Somerset Freemasons

News of what is happening in Somerset Lodges

News from Lodges December 2015


Queen’s College Lodge, their ladies and guests enjoy Christmas Lunch

“The Business Meeting was brief. Then our Ladies and guests joined us in Lodge for a talk by Bob Moore, a former Provincial Orator, entitled “What’s it All About?”. With some spirited questions from the Ladies, the Q&A session could have gone on for quite some time! The refreshing Drinks Reception was followed by a Traditional Christmas Lunch. It was great to have Dr Ben Porter (Old Queenians Association President), join us for the lunch. Following the Talk it was suggested the link to ‘The Order of Women Freemasons’: should be added to our Website.

As always, in the background to our meetings we seek to raise money for Charity. On this occasion and following a suggestion from the School Chaplain, we supported “2 Wish Upon a Star”, ( a charity set up by Rhian Burke, a former PE teacher at Queens (1999-04) who lost both her son and husband, Old Queenian Paul Burke (1988-96), in tragic circumstances within a few days of each other. The aim of the Charity is to set up hospital bereavement rooms/counselling; a facility which Rhian found sadly lacking when she needed them at the time of her loss. Thanks to the generosity of Lodge members, ladies and other guests the amazing sum of £1,200 was raised, which was the icing on the cake following a hugely success fundraising year. WBro Phil Jubb, Worshipful Master, said he was immensely proud of the way in which the Lodge responds and rallies round when asked to support a particular charity.

And finally, it was also announced that the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Stuart Hadler, will be with us for the Installation meeting on Saturday 19th March. This is fantastic news both for the Lodge and for our incoming WM, Bro Jim Virjee, in particular.”

Do, please be curious and have a look at these.....


Richard Baker (1955-65) Information Officer
Photos: Jim Wiltshire (1955-63) Charity Steward

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“What’s it all about?”

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Dr Ben Porter (Old Queenians Association President)

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The brethren, their ladies and guests enjoying Christmas lunch

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2Wish Upon a Star founder Rhian Burke being presented with a cheque by Phil Jubb, Worshipful Master


Exmoor Lodge hold their Charity Presentation Evening

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Minehead Masonic Hall was the venue for Exmoor Lodge No 2390 Charity Presentation Evening on Thursday 17th December.

WM John Lendon was delighted to be able to complete his very successful year by personally handing numerous donations from the Lodge to representatives of his chosen local charities.
He chose the theme ‘Land, Sea and Air’ for the Lodge’s local charitable giving.

Exmoor Search and Rescue received £2000 towards the purchase of a new rescue vehicle. Half of this total was generously donated by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset by matching Exmoor’s donation.

Minehead RNLI Station received vital specialist and training equipment costing £589.

A cheque for £500 was also handed to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance which was represented by Gail Everett, who is the wife of Exmoor Lodge Almoner, W.Bro Tony Everett.
Gail’s involvement with the Air Ambulance charity began when she answered their plea for volunteers to help raise their profile by giving presentations. Her voluntary work on their behalf is greatly appreciated and will prove very beneficial to their fundraising efforts. Well done Gail!

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Other local organisations receiving donations that evening included the West Somerset Food Cupboard, Friends Of Seahorse Centre, Minehead Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Mobile Renal Unit and Lydeard St. Lawrence School library.

Exmoor Lodge also made a charitable contribution of £150 to Roadwater Cricket Club which is building a new pavilion dedicated to the memory of past member, the late Bro. Pat Taylor of St Bernard Lodge No 5361, a great personal friend to John Lendon and supporter of Exmoor Lodge.
John Lendon gave a short but impassioned tribute to his long-time friend to the many brethren and their guests present, who included Pat’s daughters Shauna, Jane and Susan. John then handed the Lodge cheque to Pat’s son-in-law, Steve Cornish, who is a member of the Roadwater Cricket Club.
The evening was a great success and the brethren of Exmoor Lodge would like to thank all those who supported it.
In all, £2914 was donated in the cause of non-Masonic charities and £480 to Masonic allied charities.

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge Information Officer.


Estune Lodge embrace the spirit of Christmas

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Freemasonry in the Community

On Monday 21st December Estune Lodge, in conjunction with the Nailsea Masonic Centre, organised a free lunch for those elderly local residents who would be spending Christmas on their own this year.
Some 20 people were recommended to us, mainly by doctors or other organisations, and they all enjoyed a guided tour of the Lodge room and a wonderful Christmas lunch prepared by our in house catering team.

Photograph attached supplied by our in house photographer Chips Rafferty. The organiser was our social secretary Martin Slocombe supported by the WM, JW, DC and others.

John W Wyatt

Wessex and King Alfred Charity Evening

On Friday 18th December, Wessex Lodge and King Alfred Lodge held a joint Charity Evening at the Weston Masonic Hall to raise funds for their respective charities, but mainly for friends and families to join with them to celebrate Christmas.

Traditional carols were sung in the Temple and then a full Christmas meal was enjoyed in the packed dining room, accompanied by the Owls of Pil “It’s not Christmas until you’ve heard the Owls”. This Dickensian Male Voice Choir travel North Somerset from early December until Christmas Eve, raising money for charities which include Guide Dogs for the Blind and Children’s charities. Last year their concerts raised over £13,000.
The respective Masters - Keith Evans from Wessex and Terry Porter for King Alfred, thanked them for performing and gracing the Weston Masonic Hall with their festive singing.
The evening concluded in traditional manner with a raucous and extremely spirited rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Luckily there were twelve fully occupied tables in the dining room, all of whom performed their separate sections in a competitive manner!

Report provided by W.Bro. John Cole
Provincial Communications Officer

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Photographs courtesy of Pat Morrisey


Eldons ancient brothers journey retraced

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"Does your lodge have any famous (or infamous) members from history?
Eldon 1755 Member subject of BBC film and News Article"

Bertram S Thomas was born1893 in Springfield Road, Pill, a “blue plaque” marks the building. He was a member of Eldon lodge No. 1755 joining in June 1922. Shortly after joining Eldon, he became a Political Officer in the forces and was posted to Jordan in late 1922. From 1925-32 he was Finance Minister and Wazir (advisor) to the Sultan of Muscat and Oman. During these times, he undertook several expeditions into the desert and became the first European to cross the Rub' Al Khali desert (the largest stretch of sand in the world) on his own trusty camel called Khuwara. He was also awarded the OBE and the CMG for services to his country.

The Eldon brethren being such generous and understanding souls, I feel certain we would have offered him a country membership whilst he was away traversing the dunes of Oman..."

During World War II Thomas headed the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies in Jerusalem, where British army officers were taught Arabic language and culture. He returned to England and died in the house in which he was born, in 1950.

There was an interesting article on BBC a few days ago about a team that are recreating BS Thomas' 1300km desert trek. Their journey was also the subject of a television program on the BBC last week. Link to story

Tivoli Lodge No. 9417 Carol Service

As is traditional in Tivoli Lodge, the December meeting was followed by a carol service, with music provided by Weston Brass Band. The WM, Bro David Pettitt welcomed partners and guests of Lodge members including Sue Hadler, wife of the PGM. The meeting and carol service was followed by a seasonal festive board, rounded off with some gymnastics to the tune of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

W Bro C. J. Millard PrAGStB
Lodge Information Officer

Click on picture for gallery


Taunton Deane Lodge - Double celebrations

The last meeting of Taunton Deans lodge held on Thursday 3rd December marked 50 years and a day for W.Bro. Harry Price PPrJGW.

W.Bro. Harry was initiated into Ivy Lodge no. 1441 in London on 2nd December 1965. A lodge of Instruction was held every Wednesday throughout the year. Harry joined Taunton Deane Lodge and his great expertise in the ritual was made full use of when he was appointed ADC and then DC retiring this year. We wish him a very happy retirement from office.

Pictured right is W.Bro Harry Price receiving his 50th Certificate from W.Bro. John Winston DPGM
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The summons for the evening included the Initiation of Bro. Chris Kimmins by W. Bro. Jon Upsher, WM. Bro. Chris is very much looking forward to his participation in Freemasonry and to some distant time ahead when he receives his own 50th anniversary certificate!

Pictured left to right are W. Bro. Jon Upsher, W. Bro. Harry Price, Bro. Chris Kimmins and VW. Bro. John Winston


Kitchen refurbishment completed at Taunton Masonic Hall

Improvements and renovations to the Taunton Masonic Hall have been progressing well following the formation of the Taunton Masonic Hall Company Ltd five years ago. The latest project carried out during the summer of 2015 was the refurbishment to the kitchen. The updating of the facilities were well overdue. Although an extraction system was not required at the present time to comply with the Gas Safety Regulations, should one of the gas range cookers have failed and necessitated replacement, a new one could not be installed unless a full extraction system including a gas interlock valve was fitted. This would have involved major works being carried out during the Masonic year with the inevitable disruption to the catering facilities.

A decision was taken by the Directors to refurbish the facilities at a budget cost of £20,000. This was made possible by a very generous donation of £10,000 by the Lodge of Unanimity & Sincerity No. 261 from the John Vile Fund.

The work involved relocating the staff toilet which allowed the kitchen to be increased in size. A hygienic vinyl faced suspended ceiling system was installed to conceal all of the new ventilation ducting, wiring and pipework. This also incorporated just four energy efficient LED lighting panels with a total energy use of 160 watts. The walls were lined with a timber framework and finished in upvc hygiene board with stainless steel sheets to the cooking area. The existing quarry tiled floor was retained and extended where the toilet was removed. With the rewiring of the kitchen and provision of the new toilet, the opportunity was taken to replace the existing electrical distribution board to comply with current regulations. All of the remaining galvanised iron water pipes were replaced with copper.
Most of the work was carried out by members of Taunton Lodges, Chris Partridge, Geoff Perrin, Roger Bailey, Dillon Hughes and Brian Pollard, together with the paint donated by Sidney French and the canopy and extraction system being installed by Richard Norris (member of Prudence & Industry Lodge), a considerable saving on the budgeted cost was achieved.

The assistance and cooperation of Peter Catlow, the caterer, was much appreciated during the disruption of carrying out the work.

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… and after

News from Lodges November 2015


Memorable visit to Northern Ireland by members of St. Alphege Lodge

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On 20 November 2015, seven Worshipful Brethren from St. Alphege Lodge No. 4095, meeting at Bath Masonic Hall, travelled to Northern Ireland to attend a meeting, which included a demonstration of an Initiation ceremony, at McCammon Crozier Lodge No. 497 meeting in Holywood, Co. Down.

Pick-up from the airport to the Stormont hotel, together with transport to and from the meeting was very kindly arranged by the Bro. D.C. and Bro. Sec. of McCL, as was our return to the airport on the following Sunday. However, I think we got a few strange looks driving by as the minibus belonged to a local Scout group – not many 60+ years old Scouts nowadays!

The meeting was very well attended and included a number of Provincial officers from Co. Down and Co. Antrim. The lodge has not had any new members in recent years (it is a recent amalgam of 2 lodges whose membership has been declining) and an Initiation ceremony had not been carried out by the members for some time, but it was agreed by everyone that the Worshipful Master, his Officers and selected participants performed a superb and sincere demonstration.

The Festive Board afterwards was indeed memorable, with W.Bro Jeff Penfold responding with gracious thanks and a certain amount (not a lot) of decorum to the Visitor’s toast. As expected, we returned to the hotel to carry on with our serious debates on Masonic issues – mainly electing a Steward who would be responsible for the kitty and getting the next round of the black stuff or Bushmills. W.Bro. Ken Barnes having been a past Treasurer of St. Alphege was entrusted with that particular duty – and a fine job he did too (we think but can’t remember – he has been smiling a lot since the trip?).

A full day excursion had been arranged for Saturday 21st, remarkably all the brethren managed to get up on time to have breakfast before the minibus arrived. Our ‘Guide’ was called Damian and he did a fine job of taking us to the various murals on both sides of the divide, the wall and other parts of Belfast before taking us up towards the north coast of the province to see various sights. These included Giant’s Causeway, Whitepark Bay, Ballintoy Harbour, Bushmills Distillery and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Fortunately for some of the more ‘sensitive’ brethren (a certain W.Bro. David Medlock in particular), we were too late arriving to obtain a ticket to cross the bridge. It is only 100 feet above the roaring, open Atlantic Ocean so I don’t know what the problem was!

Bushmills Distillery was the obvious highlight, although W.Bro. Jim Buick had mixed emotions about the entrance fee. Being the only one in the group under 60 he did not qualify for the reduced Senior Citizen’s charge. A hot toddy before the tour followed by a wee dram at the conclusion was very well received.

On Saturday evening we went to the Crown bar in Belfast city centre, a must see tourist attraction owned by The National Trust (only to check out the black stuff you understand) and then had a great meal in nearby restaurant called Cocos. Great food, great wine, great company and great visual delights! We rounded off the night by going to ‘Fibber Magee’s’ at the back of Robinsons bar to listen to some traditional music. Some of our brethren – no name, no pack drill – also managed to enjoy a couple of dances with very enthusiastic, local ladies. ‘Tired and emotional’ we retired at 1.00 a.m. back to the hotel only to decide to check out the ‘Bush’ again.

Sunday, and we all managed to get up at the appointed time – bar one! W.Bro. David Hayward decided he needed more beauty sleep. As the hotel was opposite Stormont parliament building we decided to walk the 1 mile up to the building and back again. We still had a few hours to spare before returning to the airport so 4 of us ( Ken, Jeff, Martyn & Jim) decided to go into the city centre for further sightseeing (and another pint in the Crown). Let you work out who the lazy ones were!

Back to the airport, courtesy of the McCL D.C. and the Scout minibus, then a quiet flight back to Bristol. A fantastic time had by all.

Ten McCammon Crozier Lodge members visited St Alphege about 2 years ago and it was brilliant that a number of us could return that fraternal visit. I will be there again, either in Holywood or maybe Dublin for a special meeting planned for November 2016, and I recommend you talk to any of our brethren who travelled and ask them about their experience at the lodge meeting or Northern Ireland. Maybe more brethren will be able to travel next time.


King Alfred Lodge Presented with First Ashlar

On Friday November 20th, VW Bro. John Winston DPGM presented the first ashlar to King Alfred Lodge during their meeting in Weston-super-Mare. Charity Steward Phil Lewis PrGStwd accepted the ashlar on behalf of the lodge.

This achievement marks a perfect start to a year in the chair for the the newly installed (October 2015) Worshipful Master, Terry Porter (seen in photo to right watching over the presentation)

(Photographs courtesy of Patrick Norman Morrisey)
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Clevedon Minor Injuries Unit Receive 2500th Teddy!

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For many parents, when a child is sick or injured ensuring they get the best possible care to put them on the road to recovery is essential. That’s why Clevedon Minor Injury Unit (MIU) work hard to make the experience as easy as possible. They know hospitals are daunting places for children so teddy bears are handed out to injured children who arrive for treatment. Last year NSCP ran a competition to name the mascot and Bump came out on top. For 9 years children have been provided with something to comfort them during their trip and this has only been possible thanks to the kind donations of the Freemasons. This month (November) the Freemasons donated the 2500th bear to MIU to make sure children have a positive experience when they’ve been hurt or injured.

Matt Croughan, Clinical and Operational Lead for the Minor Injuries Unit said: “Since the 'Bears' began in 2006 thousands of children have left our Minor Injury Unit clutching a new cuddly teddy!

“When a child is injured, in pain and upset, that cuddly teddy really helps to instil a positive feeling in the child so that they do not develop a fear of hospitals and treatment. We often bandage Teddy or pop on a plaster in line with the child's injury which makes them feel less like the odd one out. It is really important that hospitals and departments such as ours are seen a places of positivity and a place that a child can trust. “It makes our job as clinicians much easier when a child trusts us and allows us to examine and treat them and these fabulous Teddies have helped us out on many, many occasions. “We are so grateful that these teddies have been donated and long may it continue. To not be able to continue providing them and not seeing the magical effect it has on the children doesn't 'bear' thinking about.”

Ian Strickland, Clevedon area co-ordinator of the Freemasons’ Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) appeal, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer such valued assistance to our local community. The monies raised for these bears has come from Freemasons in Clevedon, Nailsea and Yatton who contribute regularly to enable this scheme to continue. “Whilst we have given 2,500 bears to Clevedon, Freemasons in Somerset have provided the counties’ hospitals with approx. 38,000 bears and throughout the country over 1 million have now been supplied to MIUs & A&E Depts. It is a very worthy cause and will receive our ongoing assistance at a local and national level.”

Pictured: Matt Croughan, the MIU Operational Manager, W. Bro Ian Strickland TLC Appeal Coordinator, W. Bro. Andy Farmer W.M. of Southey lodge 6650, Bro. David Grounsell Charity Steward of Tyntesfield lodge 4494, W. Bro. Andy Gray, WM of Tennyson Lodge 4947 (seated) and the recipients of the 2500 teddy!

To find out more about Clevedon Minor Injury Unit visit:

To find out more about the TLC charity visit:

This achievement also features on the North Somerset Primary Care website here

Estune Lodge make contribution towards Tercentenary Appeal

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On a visit to Estune Lodge on 17th November the Provincial Grand Master was presented with a contribution towards the Somerset Provincial Tercentenary appeal target of £30,000 for the chosen charities for 2017.

Namely the two Air Ambulance services, Dorset & Somerset founded in 2000 and currently based at Henstridge, and the Great Western founded in 2008 and currently based at Filton.

Pictured L to R Estune Charity Steward Bro Steve Carpenter, W.M. Bro Chris Perry, R.W.Bro Stuart Hadler PGM, W.Bro David Maddern Provincial Charity Steward.

“Gentleman Farmer” Richard Pearce celebrates sixty years in Freemasonry

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Sixty years’ service to Freemasonry was celebrated in Estune Lodge on the 17th November when the Provincial Grand Master presented a 60 years’ service certificate to Farmer W.Bro Richard Pearce PPJGW.

Dick, and his father Norman before him, spent all their working lives on the farm in the village of Long Ashton (previously known as Estune) breeding high quality cattle, Simmentai, Black & Whites and Dairy Short Horns.

A well respected Gentleman Farmer who was entertained by a group from the Lodge of Agriculture led by PPGM Stanley Hopkins, attempting to sing ‘Farmers Boy’ at the festive board.

If you have every driven on the Long Ashton By-Pass then you will have driven over what used to be part of the farm.

Dick and his lovely wife Judy happily spend most of their time in their apartment in Clifton overlooking the Clifton Suspension bridge. Now watching the boats rather than cattle.

Weston Masons present a cheque to Weston Hospicecare on behalf of The Grand Charity

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Weston Hospicecare received a donation of £2,464 from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity this week as one of 245 adult and children’s hospices across England and wales to be supported by the charity.

The cheque was presented to John Bailey, Director of Patient Services at Weston Hospicecare by Ian Porter, Terry Porter and Derek Porter all members of the Somerset Freemasons.

John Bailey, said “I am delighted to accept this cheque on behalf of Weston Hospicecare and would like to thank the Freemason’s Grand Charity once again for their generous support which makes a real difference to the lives of local people with life-limiting illnesses”

Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Laura Chapman said: “Every year Freemasons and their families work together to raise funds to ensure the incredible work of hospices can continue. The dedicated care they provide is highly valued by local communities and Freemasons believe strongly in continuing to support this”

Since 1984 nearly £12 million pounds has been donated to hospice services by the Freemasons’ Grand Charity

PHOTO from left to right: John Bailey, Ian Porter, Terry Porter and Derek Porter


Quantock Lodge receive the Travelling Trowel

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At their November meeting, W.Bro. Willie Willmetts and brethren of Quantock Lodge No.4446 in Watchet were delighted to receive a delegation of brethren from the Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity No.261 who presented them with the Somerset Travelling Trowel.
W.Bro. Roger Earthrowl W.M. and five brethren from the lodge journeyed from Taunton to make the delivery.
Due to the unavoidable absence of the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Willie IPM stepped up to the mark at very short notice and conducted the business of the evening.

A total of 71 brethren witnessed an excellent Initiation of Chris Eveleigh, the Working Tools being delivered in an exacting manner by W.Bro. Jack Heard the oldest Lodge member aged almost 94. Bro. Keith Lloyd was successfully balloted for as a joining member, thereby seeing the membership of the lodge increase by two.

The evening concluded with a most enjoyable and lively festive board.

Pictured above is the Worshipful Master, Willie Willmetts receiving the Travelling Trowel from W.Bro. Roger Earthrowl.

Alex Moran
Secretary Quantock Lodge 4446

enjoyed the business of the evening which included the

Brotherly Love Lodge 329 - Dedication of Restored Globes

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At a full house at Brotherly Love No 329 the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro C A Stuart Hadler, with the full Provincial team, dedicated the Lodge’s 15 inch floor-standing terrestrial and celestial globes, which had been fully restored to mint condition by noted restorer, Sylvia Sumira of London.
They had been purchased in 1860 for the princely sum of 3 guineas and been made in 1824 by George & John Cary of St James’ Street, London, the sons of John Cary Snr who was in partnership with his brother William. They were one of the foremost, and arguably the best, London map and globe makers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Globes were quite common in lodges in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but as more lodges, Chapters and Degrees used a Lodge Room so floor standing globes were often damaged and the presence of terrestrial and celestial globes has generally become a thing of the past.

Pictured L to R above are W.Bros. Colin Vine DC, John Sibley J.W., David Thomas WM, the Provincial Grand Master and Bro. Russell Chatwin S.W.

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Several repairs had been made to the globes at Brotherly Love and both were showing their age. The question of whether the Lodge should consider placing them on high shelves, or indeed sell them to prevent further damage, was being considered. Then in December 2012 the terrestrial globe suffered severe damage from a heavy blow, origin unknown. The two hemispheres were virtually broken apart and pieces of the globe were missing. The compasses at the base of both globes were already in poor condition. This prompted a review of what the Lodge should do and after much heart searching it was agreed to restore both globes to their former glory - at considerable cost.
In the summer of 2015 the restoration was complete. They were returned to the Lodge and displayed at the dedication ceremony where their splendour was remarked on by all those present.

W.Bro. Victor Smith - LIO 329

Clevedon Lodges support Marathon Runner

Lodges from Clevedon, including Coleridge, Tennyson, Southey, John de Clevedon, Hallam MMM & Thackeray RAM were very pleased to support Natasha Summerell in her bid to complete the gruelling 26.2 miles of the inaugural Bristol to Bath Marathon. Natasha was running the race to raise money for 2 charities close to her heart, namely St Peters Hospice and the Alzheimers Society. Natasha herself managed to raise a total of £776 and this was topped up by the Clevedon Lodges to £2500 which was then split between the two charities. Well done to Natasha for completing the run in a time of 4 Hours and 43 Minutes.
Information flyer
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News from Lodges October 2015


Estune Lodge enjoy a “Grand” day out!!

A coach party of over 50 Estune Brethren, Wives, Partners and other guests took a coach trip on Saturday 17th October to visit The Grand Temple in Great Queen Street, London. An excellent and most enjoyable, informative tour was thoroughly enjoyed by all. This remarkable building and the magnificence of the Main Temple, along with the years of history shown in the library leaves a lasting impression and a feeling of how truly wonderful it is to be part of such a fabulous organisation.
The Lodge is fortunate enough to have several new, younger Members and it was noticeable that the visit left them with a lasting impression of what Freemasonry is all about.

(Story by John Wyatt)
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Members of Estune with their guests outside the Main Entrance to Freemasons Hall

Queen’s College Lodge enjoy convivial October meeting

The October meeting of Queen’s Lodge at the Taunton Masonic Centre was the usual convivial occasion with the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro John Winston, making his presence felt with the presentation of a Certificate to our most recent Initiate, Geoffrey Browne, following up in conjunction with the 2020 Festival by presenting WBro Jim Wiltshire, Charity Steward, with a 3rd ‘Ashlar’ recording our progress of approximately 70% towards our £25,000 target. Supporting John was Past PGM, RWBro Stanley Hopkins (a former parent) and Past DPGM, VWBro Ray Guthrie.
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Geoffrey Browne presented with Grand Lodge Certtificate by DepPGM

Among others present and visiting for the first time were Lindsay Edmunds, a current Queen’s parent and member of Tivoli Lodge 9417 and Keith Pickavance, SW, Burma Kohima Lodge 8978 meeting at Guildford Masonic Centre, whose wife Liz (nee Killick) was at Queen’s 1990-97. Her parents live in Trull. So impressed were they, both have asked to be invited, with their wives, to our Christmas meeting! Alan Watkins our SD is, of course, a recent Queen’s parent. During the Festive Board, Ian Gibson received applause (and a song!) having recently achieved his 80th birthday.

Meanwhile, there is a streak of independence appearing among members Ladies! Not to be outdone and as an experiment, eight of them dined at The Cosy Club in Taunton and were horrified to be disturbed prematurely by their menfolk as the Lodge meeting finished at 8.30pm! (The Ladies: Sally Dolling; Liz Jubb;Chris Rodgers; Di Teague; Ginny Ten Broeke; Debbie Virjee; Ruth Waterman & Lin Winston.)
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W Bro Jim Wiltshire, Charity Steward, receives 3rd Ashlar re 2020 Festival from DepPGM

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W Bro Ian Gibson responds to acclaim on his 80th Birthday

Lodge Diary

5th December Taunton Cluster ‘Federation Schools’ meeting; hosts, Wellington School Lodge.
12th December Morning Regular Meeting at TMC followed by Reception & Christmas Lunch with Ladies.


29th February 17.30 - Installation Rehearsal at TMC followed by ‘Officers Dinner’ open to all members.
19th March Afternoon Installation at TMC followed by usual Festive Board.
14th May. Morning Regular Meeting at TMC followed by lunch.

Wraxall Lodge celebrate 300th meeting with 3 Grand Officers from same family

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On Friday 1st May, Wraxall Lodge celebrated its 300th meeting since it was consecrated in November 1981.
An excellent evening was had with presentations of Grand Lodge Certificates and explanation of Grand Lodge Certificates by W. Bro Ray Beckingham.

In addition, the Lodge was very pleased to welcome three Generations of the Peters Family all being Grand Officers. W. Bro Alan Peters PGJD a founder of Wraxall Lodge, his son W. Bro John Peters PGADC first joining member of Wraxall Lodge and present Chaplain, and his son W. Bro David Peters GStwd.

The following month, in June, W.Bro David Mason PGJD Assistant Provincial Grand Master presented the Lodge and W. Bro Bernard Sims Charity Steward with the first Ashlar, he stated that we only close to the next Ashlar, which should be obtained in December.
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Quantock Lodge Receive First Ashlar

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Quantock Lodge 4446 had the honour of the presence of The Right Worshipful Brother David L Jenkins Past Provincial Grand Master at their Installation ceremony on Wednesday 7th October 2015. RW Bro David, an Honorary Member of the Lodge, who attended as the representative of the PGM, accompanied by WBro Nick Britton is pictured above in the Temple of Quantock Lodge with the newly Installed Master WBro John M Barnes and his Installed Officers for his year of Office.

During the evening the lodge was presented with their 1st Ashlar in recognition of the amount collected towards the 2020 Festival. The award was made to WBro Roger K Biss PPJGD, Charity Steward for the period , by The Right Worshipful Brother David L Jenkins Past Provincial Grand Master. The recently installed Charity Steward, WBro Bob Page PPG Supt Wks , who is also Charity Steward of Loyal Vacation Lodge Wiveliscombe, was present at the award as was the IPM, W Bro Willie Willmetts and the recently Installed WM WBro John M Barnes.
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News from Lodges September 2015


Inaugural Organ Concert of the newly restored organ in Freemasons' Hall

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Following an extensive refurbishment and renovation of the very fine Willis Organ in the Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall by Harrison and Harrison, an inaugural concert took place on 30th September. This was brilliantly performed by Thomas Trotter, Organist of St Margaret's Westminster Abbey and Birmingham City Organist. Most of the tickets were by invitation, however a number were available by application on-line.

The very wide-ranging programme was designed to demonstrate the versatility of this three-manual instrument, which was first built and installed in June 1933, and to show off the brand new "Grand" Division which has been added. Included were works by Bach and Mozart as well as 20th century compositions by Coates and Goss-Custard and ended with a very demanding piece by Liszt (Fantasia & Fugue on B.A.C.H.) which most organists would be pleased to be able even to attempt!
Over 1,000 people attended this event including PGM Rt W Bro Stuart Hadler, Past Provincial Grand organist W Bro Alwyn Clegg, Provincial Senior Grand Deacon David Smith, W Bro Richard Kilburn and their wives. The event ended with drinks and canapés being served in the Grand Connaught Rooms.

Future concerts are planned for next year – details available at:

W Bro Richard F Kilburn

David Pettitt installed as WM of Tivoli Lodge No.9417

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Tivoli Lodge No 9417 held their Installation meeting, on Saturday 19th September 2015, when Bro. David Pettitt was installed as Master. The now W.Bro. David was installed into the chair of King Solomon, in an exemplary ceremony, conducted by the Installing Master, W.Bro. Keith Baker. The Lodge was honoured by the presence of W.Bro. Raymond Beckingham, the Provincial Grand Mentor, accompanied by his wife Chris.
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The meeting was followed by an excellent festive board, which was also attended by partners and guests of Lodge members. The Masters’ Song was performed by W.Bro. Philip Chidgey. The photograph to the left shows our new Worshipful Master was delighted to receive it in the traditional manner.

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W.Bro. Keith Baker, IPM of the Tivoli Lodge chose to raise funds for two charities; Children Hospice South West at Charlton Farm, Wraxall and the Somerset Provincial Grand Charity 2020 Festival. W Bro Keith and his wife Patricia raised the magnificent sum of £4372 during their year.
The photograph shows W. Bro Keith presenting a cheque at the festive board, for £2136 to Kylie Gallagher of the Children’s Hospice South West.

W.Bro. Chris Millard LIO 9417

Nigel Webber installed as WM of Loyal Vacation Lodge No.6209

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Loyal Vacation lodge No.6209 were delighted to receive W.Bro. Neil Hawes PrSGW as the PGM’s. representative for the installation of W.Bro. Nigel Webber on Tuesday 22nd September.

W.Bro Nigel has taken his time getting to the chair; having served the lodge as Tyler for several years. The members of Loyal Vacation were delighted when he finally attained the chair of King Solomon. It is always a delight when someone as sincere as Nigel is awarded the highest honour his lodge can give.
He was successfully installed by W.Bro. Anthony James, who completed the installation with sincerity and feeling.
Pictured right is W.Bro. Nigel formally welcoming the Provincial Senior Grand Warden with a slightly tentative thumbs-up.

A superb festive board rounded off an excellent evening.
W.Bro. Steve Ford

Ian Drewitt installed as WM as Forest of Mendip Lodge receives Second Ashlar

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The Forest of Mendip Lodge held their Installation meeting on Friday 18th September when W.Bro Ian Angell installed Bro Ian Drewitt. Both the Ian's were initiated in 2008 and have progressed almost together, Ian Angell progressed through all of the Offices, but Ian Drewitt stood still as Tyler for a couple of years.

The Lodge was honoured by the presence of W.Bro Neil Hawes the Provincial Senior Grand Warden.

W.Bro Neil presented the Worshipful Master with our second Ashlar, he stated that we only needed just over a thousand pounds to earn our next Ashlar. Unfortunately because we had to move our Installation meeting our Charity Steward W.Bro Brian Newman could not make the meeting.

After the meeting we made our way to Blagdon Village club for an excellent Festive board, which made the evening a happy and successful one.

Report by W. Bro Ray Beckingham LIO

Taunton Freemasons hold Open Day

Taunton Freemasons held an Open Day at the Masonic Hall on Saturday 11th July to offer an opportunity to the general public to visit our beautiful building, inspect the many artefacts, find out more about Freemasonry and to help dispel many of the common misconceptions of the craft.
Among the many in attendance were the Mayor Of Taunton Deane, Cllr Marcia Hill and her consort Julian Hill, Rebecca Pow the newly-elected MP for Taunton and Cllr John Williams the Leader of Taunton Deane Council.

The Mayor said she found the visit “so informative and interesting” and her consort, a history enthusiast was able to relate to the way in which the original masons’ principles were adopted by the Freemasons over 300 years ago.

The Mayor also said it “was amazing how much had been raised, by the organisation and distributed to charities over a number of years” and that she was certain “the open day will have raised the awareness of the many guests”.

It was explained to all that the Open Day was part of the policy of ‘Openness’, adopted by Freemasons in recent years and highlighting the principles of the organisation; friendship between all races and religions; making charitable donations for Masonic and other charities, and maintaining high standards of morality and honesty.

Nine craft lodges meet at the Hall which is one of the largest Masonic Centres in Somerset.

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From left, the Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, Councillor John Williams, Rebecca Pow MP, W.Bro Jack Leeming
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The Mayor and her Consort occupy the historic principal chairs accompanied at the rear by W.Bro Roger Earthrowl, WM of 261, W.Bro Charlie Barker LIO of Richard Huish Lodge, VW. Bro John Winston Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and W.Bro Jack Leeming LIO of 261.

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The Mayor of Taunton Deane Cllr Marcia Hill, and her consort and husband Julian Hill occupy the Master’s and Past Master’s chair in the Masonic Hall on the Open day. The chairs are 220 and 210 years old respectively.

W. Bro Peter Townsend celebrates 50 years in Freemasonry

V.W.Bro John Winston Deputy Provincial Grand Master attended Estune Lodge 6817 Installation meeting on Tuesday 15th September and kindly presented a 50 year service certificate to W.Bro Peter Townsend PPJGW. This was just a short period after Peter had been a guest at the VJ day celebrations in Weston, where as a veteran Fleet Air Arm pilot Peter was asked to speak.

Peter, now aged 89, was initiated into Old Patesian Lodge No 7828 on 4th October 1965. He joined Estune on 17th December 1968 and was appointed a Somerset PPJGW in 2002. Then an Honorary member of the Lodge in 2013.
Before the war and after schooling he joined Barclays Bank in Cheltenham, but during the war he served in the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot flying Firefly's and Harvard's before training for his profession as a schoolmaster after the war.
He served many years as a local JP before becoming Chairman of the Bench. His hobby skills are in water colour painting where his distinctive style has created many fantastic scenes over the years. He also makes wonderful wooden tree trunk carvings. He will see a piece of tree timber on his walks and carve and polish it into something quite special.
Peter has served Estune Lodge well over many years and is not only a highly respected and valued member, but also a lovely and sincere man.

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Ray Beckingham raises over £700 doing the Memory Walk

W. Bro. Ray Beckingham took part in the Memory Walk around Bristol Docks in aid of the Alzheimers Society on Sunday 6th September being inspired by the fact that a number of Somerset brethren personally known to him have dementia. The route taken by the 900 walkers was from the start at College Green through Hotwells and then over the bridge to the SS Great Britain side and eventually back to the finish line on College Green in front of the cathedral, a total of 6.5km. Ray completed the walk in one hour and five minutes raising over £700 in the process. Ray says he is on his own in the photo as he was one of the first to finish although some other competitors apparently ‘cheated’ by running!

Donations can be made online at

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Ray collecting his medal!

News from Lodges August 2015

Somerset Masonic Bowling Association take part in Masonic Annual Charity Bowls Event


Three teams from the SMBA, plus several supporters, made their way in mid-summer to Rushden in Northamptonshire to take part in the annual Masonic Annual Charity Bowls Event (MACE). 24 teams from 17 Provinces duly assembled at the appointed hour and bowling commenced. After playing a league system, one of the Somerset Teams comprising Derek Francis, Bill Clark, Roy Harkness and Maureen Gibbs made the final six and came away, after a play-off, in fifth place. The other two teams scored several wins but did not achieve sufficient points to reach the final six. A presentation of a cheque for over £2,000 was made to the local Hospice. Good weather, good fellowship and good sportsmanship made it another most enjoyable day.

The Event has been running for four years with the purpose of raising funds for a nominated charity of the organising Province as well as promoting masonic fellowship. Around £40,000 has been raised to date. This includes the £14,000 raised in 2014 when the event was hosted by the SMBA in Taunton, which enabled a Vein Viewer to be purchased for the Beacon Cancer Centre at Musgrave Hospital.

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Photograph Shows the 3 teams representing the SMBA

Minehead Equality Golf Society 24th Annual Competition

The Equality Golf Society was founded in 1992, the idea of W.Bro Bill Shorey a distinguished Past Master of St Bernard Lodge in Minehead and enthusiastic golfer. Originally it was members of the two Minehead Lodges, Exmoor and St Bernard who competed but today any Mason or their guest, who may not be a Mason is very welcome to come along and enjoy the day. Bill named it the Equality Golf Society as every competitor goes home with a prize!
Friday the 7th August was a wonderful warm summer day and the course in excellent condition for the competition, an individual stableford off full handicap.
Fifteen golfers set out, some returning good scores. Past Provincial Grand Master and Past Captain of the society, David Jenkins came in with a very respectable 35 points. However the day was won by Past Captain Dean Bradwell with a staggering 46 points playing off twelve handicap, a great score on this demanding course.
The photo shows Dean in the centre receiving the trophy and prize from Captain David Flack on the left. The competition organiser, Willie Brown is on the right of the photo.
During his presentation at the meal following the golf, the Captain mentioned W.Bro Bill Shorey, now 98 years old. Bill no longer takes part but still takes a keen interest in the event.
If you would like to take part in the competition next year at Minehead, when the society celebrates its 25th anniversary, (date to be advised) please contact the organiser, Willie Brown. You will be made very welcome.

Tel: 01643 702203 or email
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Somerset Masters Lodge - 2015 Summer Outing

Travelling along the A368 between West Harptree and Blagdon you may be forgiven for passing the Yeo Valley yogurt factory at Holt Farm without realising its well-kept secret. For hidden away in the valley adjoining the dairy and farm is a 6 and a half acre organic garden and this was the venue for the Somerset Masters Lodge Summer Outing on Wednesday 22nd July.
A group of fifty members and partners arrived and were greeted by the Worshipful Master Pat Morrisey (right) with his lady Heather. Despite an early rain shower, the weather picked up and the visiting party toured in two tranches each led by one of the team of five who design and care for the gardens.

W.Bro Pat Morrisey, WM.


The immaculately kept grounds contain many different facets including The Willow Garden, The Gravel Gardens, The Flower Meadow, The Herb Garden and a delightful view of Blagdon Lake.
The gardens - both ornamental and kitchen - are a continuously evolving project which have been cultivated by the Mead family who started the dairy business in the 1960s. They are one of only very few accredited organic gardens in the country.
They also feature a wonderful tea room, come restaurant, which offers meals prepared from the vast array of home produce and following the tour the party enjoyed a lunch of Spinach and Ricotta Quiche followed by a Blackcurrant Panacotta.
After the very happy lunch the WM rose to thank the Chef and catering staff, his wife Heather who organised the day & finally all present for making the day so successful.

Roger Penny

News from Lodges June 2015

Royal Naval Lodge visit Zetland Lodge No.515 in Aldershot, Hampshire

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On Saturday 20th June 2015, following a successful visit of a large contingent of Royal Naval Lodge members to Malta in May, a smaller group went to Zetland Lodge No.515, who like RN were formerly of Malta, but are now relocated in Aldershot (in the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight)

Pictured left to right:
Chris Kelly (SW- RN), Mike Waterman (Sec-RN), Granville Angell,(Recipient of 50 year cert) Bill Withers, Asst PGM, Dan Bowler (JW-RN), Mark Twist (SD-RN), Scott Gibbons Asst Sec/LIO-RN) and Martin McGoldrick (Sec 515)

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Whist in Malta the group met up with W.Bro. Granville Angell, PAG Pursuivant, a well known Masonic Historian and a former Prestonian lecturer, and author of a recent publication about those distinguished Brethren who during the Great War (1914 to 1918) won the Victoria Cross.
He mentioned that he would be receiving his 50 year Craft certificate at Zetland Lodge and it was our privilege to attend this special Masonic occasion. The certificate was presented by W.Bro. Bill Withers, Asst PGM of Hampshire & Isle of Wight, who gave an interesting insight into Granville’s life and Masonic experience and then we all listened to a fascinating talk on Zetland Lodge history by W.Bro. Angell, before retiring for an enjoyable luncheon.
The only disappointment was that more brethren were not present to witness this special milestone and indeed, two of our RN members actually took office during the ceremony when Bro. Daniel Bowler acted as Inner Guard and Bro. Mark Twist stood in as Junior Deacon. Both enjoyed the experience.

Another happy Masonic occasion enjoyed by all and fostering good relationships between Provinces.

Report prepared by W.Bro. Mike Waterman
Secretary - Royal Naval Lodge No.2761

Forest of Mendip donate to the Freewheelers

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Ian Angell (left of picture) and the Lodge Charity Steward, W Bro Brian Newman (right) from the Forest of Mendip Lodge were both extremely pleased to present a cheque for £300 to Steve Brooks of the Freewheelers Emergency Volunteer Service. The service delivers blood and other medical items to hospitals.Steve was delighted with the support from the Freemasons and it will help them in their endeavors to help others. The Freewheelers do not receive any funding and rely on donations from the public. Two years ago the organisation received a substantial donation from the Mark Master Masons of Somerset to purchase a new motorcycle. To find out more about the Freewheelers click here to visit their website.
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Somerset Masters - Centenary Meeting & Banner Dedication

On Monday June 20th Somerset Masters Lodge were presented with their Centenary Warrant by the Provincial Grand Master and his Team at an Extraordinary Meeting held at the Bath Masonic Hall. Over 100 Brethren were in attendance to witness this very special occasion and following the presentation of the Centenary Warrant the Provincial Grand Master and his Team dedicated a new Lodge Banner which had been produced by Verity Morrs, wife of W Bro Roger Morss, a Member of the Lodge. Prior to this the Lodge had been the only one in Somerset not to have a Banner and everyone was extremely impressed with the quality of the finished article having taken over 1500 hours to make! The Lodge was very pleased to receive the support of many other Provinces and one of the pictures shows Brethren from the Dorset Masters Lodge. The Lodge Secretary, W Bro David Perkins gave an account of the Consecration Meeting and has also produced a written history of the Lodge, copies of which are available from him at this address. Following the Meeting, the Brethren convened at the Hilton Hotel to enjoy an excellent luncheon and round off a very memorable day. 100 years ago the Consecration Luncheon had been held in Bath Assembly Rooms and cost the princely sum of 3/6d (17 1/2 pence in todays money!!)

Click on thumbnail for photo gallery

Vale of Brislington Lodge makes charity presentations

The Vale of Brislington Lodge Almoner, W. Bro. Paul Stubbs, mindful that the Alms Account had grown considerable over the years, suggested to the Committee that the money could do a lot more good if distributed to worthy causes than stagnating in a Bank Account.

Members were asked to check out their favoured Local Charities to see if they were in need of help with a particular project.
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Martyn Ducket put forward respectively Keynsham Mencap, St Keyna Primary School Foundation, Bittton Football Club under 14 Football Team and Keynsham Youth Centre.

Two further proposals were put by W. Bros. Alan Thompson and Darren Herbert which were to assist a child with learning difficulties and the 2020 Festival.
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Keynsham Mencap wanted help in purchasing a Minibus. Saint Keyna Primary School Foundation Stage required funds for the purchase of outdoor woodland play equipment to enhances the learning and development of children. This gives them the chance to enjoy the woodland, which offers an inspiring and magical learning experience. Bitton Football Club under 14s team were in dire need of new kit as the old ones were worn out.
Keynsham Youth Centre needed the money towards helping in the youth club work in general, by helping the young progress in life, and in particular in the fields of cooking , computer skills and by outings .Two young girls, Chloe aged 10 and Abe aged 8, recently lost their father Andrew aged 42. These girls are the grand-daughters of one of our Past Masters. One girl is progressing well at School, but the other is dyslexic and is having extra private tuition to help her. Their mother, a young widow, could do with some help towards the tuition fees. The 2020 Festival is self-explanatory.

At a Lodge Social Sunday Lunch at Keynsham Masonic Hall, to which our families, friends, Honorary Members, Widows and the Charities Representative were invited, Worshipful Brother Derrick Griffin presented a cheques for £500 to:- Paul Roberts of Mencap, Clair Hicks of St Keyna Primary School, Paul Buckland of Bitton under 14s. and to Kelly Low of Keynsham Town Council Youth Club. The other two cheques were presented on a separate occasion and made a Grand Total of £3000.

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W Bro Derrick Griffin presents a cheque to Paul Buckland of Bitton under 14s
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W Bro Derrick Griffin presents a cheque to Clair Hicks of St Keyna Primary School

News from Lodges May 2015

Forest of Mendip Lodge celebrates 50th anniversary


The Forest of Mendip Lodge celebrated 50 years of Freemasony at Rickford on the evening of Friday 29th May 2015.

The Lodge was honoured by the attendence of the P.G.M. R.W. Bro C.A.Stuart Hadler and the Provincial team, the Provincial team conducted a third degree ceremony with W.Bro David Mason as the Worshipful Master, the candidate being Bro Steve Caswell.

The team were ably assisted by the Provincial choir made up of members of St Cecilia Lodge.

The evening was a happy and joyous occasion and enjoyed by all 63 brethren who attended.

Click on thumbnail for photo gallery

WM Steve Booker of Royal Somerset Lodge raises £2400 for his chosen charities

W Bro Steve Booker completed his year in the master’s chair in October 2014 during which time the lodge had raised £2400 for his chosen charities.
W Bro Steve selected two well-known charities, those being The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the RNLI.
He decided to split the monies equally between the charities and then set about trying to visit both and to personally present the cheques.
The first visit was to the Air Ambulance base in Henstridge where along with other lodge members he presented a cheque for £1200 to the crew on duty that day, there followed a talk by the crew and a good look at the helicopter which has our Somerset Freemasonry badge on it. Steve also presented a cheque for £2000 on behalf of the Grand Charity.
The next visit was to the RNLI Headquarters and Training college in Poole where again a small group from the lodge accompanied him. After a cheque presentation of £1200 made to Jessica Hancock the Sales & Events Co-Ordinator, the group were given a 90 minute tour of the training college and were able to view all the latest facilities which ensure that our lifeboat crews are trained to the highest standard, which we are told is the best in the world. We were allowed to try out a state of the art lifeboat simulator which was not for the fainthearted.
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W Bro Steve Booker made a presentation of £1200 to Jessica Hancock ,sales and events Co-coordinator for the RNLI

Left to right: Bro Terry Hulbert, W Bro Steve Booker, Jessica Hancock sales and events Co-coordinator for the RNLI , W Bro Richard Dredge & V W Bro Ray Guthrie.

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Royal Somerset lodge members presenting the two cheques to the helicopter crew

From left to right: W Bro John Collier, Bro Terry Hulbert, W Bro Dave Lyons, Max Hoskins (Pilot) W Bro Steve Booker (Master of The Lodge) W Bro Richard Dredge , Steve Freeman (Medic) & Dr Jeremy Reed ( Consultant)

Grand Superintendent celebrates 50 years in Freemasonry

A unique occasion occurred at the Regular Lodge Meeting of Coleridge Lodge No 1750 and meeting at Clevedon in Somerset when the R.W.Bro C.A.Stuart Hadler, Provincial Grand Master for Somerset had the pleasure of presenting to V.W.Bro D.John Bennett, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent a Certificate marking 50 years since his Initiation into the Lodge. The first time in Somerset when the Provincial Grand Master had presented such a Certificate to the Grand Superintendent.

The Provincial Grand Master stated what a great pleasure that it was to be able to make the presentation and congratulated the Grand Superintendent on his achievement. In reply E Comp John Bennett thanked Coleridge Lodge for its support during the last 50 years and pointed out to all Brethren how important the Lodge was and continued to be in his life.

To the surprise of those present he then gave a brief talk on the reason that the Lodge had been named Coleridge Lodge when it was founded in 1878 and named after Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It was in October 1795 that Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the great Romantic Poet, married Sarah Fricker at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol and then brought her to Clevedon for their Honeymoon. He then introduced to the Lodge W Bro Tim Coleridge, a Past Master of the Vale of Haldon Lodge No 7949 meeting at Dawlish in the Province of Devonshire, Tim Coleridge is the Great Poet’s four times Great Grandson. This is the first time that the Coleridge Lodge had any contact with the Coleridge Family.

Tim Coleridge’s Grandfather was also a Freemason and was at one time the Vicar of Leatherhead in Surrey.
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Queen’s College Taunton Lodge no. 6988 – 65th Anniversary Meeting sees Ian Gibson presented with his 50 year certificate

At the 65th Anniversary Meeting which started at 10.15am, VW Bro John Winston, Deputy PGM Somerset was invited by the WM Phil Jubb to take the Chair and conduct the ceremony of Raising Bro Geoffrey Browne. On this special occasion, guests came from as far as Lanzarote, Portugal and Guernsey where fraternal visits have been made. The meeting also brought together Bro Jim Virjee (SW), his son and two older brothers.

Subsequently, a Ladies Charity Lunch was held at Oake Manor Golf Club where approximately 100 dined. In the relaxed atmosphere of the dining room and with his wife, Brenda looking on, WBro Ian Gibson was presented with his 50 year certificate by VW Bro John Winston (Ian was initiated into Queen’s Lodge on 8th May 1965) who thanked him for his remarkable commitment. Ian’s work as an Agricultural Advisor to the UN had, over many years, taken him to nearly 100 countries but he still returned to fulfil his responsibilities when Worshipful Master! A unanimous vote in lodge earlier had conferred Honorary Membership on Ian as a mark of gratitude.

It had been anticipated a raffle and other monies would raise around £1,000 to be matched by a maximum £1,000 ‘match funding’ from the Province. However, the success of the subsequent auction, skilfully conducted by WBro Geoff Dolling, will enable the Lodge to donate a total of £3,500 to Musgrove Leukaemic Group Somerset. The Somerset County Gazette wasted no time in publishing on their website an article sent in by WBro Jim Wiltshire, Charity Steward. A similar report was submitted to other Somerset newspapers.
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John Winston DPGM presents Ian Gibson with his fifty year certificate

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Presentation to Musgrove Leukaemic Group

Royal Naval Lodge Visit Malta

The Royal Naval Lodge is intensely proud of its Maltese heritage, dating back to 1899, and when an invitation was received about 12 months ago to join with St John and St Paul Lodge no.349 in the celebration of its Bi-Centenary in Valetta, Malta, it was an opportunity not to be missed. With the advantage of having a Past Master of RN now resident in Malta, in the person of W Bro Jim Hunter, who is also a member of 349, arrangements were soon set in motion for a group visit.

The event held on Wednesday 6th May 2015 had attracted a lot of overseas interest and was attended by RW Bro Sir David Hugh Wootton, the Assistant Grand Master and others from the United Grand Lodge of England, amongst some150 visitors. The Lodge Meeting was held at the hugely impressive Sacra Infermeria, Valletta, the ancient Hospital, and a true Maltese heritage site, constructed by the Knights of St John Hospitalier almost 500 years ago.

The proceedings got under way with the necessary processions of dignitaries into the Lodge, including the Grand Inspector for Malta, VW Bro Dr Lawrence L Porter, and finally the Asst Grand Master and other Grand officers, with our very own W Bro Jim Hunter, and W Bro Colin Jones playing their parts as ADC and DC respectively.

Appropriate welcomes were made and warmly acknowledged, and we then heard the Minutes of the consecration in 1815 and of the Centenary in 1915 read.

There followed a brief and most interesting history of the Lodge over its first 200 years given by VW Bro Dr Lawrence Porter, during which he mentioned all the other Lodges which had been consecrated subsequently in Malta, and that were here represented today. On the mention of Royal Naval Lodge no. 2762, the 13 members ( including one Past Member) present gave an united court bow to the Worshipful Master. We were very pleased to see a former member, W Bro Roy Starling PAGDC, in attendance. He had come to Malta with his 3 daughters as chaperones. I believe Roy has the distinction of being the last District Senior Grand Warden, and he was honoured accordingly.

We then heard proclaimed the Bi-Centenary Warrant which was then presented to the WM.

There followed a fascinating and most appropriate Oration given by R W Bro David Kenneth Williamson, the Past Assistant Grand Master, who is an Honorary Member of the Lodge of St John and St Paul no.349.

We were advised of a new History of the Lodge written by W Bro Theodore Eddie Kalogeropoulos and translated into English by W Bro George Poulimenosthe first two copies of which were then presented to the WM and the RW Asst Grand Master.

The Lodge meeting was closed in due form and copies of the book most generously given to all who attended before all present attended a celebratory banquet in the same wonderful vaulted setting of the Sacra Infermeria, during which the customary toasts and responses were enjoyed by all.

The RN contingent comprised WM: W Bro Bill Spregg, SW and Almoner:Bro Chris Kelly, JW: Bro Dan Bowler, Treasurer: W Bro Derek Marpole, Secretary: W Bro Mike Waterman, DC:W Bro Neil Tinkley, Charity Steward: W Bro Bill Clark, SD: Bro Mark Twist, JD: Bro Martin Duan, Asst Sec and LIO: W Bro Scott Gibbons, and Steward Bro Ed Cole, with W Bros Jim Hunter and Roy Starling joining our greetings. Another Somerset Brother, W Bro John Hawkins of 7973 Glastonbury also made the trip and has contributed some good pictures of the assembled group.

We were accompanied by Rachel, Hazel, Penny, Margaret, and Sally, wives respectively of Bill S, Bill C, Derek, Neil and Ed, to enrich the occasion. A separate and special Ladies Dinner was held at the Fortina Hotel on the evening of the Lodge meeting.

We must thank W Bro Jim Hunter, his local Lodge Secretary and his wife, W Bro Terry and Maggie Roberts, and VW Bro Lawrence Porter and his wife, Jacqui for all their help and the latter also for their quite exceptional reception at the Palazzo Promontorio, Wardija on the following day.
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News from Lodges March 2015

Paul Davies Celebrates his 50 years in masonry

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Sir Thomas de Cheddre Lodge No. 9188, saw one of its founder members honoured at its meeting in March when W.Bro. Paul Davies was presented with a much prized certificate to mark his 50 years loyal service to Freemasonry by the Very Worshipful Bro. Ray Guthrie, Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
Paul, who hails from Swansea, has enjoyed a very distinguished career in Freemasonry, having been initiated into Talbot Lodge, Swansea, on the 17th March 1965 and raised on 17 November the same year. Moving from Wales, he joined St Dunstan’s Lodge in Somerset on the 21st January 1973 and became their organist for a number of years. Since then he has been a member of several other lodges in the Province of Somerset, namely Winscombe, St Celia and Somerset Masters, and was a founder member of Sir Thomas de Cheddre Lodge on 6th October 1986, serving twice as Worshipful Master in 2001 and 2002 and, again, fulfilling the role of lodge Organist. He was given Honorary membership of the Lodge on 13th December 2013.
A keen and very accomplished organist and pianist, who has also acted as organist for Winscombe Lodge and for Baily Lodge in Bristol, Paul was promoted to Provincial Grand Organist in 2008, and to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2014.
A dedicated family man, Paul currently lives in Cheddar with his wife Ann, and they have a son Huw, who is also a member of Sir Thomas de Cheddre Lodge, a daughter Ceri, and three very energetic grandchildren.
Speaking of his award Paul said, ‘Freemasonry has been such an important part of my life for so many years and I feel very honoured to receive this certificate which means an enormous amount to me. ’

David Hodges - Lodge Mentor

Neville Harrison Celebrates 50 years in masonry

At the meeting of Progressive Science lodge on Tuesday 7th April, W.Bro. Neville Harrison was presented with a certificate marking his 50 years as a Craft mason. The presentation was made by V.W.Bro. Ray Guthrie who included an interesting and informative history about Bro. Neville.
Initiated into Old Priory lodge 2594 (Nottinghamshire) in March 1965, Neville became Master in 1977, installing his own brother as his successor. A move to Somerset saw Neville join Progressive Science lodge 5007 in 1980, where he was installed as Maser in 2008 having previously given the lodge several years of service in the capacity of ADC, DC and Asst.Sec, and was appointed to PPJGW in 1991.
Neville became a joining member of Somerset Masters lodge 3746 in 2007 and is active in several other Orders including Royal Arch Chapter, Mark, Rose Croix and Red Cross of Constantine.
Undoubtably a very active and involved mason.
Full C.V.

Unanimity and Sincerity 261 welcome new Initiate

On 15th April The Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity were pleased to welcome Hamilton Bowring as a new member. Hamilton was introduced by Brother Chris Exeley and, being only 22, is by far the youngest member of the lodge. It is rumoured that the average age of lodge members has been lowered quite considerably by his presence.

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The picture shows Bro. Chris Exeley being welcomed by
W.Bro. Roger Earthrowl, WM

Unanimity and Sincerity donate to local causes

Presentations made earlier this year by the outgoing WM of Unanimity & Sincerity No 261, W.Bro Chris Partridge. The first to St Margarets Hospice for £1000 was raised as a result of the Lodge Ladies Festival in Cheltenham, pictured right. In addition donations were made to three local charities which, with generous match funding from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset, enabled the lodge to present cheques for £500 to Mind in Taunton & West Somerset, £1000 to Somerset Sight and £1000 to Escape Support Group.

Mind in Taunton & West Somerset was set up in 1982; their objectives are to promote good mental health, to encourage greater understanding of mental health issues, to provide high quality support and to enable genuine involvement and consultation in the development of all mental health services.

Somerset Sight provide services, training and leisure activities that help maintain independence and improve the quality of life of those affected by sight loss.

Escape Support Group has been encouraging special needs children in the Somerset area for almost 15 years. A charity supporting families raising children to enjoy life. By providing activities, days out and occasional holidays for the whole family. The charity is staffed and governed by parents who belong to the charity.

Report by W.Bro. Jack Leeming LIO

Vivary Initiate their youngest candidate

The candidate for initiation at the February meeting of Vivary Lodge in Taunton was Aaron Miller who was just 20 years of age at the time – special dispensation having been obtained for his admission to masonry.

Aaron expressed an interest in Freemasonry when a Vivary guest, W Bro Nick Male was returning home from a meeting, and wearing the provincial tie called at a ‘One Stop’ shop where Aaron was working the late shift after a day at College.

A short discussion ensued, Nick noted his phone number and he was duly invited to a Gentlemen’s evening. There he met members including the PGM and afterwards continued to express an interest in masonry and reaffirmed his wish to join.

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The picture shows Bro. Aaron Miller taking wine with
W.Bro. Chris George, WM

All who met Aaron have been impressed by his enthusiasm and ambitions and have no doubt that he has the maturity and character which will make him good mason. This despite being him less than half the age most brethren are when they join.

All in Vivary Lodge wish Aaron well with his studies and hopefully he will be able to enjoy Masonic friendship for many years - possibly whilst attending University. One Guest of the lodge said that with Aaron joining at an early age, and advances in medical science he could in due course be presented with a certificate for 100 years in Freemasonry.

Report by W.Bro. Peter Light - LIO

Somerset Farmers keep it in the family

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Somerset Farmers lodge 9180 - Installation meeting

Monday 23rd March 2015 saw a packed to capacity St.Mary’s Chapel to witness the Installation of Bro. Duncan Holton.

W.M., Norman Crang relinquished the Chair in favour of W.Bro. Alan Holton who then installed his son Duncan Holton into the Chair of King Solomon in excellent and time honoured fashion.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of brethren from Somerset and other provinces and ably overseen by W.Bro. Gerry Chilcott Provincial Senior Grand Warden.
The meeting concluded with a most convivial festive board and all attendees left having had a delightful evening.

David Burke - LIO

Pictured above L to R - W.Bro. Gerry Chilcott Pr.SGW, W.Bro. Alan Holton, W.Bro. Duncan Holton W.M., W.Bro. Norman Crang

Estune Lodge Receive 4th 2020 Festival Ashlar

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The Nailsea Temple was packed on Tuesday 17th March for Estune Lodge’s full programme at the penultimate meeting of the year led by the Secretary and the Past Masters of the Lodge who conducted the ceremony of Passing.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V W Bro. Raymond Guthrie presented two Grand Lodge certificates, one to Bro N. Blunsdon and one to Bro P.Smith.

He also presented a 4th Ashlar to the Worshipful Master Bro M.N.Hobbs and congratulated the Lodge on its achievement.

The Worshipful Master presented a £250 donation to the Deputy PGM for ‘Somerset Masonic Charities’ and a further £750 was presented for local charities.

Two candidates were proposed for initiation and one joining member was added to the ever growing number of members.
In attendance were W.Bro J.N.Peters PAGDC and W.Bro R.Ellis Prov G Secretary and D.Maddern Prov G Charity Stwd, whose promotions to Grand Lodge were announced, along with W.Bro M. Slocombe whose promotion to Grand Office in Supreme Grand Chapter was announced.

Estune have added to the list of local charities they support by making an initial donation to the value of £250 to the Springboard Charity whose aim is to support children and their families in North Somerset with additional needs from birth to 5 years.

Based in Clevedon they were started by a small group of local parents in 1986 who desperately needed help with their very young children. They have continued to put children and families first and feel it essential to respond to their needs.
Any parent or carer is welcome to contact them and arrange a time to visit. Sometimes children and families are referred to Springboard by their health visitor, speech and language therapist or physiotherapist.

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Since their early days in 1986, Springboard have worked with just over 1200 children and their families and now provide a vital service for over 100 every week.
These services are highly valued and respected by parents and carers and the statutory services, local preschools, schools and local and national charities.

The photograph shows W.Bro Martin Slocombe Lodge Charity Steward and Senior Deacon Gerry Packer visiting the charity and presenting a selection of very much needed play equipment for the children.

John W Wyatt
Lodge Secretary

Olympian Lodge presents sports wheelchairs and football kit

On Thursday 29th January, Worshipful Master Derek Wilton and W.Bro. Alan McMurray of the Olympian Lodge joined a large audience of North Somerset Primary and Secondary head teachers, Physical Education leads and Chairs of Governors at the Cadbury House Hotel at Yatton to listen to an address from Baroness Sue Campbell CBE and to make a number of Charity presentations.

Baroness Sue Campell is the Chairperson of the Youth Sport Trust and has received 10 honorary doctorates, in June 2003 was awarded a Commander of the British Empire for her services to sport. She spoke passionately about the importance of Physical Education and School Sport, amongst other things highlighting the contribution it can make to ‘Whole School Improvement’ and ‘creating a life-long habit of physical activity’.

During the proceedings W.Bro Derek Wilton presented High Down Junior School Head teacher Sue Parker and PE lead Del Shayler a full football strip for the inaugural North Somerset U11 Primary Girls Representative team.
Shane German Schools Sports Manager thanked the Olympian Lodge for providing the kit. He commented that North Somerset has run a primary boys squad for 8 years now and the formation of a girl's squad has been long overdue. Girls and Women's football is a growing and thriving participation sport which was perfectly illustrated a few weeks ago with the Women's National side almost filling Wembley Stadium for their friendly versus Germany. “We are keen to establish a Girls pathway from U10's through to U16 and the formation of the U11's squad is the first piece of the jigsaw and will hopefully be the catalyst for years of success and opportunity”.
Prior to Baroness’ Campbell’s address presentations were made to local community clubs and schools by W.Bro. Alan McMurray. He made ‘Community Sport’ the focus of his ‘Chairman’s Project’ during his year as Chairman of North Somerset Council raising just under £5,000 through charitable donations from Individuals, Companies the Province of Somerset and Olympian Lodge.

He thanked the Olympian Lodge for contributing funds to purchase one of two sports wheelchairs donated to the North Somerset Athletics Club. He then formally presented ‘Motivation’ sports wheelchairs to Chris Millard from North Somerset Athletics Club, Kevin Ogden from Scorpions Wheelchair Basketball and Vikki Mitchell from TLF Dance Group.

These specially made wheelchairs will provide athletes and young people with disabilities, an opportunity to access club based activity.
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Standing: W.Bro. Alan McMurray, W.Bro. Derek Wilton, Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Vikki Mitchell from TLF Dance Group, Chris Millard from North Somerset Athletics Club
Seated: Kevin Ogden from Scorpions Wheelchair Basketball, David Constantine MBE of Brockley based Charity Motivation.

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Baroness Sue Campell CBE, W.Bro. Derek Wilton, High Down Junior School Head teacher Sue Parker and PE lead Del Shayler

News from Lodges February 2015

PGM Installs Past PGM in the Chair of Perpetual Friendship

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Monday 12th January 2015 was a milestone not only for the Lodge of Perpetual Friendship No. 135, but also for R.W. Bro. Stanley Hopkins, Past Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Somerset who, on that evening, was installed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Perpetual Friendship.

On that evening - the Lodge’s 251st Installation Ceremony, the Lodge was opened by the Master, W. Bro. David Marsden, after which R.W. Bro. C.A. Stuart Hadler entered the Lodge with an escort and was proffered the gavel by the W. M. This was declined with thanks in the usual manner.

David then conducted the meeting up to the point of Installation, whereupon he once again proffered the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who, to much surprise, accepted the offer to conduct the Installation Ceremony - the Master Elect, sitting in the west, nearly fell from his chair, took a sharp intake of breath before his face filled with surprise and beamed with elation!

R.W. Bro. C.A.Stuart Hadler then proceeded with the ceremony and placed R.W.Bro. Stanley Hopkins in the Chair of King Solomon. Having been installed, the new Worshipful Master invested his officers for the ensuing year, before closing this unique ceremony.

R.W. Bro. Stanley was initiated into the Prudence and Industry Lodge No. 1953 back in 1962 and became Master in 1972 and, after progressing through various Provincial Offices, he became Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Somerset from 1991 until 2002. He has also been Worshipful Master of Royal Alpha Lodge No 16 - the Grand Master’s personal Lodge, Somerset Masters’ Lodge No 3746, and Somerset Farmers’ Lodge No 9180. He was also a founder member of Sylvanus Lodge No 9741. In each of these Lodges he still takes an active roll as he also does in the various side degrees to which he belongs. Furthermore he undertakes other important duties connected with the United Grand Lodge of England where his knowledge and wisdom is well-respected.

The installation of a Past Provincial Grand Master as Worshipful Master of any Lodge is an extremely rare event and certainly the first for the Lodge of Perpetual Friendship. However, this Lodge was also fortunate enough to have initiated Charles Kemmys Kemmys Tynte on 27th September 1817 who, only three years later in 1820, became their Worshipful Master. Later that year, on 28th December, at the same time as being a Member of Parliament for Bridgwater, he also became the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset – a post he held for some forty years.

R.W. Bro. Stanley’s tenure as Worshipful Master starts an exciting and no doubt challenging year as he leads the Lodge of Perpetual Friendship’s approach towards enhancing recruitment and halting the decline of membership within the Craft.

Queen’s College Taunton fundraising for Cancer Research

Mayor and Masons at Big Breakfast
Richard Teague the Master of Queen’s College Masonic Lodge visited Cancer Research UK’s Big Breakfast event at Temple Methodist Church on the morning of Friday 6th March, taking with him a cheque for £570 from the Lodge. The Mayor and Mayoress of Taunton Deane, Cllr and Mrs Dave Durdan were also there adding their support. Alan Reeve the Treasurer for Cancer Research UK’s Taunton Committee took a break from serving meals to receive the cheque and offered in exchange a full cooked breakfast! Alan said, “We are delighted to receive this donation as we are currently funding two clinical trials throughout Somerset, based at Musgrove Park Hospital. One involves early stage prostate cancer and the other advanced ovarian cancer”. A team of Cancer Research supporters, including Richard’s wife Di, cooked more than 150 breakfasts which raised in excess of £750.

Report by W.Bro. Jim Wilshire, Charity Steward, Queens 6988
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Pictured left to right: Di Teague (Richard’s wife), Renee Durdan (Mayor’s wife), Alan Reeve, (Treasurer of Cancer Research UK’s Taunton Committee), Richard Teague, (Master of Queen’s College Taunton Lodge), Councillor Dave Durdan (Mayor of Taunton Deane).

Taunton Deane Installation

Taunton Deane Lodge under the auspices of the Worshipful Master W. Bro. Andy Williams and his wife Lian held the annual Ladies Night at the Sergeants Mess 40 Commando Royal Marines Norton Fitzwarren on Saturday 28th February where over £500.00p was raised for the Royal Marines Charity.

On Thursday 5th March 2015, W. Bro. Andy was scheduled to Install his successor Bro. Jon Upsher but was unfortunately was taken ill with flu and was not able to attend.
W. Bro. Kevin Hill stepped in at less than 24 hours notice and Installed Bro. Jon into the Chair of King Solomon.

After the ceremony the brethren retired to an excellent Festive Board supplied by Peter Catlow caterer at the Masonic Hall in Taunton.
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The photograph is of the Installing Master W. Bro. Kevin Hill, W. Bro. Jon Upsher and VW Bro. J Peter Layzell representing the PGM.

W.Bro. John Maher celebrates 50 years in Masonry

At 96 years of age and unable to travel from his home in Birmingham for a presentation in Estune Lodge. Three brethren from the Lodge travelled to Birmingham to present W.Bro. John Lawrence Maher's 50 years' service certificate to him at his home on the actual day. Then to take him out to lunch.
Below is John's history, which was read out at the meeting, along with some photographs. It turned out to be a great day and John was delighted to receive his certificate from us on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master.
Attending was John W Wyatt Lodge Secretary, Martin Slocombe Charity Steward and Chips Rafferty our photographer.

Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in the Province of Somerset.
Born 20th October 1919
Initiated into Truth Lodge No.1458 in Manchester on 27th February 1965.
Joined Estune Lodge No. 6817 on 21st November 1972.
Worshipful Master of Estune Lodge 1985-86.
Past Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Somerset 1991.
Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works Somerset 2005.
Elected Honorary Member of Estune Lodge in 2008.

Report by W.Bro. John Wyatt
Secretary - Estune lodge No.6817

A proud day for W.Bro. John
Click on the image for more photo’s

In 1945 John was mentioned in despatches for distinguished service by King George V1.
When the volcano Vesuvius in Italy erupted on 18th March 1944 he was given the task of evacuating the villagers in the path of the lava flow. He organised transport, coaches and jeeps, and with six soldiers under his command they saved many lives just 10 miles from the German lines

Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity 261 Installation

Wednesday 21st January brought a host of distinguished Brethren to Taunton for the installation of W.Bro Roger Earthrowl as Master of The Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity No 261.
The photograph shows the Deputy Provincial Grand Master V.W. Bro Raymond Guthrie and the Installing Master W.Bro Chris Partridge in support of the new Master.
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The Installation ceremony for 261 marked an important occasion for W.Bro Ken Sherring who has been, for many years, our Lodge Organist but has sadly had to reduce his workload and travelling somewhat. To mark his playing retirement from 261 Honorary Membership was conferred on W. Bro Ken along with the gratitude and good wishes of all the Brethren. The photograph shows W.Bro Ken receiving a copy of the Book of Ritual from W.Bro Chris Partridge as Installing Master whilst W.Bro Roger Earthrowl remains in what appears to be a 'State of Ecstacy' having become Master of the lodge.
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SMFA (North West) to hold inaugural meeting at Nailsea

The Somerset Masonic Friendship Association has now been established in the north west area of the province incorporating all the Lodges which meet in the Masonic Halls in Blagdon, Clevedon, Nailsea, Yatton and Weston super Mare and is open to all Lodge Members, Widows, Widowers, elderly Masons and their partners, and those who for whatever reason no longer attend Lodge meetings.

On Thursday 12th March the President of the SMFA, Rt.W. Bro Stanley H.A.F. Hopkins will be giving the opening address at the inaugrual meeting at Nailsea Masonic Hall followed by a most interesting illustrated talk and a two course roast lunch. It would be lovely to see you there, and you will be made most welcome.

For further details about the SMFA contact Martin Yates


News from Lodges January 2015

Queens College Lodge "Go Commando"

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Following a most successful fund raising Christmas meeting of Queens College Lodge, Military wives and children are now to benefit from a £2,000 donation.
Recognising that 2014 was the centenary of the start of WW1, Di Teague and her husband Richard, the current Master of Queen’s College Masonic Lodge, decided the proceeds from the Lodge’s main fundraising event of the year should go to a military charity. They chose ‘Go Commando’, a charity set up to help families of Royal Marine Commandos by providing crèche facilities, playgroups and fitness classes.
Following a highly enjoyable Christmas lunch to which members’ partners and other guests were invited, a raffle and auction took place. The proceeds were increased by Match Funding from the Masonic Province of Somerset. Last Thursday a cheque for £2,000 was handed over at Norton Manor Camp.
Pictured are Di Teague, with her husband Richard, handing the cheque to Peter Berks, Finance Director of ‘Go Commando’. Also in the picture is Lieutenant Colonel Alex Janzen OBE, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando.
The donation was particularly poignant as several former pupils of Queen’s College have joined the Commandos. One, Captain John White, was severely injured in Afghanistan, losing three limbs.
Peter Berks, the parent of a former pupil at Queen’s said “I am most grateful to Queen’s Masonic Lodge in supporting us. This donation will be a great help for what is a Taunton based charity which supports all Royal Marine Commando families”.
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The members of Queen’s College Taunton Lodge are mainly, but not exclusively, former pupils and those with a connection to the school. The Lodge which meets four times a year in Taunton, regards charitable giving as a priority and last year donated over £4,000 mainly to local charities.

Pictured left to right
Mrs Di Teague, Lieutenant Colonel Alex Janzen OBE, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando
W.Bro. Richard Teague - Worshipful Master and
Mr. Peter Berks - "Go Commando" charity

Forest of Mendip Lodge visit Tideway

The Forest of Mendip Lodge Wanderers made their first visit of 2015 to Western Tideway Lodge at Avonmouth on the 19th January. 14 brethren attended including one of our Entered Apprentices, to witness the Initiation of Bro Ian Davis, carried out in excellent fashion by W Bro David Mountford the WM and his Officers. The WM is in the centre of the photograph at the back and the Initiate is bottom right.
Although the weather was very cold outside, a warm welcome was given to all. The festive board included the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties along with the obligatory drop of whisky.
We would like to thank all the Brethren of Western Tideway for their hospitality and friendship.
Story by Ray Beckingham
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Oh Yes They Did! - Great time had by all at Bath Panto

Each year the Masonic Hall Trust in Bath engage the services of a professional touring pantomime company to entertain the children and grandchildren. It is free for children (a £5 donation is asked from any accompanying adults towards costs) Every year the children absolutely love it and each year someone is given a good first impression of Freemasonry.
This years performance of Cinderella was more popular than ever with children bringing parents and grandparents from as far as Yatton and Clevedon Lodges, as well as a small group of boys from the Bath Boys Brigade. Everyone had a great time and went away full of the Christmas spirit.

Click on Photo to see the gallery

Steve Parsons Receives MBE

Stephen Parsons PPrGReg, a founder of the Yatton Lodge of Hospitality - No. 9299, has been honoured in the New Year’s Honours list by HM The Queen as a Member of the British Empire for his ‘services to education and the community’. Stephen was initiated into the Royal Sussex Lodge of Hospitality, No 187, Province of Bristol, becoming Worshipful Master in 1991. Stephen and his wife Penny live in Backwell in North Somerset.

“Stephen joined the Bristol Cathedral School as a Chorister in September 1962. He stayed in active touch with the Ex-Choristers’ Association before becoming a Governor in 2002. He was appointed Chair of the Governors in 2004 and in 2007-08 oversaw the complex process through which the school was converted to a state Academy. It opened in September 2013 with the new title of Bristol Cathedral Choir School, due mainly to his own dedication and determination. Stephen is also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol

Until recently he was Chairman of the Quartet Community Foundation, which matches donors with local causes and charities. Since 2010, when he became Chairman, the Community Foundation has given £10,000,000 to local community needs and the endowment has built to £22,000,000. In Somerset the Community Foundation has raised £1.3m to give help to those who suffered from the disastrous flooding on the Somerset Levels during the winter of 2013/14 and has been working closely with the Somerset Masonic Flood Relief Fund to give financial help to those in the most need, from the funds and donations given by Freemasons throughout England and Wales.

The Province of Somerset wishes to congratulate Stephen Parsons on this most deserved honour. His community work over 50 years embodies the true principals of Freemasonry.
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