Issue 2 of the Keystone Magazine,

Issue 2 of the Keystone Magazine,


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Issue 2 : Spring 2019


Spring Issue 2019 Page1

Royal Ark Mariners need you!

I am extremely proud of the Degrees over which I have ruled during my

time as your Provincial Grand Master. I am equally as pleased to regularly

witness the huge amount of enjoyment that the membership of them


I would, however, liked to have seen more Mark Master Masons

becoming Royal Ark Mariners in order for them to also experience

the fulfilment and enjoyment to be gained from membership of this


We have around 700 subscribing members in the Mark Degree,

with around 47% being Royal Ark Mariners, equating to just 331


So, before I retire as your P.G.M. I would like to take this last

opportunity to ask those of you who have not yet taken this

Masonic step, to seriously consider joining this beautiful and

rewarding Degree.

There are 12 Royal Ark Mariner Lodges in the Province of Somerset,

having a total of 416 members. The aforementioned number of 331

accounts for those brethren who are members of more than one of these


We have Royal Ark Mariner Lodges meeting in the following Masonic Centres

within our Province, so you should have no problem finding one conveniently located.

Choose from either: Bath, Keynsham, Wincanton, Frome, Burnham, Taunton, Chard, Minehead,

Clevedon, Yatton, Nailsea or Wedmore.

What can I tell you about this wonderful degree?

The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners is a completely separate Degree. The

Degree of Royal Ark Mariner has been under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

since 1871. Prior to that date, it had been worked in various other Lodges, especially Mark Lodges.

The Mark Grand Master is also ‘Grand Master of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark

Mariners’, administered through the Grand Master's Royal Ark Council. Similarly, each Mark Provincial

Grand Master has jurisdiction over all Royal Ark Mariner Lodges within his Province.

To become a Royal Ark Mariner you must first be a Mark Master Mason.

The precise origin of the Order is unknown, however, the first authentic record of the Degree of Royal

Ark Mariner appears in the minutes of a meeting held in Bath in 1790. There are however, earlier

documents that refer to Noah in a Masonic

Continued page 2

Royal Ark Mariners Need You!

Who’s Who at the


The Keystone is the

publication of the

Provincial Grand Lodge

of Mark Master Masons

of Somerset


R. J. Dredge

2 Styles Park


Somerset BA11 5AL

01373 467145




92A High Street



BA13 4AN

01373 832343


context, as well as an eighteenth century reference to a ‘Grand Lodge of Ark


The Degree's ceremony of Elevation equates the admission of the candidate

to Noah's progress to salvation. By employing his skills and labour in building

the Ark, Noah and his family are carried to the haven of rest.

As in the Craft, the ceremony emphasises the virtues of wisdom, strength

and beauty, here referring to the wisdom of Noah in constructing the Ark,

his strength of character and the beauty of his workmanship.

The regalia of the Order is quite simple, but colourful. The candidate is

presented with a beautifully uncluttered apron and also a jewel. The jewel of

the Order is formed in the shape of a rainbow with a dove bearing an olive

branch. It is appended to a rainbow-coloured ribbon.

Regalia worn by the Officers and Past Commanders of the Order also include

the addition of a rainbow coloured collarette ribbon and triangular jewel.

This jewel depicts a representation of Noah’s Ark. The only change bourn by

the apron is silver-coloured triangles replacing the three rosettes when one

assumes the Chair. These become gilt if one receives Grand Rank.

The representation to the dove bearing an olive branch is an affirmation of

Order’s link to the Craft, where the Deacons’ regalia bear the same symbol.

It also relates directly to the story of the Flood and the salvation of Noah.

With most Royal Ark Mariner Lodges meeting but three times a year, your

time commitment will not be too onerous.

I have no doubt that you will find the ceremony of Elevation very

exhilarating and that your membership thereafter will provide you with

much enjoyment.

If you are interested in joining this wonderful Degree, please contact W.Bro

Richard Dredge by any of the below means providing him with your full

details, Mark Lodge details and which RAM lodge you are interested in


Your interest will then be passed to the Secretary of your preferred choice

of Royal Ark Mariner Lodge and he will contact you to discuss the matter


Check the Provincial

Website at



for UpToDate news from

the Mark Province of


Richard Dredge, 2 Styles Park, Frome, Somerset,BA11 5AL

Email rjdsingers@aol.com



Spring Issue 2019 Page2

Interview With W. Bro Tony Guthrie

How long have you been a Freemason and in particular a Mark Master Mason

and Royal Ark Mariner?

I was Initiated into Priory Lodge at Keynsham in 1999 although I was still in the

Royal Navy up until 2003 so wasn’t terribly active in Freemasonry up until that

point. I was then Advanced into Carnarvon Mark Lodge in 2004 and Elevated

into Warminster Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners (across the Border in Wiltshire!)

the following year.

What is your profession and how do you balance you working life / home

Life / Freemasonry?

I run my own Electrical Contracting Business, based in Trowbridge. It’s hard work at times and

can be pretty busy but it is flexible up to a point, so some careful planning means that

Freemasonry can usually be accommodated! My partner, Jayne, is incredibly supportive and I

certainly couldn’t dedicate as much time to Masonry without her help.

How much of a surprise was your appointment and how are you approaching this fantastic


It was a massive surprise to be honest! It’s still a little way off so there hasn’t been too much

preparation yet. I’m still Deputy Provincial DC so life is still fairly busy with the Team, a job I’ve

enjoyed immensely over the last few years but I’m obviously looking forward to the new


Being a Lewis and Dad being a Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Degree will

it be difficult to follow in his footsteps?

I don’t think so, it’s a massive help to have some serious insight into just how much work is

involved. As for following in his footsteps I think you need to try and make your own mark (no

pun intended!) so that doesn’t really enter the thought process

Where do you spend your holidays and why?

Jayne and I have two rather large Newfoundland Dogs, so foreign holidays can be a bit tricky.

We are lucky enough to have a VW Camper Van and the dogs just about fit inside it, so we try

and get away in that whenever we can.

You are extremely well known across the Province so I assume you must have some strong

views on visiting?

I think it’s a vital part of Masonry, anyone who isn’t visiting really is missing out on a wonderful

opportunity. I do realise that not everyone has the time or the flexibility at work to get to

Meetings regularly but I am convinced that anyone who enjoys spending time at their own

Lodge, will definitely enjoy visiting new places and meeting new friends whilst visiting other

Lodges. There’s also the added bonus that whilst visiting, you can just kick back, relax and

watch someone else do all the work!

One could say you are young to take this office, how would you respond to this?

Some would think it’s a little strange that 45 is considered young to take up a senior position in

an organisation but that does seem to be the case in Masonry. As an organisation we do seem

to struggle to recruit and then retain younger Brethren in particular although some Lodges are

better than others at doing it. Perhaps the constraints of work and modern life are a factor. I

feel very fortunate that I was able to join and enjoy Masonry from a young age, so at 45 I do

have a few year’s experience under my belt. Hopefully a slightly younger perspective will be a

valuable contribution, although unfortunately for me I do seem to have more than my fair

share of grey hair!

Spring Issue 2019 Page3

Provincial Almoner -W.Bro David Lyons

The much debated requirements of the Data Protection Act (GDPA) seem to be

resulting in a variety of different interpretations.

Mark Grand Lodge has made it clear that they have taken legal advice as part of

a careful and considered look at the implications of the Act. They are due to

issue their recommendations shortly. However, at the time of writing we are still

awaiting their advice.

I have talked to Darren Coleman, Charities Manager for the MBF, about the

situation Lodge Almoners find themselves in when reporting to their Lodge and

it would seem that the advice already given to Craft Lodge Almoners, is very much in line with

what is required.

A Brother may be mentioned by name in a Report but an update on a Brother’s health, “Should

not be given without the express consent of that Brother”. Consent should not be assumed

because you have talked to the Brother. “Consent will normally be oral, but could be in writing

or even by gesture”. Either way a Brother should confirm that he is, “Happy for you to report on

my health to the Lodge in the usual way”.

Similarly a Brother needs to give his consent for you to report on the health of his next of Kin

and for the details of your report to be included in the Minutes. Without consent the minutes

should simply record that an oral report was given by the Almoner.

I do hope that with information from Mark Grand Lodge we can confirm or adjust these

guidelines as necessary, in the near future.

I would remind Brethren that our own Provincial financial resources enable us to act very

promptly to help a Brother in need. Do contact me to see if we can assist in any way.

It is repeating previous comments but inevitably I have to encourage Brethren to continue to

keep me up to date and fully informed.

If any Almoner or Brother does need to contact me, I should be available on one of the

following: -

Home – 01761 232387 Mobile – 07790 234849 e mail – thelyons275@btinternet.com

In Memorium

W.Bro William G Roast Cerdic Lodge of RAM 571 Died 1st May 2018

Bro James A Summers Royal Cumberland 11 Died 8th May 2018

W.bro Edward G Guy Nailsea Lodge 1548 Died 11th June 2018

W.Bro Peter N Cornall Nailsea Lodge 1548 Died 19th June 2018

W.Brp Michael F Thatcher William Long Lodge 191 Died 24th June 2018

W.Bro Donald C Smith William Long Lodge 191 Died 25th June 2018

W.Bro Walter Wood Nailsea Lodge 1548 Died 15th July2-18

W.Bro Terence Foad Hallam Lodge 730 Died 10th August 2018

Bro Cedric A Platt Nailsea Lodge 1548 Died 19th August 2018

Bro David R Talbot William de Irwin Lodge 162 Died 22nd September 2018

W.bro Barry C Osborne Nailsea Lodge 1548 Died 11th October 2018

Bro Andrew A Cambell Cerdic Lodge 571 Died 30th October 2018

W.Bro Clifford Helliker Else Lodge 102 Died13th January 2019

Spring Issue 2019 Page4

Dates For Your Diary


Provincial Diary

















15th March Isle of Wedmore William Long

4th April William Long

Nailsea Mark

2nd September Nailsea Mark

Installed Mark Masters (Wedmore)

9th October Installed Mark Masters Royal Cumberland (Bath)

8th November Royal Cumberland to Somerdale (Keynsham

21st January Somerdale to Mendip (Glastonbury)

19th February Mendip to Cerdic (Chard)

26th March Cerdic to William de Irwin

28th May Willian de Irwin to Portal (Frome)

20th July Portal to St Andrews (TBC)

28th September St Andrews to Royal Sussex (Bath)

19th October Royal Sussex to Carnarvon (Keynsham)

25th November Carnarvon to Hallam (Clevedon)

Spring Issue 2019 Page5

Royal Ark Mariners

22nd March Nailsea

Cerdic (Chard)

14th June Cerdic Exmoor

4th September Exmoor

Fidelity & Unanimity

2nd December Fidelity & Unanimity Thackery (Clevedon)

27th February Thackeray to Yatton (Yatton)

1st April Yatton to Bath (Bath)

10th June Bath to Portal (Frome)

5th September Portal to RAM Assembly

The Travelling Ark

W Bro Paul Cullum ADC of the Exmoor Lodge 697, in the absence of the Worshipful Master

presents the Travelling Ark to the Provincial Grand Master at the Provincial Grand Assembly held

at the Webbington Hotel on Saturday 1st September 2018 .

Spring Issue 2019 Page6

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Spring Issue 2019 Page10

Else Lodge 102

Where does the name "Else" come from?

Richard Charles Else was advanced into Else Lodge, No.102 (Then

known as The United Artillery, Engineer and Rifle Volunteer

Lodge of Mark Master Masons) in 1870. In 1881 he was

appointed Provincial Grand Mark Master for Somersetshire.

Richard Charles Else was initiated into the Rural Philanthropic

Lodge, No.291 Highbridge in 1858. He was Worshipful Master in

1865, 1877 and 1893, between these dates; he spent many years

as Lodge Treasurer. He was appointed Provincial Grand Secretary

in 1870 and in 1875 was appointed Deputy Provincial Grand

Master for Somersetshire. He held this post for 27 years, retiring

in 1902. During his 37 years as an executive officer, he visited

countless Lodges and performed various other functions

including the Consecration of four new Lodges and the

installation of 594 Worshipful Masters. In 1882 he was made

Grand Deacon of England by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales later to become King Edward VII.

The Lodge Warrant dates from 1868 & was first named

as The Artillery Engineer and Rifle Volunteer Lodge of

Mark Master Masons.

At the dawn of the 21st Century when happily

computers world-wide did not crash as predicted, the

Else Lodge Committee considered a proposition from

Bro. Tony Harwood that a lodge banner should be

commissioned to mark the turn of the Century. This

was unanimously approved & Worshipful Master

Patrick Morrisey agreed together with Bro. Harwood to

submit a design for the approval of the Committee. The

wording on the banner was consequently agreed to

reflect the original Lodge name. The Artillery Engineer

and Rifle Volunteer Lodge ceased work for twelve years

in late 19th Century & when re-consecrated in 1892

was re-named after Right Worshipful Brother Richard

Charles Else.

The Banner was made by South Wales Regalia in

Swansea at a cost of £800, the money being raised by

the brethren through many social events & personal contributions. It was completed in

February 2004 & was dedicated by the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset Right Worshipful

Bro. Anthony Walter Samson Hick & the Provincial Team on Tuesday 16th March 2004, carried

into the Lodge by the newest Advancee Bro. Umit Shevket.

Spring Issue 2019 Page11

Development Team

Derek Wilton heads up the: TEAM OF DEVELOPMENT AND


He talks about the role they play in the Royal Ark Mariner


In his early days as Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro.David

Nelson decided that there was a possible need for a

demonstration team to provide assistance to Lodges in the

Province, more often than not to be used when there was no

candidate or ceremony. It was emphasised at the time that this

was not to be some elite group as some might had presumed but

that they would only attend when requested by the Lodge.

When forming the team we were careful to choose members that were

good at their ritual but had the ability to promote friendship and camaraderie with their hosts.

not just

Another plus to Lodges who may be struggling with attendance is that we take up to ten members on

visits which helps swell the numbers. All members pay for their meals so there is no expense to the


When R.W.Bro.John Morgan became P.G.M. he was keen to continue the practice and changed the

name of the team to the “Team of Development and Improvement” as it better reflected the

purpose of the team. Since then he has continued to give us great support and encouragement.

We are available to perform lectures, tracing boards, as well as demonstrating advancements and

elevations. Recently the team has performed a play entitled Noah and the flood at our own Royal Ark

Mariners Assembly as well as in other Provinces.

As there is no references to either, Royal Ark Mariners degree or the Mark degree the PGM has

commented that he can see no reason why this cannot be performed on an evening in a lodge as

something a little different.

The team have always been well received on their visits and the members enjoy the evening as much

as their hosts.

We would welcome any requests for visits but

please give us some notice as it is sometimes

quite difficult to get all the members required

to make the evening work.

Contact: Derek Wilton Tel Home 01275

878337, Mobile: 07889077968, E mail


Spring Issue 2019 Page12

2018 Provincial Golf Challenge

The 10th Annual Provincial Golf Challenge was held at Farrington Park Golf and Country Club on 6th

August 2018. This friendly competition was originally envisaged by the late W.Brother Robin Bex in

2009 and the inaugural competition was held on the 18th August 2009 at Clevedon Golf Club.

There are four teams comprising six golfers each taking part, Craft, Chapter, Mark and KT. Each

team Captain taking it in turn to organise the event. This year it was the turn of the Mark Captain,

Ray Guthrie to host the event.

It was yet another sunny warm day, although the course is suffering somewhat from lack of rain,

everyone agreed it was in good shape and enjoyable to play.

At the meal after the golf Ray welcomed all the golfers and particularly the Captains, Craft - Peter

Layzell, Royal Arch - Barry Woodside whose team were the holders of the trophy and Jon Mansell -

Knights Templar. Barry was congratulated on his forthcoming appointment as Grand

Superintendent and received acclamation from all present.

Before congratulating the winners and presenting the trophy Barry mentioned that the cup had

been engraved The Robin Bex Trophy in memory of the brother who started this golf ball rolling.

The highest individual score of the day was recorded by Martin (I'm not scoring well) Hares for the

Craft team with 40 points.

Barry Woodside presents trophy to Ray Guthrie and the Mark Team. l to r Tony Guthrie, Derek

Wilton, Richard Stone, Ray Guthrie, Roger Hutchings, John Nicholson and Barry Woodside.

Date for Diary

Mark Golf Day 21st June 2019

Friday 21st June 2019 - The 14th Annual Mark Golf Day will be held at Wedmore Golf Club. All

golfers welcome!

Spring Issue 2019 Page13


Is this two very ordinary Mark Masons laying wreaths at the Huish Episcopi War Memorial?

Certainly not! It’s two very brave men remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

On the left Brother Mike Johnson retired Chief Petty Officer, Winchman, Diver and senior instructor

Royal Navy and that on the right WBro Steve McNaughton Prov Asst GDC retired winchman and

Royal Navy Diver

Coincidently Mike and Steve worked together in the Navy, Mike being Steve’s instructor.

Both of whom ended up living in Somerset and both are members of Portcullis Lodge (Mark and


Mike’s Medals

The medal on the Left is for Long service and good

conduct, the second is the campaign medal for

Borneo, and the third is also a campaign medal

issued by the Malaysian Government for the same


Steve’s Medals

From left to right, Northern Ireland, Falklands

Conflict, (with rosette, because he was in the

war zone) and Long Service and Good Conduct.

Plus (difficult to see) a bronze oak leaf,

The Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air (QCVSA) for bravery was awarded to

Steve in the New Year’s Honours List. It reflected his career as a Search and Rescue Diver, during

which time he partook in many (he has never counted) hairy rescues. It is represented by a bronze

oak leaf, which is also the insignia of the Mention in Despatches.

Spring Issue 2019 Page14

600 Club

The 600 club draw takes place at a different Lodge each month.

Prizes are 1st £150, 2nd £100, 3rd & 4th £50.

If you do not yet subscribe and wish to do so please fill in the

section below and give or send to W.Bro John Nicholson


Sep-18 208 Mrs Lynne O’Malley White 781 £150.00 Monument, Wellington

253 W.Bro Peter Harris 807 £100.00

229 W Bro. Derek Bromwich 730 £50.00

608 W.Bro Chris Beckett 191 £50.00

Oct-18 374 W Bro. Mike Waterman 162 £150.00 Monument, Wellington

199 W Bro. Mike Fazackerley 102 £100.00

142 W.Bro Julian Wittleton 781 £50.00

303 R W Bro Trevor Smith 1608 £50.00

Nov-18 411 Mrs Elaine Tozer 1295 £150.00 Cerdic, Chard

542 W.Bro Peter Martin TI £100.00

512 W Bro Jim Nicol 1295 £50.00

610 W Bro Ian Pamplin 162 £50.00

Dec-18 157 W Bro Terry Gilbert 102 £150.00 Carnarvon, Keynsham

496 Mrs Carol Round 749 £100.00

505 Mrs Jean Bevis 119 £100.00

202 W Bro Peter Knapman 1608 £100.00

446 Mrs Zena Summerhill 730 £100.00

345 Mrs Elaine Tozer 1295 £100.00

Jan-19 203 W.Bro Richard Thursdon TI £150.00 William Long, Burnham-on-Sea

533 W. Bro Phil Voisey 807 £100.00

367 W.Bro Richard Kilburn 191 £50.00

197 W.Bro David Hillburn 781 £50.00

If you wish to subscribe to the 600 club

please complete the following form and

give or send it to John Nicholson at


Timsbury Bottom




Payment by Cheque, Cash and BACS


Sort code 60-02-05 Account Number 50943952

Please reference your name and “600 Club”

Name ………………………………………………………………………….

Address ……………………………………………………………………..



Post Code …………………………………………………………………….

Tel No ……………………………………………………………………...

Lodge ……………………………………………………………………..

Number of £10 shares ………………………………………………...

Spring Issue 2019 Page15

Retirement of R W Bro John Morgan

Farewell to our Provincial Grand Master

We were all very surprised and somewhat saddened to read the

following letter

“Another year is fast drawing to its close and Christmas will soon be

upon us once again. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you

all for the support and commitment you have given to me and your

respective Lodges during the past year and have no doubt that the

Province can look forward to a positive, successful and enjoyable

forthcoming year.

I have been very privileged to serve you all as your Provincial Grand

Master but, change is inevitable and should be embraced. To this end I

wish to formally inform you that this will be my last Christmas message

to you as I shall be retiring as your Provincial Grand Master at midnight

on 3rd May 2019.

I am pleased, however, to announce that the Most Worshipful Grand

Master His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent,GCVO has been

pleased to appoint the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Very Worshipful

Brother Philip Clifford Voisey, P.G.J.O. as our new Provincial Grand

Master and he will be invested on Saturday 4th May 2019 followed by

the Annual Provincial Meeting. I formally congratulate him and wish him

every happiness and success in his new venture.

Again, I thank you all most sincerely for the warmth of the welcome and hospitality I have received on my

visits to your respective Lodges.

I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year and may

the Great Overseer and Supreme Commander of the Universe watch over you and keep you safe during

the year ahead.

Happy Christmas and best Wishes for the New Year to you all”

R W Bro John Morgan has been a major influence on the Mark and Royal Ark Marines degrees in

Somerset during his time as our PGM and we will all miss his guidance and the enormous level of energy

that he always demonstrated.

In saying goodbye to R W Bro John we all realise that he has truly earned his forthcoming rest and we

wish him and W Bro Derek a long and happy retirement.

Godspeed R W Bro John and thanks for all you have achieved as our

Provincial Grand Master

Spring Issue 2019 Page16

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