It is with sadness that we report that W Bro John Marston PSGD Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire died on 22 December following a long illness. Our sympathies are with his family.
A brick of a Lodge
The Brethren of De Montfort Lodge No 5155 have made a significant impact on their target for Warwickshire’s 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. Following the delivery of his Charity Talk in the Guildhall at Henley in Arden the Provincial Grand Charity Steward was rewarded with the presentation of a ‘heavy’ cheque for £2,300 – attached to a piece of masonry! This amount represents their fund-raising efforts for 2006, as endorsed on the stone, and was mainly due to a very successful garden-party organised and hosted by the Lodge Almoner, Graham Bull, assisted by the Brethren of the Lodge. The picture shows Chris Grove and Gerry Regan the Master with the brick!
W.Bro Nigel Brown has been appointed the new Grand Secretary and Grand Scribe E.
Brother Nigel Brown was born in Lusaka in the then Northern Rhodesia and was educated in Southern Rhodesia. From the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst he was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards, retiring as a Captain. He then spent 15 years in senior management, and for the past 12 years has been a business consultant specialising in advising clients on winning competitive global tenders.
He is married with two adult children, has been a Freemason for 19 years and is currently serving as a Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
His appointment takes effect from 1 February 2007.
We are sure that all the Brethren of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire will join together in wishing him great success in the job.
Masonic Charities Joint Legacy Appeal
An address to Grand Lodge on 13 December 2006 by Lt Col Richard Douglas and Michael Weal (Manager Joint Legacy Appeal)
Introduction by Richard Douglas
"Pro Grand Master, Gentlemen. Thank you for allowing me to address you today. I will not delay you for long but I do have an important message to put across to you.
Although this is the third time that I have been invited in to Grand Lodge it is the first occasion that I have not been the support act for the President of the NMSF. Those of you that know him will realise that his immense personality has been enough to ensure your avid attention. However, after a five year apprenticeship I now stand before you without the benefit of top cover and, slightly confusingly, not in my capacity as CEO of the NMSF. Although still enjoying this role I am today wearing another hat, that of the Chairman of a small working party established to review the potential for increasing the amount of legacy income received by the four central masonic charities. As you can see, some things may change but others remain the same, I am still after your money!
I am joined this morning by Mike Wheal who not only has the unenviable task of trying to get me to stick to the script but is also the recently appointed manager of the joint legacy appeal. As I have said we don't intend to keep you too long today, but we do have a large supply of Legacy Pledge forms available, so if you see anyone near you starting to look a little pale, please let us know and we'll get a form over to him quickly!
The Central Masonic Charities
Hopefully you do not need me to detail the work of the four central craft charities. You are already aware that between them the Freemasons' Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the New Masonic Samaritan Fund provide support to the full masonic family, from cradle to grave, across the length and breadth of the English Constitution. Support is available to those in financial distress, and to those who additionally are in medical need, are elderly, are young or are simply young at heart. Support is also available beyond the immediate confines of Freemasonry with grants being made to fund medical research, international emergency relief, support for adult and children’s hospices to name but a few.
Last year alone the four charities allocated £23m in charitable support to their many beneficiaries. All of this was only possible through the continuing generosity of Freemasons from far and wide. With a clear eye on the future the Presidents of the four charities tasked me to review the potential for increasing income from legacies.
With professional advice and support from two of the UK's foremost companies in legacy and fundraising campaigns an initial feasibility study, followed by market research with a cross-section of Freemasons and their families, was carried out. The study confirmed that current income levels from legacies remain considerably below what might be expected from an organisation with as many members as the United Grand Lodge of England. The research also showed overwhelmingly that Freemasons, their wives and widows would strongly support an appeal designed to improve their understanding of the intricacies and importance of making a Will, and would look favourably at the possibility of leaving a gift to one of the Masonic Charities.
The final report suggested that a joint legacy appeal would offer the most cost-effective way forward. Although one of the professional firms offered to run this campaign on our behalf the Charity Presidents unanimously agreed that an in-house campaign would provide a better return on our investment. It was therefore decided to appoint a Legacy Manager to design and deliver the Appeal. Following a national advertising campaign W Bro Mike Wheal, a West Kent Mason, was appointed to that post in July this year.
The Appeal (by W Bro Wheal)
Unlike most other fund-raising initiatives, the Legacy Appeal will cover all the constituent parts of Grand Lodge at (more or less) the same time, and will have no finite ending. Similarly, the primary objective of the Legacy Appeal is long-term and unending. As I'm sure you will have realised by now, it is to increase income from legacies for all four of the Charities. Just like this objective, the success of the Appeal in this respect can only be gauged in the longer term.
However, there is another important objective against which success can be judged in the shorter term. We aim to improve the awareness amongst Freemasons of the services and facilities offered by the four Charities. This is not only to encourage support of the Charities, but also to ensure that Freemasons and their families are aware of the help that is available. The Appeal will ultimately cover the whole of England and Wales. It is also intended to include Districts overseas, but the approach has not yet been finalised.
Before outlining what the Appeal is, and what we intend to do, let me tell you some things that it is not and some things that we will not do. The Appeal is not a replacement for Festivals - it is a long-term, unending project. Neither is it intended as a rival to Provincial/Metropolitan Grand Lodge initiatives. We recognise that charity really does begin at home, and that Mother Lodges and Provinces are therefore likely to be higher in the pecking order than the Charities.
I will not have a large, central staff working on the Appeal. I will be a "one-man band". I will liaise closely with those existing staff within the Charities who currently deal with legacy matters. We will not be making "cold call"direct approaches to individuals. We would like to work through existing Provincial structures. We are hoping to recruit volunteers as Legacy Information Officers in order to keep the Appeal fresh in people's minds after I have moved on to other areas, and to act as a conduit for legacy information as the Appeal develops. We will discuss with each Province how best to do this.
The Appeal will consist of two phases: a Pilot and a National Rollout, with the former scheduled to start early in 2007 and the latter towards the end of 2007. It is anticipated that it could take up to two years or more to complete the National Rollout. Initially, I would like to deliver Legacy presentations locally. Hopefully this will lead to the recruitment of enough volunteers to ensure that delivery of the message can be maintained and extended, in a face-to-face process, in all areas across the country.
In each Province or Metropolitan Group, I would like to conduct two types of meeting: Awareness Presentations and Legacy Workshops. Each will be repeated as many times as is necessary. Awareness Presentations could be scheduled as part of a suitable Provincial/Group event, not as a stand-alone presentation. Awareness Presentations are intended to inform the members of the Craft and other interested parties about the Appeal, and to inspire individuals to become involved as volunteer Legacy Information Officers.
Individuals will retain the option to choose if they wish to support a specific Charity within their Will. Additionally they will have the extra options of supporting all four Charities equally or allowing their legacy to be allocated according to the needs of the Charities at the time. It is also hoped that the publicity associated with this Appeal will serve to improve understanding of the tax benefits of leaving a charitable bequest. Charitable bequests are exempt from inheritance tax with benefits available to both the Charity and the estate of the deceased.
We have already started the process of inviting selected Provinces and MGL Groups take part in the Pilot phase and will announce the details as soon as we can. We will also keep everyone informed of the Appeal's progress through the usual channels.
Summary (Richard Douglas)
I am delighted to announce that the Grand Master has given his full support to this Appeal and has graciously accepted the role of Appeal Patron. Further details of the Appeal will be publicised in the next edition of MQ, due for circulation in January. Some of you will be invited to join in the pilot scheme as we test and adjust our style, techniques and materials. Others will find an increasing amount of material and information available from Mike Wheal or via the individual Charities.
Our purpose this morning has been to introduce the Appeal to you and hopefully to stimulate interest. If we have succeeded Mike and I will be available afterwards to offer advice on how to support the Charities and to reduce your liability for inheritance tax.
If you need any further incentive to consider supporting the Appeal I would remind you that in England and Wales, the average age at death for people who have not made a Will is currently 68; for those who have made a Will, the average is 78 and for those who included a gift to charity in their Will, the average age is 80!
Thank you for your time and attention today. Mike and I look forward to meeting you again as we take the Appeal around the Provinces."posted 19/12/2006
A first for Freemasonry
The University of Sheffield’s Teaching Affairs Committees have approved an MA programme in the history of Freemasonry and Fraternalism, the first such degree in the world, which will be launched during 2007-8.posted 19/12/2006
More money for hospices
The picture shows Rodney Pitham, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire (far right) on 11 December 2006, presenting a donation from the Freemasons' Grand Charity to Lindsey Homer, Head Nurse of the Acorns Children's Hospice at Selly Oak in Birmingham. Bill Young, Chairman of the Trustees of the hospice, looks on with delight at the gesture.posted 19/12/2006
“Warwickshire Freemasonry – a look forward”
This is the title of the most informative, educative and thought-provoking lecture delivered by RW Bro Michael J Price CBE the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire at the Regular Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge held on 30 November 2006. It is a "must" to read and you can download it here and share it with Brethren who do not have access to the Internet. Lodge Secretaries might wish to read it in full at a meeting and stimulate a debate among the members, especially when there are no substantive items of labour on the agenda. The Provincial Grand Master would welcome any constructive comments that Brethren may have on the views that he has expressed.posted 19/12/2006
Grand Charity's grant to local hospice
The picture shows Alan Welland, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presenting a cheque for £1000 from the Grand Charity to Staff Nurse Susie Thompson at the Shakespeare Hospice.posted 19/12/2006
New Leader for the Grand Lodge of Scotland
Brother Sir Archibald Donald Orr Ewing 6th Bart., M.A., is the 107th and 109th Grand Master Mason to be installed onto the throne of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The Installation took place on 30 November. Brother Sir Archibald is unique in that he is the only Grand Master Mason in the 270 year history of the Grand Lodge of Scotland to have occupied that position twice. The Grand Master Mason follows a fine family tradition of service to the Scottish Craft as his Grandfather Brother Brigadier - General Sir Norman Orr Ewing, 4th Bart., served as Grand Master Mason from 1937 - 1939 and his father, Brother Major Sir Ronald Orr Ewing 5th Bart., served as Grand Master Mason from 1965 - 1969.
Brother Sir Archibald Orr Ewing was initiated in Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, No.2 in 1973 and was Master thereof from 1981 - 1982 and again from 1987 - 1988. He is a member of Lodge Sir Robert Moray, No.1641 and of Royal Alpha Lodge, No.16 (EC), and a past Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.posted 11/12/2006
Autumn Glory - The Warwickshire Masonic Charity Concert 2007
The Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra together with the Stratford-upon-Avon Gilbert and Sullivan Society will entertain with a special programme of English classical music in aid of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival 2012 on Sunday 7 October 2007 at the Butterworth Hall,Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry. Hosted by Ed Doolan with the Orchestra conducted by Guy Woolfenden and featuring special guest soloists this promises to be an event not to be missed.
Ticket Prices are £10, £20, £25 and £30. Tickets will be in great demand so to make sure that you are there order them now from Peter Astfalck on 02476 229624.
Further information is available on http://www.autumnglory.co.uk (link now lost) posted 11/12/2006
It is with sadness that we report the death on 4 December 2006 of W Bro W E ('Billy') Herbert PGStB. His funeral will take place at St Nicholas Church Nuneaton at 12 noon on Friday 15 December. Donations may be made in Billy's memory to the Warwickshire Masonic Benevolent Fund or the Felix Holt Ward at the George Eliot Hospital Nuneaton. Our condolences and sympathies are with his widow Jean and the family.
Freemasons' Grand Charity helps flood victims
In response to an appeal to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by flooding in Kenya, The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the British Red Cross.
Crops and farmland have been damaged and destroyed by heavy rainfall across the Coastal, Western and Northern Eastern Provinces of Kenya. Earlier this year, many of the same people lost their cattle and livelihoods when the North of the Country was hit by a drought. Adding to the already disastrous humanitarian situation are fears of outbreaks of waterborne diseases, including cholera.
The money from the Grand Charity will help to supply food, blankets, water purification tablets, medical supplies and seeds.posted 2/12/2006
New Provincial Wardens for Warwickshire
RW Bro Michael J Price CBE the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire has been pleased to announce the appointment of his Provincial Grand Wardens for the year 2007/2008. The Provincial Senior Grand Warden designate is W Bro David Allen of Yenton Lodge No 3484, and the Provincial Junior Grand Warden designate is W Bro Stuart Esworthy of the Laurence Sheriffe Lodge No 3497. We wish them every happiness in their high offices during their year.posted01/12/2006
Carols for teenage cancer sufferers
Awe-inspiring Ely Cathedral will host a Festival of Carols on 8 December to raise much-needed money for teenage cancer sufferers.
The festival will be the first of its kind to be held in the cathedral, and money raised through the event is to be split evenly between the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Ely Cathedral Music Appeal. Much-loved carols will feature in the programme, as will musical performances by the cathedral's choristers and the newly-formed schools' choir Ely Imps. There will also be topical readings and stories throughout the evening, including a reading of John Julius Norwich's The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Helen Bearfield-Smith, Teenage Cancer Trust regional fundraising manager, said: "This is the first event of its kind to raise money for these two special charities. The cathedral is a magical place, especially at Christmas time, and the fabulous collection of carols and readings will make the night memorable for everyone attending."
The event is being organised by the Cambridgeshire Freemasons and will take place at a time when the cathedral is already specially lit up for Christmas with a spectacular tree reaching into the ceiling.
The Teenage Cancer Trust is currently in negotiations to build a state-of-the-art specialist unit for teenagers with cancer at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Money raised at the event will also go towards a £10 million endowment fund being raised by the Ely Cathedral Music Appeal to sustain the cathedral's famous choristers whose position has come under threat in recent years. posted 30/11/2006
Health and Safety
Grand Lodge of Bulgaria
The United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria held its Annual Meeting on 25 November 2006 in the city of Plovdiv. Brethren from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Israel were among those present. MW Bro Petyo Penkov was re-elected as Grand Master.posted 27/11/2006
One Hundred Years
Christmas Message from the RW Provincial Grand Master
Another year has flown by and Dawn joins me in wishing you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. Since I became Provincial Grand Master in September 2001 the turmoil in the world seems, regrettably, to have increased, often due to religious intolerance. In every subsequent year I have expressed the hope that the coming year might see peace spread throughout the world. We must all strengthen our prayers for peace and at the same time do all that we can, within our own circle of family, friends and community, to inform them of the principles on which Freemasonry is founded.
As we enjoy our family Christmas in the security of our homes we should make a special effort to remember those brave members of our three services, working under difficult and dangerous conditions to secure a peace.
Let us all hope that 2007 will see peace initiatives being more successful for the benefit of all mankind.
Michael J Price
Provincial Grand Master
Promotions in Provincial Grand Rank in Warwickshire
The RW Provincial Grand Master advises that many Brethren in the Province who would normally expect to receive a promotion in Provincial Grand Rank in 2007 will not do so.
The Provincial Grand Master, in accordance with the formula set down in the Book of Constitutions, will only be able to promote 80 Brethren next year but he has 208 names to consider for those places. If overall membership continues to decline then the number of promotions available to him will reduce even further.
The figures speak for themselves but the Provincial Grand Master and his colleagues in the Provincial Executive have alerted Lodges on many occasions to this situation. He very much regrets having to make this statement which will come as a disappointment to many but the numbers involved are outside his control.
Brethren are urged to bring this statement to the attention of all Provincial Grand Officers in their Lodges. posted 23/11/2006
'Freemasonry in Warwickshire - A Look Forward'
'Freemasonry in Warwickshire - A Look Forward' is the title of a talk to be given at the next meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge by the RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire. The talk is bound to be instructive, stimulating and thought provoking and Brethren of the Province are urged to attend to hear the views of the Provincial Grand Master firsthand.
Freemasons' generosity to hospices
The Freemasons' Grand Charity is once again helping hospices in England and Wales with a total gift of £500,000. For the 22nd year, more than 200 hospice services are receiving a donation to help them offer the best possible quality of life to those in their care. Individual grants ranging from £500 to over £7,000 take the Grand Charity’s total support for the movement to over £6 million. These donations are supplemented by the regular generosity of Provincial Grand Lodges, local Lodges and individual Freemasons.
Grahame N Elliott, President of the Grand Charity, said:
"For many years Freemasons have recognised the importance of the care provided by the Hospice movement. Over 22 years, the Grand Charity Hospice Grant Scheme has distributed more than £6 million in support of the activities of Hospices and we are pleased to contribute to the continuation of their important work through the Scheme, which has great support from all Masons throughout the country. ”
Local hospices to benefit from the Grand Charity's donation are:
In the Masonic Province of Staffordshire:
Acorns Children's Hospice Trust (Walsall)
Douglas Macmillan Hospice
Katharine House Hospice
St Giles Hospice
The Donna Louise Trust
In the Masonic Province of Warwickshire:
Acorns Children's Hospice Trust (Selly Oak)
Marie Curie Centre Warren Pearl
Mary Ann Evans Hospice
Myton Hamlet Hospice
St Mary's Hospice
In the Masonic Province of Worcestershire:
Acorns Children's Hospice (Worcester)
Kemp House Trust
Mary Stevens Hospice
St Richard's Hospice
The Grand Charity's work is supported by contributions made by Freemasons in England and Wales. No appeals for funds are ever made to the general public.posted 20/11/2006
101 and still going strong
Sidney Perrin, of Boston in Lincolnshire, was born on 5 November 1905 and has just celebrated his 101st birthday. Sidney was initiated into Freemasonry in 1928, and is the longest subscribing Freemason in England and Wales.posted 16/11/2006
To church in regalia
The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington has granted permission for Lodge members to attend Church Services clothed as Masons. He sees this as an opportunity for Freemasons to show their support for the community and at the same time let them know who in that community are Freemasons. The Grand Master enjoins his Brethren that in any public appearance they should be mindful of their conduct when clothed as Masons. posted 16/11/2006
More about the Charities
In 2004 Paul Brennan of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge discovered the grave of his late uncle at the rear of a small church in the village of Sorbon in north-east France. Sergeant Len Gaffee was shot down in September 1943 and is buried next to Sergeant Roy Humbles. Having made this discovery he took his mother to visit her brother's grave where they laid a floral tribute.
They have visited the grave again this year in October but on this occasion were received by the local Mayor when Paul's mother was able to express her gratitude to him and the villagers for their care and attention to the two graves. The arrangements for her to meet the Mayor had been made by Michael, a French Mason, who Paul had managed to contact for assistance with translations. Michael and his wife had made a round trip of some 200 miles from their home near Paris to be present at this important event.posted 10/11/2006
Ken brings a smile to the face of the Prince of Wales
The photograph shows a number of the Battle of Britain Veterans meeting HRH The Prince of Wales after a recent service to remember the airmen who died during the decisive Second World War victory. 'The Few' totalled 2,927 of whom 544 were killed in the battle that raged in July-October 1940. The Duchess of Cornwall accompanied The Prince at the service of thanksgiving and rededication in Westminster Abbey. Our own Ken Wilkinson, of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge, is seen sharing a joke with the Prince of Wales about, we are reliably informed, the lack of Martinis on this special occasion.posted 9/11/2006
A new Grand Master for India
RW Bro Chief Justice Devinder Gupta was installed as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India on 28 October 2006 in New Delhi. Among the visiting dignitaries was RW Bro Alan Englefield, the Grand Chancellor Designate of the United Grand Lodge of England.posted 9/11/2006
Discover the other Masonic Orders
On Wednesday 17 January 2007 Three Shires Lodge will be hosting a team who will explain and display the regalia of the several Orders in Freemasonry. Brethren who are interested in this fascinating and educational event should get in touch with Walter Pearce, the Lodge Secretary, on 01384 359463. posted 9/11/2006
Keeping it in the family
Tony Wall has stepped down from the office of Treasurer in Fletcher Lodge, an office has held, with distinction, for the last 27 years. His successor is his son Stephen who will have a well qualified tutor.posted 9/11/2006
Becoming a Grandfather must be catching
Michael Morris, Alan Hill and Tony Tappy are all members of the Lodge of Jurisprudence and have all become Grandfathers in the last few weeks. Our congratulations to them and their grandchildren.posted 9/11/2006
Grand Golf Tournament In support of the 2012 Festival Appeal
A Golf Tournament will be held at 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 14 June 2007 at Arley Lane, Ansley Village, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 9PH. The Tournament will consist of 4 person teams – shotgun start – Stableford. There are lots of prizes plus Hole-in-0ne car. The match will be followed by Dinner with a raffle, cost is £160 per team
Sponsors are required for each hole etc. For more details contact eitherRoger Sargent on 01530 273971 or Geoff Round on 07850 852203
We will remember them
A service to remember all those Freemasons and others who have made the supreme sacrifice in all theatres of war will be held by the Memorial inside the headquarters of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham commencing at 10.45am on Saturday 11 November. The RW Provincial Grand Master would be pleased to be joined by Brethren, their families and friends on this important occasion.
A daily advancement within easy reach
A Christmas extravaganza
The Christmas Concert with the Warwickshire Provincial Choir and the Warwickshire Provincial Brass Band will be held on Thursday 7 December 2006 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Further details and tickets (only £5 each) are available from Harry Owen on 0121 423 8085 or from Lodge Charity Stewards. Meals are also available prior to the concert provided they are pre-ordered. The Provincial Grand Master expects Lodges to be well represented at this delightful event. Bring your families and friends for a splendid but inexpensive night out.posted 3/11/2006
It is with sadness that we report the death on 30 October of W Bro William Edward Gibbons, Past Junior Grand Deacon. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday 7 November at St Augustine's Church, Edgbaston, Birmingham at 11.30am. Bill will be remembered in particular for his outstanding work in establishing and continuing support of many Masonic Widows Friendship Clubs both in the Province of Warwickshire and elsewhere.posted 2/11/2006
Join in the Christmas Spirit
The “Ladies Gift Fund” 54th Christmas Fayre is to be staged at The Clarendon Suites, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham (the home of the Warwickshire Freemasons) on Saturday 18th November. In addition to all the usual attractions, gift stalls, plant stalls, games, raffles, and tombolas, this year for your entertainment is The Warwickshire Provincial Masonic Brass Band. Come and have a coffee while being entertained. Then buy some Christmas gifts or try your luck to win some of the wonderful prizes on offer. This is a good family morning out, so please bring your ladies and why not also bring the youngsters in your family for an early meeting with Father Christmas?
What time? 10.30am till noon. The grand opening will be performed this year by Ian Moxon, Provincial Prior of Staffordshire and Shropshire. posted 31/10/2006
Grand Charity - Tsunami update
In Hambantota in Sri Lanka the Freemasons' Grand Charity provided some £200,000 towards the construction of Ruhunu Vijaybha Primary and Secondary School. Construction of the school is continuing including classrooms, teachers quarters and an assembly hall. Despite delays, mainly caused by heavy rains, an opening ceremony has been provisionally agreed for the spring of 2007. Progress on the project can be seen by visiting http://www.planlanka.lk/html/TsunamiFeature_ruhunuschool.shtml (Link now broken) posted 29/10/2006
Following his Father's Footsteps
Luke Thorpe, whose father is W.Bro Stuart Thorpe, a Past Master of the Forest of Arden Lodge No 3826, has followed his father's footsteps to become a qualified Rugby Union Referee. This feat is all the more remarkable because Luke is only 12 years old! He will be allowed to referee matches below his own age group, and no doubt will assist his Dad by acting as touch judge for him.
We hope he will join his father as a member of the Forest of Arden Lodge when he's old enough, unless, of course, William Webb Ellis Lodge No 9754 gets him first!posted 29/10/2006
A right Royal occasion and a generous donation
On Thursday 26 October 2006, the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas celebrated the 150th Anniversary of its foundation with a special meeting at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Some 5500 Brethren, ladies and other non-Masons were present on this most colourful and historic occasion. M W Bro H R H The Prince Michael of Kent, The Grand Master, presided and HRH The Princess Michael of Kent graced the meeting with her presence. 67 Provincial and District Grand Masters and 3 Grand Inspectors were in attendance and had come from countries as far away as Australia and the USA to join in the celebrations. Other distinguished visitors included HRH The Duke of Kent, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, who was accompanied by the Pro Grand Master, M W Bro the Most Hon the Marquess of Northampton, the Deputy Grand Master and the Assistant Grand Master, and Grand Masters and Rulers of many Orders both in this country and elsewhere in the world.
The principal item of business was the dedication of five new banners for the five Founding Lodges of Grand Mark Lodge – Bon Accord Lodge, Royal Cumberland Lodge, Northumberland and Berwick on Tweed Lodge, Old Kent Lodge and Phoenix Lodge of Mark Masters No 2. This Lodge was acknowledged to be the oldest Mark Lodge in the world by Grand Lodge in 1894. R W Bro James Daniel gave an illustrated talk on the founders and builders of Mark Masonry with a reference in particular to Lord Leigh the first Grand Master, and the Provincial Grand Master of Craft Masonry in Warwickshire for 53 years. Musical entertainment during the meeting was provided by the talented choir and musicians from the Royal Masonic School for Girls.
The occasion was also graced by the presence of H R H The Duchess of Cornwall who attended in her capacity as President of the National Osteoporosis Society. The celebrations culminated in the presentation of a cheque for £3,000,000 to the Society to enable it to buy, equip and run mobile scanners. The £3 million donation is the largest in the charity’s 20 year history. The Deputy Chief Executive of the Society, Angela Jordan, said: “This is a really exciting and vital donation which will go a long way to improving the lives of people who urgently need access to osteoporosis services. Our mobile scanning service will enable the NHS to cut waiting lists and travel time so that patients will get their diagnosis faster, enabling them to discuss treatment options with their doctor.” The disease affects 1 in 2 women, and 1 in 5 men, over the age of 50.
RW Bro Keith S Carmichael CBE, President of the Mark Benevolent Fund, said: “The 150th anniversary is a major milestone for Mark Masonry. Making the largest charitable donation in its history is a fitting way not only to commemorate this important event, but also one that will have a tangible effect on greatly improving, for many years to come, the health and well-being of a considerable number of people, especially ladies.” posted 28/10/2006
Anything Goes in Rugby
Rugby Operatic Society is staging Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’ at the Rugby Theatre in February 2007. Thanks to the generosity of the Society the performance on Wednesday 14 February 2007 will be a Gala Night in aid of the 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
The evening will start with a finger buffet at the Masonic Hall in Rugby (a short walk from the theatre) at 6.00pm – then on to the theatre to see the show at 7.30pm.
Tickets will cost £17.50 which includes the theatre seat, the buffet and a donation to the Festival.
‘Anything Goes’ is full of well known numbers – ‘Anything goes’, ‘I get a kick out of you’, ‘You're the tops’, ‘It's de-lovely’ and ‘You'd be so easy to love’. The original cast included Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman in a smash-hit Broadway show which still graces London’s West End with some frequency.
Book your tickets now since they will be in great demand posted 28/10/2006 .
Monty Python and the Masons
The Monty Python-inspired musical Spamalot celebrated a successful transfer from Broadway with a party at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London on Tuesday 17 October. The surviving Pythons were there alongside the show's star, Tim Curry.posted 19/10/2006
Masonic Temple of national historic significance
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada announced on 14 October 2006 the unveiling of a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple as a site of national historic significance.
"The Government of Canada is pleased to unveil a plaque commemorating the Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple as a national historic site. As a symbolic representation of the history and beliefs of Canadian Freemasons, the Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple is remarkable both for its architecture and for the beliefs it embodies," said Minister Ambrose.
More than seventy-five years after its official inauguration on February 12th, 1930, the Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple remains one of Canada's most elegant buildings in the Beaux-Arts style. Located at the intersection of Sherbrooke Street West and Saint-Marc Street, the building commemorates the Canadian Freemasons who died in the First World War. It was designed by John Smith Archibald, a Montreal architect of Scottish origin, who was a member of the Masonic Foundation of Quebec.
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque is a means of educating the public about the richness of Canada's cultural heritage which must be preserved for present and future generations.
The Marathon Man
All you need to know about the NMSF and the 2012 Festival
If you wish to know more about the New Masonic Samaritan Fund and the 2012 Festival you should find the answers to most if not all of your questions on www.warwickshire2012.org.uk/FAQ.shtm (link removed) In addition you can download Standing Order Forms and Gift Aid Declarations from www.warwickshire2012.org.uk/donate.shtm (link removed) which will enable you to donate to the Festival in the most efficient and advantageous way.posted 12/10/2006
Visit the Normandy Beaches and the battlefields
Alex Bulloch and David Paterson invite you to join them on another visit to the Normandy beaches and the battlefields from 26 to 30 July 2007. Details and prices of this informative and nostalgic visit are available from Alex on 0121 459 9008 and David on 0121 777 9374. Any profits will go the 2012 Festival.posted 12/10/2006
Subject to approval of the required changes to the Book of Constitutions, RW Bro Alan John Englefield, the current Provincial Grand Master for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Oxfordshire, is to be the first Grand Chancellor of the United Grand Lodge of England. He will have responsibility for the external relations of our Grand Lodge with all other foreign Grand Lodges. The Brethren of Warwickshire wish Alan well in this high and important office.posted 05/10/2006
Lodge of Sincerity
The Masonic Charities
At the meeting of De Montfort Lodge on Monday 13 November 2006 the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W Bro C J Grove MBE, will be giving a talk entitled "An Update On Masonic Charities". The Lodge will be open at 5-45 pm and the meeting is held in the delightful and historic Guild Hall in Henley in Arden. The surroundings give you an idea of the meeting places of our forebears in the upper rooms of taverns.
If you wish to attend please get in touch with John Walsh the Secretary of the Lodge on 0121 711 2814.posted 05/10/2006
A very special Initiation
At the Lodge of Grace on Wednesday 17 January 2007 the Worshipful Master, Robert Croxall, will initiate his son Steven and Steven's grandfather, Robert Abel, will present the Working Tools. If you wish to witness this very special event please get in touch with the Lodge Secretary on 01905 356171. posted 05/10/2006
"Sad men do lots of stupid things: rugby league, freemasonry and growing moustaches to name but three" proclaims Graeme Whitfield in the Western Mail on 30 September. The same could be said about sad journalists who clearly demonstrate their ignorance about Freemasonry and its members when they make statements like this.posted 2/10/2006
Brethren of the Province of Warwickshire will be delighted to learn that on 25 September 2006 W Bro William Herbert PGStB and his charming wife Jean celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary, having been married on 25 September 1946 in the village church in Ansley Nuneaton. We send them our warmest congratulations on this very special occasion and our best wishes for many more happy years together.posted 27/9/2006
Fifty years in the Royal Arch
The Heritage of Stratford upon Avon
The weekend of 8-10 September 2006 was Heritage Weekend and in Stratford upon Avon a Heritage Trail was organised with many buildings not normally open to the general public being opened. The Masonic Hall, Great William Street, Stratford was one such venue. Over the three days in excess of 400 people visited the Masonic Hall. A number of brethren were on hand to explain Masonic customs and the visitors were keen to see inside the Temple.
The history attached to the building was also of interest with it formerly being a Primitive Methodist Chapel consecrated in 1866 and after its closure in 1932 became a Masonic meeting place in 1938. During the Second World War the building was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force. Free refreshments were provided over the three days and all visitors thoroughly enjoyed their visit and many expressed appreciation at the new “openness” of freemasonry. Since that time a number of gentlemen have made initial enquiries about becoming Freemasons.posted 21/9/2006
Royal Masonic Variety Show
There is to be another Royal Masonic Variety Show in the presence of the Grand Master on Remembrance Sunday, 12 November 2006, at the Prince Edward Theatre in Old Compton Street, London starting at 7.30pm. Details can be found on the website address at www.royal-masonic-variety-show.uk7.net (Link no longer works). One half of the profits will go to the RMBI and the remainder to other non masonic charities.posted 18/9/2006
Changes at Freemasons' Hall in London
The Pro Grand Master recently convened a Strategic Working Party under the chairmanship of the Deputy Grand Master to consider the role and functions of a Grand Secretary. They have recommended that the office should be split with the Grand Secretary having responsibility for matters Masonic and a Chief Operating Officer, who need not be a freemason or indeed male, having responsibility for the management of Freemasons’ Hall and its services.
The Strategic Working Party also recommended that the Grand Secretary, while remaining fully responsible for our Districts and Lodges overseas, will have a reduced role in the conduct of our external relations. It is proposed that a new office of Grand Chancellor should be created to oversee our relationship with other Grand Lodges. It is not intended that he should be a paid employee but he will have available to him a Secretariat and he will be a member of both the Grand Master’s Council and the Board of General Purposes. The concept is not new since many Grand Lodges entrust their external relations to a Grand Chancellor. This will in effect mean that the Grand Secretary will be able to concentrate his energies on Masonic matters for the benefit of English Freemasonry in England and Wales and its Provinces and Districts.
These recommendations have the support of the Grand Master’s Council and the Board of General Purposes. Notice of appropriate amendments to the Book of Constitutions will be given in December for consideration by Grand Lodge next March. The recruitment process for the positions of Grand Secretary and Chief Operating Officer will shortly commence.posted 18/9/2006
Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Limited
The Annual General Meeting of Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Limited will be held at the Warwickshire Masonic Temple 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham on Tuesday 31 October 2006 at 12 noon. The business is to receive apologies, to approve the minutes of the last AGM, to receive the report of the Council, to receive the accounts for the company for the year ended 30 June 2006 and to re-appoint the auditors.posted 19/09/2006
The life of Lord Leigh
VW Bro Neville Barker-Cryer has carried out research into the life of William Henry, 2nd Lord Leigh who was Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire from 1852-1905. Lord Leigh was also the first Grand Master of the Mark Degree (1856-1860) and this research has been carried out as part of the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Grand Mark Lodge which takes place in 2006. A book will be published later this year and VW Bro Barker-Cryer has most kindly agreed to launch this book not only in the Province most strongly associated with Lord Leigh but in the Lodge which bears his name, Leigh Lodge No. 887. Leigh Lodge was consecrated in 1861 and Lord Leigh was its first Worshipful Master.
Brethren are cordially invited to attend the Regular Meeting of Leigh Lodge to be held on Wednesday 25th October in the Warwick Suite at Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham when VW Bro Barker-Cryer will present his paper. The Brethren will assemble at 5.30 pm.
Further details from and applications to U.O.E. Schirrmacher, 133 New Road,Bromsgrove,
Masons interrupt cricket match
Elkington Lodge members, their families and friends enjoyed their usual annual Sunday lunch at the Police Sports and Social Club in Edgbaston Birmingham recently but they were unaware that a match at the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club opposite had been stopped by their activities. The Master of the Lodge, Philip Gumbley, was using a radio microphone to make a number of announcements all of which were heard by the players and large crowd at the match between the Warwickshire Bears and the Durham Dynamos. When the Brethren sang 'Happy Birthday' to the wife of one of their Brethren the whole of the crowd at the cricket match joined in and the umpires stopped play. Reg Willsher, a Warwickshire Provincial Grand Steward, and a season ticket holder at the County Ground and watching the cricket could not believe his ears but confirmed that "all joined in the fun." It transpired that the Cricket Club had installed a new PA system which operated on the same frequency as the radio mikes at the Police Club.posted 10/09/2006
Ladies Gift Fund - Christmas Fayre
The Ladies Gift Fund Christmas Fayre will be held at the home of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham on Saturday 18 November 2006 commencing at 10.30am. The President of the Fund is Mrs Dawn Price, the wife of the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, and she will ensure a very warm welcome to the Fayre to all Brethren, their families and friends. Anyone wishing to donate articles for sale or raffle prizes should make contact with Mrs Jane Lates on 0121 246 4999.posted 10/09/2006
New post at the NMSF - Development Director
The New Masonic Samaritan Fund supports Masons and their dependants who are unable to obtain NHS treatment quickly and who cannot afford private medical treatment without suffering further hardship. The Charity provides grants to fund around 500 individuals each year with an annual value in excess of £3m. As the needs of its members continue to evolve the Trustees are looking to develop and extend the scope of the support provided by the NMSF.
This is a new appointment offering a unique opportunity within this well established grant-making charity. The successful candidate will work with the Chief Executive to identify and meet the long-term needs of the membership and ensure that its support is accessible to all who need it. The Charity seeks a confident communicator with powerful interpersonal skills and experience of building positive working relationships at all levels. The post will require a proven ability to deliver effective presentations and an ability to promote the work of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
The position will be based in Central London but will require extensive travel across England and Wales and will include frequent evening and weekend working. A current, clean driving licence is therefore essential.
For more information about the work of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund please visit their website at www.nmsf.org
For an informal discussion about this post please contact Richard Douglas, Chief Executive, on 020 7421 2330.
Closing date for applications is 29 September 2006.
£30,000 + benefits.
Registered Charity No. 1001298
Standard of Dress at Grand Lodge
The Paper of Business for Grand Lodge makes it plain that Brethren are expected to wear either a Craft tie or a plain black tie. The Assistant Grand Secretary has informed Provincial Grand Secretaries that there appears to be an increasing trend towards Brethren presenting themselves at a Quarterly Communication wearing a Metropolitan or Provincial tie instead of one of those specified. Brethren are reminded of the edict of Grand Lodge that in Grand Lodge Brethren must wear either a plain black tie (without any emblem either in the weave or as a coloured design) or the Craft tie.posted 6/9/2006
The Warwickshire Masonic Brass Band needs more bandsmen. David Diston would be pleased to hear from anyone who is interested. You do not have to be a Freemason to be in the band. David can be contacted on 02476 599612.posted 6/9/2006
New Director for the 2012 Festival
W Bro Michael Baker has, for personal reasons, decided to step down as the 2012 Festival Director. In his place the RW Provincial Grand Master has been pleased to appoint W Bro David Macey who takes up his duties immediately. posted 3/9/2006
Arnold Jessel of the Lodge of Happiness is seeking to establish an informal register of Warwickshire Masons who are Liverymen of City of London Livery Companies. He would welcome hearing from them.
Freemasons and London Livery Companies have much in common. The Livery dates from mediaeval times and is based on fraternity, charity and discipline, the latter being the regulation and control of standards in specific trades and professions. Both organisations therefore attract men of good character and high moral standards. A Livery Company is ruled by a Master and Wardens, each of whom is appointed annually, and a Livery Banquet has much in common with a Masonic Festive Board with a series of formal toasts.
Arnold can be contacted on 01283 711055 or 07956 963920.posted 28/8/2006
A Mozart Celebration
2006 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Bro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. To celebrate the event the Supreme Grand Chapter of England for its next Convocation on 8 November has invited Andrew Pearmain to talk about Mozart, his life, his Freemasonry and his music. This will be a unique opportunity to hear works by the greatest Masonic composer in the magnificent setting of the Grand Temple. As part of the celebration the Library and Museum of Freemasonry will be mounting a special exhibition "European Freemasonry in the time of Mozart" in the second vestibule to the Grand Temple. posted 28/8/2006
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
The next Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge will be held at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London on Wednesday 13 September at 12 noon, doors open at 11.15am. Brethren eligible to attend are Grand Officers and the Master, present Wardens and Past Masters (if qualified under Rule 9 of the Book of Constitutions) of every Lodge under the English Constitution.posted 28/8/2006
General Meeting of the Grand Charity
A General Meeting of the Grand Charity will be held on Saturday 16 September 2006 at the Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Members of the Grand Charity, that is, Master Masons who are subscribing members of London and Provincial Lodges, and their partners and other guests may attend. The meeting will start at 11.00am but everyone must be seated by 10.50am. The Vice Grand President the Rt Hon Lord Lane of Horsell will chair the meeting.
A buffet lunch will be available after the meeting but only for those who have purchased tickets prior to the meeting. These can be obtained at the cost of £15 per head from the Provincial Grand Secretary, Province of Yorkshire West Riding, The Masonic Hall, Spring Bank Place, Bradford BD8 7 BX - 01274 481242.posted 28/8/2006
"The Burma Railway 1942 - 1934 and Masonic involvement"
Installation of new Inspector General
Peter Turner is to be installed as the Sovereign Grand Inspector General for the Warwickshire District in the Ancient and Accepted Rite at 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham on Wednesday 29 November 2006 at 5.00pm. Members of the Order in Warwickshire will receive details about the Installation from the Recorders of their Chapters in due course. posted 10/8/06
Masonic help for artists
A new awards programme that will distribute NZ$125,000 biennially to up-and-coming artists has been launched in Auckland, New Zealand. The New Generation Awards - a joint initiative between the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and the Freemasons of New Zealand - will award grants to artists who have demonstrated excellence in the early stages of their careers. Five grants of $25,000 will be presented every two years to artists from any art form for them to develop their careers. The first New Generation Awards will be held on November 22 in Wellington. posted 10/8/06
Gift Aid Collections
Enquiries have been received in the Province whether it is permissible for Lodges to reclaim tax on the monies donated for charitable purposes in the collection which is routinely conducted in the Lodge Meeting or at the Festive Board. The technique generally proposed is for the whole collection to be "assigned" to a member of the Lodge who has taxable capacity sufficient to enable him to reclaim tax on it as if he had donated the entire amount personally. An extension of the idea is also to treat in a similar manner monies which are paid for raffle tickets, and similar fund-raising initiatives.
It is wrong for any donations to be treated in this way. This is a criminal offence on the part of any member allowing himself to be used to gain financial advantage by a false declaration. The other members of the Lodge associated with this behaviour may also be guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of the offence or even conspiracy.
Gift aid must never be claimed on monies paid for raffle tickets.posted 15/7/2006
Freemasons' gift will save lives
Gwent patients' lives will "undoubtedly" be saved with the help of a new scanning machine that can detect the development of a potentially catastrophic vascular condition, says a surgeon. About the size of a laptop computer, the Royal Gwent Hospital's new portable Duplex scanner bought with a £25,000 donation from Monmouthshire Freemasons can detect the formation and size of aortic aneurysms. These bulges in the wall of the aorta, the artery that distributes throughout the body all the blood pumped out of the heart, often go undetected until they burst. If this happens, four out of five patients die. But David McLain, consultant vascular surgeon at the Royal Gwent, said that if these aneurysms can be detected, monitored and repaired, the death rate falls to around one-in-20.posted 15/7/2006
Lord Northampton addresses the Grand Charity
At a General Meeting and the 25th Anniversary of the Grand Charity at Freemasons Hall in London on 21 June Lord Northampton addressed those present as follows:
"Ladies, Gentlemen and brethren,
That concludes the formal part of our meeting and I hope you have enjoyed hearing about the work of the Grand Charity over the past twenty five years. You have also heard a little about some of the other major masonic charities that freemasons support in England and Wales. I should perhaps point out that masons support many causes in their local communities which we never get to hear about at the centre, and I am talking about many millions of pounds each year. I think by now you will have heard enough about charity so I will wind up this meeting by saying something about freemasonry itself. So much misinformation is written in the press about the organisation and every story has an unpleasant twist – in fact several editors have told me, over lunch in this building, that an article about masonry is not newsworthy unless it has a sting in the tail.
Be that as it may, freemasonry today is very different to what it was even twenty five years ago. We now practise a policy of openness about what we do and why we do it and a lot of effort goes into trying to get our members to talk about their masonry with anyone who is genuinely interested. We are the oldest fraternity in existence having been formalised in 1717 when the first Grand Lodge in the world was created by four lodges meeting at the Goose and Gridiron Public House at St Paul’s Churchyard. Three of them still continue to meet regularly to this day. If you ask a non mason what they know about masonry they will probably mention the word charity and you have heard the reason for that today. What is less known about freemasonry is its quality of tolerance. We accept all men regardless of their age, colour, status, nationality, or religious or political persuasion. In any one of our lodges you will find men of many different faiths and with varied backgrounds and lifestyles. All we care about is that our members believe in God, want to better themselves and be of more service to their fellow beings. Harmony prevails in our lodges probably helped by the fact that all discussions of a religious and political nature are banned. It is often said that Freemasonry breaks down the barriers which keep men apart and as someone who travels extensively visiting brethren in lodges all over the world I can certainly vouch for that statement. Freemasonry is a system of morality in which every object has a deeper symbolic meaning. It has no dogma or doctrine and encourages its members to follow whatever religion they belong to. We hope that by helping the individual to become a better wiser person it will inevitably help society as a whole. Although we only allow men into our form of masonry there are about fifty thousand lady masons in England and Wales in a parallel Order who practise their masonry in exactly the same way as we do.
There are only three ceremonies as well as the installation of a new Master each year. These are much the same wherever you find freemasonry around the world. The first deals with morality and the need to have good ethical standards of behaviour. It also emphasises the need to be in control of ones emotions. The second explains the importance of educating ones intellect so as to become a more useful member of society. The third deals with trust and integrity. As you have heard earlier the three main principles on which the Order was founded are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, which in layman’s language could be described as long lasting friendships, compassion and integrity. Freemasons throughout the ages have been persecuted and many have lost their lives because of their membership. The effect of Hitler’s determination to exterminate Jews and Freemasons during the Second World War drove us underground and we became obsessively secret about ourselves. That has now changed and with our new ethos of openness we hope to be able to change any misguided perceptions, and show those who are not masons the good things that Freemasonry stands for. I hope this brief explanation will help correct any misunderstandings you may have had and encourage some of you to want to know more about us and the work we do.
Ladies, Gentlemen, and Brethren I thank you all for attending today and there being no further business I declare this meeting closed." posted 12/7/2006
Directors of Ceremonies
Important dates for the diary
The following events are planned in the Province over the next twelve months:
- Masters, Wardens and Visiting Officers Dinner - 5 September 2006
- Masonic Service, Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham - 17 September 2006
- Dedication of the Masonic Hall Atherstone - 5 October 2006
- Initiates Lunch - 7 October 2006
- Remembrance Service - 11 November 2006
- Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge - 19 May 2007
- Annual Church Service at Warwick - 10 June 2007
- Provincial Officers Pre-Season Supper - 20 June 2007
Invitations have been or will be sent to Brethren in due course but please reserve the dates in your diary now. The Provincial Grand Master expects that all the events will be well attended particularly by Grand Officers, acting Provincial Grand Officers and the Masters and Wardens of all the private Lodges in the Province. Where for some unavoidable cause Masters and Wardens are not able to attend Masters should ensure that substitutes are appointed in good time and notified to the Provincial Grand Secretary to so that every Lodge is represented.posted 3/7/2006
Association of Medical, University and Legal Lodges
A Masonic wedding
The wedding of the Worshipful Master of Dormer Lodge No 7294 in the Province of Worcestershire has recently taken place. Ian Napier married Heidi at All Saints Church, Stechford, not far from the Stechford Masonic Hall.posted 24/6/2006
New jail to be dedicated by Freemasons
The Wilkin County Commissioners have agreed to ask MW Bro Steven R Johnson the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota to dedicate their new law enforcement centre and jail in a Masonic ceremony in August 2006.posted 24/6/2006
Grand Lodge of India celebrates
Freemasons across India celebrated their Universal Brotherhood Day on 24 June 2006 to reiterate their belief in 'the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man.' About 18,000 Freemasons gathered at 348 Lodges all over the country.posted 24/6/2006
More generosity in your name
At a General Meeting of the Freemasons Grand Charity held in Freemasons Hall London on 21 June 2006 members approved the following grants:
£30,000 to the National Autistic Society to provide funding for the Help! support programme for parents of children with an autistic spectrum disorder;
£25,000 to the Calvert Trust to provide bursary funds for activity holidays for disadvantaged disabled people at the Calvert Trust centres;
£25,000 to the National Blind Children's Society to fund items of IT equipment for disadvantaged blind children for use at home or at school;
£25,000 to the Royal School for the Deaf to equip a new vocational workshop for young deaf people with complex needs;
£85,000 to the Samaritans in equal instalments over two years to fund professional training programmes for the volunteer directors and caller care deputies in local branches of the Samaritans;
£60,000 to Contact the Elderly in equal instalments over three years to fund a central administrator for local social groups for isolated elderly people;
£45,000 to WellChild to fund the cost of a WellChild nurse to help care for chronically sick children at home;
£30,000 to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths in equal instalments over two years to fund a helpline providing advice on issues relating to sudden infant cot death;
£25,000 to Maggie's Cancer Centres to fund a cancer information specialist in Oxford;
£20,000 to the MDF Bipolar Organisation in equal instalments over two years to fund a service to help people with bipolar disorder (manic depression) to find or retain employment:
£15,000 to Action on Elder Abuse to fund a training course for home workers to help them recognise and deal with the mistreatment of older people;
£150,000 to Skill Force in equal instalments over three years to fund expansion into the Manchester area of Skill Force's educational support programme;
£50,000 to Clubs for Young People to fund a sports development manager to provide national sports programmes for local youth clubs;
£150,000 to the Brain Research Trust in equal instalments over three years to fund research into brain tumours; and
£40,000 to the British Brain and Spine Foundation to develop a training resource to improve the early recognition and diagnosis of neurological conditions.posted 24/6/2006
The Grand Charity celebrates 25 years
The Freemasons Grand Charity took over the functions of the old Board of Benevolence in 1981 and its first President was the late Sir John Stebbings. In its first year of operation the Grand Charity gave more than £285,000 to help distressed Masons and their dependants. The first non-Masonic grant was awarded to the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR). The grant of £250,000 helped implement a project to improve the assessment and treatment of people suffering from a severe speech impediment.
Since 1981 more than £72 million has been dedicated by the Grand Charity to charitable support; more than 30,000 applicants have been assisted through Masonic Relief Grants; over £5 million has been given to support the other central Masonic Charities in their work for Freemasons and their dependants; over £30 million has been donated to non-Masonic Charities of all sizes working in England and Wales; more than 250 hospice services have been supported with grants totalling nearly £6 million; and over £1.5 million has been donated for emergency relief work world-wide following devastating disasters.
On its 25th Anniversary Grahame Elliott CBE, President of the Grand Charity, said:" On behalf of Masons the Grand Charity will continue to focus on delivering this valuable and vital assistance to individuals and charities, complementing the tremendous support shown at the local and Provincial level for the same important causes."
Further information about the important work undertaken by the Grand Charity can be found at www.grandcharity.org posted 22/6/2006
Grand Charity Festival
The twenty-first annual Festival for the Grand Charity was held on Saturday, 10 June 2006, at the North Wales Conference Centre, Llandudno, under the Presidency of RW Bro Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Provincial Grand Master for North Wales. A total of £2,338,008 was announced.posted 21/6/2006
One hundred years old
The Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, established in 1906, and consisting of 68 lodges and 4,200 masons, celebrates its Centenary in June.posted 18/6/2006
It is with sadness that we report the death on 7 June 2006 of W Bro Edward Wright who was initiated into the Lodge of Amity in November 1969 by his father, the late W Bro Maurice Wright. Edward was the proud holder of a silver matchbox awarded by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement for the complete record of working all four Craft ceremonies without prompt or correction, an honour he shared, uniquely, with his surviving brother Malcolm. Since the inception of this prestigious award only 118 Brethren have achieved the complete record.posted 18/6/2006
New Inspector General
Peter J Turner is to succeed Peter Waring as the Very Illustrious Inspector General for the Warwickshire District in the Ancient and Accepted Rite. Details of the Installation will be circulated in due course.posted 18/6/2006
Lord Northampton addresses Grand Lodge - 14 June 2006
"Brethren, I have received many favourable comments following the MW Grand Master’s remarks at the April Investiture meeting on the question of Charity, and how important it is to make our charity multi-faceted by giving practical help as well as financial aid. We have many small Masonic charities which do just that and next week the Grand Master is coming to my home in Northamptonshire for an event which is being run by the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Club of which I am a Patron. This charity, whose motto is ‘Smiling in the face of adversity’, organises a day’s fishing with professional casters for handicapped and disadvantaged children at venues all over the Country.
It is important that we build on the foundations we laid with our Freemasonry in the Community week by arranging events which benefit our local communities. There is no better way of ensuring the public and potential candidates have a good impression of what freemasonry is all about than by seeing us helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
Since our last Quarterly Communication in March I have made two trips overseas. On 1st May I attended the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of New York following which they installed their new Grand Master. They kindly honoured me with their Distinguished Achievement Award which I understand is going to feature in the next edition of MQ. On the last weekend of May I flew to Bermuda to inaugurate the new District Grand Lodge of Bermuda and install RW Bro Robert Rego as the first District Grand Master. It was a most enjoyable occasion with many Scottish and Irish brethren attending the ceremony and supporting our brethren. Tomorrow I fly to Dublin for the annual Tripartite meeting between the three Home Grand Lodges.
Bro George Francis, Senior Grand Warden, visited our District Grand Lodge and District Grand Chapter of Cyprus for their annual communication and convocation on 27 May. He attended also the Grand Lodge of Ireland for their annual meeting on 1 June.
Brethren, we are coming to the end of another Masonic season which is a good time to reflect on what has been achieved during the past twelve months and make plans for next year. I wish you and your families a happy and peaceful time over the summer and look forward to seeing you all again in September."posted 18/6/2006
A game of golf
The members of Gothic Lodge are holding their annual golf day at Seedy Mill Golf Course on 14 July. If you wish to take part and can put a team together please contact Martin Fowkes on 0121 308 2994 for details.posted 11/6/2006
Alderson House Warwick
A resident housekeeper is required for the Masonic Rooms at Alderson House 23 High Street Warwick. Light duties - no catering. A two bedroom flat is available. Personal details should be sent to the Secretary, Alderson House (Warwick) Limited (Ref RJW) 12 High Street Warwick CV34 4AP.posted 11/6/2006
New Zealand Freemasons help for musicians
Musician Barrett Hocking from Timaru in the South Island has won a Freemasons New Zealand scholarship to assist with his university studies. Barrett is studying for a Bachelor of Music and has been awarded NZ$3000. The Freemasons will award NZ$220,000 in educational scholarships this year.2/6/2006
Freemasons help 'quake victims
The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £25,000 to the British Red Cross, to aid their relief efforts following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Java on Saturday, 27 May.
Over 5,000 people are thought to have died and 20,000 have been injured by the earthquake. An estimated 35,000 houses have been destroyed and up to 200,000 people are homeless, at the mercy of torrential rain and continuing aftershocks. In response to the disaster, the Indonesian Government has declared a three-month state emergency.
Red Cross staff and volunteers responded immediately to the earthquake, undertaking search and rescue and relief distribution activities. Relief goods already in use include 10,000 blankets, 2,000 family tents, 5,000 hygiene kits and ten field kitchens. Over the next few days, the main priorities for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements will be delivering medical help to existing health facilities and providing emergency shelter, food, water and household items to those made homeless.
The emergency grant by The Grand Charity will help the Red Cross to provide vital assistance to people whose lives have been shattered by the earthquake. posted 2/6/2006
Inspector General for Warwickshire to retire
The Very Illustrious Bro Peter Waring the Inspector General for the Warwickshire District in the Ancient and Accepted Rite (the Rose Croix) has announced that he is to step down from that high office in the near future, having held that office since 1998. No date has been fixed for Peter's retirement but this will be known when his successor is confirmed by the Supreme Council which is expected to be in July or August.posted 30/5/2006
A consecration overseas
The Pro Grand Master consecrated the District Grand Lodge of Bermuda on 27 May. Assisted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies, Jonathan Spence, and the District Grand Masters of the Bahamas and Turks and of Trinidad and Tobago, Lord Northampton installed RW Bro Robert William Rego as District Grand Master. There are five Lodges in the District.posted 27/5/2006
General Meeting of the Grand Charity
A General Meeting of the Grand Charity will be held on Wednesday 21 June at 6.00pm in Freemasons' Hall Great Queen Street London under the chairmanship of Lord Northampton. It is a public meeting and Brethren their families and friends are encouraged to attend. The meeting will receive an account of the work of the Grand Charity since 1981 with contributions from Andrew Stebbings, Sir John Welch, Raymond Lye and Grahame Elliott. Presentations will also be given by Bruno Oudmayer of Plan International (India) and Martyn Lewis, ex-BBC newsreader and vice-president of Help the Hospices. posted 27/5/2006
A great gathering
A meeting of the Great Priory of Knights Templar (a Masonic Order) was held at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Edgbaston Birmingham on 17 May 2006. Well over 600 members were in attendance and 510 of them dined after the meeting. Members came from all over the country.posted 19/5/2006
The well-maintained Masonic Temple in downtown Dallas, a 65-year-old landmark, is for sale at $3.6 million.posted 19/5/2006
Good music, good company and a good cause
A concert in aid of the Warwickshire 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund will be held at the Arts Centre at Warwick University on the evening of Sunday 7 October 2007. Performers will include the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra and the Stratford-upon-Avon Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Ed Doolan, the well-known West Midlands BBC broadcaster, has kindly agreed to be the presenter for the evening. The music will include pieces by Walton, Arnold, Holst, Britten, Coates and, of course, Gilbert and Sullivan.
This is an important and ambitious project for the Province of Warwickshire. It is hoped that Brethren, their ladies and friends will support the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, and make the evening an outstanding success.
Freemasons sponsor science adventures
All six winning teams now know of their success in the Big Science Adventures video competition for Year 11-13 students, sponsored by Freemasons New Zealand.
The teams have all been assigned trips to some very remote and special locations in New Zealand which include the coastal haunts of whales and dolphins. The challenge now before them is to make a 10 minute documentary of their host scientist's work in those locations. The best video will win the team a place on the ultimate science adventure, a trip to the Antarctic in January 2007. This has been organised through Antarctica New Zealand's Youth on Ice programme. The winner will be announced by Sir Edmund Hillary at a special event in Wellington on 4 August, for which all the teams will come together to present their documentaries and share their experiences.
The Royal Society of New Zealand is very grateful to Freemasons New Zealand, Antarctica New Zealand, and the Royal NZ Navy for their wonderful financial and in-kind support for the competition, which is life-changing for many students. posted 6 May 200
The Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge on 26 April 2006
"Brethren, I welcome you all to this Annual Investiture today and I offer my congratulations to all those brethren I have had the pleasure of investing with Grand Rank or promoting to higher office. Your appointment today is not however simply the recognition of the service you have given Freemasonry in the past but, just as importantly, an earnest of the work we expect you to undertake for the future.
The Craft has embraced the policy of openness with increasing optimism and the benefits are becoming ever more visible. Nowhere has that openness been more apparent than in our charitable activities. The amount of money raised and the donations made to both Masonic and non-Masonic charities has been remarkable, and has contributed significantly to the raising of our profile and our increasing acceptance in the wider community.
Nevertheless, charity is not just about raising money and making donations to good causes, valuable though these are. It has a broader and deeper purpose. Apart from giving alms and providing help by liberality to those in need or distress, charity is also defined as love of one’s fellow man, as kindness, and as leniency in judging others.
Some of our more thoughtful members have commented recently that our charitable activities are in danger of becoming one dimensional, whereas real charity, as I have just defined it, is multi-faceted. Many of our brethren and their Lodges already give much of their time to practical charitable work, which is entirely laudable, and must continue, but as Masons we should all try to involve ourselves to a greater extent in activities which bring joy and happiness into the lives of disadvantaged people, and not just assume that a cash donation discharges our obligations.
Helping those in need or distress therefore has practical as well as financial connotations, but of course taking Masonry into the Community through charitable activities means providing tangible assistance to those in need, and that requires time, a commodity that is precious to us all. By the use of time freely given we can show real liberality of spirit to those who need our help.
We should also spend more time in our assemblies considering the excellences of charity and the lessons it has to teach us as Freemasons, remembering that no less an authority than St. Paul placed charity in front of both faith and hope as the greatest of qualities.
We are also conscious that Freemasonry rests on the basic tenets of friendship, charity and integrity, which we know as Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Friendship is the cement which binds us together, integrity is a characteristic which should be inherent in all Freemasons, but charity in all its aspects is the practical application of Freemasonry to the rest of the world. Through our charitable work and our openness about it the world may know the happy and beneficial effects of Freemasonry.
Brethren, in speaking at some length today about charity I want to stress that we must not fall into the trap of becoming dominated by financial charity, nor even its extension into the aspects of doing good by some practical means, if that leads us to forget that Freemasonry is a system of belief and principle that offers us a framework for the better regulation of our lives. Charity is one of the foundations upon which Freemasonry rests, but we must ensure that the other basic tenets are not forgotten or overlooked, and we must look to what observance of all those principles is going to achieve for us. That is the way that we will receive benefit ourselves for what we do for others.
Brethren, I should like to express my thanks to the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his Deputies for the efficient manner in which they have conducted our proceedings today. And also to thank the Grand Secretary's staff, who work so hard behind the scenes to maintain this magnificent building and to ensure that we all enjoy our Freemasonry." posted 6 May 2006
Lord Northampton addresses Supreme Grand Chapter on 27 April 2006
"Companions, I welcome you all here this morning for what is surely the highlight of the year for Royal Arch masons and I congratulate all those I have invested with their new ranks. Those of you who have just been invested for the first time will realise that the honour of being appointed a Grand Officer brings with it certain responsibilities.
The most important of these is to promote the Order to potential candidates. The Craft initiated 8862 men last year and all of them will soon be eligible to join the Royal Arch. The number of Grand Lodge certificates issued since the millennium has fallen on average by less than 1% per year. Unfortunately the figures for the Royal Arch are not so good. The number of Grand Chapter certificates issued each year since the millennium has fallen by 20% or more than 3% per year. The Royal Arch is not for everyone having a more intimate and spiritual ethos than the Craft, but there are many master masons out there who would benefit from joining us if we can only explain it to them in a meaningful and inspiring way. That is another responsibility we all share as Grand Officers.
I am pleased to hear that many Chapters are now working the new ritual and are enjoying sharing the work among more Companions. Not only must we attract candidates we must also put more effort into retaining them. Now that all our members are entitled to attend Grand Chapter let us try and encourage them to attend our November meetings. I hope we can do something special to make it worth their while.
The 2nd Grand Principal and the President of the Committee have been hosting a series of lunches with Grand Superintendents to discuss many different aspects of the Royal Arch. I am told that they have had some lively and constructive conversations. I said in Grand Lodge last month that I was beginning to sense a new optimism among our members in the Craft, and I hope that can soon be said for the Royal Arch as well.
One piece of good news is the recent appointment of the 3rd Grand Principal (Rev. Canon Neil Collings) as Dean of St Edmondsbury. It is not only a great accolade for him personally it also brings much credit to pure Antient Masonry and we wish him every success in his new post.
Finally Companions I would like to thank the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his Deputies for their usual efficiency in ensuring the smooth running of our ceremony today; the Grand Scribe Ezra’s staff for their considerable efforts in organising this important event; and finally all of you for either coming to be invested with your new ranks or to support your friends who have been."posted 6 May 2006
Lost - owner of a bottle of whisky!
Participants in the walk for the 2012 Festival held on Sunday 23 April also bought tickets with the hope of winning a bottle of whisky. The winning tickets, green in colour, are numbered 216 to 220 and the lucky owner is asked to get in touch with David Joyce on 02476 462344 to claim his/her prize. David is not responsible for any evaporation that may occur to the contents while the bottle is in his custody! posted 1/5/2006
Warwickshire Freemasons give generously
Grants totalling £76,500 have been made to 123 local non-Masonic charities by the Province of Warwickshire. Among those who have benefited from this act of generosity are the hospices in the Province, Warwick Hospital Cancer Ward, Autism West Midlands, Cerebral Palsy Midlands, Dogs for the Disabled, Edgbaston Old Church, Little Sisters of the Poor, the Rape and Sexual Violence Project, the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick, the Salvation Army, the Oesophageal Patients Association and the St John Ambulance. Grants range from £250 to £3,000.
Michael Price, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire Freemasons says:"I am always delighted to be able to make these grants to deserving non-Masonic causes on behalf of the Freemasons in Warwickshire. Their generosity in their giving always amazes me but it reflects one of the basic tenets of Freemasonry - to assist those who are not as fortunate as we are."
Freemasons help Cathedrals
The Freemasons' Grand Charity has made grants of £5,000 each to Hereford Cathedral and Exeter Cathedral.posted 1/5/2006
Freemasons help vulnerable and disabled people
The Freemasons Grand Charity has just made four major grants to charities that work for vulnerable people and the disabled.
A grant of £105,000 payable in equal instalments over two years has been made to Home-Start UK to assist in setting up a regional network in north-east England and new schemes in Durham and Northumberland. Home-Start provides parent to parent support and practical help to families with babies and young children through 335 volunteer schemes across the country.
A grant of £30,000 payable in equal instalments over two years to help support a day care centre in Malvern for older people with dementia has been made to Friends of the Elderly. The charity provides residential care for the elderly and runs 17 care and nursing homes, as well as a home support service and day care centres for isolated older people and community services for those with dementia.
A grant of £30,000 payable in equal annual instalments over two years to help establish an independent advocacy service for older people has been made to Counsel and Care. They support older people with an information and advice service and produce comprehensive reports and fact sheets on many relevant issues. The charity also runs a telephone helpline assisting about 10,000 older people each year.
A grant of £52,000 to fund a ceiling mounted hoist and tracking system in two residential units for severely disabled children has been made to the Children's Trust. The TRust provides short and long term care, special education and therapeutic programmes for children who have profound learning and physical disabilities and complex health needs.posted 20/4/2006
Royal & Select Masters Partition
Freemasons help for hospice
A massive £150,000 has been donated to help improve life for seriously-ill children and their families. The sum was handed over recently by Somerset Freemasons to the Children's Hospice South West appeal. It will be used to help equip the £11 million hospice when it opens at Charlton Farm, in Wraxall, including buying furniture and computers. The money was raised by the 4,500 members of the Somerset Freemasons over the last 18 months.posted 12/4/2006
In all its glory
A £1million project to rebuild a former Sunderland Masonic Hall at Beamish Museum which has taken eight years to accomplish, will finally be unveiled on 19 April by the The MW the Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent. "The Masonic Hall must be one of the most intriguing and fascinating exhibits to open at Beamish," said Trish Hall, marketing manager for the museum. We've already had coach groups booking specifically to see it, and hundreds of enquiries as well. It will be the only Masonic temple permanently open to the public in Europe."
The new attraction, which originally stood in Park Terrace, now part of Toward Road, in Sunderland, was built in 1869 for the St John's Lodge and was Sunderland's main Freemasonry centre for years. By 1933, however, it was home to 17 lodges and bulging at the seams. A new base was therefore built at Burdon Road, leaving Park Terrace empty. The Grade I listed temple was used as a warehouse for several years, but eventually fell into disrepair. By 1998, it was almost derelict and doomed to demolition. Eric Heaviside, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Durham, said: "We only heard about the plans at the last minute and our members immediately visited the site. We reached an agreement with the builder to save the ornate frontispiece of the hall just 24 hours before it was to be demolished. It was that close to being lost."
Dozens of photographs and drawings were made of the temple's frontage before it was dismantled, with each individual brick being measured and numbered. The pieces were then stored until enough money was raised to fund the rebuilding. Beamish and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham shared the £1million bill.
"The frontage was painstakingly rebuilt brick by brick," said Trish. "The rest of the building was built behind it on an East-West axis, just as Masonic buildings ideally are."
Museum experts used an old photograph of the temple's interior to create an authentic look, complete with black and white marble floor and gothic fireplace.
Three impressive mid-18th century chairs, symbolic boards and original Masonic paintings, all donated by lodges around Britain, add to the authenticity. "In addition, the building also houses other traditional Masonic rooms, including a Robing Room, Tyler's Room and a Museum Room upstairs," said Trish.
Hundreds of Freemasons will gather at Beamish on 19 April to celebrate the opening of the rebuilt Masonic Hall. "We raised £500,000 towards the project and it's been a bit of a hard slog at times," said W Bro Heaviside. "But it's all been very worthwhile in the end. The building has been done to the highest quality and it gives people the opportunity to see what a Masonic Hall looks like, as well as learning what goes on inside. It is the only purpose-built Masonic Hall within a museum in Europe and we are expecting people from all over the world to be interested in visiting." posted 12/4/2006
Coventry Cathedral Plaque Appeal
The plaque commemorating those members of the 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment who fell in the First World War, located on the south wall of the old Coventry Cathedral, was damaged and exposed to the elements during the blitz on Coventry in 1941. An appeal has been made for its restoration, the cost of which is estimated at £2,500 plus VAT. Donations may be sent to Major P Stanley TD, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and Royal Warwickshire Regimental Association, Tower Street, Coventry CV1.posted 9/4/2006
The NSPCC continues to work hard to provide a range of services to keep children safe. The local Community Appeals Manager has asked if Warwickshire Lodges could help the NSPCC by making suitable donations. Any donations should be sent to the Birmingham and Black Country Appeals Office, 3rd Floor, Waterlinks House, Richard Street, Aston, Birmingham B7 4AA posted 9/4/2006
Grand Lodge of Scotland - Tours
The history of Scottish Freemasonry is unique and is reflected in Scottish Masonic practice to this day. As a consequence of this and the number of books published recently about Freemasonry there has been an increasing number of visitors arriving at Freemasons' Hall in Edinburgh. In order to cater for the increasing number of visitors guided tours have been arranged for specific times. These are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2.00pm. The first tour took place on Thursday 6 April. Visitors are welcome at Freemasons' Hall at other times but it will not be possible to provide tours other than at these times. It is advisable to telephone in advance of your visit - 0131 225 5304. Freemasons Hall is at 96 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3DH.posted 9/4/2006
Judge backs Freemasons' role
The role of Masons in public life won the backing of a High Court judge, who dismissed claims that the order’s secretive ways made Freemasonry an unhealthy influence on officialdom.
Mr Justice Newman accepted that there was still a perception that Freemasonry could give rise to apparent bias in decision making. But he concluded that Masons holding public positions did not need to remove themselves from decisions involving other Masons.
The judge said that “Freemasonry is not a religion” and that although members of the order agreed to give “succour” to “brother Masons”, they were subject to the “uncompromising and clear” principle that they must pay “due obedience” to the laws of the land.
Mr Justice Newman upheld North Dorset District Council’s decision to give planning consent to an application for a change of use of farming land to a showground in Motcombe in Dorset by the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Society. He dismissed arguments that there was an “appearance of bias” because two of the members who voted in favour of the scheme were members of Masonic lodges.posted 9/4/2006
'Masonic' Email Scam
We have previously warned about two email scams claiming to be from the "Freemasons of Winchester and Bournemouth" offering shares in a Masonic Charity payout. New scams are appearing claiming to be from a Grand Lodge of England with an email address including "grandlodgeofengland". That is not an address used by the United Grand Lodge of England. The UGLE itself does not offer charity payments and our Masonic Charities do not make unsolicited offers of assistance by email to anyone. The offers being made by email are a scam to gain access to an individual's bank details. They have been reported to the appropriate authorities.posted 5/4/2006
Freemasonry and Christianity
The Bishop of Rochester has joined that ill-informed band of senior clergy in the Church of England by pronouncing that Freemasonry and Christianity are incompatible and asserting that this is Church doctrine. Brethren will recall the anxiety caused by the Archbishop of Canterbury when he made a similar statement three years ago. Sadly, despite attempts by Freemasonry Today the Bishop has not been able to justify his views or even reply. The poll conducted by BBC Radio last year demonstrated an overwhelming majority view that Freemasonry and Christianity are compatible, which is known to all Freemasons whether they are Christians or adherents of other faiths.
A garden party for charity
De Montfort Lodge is organising a Charity Garden Party to be held on Sunday 13 August 2006 at Kingswood Nurseries, Old Warwick Road, Lapworth. Proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival. If you are interested in attending then John Walsh on 0121 711 2814 would be delighted to hear from you.posted 5/4/2006
New Grand Superintendent for Warwickshire
The Most Excellent First Grand Principal HRH The Duke of Kent has been pleased to appoint Excellent Companion John Saint, Past Grand Sword Bearer, Deputy Grand Superintendent, to be the fourteenth Grand Superintendent for the Royal Arch Province of Warwickshire. John, who succeeds E Comp Richard Wallis, will be installed into this high office in the morning of Tuesday 6 June 2006 at 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham. The Annual Convocation of the Province will take place in the afternoon.
We extend our warmest and fraternal congratulations to John and wish him many happy and rewarding years as Grand Superintendent.posted 25/3/2006
A new Lodge on the road
The first consecration of a new Lodge in Worcestershire since 1997 took place at Rainbow Hill, Worcester, on Saturday 18 March 2006 when R W Bro Richard Goddard, Provincial Grand Master, constituted and consecrated the Morgan Lodge, No 9816.
The new Lodge has been established for all Masons with a particular interest in that famous marque of sports car and will, of course, regularly meet at Malvern, where the factory producing the cars is established.
The Founders, from all over the country and overseas, and over 80 guests, enjoyed a very happy occasion with Richard Goddard appropriately arriving for the occasion in his daughter’s beautiful “Morgan plus 4”. posted 22/3/2006
Arnold J. Sodergren is 101 years old and has just celebrated 75 years of membership in Royal Arch Freemasonry in Massachusetts. He is the only person known to have belonged to a Massachusetts Chapter for such a period.posted 22/3/2006
Riding high for charity - the Bolivian Bike Challenge
Bro Tony Ingram of the Lodge of Academe in Warwickshire is taking part in a bike race across the Bolivian Andes, finishing on the Pacific Coast in Chile in September. This is a two week orienteering mountain bike race, starting on top of an active volcano at an altitude of 3.4 miles. The race will take in the spine of the Andes across the Atacama Desert and the largest salt lake in the world. This is a truly epic event that will be televised on the Adventure Challenge Channel.
Freemasons help tackle food shortages in Africa
The President of the Grand Charity, RW Bro Raymond Lye, has approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the British Red Cross, to aid their urgent work to tackle the food shortages affecting populations across Southern, East and West Africa.
At least 23 million people are facing serious food shortages for a combination of reasons and the situation is deteriorating rapidly.
In Southern Africa an estimated 12 million people are in need of food aid following total crop failure and in the East and Horn of Africa more than 11 million people are facing food shortages due to severe droughts and the effects of past and ongoing conflicts. There are also fears of re-emerging food shortages in West Africa, a region affected by food security problems for several decades.
The emergency grant to the Red Cross will help fund relief efforts across the continent including the provision of food aid, water, sanitation and seeds for planting.posted 14/3/2006
Grand Lodge of Russia
The attention of Brethren is drawn to the situation that appears to exist in the Grand Lodge of Russia. Rumours and reports have been reaching Grand Lodge for some time about the manner in which the Grand Lodge of Russia and its affairs are being conducted and controlled. It is not proving easy to assess the truth or otherwise of such reports. Accordingly until it has become possible to ascertain the actual position with some degree of certainty it is recommended that Brethren should refrain from visiting Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Russia and, further, that Lodges under this Constitution should exercise extreme caution before admitting as visitors Brethren from Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Russia.posted 14/3/2006
Lord Northampton's address to Grand Lodge - 8 March 2006
Brethren, I would like to say something about the proposal to create ‘The Rulers’ Forum’ and why I believe such a body will have an important role to play in the future. When the old Board of General Purposes was transformed into the new much smaller one, it was thought advisable to create a General Council, under the Chairmanship of the President of the Board, to retain that wealth of knowledge and experience which the former members had acquired over many years of service. It did not succeed for a variety of reasons and is now a standing committee which has not met for some years. The Associated Masonic Provinces is a much older body and although it has performed some useful functions for the Craft and has come up with many innovative ideas, it has struggled to be heard. The Rulers’ Forum would in effect unite both the General Council and the Associated Masonic Provinces under the Chairmanship of the Grand Master. Although it will have no powers, as such, it cannot fail to have considerable influence comprising as it will the High Rulers, the President and Deputy President of the Board and the President of the Committee. Of the remaining members two thirds will be elected to represent the Provinces and London while one third will be appointed by the Grand Master. Its role will be to debate some of the issues facing us at this time, and to encourage brethren with good ideas to air them in a spirit of fraternal co-operation. I am excited by the creation of such a representative body and hope its members will be enthusiastic and forward thinking with the best interests of the Craft at heart.
In fact, brethren, visiting lodges in London, our Provinces and Districts over the past year I have begun to sense a new optimism among our members and this is reinforced by the figures on page three of the paper of business. We are continuing to lose members overall and lodges will go on closing when their numbers make them untenable, but the number of Grand Lodge certificates we issue each year appears to be holding up. If we average out the drop in the number of initiates since the millennium it is less than 1% a year. This surely means our efforts must be concentrated on retaining them and to do that we must educate them into the meaning and relevance of masonry in the 21st Century.
Brethren, as you will have read in the report of our last meeting, the Prestonian Lecture is entitled “The Victoria Cross – Freemasons’ Band of Brothers” and will be given by W Bro G S Angell. I would like also to commend to you the exhibition currently on view in the Library and Museum to mark the 150th anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross in 1856. The criterion for the reward is simple – conspicuous valour in the presence of the enemy – but its winners have been drawn from all sections of the armed forces, including some civilians under military command, and from all walks of life. This exhibition is a tribute to those holders of the Victoria Cross who were also Freemasons and includes some of their stories. They amount to over 10% of all the awards ever won which is a remarkable figure and one of which we can feel justifiably proud.posted 14/3/2006
Chief Executive addresses AGM of the Grand Charity
In a packed Grand Temple on Wednesday 8 March 2006 when the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge had been called off to allow the AGM of the Grand Charity to be held, Laura Chapman, the Chief Executive of the Charity, delivered the following address:
"Pro Grand Master, President, gentlemen. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to address Grand Lodge to provide an update on the Craft’s support for victims of the Tsunami. I have just returned from a visit to India and Sri Lanka to see at first hand the projects that are being funded from the Tsunami Relief Chest. As you may recall, immediately following the disaster, the President of the Grand Charity authorised an Emergency Grant of £100,000 for the British Red Cross to air lift essential supplies to the worst affected areas. In addition, grants of £10,000 and £25,000 were made to the District Grand Lodges of Madras and Sri Lanka to assist them with their local relief work.
In response to requests from the Craft, the Grand Charity opened a Relief Chest to receive donations from Masons who wished to support the relief efforts via a central Masonic Charity. I had originally thought that a few thousand pounds might be donated, so you can imagine my utter amazement as the thousands turned to hundreds of thousands. The Craft has been overwhelmingly generous and, as of the end of February, the Chest had received more than £850,000.
Donations have come not only from Masons under the United Grand Lodge of England, but from around the world. One of many came from the Masonic Service Association of North America who contacted me for advice on suitable projects. Subsequently, the Association decided that the money that they had raised should be added to the Relief Chest to support the Grand Charity’s efforts. Of the total in the Relief Chest, more than £750,000 has been committed and we are evaluating several different options for the remaining funds.
After careful consideration, as reported to Grand Lodge last March, the Council of the Grand Charity agreed that the Relief Chest funds should be used to support long term relief efforts for children orphaned or otherwise affected by the disaster. Following meetings in London with a number of child focussed charities and a due diligence visit to meet the local staff who would be managing projects in the field, the Grand Charity selected Plan as its delivery partner in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Plan is a child-centred community development organisation, working in 66 countries worldwide.
A grant of nearly £320,000 for India is supporting child care centres, funding women’s self help groups and providing livelihood support for families in the fishing villages of Villapuram in Tamil Nadu. Thus far, 58 boats have been delivered, benefiting more than 230 families – boats that the local fishermen themselves helped to design in conjunction with the suppliers who had been selected through a rigorous competitive bidding process.
To avoid the problem that at BT we used to call “shrinkage” off the back of an engineer’s van, Plan has ensured controls are in place so that boats are not sold or given away. The boats are owned, most wisely, by the women of the village, and a board has been erected in each village to display the names of the boat owners with registration and insurance details for each boat. Plan has a central database of the boats and local staff regularly monitor to ensure that no boats have gone missing. I travelled with Michael Turnbull from the Council of the Grand Charity, who went out to sea in one of our boats, and fortunately returned, but without any fish.
We visited childcare centres, which provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn basic educational skills, receive training in hygiene and sanitation practices and have regular medical check-ups. Psychological counsellors help them to overcome the trauma of the tsunami and the children receive disaster preparedness training to help them with the all too frequent natural disasters of the developing world. The children were exuberant, vivacious and noisy, a far cry from their withdrawn stoicism of a year ago.
I saw the products of several of the women’s self help groups, where women can gain much needed employment skills and the capacity, through the availability of micro-financing, to develop income generating activities. I would like to urge all of you to attend the Grand Charity’s General Meeting in London on June 21st to hear Bruno Oudmayer, the Director of Plan India, who will be speaking about the tsunami relief work. He is most impressive and Plan’s work in India is remarkable.
In Sri Lanka, we visited the 22-acre site in Hambantota where construction work has begun to build a new school for 3,000 primary and secondary school students. The Grand Charity grant of £200,000 will contribute to the overall funding of £2m for the project. Plan’s philosophy of “building back better” will ensure that a much higher standard of education will be available to children in the region, who were consulted in the design of the new school The project is on schedule and on budget, with the primary school due to open in January 2007.
In Indonesia the Grand Charity has agreed, in principle, a donation of £100,000 for a school to be built in the Aceh district. The loss of life and the scale of the devastation were so great in Indonesia that, when combined with the political instability of a country at war, the redevelopment efforts have progressed more slowly here than in the other countries. Plan is confident, however, that work on the school will begin later this year.
I would like to finish by touching on the broader context of the tsunami relief work. You will all have read the widespread criticism of the inefficiency and waste of governments and international NGO’s in the efforts to help victims of this disaster. Boats without engines, boats not designed for the local fishermen’s needs, women and children marginalised and excluded from the decision making process. There are, however, many more examples of international NGO’s delivering much needed redevelopment initiatives, sensitive to local cultures and needs. I can assure you that with Plan the projects funded by the Craft are bringing tangible, measurable benefits for children whose lives have been devastated by this disaster. Of equal importance, the money given by the Craft is “building back better” infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami and thereby achieving lasting economic and social improvements for children and the communities in which they are growing up.
On behalf of the Grand Charity and those who you are helping, thank you."posted 14/3/2006
Order of Service to Masonry
At the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge held on 8 March 2006 the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, conferred the MW Grand Master's Order of Service to Masonry on Sir Jayantilal Chande KBE the Past District Grand Master for East Africa and RW Bro Richard Sandbach a Past Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire to the acclaim of the assembled Brethren.posted 9/3/2006
Wanted - Legacy Manager for the Masonic Charities
The Four Central Masonic Charities provide a wide variety of support in the UK and overseas. They are now looking to recruit an experienced and highly motivated Legacy Manager in their Central London Offices to establish and manage a major legacy campaign. This is an exciting new initiative on behalf of all four central Masonic Charities who will be working together to increase legacy income.
The Charities seek a confident communicator to promote their work and services to Freemasons and other relevant audiences as part of an ongoing campaign to encourage people to remember the Central Masonic Charities in their Wills.
The Legacy Manager will have excellent people skills – the ability to get on with people from all walks of life and be well versed in presentations and an ability to promote the work of the Central Masonic Charities.
Previous experience in a fundraising and/or business environment is essential. The role will include extensive travel across England and Wales. A current, clean driving licence is therefore essential.
If this sounds like the challenge you are looking for, please send a copy of your CV and no more than 2 A4 pages on why you feel you would be suited for the appointment to:
Compton International Fundraising Ltd, Compton House, High Street, Harbury, Warwickshire CV33 9HW.
Initial interviews will take place on 6 April 2006.
Closing date for applications will be 5 pm on 26 March 2006.
The Central Masonic Charities are committed to equality of opportunity in employment. We welcome applications from all sections of the community.
This post attracts 20 days annual leave, plus bank and statutory holidays.
A Summer Conference
The Cornerstone Society has confirmed details of the 2006 Summer Conference which will be held in London at Freemasons’ Hall on Saturday 24 June 2006 with registration at 12.45pm. Speakers will include Trevor Stewart, 2004 Prestonian Lecturer, with “The Way Forward”, David Sims with “A Search for the Genuine Secrets?” and Kai Hughes from the Cornerstone Society with “The Psychology of Freemasonry”. As usual, there will be a Ritual Workshop and the Discussion Panel. A dinner will be held afterwards at the New Connaught Rooms commencing at 6.00pm. Conference only tickets are £15 per person and tickets for the Conference and dinner are £39.50 per person. Application forms and full details can be obtained on line atwww.cornerstonesociety.com. Please reserve your place early.posted 2/3/2006
The Grand Charity
Eligible Brethren are reminded that the Annual General Meeting of the Grand Charity will be held at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London as part of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on Wednesday 8 March 2006 but separate from it.posted 26/2/2006
Acorns Children's Hospices
The three hospices run by Acorns in Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester are well known to and generously supported by Freemasons, their families and their friends. Currently some 600 families receive the Acorns' services of respite, emergency and terminal care at the hospices and round the clock support at home through the community team. It costs £4,500 per day to run each hospice with a daily bed cost of £450. There is no charge to the supported families.
Acorns relies on the community to fund the majority of its activities. Adult hospices receive around 30% of their service costs from the NHS but the statutory funding for Acorns is only 10%. For a whole variety of reasons community fund-raising income has fallen and drastic measures have had to be taken for Acorns to attempt to stay within a curtailed budget. Cost savings of some £70,000 per month have had to be made which means that twelve of the thirty beds in the hospices have had to be closed.
If you feel that Acorns is worthy at this difficult time of your support or that of your Lodge please have a word with your Lodge Almoner to see if he can release any of his funds. They will be thankfully received and faithfully applied.posted 26/2/2006
MQ Magazine is the official Grand Lodge publication but it appears that not every member of the Craft in England and Wales is receiving it. If you are one of those Brethren please ask your Lodge Secretary to forward your relevant details to:
60 Great Queen Street
Warwickshire Masonic Bowling Association
This Association urgently seeks flat green bowlers (indoor and outdoor) for their fixtures already arranged for 2006. If you are interested you should get in touch with Berwyn Edwards on 02476 599298 or Peter Tomlinson on 02476 673843.posted 22/2/2006
Warwickshire Masonic Golfing Association
Freemasons in MI5?
SDLP leader Mark Durkan has asked Home Secretary Charles Clarke to name the top MI5 officers in Northern Ireland. Mr Durkan has tabled a series of written questions at Parliament in Westminster relating to the Government's plans to give MI5 an extended role in Northern Ireland. One of the questions is whether MI5 personnel in Northern Ireland must register membership of the Freemasons.posted 22/2/2006
Another “new” Grand Lodge in England!
There has been a split in the “Regular” Grand Lodge of England. Two of their members were unhappy at the direction the RGLE is taking and have “revived” the old Grand Lodge of All England, known to Masonic historians as the York Grand Lodge.
The “new” Grand Lodge has a web site at www.grandlodgeofallengland.org . The Grand Master is one John Gordon Graves and the Grand Secretary is Peter J. Clatworthy.
Like all irregular bodies they are claiming an ancient pedigree and claim to be acting by “the original Constitutions granted by Prince Edwin at the General Assembly of Masons held in York AD 975”. This is one of the oldest legends connected with Freemasonry and was shown to be a legend more than one hundred years ago!
They also claim that the York Grand Lodge was the first Grand Lodge in England and predates the premier Grand Lodge formed in London in 1717. An independent Lodge existed in York, for which records survive from 1705. It was simply a private Lodge, which in 1725, because of the success of the premier Grand Lodge, began to call itself the Grand Lodge of All England and, in the same year, adopted “Nineteen Articles” to govern the Craft.
The Grand Lodge of All England worked until 1740 when it became dormant. It was revived in 1761 and over the next thirty years constituted about thirteen daughter Lodges in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. It ceased working circa 1791, since when nothing more was heard of it until its “revival” last month. The records of the York Grand Lodge exist and are in the custody of the present York Lodge No. 236 meeting inYork.
The Grand Lodge of All England (which appears to have only two members at present) claims to be the “regular” authority governing the Craft in England, Wales, the Channel Island and Districts Overseas”. A General Assembly, which all Master Masons are invited to attend, is to be held in York on 20 February 2006 to plan the way forward. Needless to say the new body is entirely irregular, and any member of the United Grand Lodge of England who gets involved in it will become subject to our disciplinary process.
Paris Hilton stunned the crowds at London Fashion Week on 14 February as she flew in to model exclusively for designer Julien Macdonald. The fashion event was held for the first time in the delightful surroundings of the Grand Temple at Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street in London and among the celebrities in the audience was Dame Shirley Bassey.posted 19/2/2006
In a recent survey of British Muslims nearly fifty per cent agreed with the conspiracy theory that "the Jewish community in Britain is in league with the Freemasons to control the media and politics". posted 19/2/2006
Much is said and written about Freemasons and Freemasonry, some of which is complimentary, and some less so. Sometimes there are serious mistakes and inaccuracies in reports which need to be addressed, especially the old myths and fictions so often put out by the critics and detractors of Freemasonry.
The Provincial Information Officer, Rodney Pitham, would like to be told about all newspaper, radio and television coverage whenever there is any mention of Freemasonry however published - good, bad or indifferent.
The Warwickshire Masonic Brass Band has just generously donated the sum of £200 to the Heritage Fund and £800 to the 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. The money comes from fees and donations received by the band from performances during 2005. Bandsmen are always welcome to join the band and David Diston would be pleased to hear from anyone who is interested. You do not have to be a Freemason to be in the band. David can be contacted on 02476 599612.posted 4/2/2006
The first milestone has been reached in the collection of monies for the Warwickshire 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund - £100,000 since the launch of the Festival in September 2005. Brethren are urged to complete their Standing Orders and Gift Aid Declarations, obtainable from Lodge Charity Stewards, as early as possible in the Festival period and to support all the sponsored events details of which are notified from time to time to Lodges and which can be found on www.warwickshire2012.org.ukposted 30/1/2006
Helping each other
For some 16 years Stivichall Lodge from Coventry and Three Shires Lodge meeting in Edgbaston have been 'twinned' and visited each other's lodges on a regular basis. This month a strong delegation travelled from Coventry to see Three Shires, at Stivichall's request, raise a Stivichall candidate. Three Shires were rather surprised when the candidate was asked to recite his Fellow Craft obligation but it was explained that this was normal practice at Stivichall! Bro Ram Panakkal rose to the occasion and produced a flawless recitation. Once the lodge had been opened in the third degree Stivichall (at Three Shires request) provided Past Masters for the work in the Chair together with the Wardens and ADC. Despite a few differences in working between the two lodges the ceremony proved very successful and all praise must go to all who took part.
The meeting was followed by a splendid festive board and all agreed that it had been a superb example of brotherly accord. Very grateful thanks from Stivichall to Three Spiresposted 30/1/2006
W Bro Rodney Pitham, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Information Officer for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, has been elected as Chairman of the Appeals and Donations Committee of the Council of the Grand Charity.posted 20/1/2006
Prestonian Lecturer honoured
At the Regular Meeting of Nautical Services Lodge on 4 January 2006 in the Province of Worcestershire, the Provincial Grand Master, Richard Goddard, presented Granville Angell with the Prestonian Jewel on the occasion of his appointment as Prestonian Lecturer for 2006.
It is thought that this is the first time in the history of the Province that a Worcestershire Mason has been afforded this high honour, which dates back to the bequest made by William Preston on his death in 1818. The interest from the original £300 was to be applied to a well informed mason to deliver annually a Lecture, and since 1924 the subject has been left to the lecturer’s choice.
Granville has chosen “The Victoria Cross and Freemasonry” as his subject and will be presenting an unprecedented five official lectures together with a further fifty or more informal ones in the United Kingdom and at least five other countries throughout the world.
In recognition of his great achievement, the Provincial Grand Master promoted Granville to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden and congratulated him on his extremely hard work in researching his subject. The Brethren of Warwickshire also offer him their sincere congratulations and wish him well in what will certainly be a very busy year.posted 16/1/2006
Freemasons at work in the community
The Society for the Blind kick-started its New Year fund-raising for a new minibus with a £250 donation from Dewsbury Freemasons. The Master of St John's Lodge, Kevin Moore, and Charity Steward Harry Brown presented a cheque to Society chairman Myrtle Hellewell. Myrtle expressed her thanks to the Freemasons on behalf of the local blind community and explained that the minibuses played a vital role in enabling members to attend activities.posted 10/1/2006
Freemasons are welcome
A notice on the giant's front door in the Jack and the Bean Stalk pantomime at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry starkly declares:
"NO FREE PAPERS
FREEMASONS RECEIVED WITH PLEASURE"
Do we assume that the giant was a Freemason?posted 10/1/2006
Visit the battlefields for charity
Another visit to the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres has been arranged for 28 July to 1 August 2006. The cost is £340 per person. Profits will go the 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. Details are available from Alex Bulloch on 0121 459 9008 or David Paterson on 0121 777 9374.posted 8/1/2006