1st June 2020 - Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons has released a doucument outlining a provisional strategy for exiting the Masonic shut down. Read the Grand Secretary's statement.

News and thoughts from brethren in these unusual Covid-19 times
  • The PGM would like to hear about your lockdown project.

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    Durning our Masonic Lockdown our Provincial Grand Master has not been idle, far from it! As the before and after photos show below. The PGM explains:

    Mrs PGM said as you can work from home you need a project, so this was mine it would be interesting to see what projects the Brethren have taken too during the Lockdown, and the new skills that they have mastered!
    My cooking had also improved as well I got a 10 out of 10 for my dauphinois potatoes! Sorry no picture as we ate them!"

    So brethren send us your photos and tell us about your new skills - email your contribution to the webmaster
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  • Somerset Mark Master Masons help the Stable Café Childrens Lunch Project in Weston-super-Mare

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    When the Stable Café, in Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare had to close due to the corona virus pandemic, the proprietor, Prayag Rajpura, looked to see what he could do to help people. He found that there are a lot of children who do not get meal vouchers as they are members of families who did not meet the criteria for free school meals. He set about supplying packed lunches for children in this situation, including those of NHS workers who are having to self-isolate away from their family. In the first seven weeks of the lockdown he has supplied over 3200 meals to these children.
    Prayag is somehow managing to keep this going by relying on food donations from businesses and crowd funding. The local YMCA Youth and Community Team has volunteered to do the lunch pack deliveries. This gives them a chance to catch up with the children they would normally work with, by checking in with people who are vulnerable and struggling through these uncertain times.
    Somerset Mark Master Masons have stepped in to help the project. W Bro Chris Millard WM of Else Lodge No 102, contacted the Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Philp Voisey, to see if we could help this worthy community-based project. The Provincial Grand Master very kindly agreed to make a donation of £250.
    Prayag Rajpura said;- “I am extremely grateful to Somerset Mark Master Masons for their generous support. For a project like ours this money will go a long way and have a big impact on what we can achieve.”
    W Bro Chris Millard WM Else Lodge No 102
    May 2020
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    Some of the packed lunches ready for delivery by local YMCA volunteers.
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    Chris Millard- WM of Else Lodge No 102 in Weston-super-Mare, presenting the cheque to Prayag Rajpura at the Stable Café.
  • Nailsea Royal Ark Mariners support local school

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    The idea of producing PPE masks started from a request the Head Teacher, Mrs Elliott had from North Somerset Community Care for any PPE that we might have as they couldn’t source any at the time. I quickly gathered what we had (safety glasses, goggles, disposable aprons, nitrile gloves and 3 face shields) and got them off to Tyntesfield Medical Group - TMG (Nalsea, Backwell & Long Ashton). We also gave goggles to Nailsea Police who had only been given 4 pairs of glasses. I knew that Priory School in Weston Super Mare were starting to make a face shields. I called them and had a discussion about what they were doing and discovered they were making a version using their laser cutter. I spoke with our Design Technology Technician and he said we could make more robust ones using our 3D printers, we had the materials already on site and within 24 hours we had a prototype that was acceptable to TMG. It then just grew from there and once we had gotten to about 80 we started running out of the PETG filament which the headband is made from so we purchased more.
    I made a request through the secretary of Estune Lodge for some financial help from Nailsea Lodges hoping to get a few hundred pounds towards the materials so we could continue making them. I didn’t expect to get such a fantastic response and the money received from the Masonic Community including yourselves Nailsea Royal Ark Mariners has enabled the school to buy more materials and to order replacement PPE for when schools re-open.
    We are still making the shields and supplying them to both the local community and care homes further afield including the RMBI home at Cadogan Court in Exeter. In total we have now supplied over 160 of these re-usable face shields thanks to the financial support of Freemasons. 

    Most of the masks are now going to care homes and if there is a brother out there with a connection to a care home then please ask them to contact me at cperry@nailseaschool.com and I will see what I can do.
    On behalf of the school can I thank the brethren of Nailsea Royal Ark Mariners Lodge, Estune Lodge and Sir Isaac Newton Lodge for their generous support, I’m sure the Head Teacher will be writing to thank those that have assisted us in doing this work to help keep people on the front line safe.
     
    Chris Perry - Operations Manager and H&S Officer, Nailsea School
    •  3D Printers at Nailsea school

      3D Printers at Nailsea school

    •  A very proffesional finished prodct

      A very proffesional finished prodct

    •  Nailsea School.

      Nailsea School.

  • How did you celebrate VE Day?

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    This is from Pat and Heather Morrissey.

    Hi!!
    After 6 weeks of total isolation it was nice to celebrate VE Day at the bottom of the drive in full sight of our neighbours.
    Heather made the scones & I helped by eating them!


    Regards from, Pat, Heather & Tiger.
    •  Scones for tea!

      Scones for tea!

    •  Cheers!

      Cheers!

    •  Cheers again!

      Cheers again!

    •  Tiger is in on the act!

      Tiger is in on the act!

  • Foodbanks say big thank you to Somerset Mark Masons.

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    On behalf of the Somer Valley Foodbank I would like to thank you for your extremely generous donation of £2,000. We are very grateful for your support as we seek to help the most needy in our community at this very difficult time.
    Jane Street, Treasurer - Somer Valley Foodbank
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    Please pass on the heartfelt thanks of The Lord's Larder for your generous cheque of £750. As you may well imagine we are so busy at the moment and we so appreciate the gift of your Lodge. I ask that you pass on our thanks to your members.
    Jim Banks, Treasurer and Trustee of the Lord's Larder - Chard.
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    We are extremely grateful for your donation to us of £1,500.00. Words cannot thank you enough for this act of kindness supporting our Foodbank. In these troubled times, we are spending more of our funds towards stock of food and toiletries for those in need.
    Elaine Reynolds (Trustee) Cheddar Foodbank
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    Thank you for your generous donation of £2000. We are gratful for the amazing support we have received at this difficult time, please pass on our gratitude to all your members.
    Frederique Wigmore - Weston super Mare Foodbank Manager
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    Thank you so much for this most generous donation of £1250, it is much appreciated by us all at the foodbank.
    Keith Barnard - Bridgwater Foodbank
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    We are extremely grateful for your amazing contribution of £2000 to our Clevedon and District Foodbank. Our younger volunteers are working so hard to keep it going through this crisis. We are thankful to St Andrew’s church, who have let us use their big hall so that social distancing can be maintained successfully. Thank you so much for thinking of us. We wish all of you good health and safety during these difficult days.
    Gil Mears - Treasurer, Clevedon and District Foodbank
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    R.W. Bro Phil, I hope you and your family are fine and well and indeed also all your members in the Province.
    I just wanted to thank you and the members for the great work you have undertaken during this period of lockdown especially in the support and assistance you have given to food banks across the Province.
    Anne was a volunteer every Monday at our local food bank and I know from the experiences she would relate to me what a wonderful service to the most vulnerable they give. To some they really are a life line.
    Thank you the Mark Province of Somerset, you have stood up to the challenge and served your community well.
    Every best wish and may we soon be able to give thanks together.


    RAYMOND SMITH - Pro Grand Master, GLMMM

  • The 'PGM' of Minehead is recovering!

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    25th April - A little info on the "PGM" of Minehead and he has given me permission to send this for inclusion on the Mark website.

    John, since his return home has made remarkable progress in the last 6 weeks, although still very limited in how far he can walk he is very self sufficient and determined his disability will not beat him. He has some help from his neighbours and from Exmoor Masons. Shirley & I keep in contact with him three or four times a week and he likewise keeps in touch with us.
    He has recently had his catheter removed which has made him a very happy individual!! He can now shower himself without assistance. His interest in the Mark degree and especially our Province has not diminished, W.Bro. Graham Gamble or myself keep him updated as much as possible when emails etc are sent out or when any news is received.

    As for myself and Shirley the garden is beginning to look like something that resembles a garden the sheds, summer house & Garage are nearly all painted!
    Hope all is well with you and catch up soon hopefully

    Paul Cullum Exmoor Mark Lodge
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    Thanks for the update Paul and well done John, really good to see you on the road to recovery!
    Ray Guthrie
  • There should be some great golfers in the Province!

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    After five weeks of lockdown not being able to get out for a game of golf, some of us are actually practicing at home. Dave Smith, the secretary of quantock will have no excuse for missing a putt when he gets back to playing!!
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  • From our man in Spain

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    Lockdown in Spain is tough!

    We have been on lockdown for over 5 weeks and have now been informed it will be a minimum of another 4.

    Lockdown in Spain is not like the UK. We are not allowed to step outside the apartment unless it is for groceries or medical supplies and then only one at a time, police are out in numbers to enforce it.
    I was stopped by them and had to open the boot so they could examine my purchases and then had to produce my receipt which they examined thoroughly. Only one person allowed it a car at a time.
    People with dogs are told not to walk them more than 50 meters to do their business.
    They are sometimes ask to provide proof that the dog is theirs as some are borrowing dogs. Incidentally the poor dogs are knackered. I think some of them hide when they here "walkies"
    Because Christine has an underlying condition she hasn't been outside since it started.
    We are luckier than some as we have a garden. However since the lockdown started the weather hasn't been great with quite a lot of rain.
    On the plus side the supermarkets are full of produce and the gin is cheap!
    We are coping really well but will be glad when we can take a walk along the seafront.

    Hope you are all being careful and pleased be safe.

    From your continental reporter

    Derek Wilton

    Glad you’re both safe Derek – keep it that way and looking forward to meeting up after this is all over.
    Ben White
  • Suporting the NHS

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    Bro Chris Dyer, Almoner of Fidelity and Unanimity Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in Taunton, has been so busy during lock down working through that long list of jobs he has accrued since retirement, that he didn't have time to paint a rainbow 🌈. So he has displayed his Royal Ark Mariners collar in his window instead, to pledge his support for the NHS.
    Hoping all Brethren are keeping safe and well.

    Great idea Chris 👏
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Almost 400 years ago another invisible killer was visited on the people of Bridgwater and Taunton.

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3rd May - Thank you brethren from John Nicholson the retiring Provincial Charity Steward.

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3rd May - Some thoughts from David Lyons, who retired yesterday as Provincial Almoner.

2nd May - On what should have been the day of our Provincial meeting, here's a poem that looks forward to better days.
The Old Black Shoes.

1st May - Cancelled Provincial Meeting - A message from the Provincial Grand Master.

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Quantock Lodge new banner has been approved by Grand Lodge.

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Special Covid 19 edition of MCF magazine. Information, support, ideas.

Provincial Grand Master Phil Voisey announces immediate help for Somerset food banks totalling £11,500
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Bridgwater Lodges combine to donate £3,220 to local food bank.

The Provincial Grand Master will take wine with all brethren at 9.00pm every Tuesday. (Details)

Lodge News
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19th February 2020
Cerdic Lodge, A new Advancee and members of Mendip Mark deliver the Travelling Keystone.

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3rd February 2020
Thackeray Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners welcome a new Master Mariner.

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29th January 2020
Fidelity and Unanimity Lodge welcomes the Provincial Grand Master and a new advancee!

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4th March 2020
Quantock Lodge Installation and there is a good year in prospect!

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27th February 2020
W.Bro Matt Williams is installed as the Master of the Portal Lodge of Mark Master Masons.

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24th January 2020
William Long Royal Ark Mariner Lodge gets a membership boost!

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2nd March 2020
Provincial Officers to be appointed at the Provincial Meeting on Saturday 2nd May 2020

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10th March 2020
Somerset Mark Master Masons enjoy a day at the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons meeting in London

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20th February 2020
Yatton RAM - The Travelling Ark arrives from Clevedon and a new member is welcomed.

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11th March 2020
Nailsea Royal Ark Mariners welcome another new recruit.

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24th February 2020
Deputy PGM in the Craft, W.Bro Ben Batley installed as Commander of the Herbert Fuller Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners.

Future Events

Saturday 5th September 2020
Provincial Meeting and Royal Ark Mariner Assembly
will be held at the Webbington Hotel, Axbridge. All Mark Master Masons and Royal Ark Mariners are welcome, wives and partners too.
Summons and dining slip will be available here nearer the date of the meeting.

Calendar of Mark and
Royal Ark Mariner Meetings

Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons Investiture meeting
Tuesday 8th September 2020

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Enjoy a day in London with Provincial Grand Master for the next meeting of Mark Grand Lodge at Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street on Tuesday 98th September 2020
More Information here.
The meeting on 10th March was attended by the brethren in the photo above, see report.

Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Installations

A full list of Installation meetings & Team Visits from July 2019 to June 2020

The Travelling Keystone

Programme 2020 to 2021.
Programme 2021 to 2024
Masters
words for delivery of the Keystone.

The Travelling Ark

Programme for Sept 2020 to 2022
Commanders words for delivery of the Ark.

Proposing a Masonic toast? Here are some helpful hints.

Mark Golf Day 18th June 2021

Friday 18th June 2021 - The 15th Annual Mark Golf Day will be held at Wedmore Golf Club. All golfers welcome!
Download the entry form.
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Provincial 600 Club New Season!

Over £3500 in prizes on offer in the 2019-20 competition, make sure you are in it or you can't win it! Download the entry form.

Somerset Antient Mark Masons

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2020 is looking like a quiet year for the demonstration team with only one booking for Jersey. If your Mark Lodge would like to host a demonstration please contact the secretary, W.Bro Barrie Baker.

Programme for 2020

Taking the fourth regular step Download a pdf leaflet which explains why a Master Mason should join the Mark Degree.

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