Somerset Freemasons

News from the Province in 2014

Flood Recovery Grants Committee December Update


December update from Flood recovery grants committee.

We have recently committed £9,000 for a flood resilience project to purchase a supply of flood storage bags and instant hessian sandbags. This will be for the benefit of all potential flood residents across the levels.

We are waiting for more details to support the outline applications already submitted for:

1.Emotional wellbeing project.
2.Funding for a disability support boat.
3. Resilience project for Long Sutton and surrounding parishes.

Progress is also being made on the project at Muchelney to develop the church for full community use. We are discussing this with the Archdeacon of Wells and the Diocesan Advisory Committee, a meeting is scheduled for early January. If all goes to plan we will be putting forward a proposal to fund the initial architect and QS costs to enable the project to move forward quickly. These initial costs are expected to be around £10,000 and the whole project is expected to cost in the order of £150,000. However, we will need to determine from the diocese and others involved that there is enough money to complete the project, before approving initial spending.

In all involvement with the flood recovery has been very interesting if more time consuming than we originally thought. From a PR point of view it has been worthwhile and has demonstrated to people far and wide that Freemasons do support projects in the wider community and are prepared to be proactive. We have made a lot of new friends and supporters because of our involvement.

John Winston
Chairman, Masonic Flood Recovery Grants Committee.
December 18th 2014

Local Residents thank Freemasons for their help.

A letter of thanks addressed to John Winston that was received after the recent re-opening of Moorland Village Hall.
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PGM Appoints Provincial Officers for 2015-2016

Historically brethren are considered for their first Provincial Collar six years after being installed in the Chair of their Lodge. Those who were Master (for the first time) in 2009 would normally be appointed in 2015. The Provincial Grand Master has decided to reduce that six year waiting period to five years and the coming year will see the start of that process. At the next Provincial Meeting on 2nd April 2015, in addition to 2009 Masters some brethren who were Master in 2010 will also be appointed. It is not possible to appoint all 2010 Masters in 2015 due to Grand Lodge restrictions. In 2016 those Masters from 2010 who were not appointed in 2015 will be appointed along with all qualifying Masters from 2011, the change from six to five years will then be complete.
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W Bro Neil Hawes
Provincial Senior Warden designate.

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W Bro Steve Merryweather
Provincial Junior Warden designate.

The Provincial Grand Master is delighted to announce his team of officers for the year 2015/16. They will be appointed at the Provincial AGM on Thursday 2nd April 2015 at the Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare. We offer our congratulations to them all.

Provincial Appointments & Promotions
2015-2016

Yeovil Masonic Veterans Group have enjoyable meeting at the Bell Inn

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The Yeovil Masonic Veterans Group of the SMFA had a very enjoyable and convivial meeting at the Bell Inn, Preston Road, Yeovil on the 14th November.

Mike Waterman reports:

"It was good to see all 21 people who came to The Bell today, and particularly so Bill Holloways wife, I think for the first time, and also David Perkins flying the flag for 329 Brotherly Love.

Ivan Rendall was with us and it will be great for Ivan to receive his 50 year certificate next Friday (21st) at CP 7552 from Stanley Hopkins. Congratulations Ivan!!

Grant Lyon one of the younger guys from CP 7552 also came along- it was good to see you Grant. Thanks for your company and support.

Very good too, to see Ken Crang who managed to get off the Tractor and join us for a couple of hours, although his brother Norman Crang was away on family business.

John Cole is in the middle of a bout of Chemo and we wish him well. He and his dear Lady wife Helen have had a rough time for a year or two now. Let’s hope they have a change of fortune very soon.

John and Sue Penny were indisposed today-and hopefully will be much better soon. Ian and Sue Pavey were busy elsewhere today and Dave Rockey sent apologies.

Derick Smith was away playing Bowls I believe, whilst Wyndham Rowlands wife is quite poorly. We wish her well.

Stuart Hadler our PGM sent his very best wishes to all for a happy meeting today and these were warmly received by everyone and reciprocated!"

The next gathering will be the “Christmas” meeting and will be held on Friday 5th December 2014 as usual at the Hungry Horse, The Bell Inn, Preston Road, Yeovil as usual from 11.30 am.

The first meeting in 2015 is scheduled for Friday 9th January at the same venue.

Further details from Mike Waterman

Pentathlon Carnival Club back on the road thanks to Somerset Freemasons

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The devastating floods in Somerset had far reaching consequences on communities, organisations and individuals and it has been well reported that Somerset Freemasons and the wider masonic community have made outstanding efforts to support and contribute to the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund which in turn has enabled those affected to start to rebuild and recover from the calamity.

One such organisation that was affected by the floods was the Pentathlon Carnival Club who have been in existence since 1971 and have not only given delight to those that enjoy watching the Somerset Carnivals each season but have also raised money for charity along the way, an aim that Freemasons can readily identify with. It was therefore heartbreaking that the floods which afflicted the Somerset Levels caused terrible damage to the clubs building shed and equipment contained therein, so much so that the very future of the club seemed in jeopardy.

A grant was therefore made of £10000, shared jointly with the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) to enable the club to get back on the road for the 2014 season.

A letter of grateful thanks from the club was received.

Provincial Regalia is refurbished

Over the years the Provincial Chains of office of the Provincial Grand Master and the Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters get a considerable amount of use. No matter how careful the users, the chains naturally suffer from ware and tear and some maintenance becomes essential. Now thanks to a very generous bequest by the late W.Bro EFC Mear the Province has been able to refurbish the chains. At the same time the collar jewels of all the active Provincial Officers were refurbished. The work was undertaken by Toye Kenning and carried out at their Birmingham factory.
The chains were removed from their fabric backing for repair and the replacement of any damaged or missing links. They were then carefully cleaned and polished and replaced onto new fabric backing. A cross chain was added to prevent the chain slipping forward when it is worn. The result is four very smart new chains that should serve the Province well for many years to come.
W.Bro Ted Mear was a member of Progressive Science Lodge in Yeovil, he was a Mason for over fifty years and was for a time the Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset in the Holy Royal Arch. Affectionately known as "Uncle Ted" he was well respected by all who knew him and well known for his generosity.
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Air Ambulance Donation

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Sam Mayer (on left), a member of Gerard Lodge and the Adair Club, accompanied by Dave Gleeson (on right) presented the cheque on behalf of Somerset Freemasons.

“On Saturday September 27 Somerset Freemasons presented Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance with a grant of £2,000 from their national charity, the Freemasons’ Grand Charity. This donation is part of the total figure of over £1.5 million donated by the Charity since 2007, providing funding to every Air Ambulance Service in England and Wales.

“The cheque was presented by Sam Mayer- on behalf of Somerset Freemasons, who was supported by Dave Gleeson . The charity requires funds of £1.7m per year to continue to provide this vital service. Bill Sivewright, the CEO of Dorset & Somerset AA, added that their Air Ambulance is in operation 365 days per year and since it’s launch it has carried out 10,166 missions, helping those in need across Dorset & Somerset who are in life threatening situations. The Air Ambulances operate almost solely from donations from charities such as The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, as well as from the general public.

“On behalf of Somerset Masons, Sam Mayer stated “Somerset Freemasons are proud to be able to provide this support for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance charity yet again. Air Ambulances across the country play such a vital role in ‘taking the hospital to the patient‘ saving precious time and consequently saving lives. Helping our local communities is important to Somerset Freemasons”.
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Flood Recovery Update October 2014

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John Winston - Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Somerset presents a cheque to help with the refurbishment of the flood damaged Moorland Village Hall on the Somerset Levels.

Support for Somerset Flood Recovery

Following the appeal by the Provincial Grand Master for support for those affected by the flooding on the Somerset levels during the winter, he has been overwhelmed by the amounts donated especially by other Provinces. Freemasonry is one of the four largest contributors to the Somerset Relief Fund set up by the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF). More than £1.3m has so far been raised and £220,000 of this has been donated by the Masonic community both nationally and locally.
Our Fund will be used over the coming months to support the recovery of the communities affected by donations mainly for longer-term capital community-based projects. A substantial amount of need will fall outside that covered by government, statutory agencies and insurance. The remainder of the SCF fund has largely been allocated to grants to individual households and businesses.

The PGM set up a Flood Recovery Grants Committee to work with the SCF to identify and approve grants for suitable projects.
The committee has had three full meetings with the SCF (latest 17th October) and has visited the affected area at Moorland. To date grants have been awarded or funds committed to the following projects:

• Village Agents – £23,752 to finance the salary and related costs for three additional village agents for a 12-month period. The SCF made a grant of approx. £12,000 to contribute to the associated administration, IT, management and finance support for the 3 identified parish clusters. A supplementary grant of £1,047 has recently been agreed by the Committee to fund 4 additional hours per week for the Moorland Village Agent.

• Pentathlon Carnival Club –£5,000 to support 50% (with the SCF contributing the other 50%) to get the Club back on the road for the forthcoming carnival season. It was reported at the recent committee meeting that the Club is on schedule to participate in the forthcoming carnival circuit. It is very appreciative of our joint grant of £10,000. Both logos (Somerset Freemasons and SCF) will appear on their float.

• Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) – £3000 which includes the Somerset Masonic Charities grant of £1,500 and the Grand Charity grant of £1,500, both paid directly to BARB, a marine rescue charity based in Somerset that provided a volunteer boat to cut-off communities.

• Bath & West Farming Fund – £2,000 to the Bath & West Society (that is administering the farm recovery fund) to reflect monies from donors to the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund who have specified support for the farming community.

• Burrowbridge Coronation Hall (Village Hall) – £10,000 to finance the repair of flood related damage to the outside of the hall and to improve the internal and external facilities of the hall generally.

• Moorland Parish Church (St Peter and St John) – £3,000 to purchase new oak to repair the lych gate into the churchyard.

• Addington Fund – £2000 to provide matched funding for a donation from Somerset Farmers Lodge No 9180. The total being £4000. The Addington Fund provides homes for farming families living in England and Wales who have to leave the industry and by doing so will lose their home, and also offers emergency grants in times of hardship. For some tenanted farmers the effects of two wet winters will be the final straw, the loss of the farm also means the loss of the family home. The response to the Addington Fund appeal for support was that offers of help for the welfare of farm livestock were received as well as donations of fodder and straw. Where fodder was donated the Addington Fund made a contribution towards haulage costs so there was no hold up in getting vital supplies through.

• Moorland Village Hall – £25,000 to cover flood resilience work and hall improvements. Work is well in hand and it is hoped to reopen the hall on 20th November.

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Work in Progress at Moorland Village Hall - October 2014

Celebrating the "Million" milestone.

On the 25th September the Keynsham Masonic Hall hosted an evening to celebrate the raising of over £1m towards the Somerset 2020 Festival target of £2.8m for The Freemasons' Grand Charity with still over 6 years to go.The 2020 Festival Chairman WBro David Medlock introduced the event and gave his thanks to all for attending. The Provincial Grand Charity Steward WBro David Maddern presented various statistics showing the success of the Grand Charity and the great work which has been done to help achieve so much for local charities.
The evening was attended by the Charity Stewards, Worshipful Masters and Secretaries of the local Lodges together with their partners, the Provincial Grand Master Stuart Hadler and Laura Chapman the CEO of the Grand Charity, who both also added their thanks to the brethren for their kind and generous donations.
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Provincial Grand Master’s Golf Tournament 2014

On a pleasant 15th of September, 27 golfers from all over the Province converged on the immaculately turned out Golf Course at Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club.
An enjoyable afternoon was had by all players, with some keen Stableford scores amongst the players. After supper was taken, the prizes were presented by our Provincial Grand Master, Stuart Hadler.
Second and third places were a close run thing with Scott McKechnie with 37pts, just beating David Flack with 36pts. Both players receiving some very nice cut glass wine and whisky glasses
First place went to Brian Pollard with 38 pts., who not only received a some excellent cut glass pieces, also won the P.G.M’s Trophy.
The P.G.M presented his Trophy to Brian Pollard, and whilst congratulating Brian, stated that he didn't understand “beating somebody on the back nine” and other golf jargon that he had heard mentioned, but he was pleased to be able to attend to present the prizes, and hope all who took part had enjoyed the day.

Click on photo to see gallery

The Prizes for 1st,2nd and 3rd place were kindly donated by David Flack, and appreciation was shown to him.
This P.G.M’s Golf Tournament is an annual event and all Province of Somerset Golfers are able to partake. If you would like to play in next years competition then please contact Allen Day on Tel No 01460 52116 or e-mail , allenwday@gmail.com Watch this space in Compass or look on the Provincial Web site for date and details.
A good days golf was had by all and thanks go to our P.G.M for taking the time out of his busy schedule to attend and present the Prizes
Allen Day-Organiser

£62,500 in grants to Somerset Charities from the RMTGB and the Grand Charity

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Pic. 1. Left to Right: Jamie Luck - Mentoring Plus; Janet Dabbs - Age UK; Stuart Hadler - Somerset Freemasons; Laura Serratrice - University of Bristol; Nigel Harris - Designability; Damion Barrington Chappel - Great Western Air Ambulance.
At a presentation evening held at the Bath Masonic Hall on Friday the 19th September The Provincial Grand Master for Somerset The Right Worshipful Brother C A Stuart Hadler presented grants on behalf of the Grand Charity and the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys to the following five organisations working in and for Bath and North Somerset.
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Whizzybugs.
From the Grand Charity a grant of £25,000 for the Bath based charity Designability (formerly known as the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering). The charity designs and produces special equipment for people with mobility difficulties. It is probably best known for its production of Whizzybugs for disabled pre-school children. These powered chairs help young children get around with their peers and learn spatial awareness. There is no NHS funding available for powered mobility for children under-5.

Mentoring Plus.
Through its “Stepping Stones” project, The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys has given a grant of £30,000 over two years to another Bath based, Charity Mentoring plus.
The Stepping Stones project aims to help reduce severe child poverty by breaking the link between poverty and the lack of access to education. The scheme is one way in which Freemasons in England and Wales support children in their communities who are most in need.
Mentoring Plus works closely with schools and social services across Bath and North East Somerset to provides mentoring and educational support to disadvantaged young people with behavioural difficulties and mental health needs.
The charity trains and supports adult volunteer mentors, matching them one to one with a young person, they work together through problems, build confidence and try new things.
With the help of their mentors, children and young people are able to cope better with school, family or behaviour, to connect with their community and choose a positive future.
Mentoring plus would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to be considered as a mentor. The work involves the mentor in giving up one evening a week to work with a young person.

Great Western Air Ambulance.
To this life-saving service which provides essential on-the-spot medical support together with fast response and hospital transfer £2,000.

University of Bristol, Department of Clinical Research.
For its research and clinical trials into dementia £2,500.

Age UK.
Whose aims are to provide support to the elderly for good health: free from social isolation, anxiety, frailty and loss of independence £3,000

New Provincial Grand Almoner

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The Provincial Grand Master has announced that he is appointing W.Bro Ian Walker to be Provincial Grand Almoner. W.Bro Ian is a member of the Lodge of Prudence and Industry at Chard. He is a Past Senior Warden of the Province and has been responsible recently for setting up the Somerset Masonic Friendship Association. He will take up his post immediately from W.Bro Peter Hodder who has resigned for personal reasons.

Bowlers raise £13,500 for the Beacon Cancer Centre, Taunton.

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On a sunny day at the beginning of August, 96 bowlers and many supporters from 17 Provinces, ranging from Norfolk to Cornwall, travelled to Taunton in Somerset to take part in the annual Masonic Charity Bowls Event (MACE). This was the fourth running of the event and this year it was hosted by the Somerset Masonic Bowling Association, which had been working over the past year to raise funds for the Beacon Cancer Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.
The Taunton Deane Bowling Club provided a very engaging setting and superb facilities for the tournament. After a day of competitive bowls, but played in typical masonic spirit, Hertfordshire beat Cornwall in the final with Somerset taking third place.
The Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, RW Bro Stuart Hadler, had given his full support to the project and Masons and others from across Somerset were generous in their donations in the build-up to the tournament. Donations had also been made from the participating Provinces. The result was that a magnificent £13,500 has been raised, which will be donated to the Beacon Cancer Centre.
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Stuart Hadler remarked, “Once again Freemasons have demonstrated their immense generosity and concerns for others."
The Centre intends to buy a major item of equipment, its first’ Vein Viewer’ , which is a mobile vascular imaging system that allows healthcare providers to clearly see accessible vasculature in real time directly on the surface of the skin.
Stuart Hadler concluded the proceedings saying "It was an immense privilege that Somerset had been chosen to run the event this year. I am most appreciative of the hard work undertaken by the Officers of Somerset Masonic Bowling Association in planning and running a very efficient and successful day". Particularly the secretary David Perkins, Michael Adams, who harassed everyone in the Province into buying at least one raffle ticket! and Graham Watts the Treasurer.

Pictured above are: Derek Gunningham APGM (Gloucestershire); David Jenkins PPGM (Somerset); Ian Kingsbury PGM (Devon) and Toni Kingsbury; Stuart Hadler PGM (Somerset) and Sue Hadler; Francis Wakem PGM (Wiltshire)

New tech – good old values

A couple of weeks ago we received, via this website a request from a Freemason who lives in Wiltshire and is a member of a Lodge there. His father hadn’t been a Mason and his widowed mother lived in Williton, near Minehead, a good two hours drive from Wiltshire. Her father had also been a Freemason. She was suffering with early stages of dementia and was lonely, could someone from the local Lodge contact her and take her under their wing as one of the Lodge widows?

This request for help was passed on to W.Bro Norman Ackland who was until recently the Almoner of Exmoor Lodge in Minehead. Norman contacted the lady and what transpired proved to be an unusual coincidence.

Norman, a retired police officer had served ten years stationed in Williton, thought he recognised the ladies surname. Sure enough when he telephoned to introduce himself he found that the lady’s late husband had been his GP!

The lady has now been invited to the next meeting of the Minehead Widows Association in August, hopefully she will become an active member and enjoy the company of the group. No doubt the situation will continue to be monitored by Norman and W.Bro Tony Everett the new Exmoor Lodge Almoner.

The Dunckerley Club hold inaugural meeting

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The Inaugural Meeting of the Dunckerley Club on 10th May was a great success and a very happy occasion.
The name of the Club was formally adopted as it recognises a man who did so much for Freemasonry in his time, as have our older Brethren, in theirs: please note, the correct spelling of his name does indeed include a C.
V W Bro Denis Calderley was elected as the Chairman, which neatly mirrors his responsibility for the North East Area of the Somerset Masonic Friendship Association.

The next Meeting is planned for Saturday 13th September, to which younger Brethren are encouraged to seek out and accompany an older Brother.
The format will be similar to our previous Meetings:
12:30 Drinks reception in the Anteroom
13:00 Lunch (£10) in the Anteroom - surrounded by the names on the Past Masters Boards

After lunch we have a speaker!

Bro Malcolm Toogood, the current BMHT Chairman and published historian, will be presenting a talk following his extensive research on the man himself, Thomas Dunckerley.

For further information, please contact the Secretary, W Bro David Hogg
Email: david@mochdre.eclipse.co.uk
Tel: 01225 783092

or download a flyer and booking form

Somerset Flood Appeal - Fundraising

Bro. Malcolm Toogood, a member of Elizabethan Lodge, has written a crime novel called the Mantis Pact. It is set in mid town America in 2003 and is an exceptionally engaging read.
Malcolm is about to publish his second book in the series and is offering numbered "limited edition" copies of the Mantis Pact at a greatly reduced price of £12.99 (incl. postage) with a minimum of £7.50 from each book going towards the Somerset Masonic Recovery Fund. For an extra £2.50 donation Malcolm will sign a personal copy.
For bulk purchases or collections in person, please contact Malcolm direct
link to web page
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26th April - Lodge of the Chevalier de Fer No 9732 meet at Weston super Mare

On Saturday 26th April the Lodge of the Chevalier de Fer No 9732, Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, will meet by dispensation at the Masonic Hall, Tivoli Lane, Weston super Mare. The Lodge was Consecrated at Bordon in Hampshire in 2000. This is Freemasonry’s very First Motorcycling Lodge. Holding it’s Installation meeting in Basingstoke on the Second Saturday in September each year and traveling throughout the Country for two peripatetic meetings.

For more details if you would like to attend contact Bro Mike Fahey

The picture shows members arriving for a meeting at Great Yarmouth Masonic Hall last year.
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6th April - Provincial Church Service at Wells Cathedral

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A 'Service for Somerset Freemasons, family and friends' was held at Wells Cathedral on Sunday 6th April attended by an estimated congregation of 400.

The Principal guest at the service was Lady Gass, Lord Lieutenant for Somerset. The Vice Lord Lieutenant, David Medlock was also in attendance together with Richard Lloyd, High Sheriff, the Mayor of Wells, Chairman of North Somerset Council and the Mayor of Weston super Mare.

Our new Provincial Grand Chaplain, Keith Fisher led the service and there were readings by Bro James Henson, St Alphedge Lodge, W.Bro Matthew Clothier, Master of Lodge St George, David Maddern, Provincial Charity Steward and our PGM Stuart Hadler.

The Dean of Wells, The Very Reverend John Clarke welcomed all to the service and thanked Somerset Freemasons for supporting the cathedral, particularly the donation made four years ago to the new visitor centre project.

During the service the Dean gave an interesting address reflecting on the rapid changes now taking place in society, how even in the Church such changes often left people feeling isolated from a familiar institution they had know all their lives. He pondered that there was no doubt a similar situation within Freemasonry.

The Choir of St Cecilia Lodge and friends, led by Ian Cox added to the warmth of the ocassion and the service concluded with the familiar Masonic hymn, Now the evening shadows closing.

Tea & biscuits were served after the service by Brenda Reed, Barbra Morrison, Sheila Starr and Doreen Tink all members of Bath Masonic Widows Association, allowing everyone to mingle and chat. It was a pleasant conclusion to a delightful afternoon.
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3rd April - Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset AGM held at Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare

  • Grant of £24k made to expand team of Village Agents working in areas affected by flooding
  • £945k raised so far for Grand Charity towards target of £2.8m for 2020 Festival
  • 525 Festival Jewels issued to date
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The Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Stuart Hadler and Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset along with brethren of the Province of Somerset and guests from other provinces attended the 2014 Annual General Meeting at the Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare. Following a well attended and convivial lunch where over 200 brethren enjoyed Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding in the elegant surroundings of the ballroom the brethren took their places in the Prince Consort Suite to watch the Provincial Grand Master and his officers parade in before the Provincial Grand Lodge was duly opened at 2.30PM.


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In his address, the PGM thanked the 180 brethren who were being appointed or promoted within the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset for their loyalty and contribution. He also congratulated those brethren being honoured with Grand Rank.

The PGM also thanked a number of brethren retiring from positions within the Provincial Team and those who work behind the scenes fulfilling a number of essential roles which ensure the smooth running of the administration of the Province.

The PGM then announced that due to the generosity of brethren and notwithstanding a £30,000 starter donation from the Grand Charity and £85,000 from other provinces over £175,000 had been raised in a short space of time for flood relief on the Somerset Levels. It was announced that W Bro John Winston would head the grants committee and that a grant of £24,000 had been made to expand the team of Village Agents working in the flooded areas.

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VW Bro Richard Hone was welcomed to the meeting and brethren heard an account of the work the Grand Charity undertakes on behalf of freemasons. Bro Richard illustrated how our money is being used to give support to so many disadvantaged people as well as to aid research and, support those in crisis. It was emphasised the importance of the Grand Charity which is being supported by the 2020 festival.

The PGM announced that £923,000 had been raised so far towards the target of £2.8 million and that over 525 festival jewels had been awarded already.
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The Provincial Grand Master stated that his over-riding priority is to assure a happy and thriving membership and a positive public profile and spoke of his concern that a number of lodges had no candidate last year. He reiterated the guidance and encouragement that the province can provide to lodges to support their sustainability and growth and highlighted the important role of the lodge mentor. It was announced that W Bro Justin Martin is to set up a support group for Hall Managers to share and develop best practice.

The Adair Club for younger new members was recommended and the creation of the Somerset Masonic Friendship Association (SMFA) was announced which will incorporate the Widows Association into a broader group to encompass elderly and former members into a support network.

W Bro David Mason is developing plans to mark the ter-centenary of Grand Lodge in three years time and on 8th August the Somerset Masonic Bowling Association will host the inter-provincial MACE Bowls tournament with 24 teams taking part.

In conclusion the PGM thanked the organisers of the event and the Winter Gardens for being excellent hosts and then thanked the brethren for attending and for what they do for freemasonry and their local communities.

11th March - PGM's Flood Relief Bulletin - Essex Freemasons raise over £50,000

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  • Freemasonry a major contributor to the Somerset Flood Appeal
  • A wonderful £135,000 achieved – can we make it £175,000?

When the Provincial Grand Master, Stuart Hadler, launched his Appeal early in February he did not appreciate the level of support that would be received from around the country. Hoping to achieve £50,000, the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund this week passed £125,000 and has become one of the four major contributors to the Somerset Flood Appeal.

The Provincial Grand Master has been overwhelmed by the generosity not only of brethren in Somerset but of many other Provinces including Essex (See link above) and of course, the Grand Charity. Between them over £135,000 has now been donated.

Commenting, Stuart Hadler said “The concern shown towards those in great need on the Somerset levels by brethren from far and wide has been overwhelming. We will able to make a most significant contribution to helping families and communities to recover and re-build over the coming months. The need is immense. With the continuing contribution of brethren and lodges in Somerset, I hope that we will be able to achieve a target of £175,000. I express my heartfelt thanks to all who are supporting the Appeal.”

The Provincial Grand Master has announced that he is setting up a Flood Recovery Grants Committee to work with the SCF to identify and approve grants for suitable projects. A number of areas of possible support are being clarified that will aid individuals and communities in their recovery. The Committee will be led by John Winston, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and include brethren with knowledge of the Somerset levels.

9th March - Appointments to Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter 2014

At the Annual Investiture of the United Grand Lodge of England to be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Wednesday 30th April 2014 the following brethren from Somerset are being honoured:-

First Appointment
W Bro David C A Mason – Member of Eldon Lodge No 1755, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Somerset to Past Junior Grand Deacon.
W Bro Mark R W Griffiths - Member of the Kenneth Kinnersley Lodge No 9218, Provincial Grand Registrar to Past Assistant Grand Registrar.
W Bro John Cole - Member of King Alfred Lodge No 3169, Provincial Information Officer. Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
W Bro David Perkins Member and secretary of both Lodge of Brotherly Love No 329 and Somerset Masters’ Lodge No 3746 to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

Promotions
W Bro D John Bennett - Member of Colleridge Lodge No 1750, Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset to Past Grand Sword Bearer
W Bro Derek G Gunningham - Member of Olympian Lodge No 9703, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Gloucestershire to Past Senior Grand Deacon.
W Bro Jeremy C Clifford to Past Junior Grand Deacon.
W Bro Christopher H Shrapnel - Member of Benevolent Lodge No 446, Assistant Provincial Registrar, Editor of the Provincial Masonic Reference Book to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The Province of Somerset is delighted that all these brethren have been rewarded and recognised for their work in the Craft. We offer them our best wishes and congratulations.

Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments 2014
At the Annual Investiture of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England to be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 1st May 2014 the following brethren from Somerset are being honoured:-

First Appointments

E Comp W R Ian Barrie - Member of Chapter of St George No 3158, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Grand Standard Bearer.
E Comp Richard P C Strutt - Member of various Lodges and Chapters in his home Province of Suffolk also a member Marine Chapter No 232 to Past Grand Standard Bearer.
E Comp N D John Smith - Member of Royal Cyrus Chapter No 285 Provincial Grand Almoner.

Promotions

E Comp C A Stuart Hadler - member of Somerset First Principals Chapter No 3746, Provincial Grand Master for Somerset to Grand Sword Bearer.
E Comp Robert H Moore - Member of Exmoor Chapter No 2390, Deputy Grand Superintendent to Past Grand Sword Bearer.

6th March - PGM's Flood Relief Bulletin

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The Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) having been tasked to provide financial support to those affected by the floods, launched an appeal for £150,000 in January. It quickly became clear that a far greater sum would be required not only to provide emergency grants to those in need but that the in the months ahead much more would be needed to support the recovery and re-building of lives and communities.

The SCF set up a system for emergency grant payments. Since January this has helped over 200 households and awarded over £120,000.

Through working alongside community workers and other organisations longer term needs have begun to be identified.
Having recognised that the SCF would be well placed to identify genuine need and manage the use of grants, Stuart Hadler elected to use the SCF as the main route through which Freemasonry could support to those affected by the floods.

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The Emergency Grant phase was adequately covered by donations to the SCF. The phases of recovery and rehabilitation would take yet more money and fill gaps not covered by government, other agencies and insurance.
The SCF have now increased their target to £1,000,000. This week £750,000 has been received including over £125,000 allocated by the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund.

The Somerset Masonic Recovery Fund is one of the four main supporters of the Appeal. A tremendous achievement on the part of Freemasonry.

Peter Wyman CBE, Chairman of the SCF said “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation may I thank you and everyone involved in raising this money which I am certain will make a real difference to the communities currently affected so badly by the flooding.”

Current Flooding Situation

Flood Relief Centre Update

Visit the Somerset Community Foundation web site
or read their latest eNewsletter

4th March - Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Appeal - Now over £100k!

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Brethren from this and other provinces have been much moved by the hardships experienced by families, farms and communities on the Somerset Levels as a result of the continuing adverse weather and flooding. This situation has continued since before Christmas. A major relief effort is now well established and immediate support is well in hand.
The Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) a local charity with whom Somerset Masonic Charities has worked for some years has been appointed by Somerset County Council to provide emergency relief grants in the first instance and further support as needs become clear.
The SCF have received funds from local authorities, various charities and many individuals. Somerset Masonic Charities and the Grand Charity have contributed to this Fund.

It is clear that affected families, communities, farms and small businesses will face considerable challenges, distress and hardship for months to come. The Provincial Grand Master, Stuart Hadler, has set up the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund to provide financial support to those most in need over the coming months. He set an initial target of £50,000 but with the generosity of The Grand Charity, The Province of Somerset, The Province of Essex along with donations from Lodges, Chapters and individual brethren the fund is now standing at over £100,000. The Fund is being operated by the SCF who will recommend for our approval where and how our Fund will be of greatest benefit.
The Provincial Grand Master has received commitments from the Royal Arch and the Mark Masons of Somerset to support the Appeal. He is most grateful for that support and assistance.

Many Lodges and Chapters have been raising funds to assist the flood recovery effort. The Provincial Grand Master is confident that Members will be motivated to assist in reaching the target and so help in meeting the needs of those who are in distress. Your donation, of whatever size, will be thankfully received and faithfully applied to the Flood Assistance Programme.

Read the latest Flood Relief Centre Report

Members of The Adair Club cross new boundaries with a visit to St. Vincents Lodge No. 1404 (Bristol)

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The Adair Club for young and new freemasons in the Province ventured into darkest Bristol for a December meeting at the Universities Scheme Lodge, St Vincent No 1404. Not only was the visit an opportunity to see inside the sumptuous Freemasons Hall in Park Street, but we were treated to a warm welcome from a lodge largely officered by those under 40. As always, the unique Bristol Workings proved extremely stimulating and, the ceremony being a Passing, the Worshipful Master provided an interesting impromptu insight into pronunciation in ancient languages which greatly informed the candidates (it was a double!), and our, understanding of the degree.
A highly convivial “After Meeting” (Bristolian for festive board!) followed and the event was a great example of how younger freemasons are enjoying and progressing in the craft. It also proved to reinforce the bonds between the Provinces of Somerset and Bristol.
The Adair Club, named after one of the youngest Provincial Grand Masters in Somerset’s history, again met in Bath for the February meeting of Royal Cumberland Lodge 41 to support a young initiate.
The Adair Club is an informal association for anyone relatively new to freemasonry, particularly those under 40, who would like the opportunity to meet others in a similar position at masonic meetings and social events. The Provincial Grand Secretary will be arranging a letter to go out to all those brethren who might be interested and inviting potential participants to a social event and meeting at the masonic centres in Yeovil, Burham-on-Sea and Clevedon. If you are interested in getting involved, look out for details of these meetings which will be attended by senior members of the executive and will be an opportunity to discuss exiting new projects, particularly for those at the younger end of the age spectrum.
Contact Sam Mayer on secretary@youngmasons.co.uk or 07792 582677. Website www.youngmasons.co.uk.
Follow us on Twitter @TheAdairClub
Sam Mayer

PHOTO CAPTION:
Left to Right: W Bro Simon Lingard, W Bro Daniel Lewis (WM), W Bro Sam Mayer and Bro David Gleeson take a moment to reflect on the unique sartorial traditions of this ancient Bristol Lodge!

February 15th - Weston Hospicecare: Help us to help your community

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Providing care at home for someone with a life-limiting illness could transform your life, as well as those of your family, friends and community. Weston Hospicecare want it to transform things for the better.
Could you or someone you know support a person with a life limiting illness? Are you ready to share from your own similar experience?
Many people want to care for someone at home but feel unsure of their own abilities. Maybe it all seems too much to organise, or there do not seem to be enough people around to help. Maybe the anxieties and uncertainties have made it hard to think straight. A Community Companion could help.
They provide a listening ear, help those providing informal care to work out for themselves what they need, help them to organise and develop their own support network, help them make practical plans, and point out support services.

Weston Hospicecare’s Community Companions are all volunteers and have significant life experience – many of them having provided care at home for a loved one.

They will:
· be a listening ear
· help you work out your needs
· help to organise and develop your support network
· help you make practical plans
· point out support services that you could access
· liaise with Hospice services

Simon Platt is one of Weston Hospicecare’s Community Companions:
“People have told me that I am easy to talk and they will happily confide in me, so I wanted to put this to good effect and help local people.
Dealing with such a difficult life experience is complex and different for everyone so I know I won’t always have the answers but I can be there to help, to listen, to plan and offer all the support and reassurance I can.
I just want to support people in the way my friends did for me when I lost my wife a couple of years ago – they were such a comfort –as a Community Companion I can and that is important to me.”

Weston Hospicecare supports 1 in 100 local people living with a life-limiting illness and their families every year. If you would like to join Weston Hospicecare’s volunteer Community Companions team, please contact Ditch Townsend at: compassionate.communities@westonhospicecare.org.uk or Phone: 01934 423936

February 12th - Somerset Masonic Charities donate £10,700 to local good causes

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At a recent meeting of the Management Committee of the Somerset Masonic Charities seventeen applications for grants were considered. Fifteen grants, totalling £10,700 were awarded to the following organisations which provide a wide range of support to disadvantaged people in Somerset.
Bath Cancer Unit Support Group A Grant of £1,000 was awarded towards the purchase of a new Positron Scanner which will prevent patients having to make a journey to another centre in Cheltenham.
Blagdon Rainbow Guides A grant of £500 will enable the Guide group to purchase new tables and essential equipment.
Deafblindness A grant of £500 will go towards providing specialist equipment such as braille machines for 7 people affected by this disability in Somerset.
Burnam Area Rescue Boat The Freemasons Grand Charity and the Province of Somerset have donated £3,000 to the group to purchase a new boat and help people affected by flooding across Somerset in the years to come.
Beacon Cancer Care The Somerset Masonic Bowling Association (SMBA) has applied for a grant of £500 from the Provincial Benevolent Fund for the Beacon Cancer Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.
Banwell Scout Group The committee have approved a grant of £500 for the replacement of the floor surface in the Scout hut bringing it up to an acceptable standard.
On Your Bike supports vulnerable local people with training and development opportunities through recycling, maintaining and selling unwanted bikes. The grants committee has approved a grant of £250.
Wimbleball Sailability The committee approved a grant of £250 towards the £5,750 needed to purchase a 2nd hand Challenger Trimaran to enable disabled people experience the enjoyment of sailing.
STAR create opportunities for children and young people ‘in need’ to build and develop their resilience. They have requested a grant towards the cost of music tuition, hire and purchase of instruments, and to pay for transport costs to the activities. A grant of £250 has been approved by the committee.
Somerset Levels RDA Carriage Driving Group The grants committee has approved a grant of £250 to allow disabled people to take part in carriage driving.
Accessible Transport West Somerset provides accessible transport to the elderly, disabled, socially and rurally isolated people of West Somerset. A grant of £500 has been approved by the grants committee.
Avon & Somerset Search & Rescue has been awarded a Match Funding Grant of £1,000 with Alfred & Guthrum Lodge 4535
Age UK Somerset works with and for older people in Somerset and North Somerset. The Grants committee agreed a Match Funding grant of £1,000 with Unanimity & Sincerity Lodge 261
Josh Evans Trust The Worshipful Master of the Admiral Blake Lodge, W Bro. Richard Winter, has chosen the Josh Evans Trust Fund, to receive a donation of £2,000. The committee has awarded Legacy MatchFunding and agreed a grant of £1,000 for Admiral Blake Lodge 4692
Horseshoes & Handprints Conquest Equestrian Centre is based at Stocklinch, near Ilminster, and is the chosen Charity of the Worshipful Master of Nyanza Lodge 1197 for this year WBro Hall Smyth. The Grants committee had no hesitation in Match Funding a grant of £750 with Nyanza Lodge 1197
More details about these the organisations are available here.

February 6th - Somerset Freemasons donate £4500 to Somerset Community Foundation towards flood relief on Somerset Levels

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Communities on the Somerset Levels have reached a crisis point as they cope with extensive and long-term flooding. For many it is the second time in two years that they have been affected, and whole communities have been cut off for weeks.
The Somerset Community Foundation has launched a Somerset Emergency Flood Relief Fund and are hoping for donations to achieve a target of £150,000 to provide emergency relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded, to help meet the immediate financial burdens of moving out, pumping and drying, and emergency repairs. Further details of this Relief Fund, and how the public can donate, may be found on the Somerset Community Foundation Web Site
Somerset Freemasons share the concern for those affected on the Somerset Levels and have pledged an immediate £1,000 from the Somerset Masonic Charities committee. At the same time an approach has also been made to the national Masonic charity - The Freemasons’ Grand Charity - for support to the Somerset Community Foundation appeal and as a result a further £3,500 has immediately been made available. Freemasons in Somerset are delighted that this total of £4,500 will contribute to the target and relieve some of the suffering for those so badly affected on the Levels.
John Cole - Provincial Information Officer

January - Somerset Masonic Charities Committee Vacancies

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The Somerset Masonic Charities is looking for your help in being a part of the committee team to consider grant applications to local worthy causes in the Province and to be an ambassador for the Province.
The Management Committee held its inaugural meeting in September 2009 and generally meets on a quarterly basis. The Committee is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Somerset Masonic Charities, and for awarding Grants from the various funds under its control to a wide range of worthy causes in Somerset. The Committee is formally accountable to the Trustees / Directors of the Somerset Masonic Charities and has to operate in compliance with the Charities Acts and in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Somerset Masonic Charities, as registered with Charity Commission.
The Committee is expected to facilitate communication between the Somerset Masonic Charities and Lodges on any matters relating to charity, and to this end has allocated responsibility for liaising with individual Lodges to named individual Members of the Committee.
The Committee is keen to receive information from Lodges and welcomes feedback on its performance.

Committee Membership:
Provincial Grand Charity Steward (Chairman): David Maddern
Provincial Grand Almoner: Peter Hodder
Assistant Provincial Charity Steward (North): Philip Giorgetti
Assistant Provincial Charity Steward (South): Terry Leach
4 Lodge Charity Stewards:-
Fred Body (4535), Terry Hayes (772), Barry Scott (9341) John Chinn (291)
The Lodge Charity Steward members are appointed to serve for a period of 3 years (subject to continuance in Office as a Lodge Charity Steward) and the current terms are as follows:
to 31 August 2014: Terry Hayes & Barry Scott

If you think you can help and can make a difference, please contact David Maddern on the following contacts, Home Tel: 0117 9565882 Mobile: 07531 963347 Email: dmaddern@virginmedia.com


January - Emergency Grant Matched Funding - UK Flood Assistance

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As you are almost certainly aware, severe weather conditions have caused flooding around several parts of the country. Thousands of people have been affected and hundreds have been left homeless by this unfortunate situation.
The Grand Charity is conscious of the distress caused, therefore the President would like to offer emergency matched funding to provinces that have or plan to support relief efforts in their local affected area. Matched funding will be available to assist relief efforts for the wider community following the recent weather conditions.
If individual Freemasons are affected by the recent events, an application for a Masonic Relief Grant can be made through their Provincial Grand Almoner. However, it should be remembered that the normal financial assessment will apply to such applications.
Approximately 1 million people have been affected by the worst flooding to hit the UK in over 40 years and many have been left without access to drinking water or power. As well as supporting the work of the emergency services in the immediate aftermath of the downpours, the British Red Cross will be providing assistance.