Somerset Freemasons

Provincial News 2017

Provincial News June 2017


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

Stacks Image 173
The Tercentenary Church Service will be held on Sunday 25th June, starting at 3.00pm, when, by kind permission of the Dean, we will be joining Evensong at Wells Cathedral. All members, together with their families and friends, are invited to attend this important event as part of our celebrations of the 300th anniversary of English Freemasonry.

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

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

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

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

Provincial News May 2017


Consecration of Columbanus Lodge No. 9941

Stacks Image 154
There was not a spare seat at the Masonic Hall in Keynsham on Saturday 20th May 2017 when a flagstone of Masonic history was laid down.  Thirty motorcyclist freemasons from across Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire came together to form a new Lodge.  A Lodge based upon their love of not only the Craft but also Motorcycling.  Eight masons from Wiltshire, five from Gloucestershire, three from Wales and fourteen from Somerset became either Primus Officers or Founder members of the Columbanus Lodge No. 9941 which was consecrated in a wonderful ceremony led by RW Bro Stuart Hadler the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset.

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

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

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

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

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

Pic shows The Founder Members

Provincial Tercentenary Ball

What a Night

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

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

To book Gary for your special function go to

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

Click on picture to view gallery

Provincial News March 2017


Inter Province Dinner

Stacks Image 62
PGL Bristol offered shares in ‘Bridgwater Bay Tidal Barrier and Tropical Lagoon Project’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

Provincial News January 2017


£50,000 Ambulance for British Red Cross at Taunton

Stacks Image 20

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

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

Stacks Image 29
Stacks Image 31

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

Stacks Image 36
Stacks Image 38

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

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

Barry Davies
Compass Editor

Stacks Image 22
Stacks Image 24