Somerset Freemasons

Provincial News 2017

Provincial News November 2017

 

Somerset Freemasons making a difference


The Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, Stuart Hadler, presided over a meeting held at the Nailsea Masonic Centre when over £60,000 was donated to several local charities. Members of Lodges from North Somerset meeting in Masonic Centres located in Nailsea, Clevedon, Yatton and Weston Super Mare together with local dignitaries and representatives of charities enjoyed this special event held to celebrate Somerset Freemasons Making a Difference.

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As part of the Tercentenary celebrations of Freemasonry, Somerset members donated £30,000 to the two Air Ambulances that service the Province of Somerset. GWAA and Somerset & Dorset.
Anna Perry, the CEO of the Great Western Air Ambulance, accepted the £15,000 donation and gave a summary of current activities and future plans to all the members present.

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Ann Juby, of the Children’s Hospice South West, accepted a donation made by the Masonic Charitable Foundation. She also explained all the help that Somerset Freemasons have given since the opening of the Charlton Farm Hospice. Special computer equipment worth over £50,000 had been installed in 2016 by the “LifeLites” Charity for children to use and many donations had been received in 2017 to help with the day-to-day provision of care.

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Alexis Wood of “See Change” a charity formerly known in Bristol as the Julian House Trust. Julian House works for a just society where socially excluded people are supported and empowered to build sustainable, independent lives. She explained the work of the newly named Charity and the support that it provides. She told all those attending the meeting about the bicycle workshops that renovates and resells them to raise fund. A number of those attending promised to donate bikes.

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Alison Sopp, Director of Fundraising, of the Weston Hospicecare thanked Somerset Freemasons for another donation of £1900 towards the running costs of the home in Uphill. Over 80% of the running costs has to be raised from the local community.

Ian Riddell, representing the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre located in Pill, accepted a gift of £1600 from the outgoing Master of the Estune Lodge, Bob Cooke. Its members had raised these funds during his year in office from raffles at social events. The Provincial Grand Master added a further £500 to make the total £2400.

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Susan Brown, representing the Conquest Centre located near Taunton, told of all the activities that it provides to disabled people in the community to have the chance to participate in equine activities. The Charity received £4000 from the Masonic Charity Foundation earlier in the year.
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Matthew Jacobs, Fundraising Manager of Designability, told the assembled audience about the work they do in designing and making equipment for disabled children. He demonstrated a “Wizzy Bug” that the charity supplies nationally to help children with mobility.

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Designability had received a further grant of £38,250 to help with the production and distribution of this special mobility scooter. The Masonic Charitable Foundation has now given £150,000 to the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering for this and other projects.
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Sir David Hugh Wootton AGM pays a visit to the Adair Club

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AsstGrand Master Sir David Wootton visits the Adair Club

The Adair Club for New & Young Masons www.youngmasons.co.uk entertained a very special visitor on Monday November 6th 2017, non-other than the Assistant Grand Master himself, Sir David Hugh Wootton. Sir David was attending the Somerset Masters Lodge the following day and wanted to meet members of the Club on a social basis over a drink. The temple was accordingly set up with overhead projector and screen and the dining room with a rather tempting buffet!

Chairman of the Adair Club Sam Mayer explained the ethos of the Club and outlined some of the events that they had been involved with over the past year which included a number of ‘socials’ at numerous hostelries, Karting, a Brewery tour and visits to various Lodges across the Province.



Pictured above, Sir David and the Provincial Grand Master enjoying a relaxed moment

Sam was followed by Matthew Redman of Sky Diving fame. Matt (Perpetual Friendship 135) and fellow mason Richard Winter (Admiral Blake 4692), parachuted from 15,000 feet (2.8 miles) in support of various charities including the Tercentenary Air Ambulance appeal. He was rewarded, he said, by having his picture printed on the front cover of Compass 46 – facing the wrong way! [There was a good reason for this – Ed]. He told the audience how freemasonry had helped him become more confident with public speaking and interacting with others. He said he enjoyed the comradery, formality and the charitable giving. He said that his next charitable challenge would be a Sponsored Masonic Fire and asked for volunteers. Further prompting revealed that the fire concerned was walking barefoot over hot embers! Volunteers were a little thin, so if you fancy the challenge, then contact matt at matthew.redman@auditel.co.uk

The AsstGM gave a most interesting and entertaining talk. He said he believed the future of Freemasonry lay in attracting younger members and pointed out that much was being done in that direction. Greater openness, the maintaining of standards, purposefulness and ‘social inclusion’- the bringing together people of different origins, backgrounds and faiths in a common activity in which we are all fundamentally equal and all play a part.
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He pointed out that Grand Lodge loved a euphemism and explained how the Board of General Purposes (BGP) set up the Membership Focus Group (MFG) to find out what was happening to today’s membership, assess the likely effect on tomorrow’s, and if they didn’t like it – which they didn’t – to decide what to do. They, in turn decided on a strategy called The Future of Freemasonry 2015 – 2020 and promptly formed the Improvement Delivery Group (IDG) to implement it! He said that he was out of the room at the time so they made him Chairman!

He explained that for a strategy to work it had to be embraced and understood by the membership. The IDG needed to show that it was including the Craft and Royal Arch in all areas of the Country. To this end there are 16 members on the committee including our own PGM, Stuart Hadler who heads up the Education Group, which is creating a store of on-line masonic learning materials, which will be accessible in a virtual learning environment.

The strategy talks about effective governance, a leadership development programme, the attraction and retention of members and the sustainability of masonic halls. He touched on the success Universities Scheme www.universitiesscheme.com and said that work was being done on encouraging more Universities to become involved. He said “many Provinces now have new and young masons ‘clubs’ and it is great to be in Somerset with members of this one.”

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The brethren then retired to the dining room where a first class buffet had been prepared and the AsstGM and Provincial Rulers talked individually with many of the brethren and took in their views and ideas and made a few suggestions of their own.

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

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What a show!! Tercentenary Celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall

No one can doubt that UGLE can put on a show! The Royal Albert Hall reverberated to the voices of over 4000 freemasons singing the classic hymns I Vow to Thee My Country, Guide me O Though Great Redeemer and Jerusalem to the accompaniment of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Earlier, as Brethren entered the auditorium their voices dropped to a whisper as they took in the magnificent sight of the giant pair of Compasses reaching from floor to ceiling, the points of which straddled the black and white chequered floor of the square stage intersecting it at opposing 90 degree angles and bordered by a giant Square. The Compasses reflected the purple glow from the lighting and the All Seeing Eye looked down from above. This was a Temple! Located between the Compasses and set back slightly from them was a giant transparent holographic projection screen in the form of a circle. On either side, high above the stage were two LCD screens displaying the events in close-up for those seated in the more distant parts of the auditorium. The Grand Lodge had previously been opened in another room and called off, The Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent, the Deputy Grand Master and the Assistant Grand Master escorted into the Lodge in due form and the opening prayer offered up. There followed a spectacular theatre production Bringing Light to the World, which was entertaining, and in places amusing, that told the story through the eyes of a non-mason, of what Freemasonry is all about and of the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England. The Grand Master, HRH Edward, Duke of Kent, then addressed the brethren. The Grand Master had previously sent a Loyal Address to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and this was read out. In her letter of response The Queen thanked The Grand Master for his Address and sent her best wishes to us all. The afternoon finished with the singing of the first two verses of the National Anthem. Brethren who were travelling to the Battersea Evolution for the Tercentenary dinner then left for their coaches and the remainder disbursed across various hostelries in the local area, which attracted considerable interest from tourists, many of whom came over and asked ‘What’s It All About’? Keep an eye open for the next edition of Compass which will bring you more inside info from the Tercentenary Celebration. (Click on the image for more photographs)

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

Provincial News October 2017

 

Masonic Charitable Foundation donates £10,000 for Urgent Repairs

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Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset and Masonic Charitable Foundation donate £10,000 to Wells Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew at Wells recently put out an appeal for assistance with urgent repairs to the fabric of the building, and the local freemasons responded!

On Sunday October 15
th the PGM, Stuart Hadler presented the Dean of Wells, The Very Revd John Davies with a donation of £10,000. The presentation was made during Evensong where Stuart, when invited to address the congregation, informed them that Freemasonry had enjoyed close links with the Cathedral for nearly 150 years. He said “The Province of Somerset was delighted to support the rebuilding of the West Cloister with a donation of £60,000 a few years ago and we are equally pleased to make this donation today.”

The Dean responded by thanking the PGM and saying that the Freemasons were the first to respond to his appeal. The PGM was accompanied by members of the Provincial Executive, David Maddern and John Law of Benevolent Lodge 446 who used to meet in the old music room above the West Cloister.

The grant was made up of £2,500 from the Somerset Masonic Charities and £7,500 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

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Masonic Charitable Foundation presents £58,000 to Local Charities

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300 Charities – £3 million – 300 Years

The Votes Have Been Counted and THE RESULTS ARE IN!

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) in conjunction with the Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Masters nominated 300 charities across England and Wales to receive a grant of up to £25,000.

For the first time in the history of the masonic charities, the general public were asked how they would like the masonic community to support people in need and vote on a number of registered charities approved by the Province. Somerset was allocated a total of £58,000 to be shared between six nominated Charities


MCF Presents £58,000 to Local Charity at Taunton Masonic Hall

Sunday October 22nd was a very special day for six local charities. Each had received a grant from the MCF and the Provincial Grand Master, Stuart Hadler was there to make the Awards. The Taunton Masonic Hall had been set up as a theatre with an overhead projector and each charity was able to give a short presentation about their work and how the monies would be used. The highest award of £25,000 was won by heads Up Somerset and was presented separately at their HQ in Wells.


THE BALSAM CENTRE
£15,000
www.balsamcentre.org.uk Located in Wincanton, the Balsam Centre offers practical advice and assistance over a wide spectrum of community & social need. Health walks, art classes, games club, Men’s Shed, breast feeding support group, buggy walks, Café, mental health worker, nursery, Citizens Advice Bureau, legal clinic and much more.

SOMERSET SIGHT
£6000
www.somersetsight.org.uk Discovering you are losing your sight can be a devastating blow. Founded in 1919 Somerset Sight provides support with over 180 volunteers, each matched with someone who is sight impaired. Jacki Sopwith, who received the award on behalf of the charity, told Compass “It is estimated that across Somerset 19,000 people are living with visual impairment and one in five never leave home alone. The Annual cost to provide our service in Somerset amounts to around £350,000 so we are very grateful to the freemasons for this most generous award – and a big thank you to all those who voted for us”!

SURE
£4000
www.surecharity.co.uk Founded in 2000 and based at Musgrove Park Hospital, the Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment’s main emphasis is on helping the Beacon Cancer Centre remain a ‘Centre of Excellence’ by providing equipment for new and better treatments not always available within the NHS. Carole Summerfield, who accepted the award on behalf of the charity, said that they had raised over £2.5m and were now looking to raise another £1m for a new high specification MRI scanner. Over 25% of MRI usage is related to Cancer.


OPEN STORY TELLER
£4000
www.openstorytellers.org.uk Openstorytellers works to enrich and empower the lives of people who are marginalised because of learning and communication difficulties. Tracey Rose, Chair of the trustees explained that this is achieved through the telling and sharing of stories, which reduces feelings of isolation and encourages people to become actively involved with those around them.


HOME-START WEST SOMERSET
£4000
www.homestart-westsomerset.org.uk A voluntary organisation offering support, friendship and practical help to families at home with children aged under seven years, from Minehead to Watchet and Porlock to Dulverton. Clare Pound, manager of the charity said that they have 46 volunteers who regularly visit families with young children and offer help and support. Three new schemes are also under way – Bump Start for pre-natal and post-natal advice, Jump Start – a parent led peer to peer support group and School Start, a school readiness programme.

Also attending the meeting, many accompanied by their ladies, were representatives from 18 Lodges from around the province, the Deputy PGM John Winston, AsstPGM Ben Batley, Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Maddern and
Compass editor Barry Davies together with a number of members of the provincial team. To finish the afternoon visitors were taken on a tour of the masonic hall followed by a buffet and drinks in the dining room.

Barry Davies
Compass Editor
 

Heads Up Somerset Awarded £25,000 Tercentenary Grant

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300 Charities – £3 million – 300 Years

The Votes Have Been Counted and THE RESULTS ARE IN!

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) in conjunction with the Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Masters nominated 300 charities across England and Wales to receive a grant of up to £25,000.

For the first time in the history of the masonic charities, the general public were asked how they would like the masonic community to support people in need and vote on a number of registered charities approved by the Province. Somerset was allocated a total of £58,000 to be shared between six nominated Charities. The Votes have been cast and counted, and the Somerset Charity to receive the highest number of votes and the £25,000 grant is Heads Up Somerset.

Stuart Hadler PGM for Somerset accompanied by a number of Somerset freemasons met
Heads Up director, Bridget Harvey at the charities HQ is Wells. Stuart presented Bridget with the award and said that he was delighted that the donation would be used to create a Men’s Shed. Bridget responded saying “I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the masonic community. Funding our projects is always a concern and this fantastic grant will be an enormous help.” Following the presentation the visitors were taken on a tour of the facility including the building that is to be converted into the new Men’s Shed. The MCF grant will be used to bring the building up to standard by funding basic services such as electricity, water, drainage, heating, insulation and some equipment.

Who Are Heads Up Somerset?
Heads Up are a local charity working with individuals across the Mendip area of Somerset who are affected by mental health issues and other difficulties. Experienced staff provide care, support and guidance that enable their clients to develop and flourish physically, socially and individually.
Further information can be found at
www.headsupsomerset.org

What is a Men’s Shed?
A Men’s Shed is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A Men’s Shed offers this to a group of such men where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. They are places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction. Although it is called a Men’s Shed Women are welcome too.
Further information can be found at
www.menssheds.org.uk

Barry Davies
Compass Magazine
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Provincial News August 2017

 

Somerset Deliver the Tercentenary Banner to Devon


Despite inclement weather, the Province of Somerset safely delivered the special South West Tercentenary Banner to the Province of Devon. This event was held on Sunday 20th August in the magnificent Exeter Cathedral.

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This banner recognises the special fraternal bond that exists between the South West Provinces. It has toured to the Provincial Grand Lodges of the Channel Islands, Hampshire and IOW, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset. Devon will pass it on to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cornwall later in 2017.

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The Provincial Teams from Somerset and Devon paraded, in regalia, and met in the nave of Exeter Cathedral and the banner was formally passed over. Stuart Hadler, PGM of Somerset, and Ian Kingsbuery, PGM of Devon, greeted one another and expressed their delight to be able to publicly show and acknowledge the 300th Anniversary of the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England.

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Tercentenary Banner arrives in Somerset - Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance receive £30,000

Tuesday August 9th 2017 saw Brethren from the Provinces of Somerset and Dorset assemble at Henstridge Airfield near Sherborne to be escorted in convoy to the Operations Centre and Hangar of the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance Charity (DSAAC). There they met Bill Sivwright, the Charity’s CEO, and members of the Organisation. The occasion was a double celebration for both Provinces. Firstly it was to transfer the Tercentenary Banner from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dorset to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. Secondly it was to present the DSAAC with a donation of £30,000.

Tercentenary Banner

The original plan had been to fly the Tercentenary Banner, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Master for Dorset, into the event and for our Provincial Grand Master to fly it out in his own light aircraft. However, the weather had other ideas and, for safety reasons, the flights had to be cancelled. Despite this the Banner arrived safely, transported in the Dorset Team coach!

Richard Merrit, PGM Dorset, made the official presentation to Stuart Hadler (PGM Somerset) saying that during the time it had been in his Province’s possession it had been displayed in every Lodge room. On receiving the banner replied that, unfortunately, Somerset only have possession of the Banner for ten days and that this is during the “closed season” for most Lodges. However, it had been on display at the Provincial AGM on April 6th and many Brethren had taken the opportunity to view it there. Stuart assured Richard he would pass it on to the Province of Devonshire pure and unsullied as he now received it.

Tercentenary Appeal Presentation

Inside the hangar a stage had been set up where Stuart and Richard, in the presence of ninety Brethren and Guests, each presented Bill Sivwright with cheques for £15,000. Stuart told the assembled audience that Air Ambulance Services across the Countryside thousands of lives each year. Freemasonry recognises this and has donated considerable sums of money a National basis. He said “The Brethren of the Province of Somerset are delighted to be able to mark this historic moment in Freemasonry with this special donation in support of our local air Ambulance.” Richard added that he too was delighted to assist such a worthy organisation and, on behalf of the Brethren of the Province of Dorset, present a further £15,000.

Bill responded by saying that DAAAC deeply appreciated the support of the Freemasons and was proud that the aircraft carried the logo of Somerset on one side and the logo of Dorset on the other. He promised the monies raised would be put to good use and would doubtless save lives.

Dr Phil Hyde (Consultant in Paediatric Intensive Care) and Paul Owen (Critical Care Aircrew Paramedic) then gave a joint demonstration of a new automatic CPR Machine This device enables cardiac massage to take place both at the scene and within the confines of the Air Ambulance, which has limited headroom. It is this type of hi-tech lifesaving equipment that the Masonic Donation will be invested in.

The Brethren and guests then enjoyed a buffet lunch provided by the DSAAC and had the opportunity to view the new Augusta Westland 169 Air Ambulance Helicopter parked outside the hangar in readiness for a call out.

Don’t miss the next edition of Compass for further information on the Augusta Westland 169 Air Ambulance Helicopter.

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

Press release




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Inter Degree Golf Challenge

Surprise Victory for the Royal Arch Team

In 2009 the late W. Bro. Robin Bee came up with the idea of an Inter Degree Golf Challenge involving four teams (representing Craft, Royal Arch, Mark and Knights Templar) of six golfers competing for a Provincial Trophy. The Captains of these teams would be Peter Layzell, Barry Woodside, Ray Guthrie and Robin Bex respectively. The matches would be organised annually by each Captain in turn.

The first event, held at Clevedon Golf Club, was a great success and this year the Competition returned to Clevedon on Monday 7th August where Jon Mansell, who took over from Robin was our host.

The course was in splendid condition and, despite a gloomy forecast, the weather was fine with spells of sunshine and an absence of wind. It was ideal weather for golf although some of the scores didn’t reflect the good conditions!

The twenty-four golfers enjoyed good company with the keen rivalry kept in check for most of the day! With golf being played on a good course and in good weather the result was always going to be close; both the Royal Arch and Knights Templar Teams scoring 163 Stableford points. A better score on the back nine holes resulted in victory for the Royal Arch Team (much to their surprise) for the first time in the history of the event.


Following and excellent meal this year’s organiser, Jon Mansell, presented the trophy to Barry Woodside, Captain of the winning team (in the photograph from left to right; - Harry Price, Brian Pollard, Peter Ashby, Jon Mansell, Barry Woodside, John Hartry and John Knight.

Martyn Russell, a member of the KT team was the only golfer to score a two on any of the par three holes so won the magnificent sum of £46! (The drinks are on you Martyn).

We are already looking forward to next year’s competition which will be organised by the Mark Captain.

Ray Guthrie


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Cadogan Court Summer Fair 17th June

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Cadogan Court Fair - 2017
The sun was shining
and the gardens looking their best for the Cadogan Court Annual Fair on Saturday June 17th. Cadogan Court is the RMBI care home supported by the Provinces of Somerset, Devon & Cornwall. Proceeds from the Fair are used to enhance the lives of residents by purchasing items not normally covered by RNBI funding.
This year’s Fair was well supported with a strong contingent from Somerset. Bill & Sandra Wilson (Loyal Vacation 6209), Peter & Pauline Smith (Alfred & Guthrum 4535) and Fred & Pat Body (Alfred & Guthrum) organised and ran the Somerset Produce stand (Strawberries & Cream, Jams, Cheese, Eggs, Chutneys etc.) while Roger & Pam Bailey brought along an interesting collection of ‘brick a brack’ which was well received. Just over £1000 was raised from the two stands while sales of programmes across the three Provinces raised £4713 with donations amounting to a further £5407.81. Sandra Wilson said
“I would like to pass on my grateful thanks to all the brethren and their friends who donated so generously to the Somerset Produce Stand. The residents really enjoy the activity on the day and the amazing support of members and well-wishers”
The Fair was further enhanced by a contingent from the South West Chapter of the Masonic Bikers association (MBA) The
Widows Sons www.widowssons.co.uk . Dressed in traditional bikers leathers with their Chapter insignia emblazoned on their jackets the brethren mixed with visitors and residents alike, discussing the principles of the MBA and of course their rather magnificent motor bikes! It was certainly a sight to see (and hear) when they all left in convoy! If you missed this year’s Fair be sure to make next years. You won’t regret it.

Barry Davies
Compass Magazine

Provincial News June 2017

 

Tercentenary Church Service to be held at Wells Cathedral on Sunday 25th June

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The Tercentenary Church Service will be held on Sunday 25th June, starting at 3.00pm, when, by kind permission of the Dean, we will be joining Evensong at Wells Cathedral. All members, together with their families and friends, are invited to attend this important event as part of our celebrations of the 300th anniversary of English Freemasonry.

There will be a public procession starting at 2.00pm from the Museum, Cathedral Green, into Sadler Street, Market Place and then through Penniless Porch to the West Door of the Cathedral. This will involve the Provincial Team (Active Officers) and Ruling Masters, in full regalia (including collars for WMs), which promises to be a colourful and memorable event.
All Brethren attending are invited to wear their full regalia if they wish (or just collars if preferred, but should not be discouraged from coming along without regalia). Lodge Wardens may wear their collars.


As there are no changing facilities, it is recommended that you bring your regalia in a carrier bag, or similar, that can be folded away during the service.

As it is a public service, there are no reserved seats, and you are asked to be seated by 2.40pm.

Limited tickets will be available for a cream tea in the Town Hall afterwards, but for those unable to get tickets, tea will be available in the North Transept as usual.

Provincial News May 2017

 

Consecration of Columbanus Lodge No. 9941

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There was not a spare seat at the Masonic Hall in Keynsham on Saturday 20th May 2017 when a flagstone of Masonic history was laid down.  Thirty motorcyclist freemasons from across Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire came together to form a new Lodge.  A Lodge based upon their love of not only the Craft but also Motorcycling.  Eight masons from Wiltshire, five from Gloucestershire, three from Wales and fourteen from Somerset became either Primus Officers or Founder members of the Columbanus Lodge No. 9941 which was consecrated in a wonderful ceremony led by RW Bro Stuart Hadler the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset.

W Bro Roger Penny was presented by W Bro Elliot Borthwick PrDGDC and installed as the Primus Master by our own Deputy PGM, VW Bro John Winston, in a splendid ceremony attended by the PGM for Wiltshire RW Bro Philip Bullock, the Deputy PGM of Gloucestershire VW Bro John Thurston as well as many other dignitaries and the full team of Provincial Officers.

The ceremony of consecration was conducted with great dignity by the Consecrating Officer, the Provincial Grand Master, and involved all founder members whilst the Provincial Choir, led by W Bro David Smith added solemnity. The alms collection was donated to the Somerset 2020 Festival.

At the festive board which followed, a traditional "bikers'" dinner of Gammon, Egg and Chips was enjoyed by all. The Provincial Grand Master gave a very suitable address to which the Worshipful Master responded in like manner, explaining how the Lodge came to be formed.

The Provincial Choir sang the Worshipful Master’s Song and the evening ended with the PrGDC, W Bro Chris Marchmont, leading us all in the Tyler’s song.

The raffle raised over £600 which is to be donated to the Freewheelers, Blood Bikers Charity, who provide an out of hours blood delivery service for the NHS.

Pic shows The Founder Members
 

Provincial Tercentenary Ball

What a Night

‘Elton John’ wows the audience at Provincial Tercentenary Ball!

What an evening! Over 500 attended the Provincial Tercentenary Ball at the Webbington on Saturday 13th May. Following a superb dinner the audience gave a tremendous reception for the headline act of the evening - Sir Elton John, resplendent is his famous 7 ½ inch heels! Well actually it was Gary Setterfield (JW St Cecilla 9341) with his Elton John tribute act, but who could tell the difference? Numbers such as ‘Crocodile Rock’, ‘I’m still standing’ and ‘Candle in the Wind’ ensured a packed dance floor and electric atmosphere. Gary was followed by Sunshine Boulevard who played through to midnight with a mixture of Pop, Rock and Dance music that kept the party going. The PGM Stuart Hadler thanked the brethren, their ladies and guests for supporting the evening and David Flack and his team for organising such a wonderful event. Definitely an evening to remember

To book Gary for your special function go to www.tributetoelton.com

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

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Provincial News March 2017

 

Inter Province Dinner

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PGL Bristol offered shares in ‘Bridgwater Bay Tidal Barrier and Tropical Lagoon Project’

It is becoming a custom for PGL Somerset and PGL Bristol to get together over dinner and exchange views and ideas.
This year it was Somerset’s turn to host the occasion and on February 20th a dinner was held at Nailsea Masonic Hall in honour of our guests.

Last year the PGM for Bristol, Alan Vaughan, presented a paper, which he explained was the culmination of his Province’s research into the likely results of Global Warming by the Year 2050 when he predicted that much of the Province of Somerset was likely to be ‘under water’ to a depth of around 12 meters, while the Province of Bristol escaped relatively unscathed.

Understandably concerned by this, our PGM immediately tasked the Somerset Provincial Research Team (SPRT) to conduct further investigations, and following nearly a year of intensive research they have discovered that there is a crucial error in Bristol’s original calculations, probably caused by a faulty abacus.

The SPRT report predicts that sea levels are likely to rise even HIGHER than PGL Bristol predicted resulting in Somerset GAINING a Tropical Archipelago (collection of islands) along with a magnificent new lagoon at Bridgwater Bay.

Being an entrepreneurial Province Somerset have investigated the potential of this situation and have partnered with ‘Masonic Mutual’ to offer share options in the soon to be announced ‘Bridgwater Bay Tidal Barrier and Tropical Lagoon Project’. The potential returns from energy production, sporting and other leisure pursuits are likely to be irresistible!

Unfortunately the report also predicted that the Centre of Bristol was likely to be extensively affected by the flooding, with water level rising well above the threshold of the Masonic Hall in Park Street.

In the true spirit of Brotherly love Stuart then generously offered Alan and his brethren the opportunity to become founding partners in the Bridgwater Bay Project. He said “We are offering you the opportunity to get ahead of Global warming. Sell Park Street now while the property market is strong and invest the proceeds in this wonderful project.”

Alan thanked the PGM for his kind offer and said he would give it due consideration. Stuart then presented Alan with a pair of 2020 festival yellow socks.

The evening was well supported by officers from both provinces and was concluded with an entertainment from the well-known Somerset composer Martin Emslie who performed a song he had written especially for the occasion. This was extremely well received – especially by the Somerset brethren!

Barry Davies
Compass Editor
ProvJGW

Provincial News January 2017

 

£50,000 Ambulance for British Red Cross at Taunton

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The British Red Cross (BRC) at Taunton are the proud owners of a brand new Ambulance thanks to the Province of Somerset and the Freemasons Grand Charity. The ambulance, officially known as a ‘Patient Transport Vehicle’ is specifically designed to accommodate patients who require specialist transport to and from hospital.

The first of its type to be operated by the BRC, it can accommodate up 7 seated or 4 seated and one stretcher patient. The stretcher is of a new’ bariatric’ design which means it can easily be adjusted to accommodate people of larger size. Based on the ‘Renault Master’ 3.5 tonne chassis the ambulance is fully air conditioned, equipped with oxygen, a defibrillator and basic medical supplies and can be used in adverse weather conditions. It has wheelchair access via the rear ramp and a special arrangement that enables one of the seats to be adapted as a securing point to allow a patient to be safely transported in their own wheel chair.

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The vehicle was officially handed over to Malcolm Allsopp, BRC Ambulance Support Operational Manager by the PGM Stuart Hadler. Malcolm said “this will make a tremendous difference to the service we are able to offer both the NHS and our charitable activities. The vehicle will be available to our volunteers as well as our professional drivers. I cannot thank the Freemasons enough.” Stuart Hadler, who was also interviewed by the BBC for Radio Bristol told reporters that Somerset Freemasons are generous supporters of the Freemasons Grand Charity, which, since 1981 has donated over £100,000,000 in grants. He said “We are all used to the support of Red Cross Volunteers at major events and are delighted to be able to provide truly practical assistance”. Cheryl Murray, Chair of the Volunteer Council for BRC in Somerset said “This vehicle could also be used to support the work of emergency response volunteers during large-scale incidents. The Red Cross worked closely with the South West Ambulance Service during the emergency and recovery stages of the Somerset flooding in 2013/14. Since then the Red Cross has set up teams working with the NHS to provide transport to hospital appointments and emergency care transport to hospital. This vehicle will allow the Red Cross to develop more services in this area”.

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The PGM was accompanied by a number of brethren including the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Maddern, ProvJGW Barry Davies and Provincial Information Officer Richard Ellis.

With the Masonic Charity Foundation logo displayed on the livery, the people of Taunton can clearly see that ‘Freemasonry Cares’.

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

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