75th Anniversary Celebration
W Bro John Emms, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presided at the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the Lodge of Fellowship 5579, at Stirling Road, Birmingham.
Following a ceremony of passing, senior Past Master W Bro David Plimmer gave a very informative talk on the origins and formation of the Lodge and its thirteen original founders. The Lodge had been consecrated by the then Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Col WF Wyley and following the installation of the first Worshipful Master, all three sets of working tools were presented by the then Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Brigadier General Lord Henry Seymour.
(l-r) David Plimmer, John Emms and Ramesh Sethi cutting the cake.
Present at the celebration were representatives from mother (Doric 4167) and grandmother (Fletcher 1031) Lodges, and to commemorate the event, on behalf of the lodge W Bro Ramesh Sethi, Master, presented members with a pair of specially designed cuff-links and a lapel badge, also donating a pair to the Provincial Museum.
The menu for the 1935 consecration was a serious piece of history in itself. The 8 course meal had consisted of Oysters or Hors d'oeurves, Petite marmite, Dover Sole with crème Veloute, Saddle of mutton with redcurrant jelly, Roast Pheasant with game chips and salad, Coupe Jacques, Dessert and Coffee! The present day festive board was a simpler, but still celebratory affair, with the distinct atmosphere of a birthday party. A beautiful cake displaying the Lodge crest, baked by the wives of Master Elect Bro John Taylor and W Bro Brian Rogers, was jointly cut by the Worshipful Master, the Assistant PGM and the senior Past Master.
In the best traditions of our fraternity the evening concluded with a toast to the Lodge, proposed by the Assistant PGM, coffee, singing and cake.
A Great Night to Remember
The Mark Social Committee are holding another of their spectacular events, devoted entirely to supporting the 2012 Festival. All masons, their families and friends are invited to attend.
This is a fabulous Black Tie Ball starring the legendary Rockin' Berries classic comedy showband, before they commence their 50th Anniversary tour around the Midlands.
Following the same pattern as the Chinese Valentines Ball, with great entertainment, dancing and a fun Casino, the Ball will be held at the Clarendon Suites, Edgbaston, again enjoying the excellent standards provided. The Ball is fully endorsed by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, who hopes that as many Lodges as possible will support the event, as all proceeds will be donated to the Festival.
The date is Saturday 29th January 2011, full details and a booking form can be downloaded here
Advancing the Frontiers
Those present at the last meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge 4538 were treated to fascinating presentations by members of the Royal College of Surgeons, entitled "Advancing the Frontiers of Surgical Research".
Prior to the presentation, the business of the Lodge was conducted very efficiently by W Bro Roger Mac, Master, and included the reception of several joining members. A further fifteen 2012 Festival Mauls were presented by W Bro Eric Rymer, Assistant PGM, to Lodges which had met their 2012 target, taking the total who have done so to 75. W Bro Simon Grove, Charity Steward, gave an outline of support given to the Royal College of Surgeons, to whom the proceeds of the evening's collection would be given.
After the meeting and before the presentations commenced, Mr Martyn Coomer, Head of the Research Department of the Royal College of Surgeons of England explained how freemasons have been helping the College since the Grand Charity set up a Trust Fund of £500,000 in 1967 to coincide with the 250th Anniversary of the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England. Some further £4million had been donated to them by freemasons since then. He then introduced the following surgeons:
Mr Neil Sharma MRCS, RCS Research Fellow based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, who gave a presentation "Taming the Butterfly" on the advances made in the treatment of Thyroid cancer.
Mr Simon Bach FRCS Consultant Colorectal Surgeon based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, who gave a presentation "New Developments in Colorectal Surgery" on the advances made in the treatment of bowel cancer.
Mr Satoshi Hori MRCS, RCS Research Fellow based at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, who gave a presentation "Targeting growth factors in Prostate Cancer" on the advances made in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Surgeon Captain Mark Midwinter, Defence Professor of Surgery Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, whose presentation "Surgery from the Front Line" reminded the brethren that the UK has been at war for the past 10 years as a result of our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. He explained the importance of early and effective treatment at the field of battle because whilst the military has field hospitals these naturally have limited facilities, so they can only make the casualties as comfortable as they can until they can be repatriated to hospitals in the UK. Their surgeons have to be experienced in a wide range of disciplines as it is not practical to have specialists in every area of surgery and medicine.
(l-r) Neil Sharma, Mark Midwinter, David Macey, Roger Mac, Simon Bach, Martyn Coomer, Satoshi Hori
The Worshipful Master thanked the surgeons on behalf of the Lodge for an informative and educational talk which had left everyone enlightened, and confident that should we be unfortunate enough to require their services we would be in safe hands.
RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, also thanked them on behalf of the Province for giving up their valuable time to come to talk to us, and stated that their enthusiasm for the work they were doing was transparent. He pledged the Province's continued support to assist them with their research.
The brethren showed their appreciation with enthusiastic applause.
All Master Masons are welcome to visit the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge, where many very interesting presentations take place. Visitors are encouraged to attend, whether staying for dinner or not. Meeting dates and contact details can be found in the Provincial Yearbook.
Annual Church Service
Pouring rain could not dampen spirits at the Annual Church Service, which once again filled the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, with the congregation embracing the theme of "Promoting Joy and Happiness through our Freemasonry".
The Deputy Church Warden, W Bro Patrick Wilson, welcomed the congregation, and the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, thanked everyone present for attending, apologised for the weather, then paid tribute to the Church Organist Ruaraidh Sutherland who was shortly moving to New York after playing at our service for many years.
Conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan, assisted by the Assistant Grand Chaplain W Bro Paul Wheeler, the service included representatives from five World Faiths (pictured) relating their message of Promoting Joy and Happiness through our Freemasonry, as well as offering blessings from their individual faiths. Lessons were read by VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and the Provincial Grand Master, with the Provincial Choir, conducted by W Bro Roy Marshall, demonstrating its professionalism both before and during the service by singing rousing anthems, as well as a delightful Gaelic Blessing at the end of the service.
The Sermon was given by the Vicar of St Mary's Collegiate Church, Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts, who thanked the Provincial Grand Chaplain for the opportunity to address the congregation, and for conducting the service. He pondered whether Joy and Happiness were one and the same, mentioning famous cynical and sceptical views heard over the years, and referred to associated parables and stories. Joy and Happiness are part of the Soul in a complete life, just as families, freemasonry, churches and other groups all form part of a bigger picture.
Finally, after the National Anthem had been sung, the Provincial Grand Master and Mrs Sandra Macey were escorted to the church doorway, where they joined The Clergy in bidding farewell to members of the congregation as they departed.
Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge 2011
Our Stirling Road Provincial HQ was again packed to capacity for the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, with cctv transmitting pictures on giant screens allowing all present to have a clear view of the proceedings.
The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies gave a briefing to all present prior to the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge, following which the many distinguished guests, including visiting Provincial Grand Masters, Deputy and Assistant PGMs, Grand Officers and leaders of other Orders entered the Lodge in procession, with our own Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David F Macey being escorted into the meeting by his Officers.
After opening Provincial Grand Lodge in due form the PGM remembered Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above since our last meeting, referring in particular to his great sadness, after having returned from the funeral of his own father, to learn of the death of the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro "Roundy" Rudell, the previous day.
The PGM individually welcomed the distinguished guests, then everyone else present, after which various reports were presented by Provincial Officers, together with other formalities. He then re-appointed the Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, making special reference to how grateful he was to have such a strong and supportive team behind him, as had been so amply demonstrated during the previous few days.
W Bro Peter M Sorrill, who had achieved so much by establishing the Lodge Support Team, and with others the amalgamated Lodge of Hope and Saint Alphege, was invested as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W Bro Leslie J Long, who untiringly continued his support for both the Athol and Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodges, as well as the 2012 DWG, was invested as Provincial Junior Grand Warden. The rest of the acting Officers were re/appointed, following which Past Ranks were conferred or confirmed for the new and existing Provincial Grand Officers.
Les Long (seated) with Phil Wills (l) and Trevor Sturt.
The PGM then addressed the meeting, advising all present that the theme for this, his first as Provincial Grand Master, was very much one of thanks, which he presented effusively, urging brethren to enjoy their own freemasonry as much as he enjoyed his own.
A full transcript of the PGM' address can be downloaded PGM_address_to_AGM_May2011.pdf
2012 Festival Director W Bro Trevor Sturt gave an uplifting report on the splendid progress being made, congratulating Lodge members for their efforts so far, urging them to keep right on until the Festival Celebration on Saturday 22nd September 2012, which would be held at The Clarendon Suites.
A full transcript of the Festival Directors address can be downloaded Festival_report_to_AGM_May2011.pdf
A sumptuous festive board provided by the Clarendon Suites followed, the date of next year's Annual Meeting being Saturday 19th May 2012
David Macey with Clarendon Suites General Manager Diane Hepworth.