Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

2008 chronology

Valedictory Address by Pro Grand Master

At the Quarterly Communication on 10th December, the retiring MW Pro Grand Master, The Most Hon. The Marquess of Northampton, DL, took the opportunity to put on record some of his thoughts about English Freemasonry.

In order to ensure its future, Freemasonry must continually adapt to fit the needs of the society of the day, from which it draws its members, as it has done over the past 300 years. We must be open, not only with the outside world, but also with our family and friends, and learn how to explain our masonry in layman’s terms.

Integration within the Craft is now much closer, and Grand Lodge is on a sound financial footing, no longer relying on investment income to cover its annual expenditure. Transparency and decentralisation have been key objectives, but it is in our individual Lodges that the real work is undertaken, the Brethren being responsible for the success or otherwise of their Lodge. They have freedom to explore, within the rules and edicts of Grand Lodge, ways of making their meetings more enjoyable, and should consider anything which accommodates the needs of their members, and young men with pressures of time and money, family and business.

Education is of paramount importance, and it is hoped the Orator scheme will encourage Masons to look deeper into the meaning of the rituals during their personal journey of self discovery. As part of the vision for recruitment and retention, which includes the mentoring scheme, an upgraded website is due to go live in March.

Our support for charity is significant and worthy of great pride, but is an effect of our Masonry, not a cause. It does, however, give us tremendous scope for promoting the good things that Freemasonry stands for by being seen to be doing something for our local communities in our local press.

As the mother Grand Lodge of the world, our responsibility to share our experience is practised, and we take the view that it is the individual Mason, imbued with the principles of the order, who makes a difference in society, and not Freemasonry itself.

The past twenty five years have seen us go from being reactive to proactive, repositioning us back into society. We must not ease off, and the efforts made by so many Brethren should now be channelled into attracting and retaining good men and improving the quality of our Masonry.

The Pro Grand Master concluded with best wishes to his successor, together with thanks to his wife for her love and support; to the Grand Master for giving him the opportunity of serving the Craft and Royal Arch; to his fellow Rulers who worked so hard to bring about change, and to all the Brethren who have supported him as a High Ruler during the last fourteen years. All have worked together to ensure that the Craft we all love and enjoy, and its Grand Principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, will continue to inspire men for many generations to come.

The Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes, RW Bro Michael Lawson, PJGW, gave thanks to the Pro Grand Master for his huge contribution to English and world Freemasonry, and also to Lady Northampton for allowing and supporting him in so doing.

For the full text of the address, go to
www.ugle.org.uk/news/progm-speech101208.htm (Link no longer works.)   posted 29/12/2008

More of our Yesterdays

Also enjoyed at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 10th December was a fascinating presentation on the Proceedings of Grand Lodge of two hundred, and one hundred years ago, given by VW Bros John Hamill and Graham Redman.

A right royal rumpus, and controversy over the running of the Freemasons’ Tavern occupied a great deal of attention within Grand Lodge in the early nineteenth century, with history repeating itself some one hundred years later.

To read the full text of the presentation, go to
www.ugle.org.uk/news/101208-jh-gfr.htm (Link no longer works.)   posted 29/12/2008

£15,000 for emergency aid in Congo

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is supporting the disaster relief work of Save the Children with an emergency grant of £15,000 towards its activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For full details of the distressing circumstances which have warranted our support, go to www.grandcharity.org/pages/democratic_republic_of_congo.html  posted 29/12/2008

Heading South

Lodge of St Andrew 4056 will be welcoming a deputation of Brethren from WM Tom Helm's mother lodge, St Munn (Ardnadam) No 496, Scottish Constitution, on Saturday 14th February.

The deputation will present a demonstration of a Scottish First Degree Ceremony. A good turn out is expected, with the Lodge musicians being in attendance.

This will be an excellent meeting and festive board, to which all Masons are welcome. For further details contact Lodge Secretary Peter Burford,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 29/12/2008

Royal and Select Masters

Michael Guest has been asked by the Grand Master of the Order to succeed Spencer Fenn as District Grand Master on the 7th April 2009. He will be Installed at 5.00pm in the Main Temple at Stirling Road.

Also taking place that day at 2.00pm will be the Consecration of the new Edgbaston Council of Royal and Select Masters, when our PGM Michael Price CBE will be installed as the Council’s first Thrice Illustrious Master.

Our congratulations go to both Companions.   posted 29/12/2008

150 years as a Masonic Hall

Athol Masonic Buildings Ltd celebrates 150 years (1858-2008) of their buildings as a Masonic Hall.

The former Synagogue was acquired from the Hebrew Community in 1858 that had moved to a new Synagogue in Blucher Street around the corner from Severn Street. The original building, the present Dining Room, had a Lodge Room and accommodation to the front completed in 1891 which now forms the Masonic Hall as we know it today.

The Masonic Hall received a Grade 2 listing a few years ago and now forms part of the historic street scene in Birmingham City Centre. This unique venue contributes to the Masonic experience enjoyed by all members of 18 Lodges who meet there.

A continual programme of refurbishment, instructed by the Directors of the company, is enhancing the buildings in readiness of the 200th Anniversary of Athol Lodge in 2011.    posted 29/12/2008

Change of Palace

The Birmingham Old Edwardian Lodge No 7115 has recently moved, and now meets in our main Temple at Stirling Road, Edgbaston.

There are five regular meetings, on the fourth Thursday of September, October, February and April, and the first Thursday in December.

Membership is open to former pupils of any of the King Edwards Foundation Schools, and also to parents of such pupils.

The Lodge would welcome qualified Brethren as joining members, and of course candidates to be initiated into the Lodge.

More information is available from Michael Spencer on 0121 449 1868, and fromwww.birminghamoldedwardianlodge.org.uk    posted 29/12/2008

Greville Go Greek

Greville Lodge No. 4773, which meets in Warwick, recently hosted at their Installation meeting 25 members of the Anagennisis Lodge, Athens.

Amongst the visitors from the Greek lodge was the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Greece RW Bro Georgios Vasilogeorgis. The visit was the initiative of Bro George Bamplenis who is a member of both Greville and Anagennisis lodges.

It was an excellent evening thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended, and members of Greville Lodge have been invited to visit Anagennisis Lodge in Athens, hopefully sometime in 2009.

The following day the Greek visitors, accompanied by their wives, visited the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire building at Stirling Road where they were hosted and given a tour of the building by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE.

Presentation to Greville LodgeThe photograph shows members of Anagennisis Lodge presenting a commemorative plaque to Greville Lodge. Left to right are W Bro David Butcher IPM Greville Lodge, W Bro Georgios Biniaris WM Anagennisis Lodge and W Bro Gordon Hudson WM of Greville Lodge.

For further information about Greville Lodge, visit their website at www.grevillelodge.org.uk, or via their link from this website (see here.)    posted 29/12/2008

Knock it Off!

When a Lodge passes its 2012 Festival target it receives a token of appreciation at the following meeting of the Installed Masters’ Lodge No 4538. This is a beautifully carved gavel, presented with thanks and encouragement to keep up the good work, so we may strive to exceed the overall target.

One Lodge, anxious to receive its gavel, but somewhat behind in its efforts, suggested that their target be reduced to allow them to receive their accolade all the more sooner.

The expression on our Festival Director’s face when he heard this was quite something to behold!   posted 15/12/2008

Groundworks for Charity

Coventry Foundation Lodge No 4543 will enjoy a presentation from W Bro Chris Grove, our Provincial Grand Almoner, when they meet at 6.00pm on Monday 26th January 2009 at Coventry Masonic Hall. Chris will be presenting an insight and update on the charitable activities of our wonderful organisation, to which members of other Lodges will be very welcome to attend.

For further details contact W Bro Alan Parsons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or telephone him on 01926 632992.   posted 15/12/2008

All Fired Up

The Aston Manor Lodge No 6323 will be celebrating its 500th meeting on Tuesday 20th January 2009 at Yenton Assembly Rooms, and will be supported by Provincial Officers.

There will be an Initiation Ceremony, and a commemorative firing glass has been commissioned for this momentous landmark in the history of the Lodge.

Visitors would be welcomed, the festive board cost being £30 to include wine and firing glass. For an invitation, or further details, contact the Lodge Secretary Bro Simon Abel JP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 15/12/2008

Stroll On

On Wednesday 14th January , St Philip’s Lodge 5580 will receive a demonstration of the Walking Charge, presented by W Bro Andrew Skidmore, who will afterwards talk about Freemasonry and the Internet. It is very rare to see this delightful piece of Masonic ritual performed, and all Master Masons are welcome to attend the meeting at Stirling Road.

Telephone Peter Fry for a Summons on 0121 604 6150. Full details are on the leaflet here, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 15/12/2008

Hertford Milestones

W Bro Bill Hall writes:

"On 14 November Hertford Lodge widow Dr Jean Elizabeth Preston, 'Betty', was summoned at the age of 94 to join her husband Dr JR Preston who was Master of Hertford Lodge No 3208 in 1960. He was Medical Officer of Health for Sutton Coldfield and the only fatality of a railway crash when on his way to a medical conference in Scotland in 1976."

"On 18 November Mrs Nancy Edith Morgan was 100. She received congratulations from The Queen and bouquet from Master, Wardens and Brethren of Hertford Lodge No 3208 who also signed a birthday card at their Festive Board of the November meeting. Nancy's late husband W Bro Cyril Talbot Morgan was Master in 1955."   posted 15/12/2008

Making their Mark

Congratulations to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Warwickshire on the launch of their stylish and professional Newsletter and Website, which were unveiled at their recent Annual Meeting.

For a peek, go to www.warwickshiremark.org.uk.  posted 5/12/2008

Full House

The meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters’ Lodge No. 4538 on 29th November saw a packed house and a packed schedule. The Master W Bro John Saint handed his gavel to the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE for the first part of the meeting. After requesting his Provincial Officers to take their various Offices the PGM opened the Lodge and afterwards paid a fulsome tribute to W Bro Rodney Pitham for his magnificent service and devotion to duty, the previous 15 years of which had been as an active Provincial Officer. As a token of appreciation, in advance of Rodney’s retirement as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, he presented him with an engraved silver salver.

He then appointed W Bro Trevor H Sturt as Provincial Grand Orator, W Bro Stuart Esworthy as Provincial Mentor and W Bro Peter J Wellings as Provincial Information Officer. There will be articles in the next printed newsletter outlining the new Offices of Orator and Mentor. The newsletter will become a full colour “glossy” publication to include news from other Orders and advertisements to help with production costs. Any member who wishes to take advantage of the limited advertising space available, or discuss new sponsorship opportunities, should contact W Bro Wellings atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Prov DC and Prov ADC
Prov DC and Prov ADC
With great dignity and ceremony, the PGM appointed and invested W Bro John Emms as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Philip L Hall (pictured right) as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, and W Bro Graham H Lewis (pictured left) as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The Worshipful Master then took his rightful place and completed the other items of business, the highlight of which was a talk from W Bro Yasha Beresiner entitled “Attacks on Freemasonry 1698 to 2008 – A Brief Review”. This was a most interesting and well presented talk by W Bro Beresiner, during which he categorised the main four areas of attack over the years as being Religious, Ridicule, Exposure and Political, each with its own fascinating and enlightening background. He concluded by pointing out that perhaps it is much more interesting to be attacked than ignored! The full text of his talk can be downloaded from here as a PDF.

All Master Masons are invited to attend the meetings of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge, where the quality and standard of presentation from invited guest speakers is always exemplary. The next meeting is on Tuesday 31st March 2009 at which there will be a rare demonstration of the Bristol Workings of an Initiation Ceremony. Contact the Lodge Secretary for further details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 5/12/2008

Knowledge transfer events

These Mentoring scheme events have now been booked for December, and appropriate Lodges from the venues below have been duly invited as follows:

  • Stratford Masonic Hall 8th December - all Lodges from Stratford and Redditch, with Alcester and Henley.
  • Coventry, Draper's Hall 15th December - all Lodges from Coventry and Nuneaton, with Atherstone and Southam.
  • PGL Warwick Suite, Stirling Road on 19th December - all Lodges meeting in Rooms 5&6, plus Severn Street, Wretham Road, Yenton, Knowle (and Shenstonian), Coleshill and Sutton Coldfield.

Events have already occurred in 2008 with Lodges from Rugby, Leamington, Guy's Cliffe and Stirling Road rooms 1/2/3.

A further event, date to be confirmed but hopefully in January, will be set up for Warwick High Street and any other Lodges who could not attend the initial meetings.

For further details contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 5/12/2008

Yes Ma’am

W Bro Rodney Pitham has had the honour and privilege of being presented to Her Majesty The Queen on two occasions in 2008 in his capacity as Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity. In May he attended the HQ of The Scout Association in London when Her Majesty unveiled a delightful sculpture of herself. She was most impressed when Rodney told her that the Scouts were about to receive a donation from the Freemasons' Grand Charity of £500,000 spread over a period of five years to assist them with their Kidsoutdoors campaign.

On 27 November Rodney was in Banbury for the opening by Her Majesty of the Leonard Cheshire Home for the Disabled called Agnes Court and was again introduced. The Freemasons' Grand Charity had assisted with the provision of the Home with a grant of £100,000.   posted 5/12/2008

Yes Bro

The number of Masonic Relief Grant applications received this year increased by 4%, with 75% of the 2123 applications being assisted. The average grant was £2092 (an increase of 16% over 2007) costing a total £3.8 million – up 34% since 2007 and £700,000 over budget! Support for distressed freemasons and their dependants is provided by the Grand Charity. For more information go to: www.grandcharity.org/.   posted 5/12/2008

50 Not Out

At an immaculately organised meeting of Fraternity Lodge No. 4032, Senior Past Master W Bro Robert Giles Russell (pictured left, below, after presenting a Punch Bowl to his Mother Lodge) received his 50 year Certificate from the Provincial Grand Master, RW Michael J Price CBE.Robert Giles Russell and the PGMDuring presentation of the Certificate the PGM skilfully established a two way rapport with W Bro Robert, from which many delightful memories and lifetime achievements both within and outside freemasonry were recalled and enjoyed by the seventy Brethren present.

W Bro John Emms, in his then role as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, delivered an immaculate Proclamation, and with all the other members of the Provincial Team present demonstrated the unique and valuable contribution made by the Province at important events such as this. The Festive Board following the meeting allowed W Bro Rodney Pitham, W Bro Raymond Rooke and VW Bro Richard Wallis, to present their own anecdotes of many years acquaintance with W Bro Robert, which included many humorous and memorable occasions.   posted 5/12/2008

Masonic Bookends?

Old Salts W Bro Geoff Hill (pictured left, below) and W Bro Brian Daley were at the Remembrance Service held at Stirling Road in November. This moving Service was led by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE Geoff Hill and Brian Daleyand conducted by the Assistant Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan. The Bugle player was W Bro Norman Blackburn.

There were approximately 200 in attendance, including members of the Royal Arch Lodge Representatives’ group who were meeting in the building that morning. Wreaths and tributes were placed by the PGM and several others, including our own ex-servicemen.   posted 5/12/2008

New Grand Master Mason for Scotland

Brother Charles Iain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esselmont was installed as Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh, on Thursday 27 November 2008. Brother Wolrige Gordon is the 110th Grand Master Mason to lead the Freemasons of Scotland at home and all over the world. Brother Wolrige Gordon is 47 years of age.   posted 28/11/2008

The Freemasons' Grand Charity gives to hospices

Continuing an annual programme of support, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is donating an enormous £600,000 to Hospices across England and Wales. The money is an important contribution towards the millions of pounds needed each and every year to ensure these respected services can continue providing free physical, emotional, social and spiritual care to patients and their families. In total 227 services, including those specifically for children, will receive a grant.

For many years, Freemasons have been enthusiastic in their support for Hospices. The funding announced on 24 November 2008 takes The Freemasons’ Grand Charity’s total donations to the hospice movement to more than £7.5 million, complementing the generosity Provincial and individual Masonic Lodges regularly show for their local services. The hospices that have benefited from this generosity in the Masonic Province of Warwickshire are Acorns Children's Hospice (Selly Oak), Marie Curie Centre Warren Pearl (Solihull), Mary Ann Evans Hospice (Nuneaton), Myton Hamlet Hospice (Warwick), Shakespeare Hospice (Stratford) and St Mary's Hospice (Selly Park).   posted 24/11/2008

Strength in Numbers

Fortior Lodge are holding their 400th meeting on 13 January at Wretham Road, Handsworth when the Provincial Orator will be delivering an oration on the "History of Tracing Boards" to be followed by an the extended explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board by W Bro Bob Harrison whose tour de force this is. The Lodge Secretary would be pleased to hear from any Brother wishing to attend the meeting on 01564 774469 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 24/11/2008

Provincial Wardens for 2009 announced

The RW Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint W Bro Tony Cheesman as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W Bro David Shakeshaft as Provincial Junior Grand Warden for 2009. We wish them a very happy and rewarding year in their high offices.  posted 18/11/2008

The Central Masonic Charities and the current economic situation

The Central Masonic Charities have advised that the global economic situation has not required any reduction in current or planned projects. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Masonic Samaritan Fund are fortunate to have diversified income streams and are therefore in a better position to weather the financial storm than many charities who have to rely upon a narrow income base. The continuing success of the Festival system coupled with a combination of legacy and investment income have enabled the Central Masonic Charities to fund their charitable expenditure despite the detrimental impact on their investment portfolios.

The investments of the four Charities are professionally managed with the performance of the investment managers kept under the close scrutiny of their Trustees. None of the Charities has been affected by the much publicised problems of the Icelandic banks.

What is not yet clear is what impact the credit crunch and recession will have on demand for support from the Charities as increasing financial hardship is experienced by Freemasons and their families. Although the unprecedented conditions within the financial markets have caused concern for many charities it remains the view of the Central Masonic Charities that, providing the generous support from today’s Freemasons continues at present levels, they should be able to continue to meet the demands placed upon them for charitable support to Freemasons and their families.   posted 17/11/2008

A happy event - thanks to the Masonic Samaritan Fund

John and Janet have a wonderful baby son Matthew (all the names have been changed to protect their identities). Janet suffers from a condition which attacks her reproductive system and is unable to conceive naturally. IVF treatment was the only solution but is costly and the couple had to be assisted by friends and family towards the costs involved. The short series of treatments was unsuccessful. John is a Freemason in Warwickshire and applied to the Masonic Samaritan Fund for assistance, which was granted. The treatment funded by the MSF resulted in the birth of Matthew to very happy and grateful parents.

This wonderful event should encourage all Warwickshire Freemasons to dig even deeper into their pockets to support the RW Provincial Grand Master and his Festival for the MSF in 2012.   posted 17/11/2008

Electronic Communication of the Lodge Summons

In December 2000 Grand Lodge resolved that in those cases where the Lodge Secretary was able and willing to despatch summonses by email it should be sufficient compliance with the requirements of the Book of Constitutions if summonses were sent by email to those members who had requested it. It was stipulated then that any such request should be made in writing and on an annual basis.

The matter was reviewed by Grand Lodge in December 2005. A written request once made need not be renewed annually but should continue in force until further notice to the secretary of the Lodge. The written request may be sent by email. Every member who has not asked for summonses to be sent by email must continue to receive them by post, and it is essential that at least one printed copy of each summons is retained by the Lodge for its records. In addition a printed copy of the form must be sent by post to the Provincial Grand Secretary.  posted 16/11/2008

How to be a good Director of Ceremonies

A briefing booklet, written by John Emms the current Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for Warwickshire, 'A Guide for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies' is now on sale, price £3-00 each or 2 copies for £5-00, and is available from the Provincial Grand Secretary at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.   posted 13/11/2008

Learning more about other Orders in Freemasonry

At the Lodge of Integrity No 4563 on Saturday 6 December 2008, W Bro Spencer Fenn PAGDC will be presenting his explanation and demonstration of the popular "Beyond the Craft" lecture. During this demonstration, numerous different orders and regalia are outlined and explained, and the more brethren present, the more effective the demonstration becomes. Those Brethren who are interested in attending should contact Stephen Tranter on 07976 328078 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 11/11/2008

A very special meeting

At the Regular Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge on Saturday 29 November 2008 the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will appoint and invest W Bro John Emms PAGDC as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Philip Hall as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and W Bro Graham Lewis as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. In addition, he will appoint W Bro Trevor Sturt PAGDC as the Provincial Orator, W Bro Peter Wellings as Provincial Information Officer and W Bro Stuart Esworthy as Provincial Mentor. The Lodge will also receive a talk entitled "Attacks on Freemasonry 1698 to 2008 - a brief review" from the well known Masonic historian and lecturer W Bro Yasha Beresiner PGStB.

The Lodge meets at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham and will commence proceedings at 10.30am prompt. Lunch, at a cost of £20, including wine, will be served at 1.30pm. Brethren are urged to attend this very special meeting and those who are not members will be made most welcome. Reservations should be made with Trevor Siddall on 01604 830467 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 10/11/2008

Learn more about the Third Degree

The Lodge of Academe, which meets at Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick, will present a series of papers on the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason at its regular meeting on Friday 28 November 2008 at 5.45pm. Newly raised Master Masons are particularly welcome to attend. Those who are interested in attending should contact W Bro G H D Malpas on 01827 281109 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make reservations.   posted 10/11/2008

Learning more about the national Masonic Charities

Brethren of Lord Leycester Lodge at their meeting on 10 January 2009 Lodge will receive a talk entitled 'An Update on Masonic Charities' given by W Bro C J Grove MBE, PGStB, Provincial Grand Almoner. This is a most instructive and enlightening talk and is of value in particular to Lodge Almoners and Charity Stewards who are encouraged to attend. Further details can be obtained from the secretary, Eric Quinn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 9/11/2008

2012 Festival

The total amount at the end of October 2008 stands at £1,158,077  posted 9/11/2008

A night of celebrations

At the recent Regular Meeting of the Lodge of Assembly Brethren witnessed the Installation of W Bro John Goldingay and celebrated the Lodge's 70th Anniversary. W Bro Keith Quinton and W Bro Roy Quinton presented the Lodge with a Master's apron which the new Master wore. Carved bearThe Lodge elected the RW Provincial Grand Master as an honorary member 'with affection, respect and appreciation for all his many endeavours on our behalf' and presented him with a framed caricature of a fly fisherman.

At the Festive Board Keith Walton presented the Provincial Grand Master with a cheque for £500 for the Warwickshire Masonic Benevolent Fund, a cheque for £100 for the 2012 Festival raised by a widow of the Lodge, and a cheque for £2012 for the Festival from the Lodge. Finally Roy Quinton presented a beautifully hand carved large pear wood sculpture of the Bear and Ragged Staff (shown in the photograph), made by W Bro Derek Leigh, a Mason from Shropshire.  posted 4/11/2008

Cycling for charity

Aniz Visram, a Past Master of the Lodge of Israel No 1474, has decided to take a break from work to cycle 550 km over 6 days, from Mumbai to Goa in India, for FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, early in the new year.

This is going to be quite a challenge for Aniz given that he has neither cycled at length nor been to India! If you can support Aniz in this venture please do so by visitinghttp://www.justgiving.com/anizvisram and donating online.  posted 4/11/2008

Five Ways Lodge of Instruction

This Lodge of Instruction meets at the Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham every Wednesday evening throughout the year at 6.45pm except in the months of June, July and August. The workings of the ceremonies are in conformity with the ritual practised by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement. All Master Masons have an open invitation to join in the practices. Further information is available from Ralph Hickman on 0121 429 1357.

Details of the General Lodge of Instruction, the Five Ways Lodge of Instruction, the Rugby Masonic Lodge of Instruction, the Five Points Circle Lodge of Instruction and the Yenton Lodge of Instruction can be found on pages 241 to 247 of the Warwickshire Masonic Year Book for 2008 - 2009.  posted 2/11/2008

Top man says goodbye

At the meeting on Saturday 1 November 2008 of the Royal and Select Masters of Warwickshire Right Ills Companion Spencer T E Fenn, District Grand Master, reappointed Ills Companion Michael J Poole as Deputy District Grand Master and Installed Ills Companion David H Liddington as District Grand Principal Conductor of the Works. The District Grand Master then announced that he had indicated to Grand Council his intention to stand down as District Grand Master early in 2009 when the New Council to be formed at Stirling Road, the Edgbaston Council, is Consecrated, or at the meeting of Grand Council in April 2009 whichever is the sooner.

The District Grand Master thanked all the Companions for their support since his appointment as District Grand Master in 2002.  posted 2/11/2008

Important person at Masonic Hall

Rugby Masonic Hall was the venue chosen by the local Conservatives recently when the principal guest was the Rt Hon Sir John Major.  posted 31/10/2008

Calling all Lodge Directors of Ceremonies and their Assistants

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies will be holding a Seminar for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies and Assistant Directors of Ceremonies on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 7.30pm at the Provincial HQ, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. It is important that all those who hold these offices should attend. W Bro John Emms has written a booklet with guidance for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies and this will be available to purchase on that occasion at £3.00 each or 2 copies for £5.00.  posted 28/10/2008

"To the target and beyond" for the 2012 Festival

Warwickshire Brethren are asked to put Saturday 31 January 2009 in their diaries now. That is the day when W Bro David Macey, the Festival Director, will talk of new things in relation to the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund and it is important that all Lodges are represented. The RW Provincial Grand Master has expressed his wish that at least two members of each Lodge in the Province will be present on that occasion. The presentation, at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, is expected to start at 10.30am and finish no later than 1.00pm. Lodges will receive further details shortly.  posted 26/10/2008

Provincial Appointments

The RW Provincial Grand Master has been pleased to appoint W Bro Trevor Sturt as the Provincial Grand Orator. Trevor can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01789 740359 or 07817 562281 for Lodges to make arrangements with him to deliver one of the 19 Orations that he has.

The RW Provincial Grand Master has also been pleased to appoint W Bro Peter Wellings as the Information Officer for the Warwickshire Freemasons to succeed W Bro Rodney Pitham. Peter will take up his duties on 1 December 2008 and all news items should be sent to him with effect from that date. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07973 135761 (inc message service) or 0121 706 2495 .

W Bro Stuart Esworthy has been appointed Provincial Mentor and he is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07881 505558 and contact should be made with him direct since he will be pleased to discuss mentoring for the future.

Peter, Trevor and Stuart will be invested in their respective offices at the next meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 to be held on 29 November 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.  posted 22/10/2008

The building of King Solomon's Temple

Tudor Lodge will be hosting a Lecture at the next Regular Meeting on Monday 10 November 2008, at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, entitled ‘The Logistics of Building King Solomon’s Temple’ which will be delivered by W Bro Ray Pearson, PProvSGD (Glos). Brethren wishing to attend and dine should contact W Bro Ian T George on 07774 120003 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 19/10/2008

Shop early for Christmas

The Annual Christmas Fayre, presented by The Ladies’ Gift Fund for Masonic Charities, will be held on Saturday 15 November 2008 from 10.30am until 12 noon at The Clarendon Suites, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The official opening ceremony will be performed at 10.30 am by Richard Douglas who is the Chief Executive of The Masonic Samaritan Fund for which Warwickshire is in Festival. Brethren are asked to support this enjoyable event by bringing family and friends. There are attractions for all - cakes, greeting cards, presents, plants and Christmas decorations. There will also be a raffle for Christmas hampers and lots of other brilliant prizes. Just come along and have a great time.   posted 19/10/2008

Remembrance Service

A Remembrance Service will be held at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 8 November 2008 commencing at 10.45am. Brethren, their families and friends are invited to attend this important service to remember in particular those Freemasons who made the supreme sacrifice in all theatres of war and conflict.   posted 19/10/2008

Grand Lodge Certificates

It is now permissible to apply to the Grand Secretary for Grand Lodge Certificates electronically.

Visiting Officers have been asked to ensure that the Lodges in their groups receive a copy but one can be downloaded here  Word document   posted 18/10/2008

In memoriam

It is with great sadness that we report the death of John Maris, Provincial Grand Steward, on 11 October 2008 as a result of a motorcycle accident. John was a Founder and Master Elect of the Mike Hailwood Lodge and was returning home from Rugby after a meeting of that Lodge. Our sympathies and condolences are with his wife Joan at this sad time.  posted 13/10/2008

Freemasons donate almost £2 million in one go

Nearly £2 million is to be dedicated to helping charities delivering opportunities for young people, supporting vulnerable people and researching the cause and treatment of illness and disease. The grants to seventeen national charities were approved by hundreds of Freemasons at a General Meeting of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity held in Bournemouth on 27 September 2008.

The organisations that will benefit from the generous sum include the Scout Association which is set to receive £1/2 million as a contribution towards its KidsOutdoors Campaign and Ovarian Cancer Action whose research and awareness work will be supported over five years through a £1 million donation.

The meeting also heard that the District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago is to receive a grant of £15,000 towards its work with survivors of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma). The grant will help to fund the building of three health clinics at Pyinkhayang, Myaugmya and Nadupaw.

Summary of Grants approved on 27 September:

Medical Research

  • Ovarian Cancer Action - £1 million over five years
  • Deafness Research UK - £82,700 over two years

Youth Opportunities

  • Scout Association - £500,000 over five years
  • The Who Cares? Trust - £25,000
  • Raleigh International - £15,600
  • Reach Volunteering - £15,000

Vulnerable People

  • National Autistic Society - £50,000
  • Whizz-Kidz- £40,000
  • The Elizabeth Foundation - £30,000
  • Children: Our Ultimate Investment (UK) - £26,700
  • Treloar Trust – £25,000
  • Elizabeth Fitzroy Support - £15,000
  • Counsel & Care - £15,000
  • The Bruce Trust - £10,000
  • Cued Speech Association UK - £10,000
  • Royal Blind Society - £8,000
  • St John Ambulance and Rescue Service - £5,000

Further details of the grants can be found at www.grandcharity.org/news.php (Link changed 2009)   posted 5/10/2008

Masonic meeting places in Warwickshire are now easier to find

We have introduced a new feature on the meetings page to make it easier for Brethren within or outside the Province to find all the Masonic meeting places in Warwickshire. Once on the page you can find the location of a venue, and/or directions to it, by clicking on the icon Show me a Map next to the place you want to get to.

When the map appears:

  • click on Get directions To here
  • put your postcode into the Start Address box
  • click Go.

A route map will appear complete with directions. It could not be more simple!   posted 4/10/2008

2012 Festival

At 30 September 2008 the total amounts to £1,122,150.  posted 3/10/2008

Spare some time for SSAFA and its work

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help needs you. There are over 10 million people eligible for help from SSAFA Forces Help, the leading national charity committed to helping those who serve in our Armed Forces, those who used to serve and the dependents of both. SSAFA provides a reliable, caring and trusted service to more than 50,000 people each year.

Volunteers can give as little or as much time as they can spare. There are positions for people interested in practical case work as well as other roles such as team leaders, treasurers and fundraisers. SSAFA Forces Help also has a network of volunteers who work within serving communities. Freemasons, by their very nature, are accustomed to offering help and support in the community. SSAFA already have many Freemasons helping in their work but they are looking for more. If you would like to be part of their important volunteer team that cares for those who have left the Services please get in touch. Training is provided and all out of pocket expenses are paid.

Contact should be made with Mr Glen Smith, Branch Support Advisor-Membership, SSAFA, 19 Queen Elizabeth Street, London, SE1 2LP. Telephone: 020 7463 9273 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 3/10/2008

Learn more about other Masonic Orders

At the Lodge of Faith and Hope No 4772 on Tuesday 28 October 2008 , W Bro Spencer Fenn PAGDC will be presenting his explanation and demonstration of the popular "Beyond the Craft" lecture. During this demonstration, numerous different orders and regalia are outlined and explained, and the more brethren present, the more effective the demonstration becomes. The Worshipful Master, W Bro John Hayward, will welcome all who are able to attend, and encourages all who are able to join him on that occasion to contact him either by phone on 01905 798462 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 3/10/2008

Freemasons help flood victims at home and abroad

A £5,000 grant has been made to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland by the Freemasons' Grand Charity to support its efforts to help the residents of Morpeth. Earlier this month (6/7 September 2008) around 1,000 houses were hit by flooding when the River Wansbeck breached its banks after a month's worth of rain fell in just 24 hours.

At its peak Morpeth High Street was under two feet of water and more than 100 people had to be rescued from their homes by boat. Some residents were forced to spend a night sheltering in the town hall and at a local school. Families have seen their homes and belongings completely destroyed and, although the flood waters have now subsided, the recovery process for the community as a whole is likely to be a long one.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland plans to support the Morpeth Flood Appeal, which has set a fundraising target of £100,000 for use in providing assistance to those affected by the flooding.

In similar manner a Freemasons' Grand Charity grant of £7,500 is helping the District Grand Lodge of Bahamas and Turks to provide emergency relief to victims of Hurricane Ike. Earlier this month, the Category Three Tropical Storm hit the islands of Grand Turk and South Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Inagua in The Bahamas leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

On the Island of Grand Turk around 90% of buildings have been damaged by the ferocious storm and some are simply no longer there. Infrastructure has been seriously affected and rebuilding is likely to take many months. Inagua in The Bahamas also bears the scars with over 50% of houses damaged.

The grant to the District Grand Lodge will support the work of its Hurricane Relief Committee, helping residents of the affected Islands by providing much needed supplies and resources.    posted 30/9/2008

A pleasant day's fishing

Members of the Warwickshire branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity hosted a day's trout fishing near Leamington Spa recently for 12 children with special needs. Teachers, parents and other volunteers also assisted the young people to have a great day out. Lunch was provided and all the children went home with their fish and certificates of participation, presented to them by RW Bro Michael J Price, Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire.

Further information about the MTSFC can be found at www.mtsfc.org.uk   posted 30/9/2008

Changes in Warwickshire

The RW Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, is pleased to announce that he is appointing W Bro John R Emms PAGDC as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and W Bro Philip L Hall as the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. He will invest both these Brethren at the Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters’ Lodge on Saturday 29 November 2008.   posted 23/9/2008

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity helps to keep air ambulances flying

The potentially life-saving services provided by eighteen air ambulances have been supported with a grant of £180,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. The announcement of how the grant has been shared between the services is made as National Air Ambulance Week (22-28 September 2008) begins. Air ambulance charities across England and Wales collectively fly around 17,500 missions every year at a cost of £0.5 million per week. The money to fund this work is met almost entirely by donations from the public.

Earlier this year, Provincial Grand Lodges were invited to nominate a service to receive a £4,000 share of the total grant and throughout the summer months representatives of the Provincial Grand Lodges have been visiting helipads to meet crew and present the donations. For details of how the £180,000 grant has been shared between the air ambulance charities, visit:http://www.grandcharity.org/pages/air_ambulance_charities.html   posted 23/9/2008

Happy Birthday

The Brethren of Warwickshire send their warmest congratulations and wish a very happy 80th birthday today, 23 September, to W Bro Robert Swain PJGD, Past Provincial Grand Secretary. May he have many, many more.   posted 23/9/2008

Lunch for charity

Bill Roberts of Doric Lodge and Chapter has recently been diagnosed with a muscle weakening condition called Myasthenia Gravis. The Myasthenia Gravis Association provides support and advice as well as funding research into this rare condition; it does not receive any government funding and survives on charitable donations only.

Bill would like to raise some funds for the association and has arranged a Sunday lunch at The Kings Court Hotel, Kings Coughton, Alcester, B49 5QQ on Sunday 19 October 2008, 12.30pm for 1.00pm. He invites Brethren their families and friends to help make this a successful and enjoyable afternoon. A three course lunch with coffee will be served, the cost will be £14.00 per head and £7.00 for children under 12 years of age. There will be a choice of two starters, traditional roast lunch or alternative fish or vegetarian dish and a choice of two deserts. Please let Bill know your requirements and numbers with your choice of main course and send a cheque made payable to Doric Chapter No 4167 to him at 16 Driffield Close, Ipsley, Redditch B98 OTH to arrive no later than Friday 10 October 2008.   posted 21/9/2008

Changes in London

The Rt Hon Lord Millett PC Metropolitan Grand Master and Metropolitan Grand Superintendent since the inauguration of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Chapter on 1 October 2003 will be retiring from those offices on 26 February 2009 immediately prior to the Annual Investiture Meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge on that day.

He is to be succeeded by RW Bro Russell Race DL PJGW (PGSN), the current Deputy, who will be installed as Metropolitan Grand Master on 26 February 2009 and as Metropolitan Grand Superintendent on 2 April 2009.

VW Bro Michael Ward PGSwdB has accepted an invitation to become Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master. E Comp Charles Grace will become Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent.

Michael Ward is well known in Warwickshire both as a Past Master of St Barbara Lodge and a Past MEZ of St Barbara Chapter in addition to his long service to the London Warwickshire Lodge and Chapter as Secretary and Scribe E respectively. The Brethren and Companions of Warwickshire send Michael their warmest congratulations.  posted 21/9/2008

Redditch Freemasons open their doors

Redditch Freemasons (of both Warwickshire and Worcestershire) threw open their doors to the public on Saturday 13 September 2008 as part of the Heritage Open Days event. Wilf and Barbara AllbuttSeventy seven people signed the visitors book of which over fifty were not Freemasons. At least two gentlemen expressed an interest in becoming members of our Order and two Freemasons asked to join a Lodge.

The first photograph shows Bro Wilf Allbutt, the Charity Steward of Seymour Lodge, and his wife David Bateman and Jack FieldBarbara at the Masonic Charities table. The second photograph is of David Bateman, Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in Warwickshire, presenting two cheques for £112.50 each to the Mayor of Redditch, Councillor Jack Field, for his chosen charities which are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and The League of Friends of the Alexandra Hospital.  posted 17/9/2008

The Freemasons' Grand Charity

A General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity will be held on Saturday 27 September 2008 at 11.00am at the Bournemouth International Centre. Members of the Charity (i.e. Master Masons who are subscribing members of London and Provincial Lodges and all other Brethren eligible to attend Grand Lodge) and their partners or other non-Masonic guests are welcome to attend. Everyone must be seated by 10.50 am. The Vice Grand President, the Rt Hon Lord lane of Horsell, will chair the meeting, which has been organised with the support of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

The meeting will consider, in particular, the approval of a grant of £1,000,000 to Ovarian Cancer Action in five equal instalments to fund research relating to the treatment of ovarian cancer and a programme to raise awareness of the illness amongst women, and a grant of £500,000 to the Scout Association in five equal annual instalments towards its KidsOutdoors Campaign. (This grant is designed to help improve opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to access the physical, social and emotional benefits of outdoors activities and to help develop scouting across the country).

The meeting will also be asked to approve a total of £400,000 being placed at the disposal of the Council of the Charity for grants to appropriate charities that are associated with the MW Bro HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, in commemoration of his 40 years as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England.

These non-Masonic grants and many others for consideration at the General Meeting are recommended by the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity whose Chairman is Rodney Pitham, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire.   posted 15/9/2008

A fitting memorial

On 19 July 1933 the then MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Connaught, a younger son of Queen Victoria, accompanied by no less than four Royal Princes; HRH The Prince of Wales (later Duke of Windsor), HRH The Duke of York (later King George VI), HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught (the Grand Master’s son) and the young Prince George, later to be Duke of Kent, our Grand Master and the father of our present Grand Master, in the presence of some 5,353 brethren in the Grand Temple and all the lodge rooms, solemnly dedicated the new Masonic Peace Memorial, as it was then known, to the service of God and of Freemasonry. 75 years later at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 10 September 2008 VW Bro John Hamill delivered an address on the history of the present building in Great Queen Street. The address may be seen at http://www.ugle.org.uk/news/jhamill-100908.htm (Link no longer works.)    posted 14/9/2008

The Burma Railway and Freemasons

The next meeting of the Lodge of Integrity No 4563 will be held on Saturday 4 October 2008 commencing at 4.00pm. On this occasion the guest speaker is W Bro Michael Batchelor who will present his talk entitled 'The Burma Railway 1942-1943 and Masonic Involvement'. This talk is original and very moving. Any Brother wishing to attend should contact the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Steven Tranter, on 07976 328078 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Lodge's venue is The Yenton Masonic Rooms, Erdington, Birmingham.    posted 12/9/2008

Changes in Grand Lodge

Lord Northampton, the Pro Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, is to retire from that high office and he will preside for the last time at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge in December. He is to be succeeded by RW Bro Peter Lowndes, the current Deputy Grand Master, who in turn will be succeeded by RW Bro Jonathan Spence, the Grand Director of Ceremonies at the present time. RW Bro David Williamson will remain as Assistant Grand Master.   posted 12/9/2008

Have fun and raise money for charity

Herbie Jhita, The Master of Holy Well Lodge, and his wife Sharn invite Brethren and their families to have an evening of fun with them and other members of the Lodge on Saturday 4 October. The event is a Casino Evening with a buffet dinner. The cost is £22 per person and the venue is the Warwickshire College, Trident Park, Warwick. The evening commences at 7.00pm for 7.30pm. Proceeds of the event will go to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. Details and applications from Andrew Armbrister on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 11/9/2008

Rodney Pitham to retire

W Bro Rodney Pitham PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master has tendered his resignation from that office and his role as Information Officer for the Province with effect from 31st December 2008 in order that he may concentrate more of his energies on his family and his church.

W Bro Rodney's service to the Province spans over 15 years commencing in 1993 with his appointment as Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, promotion in 1994 to Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, followed in 1997 by his appointment as Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary. In 1998 he became the Provincial Senior Grand Warden and in 1999 was appointed as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and became the Provincial Deputy Grand Secretary. In 2000 W Bro Rodney was made an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the following year was promoted to the active rank of Senior Grand Deacon.

During W Bro Rodney's illustrious career he has been a founder member of two Lodges and is a member of a further four Lodges.

He has been the Province's Information Officer since 1997 and has overseen the continued development of the Provincial Website and has spent many hours defending the reputation of Freemasonry as a whole against prejudice in all walks of life.   posted 9/9/2008

Master for the fourth time!

Roy Piddington is to be installed into the Chair of Tuscan Lodge on 24 October - for the fourth time, having been Master in 1985, 1996 and 2005. Tuscan Lodge is low on numbers and would appreciate support especially on this particular occasion. Any Brother who wishes to attend should get in touch with Roy on 01527 542110. The Lodge meets at the Masonic Hall, Severn Street, Birmingham.    posted 9/9/2008

Freemasons give generously to help ill babies

Paul Anderson of Loyal Travellers Lodge No 2733 recently presented a cheque for £1,200.00 to the babies heart unit at the Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Loyal Travellers' cheque for £1,200The amount was raised from ladies nights held throughout the year by the Lodge.   posted 5/9/2008

 

 

 

 

A golden celebration - W Bro Robert G Russell

W Bro Robert Giles Russell, a Past Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree for Warwickshire, will celebrate 50 years as a Freemason in Fraternity Lodge on 14 November 2008 when he will receive his certificate from RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master, at a meeting of the Lodge at Stirling Road, Edgbaston. Brethren wishing to support Robert on this very special occasion should get in touch with:

Avtar S Panesar
8 Cockthorpe Close
Harborne
Birmingham
B17 8SD

tele: 0121 429 5405 (H), 07976 692666 (M). email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 3/9/2008

2012 Festival

At the end of August 2008 the total stood at £1,100,437.    posted 3/9/2008

Warwickshire Rose

The August 2008 edition of the Warwickshire Rose Croix newsletter, Warwickshire Rose, is now available and can be accessed here.    posted 2/9/2008

Masonic Relief Grants

Between June 2008 and August 2008, 528 Masonic Relief Grants were made by the Freemasons' Grand Charity to support individual Freemasons and their dependants experiencing financial hardship or requiring mobility equipment. In total £1,171,554 was approved for payment to assist the beneficiaries.    posted 1/9/2008

Goodbye

June and David Chapman wish to say goodbye, as they enter their retirement, to the many Freemasons of Warwickshire they have had the pleasure of knowing over many years at the Yenton Assembly Rooms and at Victoria House in Leamington Spa.  posted 31/8/2008

In Memoriam

It is with sadness that we report the death in his 100th year of W Bro Ted Cotton PProvJGW. Ted joined the Lodge of Industry in 1953 becoming Master in 1966.   posted 27/8/2008

An opportunity to learn about the Royal Arch

On Thursday 30 October 2008 a Brethren’s Evening will be held at Nuneaton Masonic Hall, 12 Newdegate Place, Nuneaton, commencing at 7.00pm. Freemasons who are not members of the Royal Arch are invited to attend. There will be a showing of a Royal Arch video, a talk by an experienced Royal Arch Mason, and a Question and Answer session. The evening will be concluded with a buffet meal for which there will be a charge of £8.00. Details are available from, and applications should be made to, David Hopkins, 23 Stonewell Crescent, Nuneaton CV11 4SX Tel 02476 327971 Fax 02476 744277 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 27/8/2008

The way they used to do it in the Black Country!

If you wish to see a Masonic ceremony with a difference then why not join the members of the Lodge of Jurisprudence No 9457 when they act as hosts to members of the Black Country Heritage Lodge No 9702? They will demonstrate the First Degree Ceremony as it might have been enacted by our forefathers at the height of the Industrial Revolution. The evening will appeal to all warm hearted Freemasons who believe that Freemasonry can be fun yet with the ceremonial still retaining dignity and sincerity. The Black Country Workings accurately reflect the warm spirit of the people of the Black Country.

The meeting will be held at the Masonic Hall, Edward Street, West Bromwich, B70 8NN, on Tuesday 23 September at 5.45pm. Any Freemason wishing to attend should get in touch with the Lodge Secretary, David Williams, at 532 Warwick Road, Solihull B91 1AG or on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0121 705 3818. Dinner is available at a cost of £20.   posted 19/8/2008

Have fun with the Freemasons of Coventry

Nothing to do on Bank Holiday Monday? Then go along to the Coventry Masonic Hall at 165 Warwick Road, Coventry from 1.00pm onwards on 25 August and join in with the Freemasons of Coventry at their Charity Barbecue. There will be a beer tent, other refreshments, and lots of prizes to be won. Just roll up and enjoy yourself.   posted 19/8/2008

All you want to know about Freemasonry - the answers are here

The Yenton Masonic Rooms at 73 Gravelly Hill North, Erdington, Birmingham, will be open to the public from 10.00am until 4.30pm on Saturday 30 August 2008. There will be a guided tour for all visitors which will include an interactive explanatory tour of the Lodge Room, laid out for a Lodge Meeting, showing lodge banners in particular, and the dining hall which will be furnished in the traditional manner for dinner after a Lodge meeting. Many Freemasons will be on hand to answer questions about Freemasonry. Members of the public are cordially invited to see for themselves what Freemasons do in this delightful Masonic Hall in the heart of Erdington. No appointments are necessary.   posted 12/8/2008

Heritage Open Days 2008

The RW Provincial Grand Master is once again keen to reinforce the excellent and successful work carried out by Lodges and Brethren in the Province during the ‘Freemasonry in the Community’ week in 2002 and during the Heritage Open Days event of 2007. His view is that we should remind members of the general public that we are a part of the community not apart from it. We need to demonstrate that we are a group like many others that give generously of our time and our money to help those less fortunate in our respective communities. As an essential ingredient of this initiative he has again encouraged those who operate Masonic Halls in the Province to take part in the Heritage Open Days event which runs this year from 11 to 14 September 2008 inclusive.

The Heritage Open Days event celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorsteps, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability. Co-ordinated nationally by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making Heritage Open Days England's largest voluntary cultural event.

Warwickshire Masonic Temple

13 Sep 2008

10.00am to 4.00pm

Guy's Cliffe

12/13/14 Sep 2008

10.00am to 4.00pm

Coventry Masonic Hall

13/14 Sep 2008

10.00am to 4.00pm

Rugby Masonic Hall

11/12/13/14 Sep 2008

10.00am to 1.00pm

Solihull Masonic Hall

13/14 Sep 2008

10.00am to 4.00pm

Redditch Masonic Hall

13 Sep 2008

10.00am to 4.00pm

Stratford Masonic Hall

12 Sep 2008
13 Sep 2008
14 Sep 2008

11.00am to 4.00pm
10.30am to 4.30pm
11.00am to 3.00pm

Alderson House, Warwick

13 Sep 2008

10.00am to 2.00pm

Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall

13 Sep 2008

10.00am to 4.00pm

The RW Provincial Grand Master would be delighted if Brethren, their families and friends could support the event by visiting one or more of these Masonic Halls during the period of the event or if Brethren could offer their help to the organisers.  posted 1/8/2008

And the residents of Reading Court help others

The photo shows Bro Derek Wattison presenting a cheque for £ 700 to Sue of the Warwickshire Air Ambulance. Bro Derek Wattison presents the chequeThe money was raised at a Strawberry Tea organised by the residents of Reading Court. Bro Derek is a resident, and a great helper, and is a recent initiate into David Garrick Lodge which meets at Stratford.  posted 28/7/2008

 

 

Residents of Reading Court enjoy themselves

Thanks to the generosity of the Freemasons of Warwickshire the residents of Reading Court at Stratford upon Avon enjoyed a delightful get together and lunch recently.

Residents at Reading Court enjoy themselvesThe apartments at Reading Court have to be available for the benefit of persons on Council housing lists and are not restricted to Freemasons and their dependants. The Chairman of the complex is VW Bro Alan J Wellan the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire.   posted 25/7/2008

Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge Ladies’ Evening – Saturday 13 September 2008

Susan and Rodney Pitham have pleasure in inviting Brethren, their ladies, families and friends to their Ladies’ Evening on Saturday 13 September 2008 at The Clarendon Suites, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. This will be a ladies' evening with a difference.

It will commence with a concert by the Shirley Silver Band in the Ballroom at 6.30pm. Bucks Fizz prior to the concert will be served in the Concourse from 6.00pm onwards. Dinner will be served at 7.30pm. After dinner we will be entertained by Ed Doolan, the well-known radio broadcaster, in ‘An audience with Ed Doolan’. Informal photographs will be taken throughout the evening. Dress will be black tie. A pay bar will be open from 5.45pm until 10.30pm.

The cost per person for this Ladies’ Evening, which will include wines at the table, will be £30. Cheques should be made payable to WIML No 4538 Festival Account. The menu and reply slip can be downloaded here.

Please indicate your requirements on the reply slip and send it and your cheque to Philip Wills at 2 Brocton Close, Sedgemoor Park, Lanesfield, Wolverhampton WV14 9XY no later than 6 September. Tickets will not be issued.   posted 19/7/2008

2012 Festival

The Festival figure at 17 July 2008 is £1,064,669.88.   posted 17/7/2008

A magnificent achievement

Congratulations to the Province of Herefordshire on raising the sum of £583,679.74 in their Festival for the Freemasons' Grand Charity. There are just 14 Lodges in the Province.   posted 17/7/2008

Masonic grandfathers

David Rawlins, Rodney Pitham and David Macey have all become grandfathers again with the births of Jacob Sean on 14 July, William Jacob on 15 July and Noah David on 16 July.  posted 17/7/2008

Masons' success at Hampton Court Flower Show

Congratulations from the Brethren of the Province of Warwickshire to the Province of Middlesex on receiving a silver gilt award for the Masonic garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show.

Middlesex Masons' GardenThis is the first time that the Province has entered a garden in such a competition and to obtain such a high commendation is a wonderful achievement.    posted 10/7/2008

 

 

Freemasons of Warwickshire speak to the world at the Royal Show

Despite the showers and puddles for some of the time, the stand of the Warwickshire Freemasons at the Royal Show between 3 and 6 July 2008 proved to be popular and a focus of interest for all who passed by. Visits were made by people from many parts of the world including a Mason from New Zealand and another Mason from a Grand Lodge not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England but who was nevertheless made very welcome. A lady who was exhibiting nearby came and asked for a leaflet – only to prove to her disbelieving Masonic husband at home in Lincolnshire that the Freemasons were actually there talking about the Order! There were only two adverse comments throughout the four days, one of which was to the effect that “you should go the same way as foxhunting!” Nigel Burton, Provincial Grand SecretaryWe even had a visit from a young lady Mason. Many Brethren from Warwickshire and adjoining Provinces took time to come and see the stand.

Nigel Burton, Provincial Grand Secretary of Warwickshire, relaxes before the Show opens to the public.

The PGM, Chairman of Warwick District Council and her ConsortRW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master, welcomes the Chairman of Warwick District Council and her Consort to the Freemasons' stand.

The RW Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, Michael J Price CBE, generously gave up his valuable time to assist the other volunteers at the stand. He said: “This was the first venture of its kind at the Royal Show for us and I was pleased with the positive reaction that we received from the many members of the public who visited us. We will be reviewing the success of our participation shortly to determine whether we should be at the show in 2009 and in what manner. I am most grateful to all those who assisted in this venture particularly the two members of staff from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity who came from London to help. I also thank that Charity for the substantial financial contribution it made towards the costs incurred.”    posted 8/7/2008

Freemasons' window on the world at The Royal Show

Warwickshire Freemasons are exhibitors at The Royal Show for the first time in its history when it opens from 3 to 6 July 2008 at Stoneleigh Park, the erstwhile home of Lord Leigh who was the Provincial Grand Master for the Province for 53 years from 1852 to 1905. We shall be occupying a stand at Block 17 on Avenue E No 7 next to the Sports Industries Federation. The opening times for the Show are: Thursday 3 July - Saturday 5 July: 9.00am - 7.00pm but there is no admission after 5.00pm; and Sunday 6 July: 9.00am - 5.00pm with no admission after 4.00pm. There are five car parks which are all free of charge.

Michael J Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, says: "Since almost every country in the world is represented at The Royal Show this is a marvellous opportunity for Warwickshire Freemasons to tell the world about Freemasonry and the ideals and principles which we practise as well as dispelling the many myths and fictions that are published about us by the ill-informed from time to time. I am delighted that we have been able to secure a stand this year for the first time and one that is in such a prominent location. Although we will aim our message at members of the public I hope that I might have the privilege of meeting many Freemasons from all quarters of the globe."

Brethren of Warwickshire and their families will be particularly welcome to pay a visit to the Freemasons' Stand but we would hope that they will tell their friends and neighbours to come as well.   posted 18/6/2008

Freemasons' Grand Charity reports on its activities

All Master Masons in England and Wales are members of the Freemasons' Grand Charity and through their Lodge annual subscriptions make a contribution of £13 each year to its funds. Brethren who wish to see how their money is spent should visithttp://www.grandcharity.org/pages/annual_review.html where they can download copies of various leaflets and the Annual Review for 2007. They are well worth reading.   posted 18/6/2008

Pro Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge - 11 June 2008

On the nineteenth of July, this very fine building – created as a Masonic Peace Memorial – will be seventy five years old. At the June Quarterly Communication in 1933, held seventy five years ago last Saturday at the Central Hall Westminster, Lord Ampthill, the then Pro Grand Master, thanking Lodges for their generous response to the appeal for the erection of this building said that, “it would be an outward sign of our pious memory of the Brethren who fell in the Great War and, at the same time, a fulfillment of the duty we owe those who came after us.”

I believe that the building remains today as a fitting memorial for the Brethren who fell in the Great War. And a fitting fulfillment of the duty the planners and builders owed to those of us who came after them. I am confident that that fulfillment will continue for many generations of future Masons.

Referring to the building the then Pro Grand Master continued, “it is a duty we owe to the cause of Masonry, and to Freemasons all over the world, that the headquarters of the English Constitution should be worthy of the honour and reputation that we enjoy, and that the place of assembly of the Grand Lodge of England should be fully significant of our faith and cause, our confidence in the future, and our determination to make Freemasonry more and more a potent influence for the good in national life.”

Shortly afterwards, the Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn held an especial meeting in connection with the dedication of this Masonic Peace Memorial at the Royal Albert Hall, followed the next day – the nineteenth of July 1933 – by the dedication itself, here at Great Queen Street. So, the first Quarterly Communication was held here on the sixth of September 1933. To commemorate that, at our next Quarterly Communication in September, I have asked Brother John Hamill, Director of Communications, to talk about the history of the building.

Towards the end of last year I launched a survey of Lodge and Chapter records. This survey will be an important building block for the book on Masonic history which we are planning to publish in 2017 as part of the Tercentenary celebrations of the formation of the first Grand Lodge. Undertaking this survey within an organisation of this size and age is ambitious. But I am confident that, with your help, it will be successful and that the results will also be important in encouraging further research into our history.

I have been following the results very closely and I am pleased that the project has been enthusiastically supported. All our Provinces have now appointed a volunteer co-ordinator to organise the survey. Most of these co-ordinators have taken the opportunity to attend a briefing meeting here at Freemasons Hall, and have already started the survey in their Provinces. We hope to have completed the survey by the summer of 2009.

At the end of May the Deputy Grand Master opened the Women and Freemasonry Exhibition in the Library and Museum. It covers the development of Freemasonry for Women in the early years of the last century. At the preview guests included lady representatives from the various women’s organisations including the Order of Women Freemasons and the Honorable Fraternity of Antient Freemasons. We maintain our independence from the women’s organisations and they are happy to maintain their independence from us. Apart from the historical interest, the Exhibition has a valuable public relations benefit. It will help to dispel the commonly held myth, among non masons, that there are no women in Freemasonry! I commend the Exhibition to you.

The Hampton Court Flower Show in July will feature a garden with a Masonic theme which I hope will encourage some of you to visit, if you have an interest in gardens. It is sponsored by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and twelve Provinces in the south east of England. I am looking forward to attending and the dates and details can be found on the UGLE website:(http://www.ugle.org.uk/news/hampton-court.htm) (Link no longer works.)

Brethren, returning to the words of the Pro Grand Master in 1933, and comparing those words with the situation today: this fine building is fully significant of our faith and cause; we have confidence in the future and we remain determined to make Freemasons more and more a potent influence for good in our national life. In fact, I believe that the Craft is in a much stronger position now than it has been for many years.

I end my remarks by wishing you and your families a very happy summer.   posted 17/6/2008

2012 Festival

The total at 16 June 2008 is £1,046,475.80.   posted 17/6/2008

Warwickshire Freemasons aid injured servicemen and women

On Thursday 5 June 2008 RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, presented a cheque for £2,500 to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine Patient Welfare Fund at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham. The Provincial Grand Master acknowledged the special reasons for the fund and was pleased to offer the support of the Warwickshire Freemasons to those service personnel at such a crucial time during their recovery from the trauma of hostilities.

The PGM presents the chequeMajor Ian Cheesman, who is Officer Commanding the Patient Support Services (PSS), said: "This money will be used in a myriad of different ways but you can be absolutely sure that every penny spent will be for the benefit of the servicemen and women that find themselves as battle casualties here at Selly Oak Hospital".

The PSS are a small team whose mission is to manage the initial reception and arrival of the patient group (patient and immediate family) at Selly Oak Hospital and provide practical assistance, relieve them of any administrative burden and provide welfare support thus allowing them to concentrate on the recovery of the patient.

PGM and military personnel at Selly OakThe first photograph shows the Provincial Grand Master presenting the cheque to Major Cheesman. The second shows him and Major Cheesman with Lee Snelling MBE, a Military Liaison Officer, Sergeant Wanda Wilson RAF - Military Nurse, Leading Naval Nurse Sarah Butler and Mrs Sally Wafford, Senior Welfare Officer.    posted 9/6/2008

Order of Women Freemasons Centenary Celebration Donations

In front of a capacity audience at The Royal Albert Hall, MW Bro Brenda Irene Fleming-Taylor surprised everyone at the celebration of the OWF Centenary on Saturday, 7 June. OWF Centenary CelebrationsThere was an audible collective gasp as she presented £250,000 to Mr David Newbigging, OBE, Chairman of Cancer Research UK and £250,000 to Camilla, Countess of Halifax, President of MacMillan Cancer Support.

The donations were more than twice the target amounts expected.   posted 9/6/2008

2012 Festival

The total in the Fund at the end of May 2008 amounted to £1,026,107.35.  posted 9/6/2008

Leo is here!

In the February 2008 Newsletter we announced that Earl Leofric Lodge was sponsoring the training of a guide dog, to be called Leofric, for a blind person.

Leo the guide dog puppyLeo has arrived and here he is.  posted 1/6/2008

Learn all about the Freemasons' Grand Charity and its work

The Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge No 4538 will be host to VW Bro Grahame Elliott, President of The Grand Charity, and Laura Chapman, its Chief Executive, at its meeting on 12 June 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. They will make a presentation on the activities of the Charity after the Lodge is closed. Although of interest to all Freemasons it will be a presentation of particular significance for Lodge Almoners and Charity Stewards who are urged to attend. Dinner after the meeting will cost £21.00.

Those interested in attending and who are not members of the Lodge should get in touch with the Assistant Secretary, Trevor Siddall, on 01604 830467 or atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 4 June.   posted 27/5/2008

All the fun of the fair

Two very senior Worcestershire Freemasons are shown in the photograph enjoying (?) themselves at Cannon Hill Park on Friday 23 May 2008.

All the fun of the fairThe event was the annual 'Fun4Kids' day when 600 children from special needs schools in Birmingham were treated to the fun of the fair by many Worcestershire Freemasons. Captions for the photo will be appreciated atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will quickly be passed on to the Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire to point out to him what certain prominent members of his Executive get up to!    posted 27/5/2008

Provincial Church Service

Brethren of Warwickshire, their families and friends and members of the public are invited to the Warwickshire Provincial Church Service at The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick on Sunday 8 June 2008 at 3.00pm. This is a major event in the Provincial calendar and the Provincial Grand Master considers that every Master, his Wardens, members of the Lodge and their families should have the pleasure of attending. Representatives of other faiths as well as those of the Christian faith will be taking part in the service in the conviction that Freemasonry has an important role in helping to establish and promote world peace. Freemasons not in the procession will clothe in their Masonic regalia after taking their seats in the church. Doors will be open at 2.00pm and all those who are attending should be seated no later than 2.30pm ready for pre-service music.   posted 26/5/2008

2012 Festival

The total for the Fund at 22 May 2008 is £1,007,343.99.   posted 22/5/2008

Listen to the Provincial Grand Master's address

A recording was made of the address of the Provincial Grand Master to Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 April 2008.

To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.  posted 19/5/2008

Play the PGM's speech

Right-click to download the PGM's address | Duration: 13mins 50secs

Please get in touch

W Bro Bill Roberts of Doric Lodge in Warwickshire has been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a disease which affects 1 in 10,000 of the population. The disease can affect the eyes and chewing, swallowing, muscles all over the body and breathing.

Bill wishes to contact any other Brethren who suffer from this illness. His details are 01527 521639 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 15/5/2008

Aid for Victims of Earthquake in China

The President of the Grand Charity has approved a £20,000 grant to the Red Cross to support relief efforts following an earthquake measuring 7.8 in south-western China. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is the first organisation to support the British Red Cross’ response to the worst earthquake to strike China in more than 30 years.

The Red Cross Society of China’s local branches have been active in the 48 hours following the quake providing emergency relief to the affected areas, including tents and blankets. Although the official death toll stands at 12,000 this is expected to rise sharply as rescuers gain access to previously cut off areas and thousands of people remain trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings.

The grant of £20,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be an important contribution to the continuing rescue and relief efforts and is enough to provide approximately 200 relief tents which will provide shelter for many of those affected and act as a first aid point to treat casualties and also 850 quilts.  posted 15/5/2008

Freemasons' aid for cyclone victims goes to Save the Children

Save the Children’s relief work in Burma (Myanmar) is to be supported by the £20,000 emergency grant approved, following Cyclone Nargis, by the President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is also in discussions with District Grand Lodges in the affected region to identify what support it may be able to provide to their own efforts.

More than 32,000 people are now believed to have been killed by the high winds and resulting tidal surge which struck Burma (Myanmar) on 2 May destroying homes, crops and infrastructure. Following the Cyclone, Save the Children quickly redirected the efforts of 500 staff already in the Country from work on longer-term projects to the emergency relief response and essential supplies including food and clean water have already been distributed to over 100,000 people.

The grant of £20,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be an important contribution to this ongoing work and is enough to provide plastic sheeting for temporary accommodation to 1,400 families, including around 33,000 children.  posted 15/5/2008

We've reached the magic million - but there's still a long way to go

The total for the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund has reached the magic milestone of £1,000,000 having been nudged to that figure by a generous donation from the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge. The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price is delighted and is grateful to all those Brethren who have so far donated to the Fund. David Macey, the Festival Director, also congratulates Brethren particularly those Festival Stewards and Charity Stewards whose task it is to keep the Fund as a focus for Lodges and their members. David says:" Although this figure of £1 million is gratifying and is ahead of target it is a reminder that we still have a long way to go and 2012 is not that far away. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent but to regard this landmark as an encouragement to greater efforts."   posted 15/5/2008

Freemasons' aid for victims of cyclone

The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, Grahame Elliott, has announced that an emergency grant of £20,000 will be made to help victims of the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone. Relief efforts in the regions devastated by Cyclone Nargis are being examined, in order to identify the best way to ensure the Grand Charity's support reaches the victims.    posted 10/5/2008

Eat and raise money!

Members of the Lodge of Rectitude are holding a Pig Roast at 2 Longrood Road, Rugby on Sunday 8 June from 12 noon. Tickets are £10 each and £5 for children under ten. Proceeds will be divided between the 2012 Festival and the Rugby Branch of the MS Society. Further details and tickets are available from Joe Rainbow on 01788 814667.    posted 10/5/2008

Have fun and raise money

Eastfields Lodge is sponsoring the Rugby Summer Festival at the Whitehall Recreation Ground, Rugby on Saturday 5 July from 12 noon to 6.00pm. Admission charges are £2 for adults and £1 for children under 12 to enjoy all the fun of the fair. Proceeds will be donated to local charities.   posted 10/5/2008

2012 Festival total

The fund currently stands at £997,000. Watch this space for the first magic figure of £1,000,000 which is rapidly approaching!    posted 7/5/2008

Firefighters families benefit from Freemasons' donations

The total amount collected by Freemasons for the Warwickshire Firefighters Families Fund has closed at almost £47,000 of which £37,000 was contributed by Warwickshire Freemasons. The appeal for donations was launched by RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, shortly after the devastating fire in Atherstone-on-Stour in November last year in which four gallant firefighters sadly lost their lives. He is most grateful to all Freemasons who have given so generously.  posted 7/5/2008

Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge - 30 April 2008

"Brethren, I start by saying a very warm welcome to everyone attending our Grand Lodge meeting today and I congratulate all those whom I have had the pleasure of investing with Grand Rank or promoting to higher office. As Grand Officers you have an important leadership part to play in the future of Freemasonry. By leadership I mean setting consistently high standards in your own Masonic life as well as demonstrating your understanding of the meaning of the ritual and the principles and tenets of the Craft. This understanding will help you to guide others at all stages of their Masonic journey, remembering to encourage them all to talk openly about their Freemasonry to potential candidates, family and acquaintances.

HRH the Duke of Kent - Grand MasterThere is a caveat though, Brethren: although you will naturally feel some personal satisfaction at achieving such offices, I know you will all remember the words we hear each year at our Lodge installations, that humility in each is an essential qualification. And I have no doubt that that injunction should apply at least as much to those who are Grand officers as to more junior Brethren.

Last November I hosted a reception and dinner on the eve of the European Grand Masters’ Meeting. This was the first such gathering and was thus an historic occasion for representatives of forty four European Grand Lodges, which included no less than forty one Grand Masters. It was the most representative gathering of the leaders of regular Freemasonry in Europe that has ever been held. The Pro Grand Master planned it as a one-off meeting so that we, as the mother Grand Lodge, could make clear our views on regularity, recognition and sovereignty.

The Pro Grand Master set out our position on regularity emphasising that it is not Freemasonry, but the individual Mason, instilled with the principles and tenets of the Craft, who has a positive influence on society. My view is that communication between us all is essential to the future well being of regular Freemasonry, and I can see no reason why such gatherings should not occur from time to time in the future.

I spoke last year about the Rulers’ Forum, and said that I would be happy if it achieved a focus for grass roots Masons to debate issues, which concern you all, with the Rulers and other senior members of the Craft, and to act as a conduit for disseminating the results through their groups to Lodges. I was therefore happy to hear that during the year three of the Rulers’ Forum Groups were given the task of identifying and collating best practice from Mentoring Schemes across the country. The project team has seen Masons from eight different Provinces working together, sharing ideas and, importantly, learning from each other. They have now presented their ideas to both the Rulers’ Forum and at the last Quarterly Communication.

Their ideas support the aim of recruiting and then retaining men of quality. The successful retention of these men will involve the careful selection of mentors at Lodge level so that, once initiated, each member is fully supported throughout his Masonic journey. The Brethren selected as Mentors will be those who can provide the time and knowledge required to care for the candidate and then to develop his understanding of our Order and how it translates into his everyday life.

Brethren, there have been a number of advances since this time last year which I believe will bring substantial benefits. For example, the new magazine Freemasonry Today has been successfully launched, and I am confident it will become a major channel for our open communications. In addition, the four Masonic Charities have all now congregated in this building, a move which will result in cost savings as well, I hope, to a better understanding by the Brethren in London and the Provinces of the roles of each of the charities. With so many successful initiatives launched since I last addressed Grand Lodge, I see this coming year as one of consolidation.

Finally, Brethren, I know you would all want me to express our thanks to the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for the meticulous way in which they have run this meeting, as well as to the Grand Secretary and his staff for their careful and thorough organisation."    posted 6/5/2008

Learn more about the work of the Masonic Samaritan Fund

Warwickshire Lodge Almoners and Festival Stewards are reminded of a forthcoming series of seminars in the Province to enable them to appreciate the full range of support that is available from the Masonic Samaritan Fund for which the Province is, of course, in Festival.

The first four seminars will commence at 7.00pm promptly and will finish at approximately 8.30pm. Coffee will be served from 6.30pm. Brethren should be seated by 7.00pm. The seminar on Saturday 28 June will commence at 11.00am promptly and will finish at approximately 12.30pm. Coffee will be served from 10.30am. On this occasion Brethren should be seated by 11.00am

The dates and venues are:

Monday 2 June 2008

Alderson House, 23 High Street, Warwick CV34 4AX

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Yenton Masonic Rooms, 73 Gravelly Hill North, Erdington, Birmingham, B23 6BJ

Thursday 5 June 2008

Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB

Friday 6 June 2008

Coventry Masonic Hall, 165 Warwick Road, Coventry CV3 6AU

Saturday 28 June 2008

Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.

All seminars will conclude with a question and answer session.

The Masonic Samaritan Fund continues to increase the support it provides and wishes to keep you informed of the latest developments which include funding the cost of drug treatments for cancer and degenerative diseases. Applications for grants towards the cost of digital hearing aids and the cost of respite care are also now considered.

To fully understand how the Fund provides effective medical care and support the Provincial Grand Master considers it is important that every Lodge in the Province is represented at a seminar of their choice. Masters of Lodges are requested to ensure that this happens.   posted 2/5/2008

Mike Hailwood Lodge

The Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839 was consecrated by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Michael J Price CBE, in a full Main Temple at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Friday 25 April 2008, assisted by the Provincial Wardens and other acting Provincial Officers. Michael Adams is the first Master and he was installed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan. There was loud and appreciative applause when the Master announced that the first candidate for Initiation would be David Hailwood, the son of the late Mike Hailwood after whom the Lodge has been named. We wish David and all the Brethren well in this brand new Lodge.    posted 1/5/2008

Guidance for non-Masons

The Warwickshire guidance notes which are recommended for use in presentations to non-Masons are now available in downloadable form. The booklet can be downloaded from here.    posted 1/5/2008

2012 Festival

The total at 1 May 2008 is £985,000.   posted 1/5/2008

New toast list for Warwickshire

Masters, Secretaries and Directors of Ceremonies in particular of Lodges in Warwickshire are reminded that the official Toast List for use at the Festive Board changes with effect from 30 April and must be used on and after that date. A copy will be found at http://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/docs/Warks_PGL_Toast_List_A5.pdfand reflects the new Grand Ranks of Alan Wellan, Nigel Bister and David Macey conferred on them that day.    posted 30/4/2008

Lost

A Royal Arch Provincial collar and jewel were found after Lee Torre Lodge Installation night at Leamington Spa on 17 April. If the owner would like to contact Les Thacker on 01926 420245 or 02476 698043 (daytime) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. he will ensure that it is returned to its rightful owner.    posted 30/4/2008

Congratulations on Grand Ranks

Our congratulations go to these Warwickshire Brethren on their amply merited appointments to or promotions in Grand Rank in the Craft: Keith Marchington PAGDC, Anthony V N Richards PAGDC, Richard L Barker PGStB, Trevor L Cavill PGStB, Alan J Wellan PGSwdB, Nigel C Bister PSGD, David F Macey PSGD, John W Nixon PSGD, Raymond Rooke JGD, Dudley Yorke-Summerskill PJGD, Frederick Coldrick PAGDCand Edward Kettleborough PAGDC. We also congratulate these Warwickshire Companions who have been honoured with appointments to or promotions in Grand Rank in the Royal Arch: Michael Harrison GStB, Richard L Barker PGStB, David MaceyPGStB and Ronald Eamonson OBE PAGSoj. We hope that they will have a happy and memorable day at the Annual Investitures on 30 April and 1 May respectively.   posted 27/4/2008

Heritage Open Days

Those who control Masonic Halls in the Province of Warwickshire and who wish to participate in the Heritage Open Days from 11 to 14 September 2008 are reminded that they must register with the Civic Trust no later than 2 May 2008 for which guidance is given at http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/organisers/ (link no longer works). They should also inform the Provincial Information Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This is an ideal way to show the public face of Freemasonry and Brethren are encouraged to take part.    posted 23/4/2008

Musicals for the Festival

Enjoy yourself and contribute to the Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival 2012 at the same time. That is the message of Gordon Scott of St Barbara Lodge who is promoting 'Phantom and the Musicals' at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa on Sunday 28 September 2008 at 7.30pm with performances by Europe's No 1 Showgroup, 'Smackee'. This is the West End brought to a theatre near you and is a night of musical splendour not to be missed. Tickets are on sale now and they are going fast. Book yours immediately on 01926 334418. Prices are £15 and £20.   posted 23/4/2008

A great honour

R Ill. & Em Kt Richard V Wallis, the Deputy Grand Sovereign of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and St John the Evangelist, is to be installed as the Grand Sovereign of the Order at the Annual Assembly of the Grand Imperial Conclave to be held at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Tuesday 1 July 2008. The present Grand Sovereign, M Ill Kt Cdr Ronald Albert Champion, RN, who has decided to step down from that high office after 12 years as Grand Sovereign, will install his worthy successor.

Richard is well known and much respected in Warwickshire, and indeed beyond, having been Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Craft from 1992 to 1999, Deputy Grand Superintendent in the Holy Royal Arch from 1991 to 1993, and Grand Superintendent from 1993 to 2006. In whatever Masonic Order Warwickshire Brethren may be they all wish Richard many happy, successful and rewarding years in this high and important office in Freemasonry.

The last time a Warwickshire Freemason was the national head of an Order was in 1856 when Lord Leigh became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.   posted 23/4/2008

Amazing!

At the Convocation of the Warwickshire First Principals' Chapter on Monday 12 May 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, history will be made when a ballot will be held for a record 52 joining members! In addition, the ME Grand Superintendent, John L Saint, assisted by the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals and Officers of Provincial Grand Chapter will dedicate the new Sojourners Banners. If you wish to attend then contact should be made with Peter James at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0121 308 2704.    posted 23/4/2008

A record attendance and surprises

857 Brethren attended the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire on 19 April 2008, which is a record. There were two significant highlights of the meeting. W Bro Stanley Butterworth, Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, received the Provincial Grand Master's personal Certificate of Merit for his contributions to Freemasonry. The Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton, responsible for all the arrangements for the meeting, was taken by surprise when summoned to appear before the Provincial Grand Master who, without any previous notice, promoted Nigel to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. It was the best kept Masonic secret in the Province!    posted 23/4/2008

Many thanks

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, is grateful to all those Brethren who attended the Annual Meeting on Saturday 19 April 2008 and so generously contributed the sum of £4,600 to the Masonic Samaritan Fund 2012 Festival.    posted 21/4/2008

Spirit of Friendship

At an impressive Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication on 19 April 2008, W Bro Liam O'Donoghue, Master of the Lodge of Friendship No 5909 in Warwickshire, named a new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat at Aberystwyth for the RNLI.

W Bro Liam O'Donoghue names the lifeboatThe Master was accompanied by several members of the Lodge and their families amongst the Station Officers and other VIP guests at the Ceremony. The Atlantic 85 is the most advanced inshore lifeboat ever produced by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and its introduction at Aberystwyth is thanks to the legacy of Joan Bate, sister of the late W Bro Arthur Bate, one of the first initiates of the Lodge of Friendship, Master on three separate occasions and a member for 48 years until his death in 1992.

Spirit of Friendship on dutyJoan Bate generously bequeathed sufficient monies to purchase three lifeboats for the RNLI, one at Conway to replace the lifeboat "Arthur Bate" already at Conway and named by W Bro Clifford Hadley, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, one at Salcome on the South Coast and the present "Spirit of Friendship".

Since she arrived in October 2007, The Spirit of Friendship has already launched twelve times and rescued eight people. The Lodge of Friendship is honoured to be associated with this latest lifeboat at Aberystwyth.    posted 20/4/2008

We have changed!

Welcome to the new look web site for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. Pleasing to the eye, easy to navigate and making the best use of modern technology, this revised site was launched by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire on Saturday 19 April 2008. Our thanks go to Phil Benson our webmaster for his skill and assiduity in creating the new look.   posted 19/4/2008

Raj ran

Raj Padhiar, of Forest of Arden Lodge No 3826, recently ran the London Marathon in aid of SCOPE, the cerebral palsy charity. Raj ran the 26 mile+ course in a very creditable 4 hours 58 minutes, raising £1500 for the charity. They must be serving something in the wine at the Forest of Arden - Mark Gregory, also a member, ran the Paris Marathon last month in 4 hours 37 minutes! It must be a fit Lodge!  posted 17/4/2008

Freemasons pledge $65 million

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota, with 17,000 Masons, has bestowed the largest gift ever on the University of Minnesota. It has pledged $65 million dollars over the next 15 years for cancer research, prevention and care.   posted 12/4/2008

2012 Festival Total

The total collected for the 2012 Festival as at 10 April 2008 is £948,000.   posted 12/4/2008

Warwickshire Firefighters Families Fund

The amount so far raised for this Fund by Warwickshire and other Brethren is £46,500. The Fund was established to assist the families of those four courageous firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the devastating fire that occurred in Atherstone on Stour last November.  posted 12/4/2008

A message from the Prestonian Lecturer

W Bro Robert Sillett the Prestonian Lecturer for 2008 has written to W Bro Rodney Pitham as follows:

"I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Installed Masters Lodge, the Brethren of the Lodge and the visitors for the warmth of the welcome extended to me personally at the recent meeting. It was a great pleasure and privilege for me to deliver the Prestonian Lecture to such a receptive audience and I enjoyed the experience enormously. How can I thank you sufficiently for your incredible generosity towards my charity? I am overwhelmed."    posted 9/4/2008

Two 'walkers' for the 2012 festivalWalk hailed as a success

The sponsored walk in aid of the Province of Warwickshire 2012 Festival which took place in Kenilworth on Saturday 5 April 2008 has been hailed as an outstanding success. Initial estimates suggest that the total amount raised for the Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival could well be in the region of £14,000 thanks to the generosity of the sponsors and the energy and enthusiasm of the walkers. Our congratulations to all who gave up their time and money for this worthwhile cause. The photo shows two unidentified walkers (although they look more like talkers!) contemplating the event. There are no prizes for guessing who they might be!   posted 9/4/2008

Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Brethren who are attending this Annual Meeting are reminded that it commences at 10.00am precisely on Saturday 19 April 2008 at the Headquarters of the Province at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Those not in processions must be seated no later than 9.45am. In view of the large numbers wishing to attend lunch a waiting list has had to be established, so it is regretted that any who wish to apply now to dine after the meeting are unlikely to be accommodated.   posted 7/4/2008

Freemasons meet across the Provinces

Athol Lodge No 74 is holding a very special meeting at the Masonic Hall, Severn Street, Birmingham on Wednesday 7 May 2008, when, after the Lodge is opened, W Bro Stewart Westwood, Master of Barr Beacon Lodge in Staffordshire, will be invited to act as Senior Warden and W Bro Keith Green, Master of Hospitality Lodge in Worcestershire, will be invited to take the Junior Warden's chair. There will then be a short presentation of each of the Lodges' history with questions and answers at the end. Brethren who wish to attend this unusual but interesting event should get in touch with W Bro Andy Williams on 01922 457539 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 6/4/2008

Euclid and his 47th Proposition

You can find out more about Euclid, his 47th proposition and its connection to the Past Master's Jewel if you visit Linwood Lodge. W Bro Joseph Khalil-Marzouk will present this most informative and interesting lecture to the Lodge at its regular meeting on 15 April at the Solihull Masonic Hall 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle commencing at 6.00pm. Any Brother who wishes to attend should get in touch with the secretary, Andy Bryson, onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Linwood is a Master Masons Lodge and all work is carried out in the Third Degree.   posted 5/4/2008

'Freemasonry Today'

The Spring 2008 edition of 'Freemasonry Today' is now being delivered to Brethren free of charge. If you have not received one and believe that you should then contact 02392 313890 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask to be placed on the circulation list. In the alternative ask a Brother who has a copy to let you have the Order Form included in the current edition.   posted 5/4/2008

The Freemasons' Grand Charity Annual Review for 2007

The Freemasons' Grand Charity Annual Review for 2007 is now being distributed to Freemasons in England and Wales with the Spring edition of 'Freemasonry Today'. If you do not have a copy one can be viewed and downloaded athttp://www.grandcharity.org/. The Review makes for very interesting reading and shows each Freemason where and how his contribution to the Grand Charity is spent.    posted 5/4/2008

Prestonian lecture for 2008

The Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 was well supported by almost 400 Brethren from Warwickshire and many other Provinces when it hosted the first official delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2008 on 31 March at the Provincial HQ in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The Prestonian Lecturer, W Bro Robert Sillett PJGD, presented his lecture 'The Language of the Ritual' in an entertaining and relaxed but most informative style. 'One of the best I have ever heard' was a comment made by many Brethren as they left or as they dined at the Festive Board. Rodney Pitham, Master of the Lodge, declared that it was one of the finest Masonic nights of his Masonic career of over 35 years and he was delighted with the support of the Brethren.

If you were not able to be present or did not have the opportunity of purchasing a copy of the Lecture please get in touch with Ivan Norris the Lodge Secretary onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will make the necessary arrangements.    posted 1/4/2008

Banner Dedication in Rugby

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, dedicated the new banner of the William Webb Ellis Lodge in Rugby Masonic Hall on Saturday 29 March 2008 according to ancient custom William Webb Ellis Lodge Banner Dedicationin the presence of some 100 Brethren, all of whom are shown in the photograph.   posted 31/3/2008

Praise

" I congratulate your Province on your web site" says W Bro Robert Sillett PJGD the Prestonian Lecturer for 2008 about the Warwickshire web site. We thank him for that but we wonder what his and your reaction will be to the new look web site that we are launching on 19 April. Watch this space.   posted 29/3/2008

Square Meals: 300 Years of Masonic Dining

There is an organisation that held the largest sit down meal ever seen in this country, where the customs and manners of Georgian England still survive, whose feasts over nearly three centuries have seen a mixing of races, religions and cultures unheard of in the UK until recent times. That organisation is Freemasonry. Square Meals: 300 Years of Masonic Dining at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in Freemasons' Hall in London will recreate Masonic dining from the early 1700s to the present, following the festive meal through times of prosperity and wartime austerity. One of the largest silver table centrepieces in the country, rare ceramics and glass, even Masonic jellies and still filled bottles of 150 year old drinks will give a unique insight for the first time into the ceremonies, friendship and fun that make up the Masonic feast.

Come to the Goose and Gridiron for an early meeting of the first Grand Lodge, have a meal in Islington with the Country Stewards Lodge, learn why cigars were better than food in Kipling’s mother Lodge in India, or see artifacts from the meal for 7000 at Olympia in the 1930s.

The exhibition is open from Monday 7 July to Friday 26 September 2008 and admission, open to all, is free.   posted 29/3/2008

Warwickshire Freemasons give generously

The Province of Warwickshire will be making donations to 165 local charities in April to a total of £100,080. Similar amounts are presented on an annual basis. Among the recipients are local hospices – Acorns Children’s at Selly Oak, St. Mary’s at Selly Park, Mary Ann Evans at Nuneaton, Myton Hamlet at Warwick, Rugby and Coventry, St.Giles’ at Whittington, Shakespeare at Stratford, and Warren Pearl at Solihull, who will receive a total of £14,500. Four Air Ambulances serving the Province of Warwickshire will be given a total of £6,000. Other recipients include the Leonard Cheshire Homes in Sutton Coldfield and Redditch, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and the Warwick Hospital Cancer Ward.

Charities supporting health issues in the area including the British Heart Foundation (West Region), Cancer Research at Birmingham, Deafblind UK, and Macmillan Cancer Support are also being assisted. For the first time a donation is to be made to the new Royal Star and Garter Home in Solihull, due to open later this year to provide nursing care for disabled ex-service personnel impaired during conflict. St Basil’s working with young homeless people in Birmingham, and the Norman Laud Centre supporting disadvantaged youngsters in Sutton Coldfield, will also be aided as will the Birmingham Mail Charitable Trust and the Salvation Army for their work.   posted 27/3/2008

Final reminder

The Sponsored Walk in aid of the Masonic Samaritan Fund will be held in Kenilworth on Saturday 5 April. If each Warwickshire Lodge has one walker who is sponsored by each member of the Lodge then we will raise a significant sum for the Festival. Roger Mac has volunteered to be a willing walker for any Lodge that has difficulty in choosing a representative. He will be delighted to receive any cheques made out to WMCA 2012 Festival. Sponsorship forms and more details are on the poster in each Masonic Hall or can be obtained from either Roger on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jim Dunlop This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01926 779774. The local church will provide you with refreshments to replace any calories used up on the walk.   posted 25/3/2008

Good news for gift aid

There may not have been much good news in the recent Budget but at least the Chancellor is making a positive effort to help our aims for the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund. He has decided to keep the amount of tax that can be reclaimed under the Gift Aid system at 28.2% until 2011, even though the basic rate of tax will still be reduced as from April 2008. Many thanks Mr Chancellor from the Freemasons of Warwickshire!   posted 18/3/2008

A racing certainty

The Lodge of Perseverance is holding a Night at the Races at Yenton Assembly Rooms, Erdington, Birmingham on Saturday 10 May 2008 at 7.00pm with the proceeds going to the 2012 Festival. Tickets cost £15 which will include a buffet. Reservations may be made with Ed Loft at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0121 366 6326 or with Neil Watson on 0121 355 6642.  posted 18/3/2008

Local authority backs Freemasons

The City Council of Port Alberni in British Columbia has declared 16 to 23 March 2008 as Freemasons' Week. The two Lodges which meet there under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon are holding a number of open days during that week. Local authorities here might take note!  posted 15/3/2008

Freemasons approve £1.5 million for charities

A number of non Masonic charities, across England and Wales, will benefit from generous grants announced by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity on 12 March 2008 and totalling an incredible £1.5 million. The grants have been awarded to worthwhile causes in the areas of medical research, youth opportunities and vulnerable people. The sum includes £600,000 for adult and children’s hospice services and £180,000 for air ambulance charities to be distributed during the current year.

One of the largest individual grants awarded (£250,000) will contribute to a new Breast Cancer Haven centre in Leeds providing support, information and complementary therapies before, during and after medical treatment of breast cancer. SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association), who provide support for serving men and women in today’s Armed Forces, will also receive a substantial donation of £100,000 towards the Helping Heroes and their Families emergency appeal. This grant will be used to assist the provision of suitable accommodation for families visiting severely wounded servicemen and women at Headley Court in Surrey and at Selly Oak in Birmingham during long rehabilitation periods.

Other grants included support for research into deafness and help for unemployed young people to learn skills of a trade. Smaller charities are also set to benefit with grants totalling £50,000 and beneficiaries will be announced during the course of the year.

The grants are made on the recommendation of the Appeals and Donations Committee of the Council of the Grand Charity and the Chairman of that Committee is Rodney Pitham, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire.

Further details of the grants can be seen at http://www.grandcharity.org/   posted 15/3/2008

Unique freemasonry centre welcomes new director

The UK's first dedicated centre for research into Freemasonry at the University of Sheffield will host a public lecture to mark the start of a new directorship by Dr Andreas Önnerfors. The lecture, which is entitled 'Press between the private and the public: Freemasonry as a topic in 18th Century journals', and which will be delivered on 13 March 2008, will explore how various European journals from the 1700s covered the secret and public images of Freemasonry and how they reflected European thoughts of the time.

The Centre for Research into Freemasonry was established in 2000 as the first centre in a British university devoted to scholarly research into the Freemasons. The Centre studies the historical, social and cultural impact of Freemasonry, particularly in Britain.

Dr Önnerfors is a widely-published expert on Freemasonry and joined the Centre as the new Director earlier this year.    posted 13/3/2008

Banner Dedication

The RW Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will dedicate a Banner for the William Webb Ellis Lodge No 9754 on Saturday 29 March 2008 at 10.30am at the Masonic Hall, Church Walk, Rugby. Brethren who wish to attend this ceremony and lunch afterwards should get in touch with Bro Marcus Dacombe on 01832 280332 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 9/3/2008

Consecration of the Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839

The RW Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will consecrate the Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839 on Friday 25 April 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham commencing at 4.00pm. Brethren are requested to assemble no later than 3.45pm. Applications to attend and stay to dinner should be made to W Bro Peter Wright at 2 Longrood Road, Rugby CV22 7RG no later than 18 April. The dining fee is £24 inclusive of wines and cheques are payable to 'Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839'.  posted 8/3/2008

New Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire

At the regular meeting of Lechmere Volunteer Lodge on 5 March the R W Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire, Richard Goddard, announced that he had been pleased to appoint W Bro Raymond Rooke as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and that he will invest him at the meeting of Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge on 10 May 2008 at Moseley Masonic Hall, Kings Heath.

W Bro Peter Band, who has held this high office with great distinction for the past five years, will stand down on that day. The Brethren of Warwickshire send their congratulations and good wishes to W Bro Raymond Rooke for a successful and happy time in his new appointment.   posted 7/3/2008

Going, going, gone!

David Perkins the Master of the Lodge of Unity, is holding a Charity Celebrity Auction at Alderson House, Warwick, on the evening of Thursday 22 May 2008. The BBC's Flog It and Bargain Hunt star, Philip Serrill, will be the auctioneer. Among the many lots are a week's family holiday in a self catering cottage in Cumbria, four hospitality tickets for a weekend at the British Grand Prix in July, four tickets and parking for the Royal Show at Stoneleigh, and David will come to your home and cook a sumptuous meal for 4 people. Doors open at 5.00pm for viewing and registration with the auction starting at about 7.00pm. The charities that will benefit are The Helen Ley Care Centre for the care of multiple sclerosis sufferers and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.   posted 7/3/2008

An event not to be missed

W Bro Robert Sillett PJGD will be attending the next Regular Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 on 31 March 2008 to present an Official Delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2008 entitled 'The Language of the Ritual'. This is a most prestigious event in the life of the Province and of the Lodge and it is an opportunity that cannot be missed. The Lodge meets at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham and the Lecture begins promptly at 6.00pm in the Main Temple. Regalia will not be worn. There are only four official deliveries of the Prestonian Lecture each year throughout the whole of the English Constitution. In light of the importance of the occasion each Lodge in the Province should ensure that it is represented at least by its Master.

Dinner is available after the lecture at an inclusive cost of £22. Reservations for the Lecture only or the Lecture and dinner can be made with Trevor Siddall onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 01604 830467.

The RW Provincial Grand Master looks to all his Lodges for support for the Lecture.  posted 7/3/2008

2012 Festival

The fund total at the end of February 2008 is £893,000.  posted 7/3/2008

News for the Rose Croix

The March 2008 edition of The Warwickshire Rose for members of the Ancient and Accepted Rite is now available and can be read here.   posted 5/3/2008

About time!

Some 87 years after the consecration of the Yenton Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 719, the Brethren of that Lodge decided it was time they should have a Lodge Banner. RW Bro David J F Rawlins, Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Degree in Warwickshire, was pleased to dedicate the Banner on 3 March. In addition to the delightful ceremony, the Provincial Grand Master promoted W Bro Bill Hepburn to Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden and W Bro Barrie Dolphin to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden for their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm.   posted 4/3/2008

Undergraduates coming in - slowly!

The University of Birmingham Lodge No 5628 in the Province of Warwickshire, has initiated its first undergraduate of the University since 1944 when on 25 February 2008 Fergus Robert Sinclair Smith, aged 19, studying geology, was made a Mason by dispensation. The evening was, of course, very special but was made even more so since the undergraduate initiated in 1944 took part in the ceremony. W Bro Michael Roper-Hall PProvSGW (a Lewis) and a holder of the RW Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit has been a keen and active member of the Lodge since that time and has been the Master on six occasions, including the 50th Anniversary of the Lodge. The Lodge, at one time meeting at the University but now firmly established in the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Birmingham, has had difficult times but is now enjoying a resurgence of interest by many of the academic staff and post-graduate students.

Initiation at Bham UniversityThe Lodge is a member of the University Lodges Scheme promoted by RW Bro David Williamson, the Assistant Grand Master. Oxford and Cambridge have proved how popular Freemasonry can be at universities. With the admission of Bro Smith, who benefits of course from a reduction of fees for those who are under 25, the Lodge hopes that he can help to make the wonderful experiences enjoyed by Freemasons available to more prospective Masons, especially undergraduates of his university.

The Lodge was delighted that W Bro Sebastian Madden, Grand Steward, the Coordinator of the University Lodges Scheme, was present on this historic occasion and thank him for his support.

The photo shows Bro Fergus Smith, W Bro Robert Ashford, the Master, W Bro Michael Roper-Hall and W Bro Sebastian Madden.   posted 28/2/2008

"Beyond the Craft....."

Spencer Fenn will be making one of his famous presentations under this title in Leamington Spa and will explain the inter-relationship of the various Masonic Orders, their themes, without giving too much away, and their origins. There will be a display of all the different regalia.

The date is Friday 28 March , under the auspices of Royal Leamington Spa Lodge No 9663, at the Masonic Hall, Willes Road, Leamington, at 6.30pm for 7.00 pm, with bar provided, and a buffet afterwards. The buffet will cost £7.50. The bar will be open from 6.15pm.

Booking Forms can be provided by the Secretary W Bro L Thacker, 29 Whitnash Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 2HW. Tel. 01926 420245   posted 22/2/2008

Library and Museum

The Library and Museum at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, are among the best Masonic libraries and museums in the country with many unique books and artifacts. The Provincial Grand Master has charged W Bro Alan J Wellan to review the collections and their exhibition and he would welcome assistance from any Brother who has experience of such work in a library or museum. Those who may be qualified and able to help should get in touch with the Provincial Grand Secretary on 0121 454 4422 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 16/2/2008

Temple Councillors and Liaison Officers

Meetings of the Temple Councillors and Liaison Officers will take place at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Edgbaston, Birmingham on 23 April, 17 July and 20 October 2008 commencing at 7.00pm. These meetings are not exclusive to the representatives of Lodges that meet in Edgbaston; it is imperative that all Lodges in the Province should ensure that they are represented either by their official nominee or a substitute. Those Lodges who have a Temple Councillor but have not notified the Province should do so as soon as possible to David Bateman onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 16/2/2008

Do you want to know a secret - on another occasion?

Brethren unable to attend the event at the Lodge of Faith and Hope in February may wish to know that there will be another presentation of 'Do you want to know a secret?' at the meeting of the Lodge of Integrity on Saturday 5 April 2008. The Lodge meets at the Yenton Assembly Rooms in Erdington, Birmingham and those who would like to attend should get in touch with Stephen Tranter on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or on 07976 328078.  posted 15/2/2008

Another wonderful celebration and another surprise

Stoneleigh Lodge No 725 celebrated its 150th Anniversary at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Edgbaston Birmingham in the presence of the RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael John Price CBE, on 14 February 2008. Brethren were entertained to a reading of the minutes of the Consecration in 1858 and of a short history of the Lodge which was later supplemented by the gift to all those attending of a book with the full history. A delightful commemorative plate was also presented to every Brother who attended. With magnificent donations in the Lodge and the collection at the Festive Board the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund will benefit by almost £1,900.

A highlight of the evening was when the Provincial Grand Master summoned W Bro Len Rose to him and, without prior notice, promoted him with immediate effect to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, an act which was greeted with loud applause.  posted 15/2/2008

Cyril and MadgeA Masonic marriage?

Love-struck Cyril Sergeant and Madge Robbins became Britain's oldest newlyweds on 14 February 2008 with a combined age of 178. Cyril, aged 89, is a Past Master of Hertford Lodge No 3208 in Warwickshire. We wish them every happiness and many years together.  posted 15/2/2008

Assistant Provincial Grand Master to step down

W Bro Roger S Mac PSGD has indicated to the RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, his wish to retire as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 April 2008. Roger has been a loyal and dedicated Freemason and has proved to be a very popular member of the Warwickshire Provincial Executive. The Brethren of the Province wish him well for the future.  posted 14/2/2008

Heritage Open Days - 11 to 14 September 2008

Heritage Open Days celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorstep, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability. Co-ordinated nationally by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making Heritage Open Days England's largest voluntary cultural event.

Many Masonic Halls in the Province of Warwickshire took part in 2007 with great success. The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, wishes to encourage all those who own or control Masonic Halls in the Province to participate again in Heritage Open Days in September since it is a sure way of demonstrating the public face of Freemasonry. The Provincial Grand Secretary will be responsible for the arrangements at the Provincial HQ in Edgbaston but would welcome support from Brethren who meet there.

Organisers of Heritage Open Days must register with the Civic Trust, for which guidance is given at http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/organisers/ (link no longer works), no later than 2 May 2008. The Information Officer for the Province is available to supply other details and support and may be contacted This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0121 744 1328. He would appreciate being told which Masonic Halls will be open as soon as possible.   posted 10/2/2008

Woman is Freemasons' Citizen of the Year

Everest conqueror Carrie Gibson has been named Inverclyde’s Citizen of the Year by Freemasons — the first woman to receive the honour. Scout leader Carrie became only the fifth Scottish woman and the 14th British woman to conquer the world’s highest mountain when she reached the summit on 16 May 2007. Carrie, 35, was part of the Scottish Scouts Seven Summits Expedition that tackled the 29,028ft peak. Now her efforts in reaching the summit and her contribution to the Scouting movement in Inverclyde have been recognised with the Citizen of the Year award from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West. Carrie said: “I am very humbled to receive this award. The last year has been an incredible experience.”

The award was presented to Carrie at the annual dinner of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West by Alex Galbraith, Provincial Grand Master, who said: “Carrie is a great role model and an inspiration for the people of Inverclyde. Her magnificent achievement, together with her selfless contribution to youth work, should be recognised and we were delighted to honour her in this way. She is the first woman to win our Citizenship Award — another achievement for her.”   posted 10/2/2008

Presidential candidate is a Mason - and proud of it!

Andrei Bogdanov is a Russian presidential candidate with long, curly hair who heads up the country's largest Masonic lodge as well as the Democratic Party of Russia. At 38, Bogdanov is Russia's youngest-ever presidential candidate. He says he is truly optimistic that he can eventually draw widespread support among young voters -- despite his Masonic background and cascading locks. "We are working for the future," Bogdanov said in an interview this week at his party's headquarters in central Moscow. "A new generation of voters will emerge soon with a better knowledge of Freemasonry and with fewer prejudices about it -- and about the long hair."   posted 8/2/2008

Yeoman of the GuardIn former times

Ray Sanders-Crook, the current Master of the David Garrick Lodge No 4243 in the Province of Warwickshire, served as a regular soldier for many years. On his retirement he became a member of The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard and was stationed at HM Tower of London. The photograph shows Ray proudly wearing his uniform as a Yeoman Warder. Although now retired from that historical office he still sports those wonderful whiskers!  posted 7/2/2008

2012 Festival

The Festival Fund now stands at £851,324.15.  posted 6/2/2008

Freemasons' aid for Kenya

Following civil unrest in parts of Kenya, The President of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity, to which all Freemasons in England and Wales contribute, has approved a grant of £10,000 to the District Grand Lodge of East Africa’s Grand Charity, complementing local relief efforts.

Violent clashes and rioting following the results of the Kenyan Presidential election have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes. Many families are now living in makeshift camps and are desperately in need of essential supplies like food, clean water and basic household items.

The District Grand Charity has already made 1 million Kenyan Shillings (approximately £8,500) available through its own Fund for internally displaced people, supporting the immediate relief efforts of the Kenya Red Cross Society and Lodges in some of the areas most affected by the events. As part of this assistance, the Chairman of the District Grand Charity recently visited Jamhuri Camp in Nairobi to donate milk, bread, rice, beans and drinking water to 3,000 displaced people including children. The grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be used to increase the current support for needy individuals in the wider community.   posted 4/2/2008

A special celebration - with surprises

Some two hundred Brethren attended the 275th Anniversary Meeting of St Paul's Lodge No 43 on Saturday 2 February 2008 and witnessed the RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, installed into the Chair (delightfully by David Richards) in the presence of RW Bro George P Francis, the Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England. Many Brethren had travelled considerable distances to enjoy this special celebration including those from the French and German Lodges with which St Paul's Lodge is twinned. The surprises came when the Provincial Grand Master summoned three Past Masters of the Lodge to him and, without any prior notice, promoted Peter Cook, David Houston and Peter Taylor to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden with immediate effect.  posted 3/2/2008

Urgent help required for medical mission

In February Steve Cox, one of the Provincial ADCs in Warwickshire, will be leaving his dental practice for two weeks and joining a medical mission in Peru, organized by The Vine Trust. Along with medical and surgical colleagues who will undertake necessary medical and minor surgical care he will be working on Amazon Hope 2, carrying out dental care for those in regions which can only be reached on the river.

All the clinicians who volunteer for the medical mission pay their own expenses of around £2000 to reduce the financial burden on the charity. Brethren who wish to consider helping Steve by making a donation towards his expenses for this trip should get in touch with him urgently at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 1/2/2008

Changes at the top in the Province

The RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint W Bro Alan J Wellan as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and W Bro David F Macey as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and will invest them at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 April 2008. VW Bro David J F Rawlins, the present Deputy Provincial Grand Master, will step down from that high office on that day.  posted 31/1/2008

Still time to book for a celebration

Stoneleigh Lodge No 725 will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in the presence of RW Michael J Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, at the Warwickshire Masonic Temple, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Thursday 14 February 2008. There is still plenty of time to book in so if you wish to be a part of this event please make reservations with Sydney Collins on 02476 672133 or atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 31/1/2008

Travel warning

Motorists have been warned to expect delays as a £1.4m scheme gets under way on a busy road into Birmingham. Severn Trent Water said the scheme to replace ageing water pipes will close one lane of the inbound carriageway of Hagley Road, Edgbaston. The first phase will affect the road between Sandon and Monument Roads in a project set to last up to eight months. Brethren attending the Provincial HQ of Warwickshire Freemasonry at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston should take this into account when undertaking their journey.  posted 27/1/2008

A kitchen fit for purpose

A major refurbishment of the catering kitchen at the Masonic Hall in Severn Street in Birmingham has recently been completed. The kitchen now has a more ergonomically efficient layout with all new replacement stainless steel tabling, new gas cooking ranges and replacement fridges and freezers. It is a kitchen fit for purpose for the 21St century.  posted 25/1/2008

Help is at hand

To assist less agile Brethren two 'S' framed chairs are available in each dining room at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Lodges are asked to ensure that these chairs are used for the purpose for which they have been acquired and that their availability is drawn to the attention of those who may benefit.

A 'lift car' is also available; it actually climbs stairs and makes movement between floors very much easier. The Duty Manager will, on early application, make the equipment available and operate it.  posted 20/1/2008

Lodge Room brightens up

At quite significant expense Lodge Room No 1 at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, has been renovated to put right the damage caused last year by water ingress, redecorated in a style that will be the norm for the building and the lighting dramatically changed.

The new lights not only give a good visual appearance to the room, and a good level of light but, as a result of the design conceived by Nigel Bister, will enable the heating and air conditioning systems to work effectively again. The final piece of work to be done is the design and fitting of covers to the remaining circular openings visible in the ceiling, covers that will further enhance the air circulation.   posted 17/1/2008

Walk for the 2012 Festival

A sponsored walk in aid of the 2012 Festival will take place in Kenilworth on Saturday 5 April 2008. Lodge Secretaries have the details, including maps and sponsorship forms, and are requested by the Provincial Grand Master to bring them to the attention of their members prior to the end of March. Alternatively, get in touch with Jim Dunlop onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. If you are unable to find a willing walker then please sponsor Roger Mac, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, and let him know This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 17/1/2008

275th Celebration

St Paul's Lodge No 43, Warwickshire's oldest Lodge, will celebrate its 275th Anniversary on Saturday 2 February 2008 at the home of Warwickshire Freemasonry 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham commencing at 4.00pm. The RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, is to be installed as Master in the presence of RW Bro George Pipon Francis, the Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England. It goes without saying that this is a unique and historic occasion in the life of the Province and therefore one not to be missed.

There is still time to apply to attend the meeting and the Festive Board by emailing Peter Taylor on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0121 455 8300. The Lodge and the Provincial Grand Master would welcome support from the Brethren of Warwickshire in particular at this very special and significant meeting.   posted 17/1/2008

Do You Want to Know a Secret ?

The Lodge of Faith and Hope has invited the Worcestershire Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge Demonstration Team to perform their amusing and light hearted look behind the ritual in their presentation of "Do You Want to Know a Secret" at their meeting on Tuesday 26 February 2008. This is a popular presentation and Brethren are invited to attend by contacting John Hayward on 01905 798462 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Lodge meets at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.  posted 17/1/2008

Masonic Samaritan Fund logoCharity comes of age

As the New Masonic Samaritan Fund enters its 18th year the decision has been taken to remove 'New' and revert to the legal title of Masonic Samaritan Fund with this redesigned logo.  posted 16/1/2008

Charities on the move

The staff of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Masonic Samaritan Fund will move into the lower ground floor of Freemasons' Hall in Great Queen Street, London by the end of January. The space has been converted into modern office accommodation and brings the staff of the four charities together for the first time. The move will bring substantial benefits to the charities and their administration and also to all members of the Craft.   posted 12/1/2008

Grand Charity Donation to St Mary's HospiceGrand Charity donations

The Freemasons' Grand Charity's donations to adult and children's hospices throughout Warwickshire amounted to some £19,000. The photo shows Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presenting a cheque for £4,728 to Tina Fisher, Chief Executive of St Mary's Hospice, Selly Park, Birmingham, and John Wheeler Chief Fund Raiser, who were most grateful for the donation.

Since 1984 the Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated some £7 million to the hospice movement in England and Wales.

Other local hospices to receive donations from the Freemasons' Grand Charity are Acorns at Selly Oak, Birmingham, Mary Ann Evans in Nuneaton, Myton Hamlet in Warwick, Shakespeare at Stratford upon Avon and Warren Pearl, Solihull.   posted 11/1/2008

Festival total

The total raised at the end of December 2007 was £808,514.  posted 7/1/2008

He’s behind you!

This little boy's face says it all

Left: This little boy's face says it all

Shrieks of laughter, shouts of "He's behind you" and lots of singing and applause were the wonderful responses of some 200 children with severe learning and physical disabilities and their 50 adult carers when they were entertained to a magical performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at Stirling Road, the home of Warwickshire Freemasonry, in December. The imaginative initiative of the Provincial Grand Master, the pantomime was a jointly funded operation between the Province of Warwickshire and the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Drivers Association. This delightful event was graced by the presence of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham who joined in all the fun. The Lord Mayor was delighted to receive a donation from the Provincial Grand Master on behalf of the Province for his own chosen charities.

Below: The Provincial Grand Master welcomes the Lord Mayor to the pantomime

The Provincial Grand Master welcomes the Lord Mayor to the pantomimeThanks are due to many but in particular to Roger Parker and his organising Committee, Chaplins and their professional actors who transformed the main dining room into a theatre, to Peter Astfalck for his magic, to Mike Shingler and his fellow taxi drivers, and to Diane Hepworth and her staff.

Each child on leaving received a present, which had been provided by the taxi drivers,The Lord Mayor of Birmingham with the Lady Mayoress and the castfrom Father Christmas. The Provincial Grand Master was so delighted with the success of the pantomime that he has agreed that the event should be repeated this year.

Left: The Lord Mayor of Birmingham with the Lady Mayoress and the cast
posted 3/1/2008

Grand Master of MassachusettsNew Grand Master for Massachusetts

Roger W. Pageau was installed as the 86th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts on 27 December 2007 and will preside over 235 lodges and 40,000 Freemasons throughout the state for the next three years. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts celebrates its 275th Anniversary in May 2008.   posted 1/1/2008

New Year Honours

Our congratulations go to Bro Alex Bulloch of the Lodge of St Andrew No 4056 who has spent more than 35 years taking relatives to war graves across northern Europe on his being honoured with the award of an MBE for his services to the Birmingham War Research Society. Alex has been a Freemason for 49 years and is a life member of Dunbar Castle Lodge No 75 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Also honoured is RW Bro Norman Lloyd-Edwards the current Junior Grand Warden in Grand Lodge and the immediate past President of the Masonic Samaritan Fund who becomes a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.   posted 1/1/2008

2007 chronology

Freemasons' Christmas cheer for hospices

Rodney Pitham presents a cheque to Sally BorehamThe Freemasons' Grand Charity, to which all Freemasons in England and Wales contribute, has just released grants of £500,000 to adult hospices and £100,000 to children's hospices throughout the two countries. Of this amount some £19,000 has been allocated to local hospices including Warren Pearl in Solihull who had a grant of almost £3,700. The photo shows Sally Boreham, fundraiser at Warren Pearl in Solihull, receiving the cheque from Rodney Pitham, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Warwickshire Freemasons. Sally welcomed the donation saying: "The Freemasons have supported this hospice for many years and we are most grateful to them for their generosity and the support for the work we do."

Rodney is also Chairman of the Committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity which considers and recommends the grants to the hospice movement and to a host of other non-Masonic charities out of an annual budget of £2.3 million, all of which is raised from within Freemasonry. Rodney says: "The hospice movement is close to the hearts of Freemasons. Since 1984 the Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated some £7 million to this worthwhile cause and I hope that we will continue with our support for many more years to come."

Other local hospices to receive donations from the Freemasons' Grand Charity are Acorns at Selly Oak, Mary Ann Evans in Nuneaton, Myton Hamlet in Warwick, Shakespeare at Stratford upon Avon and St Mary's, Selly Park, Birmingham.  posted 22/12/2007

Some of Our Yesterdays

'Some of our Yesterdays' is a fascinating and informative dialogue between VW Bro John Hamill, Director of Communications, and VW Bro Graham Redman, Assistant Grand Secretary, at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge held on 12 December 2007 and can be read at http://www.ugle.org.uk/news/jh-gfr-121207.htm (Link no longer works.)  posted 19/12/2007

Pro Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge - 12 December 2007

Brethren,

You will have seen reference, in the paper of business, to the European Grand Masters’ meeting held here on the 5th and 6th of November. This was an historic occasion, and was planned as a one-off meeting so that we, as the mother Grand Lodge, could make clear our views on regularity, recognition and sovereignty. We had been under pressure, for some time, to give guidance and a clear stance on our position. This we did, and my speech to open the conference is printed in full as an appendix to the paper of business. I draw your attention to the first paragraph where I set out our position on regularity, and later I make the important point that it is not Freemasonry but the individual mason, imbued with the principles and tenets of the Craft, who has a positive influence on society.

The Grand Master hosted an enjoyable reception and dinner on the eve of the formal meeting for representatives of forty four European Grand Lodges, which included no less than forty one Grand Masters.

What was apparent from the meeting is that while we may have a wide diversity of customs and practises in European Freemasonry, we all subscribe to the same basic principles and tenets and are determined to maintain and preserve regularity. From the feedback we have received the meeting was considered a success and there is now a determination to continue the contacts which were made and to strengthen the lines of communications between European Grand Lodges. This can only be good for the future of regular Freemasonry.

It was an historic occasion, and like all major meetings did not just happen. I would like to place on record my thanks to V.W. Bro John Hamill and all the other members of the Grand Secretary’s staff who worked so hard to make it enjoyable and successful.

Brethren, you should know that at the meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter in November I announced that the working group set up last year under the Chairmanship of the Second Grand Principal, had now published its report into the recruitment and retention of Royal Arch Masons. The first conclusion of the report relates to the additional paragraph to the 1813 Declaration in the preamble to the Book of Constitutions, relating to the status of the Royal Arch. This was added to by Grand Lodge, in December 2003. In short, this describes the Royal Arch as ‘an extension to, but neither a superior nor subordinate part of the Degrees which precede it’. There is no doubt that the Royal Arch is NOT the completion of just the third degree. But it is not felt that the 2003 declaration accurately reflects the relationship of the Royal Arch to the three Craft degrees. The result is that it has not been helpful to those joining or seeking to recruit new members. So, I am minded to request Grand Lodge to give careful consideration to replacing the 2003 paragraph with a fresh definition. I feel that, in general terms, we should all seek to describe the Royal Arch as the next step in Freemasonry after the Craft degrees and the final step in pure ancient Masonry. It is, of course, both an integral part of Craft masonry as well as being its completion.

The other important conclusion of the report, in relation to recruitment, is a recommendation to Grand Lodge from Supreme Grand Chapter, that a Royal Arch representative should be appointed in each Craft Lodge. This representative, at least until further research and consideration, would not be a Lodge officer. But he would have responsibility for promoting the Royal Arch within the context of the Lodge. Where his role has already been implemented in some Lodges, it has had a dramatic effect on the levels of recruitment and retention. Representatives need to be carefully chosen and the report gives advice and guidance on this matter.

Since the last Quarterly Communication I have visited our three Districts in India, accompanied by the Grand Secretary. This proved to be a very successful trip visiting the District of Bombay and Northern India in Mumbai; the District of Bengal in Kolkata and the District of Madras in Both Chennai and Bangalore. This was my first visit to India and we were greeted by everyone with great warmth. I held a business meeting in each District and we met as many of the Brethren and their wives, as possible.

At the request of the District Grand Master of Bombay and Northern India we are reforming the District back into two Districts. The District has been a happy one and the split is purely based on the enormous distances between some of the Lodges. The inauguration of the District of Northern India will take place in early January.

At the third Rulers’ Forum meeting yesterday, Brethren from three of the groups gave a presentation on the best points from all the mentoring schemes that exist and more. Retention depends on mentoring and education and the CD-rom which they have produced contains information and guidance for mentors from the interview stage through to third degree and beyond. It was so impressive that I have asked them to repeat the presentation at our next Quarterly Communication in March.

Finally, Brethren, I wish you and your families every joy for the Festive Season and a very happy New Year.   posted 18/12/2007

Pro Grand Master addresses meeting of European Grand Masters - November 2007

Regularity is an absolute. It cannot be partial or conditional. A Grand Lodge is either regular or it is not. In England’s terms, to be regular a Grand Lodge must conform to each of our Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition or it cannot be considered as regular.

Those Basic Principles, agreed with the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, were codified and published in 1929 but were not something new. They had been developed and refined over more than 150 years as Freemasonry spread around the world and Grand Lodges began to emerge outside these islands. We believe them to be fundamental and unchangeable, as they define what is for us the essence of regular Freemasonry. The Principles were further confirmed by the three Home Grand Lodges in 1938 in the statement they each issued entitled “Aims and Relationships of the Craft”. We firmly believe that if any of these Basic Principles were removed or varied, that removal or variation would materially alter the nature of Freemasonry.

There have been suggestions that the Basic Principles should be capable of redefinition from generation to generation, although those making those suggestions seem reluctant to reveal which of the Basic Principles they wish to redefine. I would suspect that one area they would like to redefine is the prohibition of the discussion of religion and politics at Masonic meetings, and the bar on Grand Lodges or individual Freemasons making public comment on matters of religious, political or state policy when acting in their Masonic capacities.

In that context, I was rather surprised that some of you had been discussing the role of Freemasonry in a changing Europe and how Freemasonry can influence, for the common good, the social and moral development of the new Europe. The Home Grand Lodges – England, Ireland and Scotland – would respond that Freemasonry has no role outside Freemasonry and that the only influence it should be seeking is over itself and its members.

We firmly believe that it is not Freemasonry but the individual who can have a positive influence on society. We see Freemasonry as an intensely personal journey of self-discovery, knowledge and personal development. We hope that the individual, during his journey, will absorb the principles and tenets of Freemasonry, so that they become a part of his nature. In that way he will make a contribution for the good of society. If the individual, imbued with the principles of Freemasonry, does not work for the good of society we should then question whether Freemasonry has fulfilled its purpose.

Regular Freemasonry is not, and should never be allowed to develop into being, a lobby group – no matter how universal and noble the cause. One of the great strengths of regular Freemasonry has been that it stands apart from politics and sectarianism, in the memorable words of Dr James Anderson forming “the centre of union between good men and true, and the happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.” Those who formed and developed Freemasonry knew from first hand experience how divisive politics and religion could be. By banning discussion of those topics at Masonic meetings and not allowing their Grand Masters or others, in their Masonic capacities, to make public pronouncements on those topics they were seeking to unite men of good will to enable them to set aside their differences and work together for the common good. That is surely a landmark of Freemasonry, and if we tamper with it we will materially alter the nature of Freemasonry.

I understand that at the Forum in Prague at the end of April there was a suggestion that there should be an addition to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition – that of territorial exclusivity, in other words that there should only be one Grand Lodge per territory or country. That suggestion carried the implication that a Grand Lodge was not sovereign unless it had sole control of the Craft in its territory or country. We do not see sovereignty in terms of territory; to us sovereignty is a Grand Lodge having sole authority over its constituent Lodges and members, wherever they might be situated, and not sharing that authority with any other power such as a Supreme Council.

For historical and practical reasons, the Home Grand Lodges and others could not regard exclusive territorial jurisdiction as a basic principle for recognition. For more than 250 years the Home Grand Lodges have shared territory all round the world and continue to do so today. Indeed, in some areas we share territory with a local Grand Lodge formed since the Home Grand Lodges introduced Freemasonry into their territory. In the United States – where exclusive territorial jurisdiction was a principle for regularity – they have had to vary their views, as in many States the State Grand Lodge now shares its territory with a Prince Hall Grand Lodge, as the Home Grand Lodges do in the Bahamas, Caribbean and West Indies.

The common factor in all these examples of shared territory is that the sharing is by mutual consent, and that is surely the key. If two or more Grand Lodges wish to share territory, why should we impose an arbitrary impediment on them doing so?

A Grand Lodge invading the territory of another Grand Lodge is a completely different matter. Such an action would be intolerable, contrary to all the principles of international Masonic relations, and lay the invading Grand Lodge open to charges of irregularity and the inevitability of having its recognition withdrawn.

Recognition is a bi-lateral act between two sovereign powers. It is not, however, a “right of regularity”, but a privilege. England has been criticised in recent years for not immediately recognising new or re-emerging Grand Lodges, even when they have been regularly formed or revived by Grand Lodges with whom we have long been in amity. The reason for this is a simple one. As the oldest Grand Lodge, without seeking to, we have had thrust upon us the mantle of being the guardians of regularity. That is a heavy responsibility which we take seriously. Additionally, I understand that recognition by the United Grand Lodge of England carries with it a cachet that speeds recognition by other Grand Lodges. Because of these factors, we have to make certain that what we recognise is not only regular but it is firmly rooted within a stable country, free from political interference, will maintain its regularity and has a good prospect of surviving and expanding. In short, we cannot get it wrong!

On at least three occasions we were pressured to recognise Grand Lodges, but we stuck to our usual policy, and were proved right. In two cases within a short time the Grand Lodges were riven with dissension leading to breakaway Grand Lodges being formed, and in the third case even the “mother” rejected its child and withdrew the Charter it had given it.

The last point I wish to make concerns England’s place in world Freemasonry. In his speech to the World Conference in Paris last year, the Grand Master of Austria stated his belief that the United Grand Lodge of England had abdicated its responsibilities in European Freemasonry and that next to nothing was felt of its authority. I would not only disagree but would question what responsibilities we have in Europe, or any other part of the world. We are always available for advice, information and sharing our long experience but we cannot, nor would we seek to, interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign Grand Lodge. We can offer a lead, provide comfort and support in times of trouble, and give practical assistance to new Grand Lodges, but England cannot be a sort of international Masonic policeman arbitrating disagreements within and between sovereign Grand Lodges. We can and will make our position clear on the subjects of regularity and recognition but it is then up to you to decide what your views are. We cannot, and would not seek to, impose our views on others and we do not believe that any other body should do so either. However, we do reserve our right to decide who we regard as being regular and capable of recognition.

Brethren, we have a wonderful diversity of Masonic practice in Europe. We are bound by the same basic principles, tenets and landmarks but have each developed in our own way. We should celebrate that diversity, so long as it remains within the bounds of regularity.   posted 18/12/2007

More assistance for firefighters families fund

Donations totalling £5,500 were made on Saturday 8 December to the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Warwickshire at Stratford Masonic Hall during an open day organised by the members of the Fire Service Lodge which meets there. Of that total substantial contributions had been made by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire, the directors of the Masonic Hall and the Fire Service Lodge. The Mayor of Stratford Town Council and the Deputy Chief Fire Officer paid tribute to the generosity of all those Freemasons who had given to this worthy cause.  posted 8/12/2007

2012 Festival

The total of the donations received up to and including 30 November 2007 is £767,773.  posted 5/12/2007

Grand Lodge and other dues

Lodge Treasurers are reminded that the Annual Dues payable to Grand Lodge for 2008 are £21.50 (which includes VAT at a partial zero rating) for each subscribing member and the Freemasons' Grand Charity contribution for each member is £13 on which VAT is not payable. The registration fee for an Initiate received by Grand Lodge on or after 1 January 2008, even though the Initiation took place before this date, is £45 to which VAT of 17.5% must be added.  posted 1/12/2007

Installed Masters to host official Prestonian Lecture for 2008

The Board of General Purposes has considered applications for the delivery of the official Prestonian Lectures for 2008 and has decided that one of the four should be given under the auspices of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge No 4538 at their meeting on 31 March 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, the HQ of the Province of Warwickshire. The Lecturer is W Bro R D T Sillett PJGD and the title of the Lecture is 'The Language of the Ritual'.

This is a most prestigious event in the English Constitution and many Brethren will wish to be present. Further details will be published at a later date but if any Brother wishes to make a reservation now he should get in touch with Trevor Siddall This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01604 830467.   posted 30/11/2007

Firefighters families fund boosted by Freemasons

PGM hands over �32,000
PGM hands over �32,000
The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, together with members of the Fire Service Lodge No 8401, handed over almost £32,000 from the Warwickshire Freemasons and Freemasons from Nottinghamshire, West Kent and elsewhere to the Chief Fire Officer, William Brown, at the HQ of the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service in Leamington Spa on Wednesday 28 November 2007. The money will go to the Warwickshire Firefighters Families Fund and will benefit the immediate families of those courageous firefighters who lost their lives as a result of the devastating fire at Atherstone on Stour. The photo shows the Provincial Grand Master and the Chief Fire Officer.   posted 29/11/2007

 

Fire Service Lodge pays tribute to brave firefighters

Members of the Fire Service Lodge No 8401, whose members are drawn from all parts of the country, will be holding a special day to remember their colleagues who died in the fire at Atherstone on Stour. It will take place at the Masonic Hall, Great William Street, Stratford upon Avon, where the Lodge meets, from 12.30pm until 3.00pm on Saturday 8 December. The event is open to the public and a warm welcome will be extended to all. A book of condolence will be available and donations may be made to the fund established to assist the bereaved families.

There will be opportunities as well to learn about Freemasonry. Light refreshments will be served.  posted 29/11/2007

Freemasons help hospices

Hospices across England and Wales are set for a funding boost as The Freemasons’ Grand Charity distributes £600,000 towards the operating costs of the widely respected services. Although children’s and adults Hospices have always been supported through the annual grant giving scheme, this year for the very first time a sum was set aside specifically to benefit the growing number of services dedicated to children. The money from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be shared between 220 hospices, with over half of the children’s services receiving more than £3,000 and each adult service receiving an average of over £2,600. The newly announced grants will take The Freemasons’ Grand Charity’s support for the sector to over £7 million since 1984.

The hospices to benefit in the Province of Warwickshire are Acorns Children's Hospice in Birmingham, Warren Pearl in Solihull, Mary Ann Evans in Nuneaton, Myton Hamlet in Warwick, Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon and St Mary's in Birmingham.

Rodney Pitham, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, is Chairman of the relevant committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity which recommends these grants and many others to a host of non-Masonic charities.  posted 28/11/2007

Masonic help strikes a chord with parishioners

Parishioners in Sutton St Nicholas are singing the praises of Herefordshire Freemasons, who have helped them complete the refurbishment of their 12th century church with the addition of a new organ. With funds already stretched to repair and refurbish the tower, roof and bells, updating the old church organ at St Michael's Church, which had reached the end of its musical career, was proving difficult despite a series of fundraising events and donations from local parishioners. So the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association stepped forward to help install a new electronic organ for church organist Roy Gilham and the congregation to enjoy.   posted 28/11/2007

Provincial Grand Wardens for Warwickshire

The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint W Bro Rex Lowin of Mercia Lodge No 6246 as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W Bro Philip Wills of the Lodge of Freedom No 3914 as Provincial Junior Grand Warden for the year 2008/2009. They will be invested at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on Saturday 19 April 2008.  posted 28/11/2007

Freemasons give £20,000 for Bangladesh cyclone victims

Following the devastation of parts of Bangladesh by Tropical Storm Sidr, The Freemasons' Grand Charity is supporting the relief work of the Red Cross with an emergency grant of £20,000. Around 1 million people are believed to have been affected by the storm which hit the Southern Coast of Bangladesh on 15 November, destroying homes, crops and infrastructure and triggering a tidal surge that swamped three coastal villages. The official death toll stands at over 3,100 people, but this is expected to rise as rescuers continue to recover bodies from amongst the debris. Some remote areas are still inaccessible and many survivors are without fresh water and food.

The emergency grant approved by Grahame Elliott, President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, will help to fund the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, providing for the needs of some of the most vulnerable people affected by the storm, including the provision of blankets, food, shelter, medical supplies and basic healthcare.   posted 22/11/2007

Freemasons assist fire tragedy families

All Freemasons, along with all members of the public, have been deeply touched by the loss of the lives of the four courageous Warwickshire fire-fighters Ian Reid, Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley and John Averis, arising from the warehouse fire at Atherstone-on-Stour. The Freemasons in Warwickshire have responded positively and quickly to the appeal for financial help for the families of the deceased fire-fighters.

Michael Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master of the Warwickshire Freemasons, says:

“We cannot begin to imagine the distress and anguish of the families of these brave men who gave their lives in the service of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with them now and in the future as they seek to come to terms with their sad and unexpected loss. It is a fact of life that we take our emergency services for granted but they are brought into sharp focus when a disaster of this magnitude occurs.

In the circumstances I asked all members and Lodges in Warwickshire to contribute to the fund established for the families. They have responded magnificently and I thank them all once again for their overwhelming generosity.”

The Provincial Grand Master will hand over at least £21,000 from the Warwickshire Freemasons and Freemasons from Nottinghamshire and West Kent to the Chief Fire Officer at the HQ of the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service in Leamington Spa on Wednesday 28 November 2007 at 2.00pm. Amongst those attending will be members of the Fire Service Lodge whose members are drawn from all over the country and which meets at the Masonic Hall in Stratford upon Avon. Other senior Freemasons will be there together with many civic dignitaries.   posted 21/11/2007

Fire tragedy at Atherstone on Stour

The fire tragedy at Atherstone on Stour has touched many people with the loss of four courageous firefighters. A fund has been established by the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service to support the families of those brave men. In response to concern expressed by many Brethren the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire will donate £5,000 to the special fund, the Royal Arch Province a further £5,000, and the Mark Province a substantial sum. The Freemasons' Grand Charity has agreed to give £5,000 to the fund as well.

The Provincial Grand Master invites Lodges in the Province to consider making donations to this worthy cause. If Lodges agree to this invitation any cheques should be made payable to WMCA Ltd and sent the Provincial Charity Office at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. Arrangements for the cheque presentation are being made.   posted 12/11/2007 - updated 16/11/2007

Consecrating Officer and Principals of the ne Royal Arch Chapter at BromsgoveNew Royal Arch Chapter for Worcestershire

E Comp Richard Price the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Holy Royal Arch Province of Worcestershire consecrated the Old Bromsgrovian Chapter at Bromsgrove School on Saturday 3 November 2007. The Founder First Principal is E Comp Richard V Wallis, the immediate Past Grand Superintendent for Warwickshire, the Second Principal is E Comp Bob Biddle and the Third Principal is E Comp Bill Caswell. The photo shows the Consecrating Officer and the three Principals.  posted 12/11/2007

Royal Air Force Lodge meet at CosfordFlying heroes

Ken Wilkinson and Tony Pickering both flew Spitfires during World War II. They were both full of nostalgia when as members of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge No 9456 they attended a meeting of the Lodge at RAF Cosford. The photo shows, in the centre, Roger Mac, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Master of the Lodge, on the left Ken and on the right Tony. It was a particularly poignant moment for Tony since the Spitfire behind them was one he had flown.  posted 12/11/2007

 

"What are the hidden mysteries of nature and science?"

"What are the hidden mysteries of nature and science?" is the title of a talk to be delivered to the regular meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge on 30 November 2007 by W Bro Raymond Hollins PAGDC. Raymond is well known for his "100 short talks on the Craft" and has been a regular contributor to MQ magazine. Brethren who are not members of the Lodge are welcome and encouraged to attend and should get in touch with Trevor Siddall the Assistant Secretary on 01604 830467 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve a place and book in for dinner.  posted 11/11/2007

Fancy walking for charity?

A sponsored walk in aid of the 2012 Festival will take place in Kenilworth on Saturday 5 April 2008. The aim of the walk is to make the morning an enjoyable stroll with friends as well as making money. If you wish to take part please get in touch with Jim Dunlop on 01926 779774 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 8/11/2007

150 years of Freemasonry

Stoneleigh Lodge No 725 will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in the presence of RW Michael J Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, at the Warwickshire Masonic Temple, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Thursday 14 February 2008. If you wish to be a part of this event please make reservations with Sydney Collins on 02476 672133 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Dinner will cost £30.  posted 8/11/2007

2012 Festival

The total for the end of October 2007 is £732,000.  posted 6/11/2007

Membership update form

Lodge Secretaries in the Province of Warwickshire should note that the latest Membership Update Form which requires all amendments to Lodge memberships is available to download at http://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/mem_update.php It is imperative that the Provincial Grand Secretary, Nigel Burton, is advised of changes in members' status or details as soon after they occur as possible. Of the utmost priority in this respect is notification of the death of any Brother which in the first instance should be communicated by telephone to the Provincial Grand Secretary or Barbara Powell on 0121 454 4422.  posted 3/11/2007

Feed the Needy Children

As part of their celebration of their 50 years of existence, members of the Lodge of the Coast No 7518 in the District Grand Lodge of East Africa in Mombassa organised an event recently to "Feed the Needy Children" at Mtwapa where about 1000 children from Mtwapa neighbourhood were fed with a hearty meal.   posted 3/11/2007

Brace yourself for support!

Harry Owen now has even more merchandise to sell in support of the 2012 Festival - braces! There are two varieties - black and white squares, and Masonic symbols - and they are reasonably priced at £15. Order yours now by phoning Harry on 0121 454 4422.  posted 2/11/2007

Autumn Glory

This concert held in October in aid of the 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund has now raised the sum of £14,600.  posted 31/10/2007

Installation of new Provincial Grand Master

The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master John Hale will be presiding at the Installation of Very Worshipful Brother David John Frederick Rawlins as Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Warwickshire on Tuesday 4 December at 11.00 am at the Warwickshire Masonic Temple, Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Following his Installation, the newly installed Provincial Grand Master will appoint and invest W Bro Christopher Owen Sanders, PGJD, as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and W Bro James Stephen Wright, PGSD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.

Provincial Grand Lodge will be called off and resume after lunch at 3.00pm, when the Provincial Grand Master will continue to appoint and invest the Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge and invest those that have been honoured with appointment and promotion in Past Provincial Grand Rank, as well as investing those who have been appointed to Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank.

Brethren in the Mark Province of Warwickshire will receive invitations to attend. Any others wishing to witness the Installation and the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge and stay to lunch should get in touch with the Provincial Grand Secretary Designate, Gareth Hughes, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 31/10/2007

Three generations

Rowbotham FamilyBev Robotham is a Founder of Compass Rose Lodge (which meets at Yenton Masonic Hall in Erdington), his son Martyn was the first Initiate and is the current Master, and Martyn's son Chris has just been initiated into the Lodge. The photograph shows the happy threesome with, from left to right, Bev, Chris and Martyn.  posted 31/10/2007

 

Can anyone remember?

The Lodge of Assembly No 5747 will celebrate its 70th Anniversary in October 2008. Brethren of the Lodge wish to get in touch with any Masonic descendants of the Founders of the Lodge who were Alfred Phipps, Joseph Plant, Sydney Booth, Charles Ladds, Albert Dean, Thomas Hogg, John Knight, Charles Thompson, Clifford Moseley and Richard Yates. If you can help, Roy Quinton on 01939 260759 would be delighted to hear from you.  posted 28/10/2007

Sixty years and still going

RW Bro Stanley Lates OSM Past Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire celebrates 60 years as a Freemason in Concord Lodge on 15 December 2007 and will be presented with his certificate by the RW Provincial Grand Master Michael Price CBE. If you wish to be part of this wonderful event please get in touch with Joe McCollum on 0121 680 3276 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Lodge meets at the Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.  posted 26/10/2007

Ladies Gift Fund Fayre

The Ladies Gift Fund Christmas Fayre will be held at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 17 November 2007 commencing at 10.30am. Your support will be most welcome.   posted 26/10/2007

We will remember them

A Remembrance Service will be held at the Provincial HQ, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 10 November 2007 commencing at 10.45am. Brethren, their families and friends are invited to attend the service to remember in particular those Freemasons who made the supreme sacrifice in all theatres of war and conflict.  posted 17/10/2007

Toast List

The Warwickshire Toast List for use at the Festive Board is now available online here.  posted 14/10/2007

Grand Charity aid

The Freemasons' Grand Charity has recently approved grants totalling £445,200 to fifteen non-Masonic charities. Among the recipients are Leukaemia Research with £56,000 for research into acute myeloid leukaemia, and Listening Books with £30,000 for a project to upgrade to digital books. The Marine Society and Sea Cadets has received £47,000 towards a new training ship and £24,000 has gone to the Happy Days Children's Charity for day trips for disadvantaged children with special needs. Guildford Cathedral and St Woolos Cathedral have each been awarded £5,000 for their building appeals.  posted 14/10/2007

Autumn Glory

The audience raised the rafters at the Arts Centre at Warwick University at the conclusion of this concert on 7 October with their singing of 'Land of Hope and Glory' and the waving of their Union Flags. They had been entertained for the evening by the collective brilliance of the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra, the Stratford upon Avon Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Yvonne Howard and Arwel Huw Morgan all ably and wittingly presented by Ed Doolan MBE. The icing on the cake was the handing over of a cheque for £12,000, the proceeds of the concert, to Michael Price, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, and Hugh Stubbs the President of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, for that Fund.

Our thanks go to all those involved in the preparation for this event particularly the chairman of the organising committee, Mervyn Kimberley, whose brainchild it was. Many of the audience wished to know when the next concert would be produced on behalf of Warwickshire Freemasons. Watch this space!  posted 9/10/2007

2012 Festival

The total raised to the end of September 2007 for the 2012 Festival is £694,000.  posted 5/10/2007

Installation of new Provincial Grand Master

VW Bro David Rawlins is to be installed as the Provincial Grand Master for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Warwickshire on Tuesday 4 December 2007 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Further details will be published when they are known.   posted 2/10/2007

New Master urges Lodges to take further action on openness

At his installation as Master of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge on 29 September 2007 W Bro Rodney Pitham urged Lodges and their members to take further steps in respect of openness to increase public awareness of Freemasonry and to counter the myths and fictions so often published about the Order and its members. The full text of the address is available to download here.  posted 30/9/2007

£25,000 for Africa Floods Appeal

The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, Grahame Elliot, has responded to a British Red Cross Appeal to assist hundreds of thousands of people affected by flooding across East and West Africa by approving an emergency grant of £25,000.  posted 27/9/2007

The Freemasons' Grand Charity

A General Meeting of the Freemasons' Grand Charity will be held on Wednesday 3 October 2007 at 6.15pm at Cardiff City Hall, Cathays Park, Cardiff. Members of the Charity (that is Master Masons who are subscribing members of London and Provincial Lodges plus all other Brethren eligible to attend Grand Lodge) and their partners or other non-Masonic guests may attend. Everyone must be seated by 6.00pm. The Vice Grand President the Rt Hon Lord Lane of Horsell will chair the meeting.

Guest speakers include David Biggart OBE, Interim Operations Director of Skill Force, Shan Nicholas, Chief Executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, and Professor Malcolm Mason, Cancer Research Wales Professor of Clinical Oncology at Cardiff University.  posted 24/9/2007

New web site for Freemasons' Grand Charity

After considerable revision and updating The Freemasons’ Grand Charity’s new website will go live in the week commencing 24 September 2007. The main address for the site remains unchanged at www.grandcharity.org  posted 21/9/2007

Mason conducts for charity

Richard Johnson of the Lodge of Israel is facing up to the challenge of a lifetime - he will be conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for charity having been the successful bidder for the opportunity in an auction! Richard wishes to raise sufficient funds to furnish and equip the new Day Centre at the Andrew Cohen Care Home in Stirchley in Birmingham in memory of a lovely friend Joy Pond who spent the last days of her life there. Richard will be performing with the CBSO on 25 September at 6.00pm at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and is looking for sponsors of seats in a prime location of the Hall at £50 each. If you can help, please get in touch with Sandra Anderson on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. now.

Richard has never conducted before and is currently undergoing intensive training.  posted 19/9/2007

The Grand Chancellor addresses Grand Lodge - 12 September 2007

"MW Pro Grand Master and brethren, thank you Pro Grand Master for inviting me to address Grand Lodge on the subject of my new office as Grand Chancellor.

From time immemorial – or from at least the 1750s! – Grand Lodge’s relations with our sister Grand Lodges have been managed by a combination of the Board of General Purposes (and its predecessors), the Grand Master’s advisers and the Grand Secretary. For much of the period up to the late 20th century external relations was a gentle art which took up little time. Occasionally there were explosions of activity – examples being: the decision in 1876 by the Grand Orient of France to drop the requirement that candidates must have a belief in a Supreme Being and to remove all references to the Great Architect from their rituals and the proliferation of new Grand Lodges in Europe with the re – drawing of the map of Europe after the cataclysm of the First World War – but in general it was simply a case of occasionally having to decide whether or not a new Grand Lodge met our standards of regularity and could be recognised as part of the world wide family of Freemasonry.

That all began to change in the second half of the 20th century. After the Second World War the map of Europe was again re – drawn into the Eastern and Western blocs, leading to a reduction of Freemasonry in Europe when it was forced underground in the Eastern bloc countries. At the same time in what was becoming an increasingly politicised world there was a growth of irregular Freemasonry with bodies springing up claiming to be Masonic but not accepting our Basic Principles, in particular the bar on Grand Lodges or brethren in their Masonic capacities making public statements on matters of religious, political or social policy.

As the oldest Grand Lodge, we in England have had thrust on us the role of being the guardians of regularity and in many ways are expected to police what is regular and what is not – in quiet moments I have wondered if that is why an old Oxfordshire “bobby” has been chosen to be the first Grand Chancellor! Those are not roles that we have sought and we cannot be an international policeman solving problems within and between Grand Lodges. What we can do is to listen and to offer advice from our long experience of external relations, but it is a very fine line between offering advice and interfering in the internal workings of a sovereign body.

Our role as the guardian of regularity came very much to the fore in the 1990s after the demise of the Eastern bloc, the return of democratic institutions in those areas and the resultant, and very welcome, re – establishment of dormant and making of new Grand Lodges in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Baltic States. The huge amount of activity going on in Europe alone brought heavy pressure on the Grand Secretary who had to spend increasing amounts of time dealing with urgent external relations matters, sometimes to the detriment of other matters under his care. A simple statistic brethren: in 1989 we recognised 17 regular Grand Lodges in Europe, today we recognise 34 with another four under consideration!

It was for that reason that the Rulers and the Board of General Purposes took the bold step last year, when the role of the Grand Secretary was under consideration, to relieve him of the pressure of external relations and create the office of Grand Chancellor. The main roles of the Grand Chancellor are to Chair the External Relations Committee; to advise the Rulers, the Grand Master’s advisers and the Board of General Purposes on all matters relating to other Grand Lodges; to ensure that Grand Lodge’s policy on external relations is carried through; and to ensure that all correspondence in this area is dealt with in a timely fashion. As the Grand Chancellor is not a full time employee – I have not yet succeeded in persuading my wife about that! - I shall be assisted by our Director of Communications, John Hamill, and our long term External Relations Adviser, Peter Roberts, who between them will manage the administration on a daily basis and, from their long experience in this area will provide me with valuable background and advice.

The Grand Chancellor will also have the pleasure of assisting the Grand Master and the Rulers in representing Grand Lodge on formal visits to sister Grand Lodges and at international gatherings of regular Freemasonry. I see this as an important part of maintaining and strengthening the close relations with our long established friends and of building close relations with those Grand Lodges which have been recently re – established or have been newly formed in areas where Freemasonry has not existed for many generations. With the revolution in fast communication systems and the ease and reasonable cost of travelling today the Masonic world is coming closer and closer together and intervisitation and the regular exchange of information can only be good for the future of regular Freemasonry in general. I look forward to playing a part in fostering those good relations.

As there seems to be a little confusion over what constitutes External Relations and what role the Grand Secretary will have in Freemasonry overseas, now is perhaps the time to explain. External relations covers our relations with other Constitutions outside our own. They are the responsibility of the Grand Chancellor. Because of our rich heritage England still has over 800 lodges meeting outside these islands under District Grand Masters, Grand Inspectors or being governed directly from London. Although many of them are separated from us by great distances, they are still very much an important part of the United Grand Lodge of England and will continue to come under the jurisdiction of the Grand Secretary and, in normal circumstances, when they are visited by a Ruler the Grand Secretary will accompany them, not the Grand Chancellor. He has already visited Ghana and in the autumn he will accompany the Pro Grand Master when he visits our Districts in India.

There are also areas where the Grand Secretary and Grand Chancellor will work together. During the summer we had our usual tripartite meeting with Ireland and Scotland. Because that meeting involves both practical matters of Craft administration and jurisprudence as well as the discussion of relations between the Home Grand Lodges and other Grand Lodges, both the Grand Secretary and I were present. The same applies with the annual meeting of the European Grand Secretaries and Grand Chancellors. Co – operation between the two of us becomes even more important in those areas overseas in which we share territory not only with Ireland and Scotland but also with a local sovereign Grand Lodge. Although Freemasonry grew out of an operative system for controlling the operative masons Craft, I can promise you brethren, there will be no demarcation disputes between the Grand Secretary and the Grand Chancellor!

We live in challenging times, brethren and Masonic external relations are crucial to the future harmony and stability of Freemasonry on a global level. As many of you will know we are hosting a major meeting in London in November to which we have invited the Grand Masters of all the regular Grand Lodges in Europe. Our intention is to reaffirm those basic principles which have defined our relations with the rest of regular Freemasonry, and to discuss how we can cooperate to ensure the continuance of warm relations throughout. I feel immensely proud and honoured that through the new office of Grand Chancellor I have been invited to be a part of that great task."   posted 18/9/2007

Lord Northampton addresses Grand Lodge - 12 September 2007

"This time last year I mentioned the establishment of the University Scheme under the guidance of the Assistant Grand Master. The intention of the scheme was to provide opportunities for undergraduates and other university members to enjoy Freemasonry. I am pleased to say that the scheme has attracted interest from more lodges than originally planned and has generated much interest from local and national press. It will now cover many more universities than the original nine. Any lodge wishing to participate may do so as long as it can persuade its PGM that its members are committed to the challenges of change which the scheme is implementing. I wish all the participants every success in this exciting initiative.

I am pleased to inform you that the Board of General Purposes has agreed a merger between our magazine MQ and Freemasonry Today. The first issue, which will be distributed free to our members in England and Wales, will be coming out in January and will retain the name of Freemasonry Today. As such it will be the house magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, I believe the criteria for this new magazine should be that it makes our members proud to belong to English Freemasonry, with lots of pictures and interesting news from all over our Constitution. It should educate our brethren and their families into a better understanding of Freemasonry with articles which promote the Craft – its charity, its three Grand Principles, its moral and spiritual virtues and its tolerance; and it should make a young man keen to join us if he is looking for moral stability in his life, free from doctrine or dogma. This magazine is part of our need to preserve our heritage and our uniqueness at a time when society is questioning past values in a rush to embrace anything new. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked hard to produce MQ over the past few years."   posted 18/9/2007

Autumn Glory

Warwickshire Freemasons are promoting a concert, “Autumn Glory”, at the Arts Centre, Warwick University, on Sunday 7 October 2007. Those taking part include the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra conducted by Guy Woolfenden (erstwhile long-time musical director of the Royal Shakespeare Company), the Stratford upon Avon Gilbert and Sullivan Society and soloists Yvonne Howard, Mezzo Soprano, and Arwell Huw Morgan, Bass Baritone. Ed Doolan, the local BBC radio broadcaster, will be the presenter for the evening. The music will include pieces by Walton, Arnold, Holst, Britten, Coates and, of course, Gilbert and Sullivan. The audience will be able to participate in songs such as “You'll never walk alone”, “Jerusalem” and “Land of Hope and Glory”.

The concert is open to all. Tickets cost £10, £20, £25 and £30 and are available from Peter Astfalck on 02476 229624 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 14/9/2007

Important diary dates

De Montfort Lodge will be holding its 500th Meeting at Henley in Arden on 8 October, the Initiates Dinner will take place on 12 October at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, and the Heart of England Lodge will celebrate its 60th Anniversary at the Solihull Masonic Hall on 18 October. Ipsley Lodge which meets in Redditch also celebrates its Diamond Anniversary on 1 November.

If you wish to attend or have further details of these events please contact Mrs Barbara Powell in the office of the Provincial Grand Secretary on 0121 454 4422 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 14/9/2007

No to women!

Some 1,200 delegates at the recent annual meeting of the Grand Orient of France rejected a proposal by Grand Master Jean-Michel Quillardet to open up its lodges to women. The Grand Orient is not recognised as a regular Grand Lodge by the United Grand Lodge of England.  posted 14/9/2007

Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Limited

Brethren of Warwickshire are reminded that the Annual General Meeting of Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Limited for the year ended 30 June 2007 will be held at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Wednesday 31 October 2007 at 12 noon. Since all Brethren are members of the company they are urged to attend this important meeting.  posted 9/9/2007

Freemasons sponsor brave widow of soldier

The widow of a soldier who was killed in Iraq has just completed her first charity parachute jump and plans to repeat the event every year in memory of him. Kingsman Danny Wilson was shot by a sniper in Basra on 1 April after he jumped from his Warrior armoured vehicle to check for roadside bombs. Tracey Wilson did the sponsored skydive in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association – which helps others in her situation, as well as soldiers that have been injured and need assistance. So far Tracey has personally collected more than £2,700 for the charity, including a £2,000 donation from the Freemasons of Cumberland and Westmorland.  posted 31/8/2007

New Worcestershire Royal Arch Chapter

Warwickshire Royal Arch Masons who are Old Bromsgrovians may wish to know that the Old Bromsgrovian Chapter No 5743 will be consecrated by the M E Grand Superintendent for Worcestershire at 11.00 am at Routh Hall, Bromsgrove School, Bromsgrove, on Saturday 3 November 2007. Royal Arch Masons who wish to witness a most interesting ceremony, and, also, to be present on what will be a very happy occasion should contact Patrick Firminger on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 31/8/2007

Yet another new Ruler

Peter Astfalck is to succeed John Denton in December this year as Grand Superintendent for the West Midlands District No 3 in the Masonic Order of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. As far as Peter is concerned it's just magic!  posted 29/8/2007

New Provincial Grand Master for the Mark

The Brethren of Warwickshire extend their warmest congratulations to David Rawlins who has been appointed as Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Warwickshire to succeed David Carr Hooker. Details of the Installation will be published as soon as they are known.

David is currently the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Craft and holds the Mark Grand Rank of Past Grand Master Overseer and is an erstwhile Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province of Worcestershire. His appointment means that Bedford Lodge No 925 in the Craft Province of Warwickshire will have as members two Provincial Grand Masters in the Mark Degree, namely David, and Frank Spencer who holds that high office in Worcestershire.

We pray that David will have a very happy and rewarding tenure in his new office.  posted 29/8/2007

Fire Service Lodge joins the club

The Fire Service Lodge No 8401 now has its own dedicated web site atwww.fireservicelodge.org and has joined that growing band of Warwickshire Lodges which tell the world about their Freemasonry.  posted 28/8/2007

New Master for Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge

W Bro Rodney Pitham PSGD Assistant Provincial Grand Master will be installed by W Bro Nigel Bister PAGDC Assistant Provincial Grand Master as Master of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 on Saturday 29 September 2007. The Lodge opens at 10.30am and will be followed by lunch. Both Rodney and Nigel would welcome the support of Warwickshire Brethren in particular on this important occasion. If you wish to attend please get in touch with the Assistant Secretary Trevor Siddall This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible.  posted 28/8/2007

A celebration

The Lodge of Warwick No 8011 will be holding its 300th regular meeting on Wednesday 14 November 2007 and has arranged a visit from the Worcestershire Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No 9142 who will present "Do You Want to Know a Secret". If you wish to have further details or attend the meeting please contact Steven Price on 01926 494980 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 28/8/2007

A new Ruler

Colin Young, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the neighbouring Province of Worcestershire, has been appointed as the Intendant General of the West Midlands Division of The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and St John The Evangelist. Colin succeeds Richard Wallis who has himself been promoted to the high office of Deputy Grand Sovereign of the Orders. Details of Colin's Installation, the date of which is not yet fixed, will be available from Jeremy Mallin, the Divisional Recorder, on 01564 773454.  posted 27/8/2007

Freemasons of Warwickshire reveal all!

A number of Masonic Halls in Warwickshire are to be open to the public during the national Heritage Open Days weekend between 6 and 9 September 2007. Members of the public will be made most welcome and no appointments are necessary. All questions about Freemasonry will be answered. Lodge Rooms can be inspected and Masonic regalia will be on display. Freemasons will be on hand to guide and explain.

The home of Warwickshire Freemasonry at the Clarendon Suites, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham will take part in the Open Days on 6 September 2007 from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Nuneaton Masonic Hall at 12 Newdegate Place, Nuneaton, will be open at similar times on 7 and 8 September as will the Masonic Rooms at St Mary Magdalen Chapel, Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick on 6, 7, and 8 September. Solihull Masonic Hall at 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle opens its doors from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 9 September; Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall in Mill Street, Sutton Coldfield on 8 September in the morning, the Masonic Rooms at Alderson House, 23 High Street Warwick on 8 September in the morning, the Stratford Masonic Rooms, Great William Street, Stratford on 6, 7, and 8 September all day, and the Yenton Masonic Rooms, 73 Gravelly Hill North, Erdington on 8 September between 10.00am and 4.30pm.

This is an opportunity for the public to find out more about Freemasonry and for Freemasons to dispel all the myths and fictions so often published about them.   posted 27/8/2007

Grand Masters to meet in London

The Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries of regular Grand Lodges in Europe have been invited to a special meeting in London on 5 and 6 November 2007.

Since the political changes in Europe in the early 1990s there has been an unparalleled growth in the number of Grand Lodges in Europe. Whilst greatly welcomed, that growth has brought with it a number of problems and tensions, particularly in the areas of regularity, sovereignty, recognition and territorial jurisdiction, which will be the main topics of discussion at this special meeting.

The meeting will consist of a number of short formal presentations followed by open discussion of the topics raised. The presentations and a summary of the discussions will be printed for circulation amongst those attending. As each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent no binding decisions can be made, but this will be a major opportunity for the leaders of regular European Freemasonry to meet and to share information, experiences and views to strengthen the fraternal bonds which unite them.

Because of the importance of the topics under discussion and as no ritual work will be included in the meeting, in addition to representatives of the Grand Lodges in Europe recognised by the UGLE invitations have been extended to the Grand Masters of a small number of Grand Lodges which are regular in origin and practice but are not at present formally recognised by England.  posted 21/8/2007

Your chance to hear a Prestonian Lecture next door

The members of Frederick Hickton Griffiths Lodge No 8878 in Worcestershire are delighted to welcome R W Bro Roeinton Khambatta, Past District Grand Master (Pakistan) and Prestonian Lecturer for 2007, back to the Lodge in October. R W Bro Khambatta was the first IPM of the Lodge and returns to deliver his Prestonian lecture entitled “The Grand Secretaries 1813 – 1980” at the Regular Meeting of the Lodge on Wednesday 31st October at 6.00pm at the Moseley Masonic Hall, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 6DT.

Anyone interested in attending this important meeting should contact the Secretary for a copy of the Summons. Details are available from Raymond Pidcock at 14 Bishop Close, Dunholme, Lincolnshire, LN2 3US or on 01673 866242.   posted 21/8/2007

A Mason serving the community

Albert Harding, a Freemason in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has achieved a personal milestone that puts him in the top twelve plasma donors in all of Canada.

He has just made his 600th plasma donation at the Canadian Blood Services Centre in Thunder Bay. Twelve per cent of plasma donations in the Province of Ontario are given by Freemasons. Albert says he gave his first donation when he was just seventeen and his goal is to make 1,000 donations in his lifetime.   posted 16/8/2007

Reading Court donates to Air Ambulance

Reading Court Air Ambulance DonationThe residents of Reading Court in Tiddington Road in Stratford upon Avon, some of whom have Masonic connections, have raised among themselves the sum of £545 which has been donated to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Service. The photograph shows Pam Jowers, the Warden, handing the cheque to a grateful Steve Welton of the Air Ambulance. Reading Court consists of sheltered apartments and is owned by the Masonic Housing Association. The Chairman of the complex is W Bro Alan J Wellan one of the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters of the Province of Warwickshire. Alan says: "The residents are very committed to helping the local community in any way they can and it is delightful to see that the Masonic spirit is alive and well at Reading Court."  posted 16/8/2007

Ed Doolan

We are pleased to report that Ed is making good progress after his operation and expects to be back with his radio programme shortly.  posted 16/8/2007

Lawyers learn about Euclid!

The Lodge of Jurisprudence No 9457 at its next meeting will be host to W Bro Joseph Khalil-Marzouk who will present his paper entitled "Euclid's 47th Proposition and the Past Master's Jewel". This promises to be an educative and stimulating talk. The meeting will be held, by dispensation, at the Masonic Hall, Swan Lane, Evesham on Monday 24 September 2007 at 6.45pm for 7.00pm. If you wish to attend please get in touch with David Williams on 0121 705 3818 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 15/8/2007

Ralph Meserve75 years and still going

Ralph Meserve became a Mason in 1932 when he was initiated in Saco Lodge No 9 in Maine, USA. Seventy-five years later, Ralph, now 97, has been honoured by his Lodge for reaching this rare milestone. He is the oldest living member of Saco Lodge and the oldest Past Master. The photo shows him with a commemorative plaque presented to him by the Lodge.  posted 15/8/2007

Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge Ladies Night

The Master of the Lodge, W Bro Nigel Bister, and his wife Pam invite Brethren, their ladies and other guests to attend their Ladies Night at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 22 September at 6.15pm for dinner at 7.00pm. Dress is formal. The cost is £38 per person inclusive of wines and a Bucks Fizz reception. Further details are available from, and reservations can be made with, Nigel Burton the Provincial Grand Secretary, on 0121 454 4422.  posted 13/8/2007

Freemasons' Aid to Cathedral in Gibraltar

The English Freemasons of Gibraltar have presented a cheque for £5,000 to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity for its Rock of Ages Campaign. Alfred Ryan, Deputy District Grand Master in Charge of Gibraltar’s English Masons, presented the cheque to Dean Alan Woods, on behalf of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity of the United Grand Lodge of England. The District Grand Lodge of Gibraltar said it had been delighted that the request for the grant was favourably considered and approved by the Committee and Council of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity of the United Grand Lodge of England. The District Grand Lodge of Gibraltar believes it is “a worthy and most needed cause, and it is hoped that the grant will help in the repairs and restoration of the Cathedral Holy Trinity”.   posted 11/8/2007

Ed Doolan

The Freemasons of Warwickshire send their best wishes to Bro Ed Doolan for a speedy recovery to full health after the emergency fitting of a pacemaker.  posted 8/8/2007

Freemasons aid victims of floods in Asia

In the wake of the worst flooding to hit Asia in many years the Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved a grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross Asia Floods Appeal.

In recent weeks, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan have all been hit by major floods caused by the monsoon rains. Landslides and flash floods have killed several hundred people and hundreds of thousands more have been left homeless. Many of the people affected are amongst the world’s poorest and they now have little or no access to food, clean water and healthcare and are at risk from the outbreak of water-borne disease.

The grant to the Red Cross is a significant contribution towards the initial £250,000 appeal target and will help to provide emergency relief in the affected countries, including the delivery of food, water and basic healthcare.   posted 8/8/2007

Warwickshire Freemasons help flooded farmers

The ARC - Addington Fund was established in 2001 by the Arthur Rank Centre at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the Churches' response to the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak of that year. It is based at the Royal Show Ground at Stoneleigh.

The Fund is now responding to the aftermath of the recent floods which has caused so much devastation in many rural communities and will be able to assist those farmers whose livelihood has literally been 'washed away'. The Fund is providing a package of hardship grants and pastoral care. They are involved in coordinating a fodder bank, to get supplies to farmers whose grazing land has been ruined. Whilst the Fund cannot compensate for losses, it can help in the provision of some immediate relief.

The Freemasons of Warwickshire are going to help this worthwhile cause and, thanks to an additional contribution from the Freemasons' Grand Charity in London, will be donating £3,000 to the Fund. A cheque for this amount will be presented to Ian Bell, the Fund's Director, by David Rawlins, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Stirling Road Edgbaston on Thursday 9 August 2007 at 10.30am.

Freemasons do not collect money from the general public. Donations of this nature can only be made through the generosity of Freemasons and their contributions.  posted 7/8/2007

2012 Festival

At 31 July 2007 the total is £665,000 for the 2012 Festival.  posted 7/8/2007

Freemason jailed for stealing £48,000 from Lodges

A Freemason who stole from two Northumberland Masonic Lodges has been jailed. David Glass worked voluntarily as a treasurer for the Masonic movement as he plundered the cash to pay off his spiralling debts. The former financial advisor stole just over £48,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland and the Farne Lodge of Mark Master Masons between November 2004 and November 2005. But Glass was caught when fellow Masons became suspicious of the missing cash and began to investigate, Newcastle Crown Court heard. Glass, 55, was arrested and pleaded guilty to 20 charges involving theft, false accounting and using a false instrument on the day his trial was due to start earlier this month. Judge Guy Whitburn jailed Glass for 21 months and said he had committed a gross breach of trust. "How it is that a man of good character commits theft on this scale is quite difficult to understand," Judge Whitburn said.  posted 7/8/2007

FACE="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Communications via the Warwickshire web site

It is evident from comments made at the last meeting of Temple Councillors and Liaison Officers in July that not all Brethren in the Province of Warwickshire have access to the Internet which means that they are not aware of current news, events and announcements particularly those coming from the Provincial Grand Master. Because of the limitations of both timing and space it is not possible to mention every such item in Provincial Grand Lodge News which is published in February, August and November and distributed to Lodge Secretaries in such numbers that there is a copy for each member.

The Warwickshire web site is a useful and immediate means of communication of all matters considered to be of relevance to Brethren and it is also the public face of Freemasonry in Warwickshire. The Provincial Information Officer spends a considerable amount of his time preparing items for the web site on a very regular basis in the hope that the news is fresh and welcomed by all readers.

To ensure that all information on the web site reaches all Brethren, Lodges in the Province should arrange for a Brother to visit the news page athttp://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/prov_news.php (link changed 2009) on a regular basis, perhaps once every two weeks, and make sure that the Secretary has the details to pass on to Brethren by way of hard copy. There is a facility on the news page for users to register and receive reminders that the page has been updated. Every member is entitled to know what is happening in and around the Province and this simple method will help in achieving that.  posted 6/8/2007

A celebration of 100 years

Concord Lodge No 3239 will celebrate its Centenary on Saturday 15 September 2007 at The Warwickshire Masonic Temple, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. The Lodge will open at 5-30pm with the Festive Board commencing at 7-30pm. RW Brother Stanley Alan Lates OSM, Past Provincial Grand Master, is the Lodge's most Senior Past Master and is the current Master. He and the members of the Lodge would be delighted if as many Brethren of the Province as is possible could support them as they celebrate this enjoyable and momentous occasion in Concord Lodge's history and receive their Centenary Warrant.

Those wishing to attend and stay to dinner (cost of which is £24.50) should signify their intentions as soon as possible to Joe McCollum the Lodge Secretary on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 31/7/2007

Freemasons sponsor Special Olympics

The Ohio Special Olympics have been sponsored by Ohio Freemasons contributing a record $200,000 to this year's event. For more than a quarter of a century, Special Olympics athletes have held a prominent place in Ohio Freemasonry. During this period, Ohio Masons have contributed more than $2.3 million to help pay the cost of Special Olympians attending the annual Summer Games in Columbus.

During the opening ceremonies, hundreds of Freemasons, wearing white shirts and aprons and Special Olympics ball caps, marched into the stadium to the standing ovation and cheers of onlookers, many of them Special Olympics parents. The Masons then had a chance to greet the parade of Special Olympics athletes as they passed. In addition to financial support, the Masons host a welcome centre for Special Olympics athletes and their families, provide volunteer help during the statewide Summer Games competition, as well as volunteer support at countless local and district events.   posted 27/7/2007

Masons give £100,000 for flood relief efforts

As torrential rain and flooding continues to affect large areas of Britain, the President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity has responded to The British Red Cross UK Floods Appeal with an emergency grant of £65,000. A sum of £35,000 has already been made available to boost Provincial Grand Lodge donations to various charitable funds which are being used to assist those affected by flooding throughout the country. The £65,000 grant will help support communities and individuals as people are finally able to begin returning to homes ruined by flood-waters.

Speaking about the response, Grahame Elliott, President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity said “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this terrible weather which has destroyed homes and left many people in dire need of assistance. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity was established to support people in need and we hope these grants will help people cope with the impact of the floods and begin to get back on their feet.”   posted 25/7/2007

Possible assistance for flood damage

Following the recent flooding in several parts of the country, it is likely that some Freemasons and their dependents will be amongst those affected. In situations where assistance is not available to them from the government, local government and/or from insurance sources, or where more urgent funds are required and their own finances cannot cover the necessary expenditure, the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity will consider special applications. The Freemasons' Grand Charity cannot provide an open-ended commitment to help and due diligence must be applied as in all cases.

Any Warwickshire Freemason who believes he may need assistance of this nature should get in touch with the Provincial Charity Office on 0121 454 0554 for guidance and more detailed information.   posted 25/7/2007

Brother Ironman

Bro Ashwin Sethi of the Lodge of the East & West No 9785, successfully completed the Ironman Triathlon in Klagenfurt, Austria. This involved swimming 2.4 miles followed by a 112 mile bike ride and then a full 26.2 mile marathon non-stop. It took him 15 hours to complete. Bro Ashwin together with his team raised £36,341 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the United Nations Children's Fund. The Province of Warwickshire extends its warmest congratulations to Ashwin on this magnificent achievement.  posted 23/7/2007

New Grand Master for the United Grand Lodge of Queensland

Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of QueenslandMW Bro Graeme Albert Ewin was installed as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland in the Grand Hall of the Masonic Centre, Brisbane on Saturday 7 July 2007 under the gaze of delegations from Grand Lodges all over Australasia and New Zealand. UGLQ is the only Grand Lodge in the Antipodes which can carry out a Grand Installation in its own Grand Hall much to the envy of the other Grand Lodges. The Installation of the new Grand Master was only part of three days of celebrations. The Brethren and their guests attended an Ecumenical Church Service at St Andrew's Uniting Church on Sunday and on the Monday gathered together for the Grand Installation Banquet at a Brisbane Hotel where the Grand Master and his wife Pam presided. The photograph shows the new Grand Master of UGLQ.

Our thanks for this information go to RW Bro Arthur Beards a Past Assistant Grand Master of the UGLQ and one of its Grand Heralds. Arthur was born in Rugby and is the uncle of W Bro Ken Jones, a Past Master of Laurence Sheriffe Lodge which meets there. He is also a regular correspondent by email with the Provincial Information Officer. Arthur, at the tender age of 81, travels extensively throughout Queensland with the Grand Master, his Deputy or Assistant whenever they are on official Masonic duty in his role as a Grand Herald, complete with trumpet. Like many Freemasons Arthur has a very understanding wife when he is away so often at considerable distances from home although she accompanied him to the Grand Installation celebrations.  posted 21/7/2007

Masons have a heart

Freemasons from West Lothian have helped raise £7000 for a charity researching children's cardiac problems. The Lodge Hopetoun St John No 1232, in Linlithgow, had been fundraising for the Cardiac Research in the Young charity in memory of David Cochrane, a young member who died suddenly earlier this year.   posted 21/7/2007

Freemasons' Grand Charity aids Air Ambulance

Grand Charity donation of �190,000 to Air AmbulanceThe Freemasons' Grand Charity has this year donated the magnificent sum of £190,000 to the Air Ambulance Service which means that the 19 Air Ambulances throughout England Wales have benefited from individual donations of £10,000. Amongst the beneficiaries was the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance which is based at Coventry Airport.

The photograph shows the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, RW Bro W Barrington Hall (with the cheque), and W Bro Rodney Pitham Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire at the presentation recently to the medical and flight crew of the air ambulance. Rodney is also the Chairman of the Appeals and Donations Committee of the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity which considers and recommends to the Council grants of this nature to non-Masonic charities.

Donations of this nature are made possible by contributions from Freemasons in England and Wales. No money is collected from the public.  posted 20/7/2007

In memoriam

It is with great sorrow that we report the passing to the Grand Lodge above on 18 July of W Bro Arthur Leonard Harris Past Junior Grand Deacon, Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. His funeral will be held at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick at 2.15pm on Friday 27 July. No flowers but donations if desired to Myton Hospice, Warwick c/o Dowsons Funeral Directors, 22 George Street, Leamington Spa. Arthur will be sadly missed and we express our condolences and sympathies to his family at this difficult time.  posted 20/7/2007

Freemasons come to the aid of children with speech and hearing problems

Freemasons in Huntington, Ashland, Kentucky, USA have just presented $43,000 to the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Centre in the Department of Communication Disorders, bringing to $201,000 the total amount they have so far contributed to the Centre.

The Governor of Kentucky joined Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp and Board of Governors Vice Chairman Menis Ketchum at the presentation, which took place at the speech and hearing centre in Smith Hall on Marshall’s Huntington campus. The Freemasons' partnership with Marshall began in March 2002.

Kathryn Chezik, chairwoman of the Department of Communication Disorders, said the financial support from the Huntington Freemasons helps fund a clinical faculty position providing speech-language services. “This position allows us to serve more children in the area and to assist in the clinical education of the students in the Department ” she said. Amy Knell is the clinician whose position has been funded by Huntington Freemasons for the past three years. “If it was not for the Freemasons, Marshall would not have the clinical programme it has and the speech and hearing centre would not be able to see as many children as it sees,” Amy said.  posted 17/7/2007

Freemasons help school

A new sensory garden has been officially opened at Newfield Special School in Blackburn. The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen opened the garden at the Old Bank Lane school, designed to allow children to watch and understand nature. Pupils had helped to plant the flowers. Headteacher Jane Barry thanked the Freemasons of Blackburn with Darwen for funding and organising the project. A commemorative plaque has been installed at the garden entrance to mark the occasion.   posted 17/7/2007

Error in MQ

Brethren who have received Issue 22 of MQ Magazine should note that on page 35, in the Article entitled Human Rights Court Judgement, there is a typographical error in the third paragraph. The beginning of that paragraph should read "The Grand Orient of Italy, which is not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England, ........".

Recognition of the Grand Orient of Italy was withdrawn by Grand Lodge at the Quarterly Communication held on 8 September 1993.  posted 15/7/2007

Freemasonry at Wimbledon

Georgina Brown, 14, from Bournemouth, Dorset, a beneficiary of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, performed the coin toss to decide who would serve first in this year’s Ladies’ Singles Final.   posted 8/7/2007

Number 21,000,000!

Mia Ruby Templeton is the 21 millionth Australian and that's official! To top it all, Mia Ruby was born on 29 June at the Epworth Freemasons' Hospital in Melbourne.   posted 30/6/2007

Freemasons' aid for non-Masonic causes

Members of the Freemasons' Grand Charity in General Meeting in London on 28 June 2007 approved grants totalling £569,800 to 14 deserving non-Masonic charities. Of the grants approved£50,000 will go to the Macular Disease Society to fund training in eccentric viewing techniques for older people with failing eyesight; £50,000 to the British Red Cross to fund a new Responder emergency response vehicle; £170,000 to the Parkinson's Disease Society for research at the Institute of Neurology into the PINK 1 gene which, when mutated, causes Parkinson's Disease; and £40,000 to Fight for Sight for research into abnormal blood vessel growth which causes eye disease.

All the money used for these grants come from the Freemasons of England Wales. The public is never asked to contribute.

For further details contact Rodney Pitham, Chairman of the Appeals and Donations Committee of the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, on 0121 744 1328 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Natasha Treweek on 020 7395 9394 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 30/6/2007

Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution

The President and Chief Executive of the RMBI addressed the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 13 June 2007. Anyone who is interested in what they had to say should go to www.ugle.org.uk/news/rmbi-130607.htm (Link no longer works.)  posted 22/6/2007

Provincial Visiting Scheme

The Provincial Grand Master wishes to assist Lodges with small memberships by organising a structured visiting programme to their meetings. The main thrust of this idea is to encourage Past Provincial Officers in particular to undertake visits in groups of not less than six at a time. It is also hoped to encourage Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts to join in the visiting to re-enact their ceremonies as stand in candidates.

If you feel you would like to help and be part of this new initiative, please get in touch with Peter Sorrill, the organiser, as quickly as possible. Peter hopes that a team of forty to fifty Brethren can be assembled which will mean that it will not be necessary for individuals to visit more than two or three times a year. He is available on 0121 475 1940 or 07770 425 468 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and will gladly supply further details of what is required and of the Lodges that need assistance.   posted 20/6/2007

The Pro Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge - 13 June 2007

"Brethren,

Today it is exactly forty years since HRH the Duke of Kent KG was elected as our Grand Master. On behalf of all our members I have written to congratulate him on such a remarkable achievement and expressed our wish that he will enjoy good health to enable him to continue as our Grand Master for many years to come.

More good news … I have just announced the remarkable sums raised by four Provinces for our Masonic charities. That makes a total of £14.6 million pounds. I attended the festival in Nottingham on Sunday when a new record was set of over £1000 per member in the Province. These are very large sums of money indeed and our thanks go to all those who have been responsible for such outstanding generosity.

Brethren, I am looking closely at our marketing and public relations. I believe that this is a very important area when it comes to attracting and retaining quality candidates. However, it needs a new dynamic approach. There are many initiatives taking place around the Country including open days and stands at County shows, all of which play a useful part in spreading our message to a wider audience. At the Centre we are particularly looking at improving our website and MQ magazine. This will all help to underpin our open approach on communication.

Open communication is important to the way we are perceived and therefore crucial to the future health of the Craft. I have said it before, but it is worth repeating, that this is best achieved by masons talking openly about the Masonry they enjoy to their families, friends and anyone who shows an interest in knowing more about us.

I have started my regional conferences with Provincial Grand Masters, accompanied by the Grand Secretary. The first of these was held at Sindlesham at the end of May, with three more to be held in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham. I am also visiting our brethren overseas beginning with a trip to our Districts in India in November accompanied by the Grand Secretary.

In July the Assistant Grand Master is visiting the District Grand Lodge of Sri Lanka for their centenary and the installation of their new District Grand Master and Grand Superintendent.

In early November we are hosting a special meeting of European Grand Masters to discuss the issue of regularity. The Masonic world has expanded with the creation of new Grand Lodges in Europe and as the mother Grand Lodge it is time to restate our fundamental beliefs when it comes to regular freemasonry.

Finally brethren I wish you all a very pleasant summer and look forward to our next meeting in September when we shall hopefully all have benefited from some rest and relaxation."   posted 20/6/2007

2012 Festival Jewel

A Festival Jewel is now available for all Warwickshire Brethren. It costs £15 or £15.50 if you wish to have it posted to you. There is a qualification. You must complete an application form confirming that you have pledged £100 or more to the Festival. With the kind permission of the Provincial Grand Master and the Grand Superintendent the jewel may be worn at all meetings of the Craft and the Royal Arch but only in the Province of Warwickshire. It may not be worn at the Festive Board.

The Festival Director, David Macey, will be writing shortly to Masters of Lodges in the Province and will send a supply of application forms. Arrangements are also in place for Royal Arch Chapters to be similarly informed. It is anticipated that all Warwickshire Brethren and Companions will wish to buy and wear this very well designed and attractive jewel.    posted 20/6/2007

The Freemasons' Grand Charity

A General Meeting of the Freemasons' Grand Charity will be held on Thursday 28 June 2007 at 6.00pm in the Grand Temple, Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ. Members of the Charity, i.e. Master Masons who are subscribing members of London and Provincial Lodges plus all other Brethren eligible to attend Grand Lodge and their partners or other non-Masonic guests may attend. The Deputy Grand President, the Most Honourable the Marquess of Northampton will chair the meeting which has been organised with the support of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London. To assist catering arrangements it would help if anyone wishing to attend the meeting would let the Grand Charity office know how many in advance - London2007@the-grand-charity-org should be used for this purpose. The agenda for the General Meeting together with reports is available from Lodge Secretaries.   posted 20/6/2007

A Masonic treat

Once again the Masonic Rooms and gardens at historic Guy's Cliffe at Warwick will be open to the public on Sunday 24 June 2007 at 1.00pm. There is an admission fee of £1 but car parking is free. A band will entertain for the whole of the afternoon, stalls and games will be among the attractions, and guided tours of the mediaeval chapel, now in use as Lodge Rooms, will be available on a regular basis. Go along and see and hear about the Freemasons and have a great time.   posted 20/6/2007

Remember them

A service of remembrance and re-union for National Service Day will be held on Sunday 24 June 2007 at 2.00pm at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire in the presence of Field Marshall the Lord Vincent of Coleshill. W Bro Ronald Eamonson OBE will lay a wreath in memory of all those Warwickshire Freemasons who made the supreme sacrifice. Everyone is welcome.    posted 10/6/2007

Phishing Masonic Internet scam

Another Internet scam which implicates Freemasonry is in circulation. This is the original e-mail with contact details removed:

"Good day sir,

Good Masons make good churchmen. Every clergyman can testify to the truth of this. They make loyal and sacrificing patriots. Our colonial history supplies the proof of this assertion. It is based on this that I wish to introduce myself as Prince Johnson, the only surviving son of one of the dedicated Masons from the District Grand Lodge of Sierra Leone and the Gambia (Lodge No. 1650, The Earl of Eglinton and Winton, Freetown). I am soliciting your assistance in seeing that my inheritance is transferred successfully from a Madrid Based finance institution to a safer country where I will be willing to relocate and start a new life.

General Emillio Aguinaldo, Filipino Hero, while addressing the Grand Lodge of the Philippines in 1955 said " Since becoming a Freemason, I forgot hate. Instead, I learned to love - to love God and my fellowman. I am now at ease with my own conscience. I only do what I think is right, and shun all evil. I also forget fear. I can be alone no matter where I am, what I do, or where I go. A clean conscience makes a man brave. I hope that Freemasonry has had the same influence upon all of you, which is an assurance of a better world to live in, and a happier humanity to live with."

I write you today with clean conscience believing that you will honour my email ASAP for more details of what my wish is.

Thanks,
Prince Johnson."

This type of e-mail is intended to induce the unwary to provide personal details and should always be ignored and you are advised not to respond to unsolicited e-mails of this nature. What is disturbing is the fact that Freemasonry is being used in this way. The author, 'Prince Johnson', does not claim to be a Freemason himself but seeks legitimacy for his actions by claiming that his father was a Freemason and a member of a Scottish Lodge.    posted 10/6/2007

Masonic email scam

The Internet scams in which emails are sent out to individuals informing them that they have been chosen as recipients of a major pay out from Masonic charitable funds have been re-appearing with a new twist. They are being sent out as if from one of our Provinces and are "signed" with the name of the actual Provincial Grand Secretary. The email address and other contact details under the name of the Provincial Grand Secretary, however, are not those of the Province or its Secretary! As with other Internet scams ------- hit your delete button!    posted 10/6/2007

Masons control the housing market

According to a new ‘Safe as Houses’ homebuyer report from AA Legal Services two per cent of young Britons thought freehold properties could only be bought by Freemasons!    posted 10/6/2007

Prestonian Lectures

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2006, W Bro D S Angell, in addition to the five official deliveries, has delivered his lecture "The Victoria Cross - Freemasons' Band of Brothers" on 78 other occasions.

The Lecturer for 2007, RW Bro R B F Khambatta, Past District Grand Master for Pakistan, has given or will give four official lectures on "The Grand Secretaries 1813 - 1980".

The Trustees of the Prestonian Fund have appointed W Bro R D T Sillett PJGD as Prestonian Lecturer for 2008. The title of his lecture will be "The Language of the Ritual". Arrangements for the delivery of this Lecture to selected Lodges will be considered by the Board of General Purposes in November and applications are now invited from Lodges. Applications should be made to the Grand Secretary through the Provincial Grand Secretary W Bro Nigel Burton at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.    posted 10/6/2007

2012 Festival in aid of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund

The total at the end of May stood at £621,000    posted 10/6/2007

Human rights of Freemasons upheld

The European Court of Human Rights on 31 May 2007 determined in a case against the Government of Italy that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights taken in conjunction with Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association). The applicant was an Italian Masonic association which groups together several lodges. It has been in existence since 1805.

The application to the Court concerned a Regional Law in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. That law laid down, among other things, the rules to be followed for nominations to public offices for which the Region was the appointing authority. In particular, it required candidates for such posts to declare to the president of the regional executive and the appointments board of the Regional Council whether they were a member of a Masonic or, in any event, a secret association. The absence of a declaration constituted a ground for refusing appointment.

The Court held that, having regard to the negative effects that the obligation to declare one’s membership of a Masonic lodge might have on the applicant association’s image and associative life, it could claim to be a “victim” of a breach of Article 11 of the Convention. That conclusion meant that there had been an interference with its right to freedom of association. It followed that the facts in question fell within the ambit of Article 11. Article 14 of the Convention was therefore applicable.

The Court observed that the provision in question distinguished between secret and Masonic associations, membership of which had to be declared, and all other associations. Members of the latter were exempted from any obligation to make such a declaration when seeking nomination for public office, and could not therefore incur the statutory penalty for an omission.

Accordingly, there was a difference of treatment between the members of the applicant association and the members of any other non-secret association.

The Court further stated that, examining the issue under Article 11 of the Convention taken alone, it had found that the prohibition on nominating Freemasons to certain public offices for which the Region was the appointing authority was not “necessary in a democratic society”. It had observed that penalising someone for their membership of an association was unjustified, since that fact was not in itself legally reprehensible.

Only members of a Masonic association were under an obligation to declare their membership when they sought nomination to certain public offices for which the Region was the appointing authority. No objective and reasonable justification for this difference in treatment between non-secret associations had been advanced by the Government.

Accordingly, the Court held that there had been a violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 11 of the Convention.    posted 10/6/2007

David Old in IndiaBack in time

David Old, the Deputy Grand Superintendent in the Royal Arch Province of Warwickshire and a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, earlier this year made a nostalgic return to the land whence he derived his birth and infant nurture - India. The photograph shows David presenting to W Bro Jayant Ashu the Master of Lodge St George No 2532 in the District Grand Lodge of Madras with his Grandfather's (William Charles Old) Past Master's Jewel dating back to 1922/23.    posted 1/6/2007

A great spectacle

Trevor Cavill, Provincial Grand Registrar, has in his possession eight pairs of spectacles left behind at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 May 2007 and their owners have not yet come forward. Trevor can be contacted on 0121 454 4422.    posted 1/6/2007

GLQ FourFreemasonry Universal - a true Brotherhood

This photograph is a fine example of Freemasonry universal - the principal officers of the Grand Lodge of Quebec. From left to right they are Dr Rene Kakou, Junior Grand Warden, Opkar S Sandhu, Deputy Grand Master, John A Prosnick, Grand Master, and Hagop Djebedjian, Senior Grand Warden.    posted 1/6/2007

Provincial Grand Master's Address to Provincial Grand Lodge 2007

"Brethren, I congratulate all those I have had the great pleasure of investing with Provincial Rank or promoting to higher office. I would remind you all that you have an important leadership role to play in the Craft in Warwickshire. You need, by your own example, to set high standards for the Brethren within your Lodges to follow. I expect all the acting officers to support the Provincial events during the coming year and particularly to visit Lodges throughout the Province, especially those who are small in numbers.

I should like to record my great appreciation to the retiring Provincial Officers for the wonderful support they have given to me during the year and to thank them for their commitment. I think that they have been some of the best I have had.

You all know that since the 1st January 2005 the number of promotions I can make has been severely reduced. This rule is due for review by the 1st January 2008. I wrote to Grand Lodge in January seeking a much higher allowance for promotions for this year but, to date, I have not had a reply.

At his business meeting with Provincial Grand Masters and Grand Superintendents in April the Pro Grand Master made reference to this matter and said that it should be discussed by the Provincial Grand Masters’ Forum which were due to meet the following day.

At the Forum I proposed that with respect to promotions the Craft should return to the situation prior to 2005, in other words that the restriction should be removed completely. The proposition was seconded by R.W.Bro. Graham Rudd, the Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire who is present with us today. I am pleased to say that the proposition was approved unanimously by the Provincial and District Grand Masters present and that result has been communicated to the Pro Grand Master. Only two nights ago W. Bro. Rudd and myself were able to talk to the Grand Secretary on the subject. I have done my best on your behalf Brethren. We must now be patient and see what the review committee recommends.

The Visiting Officers scheme has been most successful and I wish to record my thanks to all who have taken part and to the Lodges for making the Visiting Officers welcome.

I am pleased with the steady progress we are making in raising funds for the Festival and I thank all of you who have made significant contributions. I do urge those brethren yet to commit to a regular direct debit payment to do so. Charity collections, valuable as they are, will not by themselves raise the target we have set ourselves. We need to channel all our charitable giving towards the Festival. The Province, who distribute approximately £100,000 each year to non-Masonic charities will look after that side of things.

The number of Initiates joining Lodges in this Province shows a modest increase over last year but membership remains the biggest challenge facing us all. We need to redouble our efforts to find men of quality to join us. To do this we all need to have a clear idea in our minds as to the objectives and merits of freemasonry and then to communicate this to potential candidates. We need to market ourselves better remembering, to quote the Pro Grand Master, that we are competing for their leisure time, their finances and their intellectual stimulation.

Having initiated Candidates we need to maintain and stimulate their interest. With this in mind I shall be introducing a mentoring scheme for Lodges in the autumn. This is not another intrusion into your Lodge, Brethren, but a way in which the Lodge itself can be pro-active. A way in which a member of your Lodge can demonstrate an interest in and assist the newer members to a better understanding of the Craft, the Lodge and what is expected of them. If they are better informed they will feel much more comfortable within the meetings, their enjoyment will increase resulting in a higher degree of commitment.

Our Lodge meetings are always more enjoyable when the labour is carried out competently and expeditiously. To achieve this, the meeting of the Lodge committee and the Lodge of Instruction are key in planning the business and rehearsing the ceremonies. Although the Lodge committee does not, and should not, rule the Lodge it is a very important part of Masonic life. A Lodge without a regular active meeting of Past Masters and Officers is rather like a ship without an engine room, drifting like flotsam on the sea. The leadership comes from the Worshipful Master but he is entitled to expect the attendance and support of the Past Masters.

An innovation by Grand Lodge during the past year is the formation of the Rulers’ Forum. Within groups of Provinces there is a Rulers Forum Group and it is to this Group that we earlier appointed our representatives. The objective of the Rulers’ Forum is to provide the grassroots membership with an opportunity to raise issues of concern to all of us which may ultimately be debated with the Rulers. Any Brother in this Province should feel free to raise an issue of concern to him with me by letter through the Provincial Grand Secretary making reference to the Rulers’ Forum. I will then raise the subject, his behalf, within our Group Forum.

Continuing from last year, when for the first time at an Annual Meeting, I spoke about Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Ltd., of which every Brother in the Province is a member, I should like to give a brief update.

The major refurbishment was undertaken in July and August last year and is obvious to all visiting the Clarendon Suites. Business is starting to increase as a consequence. It takes time to spread the word that our tired building has been revitalised. Currently, year to date, we are in profit. I am hopeful that will continue to be the case at the year end in June.

We are now budgeting for next year when we hope to build on the foundation laid this year, with an increased profit, to substantially reduce our indebtedness.

I should like to record my thanks to the Brethren in the Lodges, Chapters and Orders which meet here for their support and for their kind letters of appreciation. Likewise to those other Brethren who have brought functions here or who have generously given their expertise and time to the company.

Very regrettably during the year four Lodges, George Beech, Faithful, Felicity and Sincerity found that, despite sterling efforts on the part of their members, they were unable to continue and handed back their Warrants. I am pleased to say that most of the Brethren in those Lodges are continuing with their Freemasonry in other Lodges.

We have several small Lodges in this Province and in an attempt to be able to support them W.Bro. Peter Sorrill (Lodge of Hope) has undertaken to form groups of brethren who will visit a small Lodge, if requested, to support them. If enough Brethren volunteer it should not prove to be an over-onerous task.

On the subject of small Lodges my experience is that we must never write them off prematurely. Let me share with you the experience of Grosvenor Lodge No. 938. In December 2004 when their numbers were very low the Lodge passed a resolution to hand back the Warrant after 142 years. In January 2005 the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Abeyomi Cole came to see me to say that he did not agree with the decision and would I give him some time to find some Initiates. This I agreed to do and in April 2005 a double initiation took place in which I had the privilege of helping out the Lodge by acting as a Junior Deacon. At that time W.Bro.Robert James joined the Lodge to serve as Secretary, subsequently becoming the Master for two terms, performing several ceremonies. The Lodge has now had twelve Initiates, have one balloted Candidate, a further two Candidates proposed and two more probable Candidates to be interviewed. This just goes to show that we never know what lies ahead.

Brethren, I hope we have demonstrated this morning that with planning and foresight ceremonies can run smoothly and expeditiously. I should like to record my thanks to the Provincial Grand Secretary and his staff, to the Provincial Grand Registrar and his deputy, to the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team, to the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge of Warwickshire and to the staff of the Clarendon Suites for their assistance in making this mornings meeting possible.

In conclusion I wish to thank all the Lodges for the very warm welcome they have always extended to me and my team. I have witnessed ritual of a very high standard and have had the pleasure of enjoying your company when I have visited your Lodges. We have a very happy Province in Warwickshire. Let all of us always remember that we are here to enjoy our freemasonry, to be happy, to communicate happiness and, most importantly, to practise out of the Lodge those duties we have been taught in it."    posted 1/6/2007 

New Presidents for Masonic Charities

President MSFPresident RMBIAt the Annual Investiture in April the MW Grand Master was pleased to appoint and invest new Presidents for two of the four principal Masonic Charities in the English Constitution. VW Bro Hugh Stubbs is now the President of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, for which this Province is in Festival, and VW Bro Willie E Shackell CBE has become the President of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.    posted 1/6/2007

Three to Finish

Three to FinishGerry Barker, founder and senior Past Master of the Lodge of Perception No 8492 in Warwickshire, recently had his 80th birthday. With Bill Kerley and Alan Craske of the same Lodge in support Gerry celebrated his birthday with a 80 mile cycle ride. In addition to completing the distance, he raised £1,600 for his church restoration fund at St Chads in Lichfield.

The photo shows Gerry in the centre with Bill on the left and Alan on the right.    posted 1/6/2007

Charity Golf Day

The members of De Montfort Lodge invite you to take part in a Charity Golf Day on Thursday 7 June 2007 at Henley Golf Club. This is a Stableford competition with teams of four players. There will be a dinner and prizegiving in the evening. Details and application forms from Roger Zambonini on 01789 488770 or Jeff Pearson on 01564 784289.    posted 1/06/2007

The Blessing of Material Light

'The Blessing of Material Light' is the theme of the 2007 Summer Conference of The Cornerstone Society. It is being held at the Berkshire Masonic Centre in Sindlesham and a principal contributor is Julian Rees, the Deputy Editor of Freemasonry Today. Further information and booking details are on www.cornerstonesociety.com    posted 1/06/2007

A unique occasion

Athol Lodge hosted a unique meeting on 2 May 2007 with members of a daughter Lodge, the Lodge of Israel and a granddaughter Lodge, the Lodge of Loyalty, taking part in the proceedings at the Masonic Hall, Severn Street, Birmingham. The Festive Board was held in the Joseph Cohen Hall in the nearby Singers Hill Synagogue. This was the first occasion when the three generations of this Masonic family had come together. 92 Brethren attended.    posted 9/5/2007

Address by the Grand Master - Annual Investiture - 25 April 2007

Brethren, I start by saying a very warm welcome to everyone attending our Grand Lodge meeting today and I congratulate all those whom I have had the pleasure of investing with Grand Rank or promoting to higher office. As Grand Officers I would remind you that you have an important leadership role to play in the Craft. As well as continuing to set high standards for the Craft to follow, I hope you will also be active in promoting greater openness about our Freemasonry, which I consider essential. Together with helping us to understand our own place in Freemasonry, this more open approach should also ensure we are better prepared to explain our Masonry to our family, friends and acquaintances. There is no doubt in my mind Brethren, that with today’s rapidly changing society, Freemasonry is more relevant than at any other time.

Many of you will be aware that the four main Masonic Charities, the Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Masonic Samaritan Fund will shortly all be under one roof here at Freemasons’ Hall. This move will, I believe, bring enormous benefits. I have in mind, for example, increased liaison between the Charities themselves and between them and the United Grand Lodge of England, as well as shared resources.

The Rulers’ Forum had its first meeting in December and from all the comments I have had it has got off to a good start. I will be happy if it achieves three things.

First, there are many excellent initiatives coming out of London and the Provinces which because of geographical reasons and lack of communication are only taken up by a few and not disseminated to a wider audience. The teddy bear children’s hospital scheme is an example of how slowly a good idea percolates through our organisation. The Rulers’ Forum should act as a central exchange for new ideas.

Secondly, much effort is wasted duplicating things which could be used uniformly by us all. Many Provinces, for instance, have their own booklets for initiates, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons. Then there are booklets on the work of the Almoners, Charity Stewards and other Lodge Officers as well as on mentor schemes and our charities. I believe a lot of effort and cost could be saved if we took the best points from all of them and created something uniform which we could all use. One group in the Rulers’ Forum is doing just that for mentor schemes and it will be interesting to see how that develops.

Thirdly, it must act as a forum for grass roots Masons to debate issues, which concern us all, with the Rulers and other senior members of the Craft, and act as a conduit for disseminating the results through their groups to the Lodges.

In the course of the memorable and most enjoyable meeting of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, where I was present as a guest of their Grand Master, my brother Prince Michael, I had the opportunity to see also many other long established, well known and respected Orders of Masonry to which many Craft members belong. I believe this may be a good moment for me to say something about them.

The Preliminary Declaration of the Act of Union of the two Grand Lodges in December 1813 says that it was ‘declared and announced that pure Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more’, that is to say ‘Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch’. This has been the position for nearly two hundred years and will remain unchanged.

However, since many members of the Craft are members of these Orders, I am pleased to acknowledge formally their existence and regularity, and in particular their sovereignty and independence. The best known of these orders are: Mark, Ancient and Accepted Rite, Knights Templar, Royal and Select Masters, Royal Ark Mariner, Red Cross of Constantine, Allied Masonic Degrees, Order of the Secret Monitor and Knight Templar Priests. I also accept the valuable role they play in providing additional scope for Brethren to extend their Masonic research in interesting and enjoyable ways.

The Orders I have just mentioned are simply the best known and largest of those practised in London, the Provinces and Districts overseas. I am aware that there are in addition others that have a valid place in Freemasonry and with whom we enjoy a good relationship. What is important is that Brethren who join these other Orders still retain their membership of a Craft Lodge and I am pleased that the Orders will be encouraging their members to do so.

In early March, Brethren, I was in Ghana to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of that country’s independence. During my visit I also attended the seventy-fifth anniversary of the District Grand Lodge of Ghana. At the meeting, attended by nearly 500 Brethren, I appointed Brother His Majesty Osei Tutu, King of the Ashanti, to Past Senior Grand Deacon and I am pleased to have invested him here today.

Finally, Brethren, I know you would all want me to express our thanks to the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for the meticulous way in which they have run this meeting, as well as to the Grand Secretary and his staff for their careful and thorough organization behind the scenes.    posted 8/5/2007

More help from Freemasons

Thanks to the hard work of parents and their children with contributions from local Freemasons four-year-old Sophie Musgrave, a pupil at a school in Workington and who is battling against a brain tumour with chemotherapy treatment, is off to Disneyland Paris later in the summer.    posted 8/5/2007

Freemasons help victims in Darfur

The President of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross, as a major initial contribution to a new £2 million appeal to support the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent (ICRC) in Sudan. The crisis in Darfur has been going on for a number of years but the situation has significantly worsened over the last few months.

The President strongly believes that the practical work of the Red Cross fully deserves the support of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to assist in a situation where man’s inhumanity to man has resulted in such appalling deprivation for innocent women and children.

Increased attacks on humanitarian workers in the region are threatening the health and welfare of civilians by forcing aid agencies to withdraw staff and suspend their work. The ICRC is one of the few organisations that is able to cross the front lines of Darfur's conflict to reach and assist people in need from every affected community.

The conflict has resulted in millions of displaced people. Civilians’ freedom of movement is limited, affecting access to fields for planting and also preventing traders from reaching markets. As a result many people are still heavily reliant on food aid and the protection that only the Red Cross can provide

The ICRC, supported by the British Red Cross, is now providing all basic services in Gereida Camp, one of the world's largest displaced persons camps where over 120,000 people are stranded. The situation is deteriorating and eight times as many people are now seeking refuge in the Camp compared to when it opened in 2004.

The Charity’s grant will go towards providing food, shelter, health clinics, clean water supplies and sanitation facilities for children and families in the Camp.    posted 4/5/07

The smoking ban – how it affects you and your Masonic Hall

Owners and managers of Masonic Halls in the Province of Warwickshire are reminded that the date for England going smoke free in public premises and workplaces is 1 July 2007. The aim of the new law is to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, both in the workplace and in premises the public are admitted to, including vehicles. It does not control smoking in the open air, or on domestic premises. The law affects all Masonic Halls in the Province of Warwickshire.

Those in control of Masonic Halls will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the law and will need to show that they took all reasonable measures to ensure compliance. They are also required to ensure that appropriate no smoking signs are displayed in prominent positions at entrances.

Members of the public and employees are responsible for ensuring that they do not smoke in areas designated as smoke-free under the legislation. Rooms cannot be set aside for those who smoke. They must go outside.

The new law will be enforced by City, Borough and District Councils.

Further detailed information can be obtained by calling the Smokefree England helpline on freephone 0800 169 169 7 or on the Smokefree England website atwww.smokefreeengland.co.uk which also gives guidance about and examples of the relevant signs.    posted 4/5/07

Situation vacant

A Resident Steward is required for Coventry Masonic Hall to manage the premises and to arrange provision of formal catering and associated services. A spacious two bedroom flat with free utilities is provided. Excellent working conditions. Salary by negotiation. Applications in writing, enclosing a current CV, should go to Martin Bazeley, 14 Bigbury Close, Styvechale, Coventry, CV3 5AJ. The closing date is 26 May 2007.    posted 11/4/2007

In need of music?

The Lodge of Rectitude has produced a CD of Masonic Music, containing 21 tracks recorded to professional standards, for use in the Lodge Room and its ceremonies when an organist is not available. The CD is for sale at £7:50. Les Dacombe, the Secretary of the Lodge, will take orders on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    posted 11/4/2007

Provincial Church Service

The Provincial Church Service will be held at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick on Sunday 10 June 2007 at 3.00pm. The Provincial Grand Chaplain, the Rev Canon Denis Claringbull, will lead the service assisted by representatives of the Jewish, Sikh and Muslim Faiths. The theme for the service is 'PEACE' since Freemasonry has an important role to play in helping to establish and promote world peace.

This is an important event in the life of the Province and the Provincial Grand Master expects all his Lodges to be represented. Application forms are now with Lodge Secretaries and Masters and Wardens have received individual invitations.

The service is open to all - it is not restricted to Masons. All those attending, except those Freemasons who will take part in a procession, should be seated no later than 2.30pm. The doors will be open at 2.00pm. All Freemasons will be clothed in the regalia of the Order.    posted 11/4/2007

Webmaster runs for Marie Curie

W.Bro Stuart Thorpe, the Provincial Webmaster is to run 5 miles in the Knowle Fun Run on Sunday May 13th. Stuart's partner, Sarah, lost her husband to cancer, and Stuart's predecessor as webmaster passed away also as a result of cancer, so Stuart thought this would be a deserving Charity to benefit from his exertions. Sarah & her family will also be running, but as she is considerably younger than he, will probably be enjoying their third drinks by the time he crosses the finish line.

If you would like to sponsor Stuart, please e-mail your pledge toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 11/4/2007

Demonstrate your writing skills

An International Short Papers Competition on matters Masonic is being sponsored by the MW Bro the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton. The competition is open to all Craft Masons in Lodges that are recognised and in amity with the United Grand Lodge of England.
Direct access to the competition is viahttp://internet.lodge.org.uk/shortpaperscompetition/ (now links to later competition page).  posted 30/3/2007

Freemasonry in trial by television

On Sunday 1st April at 10pm the National Geographic Channel is premiering in the UK a two hour programme entitled "Freemasons on Trial". The programme is being broadcast at 10 pm and lasts for two hours. John Hamill together with the Librarian of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and a number of serious American Masonic researchers are interviewed throughout the programme.

John Hamill has been sent a DVD of the programme and has worked through it. The first 90 minutes are a rather lurid, dramatised account of the various accusations and scandals falsely attributed to Freemasonry (eg corruption, satanism, Jack the Ripper, Roberto Calvi's death and the P2 affair in Italy, a shooting at a Masonic club in New York etc etc).

In the last half hour of the programme 15 minutes are spent effectively debunking the whole of the previous 90 minutes followed by a 15 minute re - enaction of the American 3rd degree (the part dealing with the death of HA) apparently staged with the permission of their Grand Lodge. John's fear is that because of the length of the programme and tabloid way in which the first 90 minutes are presented anyone watching it but not getting to the end will simply have their prejudices and misconceptions confirmed.

The National Geographic Channel has been advertising the programme this week. The Channel is available on Sky and cable systems and on some "freeview" packages but does not have a huge audience. The late showing on a Sunday evening may put many off or get them to record it! Because of the Channel it is going out on it is difficult to asses what reaction might be if any. The programme will, however, be repeated over the next few months and a reaction might build   posted 30/3/2007

Anyone for cricket?

It is proposed to hold an inter-provincial (Worcestershire v Warwickshire) 20:20 cricket match this summer and in order to gauge the viability of the game, would any Brother who is interested in playing for the honour of their Province and in aid of their respective Festivals please contact Ed Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07979 757074, with your availability and skills / experience!

The proceeds will go to the respective Festivals of each Province (may be even 60/40 in favour of the winners to add a competitive edge)

Once enough players and umpires have been identified, a venue and date will be announced in good time for the teams to prepare fully!  posted 30/3/2007

Amalgamation in West Lancashire

The Provincial Grand Master for the Province of West Lancashire will witness his mother Lodge, Poulton Hall, amalgamating with Rowley Lodge and Sandylands Lodge to become Poulton Le Sands Lodge No 1051 in a ceremony to be held at the Dome Leisure Centre on Morecambe Promenade on Wednesday 4 April 2007.  posted 30/3/2007

Autumn Glory

The tickets for this concert in aid of the 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund at the Arts Centre at Warwick University on Sunday 7 October 2007 are available from Peter Astfalck on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and not as shown on the flyer recently distributed to Masters of Lodges. His telephone number remains the same at 02476 229624.  posted 20/3/2007

Lord Northampton's address to Grand Lodge on 14 March 2007

Today it has been my pleasure to invest Bro Nigel Brown as Grand Secretary. The new role of Grand Secretary means that he can concentrate on our Provinces and Districts and I look forward to visiting many of them with him in the forthcoming months.

Although the number of Grand Lodge Certificates issued in 2006 showed a drop of nearly ten per cent over the previous year, this is an exciting time for Freemasonry. I believe we are at a turning point. This is a turning point for the better. With this in mind we should all be renewing our efforts to find men of quality to join us. To do so we need to be able to openly voice the objectives and merits of our Freemasonry. We need to do this from the very beginning. By beginning, I mean from the moment we first interview a potential candidate. I am looking at initiatives to help this process.

It has always seemed strange to me that, for example, we ask the candidate those three very important questions after the ceremony has begun. He is in a state of darkness, has little understanding of the criteria for membership and even less chance of giving a reasoned answer.

So what we need to do is to give clear guidelines for these interviews. We must tell the candidate what he can expect from us and what we will expect from him. I am on record as saying that in this age of openness we should be able to discuss the purpose of our rituals with a candidate before he decides whether to join. To put it another way, no thinking man is going to join and then stay committed to an organisation that cannot talk about itself openly and with clarity. So we have to be clear in our own minds what the purpose of Freemasonry is and what our ritual means. When we are clear, we need to become good at marketing ourselves. Then, in the interview we can explain our Freemasonry in a way that fits the twenty first century and why it will be relevant to the candidate. That will allow us a better chance of competing for his leisure time, his finances and his intellectual stimulation.

I am sure like me many of you must feel frustrated when you open your newspapers and read how leaders in our society have been emphasising recently the importance of morality and tolerance. Yet as Freemasons we practise both those virtues and have been doing so for a very long time. We do not shout about it from the rooftops, but quietly practise in our everyday lives those lessons we are taught in our lodges. I spoke at Quarterly Communication in December 2005 about the need to explain ourselves through the virtues of tolerance and trust but there are other ways in which Freemasonry helps us. Anyone who has seen a timid brother climb through the Offices and pass through the Chair of his lodge with new-found confidence can see first hand how masonry instils leadership qualities in its candidates. It also provides a welcome social outlet for the lonely and bereaved. How many times have we heard a brother praising the support he received from his lodge when he lost a loved one, discovered he had a life threatening illness or just felt lonely and needed someone to talk to? These are some of the things we can explain to our candidates and the popular world to show the benefits we get from our Freemasonry.

Following my remarks at the last Quarterly Communication about the success of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry at the University of Sheffield I learnt soon after that Professor Andrew Prescott would be leaving his post there. I am pleased to say I have received a positive letter from the Vice Chancellor pledging the University’s strong commitment to the continuation and development of the Centre. He goes on to say that ‘they will shortly be advertising for a successor and will provide the necessary funding to ensure that this is a sufficiently long term appointment to attract a strong field of candidates’. We owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Prescott for all the efforts he has made to get Freemasonry recognised as a serious and worthwhile subject for academic research.

Since our last meeting the Grand Master has attended the seventy fifth anniversary of our District of Ghana. Last weekend I visited the Grand Lodge of Spain to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of regular Freemasonry in that country.

In May I shall be going to Edinburgh to represent the United Grand Lodge of England alongside the Grand Masters of Ireland and Scotland at the International Conference on the History of Freemasonry which is being hosted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. It will be a remarkable gathering of academic lecturers drawn from all over the world and details can be found on their website, which will be published in MQ for anyone who is interested, www.ichfonline.org .

Brethren, on another subject, you should know that at the Annual Investiture the Grand Master is minded to make a positive statement about our relationship with the other long established and well known orders of masonry to which many Craft members belong. I believe this will be most welcome.  posted 19/3/2007

Education with Integrity

VW Bro Reverend Neville Barker-Cryer is renowned for his enlightening and entertaining presentations, and the members of the Lodge of Integrity No 4563 are looking forward to hearing his talk 'A Walk Round Your Lodge Room' at their next Regular Meeting on Saturday 14 April at Yenton Assembly Rooms, Erdington, Birmingham commencing at 4.00pm.

If you would like to attend please contact the Lodge Secretary, John Norman, on 01584 856571. The dining fee will be £16.50.  posted 19/3/2007

Freemasons sponsor doctors web site

St Mary's Lodge in Market Drayton in Shropshire is the sponsor of the newly launched web site for the Market Drayton Primary Care Centre in the town.posted 19/3/2007

Freemasons give away £1.3 million to worthy causes

At its Annual General Meeting in London on 14 March 2007 the Freemasons' Grand Charity approved the payment of grants totalling £1.3 million to a number of worthy non-Masonic charities. £100,000 goes to fund a respite care unit at a new Leonard Cheshire Home near Banbury, £60,000 has been donated to the Princess Royal Trust for Carers to fund a service for carers of people with mental health problems, £50,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust will contribute towards the cost of a new specialist 10 bed teenage cancer unit at Cardiff University Hospital and £50,000 is for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to fund a medical research project into Type 1 diabetes at Cambridge University.

£500,000 has also been set aside for grants to adult hospice services in 2007, and £100,000 will be used for grants to children's hospice services in 2007. £5,000 has been donated to Ely Cathedral.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity receives its funding from Freemasons in England and Wales. Unlike other organisations, no money is collected from the general public.  posted 19/3/2007

Catholic Church maintains opposition to Freemasonry

A high ranking Vatican official has restated Church teaching on Masonic associations, saying that Catholics who enrol in such associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive communion.

Apostolic Penitentiary regent, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti made the statement on Thursday 1 March 2007 at a conference on the topic of Freemasonry held at the St Bonaventure Pontifical Theological Faculty in Rome. The bishop presided over the congress held in cooperation with the Socio-Religious Research and Information Group of Italy. Officials of Masonic associations and Grand Masters also took part in the meeting.

Bishop Girotti reminded his listeners that the Church has always criticised the concepts and philosophy of Freemasonry, considering them incompatible with the Catholic faith. He mentioned the last official reference document, "Declaration on Masonic Associations," which was signed by the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, on 26 November 1983. The text states that since the principles of Masonic associations "have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church," membership in them, therefore, "remains forbidden."

"The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive holy Communion," adds the declaration signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Benedict XVI.

Fr Zbigniew Suchecki, an expert in the subject, quoted number 1374 of the Code of Canon Law, which reads: "Whoever is inscribed in an association that plots against the Church must be punished with a just penalty; whoever promotes or directs that association, must be banned." "Masonry's attempts to express divine truths are based on relativism and do not agree with the principles of the Christian faith," Fr Suchecki said. Bishop Girotti made reference to the statements of some priests who have declared publicly their membership in Masonry and called for the intervention of "their direct superiors," not excluding the possibility that "measures of a canonical character might come from the Holy See."  posted 9/3/2007

Charity comes home

The 19th Annual Meeting of the family of Charity Lodges will be held at the Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Saturday 12 May 2007. The meeting will commence at 4.00pm after which there will be a demonstration of the First Degree Ceremony by members of the Black Country Heritage Lodge, with dinner at 6.00pm. Applications to attend should go to John Wells on 0121 777 4194 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 6/3/2007

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire will be held at the Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham on Saturday 19 May 2007. Doors will be open at 9.30am and the Annual Meeting will commence promptly at 10.30am. The Provincial Grand Master expects that all his Lodges will be represented by the Master and Wardens in addition to those Brethren who will receive appointments to or promotions in Provincial Grand Rank. Application forms for attendance and lunch at the Meeting are now with Lodge Secretaries. Master Masons are encouraged to attend but they cannot vote. It is regretted that Brethren below the rank of Master Mason cannot attend.  posted 6/3/2007

Annual Investiture of Grand Officers

Notice of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge to be held on 14 March 2007 indicates that the next Annual Investiture of Grand Officers will take place on 26 April 2006. This is clearly an error. The Annual Investiture (to which admission is by ticket only) will in fact take place on Wednesday 25 April 2007 at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London.posted 6/3/2007

Improving access for the disabled

Roger Bennett, the Master of Ipsley Lodge in Redditch, has a staircase chairlift which he can make available to any Masonic Rooms in the Province of Warwickshire. Further enquiries to and details from Roger on 0792 080 9348.   posted 6/3/2007

Rudyard Kipling and Freemasonry

Richard Jaffa, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, is to present an original paper of his own on the influence of Freemasonry on the works of Rudyard Kipling at the meeting of Linwood Lodge on Tuesday 13 March at the Masonic Hall at Knowle, Solihull. Reservations can be made with Andy Bryson to hear this informative presentation on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01564 784491 or 07721724585  posted 1/3/2007

Freemasonry in London

The Province of Warwickshire has a long standing and happy relationship with the London Warwickshire Lodge which meets at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London. Rodney Pitham, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, is organising a visit to the Installation Meeting which will take place on Monday 30 April and a number of Brethren are already signed up to attend and to stay to dinner. Coach travel is being arranged with convenient pick up points. If you wish to take part please get in touch with Rodney as soon as possible on 0121 744 1328 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 1/3/2007

Helping others

The members of Holy Well Lodge which meets at Southam resolved at their February meeting to donate £200 to The Extra Care Trust and the same amount to Dogs for the Disabled, The Warwick Hospital Coronary Care Unit, The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, The Homeless at Risk Unit in Rugby and the Warwickshire Association for the Blind. This all adds up to a magnificent total of £1,200. Congratulations go to them for this act of kindness and generosity.  posted 1/3/2007

Learn about surgery from the experts

At its next meeting on Saturday 31 March 2007 the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge is fortunate enough to have a number of surgeons from the Royal College of Surgeons coming to give a talk (in layman's language!) about the research they are currently doing in various disciplines so there will be something of interest for everyone.

The Royal College of Surgeons is not funded by the NHS but is a registered charity which relies solely on legacies and donations. In 1967 the United Grand Lodge of England, representing the Freemasons of England and Wales, set up a Trust Fund of £500,000 for the College to help them with their aims to enable surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. This has helped Freemasons to donate in excess of £3 million to the College since then which has contributed to some of the many significant advances that have been made in surgical techniques during that time, especially during latter years. This will have been or at some time in the future will be of benefit to us all.

Each year, four million people undergo surgery. Some operations are minor, while others are lifesaving or will dramatically enhance the quality of life of the patients concerned. In every case, the patients place their trust in the hands of the surgeon. The College honours this trust by maintaining and improving surgical standards throughout England and Wales. Their training, education and research programmes are intended to advance the knowledge and skills of surgeons so that the treatment received by patients is of the highest standard.

Anyone wishing to attend should get in touch with Trevor Siddall atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01604 830467. The meeting place is 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB and the talk is likely to start at approximately 6.00pm.  posted 1/3/2007

Masons hit by bugging

Police have launched an investigation into suspicions that meetings at one of Northern Ireland's largest Masonic Halls were bugged after recordings were received in the post by Freemasons at the headquarters of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim in Belfast.

Masons have been left mystified by the suspicions of secret recordings. There have been no demands or threats received by them.  posted 1/3/2007

Your local Masonic chemist

Alchemy Lodge No 3950, meeting at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was originally formed in 1919 by Pharmacists for Pharmacists and always had a core membership from the pharmaceutical and allied trades. Now numbers have declined significantly and although the Lodge is open to members from all walks of life, it would be nice to see more members from the profession that founded it.

If there is anyone, particularly members of the pharmaceutical and allied trades, willing support this fine old lodge by joining and bringing it back to its former status, please contact the Lodge Secretary, David Bramham, at 25 Walsall Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B74 4ND or by telephone on 0121 308 5905.  posted 27/2/2007

Warwickshire Freemasons aid worthy causes with £101,000

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire with some 5,400 Freemasons has just donated some £101,000 to 150 charitable organisations with individual grants ranging from £250 to £3,000. Amongst those who have been assisted are the Birmingham Dogs Home with £250, the Coventry Boys Club (£250), St Mary's Church Temple Balsall (£500) and Warwick Hospital Cancer Ward with £1000.

Michael Price, the Provincial Grand Master and Head of the Warwickshire Freemasons, said:

"The needs of others are important to Freemasons and charitable giving is the most fundamental principle of Freemasonry. I am most grateful to the members of the Province who through their continuing generous financial support make these donations possible on an annual basis. We know from the recipients that the support is appreciated."

Birmingham Cathedral has received £1000 for its music department, Castel Froma, a nursing home in Leamington £500, the Deep Impact Theatre Company £500 for its work in improving the outlook of youngsters by introducing them to the Arts, The Little Sisters of the Poor £500, and Victim Support £500 for its counselling work. Hospices in the Province, including Acorns, St Mary's and Myton Hamlet, have all received substantial gifts.

Unlike other organisations Freemasons do not collect money from the public. It all comes from their own pockets.

A full list of the non-Masonic causes to benefit can be obtained from Michael Irving or Pam Hegarty on 0121 454 0554.  posted 27/2/2007

A masonathon

Over 100 brethren were present at a unique meeting of the Old Worksopian Lodge in Nottinghamshire in February. In the morning the Past Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Stuart Hill conducted a Third Degree ceremony assisted by Grand Officers (including Warwickshire's Michael Irving as Senior Warden) and Honorary Members of the Lodge. After lunch, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Robin Wilson, accompanied by his Deputy and Assistants and assisted by 21 Acting Provincial Officers (having granted his own dispensation) conducted a triple Second Degree ceremony. After a tea break the Lodge Officers conducted a First Degree ceremony. Thankfully the bar was opened in good time before the Festive Board!  posted 27/2/2007

A taste of the Orient

At the meeting of Barnard Lodge on Tuesday 13 March 2007, Stelios Kiosses of Three Spires Lodge will be giving a talk and presentation of Japanese Swords. Japanese Swords have been made for over a thousand years. Many people consider them one of the finest examples of artistry in steel. This talk is an introduction to the appreciation of Japanese Swords (Nihonto). Barnard Lodge meets at Stirling Road and details and a Summons can be obtained from the Secretary, Michael Squires This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0121 454 9229.   posted 27/2/2007

Precedence of Visiting Officers

When the Visiting Officer makes his ‘official’ visit to each Lodge once a year, he will take precedence over Grand Officers and Provincial Grand Officers as he sits in the Lodge and at the Festive Board. He will be saluted as the representative of the Provincial Grand Master after the minutes. If the Visiting Officer is a Grand Officer he will be saluted first of the Grand Officers. If he is a Provincial Grand Officer he will be saluted first of the Provincial Grand Officers.  posted 27/2/2007

Masons gift to hospital

People suffering from a swelling condition can now be treated in more comfort at Worthing Hospital. Lymphoedema sufferers, a condition which causes swelling of the arm, leg, face or chest, have a new electronic couch on which to receive their treatment thanks to a donation from the Worthing Freemasons. The Freemasons raised £1,000 towards the couch – the lymphoedema clinic at the hospital raised the remaining £800 needed by selling its old couch. David Deane was the principal Masonic fundraiser; his wife Maria suffers from the condition and is treated regularly at the Worthing clinic.  posted 23/2/2007

If you are interested in crossing the border!

At the next meeting of Robin Hood Lodge, No 5877, at Moseley Masonic Hall, Kings Heath, Birmingham, on Friday 23 March 2007, members of Lodge Doric Kilwinning No 68 of the Scottish Constitution, will demonstrate a Scottish Second Degree Ceremony.

The Master, Wardens and Brethren of Robin Hood Lodge will be delighted to welcome any visitors who wish to witness this very interesting ritual. The dining fee of £15 includes pre-dinner drinks and wine at the Festive Board.

For further information, or to reserve your place, please contact the Secretary, Jack Winder, on 01789 400679 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 23/2/2007

Masonic murder!

Mercia Lodge will be hosting a Murder Mystery lunch on Sunday 1st April at Alderson House, Warwick. The cost including lunch will be £20 a head. Brethren and their friends who are interested in this lunch with a difference should get in touch with Rex Lowin on 01604 858605 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 23/2/2007

Anything Goes in Rugby

Our congratulations go to Stuart Esworthy, Provincial Junior Grand Warden Designate, and the rest of the cast for their outstanding pereformance at the Rugby Theatre on 14 February of the delightful musical by Cole Porter. Thanks also to all the Brethren and their ladies who attended the buffet at the Masonic Hall and the show which resulted in a donation to the 2012 Festival of £440.  posted 15/2/2007

Live advertising!

On Sunday 7 October 2007 a concert 'Autumn Glory' is being promoted at the Arts Centre at Warwick University to assist in raising funds for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, for which the Province has a Festival in 2012. Those taking part include the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra and the Stratford upon Avon Gilbert and Sullivan Society. The compere will be Ed Doolan, the well-known BBC broadcaster. The auditorium has facilities for an audience of 1230.

Programmes will be on sale on the evening of the concert. We can offer advertisers a full page in colour for just £200. The back page will cost £300 and half pages £125. If you wish to avail yourself of this exciting advertising opportunity please get in touch with our designer Nick Essex on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01604 706088; he will be pleased to discuss your requirements.

Any reference to Freemasonry, a rank in the Order, or membership of a Lodge in any advertisement is strictly prohibited.

Heritage Open Days

The Provincial Grand Master is keen to reinforce the excellent and successful work carried out by Lodges and Brethren in the Province during the ‘Freemasonry in the Community’ week in 2002. His view is that we should remind members of the general public that we are a part of the community as opposed to being apart from it. We need to demonstrate that we are a group like many others that give generously of our time and our money to help those less fortunate in our respective communities. As an essential ingredient of this renewed initiative he is encouraging those who operate Masonic Halls in the Province to take part in the Heritage Open Days (HODs) which run from 6 to 9 September 2007.

HODs celebrate England's architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorstep, HODs are an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability. Co-coordinated nationally by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage, the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making HODs England's largest voluntary cultural event.

Brethren are asked to speak to those who are responsible for the operation of their Masonic Hall and urge them to participate in this event, at the same time volunteering to assist on the day or days selected for the Hall to be open.  posted 12/2/2007

Masons boost to children's aid

An organisation that helps treat ill children at home has received a welcome new year's boost from Rugby Masons. £600 raised from Eastfields Lodge's Christmas lunch and raffle has been handed over to the Children's Hospital at Home based in the town. Tony Osbourne, a Past Master of the Lodge, said: "We wanted to do something for the community and especially for the Children's Hospital at Home, who do such a good job in the town."  posted 8/2/2007

Black mourning ribbonWe will remember him

A Memorial Service to be conducted by the Rev Canon Ken Phillips, Past Provincial Grand Chaplain, to celebrate the life of John E Marston, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, will be held at St James’ Church, Leamington Road, Styvechale, Coventry at 1.00pm on Tuesday 27 February. All brethren, friends and acquaintances will be most welcome.  posted 8/2/2007 

Lunch for the Festival

Harbans Gumman and Mrs Narinder Gumman cordially invite you to the Ladies Luncheon for the Lodge of Serenity on Sunday 24 June 2007 (12.30 pm for 1.00 pm) at the Windmill Village Hotel and Golf Club, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry. The cost is £19.00 per person. Proceeds will go to the 2012 Festival. Reservations should be made with John Wish on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01676 533 296.  posted 7/2/2007

National Clay Pigeon Shoot

The National Masonic Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition will be held at the National Shooting Centre Bisley on Saturday 25 August 2007. The Shoot will be a 100 Sporting Clay Bird Competition commencing at 9.30am until 1.00pm. If you wish to enter please contact Mike Bushby on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01403 249760 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 31/1/2007

Women Freemasons do exist!

At the close of the meeting of the Ronald Albutt Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 
1818 to be held on 6 March 2007 at the Masonic Hall in Erdington Birmingham, RW Bro Mrs Marilyn Harwood, The Grand Inspector for the Midland Counties of the Order of Women Freemasons, will be speaking about her responsibilities and experiences. The event is open to both men and women and you do not have to be a Freemason. To book your place for the meeting and/or dinner after the talk, please contact Adrian Rawlins on 0121 682 0699 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 30/1/2007

New Provincial Grand Secretary

Nigel Bister has announced that he is to retire as Provincial Grand Secretary for Warwickshire at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in May. The RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint as Nigel's successor Nigel Burton JP, Provincial Grand Steward and a Past Master of Vellum Lodge.  posted 18/1/2007

Learn more about the 2012 Festival

David Macey, the Festival Director, and other members of his small team, are available to attend Lodges and make a presentation of no more than 10 or 15 minutes to tell you all about the Festival, its aims and objectives, fundraising events and how you can help boost the appeal fund. David can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01562 884538.  posted 18/1/2007

Freemasonry and medicine

Dr Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, a medical practitioner in Kumasi, Ghana, has spoken on the topic, "The Hippocratic Oath, its import and relationship with Freemasonry" at a symposium on medical issues in Kumasi recently. The symposium was organised by the District Grand Lodge of Ghana (English Constitution) and marked the 75th anniversary celebration of the District. Unfortunately we do not have a transcript of Dr Kuffour's address.   posted 10/1/2007

The Masonic Charities

To keep up to date with what the National and Provincial Masonic Charities are doing with your money you can learn from the Provincial Grand Charity Steward for Warwickshire, Chris Grove, when he lectures to Corinthian Lodge on 20 January at 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston and Holte Lodge on 13 February at Knowle. The Corinthian Lodge contact is Terence Martin on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07973 504868 and Richard Stowe can give details of the meeting of Holte Lodge on 01905 796462 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 9/1/2007

Fortieth Birthday Celebrations

As part of its 40th year celebrations Solihull Lodge will hold a Lodge of Rehearsal and Instruction Festival at the Regular Lodge meeting at Knowle on Monday 19 February 2007. The initiate for the ceremony will be the first initiate of the Lodge in 1966, Ian Ramsey who is now resident in the Province of Dorset. 

The Lodge is to be graced with the presence of the Provincial Grand Master of Dorset together with some of his Provincial Officers. The meeting will start at 6.00pm and the approximate cost of dining will be £16. Brethren wishing to attend should contact Michael Morris on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07812099997   posted 9/1/2007

Tributes to a Masonic President

"Gerald R. Ford embodied the tenets of Freemasonry. He upheld the values of personal integrity and of being true to his word, and in a time of great crisis, Brother Ford, a true patriot, also sought to heal our ailing Nation. As our President, he represented our fraternity well. On behalf of the Grand Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons of the States of Michigan and New York, the Masonic Service Association of North America, and Masons everywhere, we offer our sincere condolences to Betty Ford and her family on the passing of Brother Gerald Ford, a humble man who calmly guided our country out of one of its darkest hours.

Neal I. Bidnick
Grand Master
Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York

Walter F. Wheeler
Grand Master
Grand Lodge of Michigan, Free and Accepted Masons

Richard E. Fletcher
Executive Secretary
Masonic Service Association of North America"

Eminent Freemason in Warwickshire

VW Bro His Honour Judge Ian Alexander QC, Grand Registrar of the United Grand Lodge of England, will be attending the regular meeting of the Tudor Lodge at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on 12 February 2007 to deliver a lecture on Freemasonry. Further details for this important event are available from Ian George on 07774 120003 or on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2006 chronology

Black mourning ribbonIn Memoriam

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

Chris Grove and Gerry Regan with the brick
Chris Grove and Gerry Regan with the brick

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!

Grand Secretary 

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

Rodney Pitham presenting a donation from the Freemasons' Grand CharityMore 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

Alan Wellan, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presenting a cheque for �1000Grand 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 Orr EwingBrother 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 

Black mourning ribbonIn memoriam

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

In harmony

The Lodge of Harmony No 6888 meeting at Sutton Coldfield will hold its 400th meeting on 7 February 2007 and will be initiating its 100th candidate. Any Brother wishing to attend this special event should get in touch with Ken Gould This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 27/11/2006

Health and Safety

There will be a presentation and discussion of health and safety issues at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 20 January 2007 from 10.00am to 12 noon under the direction of John Cowan. Chairmen and at least one director of Masonic Halls in the Province are urged to attend. Reservations should be made with John on 0121 420 3750 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.posted 27/11/2006

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

Hertford Lodge will celebrate its Centenary on Friday 9 February 2007 at the Warwickshire Provincial Headquarters at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The Lodge will receive its Centenary Warrant and the 101st Master will be installed. If you wish to be present at this very special event please get in touch with P J Jackson on 01283 791767 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your place. The dining fee is £25.00.posted 24/11/2006

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.

The meeting will be held on Thursday 30 November at the HQ of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham at 5.15pm for 5.30pm.… Reservations should be made with Trevor Siddall, the Assistant Secretary of the Lodge, on 01604 830647 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 20/11/2006

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)

Compton Hospice

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

Shakespeare Hospice

St Mary's Hospice

In the Masonic Province of Worcestershire:

Acorns Children's Hospice (Worcester)

Kemp House Trust

Mary Stevens Hospice

Primrose 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

Michael Irving, the Provincial Grand Almoner for Warwickshire, will be talking about the national Masonic Charities, Warwickshire Masonic Charities and the 2012 Festival at the meeting of Wyley Lodge on Saturday 3 February 2007. Bill Stammers will give you further details on 01788 860234 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to attend.posted 10/11/2006

Reunited

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

Battle of Britain Veterans meeting HRH The Prince of WalesThe 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

The Sutton Coldfield Study Circle, established in 1952, meets four times a year at the Masonic Hall in Mill Street Sutton Coldfield. Its principal objective is to allow its members to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. In this respect members and guest speakers deliver lectures and talks on the first Monday in February, June, October and December. An offshoot of the Circle is the well-known Demonstration Team whom many of us have had the pleasure of seeing as its members take us back to the 18th Century and Freemasonry of that era. Budding actors and ritualists are need to swell the numbers of the Team. If you are interested please contact the Secretary, Brian Brown, on 0121 682 4682 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 3/11/2006

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 

In Memoriam

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.

Further details and tickets are available from W Bro Stuart Esworthy on 07881 505558 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

‘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

David Tiller, one of the Province's Standard Bearers this year, has a guaranteed place in the London Marathon in 2007. He needs sponsorship since he is running for two very good causes - the 2012 Festival and Elliott a boy of 7 who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy an incurable and fatal disease from which two boys will die each day. If you can help David, he can be contacted on 07774 276508 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.posted 14/10/2006

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

Grand Chancellor

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 Lodge of Sincerity is one of our smaller Lodges but everyone is assured of a very warm welcome. If any Brother can spare the time to visit the Lodge and help boost the numbers he should get in touch with Trevor Chalk, the secretary, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.posted 05/10/2006

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

Ignorance

"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

Two diamonds

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

Gordon Capstick, exalted into the Royal Arch in India in 1956, is to receive his fifty year certificate in Shakespeare Chapter on 26 October at Alderson House Warwick. He hopes that as many friends as possible will join him for this special occasion. If you wish to attend please get in touch with Colin Carter on 01788 521741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 21/9/2006

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, 
Worcestershire, B60 2LJ or on 01527 875954 or 01527 872008 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 10/09/2006

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.

For further details of the application process please e-mail Lee Godward at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the NMSF main switchboard on 020 7404 1550.

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

Members needed

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

Liverymen Sought

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

Unusual Installation

As part of its Small Lodge Mutual Support Initiative Programme Barnard Lodge will be hosting a unique Installation on Tuesday 10 October 2006. By special permission of the RW Provincial Grand Master the ceremony will be performed under the Old Ceremonial Workings by Past Masters of Prometheus Lodge. If you have not witnessed this ceremony previously it should not be missed; if you have, then you are welcome to attend and enjoy it again. All Brethren are cordially invited, particularly Brethren from Barnard's support Lodges. If you would like to receive a Summons or further details please contact: Fred Ditchfield, 4 Edge Hill Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4NU or on 0121 353 1007 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"The Burma Railway 1942 - 1934 and Masonic involvement"

The Lodge of Jurisprudence will be holding its next regular meeting, by dispensation, at The Masonic Hall, Newfields, Furnace lane, Halesowen on Wednesday 27 September 2006 at 6.15pm. The guest speaker will be W Bro Michael Batchelor who will present a talk on "The Burma railway 1942 - 43 and Masonic involvement", a factual but moving account of those engaged in the building of the railway many of whom were Freemasons. This is a well researched talk and one that will not be forgotten for a long time. Brethren who are interested in attending should contact the Lodge Secretary, David Williams, on 0121 705 3818 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 15/8/2006

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

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, John Emms, is holding a seminar at Stirling Road on 4 September 2006 at 8.00pm. All Lodge Directors and Assistant Directors of Ceremonies and their prospective successors are urged to attend. If you are able to be present at this instructive event please let John know This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.posted 3/7/2006

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

The Sixth Festival of this Association will be held on Saturday 16 September 2006 at The Council House Birmingham and St Philip's Cathedral. The MW Bro the Most Hon the Marquess of Northampton, Pro Grand Master, will be present. The whole proceedings are open to Brethren, their ladies and other guests. Details are available from John Harvey on 07802 357432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This is the first occasion that the Festival has been held outside London and the organising committee hope that it will be enthusiastically supported. posted 3/7/2006

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

Black mourning ribbonEdward Wright

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

Any offers?

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.

Please put the date in your diary now. Further details will follow as soon as possible including the price and availability of tickets. We are actively looking for Brethren who are prepared to sponsor various elements of this sparkling event. If you are interested please get in touch with Rodney Pitham on 0121 744 1328 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will give you more information. If you wish to reserve tickets in advance please send Rodney your name and address by email. (You will not be committed to buying tickets until you know the purchase price!)

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."

Further details of grants and recipients are available from Michael Irving the Provincial Grand Almoner on 0121 454 0554 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 1/5/2006

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

The Central District, Royal & Select Masters, is to be partitioned. For full details, please click hereAcrobat document link image

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

NSPCC

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.

If you feel strongly about yet another unjustified attack on Freemasonry you may wish to write to the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, at Bishopscourt, 24 St Margaret's Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1TS or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 5/4/2006

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

Long Service!

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.

Tony is looking for sponsorship and all the money raised will be contributed to the Warwickshire 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. If you are able to sponsor Tony please let him know on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 02476 590074.posted 22/3/2006

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 copy of the job description and person specification for this post can be obtained by contacting Laureen Wheatley at Compton International Fundraising Ltd on 01926 614555 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 2/3/2006

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

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:

MQ Magazine
Communications Department
60 Great Queen Street
Freemasons' Hall
London
WC2B 5AZ or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 22/2/2006

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

The Masonic golfers of Warwickshire take on those of Derbyshire at Mickleover Golf Club on 25 May and the golfers of Worcestershire at Henley Golf Club on 28 June. The Spring Meeting takes place at Coventry Golf Club on 7 June and the Six Counties Championships will be held at Doncaster on 28 July. Warwickshire then take on Staffordshire at Great Barr on 17 August. If you are interested in joining the Association then John Atkinson would be pleased to hear from you on 01926 842869 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.posted 22/2/2006

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

Indian BBQ

An Indian BBQ hosted by members of the Holy Well Lodge will be held at Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club on Sunday 9 July 2006 the proceeds going to the 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. There will be Indian, English and vegetarian fare and entertainment for children. The cost is £12 for adults, £6 for children under 12 and the under 5s go for free. The BBQ will commence at 12 noon. Since the organisers need to have a reasonable idea of numbers, applications should be made to Herbie Jhita on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01926 771107 from whom further details are also available.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.

Masonic Models?

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

Freemasons conspire!

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

Media Review

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.

Reading your local newspapers, listening to your local radio stations and watching local television, may lead to you such information and Rodney would like to know about it. Whether or not you are a Mason, he would be grateful for your assistance in gathering this information, which should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to Rodney Pitham, Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham B16 9SBposted 19/2/2006 .

Band aid

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

Congratulations

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

Charity appointment

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

Lifelites

Further details about the new Lifelites Charity are available from John Halahan, Lifelites Director, at 020 7405 2644, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.lifelites.orgposted 8/1/2006

2005 chronology

A diamond occasion

We offer our warmest congratulations to W Bro Stan McCoy and his wife Audrey as they celebrate 60 happy years of marriage on 10 January 2006. Stan, a Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, is a Past Master of the Lodge of Amity and is in great demand as a Lodge organist. An accomplished musician, in his early years he played in dance bands with such all-time greats as Joe Loss.

We wish Stan and Audrey many more happy years together.posted 23/12/2005

The Freemasons' Grand Charity reflects on extensive support for the wider community

As 2005 draws to a close, The Grand Charity is reflecting on another successful year in which it delivered charitable support to the wider community, on behalf of Freemasons throughout England and Wales.

* Grants totalling over £1.2 million were approved at General Meetings, attended by hundreds of Freemasons. The money will be used by national charities for many charitable purposes, in projects relating to medical research, vulnerable people and youth opportunities.

* Cheques of up to £9,000 each were sent to the Provinces for presentation to 216 local hospices as part of a £1/2 million scheme.

* The President of the Grand Charity approved an unprecedented total of more than £375,000 of emergency grants to assist relief efforts following events including the Asian Tsunami, flooding in Carlisle, Hurricane Katrina, the London Bombings, and the South Asia Earthquake.

* The rapid and extensive response to the Tsunami helped secure coverage for the Grand Charity in national newspapers, including The Times and The Independent.

* The generous donations of Freemasons to Special Relief Chests established following the Tsunami and the Asian Earthquake, helped deliver vital supplies to survivors, as well as ongoing support for longer-term regeneration projects.

Speaking about the non-Masonic grants made during the course of the year Raymond Lye, President of the Grand Charity, said "The Grand Charity's first priority is Masonic Relief Grants, but thanks to the generosity of Freemasons, we have once again been able to support a wide range of non-Masonic causes. I am delighted that Freemasons, through the Grand Charity, are able, collectively, to help operating charities involved in so many worthy projects. I wish to thank Freemasons for their generosity - for they have made our support possible."posted 20/12/2005

Changes to Lifelites

The President of the RMTGB made this announcement at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 14 December 2005:

"As from the 1st January, Lifelites is to be established as a separate charity with an endowment of £4million from the Trust, which represents the balance of the funds that we set aside in 1999. In order to maintain the programme of funding installations at all new hospices - 6 new hospices are due to open by 2008 - and the continuing maintenance and upgrading of the equipment at existing hospices, we project that Lifelites will need to raise approximately £500,000 per annum. As a non-Masonic charitable cause we believe that it can do so from personal donations and commercial sponsorship, which it could not achieve whilst it was part of the Trust. The Trust will of course continue to assist the new trust with practical help and support as well as resources and we believe that it will continue to be supported as part of Masons' support for non-Masonic causes both financially and through the many volunteers throughout the country who have done so since its inception and to whom we are particularly grateful. I commend the new Charity to you for your non Masonic giving."posted 19/12/2005

Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys

The President and the Chief Executive of the RMTGB both addressed Grand Lodge at the Quarterly Communication held on 14 December 2005 about the work of the Trust. This is a short extract from the address by Clive Andrews the Chief Executive:

"Day in, day out at the Trust we come face to face with the tragedies of human life. 
Kimberley was only five when her father murdered her mother and then shot himself. Kimberley found their bodies. Robert was a teenager when his father died suddenly, the day after returning from a happy family holiday in France. And Georgina's mother turned to drugs when her husband left her; and later she was gang-raped. Georgina has been in the care of her grandmother, a Masonic widow, ever since, as her mother has now had to 'disappear' under the witness protection scheme.

We know that the grants we give to children like Kimberley, Robert and Georgina, we know that the visits made by our Welfare Advisers can never, ever, restore their young lives to the way they were before. But, to quote Martin Luther, 'it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness'. Our grants and our pastoral care do bring some light into these damaged lives."

The full text of the addresses can be found by visiting:

http://www.ugle.org.uk/news/rmtgb-141205.htm (Link no longer works.)

Address of the Pro Grand Master to Grand Lodge - 14 December 2005

Brethren, I said in my article for the Cornerstone Society which was published in the last edition of MQ that I thought our members should be encouraged to talk about the good things they are taught in our rituals to prove to the world the happy and beneficial effects of our Antient Institution. There are many virtues in Freemasonry but one which I think we should use to promote our Order is tolerance. There can be few other organisations in the world today who practice the degree of tolerance that we find in the Craft - accepting all men of good faith.
Freemasonry is a system founded on morality which aims to make the individual a better person, and thereby able to lead a more fulfilling life and be of more use to his fellow man. We are not concerned with a candidate's nationality, colour or class, nor with his religious or political persuasion; we care only that he has a belief in a Supreme Being, has a general desire for knowledge and wants to be of service to others. Furthermore masonry requires of him a perfect freedom of inclination - an open mind is a prerequisite for joining an Order which develops an open heart.

The second Masonic characteristic I think we should be emphasising to potential candidates and others is trust. It is linked to our first Grand Principle, Brotherly love, is one of the lessons of our third degree story and is the mortar with which the trowel binds us together. You do not have to be a mason for very long before you learn first hand the importance of trusting and being trusted. As we climb symbolically Jacob's ladder our perception of truth changes in proportion to our capacity for discrimination.

Developing qualities of tolerance, trust and discrimination leads us eventually to wisdom and Truth. Truth, our third Grand Principle is at once the first rung on the Masonic ladder when it is solely concerned with morality, and the last rung when it is considered as an aspect of Divinity. Truth depends on our sense of what is true for us personally and for that we must listen to our conscience, the voice of nature. The principles and virtues of Freemasonry as taught in our rituals have much to offer a society in need of tolerance and trust

Provincial Wardens and Director of Ceremonies announced

The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint W Bro Michael Morris of Solihull Lodge as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W Bro Eric Rymer of the Lodge of Loyalty as Provincial Junior Grand Warden for the Masonic year 2006/2007. The new Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies will be W Bro John Emms. Michael and Eric will be invested at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in May 2006. John will be invested at the meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge on 31 March 2006

Relief Chest donations buy tents for earthquake victims

Money given by Freemasons to the Asian Earthquake Relief Chest established by the Grand Charity has been donated to the British Red Cross to fund the purchase of urgently needed winterised tents for homeless survivors. The donation, in combination with emergency grants, takes the total amount given through The Grand Charity to £150,000 and will ensure that over 280 families enjoy better protection from freezing winter temperatures.

This support is made in direct response to the statement by UN Relief Co-ordinator Jan Vandemoortele that just one in four of the homeless survivors have a tent suitable for the winter conditions they now face.

The Grand Charity is working to foster greater public awareness and understanding of Freemasons' charitable support for victims of devastating disasters. The establishment of a dedicated Relief Chest for the survivors of October’s earthquake has helped build a clearer picture of the true scale of these generous Masonic donations. 

Supreme Grand Chapter of England

The Supreme Grand Chapter of England is the governing body of Royal Arch Masons in England, Wales and the Channel Islands. Its headquarters are at:

Freemasons' Hall
Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AZ
Tel:020 7831 9811
Fax:020 7831 6021 
Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held each year on the second Wednesday in November and on the day following the Grand Festival of Grand Lodge.

The Supreme Grand Chapter of England has some 107,167 members grouped in 3,484 chapters. Chapters in London (an area within a 10 mile radius of Freemasons' Hall), are organised into groups administered by the Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London. Chapters outside London and within England, Wales and the Channel Islands are grouped into 47 Provinces, based on the old Counties, each headed by a Provincial Grand Superintendent. Chapters meeting abroad are grouped in 32 Districts each headed by a District Grand Superintendent, 7 Groups each headed by a Grand Inspector, with 7 chapters being administered from Freemasons' Hall.

Supreme Grand Chapter now has a most informative web site atwww.grandchapter.org.uk which is well worth a visit.posted 10/12/2005

Forgotten somebody?

A Warwickshire Lodge had just been opened recently when the Senior Warden suddenly sprang to his feet. He told the Master that he made a very serious error -he had forgotten to collect a very senior Past Master on his way to the meeting! He asked to be excused for a short while and left the lodge. Soon afterwards there was a report at the door of the Lodge and the very senior Past Master was admitted but without his driver. He had become fed up with waiting so came by taxi. In due course there was another report and the Senior Warden was admitted with much humility and very many humble apologies. This was met with much amusement from the members and some amazement from the visitors.

It would be embarrassing to name this Lodge which meets in Coventry but W Bro Peter Turnbull is considering alternative transport arrangements!

Help for the hospices

The Grand Charity has continued with its help to hospices in England and Wales again this year with donations totalling £500,000. In the Province of Warwickshire grants have been made by the Grand Charity as follows:

Acorns Children's Hospice Trust - £3,000
Marie Curie Centre Warren Pearl - £3,000
Mary Ann Evans Hospice - £1,000
Myton Hamlet Hospice - £4,000
Shakespeare Hospice - £750 and
St Mary's Hospice - £4,000.posted 6/12/2005

A splendid Masonic celebration

In the presence of RW Bro David Williamson, Assistant Grand Master, and some 260 Brethren including some who had travelled from Scotland, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price, was Installed as the Master of Trinity Lodge No 254 as it celebrated its 250th Anniversary on 3 December 2005. The ceremony of Installation was undertaken by Bro David Joyce in an exemplary manner. The crowning moment came when the Provincial Grand Master called forward four members of the Lodge and there and then either appointed or promoted them to or in Provincial Grand Rank. Neither the recipients nor the assembled company knew anything of this beforehand. Stuart Leist, Peter Amery and Walter Hope were promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. Bro Ian King was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer and the Provincial Grand Master presented him with the regalia of that rank together with a case.

The Festive Board rounded off a delightful afternoon and evening with all Brethren departing in a very happy mood.posted 5/12/2005

Surprise donations

At the meeting of Ipsley Lodge on 1 December 2005 representatives of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Worcestershire made donations respectively of £1,000 each which took members of the Lodge and their guests by surprise since they had no prior knowledge of these acts of generosity. The money is to go towards the purchase and installation of a lift for Brethren with walking disabilities to enable them to reach the first floor Lodge Room in the Redditch Masonic Hall with ease and comfort.posted 2/12/2005

Changes at the top in the Royal Arch

At the Convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter held on 9 November 2005 at Freemasons' Hall, London, E Comp George Francis was installed as ME Second Grand Principal, in succession to ME Comp Iain Ross Bryce, who has served in that office since 1991 and who retired on 7 November 2005.posted 15/11/2005

Freemasons help the homeless in Birmingham

The Grand Charity has just approved a grant to the Depaul Trust of £50,000 payable in two equal instalments to fund a community centre and hostel for homeless young people in Birmingham. Depaul runs 40 projects across the country helping 3,000 homeless young people. This integrated project caters for the local community and for young offenders making the transition back into society.posted 15/11/2005

Freemasons flooded

Heavy rain caused severe flooding in Molong New South Wales Australia recently. Among the properties affected was the Freemasons Hotel where water levels reached the height of the bar.posted 15/11/2005

Freemasons aid for storm victims

The President of the Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the Grand Lodge of Guatemala to assist with relief efforts following Tropical Storm Stan. The Guatemalan Government estimates that more than 130,000 people have been impacted by the Storm and thousands are now living in shelters. In one of the worst incidents, torrential rainfall triggered a mudslide that killed around 400 people. The Grand Lodge of Guatemala is working to provide aid and assistance to those affected by the disaster.posted 4/11/2005

New home for Australian Freemasons

MELBOURNE'S Dallas Brooks Hall, the scene of many rock concerts and political rallies, is to be demolished for a $100 million commercial and residential development. A developer has formed a partnership with the hall's owner, Freemasons Victoria, to build a lavish apartment block of 10 to 12 storeys on the East Melbourne site. The redevelopment, expected to be completed by 2009, will include the Victorian masonic headquarters as well as offices and medical suites.

Freemasons Victoria says Dallas Brooks Hall is too costly to run and no longer commercially viable.posted31/10/2005

English Freemasons bid for a new home

West Cumbrian Freemasons have made a bid to buy Cleator Moor Civic Hall, it has been revealed, from its owners Copeland Council. Billy Morley, for West Cumbrian Freemasons, said the hall would remain available to the community when it was not in use for Masonic purposes.posted31/10/2005

Masonic Hall destroyed

The Masonic Hall in Bellaire Michigan USA was destroyed by fire on Thursday 20 October 2005. Local masons had been using the premises since they acquired them in 1941.posted 24/10/2005

Further aid from Freemasons

The President of the Grand Charity, Raymond Lye, has approved a second emergency grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross, to support the ongoing relief for victims of the South Asia Earthquake. This brings the total donation made to the British Red Cross to £100,000.posted 22/10/2005

Tsunami Appeal

At 17 October 2005 Freemasons of England and Wales had contributed the sum of £796,106.85 to the Relief Chest specially established by the Grand Charity. The Masonic Services Association of North America has approved a motion to deposit the money it has raised for victims of the tsunami into this Relief Chest.posted 20/10/2005

Public awareness of Freemasonry - What our Brethren are doing in the USA

This is an extract from a report which appeared in the Boston Globe recently:
"The Masonic fraternity is an organization shrouded in secrecy. Secret words, secret symbols, secret rituals, even a secret handshake. Often referred to by members as ''the craft," there is a cipher -- a secret code -- that must be memorized, and tasks to be completed as part of initiation. It's no wonder that outsiders unfamiliar with the group often question its motives. Indeed, the mystery of the Freemasons can cast a seemingly sinister shadow, which has hurt membership over the years. But there are no dark doings here, say local lodge leaders, and in a new attempt to make that clear they are starting to lift the veil of secrecy.

Take Daniel ''Butch" Machado, the newly installed master of the Plymouth Masonic Lodge. Machado opened his inauguration ceremony last month to the public. It's typically a private event where tuxedo-clad officers read from the ancient scroll, and recite vows of commitment to the craft while laying their hands on the Bible, a square, and a compass -- the three symbols of truth, harmony, and the ruling line of living respectfully. This time, the occasion was viewed by about 250 people.

''My purpose as master of the lodge is to have a positive impact on society in general and the community in which I live," Machado said. ''The biggest secret of all is that there really are no secrets," he said, echoing a statement once made by Benjamin Franklin, also a Freemason.

In Massachusetts there are 250 lodges, about three dozen of them south of Boston, including Cape Cod. Membership at the Plymouth lodge, about 225, is shrinking, with the average member near retirement age. Plymouth's situation is typical of Masonic lodges across the country. To offset this trend, Jeffrey Black Hodgdon, the grand master of Masons in Massachusetts, organized a statewide open house last month. ''It's the first time that we've ever made a concerted effort to expose Masonry to men to try to install a spark in their minds," Hodgdon said."posted 17/10/2005 

Freemasons help for victims of earthquake

The President of the Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross, to aid relief efforts following the earthquake in South Asia. This is accompanied by a decision to open a Special Relief Chest to receive donations for victims of this natural disaster.

At least 20,000 people are thought to have been killed by the earthquake and tens of thousands have been left without shelter.

The Red Cross is working to provide immediate relief for 30,000 families in the affected areas. The Grand Charity’s emergency grant will help to fund the £30,000 cost of deploying an Emergency Response Unit and supplying essential items like blankets, tents and kitchen sets to the survivors.

Any Freemason wishing to make a donation in support of victims of the Earthquake via The Grand Charity can do so by sending a cheque payable to The Grand Charity to 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ and noting that it is to be paid into the Special Relief Chest established by the Grand Charity under the name ‘Asian Earthquake 2005 Chest No. ‘E0099’.

Eligible tax payers wishing The Grand Charity to claim tax relief on their donation, must complete a Gift Aid Donation Form available via www.grandcharity.org or from the Relief Chest Department on 0207 395 9246/9361. The Gift Aid Donation form should be completed, including a note of the Relief Chest number, and returned with your donation. Gift Aid increases the value of a donation by 28p for every £1.posted 11/10/2005

Royal Arch web site - new address

The Warwickshire Royal Arch web site has a slightly different address now - it iswww.royal-arch.org.uk

A Royal Arch record?

E Comp Rodney Fox PAGDC of the Province of Berkshire between February 1990 and April 2005 has occupied the First Principal's Chair in no less than six Chapters. What is more interesting is the fact the two Chapters practise Aldersgate Working, two Domatic Working and two Warwickshire Working. A virtuoso by the sound of it! posted 2/10/200

President and Chief Executive of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund address Grand Lodge - 14 September 2005

VW Bro Captain Lloyd Edwards (President)

It is nearly three years since I last addressed Grand Lodge to update you on the New Masonic Samaritan Fund and I am delighted to have this opportunity of further informing you of the Fund and of the hospital Charity. After I have given you the overall view our Chief Executive Richard Douglas will provide further detail on the work of the Fund.

Whilst it will not be possible within this forum to take questions, I can advise that Richard, and some of the staff from the Fund, will be available in the foyer at the conclusion of Grand Lodge. They will be located by the display stand and will be very happy to answer any questions that you may have.

When I last reported to you I advised that the Receiver and Manager appointed by the Charity Commission to oversee the Royal Masonic Hospital had finally been discharged. I can confirm that the assets of the former hospital remain under the control of the Board of Management of the RMH Charity and that legacy income continues to accrue. I can also confirm that it remains Board policy to transfer funds equivalent to the investment income earnt by the Charity to the NMSF each year. In the last three years this has seen a total transfer of funds of nearly £800,000.

In November this year the NMSF will celebrate its 15th birthday. In this relatively short space of time it has established itself as a well respected element of the Craft. Having taken over the role of the Hospital Samaritan Fund it has supported over 6,000 applicants at over 300 hospitals across the length and breadth of the country, and several overseas as well.

This has involved the allocation of in excess of £30 million and not once has it had to turn down an application through lack of available resources. A fantastic achievement that has only been possible thanks to the hard work, dedication and generosity of so many.

In each of the last 3 years the Fund has allocated over £3 million in support of over 500 applicants. Support has been provided to applicants varying in age from 18 months old to 104 years young. Approximately 50% of the grants made are to the wives, widows and dependants of Freemasons.

I firmly believe that the NMSF continues to do exactly what it was established to achieve.

The Fund is now fully established within the Provincial Festival matrix and continues to benefit from the generosity and ingenuity of so many brethren. South Wales (ED), Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Monmouthshire, Bedfordshire and Hampshire and Isle of Wight have produced magnificent Festival totals on our behalf already and we are looking forward to equally successful results with Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire in the next two years.

As recently as last Saturday I attended the launch of the 2012 Provincial Festival which is being hosted on our behalf by the Province of Warwickshire. Even with the prospect of seven years of hard work ahead of them I was impressed by the obvious enthusiasm that was evident amongst all those present at the launch in Birmingham.

Throughout its early years the NMSF has benefited from co-operation with its sister Charities and from the staff within Freemasons Hall. Since my last report to Grand Lodge we have benefited from a grant from Grand Charity which enabled us to fund drug treatment for cancer and degenerative diseases. At the time the availability of such drugs via the NHS appeared to depend more on where you lived than on the seriousness of your condition. After a two year pilot scheme generously funded by the Grand Charity the NMSF continues to fund applications in this area.

Hopefully you will all have noticed that the last two editions of the Fund's newsletter have been direct mailed via MQ. We are extremely grateful to the members of the Board of MQ publications for enabling us to spread the word about the work of the Fund in this highly effective manner.

Much more recently I can report that we have now established a partnership with the RMBI to provide Respite Care. Initially this will involve provision being made to utilise spare capacity within the RMBI care homes for those in need who have no local authority funding and are unable to meet the cost themselves.

Finally in this area we are actively involved with the other Craft Charities in considering the potential benefits of co-location within this building. We continue, as always, to look for ways to work more closely with them both for the benefit of potential applicants and to keep costs under control.

I remain profoundly grateful to all the Lodge Almoners and Charity Stewards who continue to work so hard on our behalf. Without their continuing support the Fund could achieve nothing. Rather than taking my word for it I offer a quote from one of the many letters of thanks recently received at the Fund:

"I am pleased to tell you that the replacement of my right knee has been a total success. Prior to the operation I was unable to walk more than a few yards, and even then only with the aid of a stick. The constant pain and lack of sleep were making me unpleasant to live and feeling very ill. Until the successful operation I had forgotten what it was like to live without pain. Without the help of the NMSF I would still be languishing in pain, waiting for an NHS operation. I am most grateful to you all for giving me back my active life".


Lt. Col. Richard Douglas (Chief Executive)

In preparing what I wanted to say today I found it very difficult to know where to start. In the three years since I last addressed this meeting very little has changed within the work of the NMSF. The President of the Fund has already updated you on all the latest statistics. There is therefore a very real danger that I will either repeat things you have heard or leave you with the impression that I have done nothing for the last three years. Even if that were true this is neither the time nor the place to declare that publicly.

The NMSF continues, as it has for 15 years, to provide support for Freemasons, their wives, widows and dependants who have an identified medical need but, faced with a long wait for treatment via the NHS, are unable to afford to fund their own private medical care.

The demand for this support continues to be high as does the cost of meeting that demand. In its last financial year the Fund allocated £3.3 million in support of over 524 individuals. This is the highest amount allocated in any given year so far. I must at this point add a word of caution. As we approach the end of our current financial year it is clear that we will have supported fewer applicants this year than in any of the previous three years. I believe this is partly due to the general election in May which saw a considerable amount of effort put into reducing NHS waiting list times. However, some 4 or 5 months later we are already noticing a significant increase in the waiting list times of applicants now applying to us. It is also worth noting that demand for support from the Fund has increased in the year following both of the two previous general elections. It is therefore far too early to suggest that this apparent reduction in demand is anything other than a temporary situation, however there is a need to confirm that the NMSF is still meeting the needs of the membership and that the membership knows about and understands the support that is available.

We continue to spread the word about the support that is available from the Fund. Our efforts have included contributing to each edition of MQ and, more recently, the direct mailing of our own newsletter with MQ. This has proved a popular and effective move. We are now able to make regular contact with more people than ever before and no longer have to ask Lodge Secretaries to act as postmen on our behalf. The only concern is that previously we had a significant number of spare copies available within Lodges which could be made available to widows. We are continuing to develop effective means of distribution to ensure that this important group of potential applicants is not overlooked.

We have also made full use of our involvement in the Provincial Festival matrix. In addition to the obvious benefits every Festival has a second aim of ensuring that the work of the Fund, and the support available from it, is understood across the length and breadth of the Province. Hopefully this will ensure that I will never again be congratulated on the work of "those wonderful people the Samaritans" as I am about to walk in to the Celebration Dinner at the end of a Festival campaign that has run for many years.

It is equally important to remember that the majority of applicants in any one year come from Provinces that are not currently in Festival to the Fund. Most members of the Board of Management of the Fund are appointed to represent a specific geographic area. Rather than simply attending a few committee meetings each year they are now being encouraged to become increasingly involved in either giving presentations about the Fund themselves or training others to deliver information locally.

However, despite all this effort a letter recently received at the Fund contains an all too familiar request. I quote "I hope you don't mind me asking for some more details on the Masonic Samaritan Fund which I know very little about. My father is a senior mason and I am also a mason but know very little of the working of the masonic charities." That quote is not from an applicant or an almoner but a consultant surgeon who wrote to us because one of his patients was being funded by the NMSF. Although it is unusual to get correspondence from such a source the sentiment expressed is, unfortunately, not unusual.

The majority of the support we provide is for treatment associated with advancing years. Hips, knees and hearts continue to be our major areas of expenditure. Today 20% of the national population is over 65. By the year 2025 it is estimated that there will be 1.9m people in Britain over the age of 90. If an accurate age profile of the masonic population was available I am sure that a similar trend would be visible. So why is demand for support from the Fund not continuing to increase?

I have already laboured at length on the need for improved communications but it would be wrong for me to lay the blame entirely beyond the doors of the Fund itself.

Throughout the life of the Fund medical science has continued to advance at an incredible rate. New and better drugs are now available with an increased emphasis on preventative medicine often reducing or removing the need for surgery. Surgical techniques have improved to the extent that many procedures previously considered major surgery are now almost routine. Against this background of progress the NMSF has evolved from a young and financially immature charity into a robust fund that can afford to consider the changing needs of those it seeks to support.

All aspects of the process of applying to the Fund have recently been reviewed. The application form itself has been revised in order to make it easier to complete and to make the requirement to review the applicant's financial status less intrusive. I do fully appreciate that it can be extremely difficult for an applicant to declare his or her financial state to an Almoner or other member of the Lodge. Our allowances are based on, but more generous than State allowances and we do not expect an applicant to have to be destitute in order to qualify for support. However, the charitable objects under which we are required to operate make it essential that a financial assessment is undertaken.

We have reviewed our waiting list criteria. If someone is faced with a three month wait for general surgery or a two month wait for cardiac surgery then they should consider an approach to the Fund.

We have also relaxed our stance on supporting retrospective applications. Although the majority of applications submitted after treatment has taken place will still not be funded, it is accepted that there will be a few cases where exceptional circumstances have made it impractical to apply for support first. However, the much used response of 'I didn't know about the Fund' is no longer a valid plea in mitigation.

We have also expanded the areas where we are able to provide support. With support available to the entire masonic family of all ages the potential demand is endless. Within the last year we have taken over the funding of drug treatment for cancer and degenerative diseases following an earlier trial using funds from the Grand Charity. We have funded a number of individuals who have been identified as being morbidly obese and in urgent need of surgical intervention to assist with weight loss. As recently as last week we funded the acquisition of an exercise machine to assist the 17 year old son of a mason. The son is tetra-plegic and only able to use one arm. It is hoped that this machine will enable him to make better use of his one remaining usable limb.

All applications for support are treated according to their individual merits. Some are clearly more straightforward than others but each and every one is subjected to the combined opinions of the medical and lay members of the Petitions Committee. This process itself has been opened up with every Provincial Grand Almoner and London Group Almoner being invited to attend to see for themselves how the application process works.

With an ever increasing number of elderly people and a lack of appropriate care facilities it is inevitable that an increasing number are being cared for, at home, by family - usually their spouse. These carers do a fantastic job often on a 24 hours a day 7 days a week basis. Their life can be almost as restricted as the person they are caring for and are in desperate need of some respite. That is why we are now embarking on another initiative to provide funding for respite care. This is in conjunction with the RMBI and will initially make use of spare capacity within their care homes across the country. It will also enable us to determine the long term need for this type of support in order to determine if the provision of support needs to be expanded further.

This year the Fund will celebrate its 15th birthday. Had this been a marriage it would be celebrating its crystal wedding anniversary. We at the Fund do not have the benefit of a crystal ball to look into the future. We therefore continue to rely on people like you across the length and breadth of the country to ensure that the support that we can provide is made available to all those who need it.

I trust that my remarks have shown that there has been quite a lot going on at the NMSF over the last three years as we seek to ensure that the donors who continue to generously support our work understand how their support is put to good use. Whilst at the same time trying to ensure that the Fund is meeting the needs of the individuals that it was established to support. Evolution rather than revolution remains the key as the New Masonic Samaritan Fund looks to meet the medical needs of the full masonic family for many years to come.

At the end of the day whilst statistics and fundraising efforts are essential it is important not to lose sight of the individual men, women and children who continue to benefit from the work of the Fund.

To finish I offer you one more incentive to maintain your support for the ongoing work of the Fund. A letter received recently at the Fund tells the story of a 73 year old mason who had been a long term Angina sufferer. He was unable to walk more than 100 yards without pausing for breath. Having recently undergone a quadruple heart by-pass, paid for by the Fund, he is now a tri-athlete. This involves walking 2 miles a day, swimming at least ¼ of a mile at least once a week and doing 2,000 meters on the rowing machine at his local gym. In his own words: "I am a man reborn". To everyone of you who has played a part in restoring that mans health I offer my sincere thanks.posted 16/9/2005

Lord Northampton addresses Brethren at Grand Lodge - 14 September 2005

Brethren, I welcome you all to Grand Lodge today at the start of another masonic season and thank you for attending. I hope you have all had a good summer even though, like me, you may be feeling that Shakespeare was right when he said that 'summer's lease hath all too short a date'.

Towards the end of August it was England's turn to host the Tripartite meeting with Ireland and Scotland. It was, once again, a harmonious and productive meeting as we discussed our relations with other Grand Lodges around the world. A week later, accompanied by the Grand Secretary, I attended the Installation of the new Grand Master of Denmark, MW Bro Hans Martin Jepsen, in their magnificent masonic building in Copenhagen. It was a most impressive and happy meeting. At the end of this month I will be travelling to Skopje with a large delegation of Grand Officers to constitute the new Grand Lodge of Macedonia. The Assistant Grand Master and his wife, Margaret, have been visiting lodges in our two Districts in New Zealand and are now in Fiji. The Deputy Grand Master is unable to be with us as he is on other business, but it is good to see RW Bro Iain Bryce filling the Deputy's chair once again.

Brethren, I am sure you will have been as saddened as I was when the Grand Secretary read out the reasons why eleven of our brethren have been expelled from the Craft. While we are reminded by the ritual to drop a tear of sympathy over the failings of a brother nevertheless we must be determined in our resolve to rid the Order of those who fail to live up to our high standards. They bring the whole of Freemasonry and all its members into disrepute.

Freemasonry is not some antiquated organisation frozen in time: it is a way of life which is as relevant today as it has always been. As Grand Officers, one of our duties should be to encourage brethren to practice out of the lodge what they are taught in it. In that way, the moral and spiritual values in our rituals can guide us in the 'paths of rectitude'. Making a daily advancement in masonic knowledge is not just a matter of learning something new about masonry, it is as much about discovering something new about yourself. By following its precepts we become better people and, therefore, are able to play a more responsible role for the good of society as a whole. Maybe we have to accept that there will always be rotten apples in our membership but, thankfully, they are few in number. We must strive to ensure that only quality candidates are admitted into the Order. Our aim should always be to make good men better through the practice of our Grand Principles - Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Brethren I am pleased to tell you that the Grand Charity 20th annual festival was held by the province of Wiltshire on 18 June and raised just under £1 million pounds I'm sure you will join me in congratulating the province on the great success of this festival and in particular those masons who were instrumental in helping to make so much money for the Grand Charity

Freemasons give $50,000 to victims of Hurricane Katrina

The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved emergency grants totalling $50,000 in support of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Hurricane, which struck the US Gulf Coast on Monday 30 August, caused widespread damage and has left thousands homeless, with hundreds feared dead.

A donation of $35,000 has been approved in support of the relief efforts being undertaken by the American Red Cross. Up to 3,000 American Red Cross staff and thousands of volunteers are currently bringing lifesaving aid to people in the worst affected states.

A separate donation of $15,000 has been approved for the Masonic Service Association of North America. The Masonic Service Association of North America is co-ordinating the disaster relief effort on behalf of Grand Lodges in the region and money collected will be used to support longer-term relief efforts within Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity is funded exclusively by the Freemasons of England Wales. No appeals for funds are made to the general public.posted 15/9/05

Jews and Freemasons controlled war on Iraq claims barrister

Tony Blair decided to wage war on Iraq after coming under the influence of a "sinister" group of Jews and Freemasons, a Muslim barrister who advises the Prime Minister has claimed. Ahmad Thomson, from the Association of Muslim Lawyers, says Mr Blair was the latest in a long line of politicians to have been influenced by the group which saw the attack on Saddam Hussein as a way to control the Middle East.

Mr Thomson wrote a book in 1994 in which he said Freemasons and Jews controlled the governments of Europe and America.posted 13/9/2005

New Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival 2012

£3.5 million is the target for the Warwickshire 2012 Festival for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. This was the figure revealed at the launch of the Festival on Saturday 10 September 2005 at the headquarters of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire in Edgbaston Birmingham to the large assembly of Masters, Almoners and Charity Stewards of the Lodges in the Province. The President and Chief Executive of the NMSF took part in the launch. The President was delighted to receive the first donations amounting to £25,000 from the Provincial Grand Master on behalf of the Craft Masons of Warwickshire, the Deputy Grand Superintendent on behalf of the Royal Arch Masons, and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province on behalf of all the Mark Master Masons in the Province.

Information about the Festival and its progress together with relevant forms for donations can be found on a web site dedicated to the Festival atwww.warwickshire2012.org.uk

Freemasons help research 

£1,250 was handed over to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital recently to help fund research into the treatment of kidney stones. The money was raised by Mancroft Lodge in the Province of Norfolk as part of a local charity campaign.

The Master, Robin Watkeys, presented the cheque to urology consultant Neil Burgess on behalf of the Lodge, explaining that he had suffered from kidney stones himself and any research that would improve treatment of this condition was very welcome. "Only people who have suffered from kidney stones themselves know how painful they can be," said Robin. Mr Burgess said the money would help support clinical research projects such as those that compare the relative benefits of minimal access surgery with other forms of kidney stone treatment.

"We have performed some useful research locally but now want to extend this to include patients from two or three other centres, both here and abroad. The money kindly donated by the Mancroft Lodge will help us in this regard," he said.

 

Royal Arch Ritual 

Warwickshire Royal Arch Ritual Books incorporating recent changes are now available for distribution to all Companions. The cost of each book remains at £7.50. They can be obtained from Peter H. James, 55 Walsall Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4NH.

Cheque should be made payable to 'Provincial Grand Chapter of Warwickshire'. Peter will post the number of copies required together with an invoice for postage.

Companions attending the Warwickshire First Principals' Chapter on Saturday 17th September 2005 can collect their pre-ordered books or can purchase them on the day. If you intend to buy on the day it would be most helpful if you had your cheque already made out to the 'Provincial Grand Chapter of Warwickshire'. If you intend to pay by cash please have the correct amount of £7.50 per copy ready. A stall will be set up for this purpose staffed by members of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter of Warwickshire.

United nations!

Jens Sauer of Kenilworth Lodge was among a number of visitors from Warwickshire Lodges recently to Robert Burns Initiated Lodge No 1781 meeting at Leith in the Province of Edinburgh. Jens volunteered to be the candidate in the demonstration of a ceremony. As a result he has to be the only German who is an English Freemason who has ever taken part in a Scottish ceremony!posted 4/9/2005

Macedonia

On 2 October 2000 Skopje Lodge was consecrated in Skopje, Macedonia. It was followed by the consecration of Unity Lodge and White Dawns Lodge in 2001 and 2003 respectively. These Lodges were established under the Grand Lodge of England but with the intention of eventually forming them into a Sovereign Grand Lodge. At the request of these three Lodges the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, will inaugurate the Grand Lodge of Macedonia on Friday 30 September.posted 2/9/2005

Freemasonry and the media

There has recently been a revival of interest in Freemasonry on the part of the broadcast media. Whilst it has no desire to prevent Brethren from voicing their views, the Board of General Purposes of Grand Lodge believes that participation at both the national and local levels in broadcast debates on Freemasonry is best left to spokesmen who have the background knowledge and experience to participate in such events. Any Brother in the Province of Warwickshire who is approached to take part in a broadcast should make it plain that the official spokesmen for the Province are the Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Information Officer and contact can be made with them through the offices of the Provincial Grand Secretary.posted 2/9/2005

Photography forbidden

Brethren are reminded that whilst there is no objection to the taking of group photographs in a Lodge Room in connection with a special meeting, the taking of photographs during meetings (including any procession immediately before or after a meeting) is prohibited by Grand Lodge. The prohibition extends to any purported reconstruction after a Lodge has been closed of any part of the proceedings while the Lodge was open.posted 2/9/2005

Freemasons asked to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina

Following the devastation caused to parts of the US Gulf coast by Hurricane Katrina, and in consultation with the Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, the Grand Charity has decided to open a relief chest to receive donations for victims of the disaster.

The hurricane and ensuing flooding has caused widespread damage. An area equivalent in size to the United Kingdom has been affected and hundreds of people are feared dead. Parts of the region are expected to remain uninhabitable for many months.

The US government has declared a public health emergency along the entire Gulf Coast, as one of the biggest relief operations in the history of the US gets underway. The worst affected areas are currently without clean water, food or sanitation and thousands of survivors are awaiting evacuation.

The President of the Grand Charity continues to liaise with the Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana on any requirement for emergency support.

Any Freemason wishing to make a donation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina via The Grand Charity can do so by sending a cheque payable to The Grand Charity to 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ and noting that it is to be paid into the Special Relief Chest established by the Grand Charity under the name The Hurricane Katrina 2005 Disaster Fund Relief Chest No. E0098.

Eligible tax payers wishing The Grand Charity to claim tax relief on their donation, must complete a Gift Aid Donation Form available from the Relief Chest Department on 0207 395 9246/9361. The Gift Aid Donation form should be completed, including a note of the Relief Chest number, and returned with your donation. Gift Aid increases the value of a donation by 28p for every £1.posted 2/9/2005

A Freemason for 75 years

John Vanderzyl, now 98 years of age, was raised to the degree of Master Mason on 30 May 1930 and was Master of Evergreen Lodge in California in 1947. He has now achieved the distinction of being the third member of Evergreen Lodge to have ever reached the milestone of being a member for 75 years. posted 21/8/05

Helping the elderly

This is an appeal to Freemasons and their partners in the Province of Warwickshire but volunteers from elsewhere would be welcome as well.

Contact the Elderly is a national charity that has been bringing older, isolated people together for ‘cakes and company’ for 40 years. The Charity offers a lifeline for people who often spend days at a time without seeing anyone: ‘You have no idea how much it means to me. I’m beginning to feel human again…. it’s easily the best organisation I know of for lonely people such as myself’. (Peggy, aged 81 years).

Contact the Elderly helps to relieve the loneliness of frail older people who live alone by arranging small group outings one Sunday afternoon a month. Volunteers with cars each collect one or two elderly members every month and the group of 6 to 8 members plus volunteers meet for Afternoon Tea in the house of a volunteer host. They visit a different home each month and over the months friendships develop. 
All Contact the Elderly groups within the West Midlands need more local volunteers willing to host a Sunday Afternoon Tea just once a year in their own home. It would involve providing sandwiches, cakes and so on for a group of 6-8 elderly members and 4-5 volunteer drivers. Hosts do need a downstairs toilet, as many of the group members are too frail to manage many stairs. Anyone wishing to have further details or who is keen to volunteer should contact Pamela Walker, Regional Development Officer (West Midlands), Contact the Elderly. Tel/Fax: 0121 603 1331 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted 13/8/2005

Freemasons' professor leads the way in diagnosis and management of prostate cancer

Medical researchers have developed a technique that could save thousands of men from impotence by predicting how aggressive prostate cancer is before surgery. At present needle biopsies, blood and urine samples are unable to predict accurately how dangerous prostate cancer is and whether it is likely to progress. This means that thousands of men may be having unnecessary preventive surgery, with serious side effects such as impotence. Now a study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, has outlined a simple and reliable technique which can be carried out on needle biopsy samples. 
The Checkerboard Tissue Microarray (TMA) method, developed by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research, looks for the multiple markers of various genes associated with prostate cancer - including the E2F3 gene. "Overexpression" of E2F3 - first identified by the Institute - is a marker of how aggressive cancer will be. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect men in the UK, with more than 30,000 diagnosed every year. Almost 10,000 men die from the disease each year.

Researchers said the new technique would allow them to investigate an enormous untapped resource of clinical specimens which were obtained at the time of cancer diagnosis. This would allow them to identify markers of the cancer's aggressiveness.

The technique will be pivotal in developing a test for prostate cancer aggressiveness which may ultimately prevent thousands of men undergoing surgery. The tissues in the prostate gland are either surgically removed or destroyed through radiotherapy as a way to treat the cancer. This radical surgery can have serious side effects such as incontinence and impotence.

Professor Colin Cooper, the Grand Charity of Freemasons' Chair of Molecular Biology at the institute, hopes to have a reliable test in place within two years. He said: "This represents a real advance for the future management of prostate cancer." Professor Cooper's Chair is being funded by the Grand Charity for ten years with a grant of £1,000,000. posted 13/8/2005

Grand Chaplain is a Roman Catholic priest

This is an extract (translated from Italian) from the address by the Grand Master of the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy the MW Bro Fabio Venzi at a recent Communication:

"I would like to finish my address appointing a Grand Officer who will probably remain not only in the history of Italian Freemasonry but also in the history of the world's Freemasonry and I do not think I am wrong. The Grand Officer I am appointing as Grand Chaplain is a priest of the Roman Catholic Church and once again I say of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Regular Grand Lodge of Italy and its Grand Master make, with this act, a gesture of opening. Never has a Masonic Body made such a significant act towards the Roman Catholic Church, dissociating itself from the other irregular Masonic Bodies who, with their anticlericalism, have caused so much damage and harm to the image of world-wide Freemasonry." posted 13/8/2005

Freemasons set the wheels in motion!

During a recent assembly members of Corinthian-Hammonton Lodge No. 9 in Marysville, California, handed over 16 bicycles to students at Arboga School and Far West School at Barksdale Air Force Base. The bicycle rewards are given for citizenship, improvement, and scholastic achievements. posted 28/7/05

Bringing a smile to children in hospital

Children and families enjoyed fun and games at a teddy bears' picnic fundraiser recently in the grounds of Bromley Masonic Hall. It raised cash for Teddies with Loving Care (TLC), a scheme run by the West Kent Freemasons which supplies teddy bears to children in hospital A&E departments. It delivers 7,000 furry friends to seven hospitals in the area each year. Local TLC chairman Dave Butcher said: "This is a worthwhile cause. No-one likes being in hospital and it's even worse for children." posted 28/7/05

Freemasons help the children of Niger

The Freemasons' Grand Charity has made a grant of £10,000 to Save the Children. The donation is in response to a request for funds to support the emergency appeal issued by Save the Children to support its work in Niger.

A humanitarian crisis on a massive scale has arisen in the Sahel region of West Africa following a devastating combination of a poor harvest caused by drought conditions and the worst locust infestation in 20 years. Niger, the world’s second poorest country, has been worst affected. The United Nations estimate around 2.5 million people have been affected by the crisis, including 800,000 children.

Save the Children has launched an emergency response to provide life-saving supplementary and therapeutic feeding and related healthcare activities for approximately 43,000 children under five in the Maradi and Zinder regions of Niger.

Save the Children’s main priority is to get clean food and water to children and their families in the affected area. The Grand Charity donation of £10,000 will provide lifesaving therapeutic food for 250 severely malnourished children for 30 days, the average time spent in the feeding programme and water purification tablets ensuring 10,000 children have clean water for 4 days.posted 28/7/05

Magnificent toy horse is gift to children's hospice

A giant rocking horse was presented to the Demelza House children's hospice on Friday 15 July 2005 at the Kent County Show. Michael Bailey, Provincial Grand Master for the East Kent Freemasons, handed over the toy to be used as a fund-raising prize at a forthcoming raffle or auction. The horse called Charlie was made by a retired fire officer, George Dean, and was handed over to Albert Pascall, one of Demelza's longest serving fund-raisers. The East Kent Freemasons had a stand at the three-day County Show. posted 23/7/2005

Freemasons help victims of the London terrorist attack

The President of the Grand Charity has approved payment of an emergency grant of £50,000 from The Grand Charity to assist the victims of the London bombings.

Following the four explosions caused by bombs in London on Thursday 7 July, the Mayor of London has established the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund, in association with the British Red Cross to raise money for the victims and their families. The British Red Cross has donated £50,000 to the Fund.

The money will be held in a trust and will be distributed by trustees who will be appointed by the Greater London Authority. It will be used to relieve disability or physical and mental sickness caused by the attacks and to help with financial needs. The money may also be used to support other appropriate projects as funds allow.posted 12/7/2005 

Organ or piano wanted for Severn Street Masonic Hall

Any Brother who has a good electronic organ or a small piano that he no longer requires and who wishes to donate to a good cause should contact Bill Wood onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
who would be most happy to arrange collection.posted 11/7/2005

Freemasonry in public

The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania has just installed the new Master of the Tasmanian Union Lodge in Hobart in the presence of family and friends of Tasmanian Freemasons.posted 11/7/2005

New Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival Appeal

The culmination of a highly successful Festival Appeal was celebrated in style at the Brighton Centre earlier in the year in the presence of Lord Northampton, the Pro Grand Master. The Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight raised the magnificent sum of £6,942,720 for the NMSF.

Grand Charity Festivals

The twentieth annual Festival for the Grand Charity was held on Saturday, 18 June 2005, at the Salisbury Racecourse, under the Presidency of RW Bro Francis Wakem, QPM, Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire. A total of £980,650 was announced.

The twenty-first annual Festival for the Grand Charity will be held on Saturday, 10 June 2006, at North Wales Conference Centre, Llandudno, under the Presidency of RW Bro Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Provincial Grand Master for North Wales. Donations may be passed to the Province direct, or to the Grand Charity, in the latter case making it clear that they are for the 2006 Festival. For further details about the 2006 Festival, contact the Provincial Grand Secretary of North Wales, W Bro R. Leonard Ellis, PJGD, 8 Mostyn Avenue, Craig-y-don, Llandudno LL30 1YS Tel: 01492 860223 Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Severn Street Masonic Hall

Major refurbishment of the front of the Severn Street Masonic Hall in Birmingham took place during the summer of 2004. Other work has now been undertaken to the premises which includes the complete replacement of the outside rendering of the dining room, replacement and repair of the roof and guttering and the waterproofing of the remainder of the cladding on the outside wall of the Lodge Room. In addition the Dining Room, Committee Room, Front Stairs and Porch have been redecorated and repairs carried out to some areas of the rehearsal rooms. The total cost was in excess of £35,000. posted 5/7/2005

Charity begins at home

A number of members of Athol Lodge and their wives attended the recent Open Day and fete at Reading Court in Stratford on Avon. They were pleased to hand over a cheque in the sum of £250 from the Lodge for the benefit of the residents.

Air Ambulance helped by Warwickshire Royal Arch Masons

The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, the UK's leading helicopter Emergency Medical Service, based at Coventry Airport, has been delighted to announce that on 30 June 2005 the Royal Arch Masons of Warwickshire presented a donation of £25,000 to the Charity.

Representatives from the Charity, the Coventry and Warwickshire Ambulance Service, the Chairman of the Warwickshire County Council, the Chairman of the Warwick District Council and guests from the Freemasons were in attendance. The special guest was Richard Wallis, the Grand Superintendent of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Warwickshire.

At the presentation Richard said:

"I am delighted to be able to hand over this donation of £25,000 from the Royal Arch Freemasons of Warwickshire to support this worthwhile and live saving cause and to enable it to continue to serve the communities of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire in such a vital, caring and dedicated manner. We are extremely grateful for all that they do and are conscious of the many lives that they save when even minutes are critical for each patient. This donation has been achieved in just two short years thanks to the generosity of the 1650 Royal Arch Masons in my Province and I am pleased to acknowledge their unstinting support for this and many other non-Masonic causes."

Mrs Jo Payne, the Fundraising Manager for the Charity said: "We are entirely reliant upon donations. We are extremely grateful to the Freemasons for their generosity especially acknowledging that this sum represents many individual contributions."
Richard Wallis hands over cheque for �25,000
The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance is the busiest in the UK. It currently operates 8am to 6pm winter and 8am to 8pm summer. £1.2 million per annum is required to maintain present levels of service. £2.5 million will see a 24 hour operation.

The picture shows Richard Wallis handing over the cheque for £25,000 to the pilot and paramedics of the Air Ambulance.posted 1/7/2005

A first for Rugby

The Masonic Hall at Rugby on Saturday 25 June 2005 was the venue for the marriage of Andrew Clarke and Rachel Hughes, the first time that a wedding ceremony has taken place there since the premises became licensed for the purpose by the local authority. The happy couple and their families and friends also enjoyed the wedding reception at the Hall.posted 27/6/2005

An "Old" Master

Orville C Sims is the Master of Oakdale Lodge in California and has brought four new members into the Lodge this year. Orville is 99 years and 7 months old! posted 19/6/2005 

Disclosure of MPs' Interests and Freemasonry

Roger Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, has recently tabled the following Early Day Motion in the House of Commons:-
"That this House calls on the Standards and Privileges Committee to review the Register of Members' Interests to include organisations with a closed membership; reiterates its endorsement of the supremacy of the parliamentary oath; notes that following the recommendations of the 1997 Home Affairs Select Committee report into Freemasonry in the police and the judiciary, police officers, probation officers, legally qualified staff in the Crown Prosecution Service, judges and members of the tribunals overseen by the Department for Constitutional Affairs are required since 1999 and upon accepting appointment, to state whether they are members of such organisations; believes that those who are responsible for making the law should be subject to the same levels of transparency as those who are responsible for exercising the law; recognises the vital importance of maintaining public confidence in the impartiality of those in public office; and believes that at a time of growing mistrust in political institutions, it is in the interests of the public and parliamentary democracy for those holding the offices of power to be accountable and transparent about their interests and affiliations."

'Early Day Motion' is an informal term for a request, or notice of motion, by an MP in the House of Commons for a debate 'on an early day' but for which no date has been fixed. Very few EDMs are actually debated and it is generally used as a way for MPs to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from fellow Members. (posted 14/6/2005) 

Tsunami Relief update presentation to Grand Lodge on 8 June 2005 by Laura Chapman, Chief Executive, The Grand Charity

Pro Grand Master, President, Gentlemen. I am very pleased to be able to speak to you today about the Grand Charity's proposals for supporting the victims of the tsunami disaster.

The Craft has been overwhelmingly generous in donating to the Relief Chest set up by the Grand Charity. This has grown to virtually three-quarters of a million pounds, which is a huge sum and, thereby, has placed on us a most significant responsibility to ensure that that money is used to the best of purposes.

As I reported in April at the Grand Charity's AGM, over the winter we have met here in London with a number of international charities who are involved in the relief efforts and who have a particular focus on support for children. We have been trying to gain an understanding of where the needs actually are and which charities are best placed to deliver. The Council has decided to spread its support across the region hit by the tsunami and intends to fund projects in four of the countries affected: India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand.

Of the charities that we met, we consider Plan to be the best suited to be our partner, to manage projects at the local level. It is an international charity, active in 45 developing countries, whose mission is to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children. We had been very impressed by our meetings in London with Plan, with their approach to sustainable community redevelopment, their safeguards to prevent corruption and mismanagement at local level and their sophisticated approach for evaluating the impacts of their projects.

It became clear to me, however, that an essential part of our due diligence process must be to see the delivery capability of the charity on the ground and to meet those personnel who would actually be managing the project we supported. With that as our objective, I set off to southern India and to Thailand, accompanied by my chaperones from the Council, Michael Turnbull, Chairman of the Appeals and Donations Committee and Bakul Vyas, to meet with Plan India. We also wanted to visit the Light of Siam Lodge in Phuket who had approached the Grand Charity for support for a project that they had developed.

In India we went to see the work of Plan India, who has had an office in Chennai for a number of years, and who was on the spot within hours of the tsunami disaster to help with the very first relief efforts. In the subsequent months, it has been working with local charities to build temporary housing, provide food and clothing for survivors and ensure basic sanitation and medical facilities are available. It is one of the international charities that has been allocated villages by the Indian government and will be responsible for managing the redevelopment of all aspects of housing, social and economic life in each village.

In southern India, the evidence of the devastation of the tsunami, even four months after the tidal wave engulfed the coast, was still overwhelming. The chaotic debris that has been left in its immediate aftermath had been tidied, but we didn't need to look very far for evidence of the disaster. The once green, productive fields are now barren, brown soil, covered by a layer of sand. All that remained of the cashew nut crop, the mainstay of the farming community's livelihood, were a few tangled tree trunks. Acres of farmland, inundated by salt-water, remain unusable until the salt and the sand can be removed. Damaged boats still littered the coastline and once busy ports were deserted, awaiting the return of the fishermen.

Most of the houses hit by the water have been destroyed and the few that are left are so badly damaged, they are uninhabitable. Although temporary accommodation has been built, these are far from satisfactory-constructed from corrugated tin sheeting over timber frames, one 10' by 10' room for the entire family. With daytime temperatures of 37 or 38 degrees celsius, the temperatures inside the shelters are unbearable. The rebuilding of the housing has been delayed, whilst the government debates crucial decisions on the allocation of land. In the meantime, families are left to swelter as the summer approaches.

Homes and livelihoods will, in time, be repaired. But the impact on the minds and spirits of those who lost loved ones, especially for the children who lost parents, will never be erased. Plan is providing counselling for children, as well as adults, to help them come to terms with their grief. This support is beginning to help many, like Chandru, a boy of eight who lost his mother in the disaster, and who did not speak for days thereafter.

When the Council of the Grand Charity initially decided to direct its funding for projects for children affected by the tsunami, it had assumed that that would mean support for an orphanage or for schools. In Southeast Asia, however, children who have lost their parents are usually taken in by their extended family. Hence, in that culture, it is difficult to target the support specifically on the children and, in fact, the best way of helping the children is to help the entire family-by providing housing, livelihood support, general community rebuilding and counselling, especially for women and for the children themselves.

As a result, the Grand Charity intends, subject to confirming a few final issues in its due diligence review, to support an initial project with Plan India in the order of £300,000 to help families living in ten fishing villages in the area of Villapuram, Tamil Nadu. This project will provide livelihood support-boats and nets for fishermen, income-generating projects for women-it will establish child-care and healthcare centres and offer counselling for women and children. The funding would be given over a three-year period, with each instalment paid only on satisfactory completion of the prior phase of work.

The Grand Charity group also visited Phuket, Thailand to meet with the Light of Siam Lodge. The men from this Lodge, who are residents of Phuket and very much part of the local community, were there on the day of the disaster, helping to pull survivors from the rubble and providing shelter in their own homes for those made homeless. It is with the deepest sense of conviction and commitment that they seek to help those who have suffered in the disaster. They have created a project to help the most vulnerable-the children of the poor. Working with ChildWatch, a local Thai charity, their goal is to house fifty orphans and to provide support for an additional 200 children in a daycare centre.

Although the scale of destruction in Phuket is less than in other areas, help is still needed. The presence and commitment of the Lodge members ensure on the spot monitoring and good governance for the project, as well as access to the considerable professional skills of Lodge members. The project also offers a unique opportunity for Craft awareness and involvement. The Lodge is seeking funding for the on-going running costs of the centre and the Grand Charity intends to offer support of approximately £100,000 over an initial three-year period, subject to satisfactory completion of the construction phase.

The Grand Charity also intends to support two other countries that were devastated by the tsunami: Sri Lanka and Indonesia and we are continuing discussions to identify suitable projects. Given the political and social difficulties in Indonesia and the press reports emphasizing corruption and mismanagement in the allocation of relief funding, we recognise that great care must be taken and we are, therefore, not in any hurry to despatch funds without ensuring proper safeguards.

The Grand Charity remains committed to ensuring that the trust that the Craft has placed in us to decide how the money in the Tsunami Relief Chest will be used is not misplaced. Our task will not end with the initial decisions on support, but will continue with the monitoring of the projects to ensure that milestones are achieved before second or third instalments of the grants are released.

Based on our first-hand evidence, the need for relief and longer-term redevelopment funding is undeniable. We are working with Plan to identify the specific projects in the countries that we have targeted. Plan and the local charities who are delivering the projects for them and Childwatch, for the Light of Siam Lodge, are well established, experienced and professional in their work. We have every confidence that your generous donations will make a real difference to the lives of children whose world was shattered on 26th December last.(posted 13/6/2005)

Charity Festivals

The following announcement was made by Lord Northampton at Grand Lodge on 8 June 2005 about three Charity Festivals held so far this year:

"The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, held by the Province of South Wales, Western Division on the 6 May which raised over a million pounds;

The Masonic Samaritan Fund, held by the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight on 10 May which raised nearly seven million pounds;

and the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, held by the Province of Cheshire on 13 May which raised over five and a half million pounds." posted 13/6/2005 

Reorganisation of the Grand Council

The Strategic Working Party set up by the Pro Grand Master to review the administration and governance of the Craft has recently considered the reorganisation of the General Council which was set up in 1999, but which unfortunately has not functioned successfully. Recommendations have now been made which it is hoped, if implemented, will make the General Council more effective as a representative and consultative body, available to the Rulers, the Board of General Purposes and others who are responsible for the guidance and administration of the Craft and the Royal Arch. These recommendations are now being circulated to Provincial Grand Masters and Grand Superintendents for their views following which proposals will be brought before Grand Lodge.(posted 13/6/2005) 

Freemasons pull a bus for charity

The tough got going in Harlow on Saturday 4 June 2005 when teams of Essex Freemasons pulled a bus across Westgate Square in the town and raised £4,000 towards buying a new 'D' Class inflatable lifeboat for Southend RNLI.

Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

There follows the texts of the reports given at the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, May 2005. Click the link to read the relevant report.

Address of the Provincial Grand Master

Address of the Provincial Grand Secretary

Address of the Provincial Information Officer

 

Address of the Provincial Grand Master

Brethren,

It is good to see so many of you here today at this Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge and particularly to have the support of our visitors.

To those Brethren who have today been appointed to or promoted in Provincial Grand Rank, I extend my warmest congratulations and remind them that their preferment is not only a recognition of their past service to Freemasonry but also, very importantly, as an incentive for further service.

I do hope that those Brethren who have accepted an acting rank will use this once in a lifetime opportunity to go out and visit Lodges across the Province particularly those who are small in number. I can assure you that you will receive a very warm welcome.

To my team for the past year may I thank each of you for the wonderful support you have given to me. I have had the pleasure of your company on so many occasions throughout the year. I do hope you will use the experience you have gained for the benefit of your Lodges in particular and the craft in general.

I should like to commiserate with W.Bro. Joe Tildesley, one of our A.D.C.’s, who was unsuccessful in the recent Parliamentary election. Unlike our colleagues in Northants and Huntingdonshire we cannot boast a Brother who actually stood for the Monster Raving Lunatic Party. We may, however, have some well qualified to do so!

Since I have had the honour to be your Provincial Grand Master I have encouraged you to be proactive in seeking new members, of the right calibre, in sufficient numbers to at least maintain overall levels of membership. Currently there is an annual net loss of about 2.5%. The annual intake of Initiates across the Province hovers around the 190 to 205 mark. Some of the other Provinces are managing to attract an average of two Initiates per Lodge per year. If that were achieved in this Province it would equate to an annual intake of 400 and a net gain in membership.

There is a printer’s error in the annual report on page 13. The number of Initiates quoted should read 179 and not 79.

Brethren, again I appeal to all of you to do all that you can to encourage a pro-active approach to seeking out suitable Candidates.

With this in mind I have set up a strategic working group to closely examine recruitment and retention under the chairmanship of W.Bro. John Emms. I now have the statistics showing the movement in membership for each Lodge over the past few years. It is now a question of closely examining the trends and to establish the underlying reasons. If any brother would wish to make a written submission then it will be most welcome by W.Bro. Emms through the Provincial office.

We have to continue to promote openness within the Craft so that as many people as possible have an opportunity to learn about Freemasonry. We also need to examine the procedures within our meetings so that, without detracting from the decorum, we may be able to shorten the time taken.

Brethren, our Masonic family has many members beyond Craft Masonry and I do urge those of you wishing to explore further to join those of the additional orders which interest you. That said I want all of you who are not members of the Holy Royal Arch to visit their web site or to look at the excellent cd which has been produced. There is an indissoluble link between the Craft and the Royal Arch.

Last year I announced that we were introducing the Tender Loving Care Teddy Bear Scheme. I am pleased to be able to report that, under the leadership of W.Bro. Chris Groves, it is now operating in all the accident and emergency units in the Province totalling eleven, and so far 1200 Teddies have been given away. We have received several letters of appreciation from parents and the scheme has been enthusiastically received by the nursing staff in these units.

We are now about to embark upon another festival. This time it will be for the New Masonic Samaritan fund in 2012. You will remember Brethren, that over a year ago your Lodges were canvassed as to whether you preferred a seven or five year festival. Over 85% of the Lodges responded and by more than two to one you decided upon a seven year festival.

The festival will be officially launched at a special meeting to be held here on the morning of Saturday the 10th September when we shall have R.W.Bro. Norman Lloyd-Edwards, President, and Richard Douglas, Secretary of the fund as our guests. I have asked W.Bro Michael Baker to be the director of the fund. The details of the target will be announced on that day. I am now issuing a three line whip for every Master, Almoner and Charity Steward, or their representatives, to be at the launch.

A consequence of the start of the festival is that the heritage fund will now be wound down but not closed. Through your generosity we have amassed the magnificent sum of nearly £400,000 which is ring fenced for use by future generations. I do hope that you will from time to time remember the fund and certainly encourage new initiates to make their contribution to our heritage.

I should like to thank the chairman of the fund, W.Bro. Roger Mac, for his sterling efforts. The management committee will remain in place. I should also like to thank W.Bro. Harry Owen not only for his admin work with the fund but also for his magnificent efforts in selling ties and memorabilia which has resulted in gross sales in excess of £92,000 since August 2001. I do hope that Brethren will continue to support the Province by proudly wearing the blue Provincial tie and that every Initiate is given one on his Initiation to wear when he re-enters the Lodge room to receive the Charge.

I now wish to say a few words about this building. Although many Lodges, Chapters and other orders meet here it is also our Provincial Headquarters. If you meet elsewhere in the Province do not think this is nothing to do with you. It is, because every Freemason in the Province has an interest in the building as you are all members of the company.

This building is one of the finest Masonic facilities in the country and we should all do our utmost to preserve it. For the past eighteen years or so we have employed a general manager who has now retired. I, and my fellow directors, are taking this opportunity to become more involved in the day to day management of the building through our team of managers. We have only been at the helm for a little more than a month although it seems longer. If we are to succeed we have to take cost out of the company. As examples, even in this short period we have been successful, particularly in the wet stock. We have re-sourced our supply which, for example, has allowed us to reduce the price of a pint of bitter to £2.15 and at the same time increase the amount of profit the company makes on the pint. Last years beer purchases at today’s prices would result in an annual saving of £6000. Similarly we hope to take several thousands of pounds out of our linen hire costs.

I have been calling on the assistance of Brethren whose expertise ranges from health and safety to hotel management. Some Brethren have assumed responsibility for particular aspects of the company which is very demanding on their time. I wish to record my great appreciation to all those Brethren who have given their advice and services so generously in helping us to examine and reorganise the management of the company.

If any Brother feels he has expertise, and commitment, which can help us I shall be delighted to hear from him.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Brethren and Lodges who have donated items of Lodge furniture to the Province in the form of columns, square and compasses, and gavels. Only the other evening a Brother came up to me offering to pay, anonymously, for the new columns we have put in each Lodge room here. I am most grateful to you all.

Many of you know that I am a very keen fly fisherman and have been lucky enough to pursue my interest all over the world from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. I have learned that, centred on the Provinces of Middlesex and Hertfordshire there is a scheme in existence where Freemasons take disabled children to a trout lake for a days fishing. I should very much like the Brethren in Warwickshire to start such a scheme and, as a first step, I should like all interested Brethren who are fly fishermen, and your fishing friends, who are prepared to give up a day, to register with the Provincial office. We can then form an organising committee. I want us to be able to widen the experience of these disadvantaged children in a direction that would not normally be open to them.

We have had a busy though enjoyable year throughout the Province and I should like to thank you Brethren for the very warm welcome and generous hospitality which you have extended to me and to the members of my team when we have had the great pleasure of visiting your Lodges.

From time to time Brethren write to me and to the Provincial Secretary. Last week I received a letter from one of our retiring Provincial Stewards thanking me for his appointment, saying how much he had enjoyed visiting Lodges around the Province and outlining some of his experiences one of which concerned his visit to Knowle. He was changing into his Provincial Grand Stewards regalia when a very concerned Brother came up to him to ask him if he was at the right meeting!

Meetings such as today take much thought and planning. I wish to thank all who have been involved in the organisation of today’s meeting particularly my Provincial Secretary, W.Bro. Nigel Bister, who has been a tower of strength to me throughout the year, and his staff in the Provincial office. To the Provincial Grand Registrar, W.Bro. Trevor Cavill and his team and my fellow members of the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge.

Brethren, this Province is in extremely good heart and long may that continue. You all know my philosophy about Freemasonry – it is there to be enjoyed. I urge all of you to extend that philosophy into your Lodges so that the Brethren go home after the meeting with smiles on their faces looking forward to their next merry meeting.

Back to Reports

Provincial Grand Secretary’s Report 2005

R W Provincial Grand Master, this is my second report as Provincial Grand Secretary and you are completing your fourth year as Provincial Grand Master. The year has been again one of steady progress for the Province.

Consecrations

The highlight of the year for the Province was undoubtedly the Consecration of the Lodge of the East and West, which was carried out by you and your Provincial team in an exemplary manner at Stirling Road on Tuesday 6th July 2004. A total of 105 Brethren attended including 24 Founders, RWBro. Stanley A Lates OSM. being their founding Master.

Special Occasions

To include:
Trinity Lodge No.254 Dedication of a new set of Tracing Boards. 
A set of magnificent Tracing Boards which had been hand painted by W Bro Bill Podmore were dedicated by the Provincial Grand Master at the Coventry Masonic Centre on Thursday 7th October 2004. 
Banner Dedication of the Lodge of Security No.5650 at Severn Street on 5th October 2004
Anniversaries of a number of Lodges were celebrated throughout the year.

Long Service Certificates

During the year the following Brethren were presented with the R W Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate marking 50, and 60 years service to Freemasonry. We congratulate them all for their dedication and achievements.

Sixty Years Service to Freemasonry

W Bro P G Davis, PProvSGW. 
W Bro J R Rishworth, PProvGReg.
W Bro J G Blandford, PProvGSwdB.
Bro R W Hobbins, PProvJGD.
W Bro A N Penman, PProvGReg.

Fifty Years Service to Freemasonry
W Bro S R Lukeman, PProvGSuptWks. 
W Bro D E Allinson, PProvJGW.
W Bro V Hemus, PProvJGW.
W Bro A N Weaver, PProvJGW.
W Bro E B Clark, PProvJGW.
W Bro A Bonsor, PProvJGW.
W Bro K J P Bowyer, PProvGSuptWks.
W Bro T L Davies, PProvJGW.
W Bro F J Clarke, PProvAGDC.
Bro P D Lilly
W Bro J W Adams, PProvSGW.
W Bro N T Padmore, PProvSGW.
W Bro W H Oldershaw, PProvSGW.
W Bro M C Feinstein, PProvJGW. 
W Bro A Leese, PProvSGW.
W Bro J L Clifford, PProvJGW.
W Bro R J Clifford, PProvSGD.
W Bro W Selwyn, PProvJGW.
W Bro D Yetman, PProvSGW.

Membership

During the year ended 30th April 2005, the annual returns received from Lodges recorded the following statistical analysis:

  179 Initiates

  155 Joined

  107 Deceased

  294 Resignations

    46 Ceased Membership

    26 Elected Honorary Members

6414 Active Members

Obituary
It is great regret that I have to report the deaths of 97 members of the Province during the year ended 30th April 2005. These include the following Grand Officers:-

W Bro William Mark Hartley, MBE PGStB
W Bro Frederick Reginald Marshall, PAGDC
W Bro Edward Norman Hands, PJGD
W Bro George Edward Faulkes, PAGDC

We send to all their families our very deepest sympathy. They will be sadly missed.

Promotions in and Appointments to Grand Rank
Subscribing members of Lodges in this Province were honoured by Promotion and Appointment at the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge on 27th April 2005 as follows:

Appointments
W Bro Michael Anthony Adler PAGDC
W Bro Peter Andrew Bennett PAGDC
W Bro Philip Major Collins PAGDC
W Bro Michael Leonard Ward PAGDC
W Bro Christopher John Grove MBE PGStB
W Bro David Harold Liddington PGStB

Promotions
W Bro Derek Nigel Broderick PAGDC to PJGD
W Bro Malcolm Robert Seymour Thomas PAGDC to PJGD

Finance
The report of the Provincial Grand Treasurer is included in the paper of business and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking W Bro Michael Squires PAGDC for his support and wish him well in his retirement. My sincere thanks also to W Bro Harry Owen PAGDC for all his hard work and dedication in selling Masonic merchandise and in particular the considerable amount of time that he has give in support of the Heritage Fund

Masonic Church Service 
The Annual Masonic Service will be held on Sunday 19th June 2005 at St Mary’s Collegiate Church Warwick. The Address will be given by the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro Rev. Cannon Denis Claringbull, the theme being ‘The House of God’. All those who attend will enjoy the beautiful music, singing, and inspiring service. Masters of Lodges are urged to ensure a proper representation by their Lodge for what is after all their own service.

Education and Training and Information Technology

Grand Lodge’s Database
The Adelphi Database is now up and running and is nearing final completion. The Provincial Office now has total responsibility for Pre Registering all candidates that are initiated into Lodges or have joined, or re-joined. It is therefore most important that all Registration Forms together with any fee payable must be sent to the Provincial Office. During the next twelve months it is anticipated all information held on our own Provincial Database will be checked for accuracy and updated as necessary.

Lodge DC’s and ADC’s Seminar
Following the success of last year it is again proposed to continue with this event which is organised by W Bro Roger Parker PAGDC Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies with the help of his Deputies and Assistants. Lodge DC’s and ADC’s are encouraged to attend.

Administration
Once again my sincere thanks to Barbara Powell to whom I am extremely indebted, and to Bridget Parr who is recovering from a serious operation, to W Bro Malcolm Thomas PJGD for all the support they continue to give. To W Bro Trevor Cavill Provincial Grand Registrar and his team for their assistance in the organisation for the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge.

I would also like to thank all Lodge Secretaries and Treasurers of the various Lodges in the Province for their work in administration and co-operation with the Province.

Finally to you R W Provincial Grand Master for you help and guidance throughout the year.

W Bro Nigel C Bister, PAGDC, PProvSGW
Provincial Grand Secretary

Back to Reports

Report of the Provincial Information Officer

Introduction

The year under review has been as eventful as previous years with a number of instances of changes of attitudes towards Freemasonry although some anti-Masonic views managed to surface again. The critics and detractors are still out there so we cannot afford to be complacent.

Provincial Website

I am delighted with the continuing success of the Provincial web site and with the plaudits that I receive from Brethren who find it a useful and current source of information. The site attracts visits from all over the world and the annual average of hits is now in the region of 435,000. The month of January 2005 saw the site receive 52,000 hits, a record. (The monthly average for visits to the site is 2,350.) The website has again been responsible for the introduction of candidates to Freemasonry in Warwickshire.

I have approved and welcomed five new Lodge websites during the year, for Old Veseyan, Tudor and Athol Lodges, the Lodge of Perception and the Lodge of Academe, and two more, for Prudence and Loyalty, are in the process of approval. I am indebted to W Bro Stuart Thorpe for his untiring work in supporting me with the Provincial web site as the Webmaster and helping me understand the technical issues.

Despite the recommendation in my previous report, there are still a substantial number of Lodges which do not have the addresses of the two Warwickshire websites set out on their summonses – www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk and www.royalarch.org.uk I urge them to remedy this at the earliest opportunity. They guide members of the Lodge and their visitors, especially from other Provinces, to invaluable sources of Masonic information and the excellence of both sites.

Freemasonry and discrimination

Former Flying Squad Commander John O’Connor claimed in December 2004 that Freemasons still wield massive power within high ranks and that black people who do not join the “secretive groups” (sic) lose out in the power struggle. Mr O’Connor was speaking after the launch of an inquiry report led by retired union leader Sir Bill Morris into alleged Metropolitan Police racism. He also claimed that white people who did not join the Masons were at a disadvantage. As only one of the last six Metropolitan Police Commissioners has had any Masonic connection (and he resigned before he joined the Metropolitan force) and none of the Deputies or Assistants in the last 15 years has been a Freemason, the evidence does not appear to support Mr O’Connor’s offensive assertions. The Morris Report makes no mention of Freemasonry.

A Member of the Ukrainian Parliament towards the end of 2004 sought to promote a Bill which would have rendered membership of our Order in the Ukraine a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment!

Amongst the most bizarre attacks on the Institution that I have ever seen was one levelled at the MW Grand Master at the end of 2004 from a (non-Masonic!) resident of Warwickshire who wrote to him as follows:

“I read your recent BBC4 Radio poll (on your website) with interest as I have read all your pathetic statements over the last 15 years. I admire your decision in 2003 not to "cut the throats" of your members who disclose the Masonic secrets. Although this did not help Martin Short (author of ‘Inside the Brotherhood’) who unfortunately died of a brain tumour as reported in the press, even though we both know "you" authorised his murder as well as 100's of other innocent people. Why kill innocents? Very shortly, you and I are going to meet in public in front of the British and World Media not to mention the British people and International community. I have received your messages to leave the country or I could be kidnapped. Thank you for those messages. Here is my address and contact details: (please note I have no bodyguards)…………..”

The Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee has announced its proposal to introduce a Bill to replace current regulations governing registration of financial and other interests. The Committee is proposing that Members of the Scottish Parliament should be required to register those interests which the public might reasonably think could influence an MSP’s actions, using an objective "influence" test. On registering non-financial interests, the Committee proposed: "It will be for each member to ask themselves, not whether they would or might be influenced by the interest but, whether a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that their impartiality would be or appear to be prejudiced by the interest." Commentators have suggested that this might require Members to declare membership of “organisations such as the Freemasons”. 
In an otherwise excellent article in The Times on 17 July 2004 about Freemasons’ Hall in London, the author claimed that "A more recent expression of Masonic principles came in 1982, when Roberto Calvi, a member of the P2 Lodge, was found hanging from the symbolic Blackfriars Bridge with stones in his pockets". It is a grave insult to the integrity of British Freemasons to suggest, even in a poor attempt at humour, that corruption and murder are "a more recent expression of Masonic principles". The P2 Lodge was a clandestine organisation whose existence was unknown to the body it claimed to be working under, the Grand Orient of Italy, and had no connections or contact whatsoever with British Freemasonry. Blackfriars Bridge has no symbolic meaning for Freemasons, nor do stones in pockets.
Aubrey Tarbuck, elected as Deputy Mayor of Worcester for 2004/2005, told the Council that he is a Freemason. He will be the Mayor in 2005/2006. Leader of the opposition Labour Group on the Council, Adrian Gregson, was reported in August 2004 as saying that Aubrey has the opportunity "to consider where his allegiances and priorities lie", since [Freemasons] have connections and there are always questions about how much influence they have in public bodies and democratic organisations, which they shouldn't have."

Freemasonry and Christianity

During the year under review the Bishop of Ripon suspended the Dean of Ripon over allegations of unbecoming conduct. Among the complaints made against the Dean was one that he conducted a Freemasons’ service in the cathedral which is said to have caused “particular resentment”. A vicar in the Isle of Man banned ministers and readers who are Freemasons serving in his parishes. Following discussions between the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro George Peake, and the Bishop of Sodor and Man, the vicar withdrew his objections.

A dispute about Freemasonry has split one of Kenya’s largest churches, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, leading to the removal of priceless historical fittings from its prayer houses, said to be symbols of Freemasonry and “anti-Christ”. It is alleged that Freemasons worship an alien God and hold un-Christian principles. Following one of its Sunday morning religious broadcasts in December 2004 the BBC conducted an Internet poll on the issue of the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity. By 13,520 votes to 1,175 the poll concluded that they were compatible.

There is still no news when the proposed meeting between the Archbishop of Canterbury will take place with the Pro Grand Master to discuss the Archbishop’s “concerns” about Freemasonry.

Coventry City Council

Unexpectedly, and without notice to the Masonic authorities, Coventry City Council's Standards Committee, headed by a retired judge, in August 2004 removed all overt references to Freemasonry in the staff Code of Conduct and the Council adopted the change in September 2004. I was delighted with the outcome following the months of correspondence (and frustration) with the Council and letters to the local press. Common-sense and the human rights legislation have prevailed.

The Standards Board for England

As I indicated in my last report the Code of Conduct for Councillors requires them to register membership of charities and of bodies directed to charitable purposes. Freemasons in England and Wales are members of The Grand Charity in accordance with its Trust Deed. In these circumstances a Councillor who is a Freemason must register his membership of The Grand Charity with the local authority of which he is a member. Unfortunately, the guidance issued by the Standards Board early in 2004 was misleading and it had also been interpreted wrongly by some local authorities who believed that they had power to require disclosure of Freemasonry and membership of Masonic Lodges. I wrote to all local authorities in or touching the Province to tell them the correct position. A number of Monitoring Officers submitted my letter to their Standards Committees and one included it on his Council’s web site. Following my strong representations to the Standards Board to have the guidance changed to reflect the true position I am pleased to say that new guidance has been issued which brings the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. An item about the issue appeared in a recent edition of Freemasonry Today. The new guidance can be found at http://www.standardsboard.co.uk/code_of_conduct/questions.php#qu22

Gentlemen’s Evenings

There are signs that that these events continue to be popular, often giving rise to new candidates. Some Lodges are even holding their second and third Gentlemen’s Evenings. Members of the Provincial Executive are always happy to speak on these occasions.

Freemasons in the Police Service

In April 2004 the Police Service of Northern Ireland commenced a process for the registration of “notifiable memberships” as a result of the introduction of the requirement by legislation. A police officer has a notifiable membership if membership of an organisation might reasonably be regarded as affecting the officer’s ability to discharge his duties effectively and impartially. The Chief Constable issued guidance which mentioned a number of organisations, including Freemasonry, which in his view were the type of organisations at which the legislation was aimed. A legal challenge was mounted in June 2004 and the trial was expected to take place in November in the High Court in Belfast. In the light of legal advice that he received the Chief Constable withdrew the guidance and the action was halted. As a consequence there is no longer any specific reference to Freemasonry but the requirement to register a notifiable membership remains.

The Grand Charity

The Province was honoured to host a General Meeting of the Grand Charity at Stirling Road on 16 October 2004, presided over by the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton. This was only the sixth such meeting to be held outside London since the inception of the Grand Charity in 1981. Amongst the 600 or so who attended were the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, the Mayor of Worcester and the Chairman of Warwickshire County Council. Eleven of the Masonic Provinces were represented. Grants amounting to some £916,000 were approved for 18 non-Masonic charities. A collection taken at the meeting for the Acorn’s Children’s Hospice raised the sum of £3,230.

Councillor Allah Ditta, the Mayor of Worcester, said on his Council’s web site after he had returned from the meeting: “A heavy day on Saturday. First the General Meeting of the Grand Charity in Birmingham – and yes, before anybody gets uptight, I know it was a Masonic affair. I’m not a Mason, I know very little about them, but an organisation that gives millions – yes, millions - to charities including my own Acorns can’t be all bad.”

I was pleased to have been able to arrange for the President of the Grand Charity, RW Bro Raymond Lye, to be interviewed by Ed Doolan on his radio programme on BBC WM the day before the meeting. The interview, which lasted for more than five minutes, was a great success. The programme has about 250,000 listeners.

I was delighted and honoured to accept an invitation in March 2005 from the Grand President to be one of his representatives on the Council of the Grand Charity initially for three years from 2005 to 2008.

Significant “firsts”

Bro Peter Bailey was initiated, by dispensation, into the Lodge of Impartiality in November at the age of 18, only the second one in the Province as far as we are aware. Bro Alan and Bro David Harwood, twin brothers, were initiated together in St Barbara Lodge in January this year. We now have five sets of twins in the Province, the others being W Bro David and W Bro Chris Boston who are members of the Aston Old Edwardian Lodge, W Bro John and W Bro James Ashmore of Holte Lodge, Bro Kevin and Bro Michael Marston of Etone Lodge, and Bro Brij and Bro Jog Dhody of the Lodge of Fellowship.

The Lodge of the East and West, the newest Warwickshire Lodge, consecrated on 6 July 2004, welcomed its first Initiate, Rajesh Sethi, on 6 October 2004. His father Ramesh, one of our Provincial Grand Stewards for 2004/2005, who was delighted to take part in the initiation, and his brother Ashwin, are both Founder Members of the Lodge.

Bro Barrie Hawkins was raised to the Third Degree in Etone Lodge in December 2004, his oldest son Anthony was initiated in January 2005 and his youngest son Timothy was made a Mason in February.

W Bro David Houston, a Past Master of St Paul’s Lodge No 43, completed the transfer of all the Lodge’s extant minutes to CD-ROM. Of particular interest to Masonic researchers, the CDs are available by contacting David on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.ately the Minute Book for 1786-1845 is missing. It is clearly an invaluable document for the oldest Lodge in the Province and if anyone knows of its whereabouts W Bro David Houston would be pleased to hear from them.

RW Bro Stanley Lates OSM was honoured by the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Switzerland by being appointed to the rank of Past Grand Senior Warden. RW Bro Michael Price and VW Bro Victor Keene were both promoted to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden in the Mark Province of Warwickshire at the Annual Meeting in November 2004.

There was a delightful Masonic flower festival at the Masonic Hall in Stratford in September 2004 which attracted considerable publicity and attendances and also raised some £4,000 for the Stratford Kidney Unit Appeal.

Freemasonry in the sun

In an afternoon of sunshine on Sunday 20 June 2004 some 60 senior Warwickshire Freemasons, along with the Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Staffordshire, again walked in public procession in full regalia to St Mary’s Church from the Masonic Rooms in the High Street of Warwick for the Annual Service. The theme of the service was ‘Behold the Lord passed by’ and the sermon was preached by Bro Rev Canon Dr Denis Claringbull, Provincial Grand Chaplain. The Masonic links with the church go back to the early part of the 18th century. Records show that when a Lodge was constituted in Warwick on 22 April 1728 the first Master was the Reverend Greenwood, the Vicar of the Church. I am pleased to say that Freemasonry Today published an article and photograph about the occasion.

A visitor from the sun

Fraternity Lodge had a surprise visit from RW Bro Eric O’Hara, the Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Spain, at their meeting in March. Eric was on personal business in Birmingham and had expressed a wish to attend an English Lodge. Other Spanish Brethren were also present.

Changes in the Royal Arch

At the Convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter on 10 November 2004 significant changes to the working and administration of the Royal Arch were agreed. The principal mandatory ritual changes are the removal of all references to the Royal Arch being the completion of the Master Mason’s Degree, and the removal from the Historical Lecture of the traditional dates attributed to the three Original Grand Lodges. The major administrative change is the removal of the requirement that a candidate for the Third Principal’s Chair must be an Installed Master in the Craft. Variations to the changes were agreed for those workings, where the revisions could not be easily assimilated or integrated, for example, Bristol and Warwickshire.

A protocol for Lodge Newsletters

A small number of Lodges produce Newsletters and I am keen to see more Lodges adopting such an effective means of communication. However, as a result of one such newsletter containing many mistakes of fact and Masonic policy, I decided to introduce guidance for their preparation and publication along the lines of the guidance for Lodge web sites. A copy of the protocol containing the guidance is attached as an Appendix to this report. It can also be seen on the Provincial web site.

Assisting the Mark

I was privileged to be invited by RW Bro David Hooker, the Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Province of Warwickshire, to assist him with the arrangements and publicity for a presentation to the Urology Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. That Grand Lodge had set aside the sum of £2 million for the treatment of prostate cancer in hospitals across the country. The Royal College of Surgeons sought bids from consultants and Urology Departments for funds from this grant, assessed the bids and made recommendations to the Mark Grand Lodge which accepted them without hesitation. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was successful with their bid for the purchase of 3D camera equipment. RW Bro David Hooker on 29 October 2004 handed Alan Doherty, the Consultant Surgeon, a cheque for £83,659 to enable the purchase to go forward. An article and photograph appeared in Freemasonry Today and in the hospital’s own newspaper.

Constitutional matters

The new procedure for the election of the Master and Treasurer of private Lodges, in respect of which the Provincial Grand Secretary produced guidance, appears to have been adopted by Lodges in increasing numbers.

I have experienced in the last year three occasions at Installation Meetings when the new Master has sought to appoint a member of the Lodge to more than one Regular Office which of course contravenes the provisions of Rule 104 of the Book of Constitutions. Care should be observed in this respect and if there any doubts about the regularity of an appointment advice should be taken well in advance of the Installation Meeting from the Provincial Grand Secretary.

I have recently discovered the existence of a so-called “Masonic High Council for England and Wales” complete with a web site and a person who calls himself the Secretary General. He appears to be the only member! Brethren should not attempt to make any contact since it is an irregular Masonic body and is not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.

Grand Lodge reviewed the guidance on demonstrations of ritual in June 2004. Among other things, Grand Lodge confirmed that reconstructions of historical forms of Craft ritual can only be undertaken when Master Masons are present, the Lodge has been called off or closed, and the Lodge room remains fully tyled throughout.

Rule 144 of the Book of Constitutions requires every Lodge to keep a Minute Book. Grand Lodge has said that care should be taken to ensure the permanence of Minutes or other records. The Provincial Grand Master is not convinced that these requirements are satisfied by minutes being kept on sheets of paper which are then inserted into ring binder files. Lodges that have adopted this practice must cease to do so.

Conclusion

The policy of openness and public awareness appears to be reasonably successful although I continue to be frustrated by newspapers that refuse to publish the good news about Freemasonry which I distribute to them in large measure, especially about our contributions to charity. I am however optimistic that we are seeing signs of Freemasonry being recognised as being part of the community rather than apart from the community.

My thanks go to my colleagues for their never-failing support and to the Provincial Grand Secretary and his staff for theirs. I am indebted as always to Brethren who kindly tell me what is going on in their part of the Province so that I may share it with others. Long may this continue.

Rodney Pitham PSGD
Assistant Provincial Grand Master
Provincial Information Officer

May 2005

Appendix

Lodge Newsletters - A Protocol

Lodge Newsletters are a valuable means of communication for all members of a Lodge but particularly for those who are not able to attend meetings on a regular basis such as country and honorary members. The Provincial Grand Master is keen to encourage and support the publication of such Newsletters and wishes to see more and more Lodges in the Province adopting the idea.

There are a variety of styles of newsletter circulating in the Province and all are to be highly commended for content, imaginative use of typefaces, photographs, colour and their regularity of publication. The Provincial Grand Master has no wish to stifle creativity or style but, like the rules for Lodge web sites, he does believe that Lodges would welcome guidance of a broad nature to ensure compliance with the principles of Freemasonry and the policies of both Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge.

This is the guidance:

The principle of the publication of a newsletter should be agreed by the Lodge following discussion in, and recommendation by, the Lodge Committee.

It might be beneficial to have a small editorial committee, of no more than, say, three members of the Lodge, to oversee publication and to approve the content with perhaps one member of the Lodge having responsibility for drafting the items for inclusion in the publication. That member, the editor, would need to have the necessary facilities for preparing and printing the newsletter, but its distribution might usefully be left to the Lodge Secretary to coincide, where practicable, with the sending of a Lodge summons to all members of the Lodge.

Lodge Newsletters should not be regarded as private or secret but editors will need to ensure that any of those Brethren named in the newsletter for whatever reason or whose photographs might be included are aware of the public nature of the document and are given the opportunity to have their name and/or photograph withdrawn prior to publication.

Lodges should feel free to send copies of Lodge Newsletters, for example, to the press and to members of local authorities, deposited in local libraries, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, provided that the Lodge has agreed and that all members are aware that this will be done.

Lodge Newsletters should not comment on political or religious issues arising in the locality.

At all times Lodge Newsletters should comply with the policies and edicts of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire.

No material may be published which is subject to copyright and no material in a Newsletter should be made the subject of copyright since the press, among others, should be able to have the freedom to publish the Newsletter or extracts from it.

At least one copy of each edition of every Lodge newsletter should be sent to the Provincial Grand Secretary immediately following publication.

Rodney Pitham PSGD
Assistant Provincial Grand Master
Provincial Information Officer

Contact Us

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

For Masonic enquiries:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.