The Somerset Antient Mark Masons is not a Lodge but a demonstration team of international repute! The team has thirty or so members and is organised by W.Bro Barrie Baker. The team performs a ceremony that predates the formation of The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, the demonstrations are enacted in costume and have taken place all over the UK and Europe.

The photo shows members of the Somerset Antient Mark Masons team together with the Most Worshipful the Grand Master His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, The Pro Grand Master the Most Worshipful Brother John Hale at the celebration to mark John Hale's 50 years in Mark Masonry.
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Programme of Demonstrations 2018 - 19

2018
26th October - Berkshire and Oxford IMM 1330 - Wallingford
26th November - Royal Sussex Lodge of MMM No 177 - Bath
2019
11th March - Radnor Lodge of MMM No 853 - Salisbury
10th May - Neath Lodge of MMM No 1125 - Neath
6th July - Exmoor Lodge of MMM No 697 - Minhead

The History of SAMMs by Geoff Nash

Our ceremony, of making a Mark Man, is taken verbatim from ancient hand written manuscripts belonging to the Royal Cumberland Mark Lodge meeting at Bath since Time Immemorial. It was in use in that Lodge certainly in 1795 and probably long before that. There was a book for each participating officer. In those days a junior officer was not permitted to see the book of a senior officer until he was appointed to that office.
The Obligation itself was apparently contained in a separate sheet, and is missing from the manuscripts in our possession.
However there is a complete version of an Obligation in another hand written Royal Cumberland Mark Lodge manuscript set, describing a ceremony drawn up in 1885; Just prior to the formation of Mark Grand Lodge. A study of these two ancient manuscript versions lead us to suppose that the missing early Obligation would have been virtually identical to the surviving version, so that is the one we use with a reasonably clear conscience.
It was in 1993, when the idea of a Somerset Mark Demonstration Team was first mooted by the then Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, The Right Worshipful Brother David Palmer.
We gave our first demonstration at Yatton to the George Norman Mark Lodge in 1995 and since then we have given a number of performances throughout our own Province, and also in Devonshire, Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, South Wales, Kent & Surrey.
We can rightly call ourselves the Somerset Antient Mark Masons International, as we have presented our demonstration in Germany and Belgium.
We were requested to go to Carlisle in 2006 as part of the celebration of 50 years in Mark Masonry of the Pro Grand Master the Most Worshipful Brother Bro. John Hale. The Most Worshipful Grand Master His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent was present and enjoyed himself so much that he agreed to be photographed with the team.
Whilst the SAMM’s do not set out to be a fund raising organisation as such, in the event, a donation is usually made to the “Team” which we, in due course, distribute to charity. We have, to date, been able to distribute more than £12.000 to 25 charities.
We make no charge for presenting our demonstration and the members cover all expenses themselves, including travel, overnight stops and our costumes.
This then is a little background of the Somerset Antient Mark Masons. Otherwise known as SAMM’s.

Somerset Antient Mark Masons News and Events

 
  • 2017 September - Shrewsbury - Mark Masonry at its best!

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    On September 4th 2017 members of the Somerset Antient Mark Masons travel to the Province of Staffordshire and Shropshire to perform their demonstration at the Joseph Whittall Lodge Lodge of Installed Mark Masters No 1392 meeting in Shrewsbury.
    An excellent demonstration was carried out in front of about 100 brethren including three Provincial Grand Masters! The SAMM’s team Secretary reported on the their visit to Dunraven Lodge the previous year and said that “it doesn’t get much better than that” -well it just did!- so much so that RWBro John Morgan requested that his sincere congratulations be conveyed to the team!
    “I think it was the best I have seen and it made me feel very proud not only of the team but of Somerset. I felt very privileged to be the PGM of such a great team” RWBro John Morgan, Provincial Grand Master.
    Further congratulations were received from VWBro Geoff Nash who wrote “ First class display of our ceremony every one to be congratulated.”
    In the risings the Provincial Grand Master for Stafford and Shropshire, RWBro Michael Heenan reminded the brethren that funding was still required for their Blood Bike appeal. Afterwards the SAMM’s team secretary held an impromptu meeting in the changing room and everyone agreed that, should a donation be made to the SAMM’s team charity fund, it should be returned to Joseph Whittal Lodge as part of their contribution toward the Blood Bike appeal. The sum of £600 was later presented to our Worshipful Sir, Gary Mackenzie, who immediately gave it back to the Worshipful Master of Joseph Whittal Lodge- to great applause from all those present at the festive board!
    RWBro Michael Heenan wrote
    “ I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the group in agreeing to give our donation back to the Blood Bike appeal. It was truly a magnificent ‘Mark’ gesture that will be well remembered and appreciated not only by me but the whole Province.”
    A similar letter was received from WBro Mike Hughes thanking us for a memorable evening
    “Just a few brief lines which do not really do justice to the demonstration team’s skill and ability. It was a truly memorable evening of Mark fellowship”
    Very tired, most of the team were home by 1.30 am the next day! A long but very satisfying day!
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    "Worshipful Sir" Garry Mackenzie hands back the cheque for £660 to Michael Heenan as a donation to the "Blood Bikes Appeal".
    Photos and copy by Barrie Baker
  • 2015 March - Minehead

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    5th March - Minehead

    Sixteen years after visiting Exmoor Lodge 697 of Mark Master Masons the SAMM’s team returned under the command of the Worshipful Sir WBro Derek Wilton. Our special guest star (kept secret from the members of his Lodge) was VWBro Arthur (John) Lendon.
    The demonstration took place on the 5th March 2015 at the Masonic Hall, Bank Street, Minehead. It coincided with the fraternal visit of Fortescue Lodge No 9 meeting in South Molton Devon. Needless to say the Lodge was full to capacity!
    Following the demonstration an excellent Festive Board was provided by the caterers Sue and Phil Thresher during which a cheque was presented to the Worshipful Sir for the SAMM’s team Charities by WBro. Richard Wickham
    When the Team were changing, John (we believe it was John) was heard to say “this reminds me of when I first joined Freemasonry”.

    The Team

    Worshipful Sir
    Derek Wilton
    Past Master
    John Morgan
    Secretary
    Mike Gagg
    Registrar
    Terry Wadman
    Narrator
    Steve Defries
    Senior Warden
    Ian Strickland
    Junior Warden
    John Nicholson
    Overseer 1
    Eric Kellett
    Overseer 2
    Richard Chivers
    Overseer 3
    John Smith
    Senior Deacon
    David Bush
    Junior Deacon
    Ron Babbage
    Inner Guard
    Roy Morley
    Tyler
    Roy Morley
    Mark Man
    John Lendon
    Landlord
    Roy Morley
    Candidate
    Peter Penfold
    Music Man
    Barrie Baker

    The demonstration was so good that two of the Minehead members asked if they could join the Team. Following our AGM on the 22nd March 2015 both WBro Phil Thresher and Bro Tony Everett are now members of the team.

    Click on the photo top see the other images.

    Copy by Barrie Baker
    Photos by Richard Chivers

  • 2015 October - Bridgend

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    On the 6th October 2015 the SAMM’s team visited Bridgend to carry out a demonstration for the Dunraven Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 950. The Lodge room was packed to capacity with two Provincial Grand Masters in attendance including our own RWBro John Morgan who acted as our Narrator. Unfortunately the Provincial Grand Master of South Wales was otherwise engaged and his place was taken by WBro Thomas Jones.

    Click on the photo top see the other images.

    Copy and photos - Barrie Baker

    It was an opportunity for some of our newer members to take an office in the team. This included Phil Thresher as the Candidate, Graham Bodman as IPM and Bryan Foster as Overseer No 1. All three carried out their duties as if they had always been in the SAMM’s team!
    The friendship of the members of Dunraven Lodge was second to none.
    The secretary of the Lodge WBro Bill Wilson was overheard talking to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master WBro Thomas Jones when it was said that
    ” it does not get better than that!”
    During the Festive Board The Worshipful Sir was presented with £300 for our Charities. The evening ended with Barrie Baker making a witty response on behalf of the visitors which included several comments regarding the English Rugby team!

    The Team

    Worshipful Sir
    Derek Wilton
    Past Master
    John Morgan
    Secretary
    Mike Gagg
    Registrar
    Terry Wadman
    Narrator
    Steve Defries
    Senior Warden
    Ian Strickland
    Junior Warden
    Cliff Hannabuss
    Overseer 1
    Bryan Foster
    Overseer 2
    Richard Chivers
    Overseer 3
    John Smith
    Junior Deacon
    Garry Mackenzie
    Inner Guard
    John Moray
    Tyler
    John Morey
    Mark Man
    Ray Johnston-Smith
    Landlord
    John Morey
    Candidate
    Phil Thresher
    Music Man
    Barrie Baker
  • 2015 November - Eastwood, Essex

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    St KATHARINES LODGE OF MARK MASTER MASONS
    NO 1026

    The SAMM’s Team’s final demonstration for 2015 was held in Eastwood, Essex where they had previously carried out a demonstration almost 8 years ago. This time, however, the Lodge had moved premises from Canvey Island to Eastwood. The team took the opportunity of including their wives for a weekend away. Most of the team booked into the Holiday Inn at Southend Airport which proved a good choice. During the teams last visit they were impressed by the hospitality and friendship of the Lodge members and their wives and the quality of the festive board.

    The Team

    Worshipful Sir
    Ian Strickland
    Past Master
    Steve Defries
    Secretary
    John Smith
    Registrar
    Sidney French
    Narrator
    Geoff Nash
    Senior Warden
    Derek Wilton
    Junior Warden
    Cliff Hannabuss
    Overseer 1
    Bryan Foster
    Overseer 2
    Richard Chivers
    Overseer 3
    John Nicholson
    Junior Deacon
    Peter Roworth
    Inner Guard
    Tony Everett
    Mark Man
    David Bush
    Landlord
    Phil Thresher
    Candidate
    John Morey
    Music Man
    Barrie Baker
    However, eight years has seen changes to the Lodge that no one expected. The standard of the demonstration and accommodation was excellent but unfortunately the team almost outnumbered the Lodge members-who appeared not to have publicised our visit!
    Lessons have now been learned and a different approach to arranging our visits has now been implemented.
    On a more positive note the Worshipful Sir was presented with a £300 cheque for our Charities for which he thanked the Lodge and the members of the SAMM’s team.
    The weekend culminated by driving back to Somerset in appalling weather

    Click on the photo top see the other images.

    Copy and Photos by Barrie Baker

  • 2010 September - Mark Masons Hall, London

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    10th September 2010 SAMMs Visit to Mark Mason Hall, London.

    It was a unique occasion, three Mark Lodges coming together to celebrate jointly their 125th anniversary.
    The meeting was held under the warrant of the Emblematic Lodge of MMM No 350, which was consecrated on 16th February 1885. The other two Lodges are the Royal Savoy Lodge of MMM No. 355 consecrated 31st March 1885 February 1885 and the Chiswick Lodge of MMM No. 357, consecrated 1st June 1885.
    The meeting was opened and closed by the Worshipful Master of Emblematic W.Bro O'Reilly. The Provincial Grand Master for Middlesex, Right Worshipful Brother Peter Halls-Dickerson presided over the business of the evening he was accompanied by David Sparks, the DPGM of Middlesex. Also in attendance as were R.W.Bro John Oakley- Smith the Deputy PGM of Hertfordshire and V.W.Bro.
    David Ashbolt the DepPGM of London.
    The demonstration by the team was well received and enjoyed by the fifty or so members of the three Lodges present. As has become practice the team remained in their costumes when they dined with there hosts.

    In the photo, The PGM for Middlesex Peter Halls-Dickerson (centre) surrounded by members of the SAMMs team.
  • 2010 April - Llanelli

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    April 26th 2010  SAMMs visit Llanelli.

    It was another successful visit by the members of the SAMMs team, this time to the Lliedi Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 820.
    Gary Mackenzie was Worshipful Sir and a total of 24 brethren went to Llanelli this included two guests; John Henson and Sidney French. 
    The Lodge and the Province of Dyfed made fantastic donation was of £750 to the SAMMs charities. The largest largest single donation ever received by the group.
    The photos show from the top. SAMMs John Moray, Eric Kellet and Steve De Fries enjoy the festive board.
    SAMMs Derek Wilton, John Morgam, Terry Wadman and Ron Babbage with PGM of Dyfed, Nigel Adams in the centre.
    The Team with the Master of ? Lodge
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