Somerset Freemasons

News and Information about Freemasonry in Somerset

News from Lodges December 2016


Royal Somerset Lodge Make Presentation to Mendip YMCA

On the 19th of December 2016 a cheque for £2,100 was presented by lRoyal Somerset Lodge to Karen Deverell, Chief Executive of Mendip YMCA.

During his year as WM of the Royal Somerset Lodge, Chris Stilton chose to donate all money raised to Mendip YMCA in aid of the Frome Youth & Community Centre. The money will be put towards the major repair works currently required on the roof, and the installation of a new boiler.

The funds were raised through various activities; The main activity was the Charity Race Night during which over £1,000 was raised.

If you wish to make a contribution to these works, please visit

Mendip YMCA are also appealing for donations to help save the Routes Drop in Centre and Youth Cafe. If you are interested in donating, please visit or for larger donations please call 01749 679553.
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W Bro Chris Stilton and Karen Deverell (Chief Executive of Mendip YMCA)

Exmoor Lodge Charity Presentation Evening


Exmoor Lodge Charity Presentation Evening

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WM Garry Holman presenting the £1150 to Paula Garrett, Community Fundraiser for Children's Hospice South West
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WM Garry Holman presenting the £500 to Emma Cherry, Seahorse Centre manager

Minehead Masonic Hall was the venue for the Exmoor Lodge No 2390 Charity Presentation Evening on Thursday 15th December.

Worshipful Master, Garry Holman, was delighted to be able to celebrate his successful year as Master by personally handing the donations from the Lodge to representatives of his chosen local charities.

Garry’s principle charity for the year was Children’s Hospice South West, which was represented that evening by Paula Garrett, their Community Fundraiser.

Paula explained how they provide hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and also offer support for their families. The care offered is wide ranging; respite and short breaks, emergency care, palliative care and end of life care. There are currently three hospices run by the charity; Charlton Farm in North Somerset, Little Bridge House in North Devon and Little Harbour in mid Cornwall.

A Lodge cheque for £1000 was donated to Children’s Hospice South West, with a further £1000 being very generously donated by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset by way of matching Exmoor Lodge’s donation.
Furthermore, a cheque for £150 was also handed to Paula from the Minehead Masonic Hall Company in support of the charity. This donation was raised by the numerous brethren who have supported the social events held throughout the year in support of the Masonic Hall’s upkeep. The decision was made to donate a proportion of the monies raised from these successful events to the Masters of Exmoor Lodge and St Bernard Lodge in support of their respective local charitable giving.

Paula was delighted to be receiving a total of £2150 which will be used to fund the care at the North Somerset and North Devon hospices, as it is these sites which provide the care
for those in need from the Minehead area in particular and Somerset in general.

Attention then turned to The Seahorse Centre, Minehead, which is a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. They were represented by centre manager, Emma Cherry, who was thrilled to receive a cheque for £500, which will prove hugely beneficial to their essential ongoing fundraising efforts. The donation from Exmoor Lodge will be put towards providing the clients with fun, educational activities which includes their Christmas party.

Last but by no means least, the ward nursing staff of Minehead Hospital were represented at the event by two of its nurses.
Exmoor Lodge provides the ‘makings’ for tea and coffee for staff on the wards at the hospital throughout the year. This practice has become a continuing Exmoor Lodge tradition, originally started by W. Bro John Lendon in thankful recognition of the way his wife Marjorie was cared for at the hospital. The brethren of Exmoor have been proud sponsors of the tradition ever since.

The presentation evening was a great success. Garry and the brethren of Exmoor Lodge would like to thank all those who have helped support his year.
A special mention of thanks must be given to those brethren and their family members who have organised and assisted with the numerous extra-curricular functions held at Minehead Masonic Hall this year.

In all, £2585 has been donated by Exmoor Lodge in the cause of non-Masonic charities and £490 to Masonic allied charities during this year.

W. Bro Garry and the brethren of Exmoor Lodge wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge 2390 Information Officer.


Rural Philanthropic Lodge support local food bank

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The Rural Philanthropic Lodge of Freemasons 291 in Burnham-on-Sea raised £1146 at their recent Ladies Festival and Lodge of Instruction Demonstration and Luncheon. This money has been used to provide basic goods to the Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Foodbank that is run by local Churches and supported by the Trussell Trust. There are many people in very stressful situations, through no fault of their own, who would not be able to provide food for their families without this facility. In normal circumstances, this is a tragedy, but made even worse at Christmas. It is hoped that our contribution will go a small way in helping to provide food on the table for the most needy of our community and help to give some meaning to the expression “Festive Season”.

Present left to right:
Back Row:
Mr Wayne Sadlier (Chairman of the Foodbank); Worshipful Master Andy Hodge and W.Bro. John Chinn (Charity Steward).
Front Row:
Mrs Camille Hodge, Lucy Britton Tesco Store Community Champion and W.Bro. Wynne Jones (Past Master)


Estune Lodge £5000 donation

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On Tuesday 21st December Estune Lodge was pleased to be able to present a cheque for £5,000 to Breast Cancer Now, £1,000 of this was ‘cash matched’ by the Province.
This charity was selected by the Master, W.Bro Chris Perry, as his Master’s Charity for his year 2015/16.
Sue Paulley received the cheque on behalf of the organisation and gave a very information talk on the subject, including the work that they carried out, and explained what new genetic testing was all about.”

The picture from right to left includes W.Bro Chris Perry, Master 2015/16, Bro Bob Cook, current W.M., Sue Paulley from Breast Cancer Now, Bro Steve Carpenter, Estune Charity Steward, and W.Bro David Maddern, Provincial Grand Charity Steward.


Forest of Mendip start Christmas Festivities

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The Forest of Mendip held there annual Christmas lunch at Yatton Masonic Hall the party included brethren, widows, friends and their respective children, two of the visiting children were wheelchair bound and attend Baytree Special School, so our WM. Mark Carter and his wife Juliette decided that the raffle money should be donated to the school. We raised the magnificent sum of £277. Which will be presented shortly. Father Christmas made an appearance and the brethren were so surprised nobody managed to take a photo.

Mark thanks everyone who supported the lodge once again.
We wish you all a Happy Christmas.

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Following the successful Christmas Lunch, W.Bros. Barry Goodyer and Ray Beckingham were invited to Baytree Special School to present the cheque to the Head Teacher Mrs Fiona Richings. Mrs Ritchings was very pleased to receive the cheque and said the money would go towards upgrading the playground, so that they could put more tactile items in place for the children to react with .

Mrs Heather Sullivan attended the Christmas Lunch with her family and children two of whom are twins Archie & Frankie. Her family are friends with some of our members.

The picture to the left shows (L to R) Barry Goodyer, Fiana Ritchings, Heather Sullivan, Ray Beckingham with Archie & Frankie Sullivan in their chairs.
Ray Beckingham L.I.O.

News from Lodges November 2016


Gordano Lodge donate £1,000 to worthy causes

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At a recent Sunday Lunch held at the Clevedon Masonic Hall on November 20th, the Worshipful Master of Gordano Lodge 6244 Brian Clayton, together with W Bro Kevin Dean (ADC) and Bro Peter Donoghue (SW) were pleased to present cheques to the value of £500 each to representatives from “Alzheimers U.K.” and “The Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre” in Pill.

Pictured L to R are Bro Peter Donoghue (SW), Mr Alan Richardson (Alzheimers Society), WM Brian Clayton, Mr Ian Riddell (Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre in Pill) and W Bro Kevin Dean (IPM).

W.Bro. Richards

Double celebrations for Unanimity & Sincerity

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On Wednesday 16th November Lodge 261 were honoured to welcome the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro. John W Winston and not one, but two Past Provincial Grand Masters - RW Bro. Stanley Hopkins and RW Bro. David Jenkins - to help in a very special celebration.

Firstly, the Deputy PGM presented the Lodge with its 4th Ashlar which was accepted by W.Bro Jim Baker.

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Pictured left is RW. Bro. Stanley presenting a 50 year certificate to W.Bro David Hartley who responded in his usual inimitable style.
Congratulations David and well done 261.

Jack Leeming LIO


Unanimity & Sincerity - Torquay Ladies Festival 2016

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Over the weekend of 4- 6th November 32 couples made their way down to Torquay for the annual Ladies Festival.

Torquay was surprisingly and delightfully sunny and the fresh sea air invigorating. After settling in on the Friday we enjoyed a delicious hot and cold buffet in a relaxed and informal atmosphere meeting up with old friends.
After a hearty breakfast on Saturday morning the day was spent exploring the shops and cafes of Torquay with the more adventurous traveling further afield to Paignton and even Brixham.

On Saturday evening the ladies appeared in all their splendour and some time was spent by all socialising and enjoying a pre-dinner drink. The Gala dinner was splendid and, following a toast to the Ladies by the Senior Warden, the WM's lady gave a lengthy and humorous speech which was well received. The Raffle in aid of Roahl Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity raised £450 and 5 Euros. The Senior Warden joked that considering the way the value of the pound was going, the 5 euros would be very welcome !

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Dancing continued late into the night and there were a few sore heads at breakfast on the Sunday when we said our fond farewells and journeyed home.

The photograph above shows the WM David Brandhuber with his wife Sarah enjoying the festivities with VW Bro. John Winston and Mrs Winston.
The picture to the left appears to show the Worshipful Master about to slip into something a little more comfortable! Fortunately all further photographs on this matter failed to pass the censor! A great weekend was had by all thanks to the organising skills of the Senior Warden John Owen.

Jack Leeming LIO

Bridgwater Lodges celebrate the support given to local charities

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On Thursday 27th October the three Craft lodges of Bridgwater came together, as one, to celebrate their support of local charities. Throughout the year, in excess of £14,000 has been donated by the 3 Lodges to local worthy causes to support their works within the surrounding area.

Those present were treated to a superb social evening, where the primary charities each gave an overview of their work together with how the donation would be used. The evening was enhanced by the presence of the Somerset Hill Chorus who sung a medley of popular songs from 1960s though to the present day.

The charities attending were:
• 14th Bridgwater Scout Troop who received camping equipment to replace that which had been stolen. This donation has helped to invigorate the local scouts, combining 2 of the previous troops into a new scout troop;
Beacon centre, Musgrove Park, for the help and support of cancer patients ensuring that they no longer need to travel to Bristol for their radiotherapy treatment;
Hope for tomorrow, to aid with the annual costs for ‘Bumble’, the local mobile Chemotherapy unit, which helps reduce the stresses and strains of the treatment;
Ups and Downs, based in Westonzoyland, to assist in the running expenses of the charity who support children and young people with Down Syndrome;
Brainwave to help with the operational costs for children with disabilities to achieve greater independence, helping them to improve mobility, communication skills and learning potential through a range of educational and physical therapies.

In addition to the charities who attended, a number of other local charities and good causes supported by the 3 Bridgwater Lodges this year were:
• Prince’s trust;
• Children’s Hospice South West;
• St. Margaret's Hospice;
• Cumbrian Floods;
• Tercentenary;
• Defibrillator for use in the Bridgwater Masonic Centre

These donations were only made possible by the help and generosity of the members of the Craft Lodges in Bridgwater, who between them had jump out of perfectly serviceable planes for a parachute jump and cycled from Watchet to West Bay for a morning’s entertainment to name but a few. The donations were further enhanced by the Province match funding a number of the sponsored events to swell the charitable donations by a further £3000 ensuring that the maximum support was given to these charities and good causes.

Mark Smeed
LIO Lodge of Perpetual Friendship

A Rare Pams Poppy Blooms In Minehead

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The scarlet corn poppy flower became the symbol of remembrance used by The Royal British Legion (RBL) soon after its formation in 1921.
The Poppy Appeal that we all recognise today was originally conceived to give support and assistance to First World War veterans by way of housing and employment. It has, since then, existed to support all those in the British Armed Forces community, be they serving personnel, veterans, or their families who have been involved in the all-too-many conflicts since The Great War.

Many different emblematic variants of this poignant flower have been created over the years in support of this ongoing noble cause.

One such beautifully hand crafted limited edition glass bead poppy brooch was recently donated to Exmoor Lodge 2390 by Audrey Price, who is the wife of Lodge D.C. Hedley Price.

The ‘Pam’s Poppy’ Brooch is one of the 441 (one made for every member of the British Military personnel lost in the Afghanistan conflict) used to create the 1914-2014 Memorial Wreath. Each brooch consists of 2500 individual beads. The completed wreath consisted of approximately 1.25 million glass beads and was exhibited for 6 months whereupon it was broken down and the individual brooches sold or auctioned, with all profits going to the Royal British Legion.

Audrey Price successfully obtained her example of this beautiful poppy with the sole intention of it too being used to raise funds for the benefit of another in need.
19 year old Liam Hosken, the nephew of Exmoor Lodge Tyler, Mark Kingston-James, has recently been diagnosed with kidney failure requiring renal dialysis treatment.

The poppy brooch donated by Audrey was to be a keenly contested star draw prize at the festive board of Exmoor Lodge on Thursday 20th October.
That evening’s draw raised £400 for Liam.

Exmoor Lodge’s Worshipful Master, Garry Holman, wishes that his sincere thanks be known to all the brethren and their visiting guests who helped raise this amount for Liam that evening.

I have since received this letter from Liam’s mum, Claire.
It is reproduced here in full, requiring no further remark other than to extend Liam and his family the very best of wishes from the brethren of Exmoor Lodge.

Dear Worshipful Master, Brethren of Exmoor Lodge and friends of my brother Mark Kingston-James

I am writing in awe of the kindness and humanity that you have shown towards my son Liam Hosken, 19 years of age, who I imagine many of you may not even know. I would like to sincerely thank you for the gift of £400 that you have sent, in addition to the kind donation given of £100 from Hedley Price Funeral Directors, totalling £500 towards making Liam's life easier.

As I am sure you are aware, Liam is suffering from a lifelong illness which was only diagnosed this April. As a family we have only had this short time to come to terms with this diagnosis which Liam is bravely starting to accept with the help of the marvellous renal unit at Exeter Hospital and of course his dear uncles Mark and Andy Kingston-James, who regularly spend time with him to keep his mood elevated.

This gift means that I can buy Liam a comfortable bed as it is inevitable that soon he will have to have dialysis which means he will be connected to a machine for 8 hours every night, so being in a comfortable bed is imperative, also he will be able to have some driving lessons which I hope will give his mind another focus.

How apt that this all comes from I understand, the draw proceeds of a poppy, courtesy of the generosity of Hedley & Audrey Price, when we remember young men having to fight for our country. Liam would never be well enough to fight for his country but he has his own fight ahead of him.

How wonderful it is that my brother has such truly good friends and I want to thank you all.

Kindest regards

Claire Burnell

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor 2390 Lodge Information Officer.

Queen’s College Lodge: The Rite of Passage of a Travelling Trowel....

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At Queen’s College 6988 Regular Meeting on 8th October, WBro Richard Lyons, Senior Warden of Royal Clarence Lodge 976, Bruton, accompanied by WBro Neil Beckett (Sec’ & LIO) and WBro Max Foote (JW & Treas’) presented the Travelling Trowel to Worshipful Master Jim Virjee with Deputy PGM, VWBro John Winston looking on.

In short time on 1st November Worshipful Brother Jim accompanied by 9 brethren, including the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master himself – an honorary member – travelled to St. Dunstan’s Lodge 7973, Glastonbury, to complete the onward transmission of the Trowel which was received by their Wm, WBro Kevin Moyniham. Queen’s brethren travelled from Cheltenham in the north, the southern slopes of Dartmoor in the south and various points in between.

Worshipful Brother Jim said he was delighted and very grateful to have had such support.

Richard Baker. LIO Queen’s 6988
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Nailsea Masonic Hall Tercentenary Celebrations

The Nailsea Masonic Hall is hosting a Community Day on Saturday 24th June 2017 in celebration of 300 years of Freemasonry.
It is intended that the event should demonstrate Masonic support for the Community, and to that end we'd like to invite you to host a 'Stand' in order to promote your club/association/services to the wider community.
This would be at no cost to yourselves, as in addition to providing the venue, we shall cover all marketing and advertising, which will include local press, posters, banners etc.
Each 'Stand' will consist of a trestle table (with two chairs) for you to utilise as you see fit.
The proposed time of the event is from 11am until 4pm, with exhibitors arriving to set up by 9am.
Full details are still in the process of being finalised, however if you would like to participate please contact the Facebook group:

Nailsea Community Day at the Masonic Centre

Peter Niccol

News from Lodges October 2016

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Three Generations at Loyal Vacation Lodge

The Installation Ceremony at Loyal Vacation Lodge in Wiveliscombe turned out to be a real family affair. The Installing Master, W. Bro. Nigel Webber was assisted by W. Bro. Geoff Jones. W. Bro. James Heard was installed in fine style and took to the Chair like a duck to water.

THEN CAME THE SURPRISE - The Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice were presented by James’s Grandfather, W. Bro. Jack Heard who, although in his nineties, carried out the task in exemplary manner followed by much acclamation from the many Brethren present.

To add to the evening, W. Bro. James’s uncle, W. Bro. Geoff Heard was on hand to witness V. W. Bro. Ray Guthrie; Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. David Leakey; Provincial Secretary and W. Bro. Richard Parrish; Provincial Deputy Director of Ceremonies all congratulate W. Bro. James on taking the Chair.

An excellent Festive Board rounded off this special evening.

David Ware


Forest of Mendip Wanderers visit Coleridge Lodge

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The Forest of Mendip Wanderers has started the season off with a visit to Coleridge Lodge to support Simon Horne the W.M. During Simon's year in the chair he has been a regular visitor to our Lodge.

Eleven Wanderers attended and we witnessed a very sincere 1st Degree ceremony. The company was good and the food up to the usual standard. A good evening was had by all visitors and members alike.

The Picture taken in the Lodge room shows the WM of Coleridge Simon Horne and the W.M. of the Forest of Mendip, Mark Carter with most of the Wanderers, one was missing he was taking the picture, the picture taking in the dining room shows the wanderers with their raffle prizes, 5 members won something, I didn't that is why I have my glass of whisky.

Ray Beckingham. L.I.O.

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Tyntesfield Lodge welcomes some old friends

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Pictured W Bro Clifford Fletcher, W Bro Jim Fletcher, Rt W Bro Stuart Hadler PGM, W Bro Clive Fletcher

On 4th October two Past Masters were welcomed back to Tyntesfield Lodge where they were able to meet some old friends and make some new ones. W Bro Cliff Fletcher who was Worshipful Master in 1975 attended with his brother Jim who he initiated in 1976 and who himself took the chair in 1987. Additionally Cliff's son Clive was pleased to visit from New Zealand. Clive is in his second year as Master of Avon Shirley Lodge no. 187 and was initially initiated into Tyntesfield Lodge by W Bro Roy Brookman in 1985.

The evening was made even more special as the above visit coincided with a Fraternal Visit by Rt W Bro Stuart Hadler PGM and the Provincial Team who also presented a 60 year certificate to W Bro Bert Verstage.

The brethren throughly enjoyed an excellent second degree ceremony and the convivial atmosphere continued afterwards at the festive board. W Bro Clive Fletcher spoke of the great gratitude shown by freemasons in New Zealand towards their brethren in the UK after the contributions to the earthquake fund.

News from Lodges September 2016


Successful boules competition enables purchase of resuscitation mannequin for Scouts

Hotly Contested Boules Competition.

Tyntesfield and Estune Lodges, meeting in the Masonic Hall Nailsea, held a charity BBQ & Boules event on a sunny afternoon in September. A well attended and very competitive event was held at the Ring O’ Bells public house in Nailsea. Estune Lodge eventually won a hotly contested game of Boules.
A large sum of money was raised was used to buy a Resuscitation Mannequin. It was donated to the Nailsea Cubs so they can be trained in first aid resuscitation techniques. The Cub Leaders said this will come to good use training up to 350 cubs and scouts in all of the different groups in Nailsea.

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The presentation was made to Ann Parker, Cub Leader, by Chris Perry, David Wasmuth of Estune Lodge and Colin Fraser of Tyntesfield.

Norman goes “Up, up and away!” for Charity

Norman Hucker, of the Perpetual Friendship Lodge No 135 meeting in Bridgwater, was asked by his wife, Delphine, “what would you like for your 60th birthday?” His reply “to go wing-walking for charity” after hearing about wing walking on the radio. Some 12 years later, nearing the age of 73, on Thursday 29th September he finally got around to it.

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Wing walking dates back to the time that young flying aces returned from the First World War totally addicted to the thrill of flying. After the war, surplus aircraft were cheap to buy, some of which were purchased by these pilots who would thrill crowds with their aerial antics and sell joy rides. To entertain the crowds further and ensure they came again, the pilots began to persuade their girlfriends and engineers to walk out along their biplanes’ linen wings. This was the start of wing- walking and Flying Circus entertainment.

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The small delay of some 12 years was due to the AeroSuperBatics RFC, who fly out of Rendcombe Airfield near Cirencester, getting aviation and insurance consent to permit this activity to be done for charity. Furthermore, because Norman was over 65, he then had to pass a health check by his doctor to certify he was fit. Once the go-ahead was given, the date was confirmed and the charities chosen. Norman had decided that he would like 50% of funds raised to go to the Air Ambulance in support of the Tercentenary Appeal and 25% each to a local and national charity of his choosing.
Having been asked by a friend if the Lodge would help support a local girl, Tayen Gilbert. She suffers from Neurofibromatosis type 1. He chose her charity - Tayen’s Journey. It consists of a dedicated group of people who voluntarily raise funds for charities that give direct benefit to Tayen.
He also chose the Childhood Tumor Trust. It provides a service to families affected by NF1, putting them in touch with each other, organising meetings, day trips and residential NF camps.

Tayen remains extremely cheerful and positive despite her condition, one effect of which has caused her to go blind two years ago. Coincidentally, she celebrated her fifth birthday the day after Normans’ flight.
All was set for Norman’s adventure with AeroSuperBatics which are part of the Breitling Wing walkers that appear at air shows throughout the world. The walk within the Cotswold’s was due to take place at Rendcombe which is a privately-owned, fully restored First World War airfield: first opened in 1916 as part of the First World War British Aerial Campaign. It was also used to take delivery of Bristol Fighters and train young pilots – most of whom, surprisingly enough, were a little younger than Norman!

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So, gathered on the day, together with nervous family, armed with a copy of Norman’s will and life insurance, and not-so-nervous friends he was given the required safety instructions. Norman then climbed bravely the 11ft to the top of the 1940’s Boeing Stearman bi-plane, before he was strapped to the rig: secured by the 5-point military-style harness. The final countdown, by one of the professional wing-walkers called Florence, was then given. (Norman said it was a bit like receiving the last rites) Now in the hands of the pilot, David Barrell, the plane taxied to the end of the runway. Was he worried? – No, not at all and not as much as the rabbit on the grass in front of the plane running for its life! The plane turned and following a short pause to allow the massive 450 h.p. Pratt and Witney radial engine to gain power the plane was soon bumping along as it gathered speed along the grass airstrip. It was not long before he was up, up and away and in the air.

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Being fitted with additional ailerons (flaps for the non-technical!) the plane quickly and easily started banking and climbing steeply. The speed through the air soon started to pull the skin on his face. The noise was incredible, even with the ear defenders. He could soon understand just why he had to wear goggles and keep his mouth shut! It was quite cold and turbulent as the weather was fairly windy but luckily the sun had also decided to make an appearance. Whilst climbing the speed of the plane reduced to around 80 miles per hour before leveling out and increasing about 150 miles per hour.

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He had a bird’s eye view of the patchwork Gloucestershire countryside and in the distance could see his family and friends. Flying towards them, the pilot then started to roll the plane, first to the left and then, as he was right above his spectators, to the right, before going away, doing a banked turn and making the same kind of wing over, this time somewhat more aggressively. The pilot made several turns and passed over the airfield from different directions undertaking various manoeuvres. Then, once again, making a 180 degree turn, they climbed steeply up to 1000 feet, leveled out, banked and went into a stomach-churning dive down to about 100 feet, directly towards his spectators. Before flying into the distance and returning for the final decent and a slightly bumpy landing. He was soon unstrapped and climbed down from the plane to step back onto solid ground, having experienced G forces of between +4 to – 2. In all, it took around 20 hair-raising minutes before he went back to the hangar to change and rejoin his somewhat relieved family and friends.

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Queens College, Taunton Lodge - Off to Stockholm!

Please click on photo to view gallery

Four Brethren from Queen’s Lodge holidayed in Stockholm in August with their wives. The trip included the challenge of visiting the home of Swedish Freemasonry at Bååt’s Palace, the Masonic Temple owned by them for several centuries. Currently there are around 15,000 Freemasons in Sweden. The Swedish equivalent of our ‘Craft’ degrees is ‘St John’s’ (S:t Johannes).

We were dropped unceremoniously by the taxi outside a rather nondescript, small hotel in the centre of the Capital City of yet another foreign country; 6988 has previously visited Lodges in Paris, Lisbon, Lanzarote, Guernsey & The Isles of Scilly. We crossed the threshold in some trepidation but must have given convincing answers to the questions at Reception as we were given a pass-card. At the foot of the stairway a locked door opened with our new passes and we proceeded some 5 steps up a winding staircase to the foot of the lift giving access to upper floors. Encouraged, we marched boldly on to find our rooms. The warmth of welcome and festive boards at the Hotel Wellington were most convivial and to be highly recommended.

Thus began a daily advancement in masonic knowledge in our quest for access to the Grand Lodge of Sweden. We were given a most informative guided tour of Bååt’s Palace on 23rd August followed later in the evening by a 1st Degree Ceremony in ‘Johannessalen’, the main Masonic Hall. The ‘Riddarsalen’ is available for public functions such as weddings and concerts. The Swedish Rite comprises 10 Degrees and there are rooms for the specific use of other Degrees. Unsurprisingly, the ceremony was in Swedish in which we all took an active part at times. We were warmly welcomed to the excellent Festive Board at which a paperweight embodying a 3D image of Queen’s College was presented to the Worshipful Master of Lodge St Erik as a memento of the visit. This lodge meets twice a week Jan – May and Aug – Dec. The Worshipful Master is appointed for 6 years; he has 4 Deputy Masters each appointed for 4 years and 3 secretaries. (When he became Wm, the lodge was ‘struggling’. The Officers were asked to find new members urgently. They currently (22/9) have 43 EAs; 66 FCs and 39 on the waiting list and 46 MMs! They do not conduct ‘double ceremonies.)

The weather was kind to us and we did have a super holiday, too! Stockholm is a beautiful City, A huge ‘thank you’ to those who supported the trip.”

Story by Richard Baker, LIO
Photos by W Bros Baker & Frewin

News from Lodges August 2016


Perpetual Friendship Go To The Polo

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Perpetual Friendship goes to the Polo!
Sunday 3rd July 2016 saw Bridgwater’s Lodge of Perpetual Friendship accompanied by friends and fellow Bridgwater lodge members take in the sun and an afternoon of Pims and Strawberries whilst enjoying the Polo at Taunton Vale Polo Club.
The event organised by W. Bro. Richard Winter and Bro Matthew Redman and was to thank everybody for their generous support of their recent sponsored Tandem Parachute Jump.
Although, the event was also conveniently close to Richard’s 50th Birthday allowing those present to celebrate the occasion with Fizz and Cake. Happy Birthday Old Man!
Next event is the Mad DC taking on a Wing Walk for Charity. Good luck W. Bro. Norman Hucker.
Perpetual Friendship will be back at the Polo again in July 17 so if your visiting do let Bro. Matthew know if you’re interested in coming along.

Matthew Redman
Charity Steward
Lodge of Perpetual Friendship No. 135

News from Lodges July 2016


Masons celebrate 1000 years of Watchet’s - Court Leet

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W.Bro. Dudley Binding (centre) a two times Past Master of Quantock Lodge 4446 was one of the appointed Ale Tasters for the celebration of Watchet Court Leet. The ceremony dates back over a thousand years. For hundreds of years prior to the early 1800’s Court Leets were responsible for all administration of the Town including Law and Order. Prominent local men are annually summoned to take up various official duties and to mete out justice at Regular Court Leet Sessions.

The Court Leet now is mainly traditional or ceremonial.. Whereas many Court Leets in England have ceased to function, the Town and Borough of Watchet Court Leet continue to meet. The meetings in Watchet in recent times have been held at the Bell Inn. Whereas in the past anyone causing a public nuisance were sentenced by the Court Leet and were held temporarily in the tiny lock up jail in Market Street, these powers have now passed to Police and Magistrates.

The site of the Watchet Masonic Temple is located adjacent to the Court Leet Pound, where straying cattle, sheep or pigs were impounded and the animal owner had to pay a fine for the animal‘s release.
Watchet Court Leet, amongst its annual appointments, still appoint the Town Crier (also known as the ‘Common Bellman) and two ‘jurors’ to be Ale Tasters, whose job it is visit the Town’s Inns and Ale houses to sample and test the ales once in every year at the end of May. The picture taken this year shows the Ale tasters about their duties, circumnavigating the Town and Borough of Watchet to ensure that the beer is at its best for locals and visitors to the Town to enjoy.

Since Quantock Lodge was formed in 1922 there have been local masons who have also served on the Watchet Court Leet. WBro Dudley confirmed all ales tasted were fit for consumption, as far as he could remember.

Alex Moran
Secretary 4446

News from Lodges June 2016


Love and Honour Lodge 285 hold successful Quiz Night

A shining Assistant Provincial Grand Master Ben Batley (The Greater Light) generously presenting his team’s £30 prize money to the Worshipful Master of Love and Honour No. 285 WM Chris Young (The Lesser Light) following their narrow victory in a Quiz Night held recently at The Crossways Hotel in North Wootton. The money will go towards the Master’s Charity for the year, Help! Counselling.

The successful event was ably organised by Bro Matt Hailingbiggs with a view to making Masonry more family friendly, allowing prospective members and their families to meet the Brethren and their families, as well as encouraging lapsed members to become involved again. It was attended by about 30 Brethren, wives and children from Love and Honour and well supported by Benevolent Lodge No.446. Future social events include an inter-Lodge summer skittles tournament, further quiz nights, and the Master’s Lunch in September.
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L to R. WM Chris Young, Bro. Bradley Smith, WM Adrian Ambrosini, David Hiscox, AsstPGM WM Ben Batley

Jazzed-up Birthday Celebrations for Her Majesty!

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Minehead Masonic Hall Company hosted a fundraising event in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday…………….......with a difference!

The Temple room at the Bancks Street Masonic Hall was prepared in readiness for an evening of live Jazz Music, held during the evening of Saturday 11th June.

The ticket-only event proved to be a huge success as the Darktown Strutters performed an excellent set, comprising their own very entertaining style of Dixieland Jazz music.

Bodies and souls were fully catered for with music and an excellent buffet supper voluntarily prepared and served by event organisers Paul & Shirley Cullum, assisted by Clive & Sandy Dunster.

A great time was had by the brethren, their families and guests there gathered. The band enjoyed it too!

In all, some £600 was raised by the event. The raffle draw proceeds of £200 were divided and donated to the principle charities of the two current presiding Masters of Minehead’s Exmoor and St Bernard Lodges, namely CLIC Sargent and Children’s Hospice South West.

The brethren who meet at the Minehead Masonic Hall give sincere thanks to those who organised and supported this fine event.

Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge LIO

News from Lodges May 2016



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A few months ago it was discovered that a member of a Devonshire Lodge was a direct descendent of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Romantic Poet, W Bro Tim Coleridge. Tim was invited to attend Coleridge Lodge and in due course was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge The Lodge is named after Samuel Taylor Coleridge who spent his honeymoon in Clevedon in 1795 after marrying Sarah Fricker. Coleridge’s good friend Robert Southey married Sarah’s sister, Edith Fricker a short time later.

A unique event took place at the Installation Meeting of the Coleridge Lodge No.1750 in May of this year. At this meeting of Coleridge Tim Coleridge the 6 x Great Grandson of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and an Honorary Member of Coleridge Lodge and Alan Southey, a Steward in Coleridge Lodge, who is a direct descendant of Robert Southey, another of the Romantic Poets, met for the first time. Coleridge Lodge also has another Southey Family member, Keith Southey as the Tyler of the Lodge.

There is also a Southey Lodge No 6650 and again named after the poet Robert Southey meeting in Clevedon but as far as we know this is the first time that direct descendants of the two have met.

The picture shows Tim Coleridge with Alan Southey on his left.

Editorial by V.W.Bro. D John Bennett

W.Bro. Peter Webster celebrates 50 years in Masonry

At the meeting of the Forest of Mendip last evening Friday 27th May, W.Bro Peter Webster received his 50th Certificate from V.W.Bro John Winston the D.P.G.M. Peter was initiated into the Forest of Mendip Lodge and has enjoyed his many years as Master on two occasions, Secretary for 11 years and D.C. for two.
Peter was one of the founding Brethren of Impessa Lodge 9385 which is a Scouting Lodge meeting in Downend, as was John Winston. Peters Brother Gordon and a group of Brethren from Impessa Lodge attended the meeting to support Peter.

Peter is a well respected member of the Lodge and although not a frequent attendee these days, he is always warmly welcomed.

Pictured right are V.W.Bro. John Winston and Peter.

Ray Beckingham

New Motorcyclists Lodge deliver Teddies to the RUH in Bath.

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On Saturday 21st May a group of fifteen Freemasons from all over Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire met up to make a “Teddy Bear Run” to Bath’s Royal United Hospital A & E Department.

Teddies for Loving Care is a registered charity which is operated by Freemasons and donates teddy bears to hospitals all over the country. The teddies are provided to pacify distressed toddlers and thus assist staff in administering any necessary treatment and since it started, the charity has donated nearly one million teddies.

The masons concerned are starting a new lodge for motorcyclists and the run was their first activity, arranged by Roger Penny who coordinates the teddies scheme in Bath.

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“These teddies are such a wonderful idea,” said Staff Nurse Andy Oliver (left) “and are much loved by children who find themselves in our care.”

A&E Healthcare Assistant, Amie Redgers pictured to Andy’s right, was keen to jump on one of the bikes which was duly granted as seen centre above..

Editorial by Roger Penny

Colombanus lodge Newsletter

By GEORGE – It’s 60 Years in Masonry!!

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St Luke’s Lodge ended the 2015/16 masonic season in style on 15 April when RW. Bro Stuart Hadler, Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, attended its Meeting to present W. Bro David George with a 60 years in Freemasonry Certificate.

In making this presentation the Provincial Grand Master spoke with David about his childhood (born in Malta), upbringing (in Gourock, Glasgow) professional career (worked in various photographic units within the Admiralty, rising to become Head of Profession for the MOD before retiring after more than forty years of service), Craft Masonic activities (Initiated into Lodge Firth of Clyde No. 626 (Scottish Constitution) on 9 April 1956, joined St Luke’s Lodge No. 6540 in December 1976 progressing to become Worshipful Master in 1990 then Secretary for 9 years, Director of Ceremonies for 6 years and Assistant Director of Ceremonies for 9 years) and achievements (Provincial appointments of PrSGD in 1996, PPrJGW in 2003 and recipient of the Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit in 2012).

David, who is now the 2nd longest serving member within St Luke’s Lodge and remains very active in all aspects of Lodge life, expressed the enjoyment that he has gained from his 60 years in Masonry and thanked all those Brethren who had helped / supported him across this time. The Provincial Grand Master was pleased to also present David with a 60 year Scottish Jubilee Certificate and convey accompanying congratulations from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This memorable occasion was completed by prolonged acclamation from all of those present for David, a highly respected member of St Luke’s Lodge and Bath Masonry.

W. Bro David Gill
(Lodge Information Officer – St Luke’s Lodge No. 6540)


Bath Round Table - Gong but not Forgotten

After nearly eighty years Bath Round Table ceased due to an unsustainable decline in Membership; an unfortunate trend caused by modern-day pressures of work and family commitments.

Shortly afterwards, at a Bath 41 Club meeting (ex Roundtablers who had to leave after passing the ripe old age of 40) a discussion arose about the need to keep track of the Chairman’s Chain of Office, or Gong as it was fondly and irreverently called, in case it inadvertently disappeared into someone’s attic or, worse still, a car-boot sale.

The Gong, along with a few other pieces of Regalia were professionally mounted in a frame and a permanent home identified; the Masonic Museum at the Old Theatre Royal in Old Orchard Street, a fitting place as many past members of Bath Round Table are also Freemasons in Bath; both organisations sharing similar core values and enjoying the same esprit de corps.

The Regalia was handed over to the Museum Curator Trevor Quartermaine at a special dinner on Wednesday 11th May and can now be viewed during a public tour of the building on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and some Saturday afternoons.
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Pictured (L – R)

Trevor Quartermaine - Museum Curator (of BBC Flog It fame)

Jim Cronin – Chairman Bath 41 Club

David Hogg – Past President and Chairman of Bath Round Table, Past Chairman of Bath 41 Club

Paul Perry – Past National Round Table President

News from Lodges April 2016


St. George’s Supper held at Taunton Masonic Hall

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Taunton Masonic Hall is home to nine craft lodges and sixteen side degrees and has a Hall Management Company to deal with maintaining the building etc. Two years ago it was decided that the lodges should combine to provide the necessary synergy to promote joint enterprises for the benefit of all tenants of the Hall. The Taunton Masonic Liaison Group (TMLG) was formed with representatives, usually the LIO, from the craft lodges, side degrees and other lodges in the area.

They have arranged an Open Day and other events but are very aware to respect the autonomy of all lodges.

The first social event organised by this Group was a St George’s Supper, held on the 30th March, (the 23rd and 24th being unavailable.) This evening was sold out with over seventy members, wives or guests supported the evening and enjoying a traditional roast beef supper. The dining room having previously been decked out with red and white table cloths and bunting.

Post dining entertainment noted that Shakespearean celebrations were topical and Barrie Palmer, a Shakespearean actor, delivered excerpts from the bard’s work including a range of insults and such classics as Henry Vs Agincourt speech.

Members were ‘volunteered’ to deliver lines and these included Romeo, Mike Marshall, charming Juliet, his wife Lilian, and John Winston delivering a sonnet to his wife Lynn.

Jack Leeming then used his music expertise and lead the singing of traditional and popular songs. With flag waving and uninhibited participation it was a Taunton Masonic version of the Last Night of the Proms .

The TMLG are now planning the celebration of the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge next year. Hopefully, by pooling resources and pulling together it will make it a very memorable year and further raise the profile of our organisation

Somerset Mason selected for the Invictus Games

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After many months of gruelling selection trials, in February 2016 a member of the Royal Naval Lodge, Bro Sean Gaffney has been selected to represent Great Britain at the forthcoming Invictus Games.
Sean, a Master Mason has been selected to take part in eight events at the Games. This is second Invictus games and will take place in Orlando, USA between the 8th and 12th May and will feature more than 500 competitors from 15 countries who will compete in 10 adaptive sports.

Sean will be taking part in the following events:

● Power lifting (heavy weight class)
● Discuss
● Shot
● Rowing Sprint (1 minute)
● Rowing Endurance (4 minutes)
● 400m sprint

Despite the challenges of training for such disparate events, he is determined to bring home a medal. He was also selected for two cycling events but timetable clashes will prevent him from competing in this discipline
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Sean joined Freemasonry after researching how he could combine the comradeship of the Royal Navy with charitable works and on discovering the Royal Naval Lodge with its Fleet Air Arm and Malta connections on his door step in Yeovil. He was initiated into the Lodge in October 2013, becoming a Master Mason in August 2015
Sean joined the Royal Navy in 1989, on passing out he joined the Fleet Arm as an Air Engineering Mechanic.

One of Sean’s career highlights was to run in the Fleet Air Arm Field Gun team during the 1995 Royal Tournament. It was while Sean was training for the final tournament in July 1999 that he received a crush injury to his left foot. Despite attempts to save it, which included transplanting one of his abdominal muscles into his injured foot, he contracted septicaemia in Novemberof that year which led to a below the knee amputation that month.

From day one, Sean has never let his injuries hold him back. He was determined not only remain in service but to return to operational duties. Since his accident he has been promoted to Petty Officer and completed tours of duty in Iraq, 2009 and Afghanistan in 2011/12

Sean has also completed numerous endurance events over the past 17 years. These include the London and Paris Marathons, several half marathons, countless road races and the odd ultra marathon. Sean has also taken part in endurance events such as Man vs Mountain, Coast to Coast (105 miles across Scotland on foot, bike & kayak) and obstacle course races including Tough Guy and Total Warrior. In 2015 he was awarded Rat Racer of the Year as he completed every event in the Rat Race Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest Series.

The BBC will be showing a documentary, entitled “The Road to the Games” on 2nd May at 7pm and there will be live coverage, hosted by Gabby Logan, each week night during the games.

For further information and results see the Invictus Games Website

Queens College Taunton Lodge Reunion at Provincial Church Service

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Any excuse for a reunion!!

8 Members of the Queen’s College Taunton Lodge 6988 and their Wives, travelled from Cheltenham in the North, from Dartmoor in the South and from many places in between to support their new Worshipful Master, Dr Jim Virjee. They were fortunate enough to enjoy an early and leisurely ‘Festive Board’ at a local hostelry followed by the Bi-Annual Provincial Service in Wells Cathedral. The Provincial Grand Master for Monmouthshire, RW Bro the Reverend Malcolm Lane was in charge of the Service which was greatly enjoyed by all.

Exmoor Lodge celebrate our Queens Birthday

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Exmoor Lodge’s ‘Happy Birthday’ Toast To Our Queen.

The regular Exmoor Lodge 2390 meeting that took place on Thursday 21st April at Minehead Masonic Hall happily coincided with the 90th birthday of H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II.

The evening’s business of the Lodge having been ended, it was decided to mark the occasion by drinking a champagne toast to her milestone birthday and her continuing good health for the future.

The Tyler dutifully entered with the bottles and glasses and when every brother’s glass was charged, the Worshipful Master, W.Bro Garry Holman made the toast which was enthusiastically received by the brethren, their guests and visitors!


The Minehead Masonic Hall Company has made further plans to mark this special birthday occasion by hosting a celebration musical evening of ‘Live Jazz’ at Bancks St, Minehead on Saturday 11th June ’16.

The strictly limited number of tickets cost £12.50 each, to include the performances and light buffet supper throughout. The bar will be open.

All brethren, their families and friends are invited to attend.
Book early to attend this popular event to avoid disappointment!

The raffle ticket proceeds will be shared between the two chosen principle charities of Minehead’s Exmoor and St Bernard Lodges Masters’, namely Children’s Hospice South West and CLIC Sargent.

Tickets available direct from W.Bro’s Lendon, Cullum and Dunster
or via Exmoor Lodge and St Bernard Lodge secretaries.

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor LIO

Newton’s Law of Gravity proven accurate

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Somerset pair prove that Newton’s theory of falling objects, is correct.
On Wednesday 13th of April an intrepid pair of Masons from Bridgwater, W.Bro. Richard Winter of Admiral Blake Lodge and Bro. Matthew Redman, Lodge of Perpetual Friendship, took to the skies over Devon to prove that while a plane is very useful to take to the air it is not required to return to the ground.
Following a social evening, which may have included the odd port, Richard and Matthew challenged each other to raise money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and 14th Bridgwater Scout troop who had recently had their camping equipment stolen: Richard being an alumni of the troop.

The challenge was to jump, from a perfectly serviceable plane, from the height of 3 miles, free falling for around 2 miles at speeds up to 120 mph, before gliding gracefully back to terra firma. This feat of great courage and selflessness was proposed for the good of Freemasonry and local charities in particular.
It was originally planned that the jump should take place on Easter Monday, but following the disruption that storm Katie brought to the South West the jump was postponed until calmer skies had prevailed. There then ensued a period of anxious waiting and nervously watching weather reports until clear skies and calm winds were forecast.
On Wednesday 13th April the prevailing conditions were just right. Richard and Matthew travelled from Bridgwater to Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon, where they met with their experienced sky diver who would be jumping with them. The four then boarded their aircraft and ascended to 15,000 feet, where they experienced some wonderful views across the South West, at which stage they leapt from the aircraft into their free fall. Falling at speeds, near twice the legal speed limit, the 4 descended for about a minute, falling 2 miles before their parachutes cords were pulled and they gracefully descended the remaining distance. To be met by PPGM Stanley Hopkins, who confirmed that the challenge had been completed, and that all sponsorship monies due should be paid: before hastily retreating to his car before he could be coerced into jumping too.

The Lodge of Perpetual Friendship and Admiral Blake Lodge are proud to report that Matthew and Richard have raised the impressive sum of £3000 and still rising for this charitable act which was dreamt up during that glass of port. The following charities receiving support from Somerset Freemasons as a result of this jump are: Hollow Lane Club £200; The Beacon Centre £400; Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Great Western Air Ambulance £600; 14th Bridgwater Scout troop £800; and Hope for Tomorrow £1000.
Should anyone wish to contribute further to these funds please click on the link “Giving”

Mark Smeed
Lodge of Perpetual Friendship

WM Alex is St. Alphege’s very own Superhero!

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When St Alphege Lodge enthusiastically agreed to participate in the Universities Scheme eleven years ago we speculated on the benefits it would bring; however, none of us thought for one moment that we might one day, have a WM at the tender age of just 25!

But our new WM, Alex’s, ambition, drive and capability more than compensate for the diminutiveness of his meagre years!

When he is not Chairing the National Conference of Amnesty International UK or acting as an expert on Higher Education policy for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; he is running the London Universities Scheme Drop-In centre; an active member of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge Talking Heads Team; Webmaster for London Masons; Royal Arch Co-Ordinator for Metropolitan Grand Lodge; Principle Sojourner in Ravensbourne Chapter and Senior Deacon in the Lodge of Good Fellowship.

And in his spare time he is planning for his wedding in June.

Oh, and incidentally, his day job? - researching a cure for cancer! Alex is in his final year of a PhD in Cancer Research at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Marys, London, where he studies cancer cell division, and how it can be disrupted as a potential therapy.

Previously Alex studied Biochemistry at the University of Bath, before taking a sabbatical year as the Education Officer for their Students’ Union.

Move over Clark Kent and Bruce Waine ….. there’s a new Superhero in town!

We are just glad that it is in our town and we are very pleased he is now WM of our Lodge.

The photograph kindly taken by Paul Mallon at Alex’s Installation on Saturday 2nd April 2016 shows a host of dignitaries flanking young Alex including RWBro Sir David Wootton the AGM and President of the Universities Scheme and RWBro Stuart Hadler PGM

David Hogg – DC & Universities Scheme Liaison Officer

Norman Wilkins celebrates 60 years as a Freemason

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Members of Corinthian Pillar Lodge, Bishop Surtees and St. Thomas Lodges and Coryton and Rougemont Union Rose Croix Chapter (Devonshire) joined residents of Cadogan Court to congratulate W.Bro. Norman on completing 60 years as a Freemason. The certificate was presented by V.W.Bro. John Winston, Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

Norman was initiated into Vigilance Lodge No. 4952 that meets in Manchester in the Province of East Lancashire on 3rd April 1956 and was a member for 29 years. On moving to Dorset he joined Lodge of Benevolence No. 1168 and later Sherborne Conduit Lodge in Sherborne. In February 1993 Norman decided to cross the border from Dorset into Somerset and joined Corinthian Pillar Lodge No. 7552. He was appointed to Somerset Provincial Grand Rank in 2001 as Past Provincial Junior Warden.

Norman is probably best known for his support of and work in the Ancient and Accepted Right. He joined Yeovil Chapter from Murray Chapter No. 177. He was District Recorder from 1993 to 2002 and was elected to 32nd degree in July 1998.

Norman is married to Sheila and they both now reside at Cadogan Court.

The photograph shows Norman (in the centre wearing a cardigan) with members of the respective lodges and residents of Cadogan Court. Missing from the photo are W.Bro. Jim Evans of Prudence & Industry Lodge also now resident at Cadogan Court and Sally Holton. Jim was brought down from his room later on and Sally took the photograph.

Elizabethan Lodge celebrate 400th meeting

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A fantastic evening was had by all at Elizabethan Lodge 400th meeting. More than 20 guests and visitors from all over Somerset and South Gloucestershire joined our members in welcoming new brother Andy Hunt into the order. They were then royally entertained at the now famous Elizabethan festive board. Brother Andy not only had the Entered Apprentice song sung to him by W Bro Roger Penny, but also during the response to W Bro Paul Mallon's welcoming toast to the visitors, W Bro Tony Dolman delivered an incredibly moving rendition of the poem " I heard three knocks" ending by presenting the candidate with a personal framed copy of the First Degree Charge. The evenings entertainment concluded with a full 20 minutes of wonderfully delivered funny stories and anecdotes by W Bro Steve "Jethro" Williams which reduced his audience to tears of laughter. An absolute corker of an evening to bring our season to a close. Just a few visits planned to various lodges now to keep our newer members active and learning more about Freemasonry. Charity. Fraternity and Fun

Paul Mallon

Sir David Hugh Wootton, AsstGM visits St Alphege 4095 for Installation

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AsstGM - Alex Pool (WM) - PGM - Courtesy Barry Davies

April the second and the Old Theatre Royal at Bath was filled to capacity for the visit of the Assistant Grand Master Sir David Hugh Wootton to St. Alphege 4095. St Alphege is a member of the UGLE Universities scheme and Sir David is the President. He was accompanied by scheme Chairman Edward Lord and other members of the committee. The occasion was the installation of the Master Elect, Alexander Pool.

The Ceremony was performed under ‘St Alphege’ working (similar to ‘Bristol’ - Ed), by the WM John Townsend with considerable passion. The address to the WM was given by the Sir David himself and the address to the Wardens by Simon Duckworth DepMetGM. The PGM Stuart Hadler and AsstPGM Ben Batley were in attendance to welcome the visitors, many of whom had travelled long distances. Stuart presented the Lodge ChStwd, Neil Hawes with a fourth Ashlar and congratulated the brethren on such a wonderful achievement.

During the festive board the newly installed WM presented the AsstGM with a pair of yellow 2020 Festival Socks! Sir David was much amused by this and stated that he had noticed a number of brethren wearing them in the temple but decided not to comment until he had made discreet enquiries. The PGM explained that he had recently issued a dispensation for the wearing of the socks within the Province and that revenue raised from their sale would go toward the 2020 festival. He was even considering wearing them himself at the quarterly communications at Grand Lodge to promote the festival! Sir David considered this and announced “if you wear then then I will wear them too!” - Sounds like a challenge to me! - Ed

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

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AsstGM with his 2020 festival Socks - Courtesy Paul Mallon

Please click on photo above for image gallery
Photos courtesy of Paul Mallon

News from Lodges March 2016


Dr Jim Virjee installed as WM of Queen’s College Taunton Lodge

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On Saturday 19th March at Queen’s College Taunton Lodge and under the watchful eyes of the RW Provincial Grand Master, Stuart Hadler; the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, John Winston and RW Past Provincial Grand Master, Stanley Hopkins, the Installing Master, WBro Phil Jubb, excelled himself in the excellent manner in which he installed his successor, Bro Dr Jim Virjee. In an impeccable delivery of the ‘Extended Working’ adopted by Queen’s College Lodge at its consecration 65 years ago, the whole ceremony enthralled those who had not seen it before.

The occasion was made that bit more special when Dr Jim’s older brothers, WBro Roy and Bro Zal presented the First and Second Degree Working Tools to him. WBro Jim said it was the first time in his life that his older brothers had saluted him! His son, Daniel, who is a member of Dolphin Lodge, Bristol, had long ago booked a holiday which unfortunately coincided with the meeting.

At the Festive Board when 70 brethren dined the Worshipful Master confessed he was intimidated by the thought of having to do the ceremony himself in 12 months time! During the course of the evening, Alms amounting to £500 (swelled by nearly £80 under Gift Aid Scheme) were donated in aid of the Taunton Association for the Homeless – a Charity also being supported by Queen’s College.


PHOTOS: WBro. Jim Wiltshire, Charity Steward.
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Exmoor Lodge Help To Project The Local Air Ambulance’s Cause

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Further to the news item published on these pages in December 2015, where Exmoor Lodge 2390 published the details of their charitable giving for the year………

That presentation meeting saw a Lodge cheque for £500 handed to Mrs Gail Everett in support of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA). Her work for their charity was discussed at length during that evening, whereupon it became clear that her role would be more effective if she had some up-to-date presentation equipment.

The new Master of the Lodge, W.Bro Garry Holman made the necessary arrangements for the Lodge to fund the provision of a new projector for Gail’s use. It was soon purchased with the full support of the brethren and W. Bro Garry was very pleased to be able to hand the new digital projector to Gail prior to the Lodge’s recent March meeting.

Gail, who is married to Exmoor Lodge Almoner, W.Bro Tony Everett, is a volunteer presenter and promoter for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance charity. The Exmoor Lodge brethren wish her well with her continuing work on behalf of the Air Ambulance charity.

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge Information Officer.


TLC Teddy Bears are Little but Greatly Appreciated

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The TLC Teddy Bears donated by Somerset Freemasons to local hospitals and medical centres really do have a positive effect on those youngsters who find themselves in need of those places out of necessity rather than choice.

The effect that the gifted Teddy Bears have upon those children goes quietly undocumented and therefore possibly unnoticed by the brethren of this province.
Brethren, be sure that they do indeed make a great and long-lasting difference.

I have just received this heartwarming letter of thanks from one such recipient from Nether Stowey.

Issy is the seven year old granddaughter of W. Bro Clive Dunster of Exmoor Lodge 2390 in Minehead.

I will let you read the note as she wrote it to me………………….

Dear Grandad Andy,
Please could you put a thankyou message on your computer to all the kind men at boys club. When I am poorly and go to hospital in Minehead, I am always given a little bear to make me feel brave. The nurses tell me that you, my Grandad and all your boys club friends pay for the bears. My favourite bear is called Pinky.
Thank you. Lots of love. Isabella XXX aged 7 years and 7 months.

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge Information Officer.


Dad’s Army, The Out-Takes!

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The Minehead Masonic Hall Company held an evening fundraising event with a difference on Saturday 12th March.

The Somerset seaside town became Walmington-On-Sea for an evening of Dad’s Army themed entertainment provided by the Moonstone Theatre Company before, during and after the three-course dinner which was held in the Bancks Street temple in order to accommodate the sell-out event.

The players went amongst the diners and engaged them in much unscripted banter, as well as scripted acts so as not to interrupt dinner proceedings.

Some revellers observed the invitation’s request and wore 40’s Forces and civvy garb. Their presence added to the fun and atmosphere of the evening.

This is the third time that the Moonstone Theatre Company has entertained our troops in Minehead. They have enacted a murder mystery evening and also a comedy Allo’ Allo’ event, both of which were equally well received by the brethren, partners and guests from Minehead and other local Lodges.

If you fancy holding a masonic fundraiser with a difference, contact them at you won’t be disappointed!

The Dad’s Army evening, which was organised by W.Bro.Paul Cullum of St Bernard Lodge and his wife Shirley, raised a substantial amount for both Minehead Lodges reigning Master’s nominated local charities CLIC and the Children’s Hospice South West, as well as for the Minehead Masonic Hall Co.

The brethren and guests of Exmoor and St Bernard Lodges thank Paul and Shirley for organising such an entertaining and successful charitable evening.

Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge Information Officer.


W Bro Paul Cooper Installed as Worshipful Master of Somerset Masters Lodge

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The 101st Meeting of Somerset Masters Lodge 3746, was held at Nailsea Masonic Hall on Monday 29th February 2016, where the Worshipful Master, W Bro Pat Morrisey PGStdB installed, as his successor W Bro Paul Cooper PPJGW in front of a packed Lodge Room. 107 Members of the Lodge were present, including the Provincial Grand Master R W Bro Stuart Hadler and the Past Provincial Grand Master R W Bro David Jenkins both Past Masters of the Lodge along with V W Bro John Winston the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The Ceremony of Installation was carried out in a very capable and sincere way by W Bro Morrisey following which W Bro Cooper then Invested his Officers in the usual manner.

Both of the Current Provincial Grand Wardens were also present at the Meeting and the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Neil Hawes along with the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, W Bro Steve Merryweather gave the Address to the Worshipful Master and the Address to the Wardens respectively

As is the usual custom in Somerset Masters Lodge the newly installed Worshipful Master then presented a paper to the Lodge entitled “The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine”. W Bro Cooper is the Past Intendant General of that Order in Somerset and his excellent paper was very well received by all those present.

The picture above shows (l-r) the Installing Master, W Bro Pat Morrisey, the new Worshipful Master, W Bro Paul Cooper and on the right the Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Stuart Hadler

The next Meeting of the Lodge will take place at Taunton Masonic Hall on Friday 28th October 2016

Story by W Bro Neville Harrison LIO

Old Aluredian Lodge Advance Candidate for Richard Huish Lodge

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The Regular meeting of Old Aluredian Lodge (OAL) on Saturday 12th March opened with the Worshipful Master, WBro R Cox welcoming guests including the RW Provincial Grand Master accompanied by six Officers on a fraternal visit. The offer of the gavel being declined, the Wm offered a cheque £800 for Somerset 2020 Festival which the PGM instantly recognised qualified the Lodge for their 1st Ashlar. RW Bro Stuart said he happened to have a spare badge in his case which he took a great delight in presenting later!

The Wm invited WBro S Casling, Wm of Richard Huish Lodge (RHL) to take the Chair and with the continued support of the Officers of OAL he opened in the 2nd Degree, to conduct the ceremony of ‘Passing’ Bro Kris Mews a recent Initiate to RHL, which he undertook in a most competent manner, before returning to 1st Degree and returning control to WBro Cox.

Five school lodges comprise the Taunton Area Cluster of the Federation of School Lodges, all of whom have just four meetings a year, including Installation. As RHL has hit a ‘purple patch’ with initiates, it was convenient for both lodges that OAL should act as host lodge on this occasion helping to avoid a need either for a ‘double ceremony’ or a potentially frustrating delay for candidates. Members of both lodges agreed the arrangements were excellent producing an enjoyable and practical compromise. Approximately twenty brethren from Richard Huish Lodge attended as guests to support their Wm and Candidate.

Brother Sam reflects on Visiting

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The Toast to the Visitors

Saturday 5th March 2016
St. Alphege Lodge No. 4095, Bath, Province of Somerset

I would like to share the story of how I came to realise what Visiting is all about. I was in my second year in Freemasonry, and by then I had more or less figured out the general dynamics of a masonic meeting, and was looking to help out more. I had heard of the importance of receiving visitors and so I thought I would make a special effort to be welcoming to any visiting brethren. So, I turned up at the following meeting looking to do just that.

However, after having a walk around the anteroom I realised, much to my disappointment, that there were no visitors there. The meeting was, nevertheless, well attended, with many brethren there chatting away and seeming to be enjoying themselves before the ceremony, so I didn’t think much of it. Maybe next time.

The ritual went fine and when we got round to the salutations, we had the usual greeting from the Silent Six and other usual suspects, nothing out of the ordinary. But then one brother got up and greeted the WM in representation of a lodge I had not heard of before. “Oh, there WAS a visitor, but I missed him, how silly of me!”, I thought to myself. And the brother sat down, and after him another got up, who also brought warm and fraternal greetings from some distant lodge. And after him a whole group of 5 or 6 stood up, in representation of yet another visiting lodge… By the time the salutations were over, it was clear that, in fact, about half of the brothers in that Temple were visitors. And I hadn’t even realised!

My first thought was obviously “I really should figure out who the members of my lodge actually are.” But it dawned on me that there was a reason why I had thought that there were no visitors that night: I couldn’t tell members and visitors apart. I had turned up at the hall seeking to welcome some doe-eyed, slightly nervous brethren who looked a bit lost. But, as it turns out, that is not what visitors look like at all. When I arrived, they had been there already amongst the brethren, but chatting away, enjoying the same jokes, and looking completely at ease.

And I realised then what visiting is actually all about. Visiting is not like a trip to the theatre, where you go to watch a performance being put on by a group of strangers. Nor is it simply a fancy dinner, where you enjoy a meal while wearing your Sunday best. In reality, what happens when you visit is that, for one night only, you become, quite simply and quite wonderfully, another member of the lodge that you are visiting. It reminded me of the line in the ritual which says “A Mason will find in every country a friend, and in every clime a home.”

So, to all of our visitors tonight, and particularly those from Abbey lodge who have brought us the Travelling Trowel, I would like to say that I sincerely hope you have found a home in St. Alphege tonight. And I would also like to thank you: for taking the time to travel all the way here to be, quite simply and quite wonderfully, our brothers.

Bro. Sam Jimenez

News from Lodges February 2016


A series of coincidences

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A visiting Mason couldn't believe his luck when he ended up as the candidate for initiation at the Provinces, and one of the countries, oldest lodges. The story begins way back in 2015 when W Bro Paul Smith came to Bath from North Wales with his wife on a shopping weekend, but as we all know a man can only shop for so long. Imagine his joy at seeing tours of the Bath Masonic Hall / Original Theatre Royal were available . After seeing the inside of our fabulous building Paul vowed he would return for a meeting. He tried to organise a Fraternal visit but his lodge in North Wales meets on the same evening as Royal Cumberland No 41. So rather than miss out he came on his own.

The first surprise was that the lodge were receiving their 3rd Ashlar from the Provincial Grand Charity Steward W.Bro. David Maddern.

The next surprise was that he was to be the candidate in a demonstration initiation ceremony. He later said how he had a tear in the eye whilst having the charge recited to him almost 31 years to the day he originally received it. The final surprise was when he looked at The honours boards and saw W Bro Paul Smith ( his name sake) was master of Elizabethan Lodge No7296, wait for it.... In 1985, the year "he" was initiated ! Too many lucky coincidences ? Or good fortune? Either way a fantastic evening was had by all.

Pictures L to R are W.Bros. Martin Cox, Geoff Iffil WM and David Maddern.

Paul Mallon

W.Bro. Henry Collins notches up 70 years as a Freemason

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W Bro Henry Collins receives his 70th Certificate

Pictured here between W Bro Mike Amos, WM of Lodge of Agriculture and RW Bro Stanley Hopkins, Past PGM of Somerset, W Bro Henry Collins receives his 70th Certificate at Agriculture’s February meeting.
At 102 years young, W Bro Henry is not as mobile as he used to be, but his memory and wit are as sharp as ever and always sets an example to the younger Brethren.
At Agriculture’s famous Farmers’ Night meetings, Henry can always be called upon to sing a rendition of “A Farmers Boy” at the Festive Board much to the delight of all assembled.

David Megilley

Richard Huish add two Fellowcraft to their toll

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On Saturday 27th February, Richard Huish 8518 held a very successful double passing ceremony, our first for 30 years and our fifth overall. The evening was made more special still by the presence of W Bro Ben Batley, Asst PGM with his Provincial Fraternal Visit team (No rest for the Secretary and DC that night!). W Bro Ben gave the DC palpitations when he retained the proffered gavel, but then gave a very informative “snippet talk” about why we have a gavel, where the word comes from and some history.
Our two candidates were Bros Paul Handbury and Martin Turner, who came to the Lodge in November 2014 and February 2015 respectively.
The Lodge tyled early having taken the view that the Ceremony of Passing for each candidate should still be a special and personal event, with the two candidates “coming together” for only the Tracing Board.
With two candidates and more than the average amount of movement on the floor, W Bro Simon Cassling conducted a fine ceremony – especially so as he lives in Belgium and cannot attend our rehearsals. He thanked all the brethren who had taken part in this distinctive event in the history of the Lodge, and particularly W Bro Mike Rawlings, our DC who masterminded the entire thing.

52 Brethren sat down to a fine Festive Board afterwards, and W Bro Ben gave his appreciation for the manner in which the provincial team members were received and the superb festive board we were treated to. He very kindly added that he felt the Lodge was in a very good place at the moment, and the Lodge’s use of ‘assistants’ (encouraging newer members to take on a specific task) was commendable.

Pictured above L to R are Bro.Paul Handbury, W Bro Simon Cassling and Bro. Martin Turner

Charlie Barker

Forest of Mendip Lodge 8019 enjoy a Skittles evening

The Forest of Mendip Lodge members held a family skittles evening at Blagdon Village Club on Saturday 27th February.
35 members and family enjoyed a lively evening, including a Sausage & Chips supper, followed by other filling food put on by Nick Crocker the Club Steward.

A raffle raised £109 which is to be put towards the Provincial 2017 Air Ambulance Appeal.

Pictured right are several of the Lodge members
" You just can’t pin em down."

Back row L to R are “High Tower” Simon Brenton, Ray Beckingham, Pete Bedingfield, Nicos Sandals.
Middle row L to R are “Low Tower” Steve Caswell, Adrian Moore, Garry Sharpe and Barry Goodyear.
Kneeling at the front is Ian Drewitt WM.

Ray Beckingham

New “Collar” for Exmoor Lodge’s Elder Statesman

The brethren of Exmoor Lodge 2390 are delighted to be able to release the first picture of W Bro John Lendon PAGDC resplendent in his most recently acquired Collar.

The presentation was made to him by St Margaret’s Hospice’s Terena Young at the porchway of the Tesco Store in Minehead on Friday 19th February 2016. The investiture was made in recognition of his tireless fundraising work on behalf of the Somerset St Margaret’s Hospice Charity and their cause is very dear to his heart.

John is the current IPM of Exmoor Lodge in Minehead and after having enjoyed a very busy and successful year as Master, you might expect him to slow down a little and enjoy a bit of a breather but not a bit of it! The results of his charitable work for the good of the Minehead community in particular, and that of Somerset in general are well known to many but are scarcely documented.

This rare photograph of John in his latest regalia seeks to address this fact.

Story by Bro Andy Baird, Exmoor Lodge LIO
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David Brandhuber installed as Master of The Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity

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On 20th January W.Bro David Brandhuber was installed as Master of The Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity No 261 in the Masonic Hall in Taunton by W.Bro Roger Earthrowl.

The Lodge was honoured by the presence of RW Bro C A Stuart Hadler, Provincial Grand Master for Somerset accompanied by W.Bro V Cooke Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. We were further honoured by the presence of RW Bro David Jenkins, PPGM and VW Bro John Winston, DPGM the former an Honorary Member and the latter a [very active] member.

The ceremony went off extremely well and a little humour was injected as the PGM presented the DPGM with his lapel badge as the Lodge Royal Arch Representative.
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Rex Roe celebrates fifty years in Freemasonry

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Reginald (Rex) Roe of Admiral Blake 4692 was delighted to receive his 50 year Certificate from non-other than the Dep
uty PGM John Winston at their January meeting. Rex was initiated into Admiral Blake on January 4th 1966 and became its Master 11 years later in 1977. He is a founder member of Somerset Farmers Lodge 9180 and achieved the Chair in 1988. The Province of Somerset, recognising his achievements promoted him to PPrJGW in 1998. During his lifetime Rex has been involved with various public bodies and Councils and has a lasting passion for Somerset Cricket Club. Rex thanked VWBro Winston and the Lodge for the presentation and made reference to the luxurious conditions of the Temple today which were a far cry from the noisy wooden floorboards of 50 years ago! He gave a short anecdote about his early days as a Mason when he was told: never to be late, never tell a lie, and never speak to a Provincial Officer, all of which he promptly broke when he was late for his very next meeting and gave a less than honest excuse for his lateness to the then Provincial Grand Master! The Lodge presented Rex with a decanter with an engraved silver collar and a set of glasses.

Compass Magazine
Dave Smith (Sec 4692)


Elizabethan Lodge enjoy a special “Burns Evening”

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Elizabethan Lodge entertained their many visitors with a fun filled Burns supper after enjoying an excellent ceremony in which Bro. Colin Ray “finally" became a Master Mason. ( 3 years in the making ) which was made all the more special by his brother in law travelling from London to expertly deliver a lovely part of the ritual.

The dining at the festive board included, what one visitor claimed was the best Haggis he'd ever tasted. It had been piped in by our resplendent piper who then went on to address the " Great chieftain o the puddin'-race! “ before an appreciative audience.
The Immortal memory toast was in the safe hands of our token Scot, Bro. Mark Cantwell, who recited his personal favourite Burns poem in the broad Scottish vernacular. Fortunately for us Sasanachs he had a translator on hand to read the English version for us, Unfortunately….. the translator was our very own Croation Bro. Marco Jelaca who’s accent was even more difficult to understand than Marks., so no one was any the wiser. When the laughter eventually died down Bro Duncan Weston took over the translating much to everyone’s relief.

The evening finished with what can only be described as one of the most surreal toasts to the visitors I have ever heard, or seen! W.Bro. Chris Davey becoming famous for his props filled carrier bags that seem to appear whenever he delivers a toast. We are never quite sure what he is going to bring out next….

Email our Sec to book yourself in for our April 5th meeting when we will be celebrating our 600th meeting by initiating a new Mason and enjoying TWO fantastic responses by two of our visitors, one very moving and one very funny.

W.Bro. Paul Mallon


Double celebration at Loyal Vacation Lodge

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The January Meeting of Loyal Vacation Lodge No. 6209 at Wiveliscombe had a double celebration. The first was to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Lodge and the Lodge was honoured by the presence of RW.Bro. C.A.Stuart Hadler Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by the Provincial Team. The PGM had kindly agreed together with the Team, to carry out the 3rd Degree ceremony for Bro. Phillip Saunders.

The Ceremony was carried out in an impressive manner, enjoyed not only by the large number of Brethren who had attended this important event, but particularly by Bro. Phillip. Prior to the Ceremony, the PGM had read an article which detailed a visit of the Provincial Grand Master in August 1817 to Loyal Vacation Lodge, who that time was RW. Bro. Arthur Chichester and this was presented to the Lodge for their archives. The Ceremony concluded by the Proposer and Seconder for Bro. Phillips, W. Bros. Dennis Vickers and Alec James presenting a Book of Ritual to Bro.Phillip, congratulating him and hoping he would have many happy years in the Lodge.

Pictured are Bro. Phillip Saunders with his proposer W.Bro. Dennis Saunders (centre) and seconder W.Bro. Alec James (left).

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The Second Celebration was the presentation of the First Ashlar to the Charity Steward of the Lodge, W.Bro. Bob Page. In doing so, the RW Provincial Grand Master congratulated the Lodge on the achievement and went on to inform the Brethren of the importance of regular giving towards achieving the 2020 Festival target of £2.8m .

The Festive Board which followed, tried as far as possible to be as near to a typical meal of 1946 after which the usual toasts were honoured. Everyone who attended had expressed their enjoyment of the evening and the Secretary reminded those present, that a diary note should be made for January 2046, to attend the 100th Anniversary!

Editorial – David Ware
Photographs - Bill Wilson

Pictured above L to R are W.Bro. Nigel Webber W.M.,
R.W.Bro. Stuart Hadler and W.Bro. Bob Page Ch.Stwd.

Long-time Bath resident receives accolade from Freemasons

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Long-time Bath resident John Pearson, now in his 90th year, celebrated another milestone in an eventful life when he received certificates commemorating his 60 years of service to Freemasonry.

John is a well-known and respected professional having been the senior Partner in the accountancy firm of Pearson May, who have offices in Bath, Trowbridge and Chippenham.

He is equally proud of his Masonic membership being associated with a number of Freemasons' Lodges meeting in Bath and other Provinces and a member of many other Masonic Orders.

While a pupil of King Edward's School in Bath, John set his sights on becoming a Chartered Accountant - which led him to be articled to Mundy Brewer and Johnson in Pulteney Street. The war sadly interrupted his studies and training and John found himself a Royal Engineer posted to Colchester in Essex to learn such things as how to build a Bailey Bridge, the army were quick to realise his skills were more attuned to figures and after a short period of training he qualified as an instructor in the Army Pay Corps. At the end of his military service John returned to Bath where he completed his articles and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, soon adding his name to the practice of Pearson, May and Co.
John retired in 1996.

As an accountant John Pearson played an active role in the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, a charity which provided much needed help and support for young people. Upon his retirement as a Trustee of the charity, The Earl Cadogan paid a fulsome tribute to John's sterling work citing his professional knowledge, background and application as being key to the RMTGB's sound financial basis.

John was presented with certificates from David Jenkins, the Past Provincial Grand Master for Somerset and Philip Bullock, Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire, at a recent Ceremony in the Bath Masonic Hall, Old Orchard Street, Bath, which was attended by great number of members from the many Lodges of which John is a member.

Pictured L to R above are RW.Bro. David Jenkins Past PGM, W.Bro. John Pearson, W.Bro.Phillip Cottrell WM and RW.Bro. Phillip Bullock PGM Wilts.

Report provided by:
W.Bro. David Hogg Asst.Prov. Communications Officer, Somerset
W.Bro. Des Morgan Prov. Communications Officer, Wiltshire

News from Lodges January 2016


Royal Somerset donate to Alzheimers and the 2020 Festival

At the lodges regular meeting held on the 14th January two presentations were made by last year’s Worshipful Master Clive Lambert.
The first was presented to W Bro David Medlock Past Assistant PGM who has undertaken the task to lead our Province in the 2020 Festival. W Bro Clive during his year raised £1239 for the festival from many of the activities undertaken and W Bro David thanked him and all the lodge brethren for this generous donation, he also took the opportunity to update everyone at the meeting as to the progress of the festival fund to date.

After the closure of the lodge the brethren were delighted to welcome Julie Kemp the community fund raiser for the Alzheimer’s Society, with W Bro Clive presenting her with a cheque for £1,200 this being the sum raised solely from a charity race night held at the end of W Bro Clive’s year. Julie said: “it is always a great honour to have the opportunity to meet our supporters. It was lovely to meet Clive and the other members and extend a personal thanks for all of the efforts in raising such an amazing amount of money.

W.Bro. Richard

Click on the image for gallery


The old Statesman Installs his successor as Master of Exmoor Lodge

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The evening of Thursday 21st January saw Exmoor Lodge No. 2390 install their new master, W. Bro. Garry Holman PPrSGD(Herts).

The PGM for Somerset, R.W.Bro. C.A. Stuart Hadler accompanied by the Provincial Assistant DC, W.Bro John Gould joined the brethren and their guests to enjoy the occasion of the installation and the festive board afterwards.

W.Bro. John Lendon PAGDC opened the lodge and then installed Garry as Master according to ancient custom. This marked the end of John’s year as Master, the third time he has presided as such at Exmoor. During the evening, it was stated that ‘’Exmoor has enjoyed something of a resurgence of late’’ and this is largely due to the busy schedule of ideas and implementations brought about by John’s tireless goal of improving Exmoor Lodge for all.
Garry is no less tenacious in character, and will undoubtedly continue that theme of improvement and advancement.

Garry’s first task as Master was to invite the PGM to greet and present Exmoor’s Information Officer, Royal Arch and Cadogan Court representatives to the brethren, before presenting the lodge’s fourth Grand Charity Festival Ashlar to Exmoor’s Charity Steward, W.Bro Andy Hadley.

W.Bro Garry was initiated into Freemasonry by St Augustine’s Lodge 8579 at Cheshunt in the Province of Hertfordshire during 1989.
He acted as ADC, DC and Secretary before becoming Master there in 1997 and again in 2008, receiving Provincial honours before moving to Minehead in 2012 where he joined Exmoor Lodge in 2013. He is also a member of Mark and RAM at Minehead.

He is a retired business development manager, who worked predominantly in vehicle fleet management and insurance. He is married to Sandy.

Not many of us can claim the right to be able to drive one’s sheep flock over London Bridge, but as a Freeman of the City of London, Garry can!
Alas, his current lack of Bovidaen herbivores will rob us of that spectacle.

The brethren of Exmoor Lodge wish him well for the forthcoming year.

Pictured above L-R. W.Bro Andy Hadley Chr.Stwd., R.W. Bro. Stuart Hadler PGM, W.Bro Garry Holman WM.
Presentation of fourth Ashlar to Exmoor Lodge.

Bro. Andy Baird
Lodge Information Officer

Elizabethan Lodge get sporty

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Elizabethan Lodge No 7296 became a whole lot sportier on Tuesday 19th January when we initiated a professional rugby player into our lodge.

Bro Kane Palmer-Newport, who plays in the Premiership as a prop for Bath RFC, enjoyed the evening along with over 20 visitors including a small deputation from the Adair club. W Bro Malcolm Toogood led an excellent ceremony involving as many of the members as possible including our secretary W Bro Peter Leycock who stepped down onto the floor for the first time in years and Bro Richard Yeomans an EA making his debut presenting the Working Tools at only his 3rd ever meeting.

The festive board was typically Elizabethan, good food, good company and lots of fun.

Pictured above is Bro. Kane at work
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Our season continues in a positive fashion with a new joining member and then another new member being initiated at our April meeting when we will be enjoying some more of Elizabethan Lodge’s famous after dinner entertainment. We meet on the 1st Tuesday of the month and visitors are most welcome to join us.

Pictured right are W.Bro. Neil Hawes PSGW, Bro. Kane Palmer-Newport and W.Bro. Malcolm Toogood WM

Photographs and editorial by W.Bro. Paul Mallon

Estune Lodge Initiate a Lewis

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A very emotional meeting took place on Tuesday 19th January in Estune Lodge when W.Bro Simon Eden, currently Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, took the chair of a specially arranged Past Masters ceremony to initiate his son Timothy into the Lodge.
This coincided with a Provincial Fraternal visit led by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro David C.A. Mason.
W.Bro. David Wasmuth gave a very wonderful resume and toast to the candidate at the Festive board.

W.Bro Nick Britton, Provincial Assistant Director of Ceremonies kindly responded to the toast to the visitors.

Estune are very proud to now have Tim as a member.

John W Wyatt
Lodge Secretary.


Vale of Brislington - Dragon Boat Race

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22nd May 2015 saw the Installation of Dave Roberts into the Chair of the Vale of Brislington Lodge 1296 that meet at Keynsham.
During his year, he was keen to organise an event that would involve Brethren, their family and friends.
He recognised that there was an opportunity to introduce potential candidates to Masonry by meeting those people who were peripheral to their Lodge.
Dave’s Daughter Victoria had taken part in a dragon boat race in Bristol Docks in 2014, which had proved to be a really exciting day and was very successful in raising money for charity.

The Dragon-Boat race is organised by Julian House with the main sponsor being Simply Health. Companies or charitable organisations are invited to take part in the boat race, contributing an amount of £375.00 to secure their place.
For this they get a boat, plus a pitch on the day at the side of the docks from which they are able to generate additional funds for their selected charity. Each boats crew consists of sixteen rowers and a drummer.

At the festive board following Dave’s Installation, he proposed that the lodge should enter a team and the response was amazing. Even the older Brethren wanted to get involved in some way. For some of those Brethren who could not physically take part they entered their sons, and in one case a daughter.
Their chosen charity was Breast Cancer Research and a target of £2,000 was agreed upon and a boat name chosen - “The Dafty Oars”.
As each boat was to hold a total of seventeen, it was agreed that each member would try and raise £100.00. Pink fairy cakes were made by the wives to sell on the day and additionally, a Lucky Dip and Face Painting were added to their stall.

Race day was the 5th September and as the day approached, excitement grew in the Lodge; there were several jokes about the questionable fitness levels of participating members due to over indulging and too much visiting!! The Team recognised they didn’t have a chance of winning but decided it was all about taking part.
Saturday morning arrived and two packed mini busses left the Masonic Hall amidst much banter.

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Following a safety briefing the members and families set up shop and donned the must wear t-shirt s to great hilarity.

The event consisted of four heats, with the fastest three boats being placed in a final.
The first race was accompanied by lots of music and cheering from the spectators and the all-important times were duly recorded.
Then it was the Vales’ “The Dafty Oars” turn and they took on the challenge with great gusto, winning the heat and recording the fastest time overall which placed them in the lead.
The next race produced a second but enabled them to maintain overall lead. If they could keep up the same pace in their third race they would be in the final. They again finished first and realised that at worst they could achieve a bronze medal.

The final race came and they rowed to the start line supported by music from Hawaii Five O blaring out and people shouting, then they got in rhythm, faster and faster and at the line a photo was needed to establish the winner.

It was a tense time and the team disembarked and gathered around waiting for the result. Third place with bronze was Rolls Royce. Second place with silver was the Bee Team and against all odds, “The Dafty Oars” from the Vale of Brislington had won gold.

A total of £3622.00 was raised which was later presented to Jackie Morris at the “Touch of Pink” Ball on the 21st November 2015 in Bristol

This year the race is on the 3rd September 2016 and the Vale Team will return for another challenge. It is understood that some of the wives will be entering their own team.

Congratulations to the members of the Vale of Brislington

If any other Lodge is interested in entering a team please contact David Roberts at Vale of Brislington Lodge email


Forest of Mendip Lodge fund new cupboard for Blagdon Rainbows

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A couple of years ago Blagdon Rainbows were assisted with a financial donation by the Forest of Mendip Lodge.
The group under the leadership of Tracy Higgins meet in the Blagdon infants school and were recently told that their storage cupboard was not safe so they had to purchase another cupboard. They could not afford to replace it themselves, so asked if we could assist. We found that we could cover the whole cost and sent a cheque to them and they were able to purchase the cupboard to the specifications required by the school.

The Worshipful Master Ian Drewitt attended with the LIO and he is seen here with Tracy and the children surrounding the new cupboard.

A wonderful Christmas present.

Ray Beckingham. L.I.O.