RAM Assembly 2009
The meeting was held on Saturday 28th February 2009 at Nailsea Masonic Centre under the Banner of the Somerset Commanders Lodge No. 1652. The Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Commander, David Platten after which the Lodge rose to welcome the Provincial Grand Master, David B. Nelson escorted by the Provincial team. The PGM accepted the proffered gavel and opened the Annual Assembly of Royal Ark Masons in due form. The Provincial Grand Master welcomed the visiting dignitaries after which the roll of Royal Ark Mariners was called; all Lodges were represented. During the proceedings an explanation of the Tracing Board was presented by ten members of the Provincial Lodge of Improvement under the guidance of W. Bro. Derek Wilton, namely: Graham Gamble, Neil Hurcum, Andy Gray, Wayne Kelly, Sandy Kemlo, Ian Strickland, John Nicholson, Neil Hawes, David Holder, Geoff Seaman and Eric Kellett.
The PGM next personally welcomed the newly elevated Royal Ark Mariners present and welcomed them to the order. Afterwards he was delighted to invest Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank on the following W. Brethren: R. L. Newman, T. C. Burton, D. R. Townson, C. A. Scull, P. A. Ellis and D. A. Shailer. W.Bro. Shailer who has served as Deputy Provincial Grand Secretary for 7 years will stand down at the next Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at the Webbington Hotel in May. On behalf of himself and the Province, the PGM thanked him for all he had done for the Royal Ark Mariners degree and the individual Lodges he had served faithfully during his period of Office.
The PGM next addressed the Assembly, extracts of his address follow: “Brother Royal Ark Mariners may I again welcome the many visitors and guests from the adjacent Provinces especially the Provincial Grand Masters who have supported me today, together with all Royal Ark Mariners who have taken the time to join us this morning. Our new Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Banner paraded into this Assembly today, was recently completed by a Brother who wishes to remain anonymous but as he is here today may I thank him on my own and the Province’s behalf for his workmanship in making the pole and mounting the banner. I would also like to thank both Exmoor and Fidelity and Unanimity Lodges for their contribution to the various items needed to complete it. The history of our Mark Province is now being written and the work and support of Royal Ark Mariners to the Province will make a very interesting chapter that I hope will be an inspiration to all the Brethren who read it.
Today I have had the privilege to invest Brethren with Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank, an honour I confer on Past Commanders in Somerset who make a regular contribution to their Lodge; I do congratulate them all. (Their names appear in the report above).
One of the features of this Assembly since its inception is an item within the Agenda for Brethren of the Province to demonstrate a small part of the ritual. Today I am pleased to congratulate WBro. Derek Wilton and the 10 Members of the Provincial Lodge of Improvement for presenting the explanation of the Tracing Board so expertly; their names also appear above.
The “Travelling Ark” sails its way from Lodge to Lodge promoting fellowship and goodwill and I know that it is the foundation for creating many friendships between the Brethren of our Lodges and I would thank our Deputy Provincial Grand Master Raymond Guthrie for organising and making all the arrangements for the schedule of visits.
One of my greatest pleasures throughout the year is to visit my Royal Ark Mariners Lodges either at their Installation or at a Regular business meeting and I always look forward to these official visits, you all make me very welcome and my journey worthwhile especially when I can renew old friendships, and greet new Brethren as I have done this morning.
This meeting takes a tremendous amount of forward planning and organisation in setting up the Temple and planning the ceremonial for the day. I would like to particularly thank the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Cliff Hannabuss, together with the Provincial Grand Secretary John Morgan and the Deputy Provincial Grand Secretary Derek Shailer for their hard work in the administration and preparation of the meeting over the last few months. May I also thank David Platten the Commander and Peter Boice the Scribe of the Somerset Commanders Lodge for organising the necessary domestic details for today’s meeting and permitting us all to share their Installation meeting with the business of this Annual Assembly. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed the meeting and will take away happy memories of a successful and happy day. I do thank you for your support and your courtesy and close attention to this address” The PGM concluded. “May the Supreme Commander of the Universe guide us in all our undertakings and steer our thoughts and our personal actions in our daily lives so that we may always reflect on the principles of Freemasonry, ensuring we apply the strong symbolic messages embedded in our ritual, together with those other cardinal virtues so expertly depicted in our lovely Order of Watchfulness, Discretion, Brotherly Love, Truth and Charity to all. Thank you Brethren”
The Assembly was closed in due form, the PGM returned the gavel to the Worshipful Commander with thanks for the courtesy shown to the Provincial Assembly by allowing them to interrupt
the Lodge Proceedings. There then followed the Installation of the Commander Elect John Lendon, the address to whom was given by the PGM. The day ended with a splendid Festive Board in great spirits and camaraderie