© 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
Court of Æþelbald No. 62: Meeting at The Masonic Hall, 99 Bath Road, Keynsham, Bath & NE Somerset, BS31 1SR Regular meetings of the Court are held on the 4th. Monday in March, May, September (Installation). CONTACT SECRETARY: W.Bro. Dr. Keith F. Wiltshire e-mail:  keithmaureen@talktalk.net 1, Claredon House,  Beckspool Road, Frenchay,  Bristol. BS16  1ND Phone: 0117 957 3870 Mob:  0774 120 3641
                ORATION : The Court of Æþelbald No. 62, 23rd January 2010        by W.& Em.Bro. George E.R. Gardner,         Provincial Eminent Grand Prior of Wessex Provincial Grand Master, Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brethren, Grand Officers and very dear Brethren all, as we are gathered here together today in this fine Masonic HallI do wonder exactly how many of you realised as you approached he town of Keynsham, what an historical and significant place you were about
to enter?  It would be virtually impossible for any one of you who do not know it to realise just how this place has grown in size to a Town that is now approaching 18,000 inhabitants, an increase of nearly 400% since the end of the Second World War when there were merely around 5,000 people living here. That   increase   has   been   the   result   of   Keynsham   becoming   a   dormitory   area   for   nearby   Bristol,   an   event   that   has   caused   the   complete alteration   of   the   original   picturesque   Shopping   Centre   comprised   of   individual   shops   to   new   streets   of   chrome,   plate   glass,   concrete and   reconstituted   stone   and   brightly   painted   shop   fronts   of   Supermarkets   and   Chain   Stores.   No   matter   how   or   where   look,   there   is   so little evidence of a village that has such a distinguished and interesting past. It   is   an   historic   past   that   goes   back   well   beyond   the   Roman   occupation   of   this   fair   land   of   ours,   back   to   the   ancient   times   of   cave dwellers   and   of   vast   forests   teeming   with   wildlife.   Many   Monarchs   of   medieval   times   came   here   to   hunt   in   the   forested   places   that abounded   in   this   district,   a   place   that   is   situated   at   the   confluence   of   the   Chew   and   Avon   Rivers,   a   land   of   rich   pastures,   verdant woodlands   and   limestone   outcrops.   There   has   been   much   evidence   of   prehistoric   man,   of   the   Romans   and   the   beautiful   dwellings that   they   constructed   during   the   years   they   were   here,   also   the   Saxon   Minster   plus   numerous Artefacts   of   all   long   lost   Eras   that   have been uncovered, and discovered, around here during the last century. The   main   reason   why   I   am   mentioning   all   of   this   is   because   as   you   well   know,   today   we   are   here   to   consecrate   a   Court   in   our   Order that   is   named   after   one   of   our   ancient   Kings   of   Wessex,   King   AEthelbald,   that   noble   and   brave   King   who   ruled   over   this   part   of England.   His   reign   was   an   extremely   long   time   before   J.   S   Fry   and   his   Sons   had   ever   thought   or   envisaged   about   building   a   Cocoa and   Chocolate   Factory   here,   long   before   there   were   any   of   the   industries   of   Weavers,   Wheelwrights,   Spinning,   Soap   making   ,   Paint, Cement,   Dyes   and   Ochre   toiling   away   in   large   and   small   buildings   and   in   the   diverse   Cottage   type   of   industries. All   of   that   industrial effort   took   place   here   for   many   subsequent   centuries,   that   is   until   the   late   1930's   and   before   the   change   of   size   and   status   of Keynsham to what it is has become at this present moment in time. Yes,   Keynsham,   that   pretty   village,   nestling   as   it   did   in   so   many   folds   of   little   towns   and   villages   that   were   built   of   warm   and   mellow Bath Stone, that stone dating back to the Jurassic and Limestone strata of 500 million years ago, has now gone for ever. It   is   really   quite   easy   to   visualise   the   Roman   Centurions   marching   along   with   their   100   men   on   the   nearby   Fosse   Way,   that   great Roman   road   stretching   for   293   miles   from   the   Wash   in   Norfolk   to   Exeter   in   Devon,   with   several   other   Roman   roads   intersecting   it around   here.   And   now   you   my   very   dear   Brethren,   Founders   of   this   new   Court   of   AEthelbald,   will   be   required   to   march   out   well beyond   your   local   area,   telling   other   Masons   about   our   delightful   Order,   informing   them   of   the   precepts   that   bind   us   so   solidly together,   encouraging   by   Invitation   those   whom   we   would   welcome   in   to   our   ranks.   Then,   in   the   due   course   of   time,   either   later   this year   or   early   in   2011,   decide   about   founding   yet   another   Court   to   enlarge   our   thriving   Order,   thus   giving   many   other   Masons   similar joy   as   you   will   experience   yourselves,   by   your   being   a   member   of   this   Court.   Like   the   joy   many   of   us   are   enjoying   and   experiencing   in those other Courts that are springing up here and in many other countries. From   what   I   have   briefly   narrated   to   you   now,   you   will   have   learned,   that   both   our   own   Provincial   Grand   Master,   our   well   -beloved Grand   Master   and   also   I   want   you,   the   fine   body   of   sturdy,   far   sighted   Founders   of   this   new   Court   of   AEthelbald,   as   you   so undoubtedly   are,   to   spread   the   word   about   our   Order;   and   invite   only   suitable   Brethren   to   join   our   Courts. You   will   have   definitely   also realised   what   we   expect   from   each   and   every   one   of   you,   not   only   now,   but   in   the   immediate   future,   plus   all   down   through   those   long but   happy   years   that   are   still   to   be,   as   you   carry   the AEthelbald   and AEthelstan   name   and   their   aspirations   with   you. That   is   all   of   you because you have this day become one of our own valiant warriors within this wonderfully fulfilling and vibrant Order. We   are   already   aware   of,   and   do   know   of   many,   just   like   you   who   would   wish   to   follow   your   example,   so   go   forth   and   begin   to   tread steadily   onwards   and   ever   upwards   in   the   footsteps   of   those   countless   Roman   Legionnaires   and   others,   those   valiant   men   of   old   who helped   to   make   England   what   it   is   now,   and   what   you,   my   very   dear   Brethren,   will   certainly   make   of   it   during   the   future   that   is   still   to be.   May   He   who   rules   over   us   from   that   great   Court   in   the   Heavens   above   keep   us   free   from   all   harm,   may   He   who   blesses   us,   He who nurtures us, keeps you well until time with all of us, of down here below, shall be no more.
                   © 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
Court of Æþelbald No. 62: Meeting at The Masonic Hall, 99 Bath Road, Keynsham, Bath & NE Somerset, BS31 1SR Regular meetings of the Court are held on the 4th. Monday in March, May, September (Installation). CONTACT SECRETARY: W.Bro. Dr. Keith F. Wiltshire e-mail:  keithmaureen@talktalk.net 1, Claredon House,  Beckspool Road, Frenchay,  Bristol. BS16  1ND Phone: 0117 957 3870 Mob:  0774 120 3641
                ORATION : The Court of Æþelbald No. 62, 23rd January 2010        by W.& Em.Bro. George E.R. Gardner,              Provincial Eminent Grand Prior of Wessex Provincial Grand Master, Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brethren, Grand Officers and very dear Brethren all, as we are gathered here together today in this fine Masonic Hall I do wonder exactly how many of you realised as you approached
the town of Keynsham, what an historical and significant place you were about to enter?  It would be virtually impossible for any one of you who do not know it to realise just how this place has grown in size to a Town that is now approaching 18,000 inhabitants, an increase of nearly 400% since the end of the Second World War when there were merely around 5,000 people living here. That   increase   has   been   the   result   of   Keynsham   becoming   a   dormitory   area   for   nearby   Bristol,   an   event   that has   caused   the   complete   alteration   of   the   original   picturesque   Shopping   Centre   comprised   of   individual shops   to   new   streets   of   chrome,   plate   glass,   concrete   and   reconstituted   stone   and   brightly   painted   shop fronts   of   Supermarkets   and   Chain   Stores.   No   matter   how   or   where   look,   there   is   so   little   evidence   of   a village that has such a distinguished and interesting past. It   is   an   historic   past   that   goes   back   well   beyond   the   Roman   occupation   of   this   fair   land   of   ours,   back   to   the ancient   times   of   cave   dwellers   and   of   vast   forests   teeming   with   wildlife.   Many   Monarchs   of   medieval   times came   here   to   hunt   in   the   forested   places   that   abounded   in   this   district,   a   place   that   is   situated   at   the confluence   of   the   Chew   and   Avon   Rivers,   a   land   of   rich   pastures,   verdant   woodlands   and   limestone outcrops.   There   has   been   much   evidence   of   prehistoric   man,   of   the   Romans   and   the   beautiful   dwellings that   they   constructed   during   the   years   they   were   here,   also   the   Saxon   Minster   plus   numerous   Artefacts   of all long lost Eras that have been uncovered, and discovered, around here during the last century. The   main   reason   why   I   am   mentioning   all   of   this   is   because   as   you   well   know,   today   we   are   here   to consecrate   a   Court   in   our   Order   that   is   named   after   one   of   our   ancient   Kings   of   Wessex,   King AEthelbald, that   noble   and   brave   King   who   ruled   over   this   part   of   England.   His   reign   was   an   extremely   long   time   before J.   S   Fry   and   his   Sons   had   ever   thought   or   envisaged   about   building   a   Cocoa   and   Chocolate   Factory   here, long   before   there   were   any   of   the   industries   of   Weavers,   Wheelwrights,   Spinning,   Soap   making   ,   Paint, Cement,   Dyes   and   Ochre   toiling   away   in   large   and   small   buildings   and   in   the   diverse   Cottage   type   of industries.   All   of   that   industrial   effort   took   place   here   for   many   subsequent   centuries,   that   is   until   the   late 1930's   and   before   the   change   of   size   and   status   of   Keynsham   to   what   it   is   has   become   at   this   present moment in time. Yes,   Keynsham,   that   pretty   village,   nestling   as   it   did   in   so   many   folds   of   little   towns   and   villages   that   were built   of   warm   and   mellow   Bath   Stone,   that   stone   dating   back   to   the   Jurassic   and   Limestone   strata   of   500 million years ago, has now gone for ever. It   is   really   quite   easy   to   visualise   the   Roman   Centurions   marching   along   with   their   100   men   on   the   nearby Fosse   Way,   that   great   Roman   road   stretching   for   293   miles   from   the   Wash   in   Norfolk   to   Exeter   in   Devon, with   several   other   Roman   roads   intersecting   it   around   here. And   now   you   my   very   dear   Brethren,   Founders of   this   new   Court   of   AEthelbald,   will   be   required   to   march   out   well   beyond   your   local   area,   telling   other Masons    about    our    delightful    Order,    informing    them    of    the    precepts    that    bind    us    so    solidly    together, encouraging   by   Invitation   those   whom   we   would   welcome   in   to   our   ranks.   Then,   in   the   due   course   of   time, either   later   this   year   or   early   in   2011,   decide   about   founding   yet   another   Court   to   enlarge   our   thriving   Order, thus   giving   many   other   Masons   similar   joy   as   you   will   experience   yourselves,   by   your   being   a   member   of this   Court.   Like   the   joy   many   of   us   are   enjoying   and   experiencing   in   those   other   Courts   that   are   springing up here and in many other countries. From   what   I   have   briefly   narrated   to   you   now,   you   will   have   learned,   that   both   our   own   Provincial   Grand Master,   our   well   -beloved   Grand   Master   and   also   I   want   you,   the   fine   body   of   sturdy,   far   sighted   Founders of   this   new   Court   of AEthelbald,   as   you   so   undoubtedly   are,   to   spread   the   word   about   our   Order;   and   invite only   suitable   Brethren   to   join   our   Courts.   You   will   have   definitely   also   realised   what   we   expect   from   each and   every   one   of   you,   not   only   now,   but   in   the   immediate   future,   plus   all   down   through   those   long   but   happy years   that   are   still   to   be,   as   you   carry   the   AEthelbald   and   AEthelstan   name   and   their   aspirations   with   you. That   is   all   of   you   because   you   have   this   day   become   one   of   our   own   valiant   warriors   within   this   wonderfully fulfilling and vibrant Order. We   are   already   aware   of,   and   do   know   of   many,   just   like   you   who   would   wish   to   follow   your   example,   so   go forth   and   begin   to   tread   steadily   onwards   and   ever   upwards   in   the   footsteps   of   those   countless   Roman Legionnaires   and   others,   those   valiant   men   of   old   who   helped   to   make   England   what   it   is   now,   and   what you,   my   very   dear   Brethren,   will   certainly   make   of   it   during   the   future   that   is   still   to   be.   May   He   who   rules over   us   from   that   great   Court   in   the   Heavens   above   keep   us   free   from   all   harm,   may   He   who   blesses   us, He who nurtures us, keeps you well until time with all of us, of down here below, shall be no more.