Baron Helps Sir Walter
Bro Ivan Smart of Greville Lodge 4773 and his wife Alison have headed off to Costa Rica & Nicaragua for 4 months volunteer charity work with Raleigh International.www.raleighinternational.org
Alison will be running one of the Project Teams of around ten 17-24 year olds, in the building of toilets, schools or water supplies in what can best be described as 'The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, in a jungle'. Ivan will be running the Field Base as Programme Manager responsible for around 200 volunteers across 15 project sites in the two countries.
During his advanced 4x4 driver-training course organised by Land Rover, Ivan commented on the task ahead: " This is an outstanding opportunity and a huge privilege to help some of the poorest people in the world along with developing our next generation of leaders, although Alison & I are unlikely to see each other for more than a couple of days each month. I am of course disappointed to be missing half a Masonic season, however our DC has instructed me to take a Ritual book along to pass away any spare time. Somehow I am not sure that qualifies as 'a luxury' in true 'Desert Island Disks' style! "
Greville Lodge members and Alison, (l-r) David Jerrin, David Butcher, Paul Hollis (Master), Alison Smart, Trevor Lightowler, John Shaw, Miles Schofield, Ivan Smart
W Bro Roger Parker, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, had this advice on the trip: " My message to all those of this current generation who are fortunate to have the means of reasonably priced travel is to enjoy the opportunity of seeing how other people live happily with far fewer of the advantages that we all enjoy here in UK, to share their hospitality and generally appreciate the work of God in the grand design of things around us. "
A joint farewell party was arranged for 45 friends and family in Stratford-upon-Avon. This raised a further £300 for Acorns Children's Hospice, bringing the total for the year donated to them to £8,650, thanks to everyone's continued generosity. The toast of good luck and best wishes to Ivan and Alison was given by W Bro David Butcher. David is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Hospice, which is a regular recipient of support from Masonic charities.
Busy Year for WM
W Bro Paul Rowlands, Master of Charterhouse Lodge 5690, is having a very busy year, with 44 in attendance to see Bro Jason O'Neil at his initiation. Jason was the second candidate during Paul's year in the Chair, with a third to be initiated at an extra meeting being held by dispensation in April, and two more in the wings for next year. He is even contemplating a further extra meeting in May for a double passing, which would still leave a full programme for his successor!
Pictured are (l-r), front row, Bro Adam Sands (the son of the resident Steward at Coventry Masonic Hall, Bro David Sands who is currently Senior Deacon), Bro Jason O'Neil, Bro Bill Clisham (initiated in December) and Bro Martin Ney.
Both Adam and Martin will be raised in the current session. In the back row is W Bro Roger Parker (Assistant Provincial Grand Master), WM Paul Rowlands and the Lodge's Grand Officer W Bro Alex McDowall.
Climb Every Mountain
Members of Apollo Lodge 301 were privileged to have the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey with them at their meeting in March, and presented him with a magnificent cheque for £1,050 towards the Warwickshire 2012 Festival.
The donation had arisen as the result of six Brethren of the Lodge - W Bro M Banner (Master), W Bro K Hogan, W Bro S Hogan, W Bro G Hogan, Bro N Pearson and W Bro A Cheetham – having entered the “Three Peaks” challenge the previous June.
This entailed climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon within a 24 hour period, which they commenced at Ben Nevis and after a long (and fast) drive and thankfully very kind weather the Brethren completed the challenge at the foot of Snowdon with 15 minutes to spare.
Thanks go to everyone who was kind enough to sponsor the Brethren in this challenge, to be followed later in 2011 with the “Coast 2 Coast” Bicycle Ride, again to support the 2012 Festival.
Court of Brotherhood
A unique occasion will take place on Wednesday 25th January 2012 when the Lodge of Justice 5092 conducts a ceremony of raising at its meeting place in the Masonic Temple, Severn Street, Birmingham B1 1QG.
The Master, W Bro Kuldip Sura will be raising his son Bro Taran Sura, with the Senior Warden’s chair being occupied by Kuldip’s natural brother, Bro Jas Sura, the Junior Warden's chair being occupied for the evening by W Bro Amarjit Marwaha, being his brother-in-law!
The Lodge will be opened at 5.30pm and a rare demonstration of “The Walking Charge” will be given by W Bro Derek Hughes.
The Provincial Grand Master has kindly accepted an invitation to attend, and all other Warwickshire Master Masons are invited to witness this special event, and stay to enjoy the renowned festive board catering at Severn Street. The dining fee is £20.
Parking arrangements at the Severn Street rooms are now free and convenient to access, and will be advised to all attending the meeting.
For full details please contact Bro Sean Lambert on 07930 231091.
Didn't Look Back
W Bro Peter Balchin, PProvAGDC, Past Master of Knowle Lodge 8001 (1991), was initiated by his father W Bro Lewis Balchin the then Master of the Lodge on 15th October 1979.
Having resigned in 1997 after moving to Swindon, it looks as though he didn't apply the brakes properly and kept going! He and his wife Dorinda (pictured with their dog) now live and work next to the Karamaraj Lake in the Palani foothills of Southern India, following a complete lifestyle change which saw them take over a local resort after visiting it in 2007.
Their story can be seen as reported by the local newspaper at http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article912988.ece
They have worked hard to get "Lakeside", their guesthouse, into shape and Peter looks forward to relying increasingly on his staff, so he can visit " local" Lodges - the nearest being just 60 km away, a relatively short distance in such a vast land.