Somerset Freemasons

What's happening round the Province


British Red Cross in Somerset receive £50,000

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The Grand Charity have made a grant of £50,000 to the Province of Somerset for presentation to the British Red Cross in Somerset
This donation has been made specifically for the purchase of a new full-equipped Patient Transfer Vehicle. This vehicle is now being ordered and should be available in May 2016. The vehicle will then be officially 'handed over' by Somerset Freemasons and this hand-over will be the subject of a media photo-call.

The photograph captures the presentation to the Red Cross which was made in Taunton.

Link to Red Cross media release, which provides more information concerning the future role of the vehicle.

(Pictured L – R) : Beverley Sugden (Ambulance Support Manager); Daniel Harding (Adair Club & Admiral Blake 4692); David Maddern (PGChStwd); Cheryl Murray (Vol. Chairman); Tony Maull (Event 1st Aid Co-ordinator); Peter Niccol (JW. Coleridge 1750); Claire Southwell (Emergency Planning & Response)

Somerset donates £10000 to Cumberland & Westmorland Flood Appeal

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Following the devastating floods in Cumbria, the Provincial Grand Master for Cumberland and Westmoreland, RW Bro Norman Thompson, has launched an Appeal. The Grand Charity has made a grant of £25,000 to the Cumbria Community Flood Relief Fund to assist those who have been affected. A further £5,000 has been given by the Grand Charity to the Provincial Grand Master's Appeal and a number of Provinces have indicated that they will be contributing to the Appeal.

The Brethren of Somerset know only too well the devastation that this type of natural disaster creates, and it’s gratifying to see that Freemasons are once again at the forefront of the relief effort. RW Bro Thompson, comments “We are working hard helping as many people as we can and we are also planning for the months ahead. The sun is shining at the moment so I hope this is the case in the rest of the county but last night there was further flooding”.
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The Provincial Grand Master of Somerset, RW Bro Stuart Hadler, is pleased to announce that a donation of £10,000 has been pledged from the Province of Somerset. We have also offered the benefit of our experience in managing the Somerset Flood Relief Fund and this has been gratefully accepted.

Should Lodges or individual brethren wish to contribute to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cumberland & Westmorland Flood Appeal, donations should be made payable to the "Provincial Grand Master's Charity Fund". Please send these to the Provincial Grand Secretary, Richard Ellis, who will forward them promptly.

Masonic Art Group proposed for Somerset

In the summer 2015 edition of 'Freemasonry Today' an article appeared featuring the Devonshire Masonic Art Group which inspired W. Bro. Roger Croome to wonder whether a similar group could be formed in Somerset as there must be some brethren within our Province with similar interests.

Roger would be willing to lead such a group on an informal basis to get together at convenient locations within our beautiful county to paint together.

If you are interested please email Roger Croome

Read the original article in Freemasonry Today
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Somerset Freemasons announce Grants of £40,671 to non-masonic charities

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“At a Grants Presentation Evening held in the Masonic Hall at Taunton on Tuesday November 3, in front of an audience of charities and civic leaders from the Somerset County Council area, Somerset Freemasons presented the following grants:

* £3, 757 to St. Margaret’s Hospice, Taunton, including £1K from the Richard Huish Lodge, in Taunton. Presented to: Anna Willett.

* £2,757 to St. Margaret’s Hospice, Yeovil. Presented to: Mark Flower.

* £1,622 to SW Children’s Hospice at Wraxall. Presented to: Kylie Gallagher

* £5,000 to Age UK. Presented to: Pam Richards.

* £5,000 to The Kidney Development Fund at The Exeter Renal Unit. Presented to: Dr. Richard D’Souza.

* £8,400 for the purchase of Negative Pressure Wound Pumps, from the Provincial
Grand Stewards Lodge. Presented to: Nurse Sarah Williams and Kate Hurring.

* £14,135 for the purchase of Vein Viewers for the Haematology, Oncology and Palliative Care Dept. of Musgrove Hospital, from the Masonic Bowling Association. Presented to: Glenn Bruce.

* Mentions were made of future donations planned of nearly £40,000 from the Somerset Masonic Flood Relief Fund, following the appalling devastation caused by the flooding on The Somerset Levels during the Winter of 2013/14. Details and recipients still being arranged and confirmed.

Charity recipients left-to-right: Dr. Richard D’Souza, Glenn Bruce, Kate Hurring, Anna Willett, Sarah Williams, Mark Flower, Paula D’Souza and Kylie Gallagher.
Also pictured: Stuart Hadler - Provincial Grand Master of Somerset (eighth from the left) and David Maddern - Provincial Charity Steward (on extreme right)

John Cole - Communications Officer

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Civic Leaders from the many local authorities present pictured with Stuart Hadler - Provincial Grand Master for Somerset.

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Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge 9189 present of one of the two Negative Pressure Wound Pumps.
Left to Right: Toby Hammond (WM), Nurse Sarah Williams (holding pump), Roger Jenkins (ChStwd), Kate Hurring and Pat Morrisey (IPM). Sarah is the Senior Tissue Viability Nurse for the Somerset Community Partnership.

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) is a widely used therapeutic wound treatment technique today. The therapy is performed by applying controlled sub-atmospheric pressure to the local wound environment, using a sealed wound dressing connected to a vacuum pump.

Great Western Air Ambulance receives donation of £6000 from Freemasons to buy equipment for helicopter

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The Great Western Air Ambulance charity has recenty received a donation of £6000 from Freemasons in Bristol and Somerset for the purchase of an Airbox Panda which makes it easier for crew to navigate while in the air. The equipment also directs them to the scene of an incident and helps them to find places to land. Previously the crew had to rely on maps.

Representatives from the two provinces visited the airbase in Filton on Friday August 14th to present the equipment to the GWAA crew.
Pilot Jim Green said: “During the visit the masons were shown how the Airbox Panda worked. They were also given the chance to see our new helicopter, an EC135.”

Since 2007 Freemasons throughout England have donated nearly £2 million to twenty-two Air Ambulance services to help them save lives. This year the amount raised by masons and their families will total £192,000.
Since upgrading to a new helicopter, the EC135, in October 2014 the operating costs have risen, and GWAA now need to raise £2million a year to stay operational. Upgrading to the EC135 has meant that the advanced critical care service that operates in the region is now carried out in a helicopter that is compatible with the high standards of medical care and interventions that the team provide. GWAAC has been providing an air ambulance service for 2.1 million people across the counties of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and parts of Wiltshire for 7 years. The GWAAC critical care team consists of a highly trained and experienced Critical Care Paramedic and Doctor, who bring the skill and expertise of an Accident and Emergency Department to the patient. On average, 20% of incidents that GWAAC attend involve providing emergency care and transfer for children and babies under the age of 16.

Pictured (left to right) are: Peter Niccol, pilot Jim Green (receiving the Panda Airbox), Dave Gleeson

Masonic Charitable Foundation - A new charity for Freemasons, for families, for everyone - launches April 2016

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The Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes has announced that a new charity called the Masonic Charitable Foundation is to be established, bringing together the charitable activities of the four existing central Masonic Charities.

At Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on Wednesday, 9 September, the Pro Grand Master said:

The Masonic Charitable Foundation will continue to offer the same support and services to those Freemasons and family members who need help, as well as support for the non-Masonic charitable causes that the Craft wishes to assist.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation will be one of the largest charities in the country and will rely on the generosity of Freemasonry for its funds.

It is anticipated that the Masonic Charitable Foundation will be registered with the Charity Commission as soon as possible and that it will begin making grants from 1 April 2016. The proposals remain subject to the approval of some existing Charity members.

A shadow board of trustees comprising individuals from the existing Charities is overseeing the creation of the new charity and the transition into a single organisation.

Further information about the Masonic Charitable Foundation will be made available over the next few months.

Please visit for more information

That name on our Honours Board?

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Have you ever wondered how you could bring your Honours Board to life and add to your lodge meeting? Whilst we know how important our ceremonies are why not consider a short talk about just one of those characters from years gone by to increase masonic knowledge?

One of a number of Membership Development initiatives being introduced this Masonic season considers short talk material. In particular the Province are delighted to be able to offer a bespoke talk for your presenter to use in relation to one of your lodge Worshipful Master.

Bro Malcolm Toogood, a renown author and archivist, of Elizabethan Lodge has agreed to provide a fully researched short talk about one of those names from your Honours Boards. Yes, all 88 lodges across the Province are invited to email Malcolm their request and he will forward, in time, a short talk to your lodge secretary for a presenter in your lodge to use to enhance one of your meetings.

Malcolm would be grateful if your email contains: Past Master's full name, date of birth, period of membership and any contemporary address information that may be available - such as the minute regarding his proposal or initiation, which often provides his trade/profession. Obviously, if there is any other info available from minutes and/or correspondence that will be helpful, but essentially it would be more revealing (and interesting) if it was not a Master whose history is already well-known, or has previously been published. Maybe somebody that the Lodge thinks could have an unusual story, but that they have never had the time to research. If not the lodge could just send a list of Past Masters or a photo of the board, and leave Malcolm to pick-out a 'likely lad' for them. An example of Malcolm's work relating to one of our Royal Arch Companions can be found if you click here.

The Provincial Membership Development Officer, W.Bro Ben Batley, APGM said, "I am delighted that Malcolm has agreed to support lodges across the Province in this way. I hope that interesting, well delivered short talks help individual lodges retain and encourage membership along with affording opportunity to those who wish to develop their own skills by presenting them. I look forward to being invited to a number of the meetings where Malcolm's research is put to good use."

The project also highlights perhaps the need for our own reflection upon what we record when we receive a new initiate to our lodge. Do we minute and circulate a short C.V. to our members that might highlight interests, family association or something that someone in the lodge, who has no previous knowledge of our candidate, might suddenly realise a connection between them? Just a thought.

Material available from the Membership Development Team is constantly being updated and can be found here.

Knights Templar Team victorious for the first time at the 2015 Inter Degree Provincial Golf Challenge

Back in 2009, the late Robin Bex, Past Provincial Sub Prior for Somerset instigated the Provincial Golf Challenge and the event has been hosted annually since then with teams from the Craft, Mark, Royal Arch and Knights Templar competing for the trophy.

Each year, teams take it in turns to organise the event and this year was the Royal Arch's turn with their Team Captain, Barry Woodside, the Provincial Second Grand Principal, hosting the event at Long Sutton Golf Club. As in all previous years, the four teams were made up of 6 players competing in a Stableford format with all scores being added to provide a team total. 5 of the 6 previous competitions had been won by the Mark Team with the Craft managing a solitary win in 2013.

The weather had not been kind at Long Sutton with heavy rainfall in the preceeding days however on the afternoon of August 25th the skies cleared in time for a slightly delayed start and on a somewhat soggy course the Knights Templar Team proved victorious by 10 points over their nearest rivals and reigning champions, the Mark Team. A thoroughly enjoyable, if slightly soggy day was enjoyed by all with a meal and presentation afterwards in the Long Sutton Clubhouse. Pictured below are the winning KT Team being presented with the trophy by the organiser for the year, Barry Woodside (far right).

(From left to right); Dean Bradwell, Martyn Russell, Graham Jeffrey, Brian Aston, Alan Dobbins & Jon Mansell (Captain)
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Mentoring and Development moves to Membership Development with new Provincial Appointments

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The Provincial Membership Development Officer, Ben Batley, Assistant PGM (Pictured Right) announced a new 'three pronged approach' to Membership Development at the Lodge Secretaries meeting held on 26 August 2015 at Bridgwater Masonic Hall. Membership and Mentoring, Education & Information Management were three business areas that would be brought together under his leadership. He will be assisted by two very experienced Provincial Officers, Jeremy Hellier, as Provincial Education Officer (Orator) and Steve Merryweather, as Provincial Information Manager.

W Bro Ben explained the 2015/16 Season would see a holistic approach to Membership Development. Membership and Mentoring would also involve Provincial Project Teams lead by experienced Grand Officers supporting Lodges in those vital areas of Recruitment, Retention, Retrieval during resignation and recovery of former members. The first two teams being led by Richard Ellis, the Provincial Secretary (Pictured below Left). “Retrieval' by Peter Layzell, Past Deputy PGM and 'Recovery' by Rod Pring, a former Provincial Secretary. Education will involve the provision of a Lodge and Secretary focused approach through the delivery of high quality accessible material by accredited presenters. Information Management will, over the next few years see the provision of accessible information for the good management of all our Lodges and Members.

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Educational material will begin to be made available on the website during the coming season in either ‘discussion’, 'presentation', 'short talk' or ‘Somerset Snippet' format, so that Lodges can make direct use of the documents themselves or request a presenter through a web based contact form.

Mentoring material will be enhanced by a Personal Development Guide and an Annual Return invited from Lodge Mentors one month before Installation Meetings providing feedback to further enhance available material for the benefit of Members. A letter explaining the strategy and development support in more detail will be forwarded to all Lodge Secretaries and Mentors in September.

For a full copy of W Bro Ben's presentation click here

Portishead Lifeboat Station Dedication Ceremony - 20th June 2015

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On Saturday 20th June, over 1000 people gathered at Portishead Marina to witness the Dedication of the new Portishead Lifeboat Station in a Service conducted by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Rev Philip Auden (pictured right) who then invited Peggy Gittings to carry out the official opening.
The building was the former Portishead Masonic Hall from 1911 until 2004 when, due to increased maintenance costs and the difficulties associated with parking and access the Hall was offered for sale.
Work on the new Lifeboat House and Slipway commenced some 15 months ago in March 2014 and includes the construction of a new ramp to the beach at a total cost of approximately 1.9 million pound
Following the Ceremony, the Lifeboat was launched and joined “Mathew” and “Pride of Bristol”, who were also in attendance to celebrate the occasion.
We congratulate the RNLI on the completion of the new lifeboat station at Portishead. It is a wonderful, historic building with a tremendous history and all Somerset Freemasons wish you God speed and a safe return home from every incident you attend.

MSF invite every Freemason to nominate a research proposal

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The Masonic Samaritan Fund has a proud history of supporting medical research which aims to improve the treatments and cures available for many of the illnesses and disabilities that affect Masonic families and the wider community.
This year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fund, £1M will be awarded to medical and care research projects across England and Wales.
Every Freemason is invited to nominate one research proposal from an agreed shortlist of projects based in, or near their Province.
Select your Province from the drop-down menu below for more information on the five research projects shortlisted in your Province. You can then cast your vote by simply clicking the 'vote now' button.
What cause do you want the MSF to support in your region? Make your voice count by voting today.

Adair Club launches new website for new and younger masons in Somerset

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Due to steady growth of the membership and profile of the Adair Club, it was decided that a refresh of our website was in order to better facilitate communication of what we are all about, both to our existing members and to any brethren who might be interested in joining the group. After a consultation with group members about what features they would like to see from their new website, we are very pleased to announce that the new site is up and running and can be viewed at .

The new site covers a number of topics including news items on what the group has been up to, information on how to join the Adair club, photographs of recent events and a full 2015 event planner so that everyone can see what's coming up soon. The website will be managed by several members of the group with regular contributions from all of our members very much encouraged.

You can follow the Adair Club in several ways; online at , via twitter @theadairclub or on our facebook page .

If you'd like to join us, please contact our secretary Sam Mayer on . Membership is free and open to anyone under 40 OR who has been a mason for under 5 years. We'd love to hear from you!

APGM Ben Batley Congratulates Scouts

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'APGM Ben Batley congratulates County Scout Commissioner Shaun Dale on the award of a Silver Acorn for distinguished service to Scouting with County Scout Chair Barry Sutton at the annual Long Service and Outstanding Contribution to Scouting Awards'

'Be prepared', the Scout Association motto, was very much to the fore when the annual Long Service and Outstanding Contribution Leadership Awards took place in Shepton Mallet on Sunday 19 April 2015. Access to the Mendip District Council offices was problematic so at short notice the award recipients and guests from across Somerset relocated to the headquarters of the 1st Shepton Mallet Scout Group where a number of long service and outstanding contribution awards were presented. APGM Ben Batley was delighted to be able to personally congratulate a number of those receiving awards, including the County Scout Commissioner Shaun Dale who was awarded a Silver Acorn for distinguished service to scouting, in company with Barry Sutton, the County Scout Council Chair.
Freemasons across the Province have continued to support the Scout Association over recent years through local initiatives for approximately 4,000 scouts and 1,000 leaders in Somerset. This in addition to Grand Charity start-up grants that have helped provide much needed materials and equipment to support young people.

Provincial Grand Lodge AGM held on 2nd April 2015

Annual General Meeting Report
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On Thursday April 2, 2015 six hundred Freemasons gathered at The Winter Gardens in Weston for the festivities and food usually associated with this annual meeting.

200 of these gathered in the Ballroom for lunch, prior to the formal business of the day. A little unfortunately, lunch was delayed slightly due to a possible gas leak in the kitchens. Whilst the diners were considering the possibility of fish and chips on the Grand Pier, it turned out to be a false alarm with only a few minutes delay. The soup, roast beef (with possibly the largest Yorkshire puddings this side of Harrogate) and apple pie meal was rapidly consumed and members filed up without any noticeable delay. As the outgoing DPGM it fell to Ray Guthrie to propose the Toast to the PGM - for the last time.

Guests of Honour from other surrounding Provinces were the first to process in, followed by the Somerset Grand Officers and the 2014/15 ‘active‘ officers, and lastly the Provincial Grand Master, Stuart Hadler, who entered the Prince Consort Room to the considerable applause of members.

Outside of the ‘usual’ business of the Provincial Annual General Meeting, there were four specific highlights.

The first was the Roll Call of Lodges, the Master of Ceremonies being Richard Ellis, the Provincial Secretary. As he read out the Lodge names and associated number, there were cries of ‘Here’, greeted in silence. However, what the assembled masons were waiting for were the replies from the Lodge of Agriculture (1199) of ’Oh Arh, Oh Arh, Oh Arh’; from Taunton School Lodge (8215) of ‘Sir’! and Somerset Fairway (9251) of ‘Fore!’ All received laughter, as expected.

The Second was the investiture of John Winston as the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Stuart invested John with his chain of office and advised members that John will receive a promotion by the Grand Master to Past Grand Sword Bearer at the end of April. This will involve a change of title from Worshipful Brother to Very Worshipful Brother.

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The third was the appointment of the new Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Ben Batley. He was led into the meeting by an escort of Worshipful Masters of Lodges of which he is a member (285, 973 and 3746) plus Provincial Officers ably directed by Barry McCormack and then suitably invested by Stuart Hadler. Ben’s tasks will include Recruitment, Retention and Member Development.

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The fourth was a presentation to Ray Guthrie, who has been an active officer for 18 years. He was the first editor of the Provincial magazine, then at 49 years of age was made Assistant PGM which he served for 5 years overlapping the 8 years as the Deputy PGM of the Mark Province, and latterly the Deputy PGM for some 4 years. He was presented with an award by the PGM, and from ALL brethren in Somerset, of a greenhouse! There was some thought to erecting this in the bar area adjacent to the meeting room to present to Ray, but it was thought by Stuart that he may then wish to practice his golf swings!!

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The Annual General Meeting concluded at just after 5.00pm and members adjourned to the bar. When they then left The Winter Gardens they wondered if they had drunk too much as The Grand Pier had virtually disappeared in a heavy sea mist.

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22nd March 2015 - Provincial Church Service held at Glastonbury

St. John The Baptist Church in the mystical town of Glastonbury was full to capacity for the Provincial Service on Sunday 22nd March. The PGM and his wife Sue, accompanied by the Provincial rulers and their Ladies joined with the St Cecilia Choir conducted by David Smith and the assembled Brethren in singing a well-chosen selection of hymns. The Address was given in a most amusing and enjoyable manner by the Rev. Jeremy Hellier PPrGChap and the readings by Fred Davis (WM Pilgrims 772), Lyndon Bharath (WM St. Dunstans 7973), and Mrs Pauline Norton (SMFA). The Vicar and Rural Dean of Glastonbury, The Rev. David MacGeoch oversaw the proceedings while the Provincial Grand Chaplin The Rev. Keith Fisher offered the Collect for Purity. Following the Service, which lasted for around 45 minutes tea was served at the Lodge rooms, with visitors having the opportunity to view the Temple. Such was the response to the offer of tea that when a sixth kettle was brought into play the main fuse blew! This was soon rectified by David Rockey and his team who so efficiently organised the event.
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16th March 2015 - Teddies for Loving Care (TLC)

The simple objective of the TLC Appeal is for Freemasons to provide small Teddy Bears to Hospital Accident and Emergency units, for the medical staff to give, at their discretion, to children admitted who are in severe distress and where the staff feel that a Teddy to cuddle will calm the child and help alleviate the stress and assist them in their work. These can also be given to admitted children in other areas of the hospital, if thought appropriate and useful by the staff.

The TLC Appeal now covers virtually the whole of the UK. The money to purchase the teddies is raised from individual Freemasons, Masonic Lodges and fund-raising events.

The photograph shows the 5,000th Teddy being given to Musgrove Park Hospital on Monday March 16 by Stuart Hadler, the Somerset Masonic Provincial Grand Master and other Somerset masons who help to run the TLC Appeal. Freemasons give 50-80 Teddies per month to Musgrove Park Hospital. Since the Appeal started in 2006 34,000 have been given out in total throughout Somerset and a staggering 1,000,000 throughout the UK. Many parents whose children have received Teddies prior to procedures have praised the Freemasons for providing the Teddies which have soothed the child and helped them through their traumatic experience.
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Pictured top left to right:   Steve Defries (Somerset Area TLC Co-ordinator), Adrian Halliwell (Taunton Area TLC Co-ordinator), Dr. Rhona Fitzpatrick (Locum Emergency Department Doctor), Stuart Hadler (PGM), Peter Light (LIO).
Pictured bottom left to right: Amanda Toogood (Acting Safeguarding Children's Nurse) and Immacolata Notaro (Emergency Department Staff Nurse). 

10th March 2015 - Air Ambulance Presentation

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A group of members from the Royal Somerset Lodge No 973 led by the Immediate Past Master, Steve Booker visited the HQ of the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance at Henstridge on Tuesday 10th March to present two cheques.

The first cheque from the Freemasons Grand Charity for £2000 was part of a large, and what has become now an annual donation from the Charity to all Air Ambulances in England and Wales. The second cheque was from the Royal Somerset Lodge, £1200 collected during W Bro Steve's year including a very successful race night held at the Frome Masonic Hall in November last year that was well supported by Freemasons and members of the local community.

During the visit the team were taken to view the £5 million helicopter and given a talk on the work of the air ambulance by the pilot, Max Hoskins and medical team who fly it.

In the picture from left to right from 973 John Collier, Terry Hulbert, Dave Lyons, The Pilot - Max Hoskins. Presenting the two cheques, Steve Booker IPM - 973, Richard Dredge, Steve Freeman - paramedic and consultant Dr Jeremy Reed.

Provincial Team Visit Somersetshire Lodge in London

The Provincial Team made their way to Mark Masons Hall in London to visit Somersetshire Lodge 2925. The team performed a demonstration of the raising of a fellowcraft freemason to the third degree with a most informative additional explanation given during the Ceremony by Ray Beckingham, the Provincial Mentor, as to the reasons behind certain parts of the ritual.

The PGM presented W.Bro Ron Goacher with his 50 year Certificate and badge and as an additional surprise it was announced that Ron would be promoted to PJGD at the forthcoming Grand Lodge iInvestiture on 29th April.

The PGM then presented the Lodge with its third Ashlar and thanked the brethren for their most generous donation toward the 2020 festival presented to him by Terry Jewell the Lodge Charity Steward.

The festive board was first class and the brethren enjoyed the Somersetshire Lodge tradition of ‘cross toasting’.

Barry Davies editor Compass Magazine

Click on the image to enlarge and see other photos (3)


Somerset Brethren to be honoured at Grand Lodge

At the Annual Investiture of the United Grand Lodge of England to be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Wednesday 29th April 2015 the following brethren from Somerset are being honoured:-

First Appointment
W Bro Benjamin G W Batley - Past Junior Grand Deacon
W Bro Raymond F Beckingham - Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
W Bro Richard J Ellis - Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
W Bro David J Maddern - Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
W Bro Mark G Sweetland - Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies

W Bro John W Winston - Past Grand Sword Bearer
W Bro Ronald E Goacher - Past Junior Grand Deacon

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 2015
At the Annual Investiture of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England to be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 30st April 2015 the following brethren from Somerset are being honoured:-
First Appointment
E Comp Clive Hennessy - Past Grand Standard Bearer
E Comp Martin C Slocombe - Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
E Comp Keith R Fisher - Past Assistant Grand Sojourner.

Somerset PGL host dinner for Bristol PGL

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The Old Theatre Royal in Bath, now the Masonic Hall, was chosen by the Provincial Grand Master for a very special evening – a dinner hosted by the PGL of Somerset with the PGL of Bristol as their guests. Phil Cotterell and David Hogg commenced the evening by conducting brethren on a fascinating tour of the museum which is housed in the ‘vaults’ below the building, followed by a tour of the theatre itself. Dinner was served in the auditorium (now the Lodge room) with subdued lighting and the backdrop of the stunning Reredos creating a most pleasant atmosphere. R.W.Bro.Stuart Hadler PGM for Somerset explained to a hushed audience the history of the building and produced certain ‘documents’ which he presented to Rt.W.Bro. Alan Vaughn, PGM for Bristol. Stuart stated that following considerable research by the Somerset archivists the documents appeared to demonstrate the ancestry of past PGMs of Bristol and the reason for the close ties between the two Provinces. Alan responded by announcing that he had commissioned a team of Bristol researches to look into the genealogy of our PGM and they had been rewarded with an interesting discovery! He then presented documentation to Stuart Hadler purporting to support this claim. He finished his speech by addressing Stuart as “Your Grace”! The authenticity of these documents has yet to be determined and should they prove authentic a full report will of course appear here on the Provincial Website and in Compass magazine. Dinner was prepared by Ben Hayward and his team and was first class. There was a considerable amount of ‘leg pulling’ from both sides and the evening cemented even stronger links between the two Provinces. The event has become an annual one and next year Bristol will be the host.
The Old Theatre Royal & Museum is well worth a visit.

Barry Davies.
Editor Compass Magazine

A successful TFOMYL Meeting at Bath

Does my Lodge have a future?? Well, the 40+ who attended the FOMYL Meeting at Bath on Thursday 22nd January certainly seem to think so. The evening was a great success with lots of good ideas coming from the Brethren who were able to attend. The picture shows the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Ray Guthrie and the soon to be new Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ben Batley trying to organise the "troops"!
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A successful Intiates Evening at Clevedon!

An Initiates evening was held at the Clevedon Masonic hall on the 21st January. As you can see from the picture a goodly number of new Initiates, along with their wives and partners attended the Meeting. The Provincial Mentor introduced the Provincial Officers attending with their wives and the Provincial Grand Master then gave a short talk regarding Freemasonry. W Bro Sam Mayer then gave a presentation about the Adair Club which is run to assist newer members. The Brethren then enjoyed an excellent buffet, followed by a short talk in the Lodge room given by the Provincial Mentor, ably assisted by the PGM. (Story by Ray Beckingham)
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£31,000 allocated to new flood relief projects

A further £31,000 has been donated from the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund to fund a project dealing with emotional stress.

A dedicated 'Emotional Wellbeing Worker' is to be put in place who will have knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing issues. The post holder will have dedicated time to strengthen emotional resilience within the flood affected communities. This will include ongoing direct support of individuals as well as looking to the future and creating a lasting legacy. It will also be part of the job to create a good practice guide to be developed in partnership with other support agencies.

The post holder would also work with statutory authorities, including parish councils and other support organisations and agencies helping them with emotional resilience plans.

Of the total of £220,000 donated nationally and locally nearly £140,000 has either been donated or committed to various projects. Our funds are being used to support the recovery of the communities affected by the flooding in 2014 and mainly for longer-term capital community-based projects.

Key Appointment Changes April 2015


Very Worshipful Brother Ray Guthrie will be retiring from office as my Deputy at the Annual Meeting on 2nd April next.

Bro Ray has held senior office since 2001 and has made a very substantial contribution to Freemasonry in Somerset in the various offices he has held.

I am pleased to advise you that Ray will continue to work with me and the Provincial Executive with particular responsibility for leadership development and provincial honours.

At the Annual Meeting, I shall appoint W. Bro. John Winston as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He will be succeeded, as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, by W Bro Ben Batley PPrGStdB. Bro Ben is currently Secretary of the Royal Somerset Lodge No. 973 and a member of Lodge of Love & Honour No. 285 and Somerset Master’s Lodge No. 3746. Ben will lead on Recruitment, Retention and Member Development.

I am sure that you will wish them all well in their forthcoming roles in the Province.

My Best Wishes for a Happy and Successful New Year.

Yours sincerely & fraternally

Stuart Hadler
Provincial Grand Master
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Assistant PGM W.Bro John Winston readies himself to take on the role of Deputy PGM at the Provincial meeting on April 2nd.
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W.Brother Ben Batley will be appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the same meeting in Weston super Mare.