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This year’s Annual Meeting, at its usual venue, the Webbington Hotel, near Axbridge was held under the Banner of the Portal Lodge, No. 155 who meet at Frome. Under the watchful eye of Provincial Director of Ceremony Ray Johnstone-Smith, all rose to receive the Portal Lodge Banner, accompanied by the Master of the Lodge and his supporting Brethren. This was closely followed by visiting Dignitaries and Provincial Guests. Again on command, all rose to greet and applaud the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, The Right Worshipful Brother David Brian Nelson accompanied by his Deputy, The Very Worshipful Brother Raymond Guthrie and the Provincial Team.
The opening hymn was sung and Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form. The PGM next welcomed a delegation of Royal Ark Mariners, dressed in their regalia and representing the ten RAM Lodges in the Province. The PGM then rose to welcome by name all the visiting dignitaries from Somerset and the many other Provinces; some new friends and some old friends of the Province.
A Roll of all Somerset Mark and RAM Lodges was next called and it was gratifying to note that every Lodge named was answered by many voices!
The remaining items of business were speedily proposed, seconded and dealt with, including a welcome to all new Mark Master Masons, Advanced over the last year.
The highlight of the meeting arrived with the appointment of the incoming Senior and Junior Wardens, the new Provincial Team, the re-appointment of Executive Officers, and the first time Appointment and Promotion of brethren; each greeted and invested individually by RW.Brother David Nelson. Including Brothers Cedric Platts, of the Nailsea Lodge and Brother David Smith of the Quantock Lodge, shown in the photo below.
The PGM then rose to address the meeting.
The Provincial Grand Master then presented a cheque to R.W.Bro George Bonham, PGM of the Mark Province of Leicester and Rutland as a contribution from the Brethren of Somerset to the 2010 Mark Benevolent Fund Festival.
V.W.Bro Geoff Nash, secretary of the Somerset Ancient Mark Masters Demonstration Team then presented a cheque to the Provincial Grand Master as a contribution from the team to his appeal. The PGM Thanked V.W.Bro Geoff for all his hard work in organising the team and he thanked the members of the team for this generous donation to his appeal.
Provincial Grand Lodge was then closed in due form, the Provincial Grand Master, his Deputy, Provincial Team and visiting Dignitaries retired from the assembly.
Many ladies had accompanied the brethren to the meeting and were separately entertained by a talk from “Dogs for Deaf People”, one of the two charities the PGM had chosen for this Masonic year; a cheque for £10,000 had been presented to this charity at an earlier date.
The Happy atmosphere continued into the Festive Board that accompanied the meeting, with minimum speeches and maximum enjoyment and laughter; a very satisfactory end to a pleasant day and a special event on the Provincial Calendar each year!...Pat Morrisey.
The Weston super Mare Table!