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.
26th October 2018 - Berkshire and Oxford IMM 1330 - Wallingford
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.
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