement in a state of pride and confusion, but all has become clear since.
The festive board for me was really Jolly as DC (for one night only) I got to sit on the top table, WOW what an experience that was, I watched as these E Comps had a jolly time and I had learnt so much already, Ian helped me to call for the fire and indeed several other parts of what happens at the festive board too, I even got to do The Janitors Toast, a job I know well as I was the Tyler for my craft lodge for 4 years. All in all a truly amazing evening that I loved being part of so much even though my heart rate was through the roof.
I truly can’t urge all MM and above enough to join a Royal Arch Chapter, the ceremonies are something to behold, the camaraderie and friendliness of the order is second to none, so why not complete your Masonic Circle instead of having a piece missing, I promise you will thank me if you do.
Lastly before I finish this, I must send a massive thank you to Comp Ken Hill from our Royal Arch Chapter Tyntesfield 4494, he kindly donated us a cheque for £50 this will go such a long way, when I say us I mean my branch that I am The Chairman of The Somerset Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity, the charity is totally funded and run by freemasonry although it is an outside charity, we at the Somerset Branch that I head up need all the help we can get to help OUR kids or adults here in Somerset who have special needs, take a look at the website for YOU may be able to help more than you think. www.mtsfc.org