Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Visit from Bulgaria

Visit from Bulgaria

Nov 10 2011 8:26 PM

Following an association established by Trinity Lodge 254 a delegation of Bulgarian freemasons led by MW Bro Lubomir Parmakov, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, visited the UK on a fact finding mission. Prior to attending a meeting of Trinity Lodge in Coventry, they were given a guided tour of the Textiles Factory of regalia manufacturers Toye Kenning & Spencer located at nearby Bedworth.

RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire,  greeted the party at their arrival at the factory and joined in the tour. Afterwards he answered a series of questions submitted by the Bulgarians aimed at improving their understanding of English freemasonry and its origins and practice. This was recorded on video by Bro Nedislav Mikolov, Director of Bulgarian Television, and will be used in the Bulgarian and UK masonic media.

At the Lodge meeting, which was attended by over sixty brethren including the Provincial Grand Master, Steven MacDonald was Initiated, with the Bulgarians enjoying the Initiate’s Chain as much as he did! The instigator of the visit, W Bro Tim Goddin, took part in the ceremony and proposed the toast to the visitors at the festive board. This was very kindly responded to by the deputy Grand Master in near perfect English.

The Bulgarians were all hosted by Trinity Brethren, who took them on a whistle-stop tour of Coventry Cathedral and Warwick Castle before leaving Coventry the following day.

As part of the ongoing association with Bulgaria, MW Bro Ivan Sariev, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, will be visiting Trinity Lodge for their Installation meeting in December (when Tim will be installing his son), linked in with sightseeing trips to Warwick Castle and the Warwickshire Temple, Library and Museum in Edgbaston. They will also be joined on that occasion by a delegation of Greek brethren.

 

David Macey (l) and Lubomir Parmakov in the Bedworth factory

Delma Hollins operating a 1930's Wilkinson Jacquard machine

Dot Castledine (r) demonstrating how to make embroidery threads

2010 chronology

Centenary Ahoy

At the Lodge of Development 6566 VW Bro Alan J Wellan, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented a certificate commemorating 60 years service in Freemasonry to W Bro Bernard Rogers, P Prov SGW.

Bernard and the Dep Prov GM>Bernard was born in Birmingham in 1911 and will celebrate his 100th birthday next May. He was initiated into Lodge of Development on 28th April 1950 and has served in most offices of the Lodge, being Worshipful Master in 1967 and 1988. It was as recently as 2003 that he ceased filling regular offices in the Lodge, and he still gives guidance.

In those 60 years he has rarely missed a Lodge Meeting or a Lodge of Instruction and this is so even in his 100th year. He is an inspiration to all of his Brethren and is blessed with health and mobility.

Bernard's stories about life in Birmingham in the early years of his life were fascinating to all, as were stories about the bombing of Central Birmingham, where he lived and worked during the Second World War.

As the Deputy PGM said, an example to us all, and an example of the toughness of those who have lived through two world wars.

Bernard is looking forward to a holiday in Spain with his son and his family!   posted 5 Dec 2010

£25,000 Donation to Haiti

The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated £25,000 to the British Red Cross, funding supplies to combat the cholera epidemic that is taking hold in Haiti.

Following January's devastating earthquake, over a million people in Haiti have been living in make-shift camps. It is these difficult living conditions which have resulted in the first cholera outbreak in Haiti in over a hundred years, due to a lack of decent sanitation facilities and access to clean drinking water.

The UN announced yesterday that over 28,000 people in Haiti are now being treated for cholera symptoms and it is estimated that close to 2,000 people have already died. The death toll is expected to rise until the situation can be brought under control. Since cholera broke out in Haiti in mid-October it has spread much faster than predicted and is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of people, according to the UN.

Cholera is caused by contaminated water or food and frequently occurs following a natural disaster. It is an intestinal infection that causes diarrhoea, vomiting and severe dehydration and can very quickly lead to death if left untreated.

A severe shortage of supplies is said to be hampering aid efforts and doctors and nurses are being overwhelmed with requests for help. The Grand Charity's donation will provide hygiene and sanitation packs, which the Red Cross will distribute to help stop the spread of the disease.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity donated £30,000 for immediate assistance following the January earthquake, in which an estimated 230,000 people were killed and over 300,000 injured. A Relief Chest was also opened by the Council of the Grand Charity, which raised £93,000. The Chest, which has now closed, is helping to fund the re-building of a school in Leogane, Haiti.

For further information about the work of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, visit their updated website, which delivers a fresh and modern feel whilst introducing great functionality and improved content. www.grandcharity.org   posted 5 Dec 2010

Service of Remembrance

The annual Remembrance Service held at Stirling Road was attended by approximately 150 freemasons, their families and friends, including several past and present members of the armed forces, the Scouts, and members of the Royal Arch Lodge Representatives' group who were meeting in the building that morning.

(l-r) Garry Malpas, John Cowan, Paul Wheeler, Norman Blackburn(l-r) Garry Malpas, John Cowan, Paul Wheeler, Norman Blackburn

This moving Service, which commenced with messages of Remembrance from five different faiths, was led by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, and conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan and Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplain W Bro Paul Wheeler. The Bugle player was W Bro Norman Blackburn of Concord Lodge 3239.

Wreaths and tributes were placed by the PGM, the Deputy and all of the Assistant PGMs, as well as leaders of different orders and several other members of the congregation, including our own ex-servicemen.   posted 21 Nov 2010

Another Great Catch

The Warwickshire Branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity (www.mtsfc.org.uk) hosted a fishing day for children at Heathcote Lakes near Warwick recently. Twelve children from a special needs school travelled to the lake with three of their teachers to enjoy a day of sunshine and fun in the countryside, catching rainbow trout. Each child had a helper - both masons and non-masons - to assist with fly casting and landing the fish, of which 40 were caught during the day. The children were given a splendid lunch, prepared by W Bro Bob Croxall and his wife Julia, assisted by W Bro Peter Clarke, who was on hand as the "First Aider". He fortunately was not needed!

Fishing day for children at Heathcote Lakes near WarwickFishing day for children at Heathcote Lakes near Warwick

All the children received certificates and some received medals for special efforts - presented by W Bro Gordon Bourne, President of the MTSFC, who had travelled up from Hertfordshire for the event. Happy smiles were all around and it was very apparent that the children had had a wonderful time. And it was an extremely rewarding day for the helpers as well.

The MTSFC runs fishing days in many Provinces in England and Wales and is supported by donations from Lodges and individual masons. The Warwickshire Branch, organised by W Bro Eric Rymer, has been hosting days for four years and next year wants to run more days. If anyone is a fly fisherman and would like to help, please contact W Bro Eric on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 21 Nov 2010

Happy Family Upbringing

In addition to many other significant events which took place in 1950, Albert (Bert) Ernest John Randall was initiated into Kenton Lodge 5046 in the Province of Middlesex, and at the recent Installation meeting of Alauna Lodge 6266 in Alcester Town Hall, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented him with a 60 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate.

Alan Wellan presenting Bert with his CertificateAlan Wellan (l) presenting Bert with his Certificate

Born on 20th August 1920 in Edgware, London, W Bro Bert had a happy family upbringing and on leaving school joined his father in his talent and enthusiasm for engineering. The family initially moved to the Midlands before the second World War, at the outset of which Bert and his father's company was partly re-located by the war department to Alcester, where Bert spent many happy years playing for Alcester and Ragley Cricket Club.

Bert met his lovely wife Barbara at a dance at Alcester Town Hall and they were married in 1945. They were blessed with a daughter (who sadly pre deceased them), three grand children and four great grand children. After the war Bert and his father formed a new company in Redditch which went from strength to strength, with Bert taking over as Managing Director when his father retired, as well as being involved at senior level with other well known local companies, travelling the world extensively as an expert in his field.

Golf has played a big part in Bert's life and he has only recently had to stop playing - not bad for 90 years of age! He and Barbara were also very keen on horse racing, spending many happy days at Stratford, Cheltenham and further afield. They have over the years supported Studley and Alcester life and are always keen to participate in local activities. Bert is a member and past President of the Alcester and District Probus club and also a member at the local Unionist club.

Having joined Alauna Lodge in February 1956, Bert became Worshipful Master in October 1971. Sir Stanley J Harley, the then Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire made a special effort to attend as he and Bert headed up rival engineering companies and there was some pretty intense competition in the field. Needless to say Brotherly love prevailed and it was a nice gesture from the PGM which Bert appreciated greatly.

Bert thoroughly enjoys all aspects of Freemasonry and is very keen to preserve both the traditions, and maintain the high standards of the Lodge. His knowledge and ability to present ritual with both dignity and clarity have been of the highest order, and his contribution to all aspects of the Lodge over the years has been immense, resulting in him being held in the highest esteem by every member.   posted 21 Nov 2010

Happy New Year

The Annual General Meeting of The Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Ltd was chaired by RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, in his capacity as Chairman of the Company.

After paying tribute to the remarkable success achieved by his predecessor RW Bro Michael Price CBE, and thanking all members involved with the management of the commercial activities of the company, the PGM promised to maintain the high standards now enjoyed. These were a direct consequence of the professional diligence and skill of our General Manager Diane Hepworth, who reported that although trading conditions were difficult during the present economic downturn, the company had achieved a small profit for the preceding year.

Business development initiatives introduced were showing positive results, with new relationships being developed, which included attracting major Masonic events from London.

The regular Temple Councillors' meetings, which now include a variety of presentations and items of interest, continue to be well supported. Consideration was being given to holding extra meetings around the Province.

Also at the meeting were the Company's auditors, who advised that they were very comfortable with the management controls and financial information procedures now in place. The members present approved the accounts for the preceding year, as well as a proposition to form a subsidiary Company, The Clarendon Suites Ltd, this being for structural purposes only and which would have no effect upon day to day operations.

The PGM later chaired the AGM of the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association, at which the members present voted a further £100,000 be donated to the 2012 Festival.   posted 21 Nov 2010

Celebration Cake

W Bro Eric Rymer, Assistant PGM, presided at the 1250th meeting of Elkington Lodge 1016, when Bro Steven J Turner was Installed as Worshipful Master. He was accompanied by W Bro Jonathon Amies, ProvAGDC.

W Bro Eric was charged with cutting the Lodge Birthday cake, which later formed a delicious accompaniment to the Festive Board.

A guest of the Lodge at the meeting was W Bro Edward Lord JP, the Chairman of the UGLE Universities Scheme whom W Bro Eric was delighted to meet, having only very recently been appointed by the PGM as the Provincial Liaison Officer for the Universities Scheme.   posted 21 Nov 2010

Reading Court Tour

Senior members of the Province, including the Deputy and four Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, both Provincial Grand Wardens and the Provincial Grand Secretary, were received by RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, in his capacity as President of Reading Court. Following coffee with several House Committee members they were officially welcomed by the President, who announced that he had appointed VW Bro Alan Wellan, the Deputy PGM, as Vice-President of Reading Court.

David Stanford, Eric Rymer, Anthony Rudell, David Macey and John Emms, captivated by Pam Jowers(l-r) David Stanford, Eric Rymer, Anthony Rudell, David Macey and John Emms, captivated by Pam Jowers

W Bro Charles Dyer, Chairman of the House Committee, then gave a short presentation about the Masonic Housing Association and Reading Court, which was followed by a tour of the building led by Mrs Pam Jowers, the Warden. Those present agreed that they had learnt a lot about both the MHA and Reading Court of which they had previously had limited knowledge.   posted 21 Nov 2010

Christmas Newsflash

From Mrs Val Edwards, Chairman of the Ladies' Gift Fund for Masonic Charities:

Christmas starts at Stirling Road on Saturday 20th November (note: not 27th, as printed in the newsletter) when the festive season will be started off by RW Bro David Macey, the Provincial Grand Master, when he performs the opening ceremony at 10.30am on the dot.

This is your summons to attend "The Ladies' Gift Fund's 58th Annual Christmas Fayre". Come and bring the family, it promises to be a most enjoyable social morning, with live music, many stalls selling gifts, cards, Christmas decorations, cakes and produce, plants and much more. There will be games with prizes to be won, a raffle, a toy tombola and a bottle tombola, all in the presence of many friends (old and new) including Father Christmas himself. Do come along and enjoy the fun.

Opening Ceremony at 10.30 - the event runs till 12 midday.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

All good wishes for a super day, Val, and thank you for all you do.

Details of the work carried out by the Ladies' Gift Fund can be seen on page 428 of the current yearbook.   posted 13 Nov 2010

Hat Trick for the Sethi Family

Following the installation of W Bro Rajesh Sethi, his family now has three members in the chairs of their respective mother Lodges. See Lodge News for the full story.  posted 13 Nov 2010

A Light that Heals

The last meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 saw a very busy programme, very ably managed by W Bro Philip Hall, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, him also being the Lodge DC. This included the investiture of W Bro Eric Rymer as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Keith Marchington as Provincial Grand Orator, W Bro David Holloway as Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar, W Bro Peter Summers as Provincial Grand Organist, W Bro Trevor Sturt as 2012 Festival Director and W Bro Mike Midgley as Lodge Support Team Manager.

(l-r) Mike Midgley, Peter Summers, Keith Marchington, Eric Rymer, David Holloway

 

(l-r) Mike Midgley, Peter Summers, Keith Marchington, Eric Rymer, David Holloway.

The main item on the agenda was the Installation of W Bro Roger Mac, Past Assistant PGM, as Master of the Lodge, which was conducted by the Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy PGM, in a sincere and meaningful manner.

After appointing and investing his officers, and presenting the IPM with a Past Master's Jewel, the WM gave an address about the benefits of laser treatment to alleviate pain. This followed his own personal experience, having for quite some time suffered incapacity and considerable pain to his back (probably from having lifting something too heavy), despite trying out alternative treatments and eventually surgery. He had heard about laser therapy previously, and eventually decided to try it, with great effect, and now on a regular basis.

The WM reflected upon the incredible variety of uses derived from laser technology, ranging from medical benefit (his being just one of the many available, several others which he mentioned), industrial and commercial applications, right through to the military destruction which could be inflicted by the same technology.

Roger Mac
Roger Mac - Roger Mac
Roger Mac

In thanking the WM for his most interesting and informative address, RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, observed that Roger's cheerful demeanour throughout many years suffering would have caused very few to realise just how bad this had been, and how carefully he had kept this hidden. He also pointed out that the Masonic Samaritan Fund could assist brethren to obtain alternative treatments not available on the NHS if their suffering and circumstances made this necessary.

W Bro Trevor Sturt, the new 2012 Festival Director, was delighted to report that the Festival Fund had now exceeded £2 million, and that with the continued support of every Lodge in the Province he was confident the original target will be met, despite a reduction in membership and difficult economic times. He hoped a "charm offensive" on other Provinces and Orders would provide additional support, and encouraged all brethren to continue their magnificent efforts.

Trevor then presented 14 mauls (nee gavels, re-named by him!) to those Lodges which had achieved their targets since the last meeting, advising that a further 16 Lodges were over 90% there, which when reached would mean 75 Lodges so far. He also announced that Lodges which had reached their target would be able to purchase an additional pair of mauls for the sum of £120, proceeds going to the Festival Fund.

W Bro Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, advised any Lodge Almoners or Charity Stewards present who were unable to attend the forum held earlier in the week that they could collect their briefing guidelines and information packs from the charity office. He also announced that a further 72 Teddies had been requested by the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby, these being part of the highly successful ongoing TLC project for children admitted into hospital.   posted 11 Nov 2010

Born at an Early Age

RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Brian Holdsworth with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate and lapel badge at Loyal Travellers Lodge 2733.

After stating how special an occasion this was (being his own Mother Lodge), the PGM teased out details of Brian's life, which according to his cv had started at an early age! Born and brought up in Hay Mills, Birmingham, Brian had, to the delight of his father Harold (CM), joined the family building firm at the age of 15, and had been very active in his youth, playing football for the Boys Brigade, table tennis, and bass drum in the Church band, meeting his wife-to-be Patricia from the Girls Brigade.

Following National Service in the Dragoon Guards and Ordnance Corps, Brian married in 1958 (later producing three children) and built his first house in Solihull, then considered a long way off from his home patch. Having been influenced by the many masonic committee meetings held at his parents' home, he eventually asked his father how to become a freemason, and was quickly ushered into Loyal Travellers Lodge (of which his father was Master in 1956) becoming Master some 14 years later in 1974. During 20 years as Preceptor Brian had provided support, praise, enthusiasm and firmness within the LOI, and epitomized all that a good mason should be.

Brian Holdsworth (l) with Certificate and David Macey with Salver
Brian Holdsworth (l) with Certificate and David Macey with Salver - Brian Holdsworth (l) with Certificate and David Macey with Salver
Brian Holdsworth (l) with Certificate and David Macey with Salver

A Proclamation was made by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, after which Brian thanked the PGM for his presentation. Brian then reflected upon the 32 years since he had first looked upon the PGM as a candidate, and the near fairy tale story which followed. Every member had been overwhelmed by the honour and privilege brought upon the Lodge by RW Bro Macey's appointment as PGM, in acknowledgement of which Brian presented him with a silver salver, etched with the banners of both the Loyal Travellers Lodge and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, to which the PGM suitably responded with grateful thanks.   posted 11 Nov 2010

Racing the Sun

W Bro Rob Pike, Master of Silhill Lodge 4786, accompanied by three of his work colleagues, completed this year's Race the Sun tri-challenge to raise funds for Action Medical Research (AMR). A full report of the event can be seen on the Lodge News page.   posted 11 Nov 2010

Remembrance Service

The Annual Service of Remembrance will be held at Stirling Road on Saturday 13th November at 10.45am. The Service is multi faith and will last about 30 minutes. All Brethren, their families and friends are invited to attend to remember in particular those Freemasons who made the supreme sacrifice in many theatres of war and conflict. Dress code is smart casual and anyone present can lay a wreath or a cross.   posted 11 Nov 2010

Unexpected Surprise

During a recent spell in Warwick Hospital, W Bro A John Atkinson was visited by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, who on behalf of the PGM formally presented him with a certificate of promotion to the rank of P Prov JGW.

The Deputy PGM was accompanied by John's wife and members of Sutton Coldfield Lodge 8960, of which John was Master in 1990 and 2008. John is also Secretary of the Warwickshire Masonic Golfing Association and has set a personal target to be at their spring meeting next year.   posted 5 Nov 2010

£434,000 Ends Year

The last major grants of 2010 have been approved at the October General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, totalling £434,000. Twelve charities have been awarded grants for projects based throughout England and Wales in the categories of medical research, support for vulnerable people and youth opportunities, as well as one religious building grant.

These include a grant of £50,000 to Crisis, which opened a new centre in Birmingham this year providing education, training and employment services to single homeless people.

Full details about all the grants can be seen here.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Family Hat Trick

Whilst visiting Solihull Lodge 8088 in his capacity as Provincial JGW at this year's Installation meeting, W Bro David Stanford noted that the new Master was a Lewis. Nothing very unusual in itself, except that at the previous year's meeting, which David had attended as Deputy ProvGDC, the new WM had then also been a Lewis.

Martyn Hale (father), David Stanford, Julian Davis (son-in-law), Steve and Stewart Smith (Solihull)(l-r) Martyn Hale (father), David Stanford, Julian Davis (son-in-law), Steve and Stewart Smith (Solihull)

The following night David presided at Aston Manor Lodge 6323 where a father installed his son-in-law (also a Lewis). The father and son-in-law attended the Solihull meeting and are related to the father and son from Solihull, who attended as guests at Aston Manor the following night, where the picture was taken.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Freemasons Afloat

At a recent Masonic Cocktail Party held on board the P&O Cruise Ship Ventura the sum of £150 was donated to the Captain's Charity. The event was attended by 19 Masons 2 of which were from Warwickshire.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Into the Path of Light

The Lodge of Unity 567, meeting at Alderson House, Warwick, is presenting a demonstration "Into the Path of Light" by the Worcestershire Provincial Demonstration Team on Wednesday 3rd November.

The ceremony takes place in the 3rd Degree and is therefore only open to Master Masons. Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices are also very welcome to attend, but will be asked to retire from the Lodge during the demonstration itself. The only cost of the meeting is the meal at the festive board of £19.00.

The evening's charity is in aid of Acorns Children's Hospice, Worcester.

Brethren wishing to attend should contact the Lodge Secretary, Bro Derek Lodge, Tel: 02476 540136 or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 30 Oct 2010

"Creature Comforts" at Severn Street

The 85 years old central heating pipes in the Dining Room at our Birmingham Severn Street Masonic Hall have been replaced with new thermostatically controlled radiators as part of the refurbishment of the Central Heating system. When the temperatures drop outside this winter, members and visitors can now rely on those 'Creature Comforts' being maintained in a warm and inviting environment.  posted 30 Oct 2010

A Fisherman's Tale

During their recent holiday to Canada our Past Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael Price CBE and his wife Dawn took the opportunity of indulging in one of their favourite sports with spectacular success, as the picture (below, left) shows.

It really was this big!The salmon was caught in the Bonaventure River, which is in the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. It rises in the Chic-Choc Mountains and flows south to empty into Baie des Chaleurs near the town of Bonaventure. The river, named after the Italian Saint Bonaventure, is about 121 km (75 miles) long and is noted for its clear, cold water, making it well known as a great place for Atlantic Salmon fishing.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Semi-retirement for Roy

The year's Annual Provincial Meeting saw the retirement of W Bro Roy Marshall PAGDC after 19 years as the Craft Provincial Grand Organist. The whole Province should feel enormously grateful to Roy's long and faithful service which was rightly recognised by the then Provincial Grand Master's presentation to him of his Certificate of Merit.

W Bro Roy MarshallMuch of Roy's work was done behind the scenes in liaising with the Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Chaplain in respect of the liturgical and musical content of the Annual Church Service and any Consecration Ceremonies. He then would advise the Provincial Choir of the proposed music and arrange suitable rehearsal dates at Stirling Road. His musicianship was always to the fore during those rehearsals and the Choir would feel well prepared by the time the occasions arrived to sing under his baton (not that he ever used one!)

He was helped greatly by his wife Janet, who usually played the piano for those rehearsals and together they will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding the day after the Annual Royal Arch Church Service next March when E Comp Roy will be in charge of the Choir as he is still the Provincial Grand Organist for the Royal Arch.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Another First for PGM

The Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey awarded his first 'promotion on the floor' as PGM whilst visiting Vellum Lodge 5845. During the second rising he requested the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to bring W Bro Harry Burrows to him and duly promoted him from Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. The promotion was then proclaimed by the Provincial DC.

Harry has recently installed his successor into the chair of Corinthian Lodge 4432, having himself served as Master for the fourth time. He is an honorary member of Lodge of Endurance, Lodge of St Christopher and Warwickshire Scout Lodge. He is perhaps best known though as a Guest Organist for some 19 other lodges throughout the Provinces of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire. This was indeed a worthy recognition of Harry's zeal and dedication to Freemasonry in the Province over many years.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Invitation

All brethren are invited to a talk by members of the Royal College of Surgeons about advances they have made in various surgical techniques in recent years , including experiences gained from working with British Forces in Afghanistan this year.

Full details can be seen on the flyer here.   posted 30 Oct 2010

Anniversary Invitation

The Lodge of Fellowship 5579 is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on Friday, 22nd October 2010, at Stirling Road, and will be initiating a new member to mark the event. All brethren are invited to attend and further details can be seen on the Lodge News page.   posted 26 Sep 2010

Masters and Wardens Gather

Over 200 Brethren, representing 116 Warwickshire Lodges and the Province, attended the annual Masters' and Wardens' Dinner at Stirling Road, presided over by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey. The dinner provides an opportunity for the senior Lodge Officers to meet each other, arrange exchange visits between each other's Lodges, and meet with the PGM and Provincial Team in an informal setting.

In an ebullient address following the dinner, the PGM referred to the great strength of the Province, advising that for the first time in some years initiations had exceeded resignations and deaths. The Stirling Road Open Day, as well as all the others around the Province, had been a great success, and we should be proud that many letters had been received from the general public thanking us for allowing them an insight into our activities.

He also stressed the vital importance of Lodge Almoners in supporting their brethren in time of need, urging Masters to ensure they appointed the right person in their Lodge to ensure this.

The PGM outlined the new initiative whereby Lodges were encouraged to invite him to their non-installation ceremonies, but only when members were comfortable with this, and were not likely to find his presence too scary!

With the 2012 Festival proceeds having topped £2 million, Lodges were to be congratulated on maintaining momentum, and some eighteen gavels will be presented at the forthcoming Installed Masters' meeting on 30th September, when W Bro Roger Mac would be Installed as Master and W Bro Eric Rymer invested as Assistant PGM.

He concluded by thanking everyone for their enthusiastic greetings and good wishes, exhorting all members to enjoy their freemasonry, as much as he was certainly intending to do.   posted 26 Sep 2010

Something New

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, is trying something new. On Wednesday 15th September he visited Lodge of Grace 6211 who held an extraordinary meeting to initiate two Candidates. They have so many candidates waiting that they required this extra meeting to get their Masonic season underway.

(l-r) David Macey, Denis Hale, Nigel Griffiths, Barry Sadler(l-r) David Macey, Denis Hale, Nigel Griffiths, Barry Sadler

The W Bros Barry Sadler (Master), Geoff Whiteley, Richard Reed and Andy Hawkins did an excellent job in ensuring that Bros Nigel Griffiths and Denis Hale were initiated in a most splendid manner, with Bro Stephen Croxall being an outstanding JD. The PGM was on hand to congratulate them both and present them with their Initiate's handbook.

This was the first of the PGM's monthly visits where he wishes to attend a Lodge meeting, outside of the Installation cycle, to witness the many excellent ceremonies that are taking place within the Province. Next month, October, he has been invited to Athol Lodge 174 at Severn Street to see a raising ceremony.

Any Lodge which would like the PGM to come to one of its meetings, on a monthly visit, to see a ceremony they are going to perform, should contact the Provincial Office, tel: 0121 454 4422.   posted 19 Sep 2010

PGM Radio Interview helps Open Days

Prior to the Heritage Open Day weekend, participated in by eight of the Masonic Temples in Warwickshire, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, was interviewed on local radio where he outlined the principles of freemasonry as well as promoting the event to the listeners.

To listen to the interview, as broadcast on "Ed Doolan at Lunch" on BBC WM, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.

Right-click to download the PGM's interview | Duration: 13 mins 19 secs

(l-r) Candidate Richard Bowles, Michael Price, David Macey and Ed Doolan(l-r) Candidate Richard Bowles, Michael Price, David Macey and Ed Doolan

The Stirling Road event was an unqualified success, thanks in no small part to the radio interview, with attendance exceeding many people's expectations.

Broadcaster Bro Ed Doolan MBE also visited on the day, and was greeted by the PGM and Immediate Past PGM RW Bro Michael Price CBE who had attended a meeting of the Michael Price Lodge earlier in the day.

(l-r) Charles Dyer, Margaret Owen and David Bateman manning the Redding Court display.(l-r) Charles Dyer, Margaret Owen and David Bateman manning the Redding Court display.

Over 250 members of the public visited the Warwickshire Masonic Temple and were shown exhibits from the Museum and Library, received talks on Freemasonry from Senior Masons of the Province and viewed stands and displays explaining the work of Masonic and non-Masonic charities.

MENSA members flanked by Garry Malpas (l) and Peter Sorrill (r)MENSA members flanked by Garry Malpas (l) and Peter Sorrill (r)

In addition four organized tours of the building had been pre-arranged for SPICE and MENSA members and these proved to be very successful judging by the interest shown and number of questions asked by the groups.

Harry Owen was at his post as usual and raised over £250 with his sale of Masonic merchandise.

A Welcoming CommitteeA Welcoming Committee

Members of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge provided escorts for our visitors and were kept busy throughout the day answering questions and acting as guides.

The event was ably supported by representatives of the Royal Arch and the Mark degrees and all concerned should be congratulated on their efforts.   posted 19 Sep 2010

Freemasons donate £50,000 to the Pakistan Floods Appeal

One month since the major flooding in Pakistan began, the President of the Grand Charity approved a further emergency grant of £25,000 to the Red Cross, bringing the total donated to £50,000. The situation has worsened with over 17 million people being affected and thousands of people dead and injured. More than 1.2 million homes have been damaged or destroyed in the worst floods in Pakistan's history.

The decision was taken to fund the Red Cross due to their current presence in Pakistan and infrastructure capabilities, allowing them to provide immediate aid and assistance.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity had been one of the first organisations to issue an immediate £25,000 to the British Red Cross Pakistan Flood Appeal - one of the largest initial pledges the Red Cross received within the first 24 hours of opening the Appeal.

These funds will help to provide:

  • Hygiene kits and sanitation facilities to stem the spread of preventable diseases.
  • Safe drinking water to flood-affected families.

  posted 19 Sep 2010

New Zealand Earthquake Relief Efforts

In response to the earthquake, which took place on the South Island of New Zealand, the President of the Grand Charity approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the District Grand Lodge of South Island, NZ.

These funds were directed to the Mayor of Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fund, to help the wider community with their immediate needs following the earthquake.

Some 100,000 buildings were destroyed in the earthquake, leaving many people displaced and without access to their homes, schools and places of work. In parallel with support for wider relief efforts, The Freemasons' Grand Charity has offered to assist any of the 340 individual Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England, plus widows or their other dependants, who have been affected by these events, through Masonic Relief Grants to assist with their immediate needs.   posted 19 Sep 2010

Double Installation

All Master Masons are invited to attend the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 to be held at Stirling Road, on Thursday 30th September 4.45pm, where the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey will be investing W Bro Eric Rymer as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and VW Bro Alan Wellan will be installing W Bro Roger Mac into the chair of King Solomon of the Lodge.

The new 2012 Festival Director W Bro Trevor Sturt will also be presenting Commemorative Gavels to further Lodges who have met or exceeded their target.

For those staying to dinner the fee is £23 and further details can be obtained from the Lodge Secretary W Bro Ivan Norris email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel: 01788 817110 or the Assistant Secretary W Bro Trevor Siddall email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel: 01604 830467, to whom bookings should be sent.   posted 12 Sep 2010

Knowle Quiz Night

All Lodges are invited to participate in a Quiz Night being held at the Knowle Temple on Saturday 25th September.

Contact and other details can be seen here.  posted 12 Sep 2010

Autumn Newsletter

The latest Newsletter has now been posted to the homes of all Warwickshire Masons.

A copy can be seen here.  posted 12 Sep 2010

Memory Lives On

The late W Bro Rodney Pitham was a Trustee of Acorns Children's Hospice Trust, and in his memory a plaque has been placed in the garden of the Selly Oak Hospice. Susan Pitham with Deputy Provincial Grand Master VW Bro Alan Wellan (left) and W Bro David ButcherThe plaque was unveiled by Susan Pitham pictured here with Deputy Provincial Grand Master VW Bro Alan Wellan (left) and W Bro David Butcher, Vice-Chairman of Acorns.  posted 5 Sep 2010

LOI appearance by Past PGM

The Immediate Past Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE, will preside at the Athelstan Lodge 1333 Lodge of Instruction Festival on Thursday 16th September. Full details can be seen on the Lodge News page.   posted 10 Aug 2010

Harry Carves Up

The annual Summer Lunch for the residents of Reading Court was attended by about 50 of the residents, together with members of the House Committee, including RW Bro David Macey, the new President, and their partners. 

The indefatigable Harry Owen with his working tools
The indefatigable Harry Owen with his working tools - The indefatigable Harry Owen with his working tools
It was also attended by Board members of the Masonic Housing Association who had held their meeting the same morning in Reading Court.

The buffet lunch is cooked by W Bro David Stone, master elect of The Lodge of Amity 3845 and the roast beef was again expertly carved by W Bro Harry Owen, whose wife Margaret is a committee member.   posted 10 Aug 2010

New Appointments

Our congratulations go to the following Brethren for their appointments within the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, who will be invested at the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge 4538 meeting on Thursday 30th September 2010.

  • W Bro Eric Rymer as Assistant Provincial Grand Master
  • W Bro Trevor Sturt as 2012 Festival Director
  • W Bro Keith Marchington as Provincial Orator
  • W Bro Peter Summers as Provincial Organist
  • W Bro David Holloway as Provincial Assistant Registrar
  • W Bro Michael Midgley as Lodge Support Team Manager

  posted 22 Jul 2010

Pro Grand Master invests Provincial Grand Master

At a packed Special Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, over 600 Warwickshire Masons and visitors from other Provinces attended the Investiture of RW Bro David Macey as the new Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire.

After opening Provincial Grand Lodge exactly on schedule, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge VW Bro Alan Wellan welcomed everyone and said what a joy it was to see so many brethren present to celebrate this important occasion.

He then received the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes who acknowledged the splendid work carried out by the previous Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, but pointed out that this was David Macey's day. The Pro Grand Master outlined the purpose of the meeting, namely to invest W Bro David F Macey the Provincial Grand Master designate, who he had met previously, but only got to know last night, and to whom all looked up to in every way. He commented on the size of the Province and advised Lodges to make visits by the new Provincial Grand Master very special occasions.

Peter Lowndes, David Macey and Nigel Brown(l-r) Peter Lowndes, David Macey and Nigel Brown

During the following immaculately exercised proceedings, carefully orchestrated by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Sebastian Madden, the Patent of Appointment was read by the Grand Secretary VW Bro Nigel Brown, and prayers were offered by the Grand Chaplain. The Provincial Grand Master designate then took his Obligation, after which he was invested, proclaimed and saluted.

The new Provincial Grand Master then announced the appointment of VW Bro Alan Wellan as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and addressed him on the duties of his office, and who was then duly obligated, invested, and he then received his new patent of appointment before being proclaimed and saluted.

W Bros Roger Parker, Nigel Bister, John Emms and Michael Morris were reappointed as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, all reaffirming their Obligations and receiving their new patents of appointment before being proclaimed and saluted accordingly.

The appointment of the other Provincial Grand Officers was confirmed, after which the RW Provincial Grand Master addressed the Brethren. He confirmed what an honour it was to be installed as Provincial Grand Master for this wonderful province and then went on to thank all of those involved in making it such a special day. Particular thanks were singled out for the MW The Pro Grand Master and his team from London, the RW Provincial Grand Masters from other provinces and other distinguished brethren who accompanied them.

Eric Rymer (l) and Trevor SturtEric Rymer (l) and Trevor Sturt

He concluded by informing the brethren that he had appointed W Bro Trevor Sturt as 2012 Festival Director with immediate effect, and also that it was his wish to appoint W Bro Eric Rymer as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who would be invested at the next meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge on Thursday 30th September 2010.

A transcript of the Provincial Grand Master's address can be downloaded here.

Following the formal Masonic finery, a magnificent festive board was enjoyed by all present, which again demonstrated the ability of the Clarendon Suites operations team to cater for large scale dining functions. After the meal the MW The Pro Grand Master referred to various national matters and encouraged brethren to develop our relationship with the Royal Arch. He then presented a "Kent Cube" which was a personal gift from the MW The Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, to the Provincial Grand Master.

During his response the Provincial Grand Master presented the Pro Grand Master with a silver paper knife with the bear and ragged staff of Warwickshire for its handle as a memento of this occasion. This was hand crafted by W Bro Ken Downes and was very well received. In conclusion, the Provincial Grand Master exhorted members to thoroughly enjoy their freemasonry and repeated his thanks to all.   posted 8 Jul 2010

Nuneaton Ladies celebrate 25th Anniversary

Members of the Nuneaton Masonic Ladies Fellowship Club celebrated their 25th Anniversary at Nuneaton Masonic Buildings.

The ladies had a wonderful afternoon celebrating, complete with a beautifully iced cake made especially for the occasion, with bubbly and plenty of party food, all organised by themselves.

Celebration Cake, showing a broken columnCelebration Cake, showing a broken column

Although Evelyn Gibbs, a founder member who has been (and still is) the Chairwoman for many years, was unable to attend, the other two founder members, Mrs Margaret Haswell and Mrs Barbara Lindon, were present. During the festivities the ladies raised a toast to the gallant group of Brethren who have supplied transport and the serving of tea and coffee at their meetings throughout the years. For the anniversary meeting these were Don Adams, Jack Chetwynd, Bill Silvester, Mike Goldsmith, Ken Burtenshaw and Dewi Cooke.

(l-r) Joan Burtenshaw, Olive Cadman, Mavis Lowe, Barbara Lindon, Edith Price, Rita Eastall (treasurer), Jean Massey, Yvonne Humphriss (acting Chairlady), Margaret Haswell (secretary), Trixie Stammers, Brenda Rowley, Margaret Silvester.

The club was originally started for Masonic Widows but to help gain more members it was decided some years ago to open the membership to all ladies whose husbands still were or had been members of a Masonic Lodge. The Ladies enjoy the companionship and meet regularly on the first Wednesday of the month in the Nuneaton Masonic Buildings. They also go out for lunch and sometimes have a function at one of the members homes.

Any Masonic Ladies in the area would be most welcome to go along, meeting new friends and enjoying the functions, and help with transport may be possible for those living locally. For further information contact Bill Silvester, email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. tel: 01455 220189.   posted 8 Jul 2010

Masons Fly Back to Baginton

Senior Freemasons from Warwickshire and Northamptonshire paid another visit to the operations base of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) at Coventry Airport, Baginton, to hand over further grant aid cheques totalling £8,000, as part of the ongoing support for the magnificent work carried out by the dedicated team who run the WNAA.

Steve Porter, Air Operations Manager
Captain Richard Craske, Pilot
Michael Price CBE (representing Warwickshire)
Dr Adam Manson
Paramedic Brian Dwyer.

The WNAA provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service directly to the counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Milton Keynes area, as well as cover for Birmingham, Solihull and other areas in the West Midlands, and was nominated by the provinces of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to receive funding from the Freemasons' Grand Charity, which supports air ambulance charities in the delivery of their potentially life-saving services. To date, more than £500,000 has been donated to what is considered the busiest voluntary emergency service in the country.

The air ambulance charities in England and Wales fly about 19,000 missions per year at a cost of about £0.5 million per week, met almost entirely by donations from the public. The speed with which the ambulances are able to respond to emergencies and transport patients to hospital greatly improves the survival chances of individuals involved in serious road traffic collisions, medical emergencies and other incidents, 365 days of the year.

In 2009, Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Lodges across England and Wales were invited to nominate an air ambulance charity to receive a share of a total grant of £180,000.

Further information about WNAA can be found on their website: www.wnaa.co.uk  posted 7 Jul 2010

Reading Court Takes Off too

A further donation of £1,377 was made to the WNAA by Reading Court, the Masonic Housing Association home in Stratford-upon-Avon. The majority of this was raised at the annual Strawberry Tea which was attended by over 100 people; money had also been raised at previous raffles and also from a "change bottle".

Jean Wattison, Glynis Welton, Derek Wattison and Pam JowersPictured (l-r) are
Jean Wattison (resident)
Glynis Welton-Ward (WNAA)
Derek Wattison (resident & member of David Garrick Lodge 4243) and
Pam Jowers (Warden, Reading Court). 
  posted 7 Jul 2010

Queen's Birthday Honours

Ken TaylorOur congratulations go to Bro Kenneth Taylor of Victory Lodge 4009, who has been appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. Ken, 69, from Earlsdon, said he was "delighted" to be honoured for services to local government. He was Lord Mayor of Coventry in 2003, and led the council from 2004 until 2010.   posted 5 Jul 2010

London Reception Marks Conclusion

A reception was held at Freemasons' Hall in London to mark the conclusion of the Historical Records Survey. Those present representing Warwickshire included Bob Russell, Tony Richards and Jim Dunlop on behalf of the Craft, together with John Saint, William George and David Pettit on behalf of the Royal Arch.

William George, John Saint, Bob Russell, Peter Lowndes, Jim Dunlop, Tony Richards, David Pettit(l-r) William George, John Saint, Bob Russell, Peter Lowndes, Jim Dunlop, Tony Richards, David Pettit

Dr Malcolm Aish gave a warm welcome to the delegates and introduced the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes. Len Reilly, the Project Director, gave a review of the Survey and some interesting statistics.

The importance of improving storage for Lodge/Chapter records was stressed, and grants are available to repair damage, caused by previous poor storage, to existing records. This might include, for example, removal of sellotape and rebinding. The age distribution of the returns was interesting:

  • Before 1750 11 lodges
  • 1751 - 1850 259 lodges
  • 1851 - 1950 3406 lodges
  • 1951 - date 2285 lodges

Every Province has been sent a disc summarising its return, with a copy of each Lodge/Chapter's survey, which records and provides valuable research information for the future.

The vast body of data that has been collected will represent a source of information on surviving records in England and Wales. This will be especially useful to those researching for Freemasonry's tercentenary in 2017. The Warwickshire returns included 3,065 pieces of information and totalled a creditable 79% - well above the average for the country.

The Pro Grand Master, also addressed the meeting. He expressed his great appreciation of the work done in collecting the information, and the help given by the Provincial co-ordinators over the last two years. Director of Special Projects, John Hamill, added some useful remarks about the importance of the Survey and its results, and especially welcomed the information, which proved how helpful Freemasonry has been to the social developments in the country over the last three centuries.

A series of questions and observations were put by those present, which included reference to the production of books to mark the event in 2017. It was hoped that any final publications would be affordable to the members of Freemasonry, and that these would most likely include one item for general reading and perhaps another for serious research, both to include many illustrations and pictures.   posted 5 Jul 2010

£250,000 to SSAFA Forces Help

A national charity that supports Armed Forces personnel is seeking to expand its services after being awarded £250,000 by the Freemasons' Grand Charity.

The huge sum of money was awarded to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help (SSAFA), as part of a scheme that targets national charities to distribute funds at regional level.

Claire Hoather, director of fundraising at SSAFA said: "We are over the moon with the funding. The level of support shown by the Grand Charity is so positive and generous.

"Rather than our central operations deciding where the money will be spent, each regional office will be allocated part of the funding, and they will decide how it can be used to serve the local area.

"With our Armed Forces involved in conflict at the moment, it is vital that we can support them and their families as much as possible.

"At the SSAFA, we focus on providing help wherever it is needed. Our regional managers will assess what services should to be provided to Armed Forces personnel, and ex-military servicemen. We will then use the money awarded by the Grand Charity to find a solution."

Ms Hoather added that services could include projects such as providing practical and emotional support, organising and funding home adaptations, or short stay accommodation for families visiting injured relatives.

Laura Chapman, chief executive of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, said: "The immensely valuable work carried out by SSAFA Forces Help is widely supported within the Masonic community, and this latest grant is further evidence of our benevolent commitment in support of the armed services."

The Freemasons' Grand Charity is a grant-making organisation that supports groups in need of help. Since 1981 it has made grants of more than £80 million. For more information visit www.grandcharity.org

SSAFA is a national charity that supports those who serve in the Armed Forces, and those who used to serve. It provides health and social services, a confidential support line, and helps the families of those who serve. For more information visitwww.ssafa.org.uk   posted 27 Jun 2010

The Ministry of Funny Handshakes

This was the headline given by The Times in their recent article following an interview and guided tour of Grand Lodge HQ at Great Queen Street, given by Grand Secretary Nigel Brown. The article can be seen at www.uglepio.co.uk/items_of_interest.php

The Times runs a blog for their articles, to which comments can be added by subscribers at www.timesplus.co.uk/tto/news/?login=false&url=http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/families/article2559157.ece  posted 27 Jun 2010

Leadership and Tradition

The theme of this year's Annual Church Service was "Leadership and Tradition", in direct tribute to the retiring Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, who was escorted from Alderson House to the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick, by his acting Provincial Officers and Grand Officers in full dress regalia. Once in the Church, which was filled with Warwickshire Masons and their wives and partners, the congregation and visiting civic dignitaries were welcomed to the service by the Deputy Church Warden, W Bro Patrick Wilson. Prior to and during the service, the choir under the leadership of W Bro Roy Marshall, sang anthems and impressed all present with their true professionalism.

The PGM, with his Sword and Standard BearersThe PGM, with his Sword and Standard Bearers

After the Opening Ode, Masonic representatives of five World Faiths related their own messages of Leadership and Tradition. The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro John Cowan, led the congregation in prayers, which was followed by a rousing rendition of the hymn "Jerusalem". Readings by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Master and further hymns ensued, followed by prayers led by the Assistant Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro Paul Wheeler, which were concluded by the Provincial Grand Chaplain. The Rector, the Reverend Dr Vaughan Roberts continued the theme of Leadership and Tradition in his sermon, and congratulated the Provincial Grand Master for his achievements, saying how pleased he was that Warwickshire Freemasons were continuing their long association with the Church.

On his retirement day, the Provincial Grand Master addressed the congregation, and thanked everyone for their support. He thanked the civic dignitaries for their presence, and paid tribute to the Vicars who had welcomed the Province to the Church over many years, and gave thanks to the various Provincial Grand Chaplains who had designed the format for the services. He paid tribute to W Bro Roy Marshall and the choir for their wonderful accompaniment, again for many years. RW Bro Price thanked all the ladies for their support of their partners, and particularly to his wife Dawn for her unstinting support during his many demanding Provincial roles. He observed that they would shortly be celebrating their golden wedding anniversary, and would now be able to pursue their love of fishing with his forthcoming freedom. On completion of his address, the entire congregation gave him a lengthy standing ovation, with thunderous applause sounding throughout the church.

Finally, the closing ode was sung, blessings and messages were given from the five faiths present, and following the National Anthem, the Provincial Grand Master and Mrs Dawn Price said their goodbyes to all at the church doorway. A truly memorable service and most fitting conclusion to the service given by RW Bro Michael Price, who will be fondly remembered throughout the Province for many years to come.   posted 18 Jun 2010

Birthday Farewell

The June meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 was a memorable occasion, comprising a short Lodge meeting followed by a relaxed evening dining with our Ladies.

It was also the 75th birthday of our outgoing Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael J Price CBE.

The Lodge business included the election of W Bro Roger S Mac as the next Master of the Lodge. In addition, 30 brethren were elected as members, most of whom were present, making an impressive sight as they lined up to receive a hearty welcome from the Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan.

With everything running well to schedule, there was plenty of time for an impromptu rendering of "Happy Birthday To You" to the PGM following congratulations from the WM before the Lodge was closed.

Alan and Joy WellanAlan and Joy Wellan

The Ladies' Night commenced with a drinks reception on the Concourse with music being played by W Bro Peter Summers. The 266 diners were then summoned and enjoyed an excellent dinner with the toasts and responses having a wonderful combination of humour and salutation. The Toast to Joy Wellan whose ladies' night it was, and to all of the ladies, was proposed by W Bro Tony Rudell, and Joy of course replied and thanked the WM and brethren for the ladies gift, a silver book mark engraved with the square and compasses, and W Bro Keith Beckett who was the ladies' night Secretary. The WM proposed a toast to the PGM and his wife Dawn paying tribute to him and to Dawn on what was one of his last appearances as PGM.

Both the Master's and Ladies' songs were sung in a truly moving manner by the Brothers (father Chris and son Simon) Grove, to the delight of all present.   posted 18 Jun 2010

All Welcome at National Service Day on 27th June

The eighth National Service Day at the National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR (tel: 01283 792333, www.thenma.org.uk ) on Sunday 27th June concludes a full week of exciting activities to celebrate Armed Forces Week.

W Bro Ron Eamonson OBEW Bro Ron Eamonson OBE (pictured, left, being presented with his OBE) has again accepted an invitation from The National Service Foundation to lay a wreath on behalf of the Province at the commemoration service, which starts at 2.00pm, to honour all Warwickshire Freemasons who served their National Service in the Armed Forces from 1939 to 1965.

The event is organised by the Chairman of the Foundation W Bro Gerald Rose of Sutton Pilgrims Lodge 7780. The Senior Officer on parade will be Major General Everard CBE (GOC 3rd Division) and at the end of the service there will a march past.

In addition to the many individual memorials of all sectors of the armed forces, of which there are over 160, there are also memorials to the Merchant Marine and other civil defence organisations, as well as a wonderful Masonic Memorial sponsored by the Province of Staffordshire. Other monuments include the Chapel, and the breathtaking Memorial which was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen on 12th October 2007. This is a stone circle costing £6 million which at the unveiling had the names of over sixteen thousand of those who have died in service engraved on it. Sadly, every month more names continue to be added.

Ron is a long serving member of Number 1(f) Squadron Association Royal Air Force, having served with the Squadron in 1954 and 1955, who will be holding their reunion at the Royal Air Force club in London on the 11th September. Members of the Association along with their Wives will be joined by "the Boss" and current Harrier Pilots of the Squadron who returned from Afghanistan last year.

For those who have not yet visited the National Memorial Arboretum, this is a splendid opportunity to enjoy a wonderful tribute to those who served and died in the service of their country. It is a tremendous day and everyone is welcome - there we will be several thousand people in attendance from all over the UK and from many other Countries throughout the World. Although there is a restaurant where hot and cold meals are served (and a gift shop) why not take a picnic and a couple of bottles of wine, looking out for Ron and many other familiar Masonic faces?   posted 16 Jun 2010

Shipston on Stour Roast Pig

2012 logoThe Master of Shipston on Stour Lodge 9418, W Bro Geoff Ridgway, will be hosting a Pig Roast on Sunday 4th July, with proceeds helping towards the Lodge's 2012 Festival target.

Full details and contact numbers can be found here.   posted 15 Jun 2010

Golf Progresses

The 'Lodges of Progress', which is a group of those called Progress within UGLE, have arranged a Golf day at Harborne Golf Club on Friday 6th August.

Full details and contact numbers can be found here. posted 15 June 2010

£98,100 WMCA Annual Donations

This year's donations to non-masonic charities by the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association totalled £98,100, shared between 187 recipients in sums between £300 and £4,500.

Representatives from many of the recipient charitie

Pictured are representatives from many of the recipient charities, who received their cheques at a lunch hosted at Stirling Road by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE (far left).

The WMCA Trustees evaluate the financial situation on an annual basis and decide an amount which can be afforded to donate and donations are subsequently made to registered charities which operate within the area covered by the Province of Warwickshire.

The process is managed on behalf of the Trustees by Tony Newby, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, together with Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, from the Charity Office, Stirling Road.

A full list of this year's recipients is available here. posted 15 June 2010

Mountain goes to Mohammed

W Bro Roger Parker, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Francis Badman with his 50 years' Service to Freemasonry certificate, following a challenging set of circumstances.

92 year old Francis was initiated into Scinde Lodge 4284 (Pakistan) in 1960, after which he joined Union Lodge 767 (Herts) in 1977, became a Founder of Junior Chamber Lodge 8902 (and Master in 1983) and then joined Holy Well Lodge 9437 in 1992.

After it became apparent that Francis would not be able to attend Lodge for his presentation, arrangements were made for this to take place at a gathering of his wife Gwyneth, two sons Jonathan and David, Worshipful Master Bob Turner and Almoner Reg Hamer (who co-ordinated the event), at the Badman's home.

Jonathan had flown in from Malaya, where he is Senior Warden of his Lodge there, managing to avoid the volcanic ash, with David travelling to the occasion from London. Unfortunately however, W Bro David Macey, the APGM who originally volunteered to make the presentation, did get caught out by the ash and was stranded in the Canary Islands. To make matters worse, Francis' certificate was waiting safely locked up in David's house!

Roger handing Francis his certificate, applauded by JonathanPictured is Roger handing Francis his certificate, applauded by Jonathan

But all ended happily, with Roger Parker being available and more than happy to stand in at short notice, and a replacement certificate being provided by the Provincial Office. Roger made the presentation in a most delightful manner, to the joy of Francis and everyone else present, and the original certificate and badge were eventually delivered after David's extended holiday.posted 15 June 2010

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 15 May 2010.

To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.

Right-click to download the PGM's address | Duration: 16 mins 28 secs

posted 9 June 2010

Trip to the Palace

VW Bro Victor Keene MBE shares his momentous St George's Day occasion:

"It was a bright sunny day as my wife Judith, daughter Mary and grand daughter Victoria and me made our way by taxi to Buckingham Palace. A very kind friend had recommended me for an award and here we were attending the Investiture. The letter had come in November last year and we were sworn to secrecy until the announcement on New Year's Eve. From then on it was 'what should we wear?' New frocks for the ladies and top hat and tails for me were the order of the day.

W Bro Victor after the presentation
W Bro Victor after the presentation - W Bro Victor after the presentation
Full of anticipation we walked through the inner courtyard, up the red carpet and in to the gilded surroundings of the Palace. What a shame we could not take photographs inside. There were Horse Guards (dismounted) standing motionless and numerous officials ushering awardees and their guests. Guests were shown in to the Ballroom and seated so that they could have a good view of the proceedings. A band from the Guards Division played in the background. Recipients were led to reception areas according to their awards where we were carefully rehearsed. Television sets relayed what was happening and we could see Knights receiving their accolades and Dames their regalia.

We were assembled in a line awaiting our entry to be announced. Through the doorway we could see Prince Charles surrounded by equerries and Yeomen of the Guard. 'When your name is called, step forward give a court bow and address the Prince as His Royal Highness or sir. He will invest you with the insignia, have a few words and shake hands. You step back, another court bow and retire.' It went like clockwork, the Prince was very gracious and spoke very encouragingly.

Back in the inner courtyard were the photographers, we had our cameras back and could also take our own pictures. It was a really splendid and very happy occasion."   posted 6 June 2010

Soldier turned Airman turns 50

Members and visitors at Knowle Lodge 8001 recently enjoyed a wonderful evening celebrating a 50 year certificate presentation by W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, to Past Master W Bro John Whiteley DFC, PProvSGW.

John, who will be 92 in June, was born in Nottingham and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross following his service in the Royal Air Force. He afterwards worked for the Norwich Union Insurance Company for over 40 years, during which time he met Mary, who sadly died after 52 years marriage to John in 2003.

During a very varied life John studied Spanish, French and Greek, and achieved an Open University degree in Pure Maths. He has helped teach people to read and write, and with money matters and problems, as well as being a school Governor and active member of the Conservative Party for many years.

But his passion throughout his life has been the RAF, where he was Secretary of the 619 Squadron for many years. In the 1990s he was put in touch with the crew of a U Boat his RAF crew had bombed, thus forming an annual reunion which lasted for 10 years.

W Bro Brian Smith, W Bro John Whiteley and W Bro Michael MorrisJohn was initiated into Chetwode Crawley Lodge 395, Dublin, in 1960 and became a joining member of Knowle Lodge in 1986, attending 125 of the 136 meetings held since then, and was installed as Master in 1997. He was honoured with Provincial Grand Rank in 2003, and promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden by the Provincial Grand Master on the floor of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge in November last year, in recognition of his service as a RAF Lancaster Bomber Pilot during the Second World War.

Last summer John published his memoirs entitled "Soldier turned Airman", and he is pictured (centre) with the Master of Knowle Lodge W Bro Brian Smith (left) and Michael Morris.  posted 25 May 2010

Valedictory Address at Annual Meeting

Over 800 Warwickshire freemasons attended the packed Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, presided over for the last time by the outgoing Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, who retires on 13th June 2010 following the Church Service in Warwick.

Our PGM in processionPrior to the opening, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Philip Hall, briefed all present (warning of the dire consequences of any mobile phones ringing), after which he supervised the incoming processions of Grand Officers, distinguished guests (including 12 visiting Provincial Grand Masters) and our own PGM escorted by his Officers.

Our PGM in procession

After paying due respect to those Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above, the PGM individually welcomed the distinguished guests, and all others present.

Following various reports from Provincial Officers and the expedition of other administrative matters, the PGM confirmed the re-appointment of the Provincial Rulers, after which the Officers for the ensuing year were appointed and invested, and Past Ranks conferred or confirmed.

He then announced the award of his Certificate of Merit to W Bro Roy Marshall and W Bro Malcolm Wright, whose backgrounds and long and distinguished services to freemasonry in Warwickshire were detailed by the Provincial Grand Secretary.

The PGM then addressed the meeting (a full transcript is available here) during the course of which he reflected upon his term in office, offering thanks to the many who had served during that period. He concluded by presenting all good wishes for the future, which was followed by a lengthy standing ovation.

After reviewing progress with the 2012 Festival, and thanks for all the fantastic ongoing support, W Bro David Macey, Festival Director, announced that to date over £60,000 had been received as a result of the Sponsored Walk, with many more pledges to be collected when Lodges resume next season.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, then gave a moving valedictory address to the PGM, (a full transcript can be seen here), in which he outlined in detail the difficulties, achievements and dedication seen during the term. He then presented an inscribed silver salver, and a cheque for the PGM to spend on holidays with his wife Dawn, together with an abundant supply of chocolate and a bottle of vintage champagne. In thanking the brethren for their kindness, the PGM dwelled upon some of the events mentioned, and stated that most of the chocolate would be gone before he arrived home! He would not miss the job, but would miss the brethren.

The PGM announced that the next Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire would be W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, which news was greeted with hearty acclamation. The Investiture would be by the Pro Grand Master and the Grand Secretary and would take place in the morning on Thursday 8th July, followed by lunch.

Anthony Rudell, Provincial Senior Grand Warden
Anthony Rudell, Provincial Senior Grand Warden - Anthony Rudell, Provincial Senior Grand Warden
At the magnificent banquet following the meeting, attended by 555 brethren, the staff at the Clarendon Suites demonstrated their ability and skill in catering for such events. During the Toasts following the meal, which included the Provincial Senior Grand Warden W Bro Anthony Rudell congratulating the PGM for all his hard work, many delightful anecdotes were enjoyed by the audience.

Anthony Rudell
Provincial Senior Grand Warden

Next year's annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 21st May.   posted 25 May 2010

Warwickshire Bodger Hosts Public School Lodges

All members of Warwickshire Lodges, and their Ladies, are invited to attend the Public School Lodges Festival, returning after 20 years to Rugby School on Saturday 3rd July.

Not Invited: Harry Flashman, Alleged Old Rugbeian, war hero, charlatan, lusty bounder and bullyThe programme includes entertainment and a music recital for the Ladies, whilst a Lodge meeting is held in the morning. A sumptuous lunch follows, after which informal tours of the school will take place, concluding with afternoon tea prior to departure.

Not Invited: Harry Flashman, Alleged Old Rugbeian, war hero, charlatan, lusty bounder and bully.

For full details of the Festival, together with an outline of the various activities and their surroundings, as well as a tour of the School, its history, and details of the Old Rugbeian Lodge 3551 visit www.ormasonicfestival.com.   posted 25 May 2010

New PGM Announced

At the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE, announced that the next Provincial Grand Master for WarwickshireW Bro David Maceywill be W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, which news was greeted with hearty acclamation.

His Investiture will be by the Pro Grand Master and the Grand Secretary and will take place in the morning on Thursday 8th July, followed by lunch.   posted 21 May 2010

Tylers' Workshops

All Tylers have been invited to attend workshops to be held on 22nd May (Stirling Road), 3rd June (Warwick) and 17th June (Coventry). Those who would like to consider the role of a Lodge Tyler, and any other interested brethren are also very welcome to attend.

A copy of the invitation to Tylers, which gives full details, can be seen here. Or contact W Bro Ian Hart, Provincial Grand Tyler, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. tel: 0121 550 0098   posted 20 May 2010

Masonic Manna

On very rare occasions we have the opportunity of rejoicing at the Consecration of a new Lodge, and even more rarely to see a top team from Grand Lodge in action. So when both are brought together, led by the Assistant Grand Master, with the additional touch of some exclusive exhibits, it really is an event to be remembered.

Over 140 Brethren attended such a magnificent occasion at the Consecration and Installation Meeting of the Michael Price Lodge 9853 held at Stirling Road, by Right Worshipful Bro David Kenneth Williamson, the Assistant Grand Master. His consecrating team comprised a veritable who's who of very senior masons, including the Provincial Grand Masters of Staffordshire and Worcestershire acting respectively as Senior and Junior Wardens, and the Assistant Grand Secretary as Installing Officer, all immaculately supervised by both the Grand and Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies.

The Consecrating Team
The Consecrating Team - The Consecrating Team
The Consecrating Team lining up under the watchful eyes of the Grand and Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies.

The Assistant Grand Master welcomed everyone present and exhorted them to sing heartily and enjoy, which was not difficult, being led by W Bro Roy Marshall and ten members of the Provincial Choir. During the ceremony an Oration was given by Warwickshire's W Bro John Cowan, who acted as Chaplain, which referred to the qualifications and attributes of the members who had united with the common bond of their interest in Jaguar cars, with the "leaping cat" as their emblem. He paid tribute to our own Provincial Grand Master, after whom the Lodge was named and who was to be the first Master, and presented all best wishes to the members of the Lodge for many years ahead.

After the Lodge had been Consecrated, Dedicated and Constituted, VW Bro Graham Redman, the Assistant Grand Secretary, installed RW Bro Michael J Price CBE (who had been presented by W Bro Harry Owen) as Worshipful Master, following which greetings were given by the Assistant Grand Master on behalf of all of the Installed Masters present.

The Worshipful Master then appointed and invested the Senior Warden W Bro Roger Mac, well known for his motor sport enthusiasm, and the Junior Warden W Bro Michael Adams, who had been the driving force behind establishing the Lodge. In appreciation of this, and in his capacity as PGM, the WM then made the delightful gesture of appointing W Bro Adams to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden of Warwickshire, which was greeted with acclaim by all present.

The Silver Paper KnifeThe Silver Paper Knife

Following the appointment and investiture of the rest of the officers, and other important matters of procedure, the WM presented the Assistant Grand Master and the Assistant Grand Secretary with a memento by way of thanks for their duties as Consecrating Officer and Installing Officer respectively. These were hallmarked silver paper knives, the handles being replicas of the "leaping cat" mascot, beautifully crafted by W Bro Ken Downes.

A sumptuous Festive Board followed the proceedings, prior to which all presentWith the SS100 (l-r) David Williamson, Alan Lloyd, Michael Pricemarvelled at the presence of two magnificent Classic Jaguar cars on display in the reception area of the dining room. These were the famous Alpine and Tulip rally winning 1938 SS 100 LNW 100, and the 1956 D Type, NKV 617, both kindly loaned for the event by Founder Member W Bro Alan Lloyd.

With the SS100 (l-r) David Williamson, Alan Lloyd, Michael Price

Without doubt, everyone had a splendid day and went away feeling very happy and contented.   posted 19 May 2010

Mentoring Workshops

Phil Culverwell has kindly agreed to help with the logistics and running of future mentoring workshops.

The next one will be held at Stirling Road on Thursday 10th June 2010, between 2.00 and 5.00pm, immediately preceding the Warwickshire Installed Masters meeting. Bookings through Phil at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01926 634732.   posted 19 May 2010

Mountaineers go extra mile

Many congratulations to Bros Dave Marlow and Ivan Smart of Greville Lodge 4773 who have returned safely, albeit slightly worse for wear, from the challenge of their winter climb of Mount Toubkal, raising £6,500 for the Acorns Hospice. See the Lodge Newspage and the Greville Lodge website www.grevillelodge.org.uk/pages/toubkal.htm (limk removed) for further details and photos.  posted 19 May 2010

Whence Come We?

The guest speaker at the last Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 meeting was VW Bro John Hamill, who spent many years as Librarian and Curator at the UGLE headquarters in Great Queen Street, and who is one of the world's leading experts on freemasonry.

John Hamill (l) and Alan WellanJohn Hamill (l) and Alan Wellan

Having previously set up a specialised Communications Department for Grand Lodge in 1998, becoming Director of Communications, John has more recently become Director of Special Projects. His remit here takes him back to his roots as an historian, charged with producing a history of Freemasonry in England and Wales over the last three hundred years, as part of the celebrations marking the tercentenary of Grand Lodge. This will highlight the social and cultural interaction of freemasonry with contemporary society throughout those years, in which the recent historical records survey (which is the largest archive research project ever attempted in England) plays an important part.

Whilst the logical place to start such a huge task would be at the beginning - the very origins of freemasonry - it is impossible to determine where these lie, and very difficult to draw links between records of operative masonry and the guild system in the late 1300s, and evidence of speculative masonry developing during the 17th century. Our ritual implies that we go back to the building of King Solomon's Temple, but this has to be recognised as a symbolic representation. Early Masonic authors seem to have applied creative license, combining romance with imagination in their writings, some claiming it goes back thousands of years, and may have evolved out of a schism in the original Christian Church. More recently, a variety of theories have been put forward, mainly by non masons, claiming that the origins lie in the medieval Knights Templar, the so called Priory of Sion or the Egyptian Mysteries.

But upon examining the evidence available, most of these theories have gaping holes in them, often relying upon unrealistic "assumptions" and papering over large timescale differences. They also rely upon the "when, how and where" elements, without exploring the fundamental "why" question.

The late 16th and early 17th centuries were times of political and religious bigotry, from which civil war arose. Zero tolerance to liberal thinking was the order of the day, providing a seedbed - the "why" - for those who believed in the importance of morality and civility. The Bible, universally known by all, provided a variety of storylines symbolising the principles embraced by our forefathers, which also provided the anchors of freemasonry.

New evidence continually presents itself, and as an historian John hopes that one day definitive evidence explaining our origins will satisfy his enquiring mind. But he also rather hopes that perhaps that day may never arise, as it would herald the end of the delightfully stimulating and ongoing discussions taking place everywhere as regardsWhence Come We?

Silhill Lodge 4786 members with their gavelSilhill Lodge 4786 members with their gavel (l-r) Colin Coldicott, Jim Pike, Robert Pike, John Hamill, Rob Morgan, Reg Willsher, Brian Gibbs.

In addition to VW Bro Hamill's fascinating talk, W Bro David Macey presented sixteen gavels to Lodges who had already achieved their contribution target for the 2012 Festival, which to date totals the magnificent sum of £1.8 million.

Also, details of thirty two brethren who had applied to join the Lodge were announced, very much reflecting the attraction of the program of events always enjoyed by members and guests.

David Rawlins (l) and David MaceyDavid Rawlins (l) and David Macey.

A delightful festive board following the meeting, during which the Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, presented VW Bro John Hamill with a cheque for £600, for the benefit of the Library and Museum at Great Queen Street. The Mark Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Rawlins, also presented a cheque for £2,100 to W Bro David Macey, this being the proceeds from the highly successful and enjoyable Chinese Valentines Ball organised by the Mark Social Committee at Stirling Road in February to support the 2012 Festival Appeal.   posted 1 May 2010

Website Hits Record

March 2010 has shown an all time record, with 3,152 unique visitors, who visited 6,409 times, looking at 20,391 pages with 95,092 individual hits; three times the number of visits of 3 years ago.

Reading at the average speed for an adult, and without a break, it would now take a full day to read everything on our web site. And every word is indexed and searchable!   posted 29 Apr 2010

Home and Dry

2012 logoThe 2012 Festival Charity Walk, trodden from start to finish by Festival Director W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, was an outstanding success. Many retinues supported him over the four day walk, which transversed the Province along the delightful paths of the Warwickshire canals, and will have raised a significant sum towards the Festival target.

The full report here is based upon David's daily blog.   posted 26 Apr 2010

Amalgamation

In a joint statement, W Bros Peter Sorrill and Philip Barnett have announced with excitement that the Lodge of Hope 4436 and St Alphege Lodge 1431 have successfully balloted to amalgamate, becoming the first Lodges in the Province to do so. The Lodge will now become the Lodge of Hope and St Alphege 4436.

Back in May 2009 the seed of possible amalgamation was sown, and discussions between senior Brethren of both Lodges started to take place. The pleasing number of junior Brethren in the Lodge of Hope, and the strength of Past Masters in St Alphege seemed to be a good basis on which to begin discussions, and it soon became apparent that a successful outcome was possible.

By September a planned timescale had been put in place with the ever present proviso that the issue could, and would, only be decided by a ballot in open Lodge by both parties.

Brethren were encouraged to openly discuss their feelings on the matter. It quickly transpired that the Brethren of both Lodges were of the same mind, and that the joint strength gained by an amalgamation would go a long way in securing the future of both Lodges.

Peter (left) and Philip, who headed up the discussions between the two LodgesPictured are Peter (left) and Philip, who headed up the discussions between the two Lodges.

Agreeing the detail of such a marriage would be a daunting prospect, but by being open minded from the outset, and expressing their feelings with honesty and brotherly love, all the Brethren (including the few who felt a little uneasy with the new venture, especially changing the name) feel that the brave step they have taken will prove to be a great success, and will be emulated by many Lodges in the Province over the coming years.   posted 21 Apr 2010

Many Happy Returns

Each year in the last week of March a Luncheon is held in remembrance of the birth of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini (1728-1813), who was descended from an ancient and noble Italian family, qualified as a surgeon at Bermago and specialised in dentistry.

After a short sojourn in the Court of France he came to England where he developed a tincture for the treatment of toothache which he gave to the poor free of charge. He was initiated into the Mourning Bush Tavern Lodge 116 in 1762 and also took an active part in Royal Arch Freemasonry, but his greatest achievement was the formulation in 1788 of a scheme for establishing a school for daughters of deceased and distressed Freemasons.

Statue of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini which stands in the grounds of the Girls School outside their magnificent chapel.
Statue of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini which stands in the grounds of the Girls School outside their magnificent chapel. - Statue of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini which stands in the grounds of the Girls School outside their magnificent chapel.
Statue of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini which stands in the grounds of the Girls School outside their magnificent chapel.

Fifteen girls between the ages of 5 and 10 were admitted to a school in a rented house near Euston Station. The school was called Royal Cumberland Free Mason School for Little Children where daughters were under the protection of HRH The Duchess of Cumberland. It evolved into the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, which together with the subsequently established (1798) equivalent for boys eventually became separate charities. The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys took over the running of the former charities in 1986. The fascinating history can be seen on the RMTGB website at www.rmtgb.org/about-the-trust/the-history-of-the-trust

Ruspini was accorded the rank of Chevalier in 1789, which was an exceptional honour for one who changed from the Roman to the Anglican Church.

Warwickshire has been represented at the lunch since 1994 by W Bro Ron Eamonson, who was a member of the Council of the Trust serving on finance and the petitions sub committees for over twelve years, and who is now a Patron.

The lunch is attended by Trustees (who are Provincial Grand Masters having held RMTGB Festivals in their provinces), current and past members of the Council, members of the professional bodies who work for the trust, and prominent members of the Craft. The lunch was previously held at different venues, but for the past two years has been at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth.   posted 19 Apr 2010

Thanks, Mum

W Bro Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Charles Anthony (Tony) Kemp with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate at The Aston Manor Lodge 6323.

W Bro Tony Greenshields (Master), Tony Kemp and Nigel Bister.Pictured (l-r) are W Bro Tony Greenshields (Master), Tony Kemp and Nigel Bister.

Following his initiation into the Lodge in 1959 at the age of 31, Tony went on to become Master in 1972/73 and again in 1992/93. His excellent ritual was well respected and he was elected as an honorary member in 2003 following his long and loyal service.

Born and bred in Birmingham, living with his grandparents, he enlisted for the war effort at an early age, after which he held a variety of jobs, spending much of his career in the motor trade, before moving into the property market, in which he is still active.

Tony's happiest times have been astride a motor bike, his passion including competition and trials successes at International level in both the UK and abroad during the 1950s, as shown by his many cups and trophies and his garage full of classic bikes. Other sporting activities included Golf, Football and Boxing, more lately Snooker, sporting prowess obviously being a family trait with his sister Ann having represented the County at Badminton and his youngest brother Ray doing the same at Speed Skating.

It was Tony's mother Edith who was the reason behind him joining Aston Manor Lodge - she told him to spend just one night a month with his father Charles Thomas, who is still remembered by a few members of the Lodge with much love and affection.   posted 18 Apr 2010

Dad's Army

The Installation meeting of Silhill Lodge 4786 marked a very special, emotional and unique event in its history when Bro Robert Pike was installed in the Chair of King Solomon by his father W Bro Jim Pike, ably assisted by his elder brother W Bro Jamie Pike.

(l-r) David Shakeshaft, Jamie Pike, Robert Pike, Jim Pike, Michael Morris.Pictured (l-r) David Shakeshaft, Jamie Pike, Robert Pike, Jim Pike, Michael Morris.

W Bro David Shakeshaft, the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, was the Presiding Officer, also present was W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who is a Past Master of the Lodge.   posted 18 Apr 2010

New RMTGB Ambassador

W Bro Eric Rymer has very kindly agreed to be Warwickshire's Ambassador for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.

The Ambassador Scheme is an initiative to improve the information flow between the Provinces and the Trust, and is aimed at addressing a number of specific areas, the key ones being:

W Bro Eric Rymer
  • Increasing awareness of the work undertaken by the Trust
  • Identifying potential petitioners through greater understanding of the core aims
  • Identifying potential members of Council
  • Improving local understanding to achieve national coverage
  • Highlighting the success of initiatives such as TalentAid
  • Raising the positive profile of the Trust.
 

Eric will undoubtedly promote the Trust with aplomb and diplomacy, and we wish him well in this mission.   posted 1 Apr 2010

Charity Walk reaches Australia

2012 logoRather than trying to excuse himself, W Bro Dewi Cooke, Charity Steward of Newdegate Lodge 5102, is determined to take part in the 2012 Festival Charity Walk taking place over the Easter holiday, despite being 10,549 miles away. He is on holiday with Bro Colin Taylor, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, and who is also a subscribing member of the Lodge. They will be arranging sponsors for their own local walk, avoiding en route the crocs and 'roos we don't tend to see much of on our own canals.

Now, just think how much would Dewi raise if he carried on walking until he arrived home . . . . ? Our own Dewi Macey will walk fifteen miles each day. At that rate, it would take around 700 days to get from Oz to Brum, allowing for the odd puddles (aka oceans) en route, arriving back well in time for the Festival Celebration in September 2012, some 900 days away!

If you haven't already pledged your support for the Walk, act now - full details can be seen on the Festival Charity Walk page, or contact Peter Wellings email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel: 07973 135761 to make sure you don't miss the opportunity.   posted 27 Mar 2010

London Olympics 2012

Metropolitan Grand Lodge is considering some events to coincide with the London Olympics in 2012. It is understood that the Library & Museum is to organize an exhibition with a sporting theme at this time.

Ideas being discussed include a fund raising dinner for masons and non-masons, with their partners, from across the globe at the Grand Connaught Rooms; a reception in the Library & Museum; a lodge meeting and other such events.

It will enhance the events if a number of international sports persons, though not necessarily athletes or Olympic sports, with Masonic connections (members; partners; family members) can be present at one or more of the events. In order that MetGL can approach these masons for their support, they are seeking the names and contact details of such masons (or their family members).

If anyone knows of such, or needs further information, please contact:

W Bro Geoff Gillo
Metropolitan Information Officer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 27 Mar 2010

Rt Hon Lord Cornwallis, OBE, DL (obit)

obitThe death on 6 March of our Past Pro Grand Master Lord Cornwallis breaks a chain of more than one hundred years of continuous distinguished service to Freemasonry by the Cornwallis family.

Fiennes Neil Wykham, 3rd Baron Cornwallis was born in 1921, educated at Eton and served in the Coldstream Guards during the Second World War. As a Farmer of extensive orchards he served on major committees in the House of Lords and the European Commission protecting the interests of fruit growers and small businesses in general, for which he received his OBE. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent in 1976.

He was initiated in Douglas Lodge 1725, Maidstone in 1954 and was Provincial Senior Grand Warden of Kent in 1962 and Senior Grand Warden in 1963. An interest in charity took him to the former Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, of which he was Chairman 1966 - 1972.

In 1971 he was appointed Assistant Grand Master. Shortly after, the Bagnall Committee was set up to make a fundamental review of Masonic Charity. On its report being accepted he was asked by the Grand Master to chair the Grand Master's Committee to implement the major changes which resulted in the reorganisation of the Charities into their present form, no mean feat.

In 1976 he became Deputy Grand Master and Second Grand Principal and in 1982 succeeded the late Lord Cadogan as Pro Grand Master and Pro First Grand Principal, serving for ten years.

His period as Pro Grand Master was not an easy one. Public perceptions of the Craft, political interference, major enquiries into the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity by the Methodist and Anglican Churches and the problems of the former Royal Masonic Hospital took up a great deal of his time. He gave real support to the then new policy of openness (not popular at that time) and lived to see it begin to bear fruit.

After his retirement in 1992 he continued to serve on the Grand Master's Council and his experience and wise counsel were much appreciated by his successors.   posted 27 Mar 2010

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Viewers watching the recent quarter final of BBC's Mastermind will have seen a relaxed and confident W Bro Brian Southgate, Past Master of Knowle Lodge 8001, narrowly beat his opponents following an excellent first round, four point lead, from his specialist subject, Sir Alex Ferguson, who during the introductions Brian had expressed his great admiration for.

The other competitors had varying levels of success with their own subjects, covering 17th Century English History, W Bro Brian SouthgateStartrek Voyager and Sir Edward Elgar, but Brian kept his own in the general knowledge round, managing to win by just one point with his very last question, which asked him which metaphor arose from Poet and Author John Milton's 1634 masque "Comus".

Well done, Brian, and all good luck for the next round.   posted 27 Mar 2010

St George appears again

Solihull Masonic Temple (at Knowle) are holding a flag waving and singing night on 24th April. Tickets are £19 each and include a four course meal, with entertainment from the multi award winning duo, Street and Lain.

Full details here. Early booking is recommended.   posted 27 Mar 2010

Grand Ranks

Many congratulations go to the following Worshipful Brethren for their preferment in Grand Lodge, their investiture taking place in London on Wednesday 28th April 2010.

First Appointments:

  • Philip Laurence Hall, Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
  • Garry Horace Derek Malpas, Past Grand Standard Bearer
  • Anthony Paul Newby, Past Grand Standard Bearer

Promotion:

  • Thomas William Seekings, from Past Grand Standard Bearer to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

  posted 14 Mar 2010

£20,000 Donated in response to Chile Earthquake

The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, Grahame Elliott, has approved an emergency grant of £20,000 to the Red Cross following a large earthquake in Chile. The earthquake struck at 03.35 hours local time on 27 February 2010, measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. It is reported to be the worst earthquake to hit the country in 25 years, and has been followed by aftershocks of up to 6.9 magnitude. It has been confirmed that 802 people have died and over 2 million are believed to have been affected.

The earthquake hit 90 kilometres north-east of the city of Concepción in central Chile, and has reportedly caused considerable damage to infrastructure in the Bíobío and Maule regions. Many roads and buildings have been damaged, particularly in coastal zones, while some areas continue to suffer from power outages, though Santiago remains largely unaffected.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity has awarded the British Red Cross £20,000 to assist with their relief efforts. The Chilean Red Cross is working on the ground in partnership with the country's National Emergency Office (ONEMI), carrying out search and rescue operations, giving medical assistance where necessary as well as providing basic amenities like water, sanitation and shelter.   posted 14 Mar 2010

A Moving Target

The 6th National Masonic Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition, hosted by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge Clay Shooting Association, will be held at the EJ Churchill Shooting Ground, Park Lane, Lane End, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP14 3NS on Saturday 26th June 2010.

This will be a challenging 100-Bird Sporting Competition Shoot at one of London's Premier Shooting Grounds, all in aid of the RMBI, at the great value of only £70 per head. This includes a welcome bacon buttie and tea/coffee breakfast, and a full Buffet Lunch (non-shooting guests Breakfast & Buffet Lunch only £15).

All Masonic Shooters and non-Masonic Guests are welcome.

Trophies will include:

  • Overall Competition High Gun, Masonic High Gun and Runner Up
  • Masonic and Non-Masonic Top Team and Runners Up
  • Ladies' High Gun and Juniors'

Registration commences 9:00am. Shoot commences 9:45am.

Full details and an application form are on the What's On page, or download the form from here.   posted 14 Mar 2010

Mentor Mentors Mentors

Our Provincial Mentor, Stuart Esworthy, was asked by James Bartlett, the National Mentoring Co-ordinator, to give the keynote speech at the second National Mentoring Conference held at our London headquarters in Great Queen Street in February.

The Grand Secretary Nigel Brown opened the day and talked about the need to challenge ourselves, the need to listen to our members and the need to enhance our PR - and he told the assembled mentors that we have just engaged a new PR company to help us with those initiatives.

Stuart was very pleased to hear all those things because it meant his text was complementary and not too radical or controversial!

The title of Stuart's speech was "The Values and Expectations of the 21st Century Mason", and his theme was change. He suggested we look to add to our original 3 values (Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth) with 5 newer aspirational values, his presentation being embraced within a Powerpoint slide show which can be seen here or downloaded as a PDF with accompanying notes here. He also suggested a route to delivery and ended with how we in Warwickshire were progressing.

A comprehensive summary of the Conference can be seen on the website promoted by our immediate past Pro Grand Master, The Marquess of Northampton, for the purpose of encouraging and developing mentoring activity, see www.3rlibrary.org.uk.

Stuart will be happy to answer any questions or expand on his thinking if anything is unclear, or if anyone feels it is worthy of further work.

There will be a Mentoring seminar on Wednesday 31st March, 1:00 to 4:00pm at Stirling Road, immediately before the Warwickshire Installed Masters 4538 meeting (at which John Hamill is the guest speaker, talking about the origins of freemasonry). All Brethren wishing to attend the seminar should contact Stuart, tel: 07881 505558, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 11 Mar 2010

St George's Night Celebration

2012 logoTemple Lodge 4929 invite all masons, their families and friends to join them in a St George's Night celebration at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, on Friday 23rd April. All raffle and other proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival.

For full details and booking information see here.   posted 11 Mar 2010

Support and Socks for the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack

The Lodge of Faith and Hope 4772 has supported the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack, which is based in Erdington, Birmingham for well over 15 years. The Pack caters exclusively for mentally and physically disabled children and is delighted to have also received supported from the Province during more recent years.

Funds provided last year totalling £700 helped to replace equipment lost in a fire during the previous year.

W Bro Roger Chapman, Charity Steward of the Lodge, being presented with an engraved plate by the Cub Pack leaders
W Bro Roger Chapman, Charity Steward of the Lodge, being presented with an engraved plate by the Cub Pack leaders - W Bro Roger Chapman, Charity Steward of the Lodge, being presented with an engraved plate by the Cub Pack leaders
The picture (left) shows W Bro Roger Chapman, Charity Steward of the Lodge, being presented with an engraved plate by the Cub Pack leaders to acknowledge the support they have received. The ladies are the "Arkela" and her deputy who were very pleased to receive cheques last year - the cubs themselves cannot be photographed without parental permission.

The funds provided were used to cover costs for their annual camp last year, which these days proves to be a very expensive event, particularly insurance costs which are a necessary overhead. The Lodge is intending to make further donations this year to ensure the event can go ahead again.

During the day with the Cubs, Roger had a meal cooked and served by the Cubs, which enabled them to gain their Cookery badges. The special camp socksQuite a remarkable achievement when you consider that all twelve of the Cubs present were in wheelchairs.

The picture (right) shows the special camp socks that were provided by the donations as part of the Scout camp trip, which without support they would not have been able to attend.   posted 11 Mar 2010

PGM Honoured in Royal Arch

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will be appointed to Grand Scribe N at the Annual Investiture of Supreme Grand Chapter on Thursday 29th April. It is the third time he has been appointed as an Acting Officer in Supreme Grand Chapter and we offer many congratulations on achieving this very senior rank.   posted 9 Mar 2010

Festival For All

The General Lodge of Instruction will be holding its 92nd Festival of Instruction at 6.00pm on Thursday 25th March 2010, at Stirling Rd. This will include a demonstration of the Ceremony of Initiation including the Charge to the Initiate, together with a working of the First Section of the First Degree Lecture.

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE has kindly agreed to be the Festival President before his retirement.

All Brethren are very welcome to attend, particularly Entered Apprentices. The cost is only £15, including wine.

To secure a place please contact the Secretary no later than Friday 19th March: W Bro MD Hogarth, tel: 01905 776071 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 1 Mar 2010

Athelstan Help Lift Off

W Bro Frank Salt and W Bro Malcolm Owen presented a cheque for £1003 to the WNAA at their base at Coventry Airport. See Lodge News here for full details.   posted 28 Feb 2010

Spring Newsletter

Every Warwickshire freemason should by now have received his copy of the Spring Newsletter, posted to him at the address held for him on the Provincial ADeplhi Database (see article on back page). The Newsletter contains several articles not included on the website Provincial News page.  posted 28 Feb 2010

Beware the Insidious

An outfit styling itself Masonic Yellow Pages, based in New Zealand, has appeared on the internet suggesting that freemasons should advertise with them for the purpose of self help and gaining financial relief, networking, giving time, investing energy and a whole myriad of derivatives.

This is an entirely commercial operation which anyone appears to be able to subscribe to, freemason or otherwise.

Every freemason has signed a declaration stating that he is uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, and should recognise this unsolicited approach as being completely contrary to both his declaration, and the principles which freemasons pledge allegiance to.   posted 23 Feb 2010

Scaling the Heights

Acorns Children's Hospice will be the sole beneficiary of money raised by Greville Lodge 4773 for a winter climb of Mount Toubkal, part of the High Atlas Mountains and the highest peak in Northern Africa. See Lodge News for full details.   posted 23 Feb 2010

Life after the Chair?

Many junior members may think to themselves that Masonic life after the excitement and honour of being Master of their Lodge must equate to being put out to pasture. But how wrong they are.

Beyond the Craft and Royal Arch there are many other intriguing Orders in freemasonry, which cannot be joined without membership of the Craft, most of them being open to brethren quite soon after their becoming Master Masons. But another avenue is the one provided by our Installed Masters' Lodges.

Newly installed Masters are invariably advised of their qualification to join an Installed Masters' Lodge, where top level activity, whether academic, general interest or social, takes place. The Lodges provide a wonderful platform for many fascinating presentations and demonstrations, which all appropriately qualified Masons are very welcome to attend.

1810 Russian Initiation

Take the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538, for example, where last November a demonstration team from the Old Wulfrunians Lodge 7411 (Province of Staffordshire) gave a Demonstration in period costume of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace.

Members of the Old Wulfrunian’s Lodge Demonstration TeamMembers of the Old Wulfrunian's Lodge Demonstration Team

Team leader W Bro ED Humphries introduced his members, outlining the team's background and origins. They had given their first demonstration in 1986 to the Federation of School Lodges, when 370 onlookers were present. Since then they have given around 120 demonstrations all round the country, raising over £100,000 for a variety of mainly non-masonic charities such as Air Ambulance, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Gait Trainers and suchlike. All sorts of hitches and glitches arise with any touring group, this team being no exception, and the audience was given many amusing anecdotal reports of incidents incurred during their travels, including encountering the local weight watchers group when visiting Alcester Town Hall, and using a coffin to escape from a meeting at Grand Lodge!

The play itself was based upon Tolstoy's account of the Initiation of a Russian Aristocrat seeking a purpose and meaning to his life following the Napoleonic wars, which he hoped freemasonry might provide a gateway to. It was magnificent theatre in its own right, but reflected remarkably close similarities with our own present ceremonies. A running narrative was provided throughout, explaining the symbolism and meaning of the play as it unfolded, all carefully planned to reinforce the principles of discretion, obedience and morality which the candidate had been instructed in.

Following the presentation, the Worshipful Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, thanked the members of the demonstration team, stating how awe inspiring and thought provoking he had found the presentation to be.

Go and Do Thou Likewise

But it is not just in the Craft that we can enjoy presentations of great interest.

Following the January meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Mark Master Masons' Lodge W Bro Dr John Wade *, the 2009 Prestonian Lecturer, gave a superb delivery of his paper, to which freemasons from all orders had been invited to attend.

John's impressive CV was highlighted during the introduction by the Worshipful Master VW Bro Spencer Fenn, who welcomed him to Warwickshire in general and this Premier Lodge in particular. During his lecture, 'Go and do thou likewise: English Masonic Processions from the 18th to the 20th Centuries', John surveyed public processions of masons over two centuries and examined the association of civic, ecclesiastical and Masonic bodies in public ceremonies. He suggested that as we move into the 21st century we need to be protagonistic about our civility and civil identity, demonstrating that we have a civil association with the community, of which our forefathers among the leaders of both the civic and ecclesiastical authorities appreciated the symbolic importance.

Ingenuity was also needed to encourage interest in our activities; a wonderful example being the participation in the London Lord Mayor's Show, when freemasons rode along the route in an open-topped bus, escorted by Grand Stewards, all dressed in their regalia.

2009 Prestonian Lecturer John Wade (left) with Worshipful Master Spencer Fenn2009 Prestonian Lecturer John Wade (left) with Worshipful Master Spencer Fenn

The Mark PGM, RW Bro David Rawlins thanked John for a particularly enlightening and interesting presentation, and at the festive board W Bro Peter Wellings, who initially invited John Wade to the meeting, proposed his health in a hearty toast, enlightening those present to the demands on a Prestonian Lecturer, involving much travel around the world.

During the preceding meeting it was announced, to great acclamation, that W Bro Brian Price would be the next Master of the Lodge. A collection was made at the meeting towards the 2012 Festival Sponsored Walk.

* John Wade is also Master of the leading Quatuor Coronati research Lodge, and has invited Warwickshire Masons to their meeting on 30th June in Sheffield. If you would like details when they become available, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whence Come We? – John Hamill

The next opportunity to enjoy a top flight presentation is when VW Bro John Hamill addresses the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge 4538 at Stirling Road on Wednesday 31st March. John spent many years as Librarian and Curator at the UGLE headquarters in Great Queen Street, and is one of the world's leading experts on freemasonry.

John HamillIn 1998 he was asked to set up a specialised Communications Department for Grand Lodge, becoming Director of Communications. More recently he has become Director of Special Projects, tasked with looking at the broad impact of Freemasonry on society in England and Wales over the last three hundred years, as part of the celebrations marking the tercentenary of Grand Lodge.

The title of his talk on 31st March is 'Whence come we?' and is bound to be stimulating and thought provoking. In the last 20 years, there have been a number of volumes published, mainly by non Masons, claiming that the origins of Freemasonry lie in the medieval Knights Templar, the so called Priory of Sion or the Egyptian Mysteries. Others, including some Masonic writers, claim it goes back over thousands of years and may have evolved out of a schism in the original Christian Church. This talk looks at the various orthodox and unorthodox theories of our origins, discusses the actual evidence we have and questions why any doubts should be thrown on the long established view that Freemasonry in fact descends either directly or indirectly from the organisation of the medieval Operative Masons and the guild system.

All Master Masons may attend, and those wishing to do so who are not members of the Lodge should contact W Bro Trevor Siddall, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel. 01604 830467.   posted 23 Feb 2010

The Spice of Life

Stirling Road played host to a group of 40 members from SPICE in January. SPICE is a national organization, established over 28 years ago, with over 10,000 members who describe themselves as a social adventure group for ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things.

This 'extraordinary' evening for them began with talks given by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan, on Freemasonry in general and Warwickshire freemasonry in particular, and by the Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Chris Grove, on the charity activities undertaken nationally and by the Province.

The visitors were then treated to a tour of a Lodge Room with an explanation by W Bro Peter Sorrill of the furniture and ceremonial, a guided tour of the Museum with W Bro Clifford Hadley acting as a most knowledgeable guide and a visit to the Library where W Bro John Emms showed the visitors some of the more historic of our Masonic books and artefacts.

Members of the Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge proved their worth once again by escorting the visitors from place to place and answering their, sometimes, complex questions.

The guests left with a much greater appreciation of what Freemasonry is and what it has to offer and who knows, maybe a new member in the offing!   posted 23 Feb 2010

Donation To Cumberland & Westmorland Flood Appeal

The Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, instructed that a donation should be made to the Province of Cumberland & Westmorland Floods Appeal, following the devastation experienced in the area during late 2009.

John presenting the cheque to NormanAt the request of the PGM, the cheque was presented personally to the Provincial Grand Master for Cumberland & Westmorland RW Bro Norman J Thompson, by W Bro John B Hayward, as he is a member of both Provinces.

The photograph shows John presenting the cheque to Norman during the recent Installation meeting of Windermere Chapter 2217. Norman is also the Grand Superintendent of the Province, hence the Royal Arch Regalia. John presented the cheque with the best wishes of the brethren and companions of the Province of Warwickshire.   posted 23 Feb 2010

Like Father Like Son

W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Des Graham with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate at Coleshill Lodge 8272.

W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, and W Bro Des GrahamDes entered freemasonry as a Lewis on 16th January 1960, being initiated into Northfield Lodge 5056, where his father was a Past Master. He then went on, twelve years later, to become Master himself in 1972, receiving Provincial Honours in Worcestershire in 1977.

He joined Coleshill Lodge in December 1996, becoming Master in April 2008, between which times he was exalted into the Holy Royal Arch in Concord Chapter 3239 in April 2006.   posted 23 Feb 2010

Yenton Support Orthopaedic Research

Last year, Lorna the daughter of Yenton Lodge 3484 Master W Bro Maurice Summers, successfully underwent surgery at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham to correct a condition she has had from birth.

As is the tradition of Yenton Lodge, at W Bro Maurice and his wife Pam's Ladies Evening last October, it was agreed and announced that 50% of the charity collection would go towards the MSF 2012 Festival, and 50% to a non-Masonic charity of Pam's choice - she chose the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (RoH) Orthopaedic Charity, which helps fund specialist research in the field of orthopaedics. At the November Lodge meeting the charity collection was very generously matched by a personal contribution from Maurice & Pam, and this was all added to the sum to be donated to the RoH.

The net result was that Yenton Lodge was able to donate £520 to the RoH Orthopaedic Charity, which together with tax recoverable via gift aid, should amount to in excess of £600, which the Master and Almoner W Bro Stephen Fowler duly went along to present, and which was most gratefully received.

PresentationPictured (l-r) are Mr Matthew Revell, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, who performed the surgery on Lorna; W Bro Steve Fowler, Almoner, Yenton Lodge; W Bro Maurice Summers, Master, Yenton Lodge; Prof Paul Pynsent, Director of the Research & Teaching Centre at the RoH, and Chief Executive of the RoH Orthopaedic Charity.   posted 23 Feb 2010

Charterhouse Invitation

Brethren wishing to attend an initiation ceremony, especially those newly initiated themselves, are invited to Charterhouse Lodge 5690 in Coventry on 8th March. SeeLodge News for details.  posted 23 Feb 2010

Haiti Earthquake

Warwickshire Freemasons and their Lodges have the opportunity of donating towards our Province's own appeal to assist with the relief efforts following the devastating earthquakes in Haiti. Provincial Grand Almoner W Bro Chris Grove was not surprised when the Charity Office started receiving calls enquiring if the Province was planning an appeal. With the Provincial Grand Master's approval the necessary arrangements have been put in place for a coordinated collection.

Reflecting that the Province was able to send a total of £44,500 in 2005 towards the Asian Tsunami appeal Chris said: "Once again Warwickshire Freemasons have expressed their willingness to respond to assist the misfortune of others. Already cheques are arriving and we will send appropriate amounts onto the British Red Cross at regular intervals as donations accumulate."

Cheques from Lodges, or individual Brethren, should be made payable to WMCA (Haiti Appeal) and sent to the Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.   posted 2 Feb 2010

Final Call for Newsletter Advertising

The Spring edition of the Provincial Newsletter is being finalised, and there is a small amount of space left for advertisers. Rates are £100 quarter page, £200 half page, £400 full page. If you wish to take advantage of this unique opportunity to advertise your products or services to over 4,700 freemasons in Warwickshire (the newsletter is mailed directly to them all at their homes), please contact W Bro John Davis 0121 241 3403 (b) or 07977 592414 (m), email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as soon as possible.

A copy of the last Newsletter can be seen here.   posted 2 Feb 2010

Mentoring Initiative

Recent developments in the Mentoring programme include the publication of a number of important documents available to everyone by accessing the Mentoring section (in the Contacts menu) of the Website. One of these is a talk, which can be read in open Lodge or preferably presented to the Lodge by one of the Provincial Mentoring team so questions can be asked and answers given or sought.

There is also a new workshop for all would be Mentors, which will be arranged for groups of Mentors at a convenient locality. They will also be run centrally for all-comers, and interested parties should contact the Provincial office by email to be added to a waiting list of those wishing to attend, who will be contacted direct when the next date and location is finalised.

W Bro Stuart Esworthy, The Provincial Mentor, is seeking to establish a contact in every Lodge to act as the Mentoring Co-ordinator who will co-ordinate the matching of Mentors to Mentees in their own Lodge and receive new information on training dates etc. Please submit names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers to Stuart at the Provincial Office.

Stuart also needs anecdotal evidence of where we are meeting the needs of new members but also where we might be falling short of their aspirations. These can be sent to Stuart anonymously at the Provincial Office, enabling him to tailor the mentoring programme to cover the issues of concern to our newer members.   posted 2 Feb 2010

In The Frame

W Bro Professor Ken Durrands CBE, Master of Howe Lodge 587 in 2000, received his 50 years service to freemasonry certificate from Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro John Emms exactly 50 years to the day after his initiation.

W Bro Bill Grigg, who was Master in 2001 and 2005, produced a beautiful commemoration sheet for the Lodge minute book, which may be seen here.   posted 2 Feb 2010

A Great Night to remember

2012 Festival LogoHappy New Year, but not just yet. . . . . . please wind forward to Saturday 13th February, when a unique and spectacular occasion will take place, to which all Lodge members, families and friends have been invited via the Masters of their Lodges.

Valentine Poster
Valentine Poster - Valentine Poster
This is the fabulous Chinese Valentines Ball being held at Stirling Road, organised by the Mark Social Committee and fully supported by our PGM Michael Price, who will be joining us for this great event with his wife, Dawn.

The Social Committee has organised the Ball to raise funds for the 2012 Festival. Their enviable reputation for arranging fantastic quality and value for money events goes before them, and this will be no exception!

Guests will enjoy the excellent standards provided at the newly refurbished Clarendon Suites, as well as a first class line-up of entertainment, which includes:

  • setting the evening off with a very big Chinese Bang (not for the faint-hearted)
  • a unique cabaret from the fabulous Blues Brothers
  • dancing until midnight
  • the chance to rub shoulders and compete with the "rich and famous" (aka you!) at the Casino Game, but at real-life costs
  • and of course a hint of Valentine.

With Ladies' Nights becoming rarer these days, we don't see so many black tie events, unless at horrendous cost. This really will be a splendid opportunity to enjoy the sort of quality event we all look for, at a very reasonable price, and even better value with the discount for booking a whole table - why not make up a party with other members of your Lodges, Mark and Craft alike, and friends, perhaps inviting prospective candidates?

Full details and booking forms can be found in the What's On pages of both the Craft and Mark websites or here.   posted 20 Jan 2010

£30,000 in Relief for Haiti Earthquake

Following the devastating earthquake which took place in Haiti on Tuesday 12th January 2010, it was announced on Thursday 14th January that the President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved two emergency grants totalling £30,000. The funds have been issued to the British Red Cross and Plan.

The 7.3-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck at 1653 local time (2153 GMT) on Tuesday. The epicentre was within 10 miles of the centre of the densely-populated capital, where around one million people live, more than 50,000 people are feared dead.

The British Red Cross has been awarded £20,000 to assist with their relief efforts. Red Cross volunteers in Haiti are currently assisting the injured and supporting hospitals who do not have enough capacity to deal with this emergency. The most urgent needs at this time are search and rescue, field hospitals, emergency health, water purification, emergency shelter, logistics and telecommunications.

Plan has also been granted £10,000 in support of their efforts in dealing with the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Plan's priorities are assisting children and their families and getting people into safe accommodation wherever possible, as well as working with survivors to help ease their psychological trauma.   posted 20 Jan 2010

Coventry Masons To The Rescue

When disaster struck Bro Paul Rowlands, who is currently Junior Warden of Charterhouse Lodge 5690, he was overwhelmed by the immediate support which appeared from his fellow Coventry Masons and those further afield.

Paul and his family were in their house when a fault between the mains electricity service in the street and the fuseboard resulted in the house catching fire. It was fortuitous that this happened in the morning when they were up and about, and that no personal injuries were incurred. Although the fire fighters attended promptly and acted swiftly, the house will have to be completely rebuilt.

Paul would like to most gratefully thank all who have come to the rescue, with offers of accommodation, provisions, help with salvaging possessions and any other assistance required following the disaster.   posted 20 Jan 2010

Leigh Chapter Reveals the Arch

Brethren who would like to find out more about Royal Arch Masonry are cordially invited to attend Leigh Chapter 887, meeting at Stirling Road on Friday 5th February 2010.

Craft masons who are interested should speak with W Bro John Emms, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Chris Grove, Provincial Grand Almoner, or W Bro John Norman, Scribe Ezra (Secretary) of Leigh Chapter, telephone 01584 856571 or emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It is anticipated that Brethren will be invited into the Chapter Room at approximately 6.45pm, and those able to stay for dinner are welcome to do so providing they give adequate notice.   posted 20 Jan 2010

Quatercentenary Parchment

Vellum Lodge 5845 will be celebrating its 400th Regular Meeting on Friday 5th February at Knowle Masonic rooms, commencing 5.30pm. The celebration will be attended by senior members of the Province, including W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, along with other distinguished guests.

The ceremony for the evening will be a full Emulation working of initiation, conducted by W Bro Michael Cooney, Master, who will also deliver the Charge to the candidate, a Turkish gentleman of the Muslim faith.

Guests are very welcome to attend, and should contact W Bro John Salisbury, the Assistant Secretary, telephone 01564 772842 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted 20 Jan 2010

Champagne All Round

W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Jim Bullivant, with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate, together with a lapel badge acknowledging this.

Jim is an Honorary member of Old Dixonians Lodge 6037, his Mother Lodge. The Lodge was founded in 1945 by old boys of the former George Dixon Grammar School in Birmingham which Jim attended. He was initiated on 2nd November 1959, and installed as Master in 1970. He is a Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in both Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and a member of Hope and Charity Lodge 377 (Worcs), and has had membership of other Lodges as well.

Jim Bullivant and Michael Morris
Jim Bullivant and Michael Morris - Jim Bullivant and Michael Morris
The presentation took place at Jim's home. Although he would have liked to, he felt it would have been just too much for him to attend a Lodge meeting for the presentation as, although he looks to be in good shape for his age (88), he has considerable difficulty in standing and walking these days. It was a very pleasant gathering, on a fine afternoon, attended by W Bro Nigel Clemson (Secretary) and W Bro Bill Stonehouse (Almoner) of Old Dixonians Lodge together with three members of Hope and Charity Lodge to witness the presentation, all toasting the occasion with champagne.   posted 20 Jan 2010

And David too ...

W Bro Michael Morris also presented a 50 year Certificate and badge to W Bro David Cadman at the Old Veseyan Lodge 7924.

David was a founder of the Lodge, having attended Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, when the Lodge was consecrated in 1963, and is the senior Past Master, having been Master in 1970. He is also a Past Master of the Lodge of Harmony 6888, which sadly no longer exists.

David Cadman and Michael MorrisHaving moved to Kenilworth some years ago, David is unable to attend as many meetings as he would wish, and the Lodge was very grateful for the assistance of W Bro John Atkinson from Sutton Coldfield Lodge 8960 in helping David attend this special occasion, and in kindly providing the photograph.   posted 20 Jan 2010

A Very Special Installation Meeting

The Provincial Grand Master presided at the Installation meeting of St John's Lodge 2811, attended by Masters and representatives from twenty eight other St John's Lodges, and eleven other Coventry Lodges. For a full report and photograph see Lodge News   posted 20 Jan 2010

PGM Announces Retirement

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, has announced that he will be retiring as Provincial Grand Master on 13th June 2010.

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price - The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price
He will meanwhile continue to discharge his duties with his fullest energies, and acknowledges the service by many loyal colleagues with whose unstinting assistance and support, since his installation on 5th September 2001, the Province and its Lodges have continued to evolve. New initiatives have been successfully introduced and a Festival launched, all without upsetting the delicate balance of our traditions.

Having experienced an extremely busy life in serving the Province, which without the wonderful support of both his wife Dawn and the Brethren of Warwickshire he could not have done, he admits that the early years were challenging particularly in regard to revitalising Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Ltd. That now behind us, his successor will be able to lead a successful business and a happy Province.

In thanking all the Brethren in the Province for the kindness, generosity and support they have always shown to him, especially when visiting Lodges, he states what a privilege it is to have had the opportunity to serve them as Provincial Grand Master, and how proud he is of the Province of Warwickshire and the Brethren therein.

The choice of successor is entirely a matter for the Grand Master and will be announced at a future Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge once a decision has been made.

The Provincial Grand Master is looking forward in the coming years to being able to devote more time to his family and his interests outside Freemasonry, much of which has been impossible during the past nine years, and wishes all Brethren a very Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.   posted 11 Jan 2010

Peruvian Relief

W Bro Steve Cox, Past Master of the Lodge of the Round Table 8424, has for the second time helped provide care to the needy people of the Peruvian Amazon, previously having been assisted by a donation from the Province to The Vine Trust.

The people in this part of the world have little access to medical facilities and all but the basics have to be paid for. There are huge numbers of children, 55% of the population are under 25, 5% of babies die before their 5th birthday and the maternal death rate is the fourth highest in the world.

For full details and photographs, see the Lodge News page.   posted 11 Jan 2010

Weekend in Jersey

The Warwickshire Installed Mark Masters Lodge 1400 are holding a Ladies Festival Weekend at the Mayfair Hotel, St Helier, Jersey from 26-28 March, to which all Masons and their friends are invited. There are a few places left, full details can be seen on theMark What's On page.   posted 11 Jan 2010

Well Done!

Many congratulations to our past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Victor Keene, appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)Victor Keenein the New Year's Honours list, awarded for Services to the Community in Coventry.

This arises mainly from his community work in Coventry as Chairman of Trustees of the Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities and Crossroads Care, Coventry & Warwickshire.   posted 6 Jan 2010

£500,000 Relief for Hospices

The Freemasons' Grand Charity has continued its annual programme of support by donating £500,000 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 225 services will receive a grant. In addition to this grant £150,000 was awarded to Lifelites, to provide educational and recreation technology for children in hospices.

Freemasons have been dedicated in their support for hospices across England and Wales for the past 25 years, and this takes the total donations to the sector to more than £8 million, complementing the generosity Provincial and individual Masonic Lodges regularly show for their local services.

A full list of hospice grants can be seen at www.grandcharity.org/hospice_grants.php  posted 6 Jan 2010

Special Celebration

Lodge of Perseverance 4622 will be celebrating their 600th meeting on Saturday 20th February 2010 at Yenton Assembly Rooms, Erdington, and cordially invite members of all other Lodges to join them on this momentous occasion.

For full details, contact the Lodge Secretary, Graham Lewis, tel: 07952 569060 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 6 Jan 2010

2009 chronology

New King of All England

There were over 100 members and guests present at the Installation meeting of Athelstan Lodge 1333, where a double treat was enjoyed by all.

Alan Wellan, Tom Collins and Phillip BensonThe Installation of W Bro Phillip Benson (our Provincial webmaster) was performed immaculately by W Bro Jonathan Bowley, complete with some unusual features, including losing the FCs and EAs! They did eventually re-appear, following which the Presiding Officer, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented Bro Thomas Collins with a Long Service Certificate celebrating 50 years Service to Freemasonry.

Pictured above are (l-r) Alan Wellan, Tom Collins and Phillip Benson

During the presentation, Alan outlined Tom's long and distinguished service around the world in the Army, and observed that it was actually 52 years since he had become a freemason, having been initiated into the United Services Lodge 3813 in 1957. After leaving the Army in 1971, Tom held a variety of jobs prior to his retirement, and a question and answer style resumé outlining his background and career, including details of his family and other interests, provided everyone with a delightful insight into Tom's life.   posted 16 Dec 2009

Too Good to be True

A previous scam to get hold of your e.mail address (which is worth money to direct mail organisations) is doing the rounds again, this being the supposed Sony Ericsson offer for free laptop computers in exchange for bundles of e.mail addresses.

Just Google "Ericsson laptop Promotion" and you will find around 351,000 articles mrntioning this scam. Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it always is!   posted 16 Dec 2009

More on Masonic Charities

The Provincial Grand Almoner's next presentation entitled "An Update on Masonic Charities" will be made by W Bro Christopher J Grove MBE at Mozart Lodge 3735 during their regular meeting at Stirling Road on 19th January 2010, starting 6.00pm.

Visitors are always welcome at the Lodge's meetings and those Brethren who may be interested in this talk should contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro David Caudle. Tel: 0121 354 1831.   posted 16 Dec 2009

Reading Court Christmas Lunch

This year's Lunch was held at the Arrow Mill Hotel and attended by the majority of the residents of Reading Court.

The House Committee, Mrs Margaret Owen, Mrs Wendy Lancaster, W Bro Charles Dyer, W Bro Terry Sumner, W Bro John More, W Bro Alan Johnson and W Bro David Bateman, together with their husbands and wives acted as table stewards.

The Warden Mrs Pam Jowers and Mrs Wendy LancasterThe President RW Bro Michael J Price and Mrs Price were also present, together with the retiring chairman VW Bro. Alan J Wellan and Mrs Wellan.

The Warden Mrs Pam Jowers presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Wendy Lancaster (pictured left) and thanked her for all the hard work she had put into the event, which sentiments were echoed by the Chairman W Bro Charles Dyer.   posted 16 Dec 2009

Masonic Charities Explained

The Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Christopher J Grove MBE, is visiting the Forest of Arden Lodge 3826 for its meeting on Wednesday 16th December 2009 at the Solihull Masonic Temple, 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle, Solihull. The Lodge opens at 6.15pm, during which Chris will give a presentation on the workings and aspirations of Masonic Charity.

All are welcome to attend, and those wishing to stay for the Festive Board (£15) should contact the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Tim Watson, at 102 Blackford Road, Solihull B90 4BX, telephone 0121 745 7354, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 3 Dec 2009

Have a Ball Helping the Kids

W Bro Julian Taitt of Elkington Lodge 1016 invites everyone to a Christmas Ball he is organising at the Regency Hyatt Hotel, Birmingham, on Saturday 19th December. All proceeds will be donated to the Birmingham Children's Hospital "kidneys for kids" appeal.

Tickets are £49 each, which includes a three course meal, DJ, Comedian and Steel Band, and can be obtained by contacting Julian on 07790 493774 or 07523 100620. There are ten seats per table. Click here to see the flyer for the event.   posted 3 Dec 2009

Double Act

Exciting times for the Lodge of Emulation 1163 this year when the Provincial Grand Master Michael Price CBE attended the Lodge to present W Bro Horace Walker with a 50 year Certificate. The address was conducted in the centre of the temple sitting a few feet apart when an in depth and amusing question and answer dialogue took place.W Bro H Walker, W Bro D Macey and W Bro N WhitehouseA wonderful moment for Horace to remember.

This was subsequently repeated when W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, followed on with W Bro N Whitehouse, yet another member with 50 years in the Lodge.

Pictured, left to right, W Bro H Walker, W Bro D Macey and W Bro N Whitehouse.   posted 3 Dec 2009

£10,000 For Cumbrian Flood Relief Efforts

In response to the extreme flooding which has taken place in Cumbria, the President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cumberland and Westmorland who are directing the funds to the Cumbria Community Foundation. It has been estimated that 1,300 homes across Cumbria have been affected by flooding, with several hundred people displaced and more than 1,000 households left without power. Cumbria floodingEnvironment Secretary, Hilary Benn, told the Commons "I saw for myself on Friday and Saturday in Cockermouth just what an effect the torrent of water had on homes, businesses and communities. It is utterly devastating."

Founded in 1999 by Cumbria Council, the Cumbria Community Foundation remains dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Cumbria. The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund has been set up to provide financial help for people who have been affected. The first phase of grant making will concentrate on the elderly, disabled and families with children under five years old. The Fund will also assist community groups that are helping out with advice, information, counselling, and activities for children and young people. In 2005 The Freemasons' Grand Charity sent £5,000 in emergency funds to the Cumbria Community Foundation in response to the previous Cumbrian floods. In parallel with support for wider relief efforts, The Freemasons' Grand Charity will be assisting individual Masons and their dependants, who have been affected by these events, through Masonic Relief Grants which are given to relieve hardship.   posted 28 Nov 2009

More Life after the Three Degrees!

Hot on the heels of his visit to Barnard Lodge at Stirling Road, W Bro Spencer Fenn will again give his colorful presentation outlining the many additional Orders associated with English Freemasonry at the Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall, Mill Street. This will take place during the meeting of Hertford Lodge 3208 on Friday 11th December, opening at 6.00pm.

All Craft Masons are invited to attend, and if wishing to stay for dinner (cost £17 inc. wine) should contact the Lodge Secretary Bro Patrick Wood, tel. 01543 679022, e.mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 28 Nov 2009

Royal Air Force Lodge Remembers

On 11th November 2009, Members of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge 9456 visited the National Memorial Aboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, to attend the Armistice Day Service, and were joined by a deputation from the Province of Staffordshire.

Full details on the Lodge News page.   posted 22 Nov 2009

A Visit from Lanarkshire

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, presided at St Peter's Lodge 7334 at the Yenton Assembly Rooms when Bro Martin Parrack was installed into the Chair of King Solomon.

Full details can be found on the Lodge News page.   posted 22 Nov 2009

New Master for Old Masters

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, was installed as Master of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 at their last meeting, following which he gave a fascinating and thought provoking address outlining the similarities between the City of London Livery companies and Freemasonry.

Alan Wellan
Alan Wellan
Guilds have long been established throughout the UK and Europe, but London's "Square Mile" is home to many magnificent buildings, all containing their own history from times when tradesmen typically lived and worked from communal locations, often revealed by street names. Over the years they became more organised, regulating quality standards, wages, training and working conditions, as well as providing charitable support for those in difficulty, and operating in the best interests of their communities.

Each company has a similar team of Officers, and is run by a committee called a court. Its Master and Wardens wear gowns and chains of office, and great occasions are all conducted with strict ceremony and dress code. Many liverymen are also freemasons, and before being admitted into a Worshipful Company they have to make a declaration of allegiance to the Queen and the Lord Mayor. They also have to be freemen of the City of London, but these days are denied two of the ancient privileges; no longer can a freeman drive his sheep across London Bridge, nor any more have the right to ask for a silk rope if he is to be hung!

In conclusion, Alan read extracts from the "Rules for the Conduct of Life" given to every new Freeman of the City, which reflect great philosophical wisdom and thought, veiled in allegory. He invited the audience to consider the points he had made, and what a perfect model the livery companies had provided for our masonic founding fathers. Today, the companies provide a story of ongoing success and expansion, with a continuing determination to maintain the highest possible standards. Membership waiting lists are long, despite high admission criteria and costs. Perhaps freemasonry should once again follow the same precepts and examples?

During the administrative notices, it was announced that the Freemasons' Grand Charity had awarded the sum of £100,000 to the Acorns Children's Hospice in memory of W Bro Rodney Pitham, in recognition of his work as chairman of the non-masonic grants committee. Rodney had been a trustee of the Acorns Hospice and this news was received with acclamation.

At the festive board following the meeting, the programme for the year was announced. There will be a demonstration of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace on 30th November 2009, a talk by VW Bro John Hamill (Grand Lodge Director of Special Projects) on 31st March 2010, and an invitation for our Ladies to dine with us on 10th June 2010. All Master Masons are very welcome to attend any of the Lodge's meetings, and members are encouraged to invite them to join us.   posted 14 Nov 2009

Life after the Three Degrees

W Bro Spencer Fenn will be giving a colorful presentation outlining the many additional Orders associated with English Freemasonry following the meeting of Barnard Lodge 5100 at Stirling Road, on Tuesday 8th December at 6.00pm.

All Craft Masons are invited to attend, and if wishing to stay for dinner (cost £22 inc. wine) should contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro Fred Ditchfield, tel. 0121 353 1007.   posted 14 Nov 2009

UK 'about-turn' on Freemason judges

In a policy about turn by the government, would-be UK judges will no longer have to declare if they are Freemasons.

The Times reports the policy reversal, announced by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, after a threat of legal action forced a review. The United Grand Lodge of England threatened legal action, prompted by a European Court of Human Rights decision. The judges ruled in an Italian case in 2007 that the requirement to disclose membership was a breach of the rights to privacy and freedom of association.

The Guardian quoted comments from UGLE Information Officer Chris Connop.

Read the article in The Times.   posted 14 Nov 2009

Dan Brown: The Lost Symbol

Following publication of the novel, John M Hamill, Director of Special Projects at the United Grand Lodge of England, was very quick to issue the following appraisal:

"Despite all the hype and scare stories circulating on the internet over the last few weeks Dan Brown's new novel far from attacking Freemasonry is actually supportive of it. As a result it is unlikely to start the sort of media frenzy which accompanied the launch of the Da Vinci Code, which was seen by many as a fundamental attack on the foundation of Christianity.

lost symbolIt is the usual Dan Brown formula: the hero, Robert Langdon, is searching for lost Masonic treasure and spends twelve hours being chased round Washington DC, usually in subterranean passages which may or may not exist, by the villain, the police and the "Office of Security" of the CIA. There are the usual bloody murders, explosions and narrow escapes. He is aided in his search by senior members of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, which has its headquarters in a monumental building in Washington DC. The villain is a six foot three, self-castrated body builder whose body is covered with tattoos, most of which are Masonic symbols. He has infiltrated Freemasonry and reached the 33rd degree. He is seeking the "lost symbol" which when it is tattooed on the soft part of his skull will transform him into a powerful angel! Langdon is determined to stop him. Great hokum which Tom Hanks will no doubt enjoy turning into a Hollywood blockbuster!

Early in the novel there is a flashback to Langdon lecturing students on symbolism. One of the students makes disparaging remarks about Freemasonry which causes Langdon to point out to the group that contrary to the mythology Freemasonry is not an organisation to be feared; that Freemasons were much involved in the foundation of the United States; that it fails "the ABC test" and is not a religion; and that it is not exclusive but admits men of all faiths and ethnic and social backgrounds.

As in his previous books, there are facts, half-truths and misleading untruths presented as hard fact. The media picked up one Masonic "fact" which may upset some and certainly got the media going. In the prologue Brown claims that in the 33rd degree the candidate seals his obligation by drinking red wine out of a human skull. Absolute rubbish! His source for this "fact" is a very curious and highly inaccurate American exposure of the Ancient and Accepted Rite rituals published in 1887 by the Revd John Blanchard and given currency in Europe in the 1890s by the writings of the notorious French anti-Masonic writer who used the pen name Leo Taxil.

One major error which will be easily picked up by our American brethren is Brown's claim that the symbol of the 33rd degree - which Brown states is the most potent of Masonic symbols - is a double headed phoenix. Sadly, as all who are in the Rose Croix will know, it is a double headed eagle.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 16th September) the phone lines at Grand Lodge were pretty hot with the media wanting to know our reaction. You could feel the interest drop at the end of the phone line when I said that we had no problems with the book, that it was supportive of Freemasonry and that we would be fascinated to see what effect it had on the number of people contacting Freemasons' Hall and Provincial offices for more information about Freemasonry.

The book is quite a heavy read at times with the plot being held up from time to time by lengthy forays into deciphering symbols, cracking codes (which are relatively easy to break) and philosophising about the tensions between religion and science. There are the usual plot twists but as the reviewer in the Los Angeles Times wrote: ".. it's hard to imagine anyone after reading The Lost Symbol, debating about Freemasonry in Washington DC in the way that people did about Brown's radical vision of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in Da Vinci Code. That book hit a deep cultural nerve for obvious reasons. The Lost Symbol is more like the experience on any roller coaster - thrilling, entertaining and then it's over".

Freemasonry certainly has nothing to fear from the book, it may well stimulate a lot of public curiosity about Freemasonry which we will all be happy to deal with.

The letter from Dan Brown proves that he had no intention at all of showing hostility to Freemasonry in his latest book. The authenticity of the letter has been verified.   posted 14 Nov 2009

Masonic Drama at Installed Masters

Master Masons are invited to attend a Period Costume Demonstration of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace. This will be presented at the meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge on 30th November.See details on the leaflet.   posted 7 Nov 2009

Festival Concert

2012 logoW Bro Graham Steen, Master of Eastfields Lodge 8959, Rugby, has arranged for the well established and successful Scunthorpe Male Voice Choir to give a concert in Rugby on Saturday, 23rd January 2010. This will be a splendid event, to which all Masons, their families and friends are invited to attend. Proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival, and full details can be seen on the Whats Onpage.   posted 7 Nov 2009

Historical Documents Survey Complete

Congratulations! Almost every Craft Lodge in Warwickshire has completed the forms relating to the Survey. This excellent result is due mainly to those brethren who have taken the time and effort to complete the necessary forms, and the group of co-ordinators who have spent considerable time and tact in supervising the Survey. The Provincial Grand Master is again proud of this Province and the results.

The Historical Documents Survey was a proposition given by the Pro Grand Master at a meeting of Grand Lodge early in 2008. In the long history of Grand Lodge there had never been any collection of historical material from the thousands of Lodges in England and Wales. The information provided by the lodges will be collated and entered into a data bank and thus provide a unique historical record of Freemasonry in England and Wales and its contributions to Society.

This vast amount of information will be most helpful in the compiling of a History of the United Grand Lodge which may be published to mark the 300th Anniversary of Grand Lodge in 2017 AD.

The information that has been collected will also be available to bona fide historians who are researching topics for future publications or perhaps interesting lectures.

In Warwickshire, the Survey has focussed attention on the records possessed by a lodge. The whereabouts of old minute books and their condition needed to be recorded. St Paul's Lodge Number 43, for example, had already taken steps to preserve its old records. Other lodges have found that some records were missing. So the Survey has done much to locate and make safe the records a lodge owns.

Bob RussellIn May 2008 the Provincial Grand Master asked W Bro Robert Russell (pictured) to be the Co-ordinator for the Province. After a briefing about the scheme held in the Temple at Great Queen Street, London, Robert and W Bro Nigel Burton, the Provincial Grand Secretary, set about recruiting assistant co-ordinators to get the survey underway. This involved an assistant co-ordinator for each of the nineteen Masonic Halls and a further six for the Edgbaston Temple. There was a useful briefing session for these brethren.

Copies of the relevant forms were sent by the Provincial Grand Secretary to every Worshipful Master in the Province. All the completed Survey forms were returned to the Provincial Office, scrutinised by Nigel, recorded and then passed to the Survey Manager in London for inclusion in the database.   posted 7 Nov 2009

Mentors' Initiatives

There is now a Mentors' workshop, the first of which is running from 10.30 - 12.30 on Sunday, 22nd November at Rugby. There are 20 places available and bookings should be made directly to the Provincial Mentor, W Bro Stuart Esworthy, on 07881 505558.

Brethren with a background in tertiary education or exposure to management development as a facilitator are also asked to get in touch with Stuart on the same number. He is looking for a number of Regional Mentors to support him in taking the message directly into Lodges and to run more of these workshops across the Province.

At next year's Mentoring conference, Stuart will be giving a keynote presentation entitled - Values and Expectations of the 21st Century Mason - and he would value anecdotal evidence of where we are meeting the needs of new members but also where we might also be falling short of their aspirations. These can be sent to him anonymously and would be used in that way without revealing the name of the individuals or the Lodge concerned.   posted 7 Nov 2009

£25,000 For Torrential Rain and Flash Flood Victims in Southern India

The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £25,000 to Save the Children, following the Kirshna River bursting its banks flooding 5 districts in India. The grant will help 20 of the worst affected villages in Southern India by providing them with essential and life-saving relief, as many families were unable to salvage even basic hygiene materials, cooking utensils or dry clothes.

To date, nearly two million people have been affected by the severe flooding which has caused destruction to homes, agricultural land and livelihoods. Tragically, the disaster has claimed over 300 lives and more than 70,000 homes have been severely damaged, resulting in half a million people being displaced to relief camps in Andhra Pradesh and a further 650,000 people are in temporary shelter in Karnataka.

The money given to Save the Children will supply 30,000 people with use of water pumps, household kits, educational kits and child friendly spaces where children can go to receive a meal each day and access clean water. There is particular concern that the 800,000 and more children affected are vulnerable to malnutrition and waterborne illnesses which could easily increase the death toll.   posted 4 Nov 2009

An Ideal Christmas Present of an Aston Martin

2012 logoThis is an invitation for two people for a driving event to be held at Millbrook proving ground, hosted by Stratstone Aston Martin Hagley, any date during 2010. (Date and time to be confirmed by Stratstone Aston Martin Hagley).

It includes driving an Aston Martin with a Performance Driving Instructor around the Millbrook Proving Ground, and there will be a complimentary lunch also included.

This is to be auctioned online with all proceeds going to the 2012 target for Aston Manor Lodge No. 6323, who have kindly donated the event.

Email your bid to the Festival Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He will keep you informed as to the progress of the auction.

Closing date will be midnight of 5th December 2009. Happy bidding.   posted 4 Nov 2009

Royal Arch Presentations

All Master Masons who have not yet completed their journey through Pure and Antient Masonry are reminded of the forthcoming presentations to learn more. Full details have been circulated via Lodge Secretaries/RA Reps.

  • Thursday 5th November, Alderson House, Warwick.
  • Monday 9th November, Stirling Road.

posted 4 Nov 2009

New Website from Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge website has been completely updated and can be seen atwww.ugle.org.uk. It is a wonderful representation of freemasonry in the 21st century, providing details of our principles, history, lodges and facilities of the English Constitution.

The classy website is primarily designed to aid recruitment of new masons, UGLE Websiteespecially in their 20s and 30s, and to be informative to non-masons. In addition, it will be constantly evolving, with new content and functionality being added on a regular, on-going basis.

All areas of the site are available to public view, and it includes various informative videos to watch, including a tour of Grand Lodge.

A booklet containing a fascinating insight into Freemasonry can be viewed or downloaded from the Becoming a Mason section, which includes a facility for anyone to register an interest should they wish to join.

Taking advantage of latest technology, the actual speeches in Grand Lodge of both the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent and the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes can be heard and downloaded onto an iPod or iPhone.   posted 31 Oct 2009

Warwickshire Website Arrives

After much technical work and expertise by our webmaster, Phillip Benson, the result of "Googling" freemasons Warwickshire, or something similar, is now a large "block" of results. This is a great achievement, and ensures wider exposure around the whole world of our activities here at home.

In addition, Grand Lodge has produced a summary of every Provincial website currently operating in the UK. Descriptions of the various sites range from "quite rambling", "very basic", "sort of ok" through "useful", "informative", "good looking".

The highest plaudit is undoubtedly "very good site" and is only accorded to one Province – Warwickshire.

Well done Phil, and many thanks for all your behind the scenes work.   posted 31 Oct 2009

Masonic Academia reaches South Africa

W Bro Professor Robert Ashford met with a total surprise when visiting South Africa on a recent business trip.

His mother Lodge (University of Birmingham 5628) was one of the original six University Lodges to sign up to the Universities Scheme launched by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) in 2005, whose main aim was to encourage young undergraduates to consider joining Freemasonry. The Scheme has now gained considerable momentum and at its 3rd annual conference in Manchester this year, over 80 Brethren attended, with some 20 Lodges being represented.

Prior to his trip, Robert checked if there were any Lodges meeting in the area he was visiting and was totally surprised to find a University Lodge which met in Johannesburg. He continues the story:

"On contacting the Secretary of the Lodge I discovered that my visit coincided with the universities winter vacation and traditionally a Lodge meeting was not planned. However it transpired that whilst I was in Johannesburg, the way in which the Lodge had operated over this vacation period was to hold an afternoon luncheon. This was the traditional way in which Brethren, who were originally linked to the local universities, would meet during the vacation to keep abreast of Masonic and other business. The University Lodge in Johannesburg meets under the English Constitution and in fact was formed by interested brethren from the UK. The original idea was that it should be a lodge where members would be graduates from the universities and technical colleges and interestingly where the brethren would wear their academic gowns at Lodge meetings. This last idea wasn't acceptable to the District but the Lodge idea went ahead and it was consecrated by RW Bro Major General Sir Allan Adair, the Assistant Grand Master, on the 13th Feb 1954. In the early days the Lodge met at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg but ultimately moved to the Freemasons' Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg in the 1970s.

Photo during visitDuring my visit, at the invitation of the Secretary W Bro Colin Lewis of the University Lodge 7327 (see picture), I attended a luncheon at the Provincial Building of the Northern District in the Freemasons' Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg. This is an exceptionally old building with beautiful Masonic architecture and a proud history of English Masonry being practiced therein.

Following lunch I was asked to give a brief overview of the UGLE Universities Scheme including its aims and objectives, the contextual framework in which the scheme operates including its philosophy, how it is managed and the University Lodges associated with the scheme. I was somewhat taken aback at the level of interest this scheme generated in terms of questions from the brethren following my presentation. The University Lodge is now planning to investigate this concept further with a view to becoming the first overseas university Lodge to sign up to the scheme and become actively involved in the process. I have had numerous invites to return to Johannesburg and visit this Lodge and other Lodges in the district."

Robert is planning to keep the UGLE universities scheme co-ordinator fully informed of his progress, and we wish him well with his splendid endeavours.   posted 25 Oct 2009

Musical Splendour in Leamington

2012 logoA fantastic evening of entertainment was provided by Barry Walker's SMACKEE at this year's concert, organised by W Bros Gordon Scott and Robin McConkey of St Barbara Lodge 4930, with all proceeds going to the 2012 Festival appeal.

another magnificent showThe packed audience, which included many members of the general public, enjoyed another magnificent show from the famous performers at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington. It featured brilliantly choreographed medleys from West End, Broadway and Big Screen productions, as well as remarkably accurate renditions of hits from the 50s and 60s, and ABBA tributes.

Details of various events around the Province, including those supporting the 2012 Festival Appeal, can be found on the What's On? page.   posted 22 Oct 2009

Darkness Visible?

Remember, the clocks go back one hour at 1.00am this Sunday, 25th October.  posted 22 Oct 2009

Redditch Open Day Supports Sea Cadets

Redditch Freemasons (of both Warwickshire and Worcestershire) again threw open their doors to the public as part of the Heritage Open Days event in September, having advertised details in the local press, broadcast them on local radio and included them in other media listings.

W Bro Albert Walker explaining the Craft aprons to the MayorW Bro Albert Walker explaining the Craft aprons to the Mayor

On display in the dining room were presentations illustrating a variety of national and local charities supported by the members who meet at Redditch, whilst in the Lodge Temple many items of regalia from several different orders of freemasonry were available for inspection. Early minute books of the various Lodges meeting at Redditch lay open, with the Seymour Lodge revealing details of its first recorded meeting more than a century ago, that having been the start of freemasonry in Redditch.

W Bro David Bateman handing the Mayor a cheque for the Sea CadetsRefreshments were served by the widows of the local masons, and the Mayor of Redditch, Councillor Malcolm Hall, was presented with a £225 cheque from the masons towards his charity, the Sea Cadets.

W Bro David Bateman handing the Mayor a cheque for the Sea Cadets  posted 22 Oct 2009

Bikers Surprise Master

Members of the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 visited the Isle of Man between 25th and 27th September, during which the Master of the Lodge, W Bro Michael Adams, conducted a ceremony which included David Hailwood, the son of "Mike the Bike" (see photo).

W Bro Michael Adams, present Master of the Mike Hailwood Lodge, during the 1955 Isle of Man TTW Bro Michael Adams, present Master of the Mike Hailwood Lodge, during the 1955 Isle of Man TT

Accompanying them on the night were TWO Provincial Grand Masters in the persons of RW Bro Michael J Price CBE and RW Bro George Peake, together with a further 58 Brethren from the Mike Hailwood Lodge, Arthur Stanley Lodge 3732 (IoM) and every one of the other Lodges from the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man.

RW Bro David Peake,  W Bro Michael Adams, Bro David Hailwood, RW Bro Michael J Price CBEFrom left to right, RW Bro David Peake, W Bro Michael Adams, Bro David Hailwood, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE

"Welcome to Warwickshire" were the words of our own Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael Price CBE as he stood in the Temple of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man and greeted all those in attendance, including the Provincial Grand Master of the Isle of Man.

There were two surprises for the Master of the Lodge during the evening - one in the Lodge and the other at the festive board, where the brethren were joined by wives, partners and friends. The surprise in the Lodge was that PGM Michael presented the WM with a Festival Gavel for reaching the Lodge's 2012 Festival target. The second surprise came about after the members of the Lodge had visited a photographic exhibition of TT racing on the island. During the visit the WM asked the person who was presenting the exhibition if he had a photograph of him as he had raced there in 1955. Three photographs were found and to WM Michael's surprise and delight these were presented to him during the festive board, following which he took a short time before being able to respond.

Apart from the very enjoyable time that was had by all, it is hoped that the visit will be undertaken on a biannual basis with the Arthur Stanley Lodge visiting Warwickshire during the interim years.   posted 22 Oct 2009

Ritual with a Difference!

Brethren who would like to attend a Lodge in Gloucester which has its OWN ritual, and an extended inner working, are invited to their Installation meeting on Friday 20th October.

Full details can be seen on the Lodge News page.  posted 8 Oct 2009

Car Parking at Severn Street

A horse & carriage was the order of the day in the City Centre of Birmingham when Severn Street first became a Masonic Meeting place.

150 years on, and a Car Parking facility has now been provided at the Singers Hill Synagogue in Blucher Street, just 2 minutes around the corner from the Masonic Hall in Severn Street, for the use by Severn Street Masonic Association members and their visitors from 5:00 pm onwards during the week. Details of entry procedures can be seen on the Meeting Places page.

As a former Synagogue that was acquired from the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation back in 1858 for Masonic purposes, to now have the adjacency of a car parking facility, gives added value to this unique venue.

"Traffic, parking restrictions, clamping and car park costs in the City Centre have been an issue for some and an inconvenience for others who meet or visit these rooms but this has all now been abrogated, with the future looking assured with personal benefits to existing members and a legacy for all new members into the 21st century." say the Directors of Athol Masonic Buildings Limited.   posted 3 Oct 2009

Autumn Newsletter

The second edition of the new style Craft Newsletter has now been published - and a copy posted to every Warwickshire Mason at his home address. It contains a variety of news, views and articles, and invites readers' comments to be sent to the editor by e.mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please also let him know if you have not received your copy.  posted 3 Oct 2009

Festival Charity Walk Launched

Festival logoEaster weekend 2010 will see our Festival Director, W Bro David Macey, walk the entire length and breadth of the Province, starting on April 2nd. The route will be along the canals of Warwickshire, providing easy and interesting walking, as well as an appreciation of the Province's rich industrial heritage. The walk will be over four days and be split into relatively short sections, so that Brethren, family and friends can join in for just one section, or accompany David for a whole day or indeed the entire walk. The details of the route can be seen on the Provincial website.

Canal walkBut David isn't doing it for health reasons, nor for a major dose of fresh air - oh no.

This walk is intended as a major fund-raiser for the Festival. We will be asking each and every Lodge to sponsor David, the details of which are in letters sent to every Master, Secretary, Festival Steward and Almoner, as well as being on a dedicated website page from which copies of all forms and details can be seen and printed.

Not only that, but everybody who joins in on the walk can seek his or her own sponsorship to boost the Festival funds.

Please support the walk in every respect – have fun, be healthy, enjoy the historic canals - but above all, raise lots of money!   posted 3 Oct 2009

Warwickshire Rose

The latest Newsletter of the Warwickshire District of the Ancient and Accepted Rite can now be seen on the Rose Croix page under Other Orders, and contains details of a special meeting for members of the Order on 30th September 2010. This is part of the celebrations of the centenary of the occupation of 10 Duke Street as the Grand East, when the King Edward VII Chapter of Improvement will demonstrate the 13th degree Royal Arch of Enoch in the Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall in London.  posted 29 Sep 2009

Festival of Art

2012 logoThere will be an exhibition by Anthony Christian on Saturday, 17th October in the Concourse at Stirling Road from 10am to 6pm, to which everyone is invited to attend.

Anthony Christian is an International Artist who shot to fame when he painted The Battle Scene in 1955 at the National Gallery when he was then only 10 years old. This painting will be on show for the first time in public, together with other examples of his outstanding talent.

A donation from the sale of art will go to the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

See the What's On? page for further details of the exhibition, the artist and his work.

His website is www.ichorgallery.com [Now www.anthonychristian.co.uk]   posted 27 Sep 2009

Masons Help Rescue Team

Senior Freemasons from Warwickshire and Northamptonshire paid a call to the operations base of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) at Coventry Airport, Baginton. Their main purpose was to hand over grant aid cheques totalling £8,000, and learn more about the magnificent work carried out by the dedicated team who run the WNAA.

Dr Ian Ferguson, Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb, Michael Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master and Captain Richard CraskePictured (left to right) are Dr Ian Ferguson, Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb, Michael Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master and Captain Richard Craske.

During the visit the guests did manage to get close to the Agusta A109E Helicopter (purchased new in 2008), call-sign Helimed 53, as it briefly called into base to refuel between missions. Regional Fundraising Manager Jo Payne explained: "During a busy day we could respond to anything up to 12 emergency calls which could range from road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests to multiple casualty incidents. So far today we have helped a farmer who was kicked in the chest by one of his horses, two road traffic accidents and a patient complaining of chest pains, and we're nowhere near lunchtime yet."

The WNAA was formed just six years ago and exists to provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service directly to the counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Milton Keynes area, as well as cover for Birmingham, Solihull and other areas in the West Midlands. The service does not simply transport patients to the nearest hospital, but routinely carries senior Doctors and Consultants to the scene of incidents in just minutes, providing lifesaving treatment and medication at the scene and en-route to hospital. The Air Ambulance takes the hospital to the patient, providing the best possible chance of a full recovery, and the WNAA is acknowledged as being one of the most progressive of all the Air Ambulance services in the UK.

It is a registered charity and relies totally on public donations, fundraising activities and sponsorship. Chief Executive Andy Williamson said at the presentation "Being completely independent allows us to operate at peak efficiency as well as being able to respond to changing needs quickly and economically. Donations such as these are the lifeblood of our activities and we are very grateful for this and ongoing support from the masons and other groups who really are anchors of our communities".

The grant was part of our Grand Charity scheme which in 2008 gave £3.5 million to non-masonic causes, including a total of £180,000 to the various Air Ambulances around the UK. Further information about WNAA can be found on their websites:www.wnaa.co.uk   posted 15 Sep 2009

Musical Splendour

2012 logoAn unforgettable experience from the award winning three-in-one show featuring Barry Walker's SMACKEE will enthral all attending this event on Sunday 27th September at 7.30pm, at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington. All proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival.

For full details and to book tickets go to our What's On page.  posted 13 Sep 2009

Lifelong Connection

Bedford Lodge 925 has sadly lost its senior Past Master and longest subscribing member who had for several years lived nearly 5,000 miles away in Texas, USA, and who passed away at the beginning of the month.

W Bro Jack Taylor, who held multiple executive management positions with GKN for over 40 years in the UK and Overseas, was initiated into Bedford Lodge where he became Master in 1963, which was the Lodge's Centenary Year. He moved to the USA with his wife in 2004 after his son Tim emigrated there in the 1980s, but was determined to maintain his roots by remaining a fully subscribing member of Bedford Lodge.

W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam
W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam - W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam
Jack was recently presented with a Warwickshire sixty year certificate on behalf of our PGM by Bro Jonathan Yam, of Lodge Malaya 5213 in London, of which Bedford Lodge Secretary W Bro Jim Holtom is also a member. Jonathan's business travels fortuitously took him to Texas thus enabling him to make the presentation.

Pictured is W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam.   posted 13 Sep 2009

Heritage Open Days 2009

The RW Provincial Grand Master is very pleased that once again many of our Masonic Halls will be participating in this year's Heritage Open Days event, which takes place from Thursday 10th - Sunday 13th September. This gives us a wonderful opportunity of demonstrating to 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.

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 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

Guy's Cliffe, Warwick

Coventry Masonic Hall

Rugby Masonic Hall

Solihull Masonic Hall

Redditch Masonic Hall

Stratford Masonic Hall

 

Alderson House, Warwick

Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall

12 Sep 2009

11/12/13 Sep 2009

12/13 Sep 2009

10/11/12/13 Sep 2009

13 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

13 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

10.00am to 4.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm

11.00am to 2.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm

10.30am to 4.00pm

10.30am to 4.00pm

11.00am to 3.30pm

10.00am to 2.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm


The 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 3 Sep 2009

Preserving and Caring for Lodge and Chapter Records

The Library and Museum at the United Grand Lodge of England has recently updated its guidance on this important subject. A copy has been placed in the Scribes Corner on the Royal Arch website here. There is also much interesting information available atwww.freemasonry.london.museum.  posted 29 Aug 2009

A Ceremony with a Glittering Difference!

On Tuesday 10th November Fortior Lodge 6172 will be receiving a visit from the Lodge of the Glittering Star (Irish Constitution). They will be demonstrating their First Degree ceremony and Fortior Lodge will be pleased to welcome other Warwickshire brethren to witness a Ceremony With A Difference.

See the What's On? page for contact details.   posted 29 Aug 2009

"The Victoria Cross - Freemasons' Band of Brothers"

This is the title of the Annual Clarendon Lecture to be given by W Bro Granville Angell, who was the Prestonian Lecturer for 2006, to which all brethren are invited to attend. The meeting is on Wednesday 2nd September 2009 at Stirling Road, and full detailscan be seen on the What's On? page.  posted 15 Aug 2009

Province to support Masonic Roarers

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price, and Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton will be joining members of the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 at their meeting and banquet on the Isle of Man on Saturday 26th September. Over 20 brethren of the Lodge, accompanied by visitors, ladies and non-masonic guests, will be travelling to the event on their bikes, and would welcome any others who would like to join them.

Full details have now been finalised and can be seen on the Lodge News page.   posted 7 Aug 2009

Spiced Up BBQ

On Sunday 16th August Victoria House (our Leamington rooms) will be holding an Indian Flavour Barbecue, to which all are welcome.

Full details can be seen here.   posted 5 Aug 2009

Per Ardua Ad Dignitatem Meritam

"Through difficulties to a deserved status - the confluence of the Craft and the Mark" was the title of the Grand Stewards' Lecture for 2009, delivered by RW Bro Dr Roeinton BF Khambatta, PProvGM (London) at their meeting in July.

A summary of the lecture can be seen on the Mark website.  posted 4 Aug 2009

Welcome to Little Britain USA

July 2009 marked the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Bermuda by the British.

The celebrations were steeped in history and included a ceremony where, amid much pomp, a venerable Freemason offered a state official a velvet cushion bearing a peppercorn on a silver platter, before the assembled dignitaries retired for afternoon tea.

How very British. But then this was in St George, once the capital of Bermuda and the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the Americas. Historical events such as the annual Peppercorn Ceremony – which commemorates the day in 1816 when the Freemasons began renting the old State House, paying with peppercorns – have taken on extra significance this year.   posted 31 Jul 2009

Candlelit Banquet with Ladies

On Friday 11th September 2009 the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 are holding a Candlelit Banquet with Ladies. This will be in the Great Hall of the magnificent medieval St. Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane, Coventry, and will be attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Coventry.

For full details and booking form see the What's On? page.   posted 30 Jul 2009

Learning Together

There was a very special and happy evening at Guy's Cliffe in July when a candidate was Initiated into Freemasonry in Meridian Lodge 9003 by Worshipful Master John Durling.

WM, the Deputy PGM Alan Wellan, the Wardens and the five EAsWhat made the evening extra special is that in Lodge that evening were another Entered Apprentice member of the Lodge and four visiting Entered Apprentices. To crown it a further candidate was that evening proposed for membership!

The picture shows the happy group and includes the WM, the Deputy PGM Alan Wellan, the Wardens and the five EAs.   posted 30 Jul 2009

Coventry Masons Rescue the Rhinos

The Radford Rhinos, one of Coventry's Explorer Scout Units, were devastated when a promise of transport by minibus failed to materialise.

The Rhinos had been invited to take part in the Gilwell 24 hour challenge at Gilwell, the Scouting HQ in the UK, which was to coincide with the inauguration of Bear Grylls as the new Chief Scout. Unfortunately the Rhinos learnt just days before the event that the minibus, which had been promised to get them there and back, was no longer available.

But not to be defeated, their Unit Leader Sarah Miller knew that Rhino Daniel Rowlands' dad was a local freemason, and that we are renowned for our community and charitable support. So she gave Daniel's dad Paul (who is due to become JW of Charterhouse Lodge 5690 in October) a quick ring and asked if he knew anybody that could help.

The outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan, with Daniel Rowlands
The outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan, with Daniel Rowlands - The outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan, with Daniel Rowlands
Pictured left - Radford Rhino, Daniel Rowlands, with the outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan.

Cutting a long story short, following a short appeal for assistance at the Masonic Hall in Coventry the full amount of £220 to cover the cost of the hire of a minibus was raised along with a further £30 towards the petrol, thus ensuring that the Explorers could take part, and where they had a fantastic time.

Our Grand Charity last year pledged £500,000 to the Scout Association to support the KidsOutdoors initiative, giving them £100,000 each year for the next five years.   posted 19 Jul 2009

Mature Movers Given The Chop

W Bro Mike Midgley, who was Master of First Lodge of Light 468 in 1990 and who is currently their Treasurer and Charity Steward, has been awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement by Birmingham City Council Adult Education Service (see picture). This was for all the good work he has done during nearly 30 years of service as an Adult Education Tutor and Lecturer in the Birmingham area, teaching subjects such as Karate, Tai Chi, Self Defence, Relaxation and Meditation.

W Bro Mike MidgeleyMike's extensive training in working with the elderly, and disabled groups of all ages, enables him to take into account the many health problems that go with the ageing process, and he tells us "The development and establishment of classes has been a very big challenge but has been very worthwhile as I now have several groups in the Birmingham Area that are vibrant and thriving. The satisfaction I get from seeing the smiles on my students' faces during classes is very heart warming and everyone thoroughly enjoys the activities. The residents in the Care Homes that I teach in look forward to my weekly visits and it perks up their lives to have someone 'have a bit of fun and laughter with them' whilst quietly getting them to move their bodies to music as much as possible."

More recent additions to the programme he runs are Keep Fit for Mature Movers (Active Elderly 60-89 years of age) and Movement to Music for the Frail Elderly in Residential Care (75-100+).   posted 19 Jul 2009

New OSM Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for Warwickshire

Our congratulations go to Wy Bro Merrill Elliott, who was installed as the new Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for Warwickshire at the Annual Provincial Meeting of the Order of the Secret Monitor. Our webmaster, Bro Phil Benson, has taken over Merrill's previous office as Provincial Grand Recorder.

A full report can be seen on the OSM page.   posted 19 Jul 2009

Phishing Scam - HMRC

If you receive an e.mail, supposedly from HMRC advising they want to send you a tax refund, delete it immediately. It is a phishing scam.

Phishing is a form of identity theft, where fraudsters steal your identity and personal information to gain access to your accounts or commit other crimes using your persona.

A full description of this particular scam can be read here   posted 19 Jul 2009

Masonic Roarers

The Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 has published its first newsletter, and invites all Masons who have a current or previous interest or association with motorbikes to consider joining them as either visitors or members.

The Lodge has a unique programme of events, including biking to meetings at all of the Lodge rooms around the Province. They are also making a trip to the Isle of Man in September 2009 with the intention of holding a meeting there, at which they will conduct (under dispensation) a ceremony of Passing, the Candidate being David Hailwood, son of Mike after whom the Lodge was named.

Further details of the Lodge and copies of the newsletter can be obtained by contactingThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Their website is www.mikehailwoodlodge9839.co.uk.   posted 15 Jul 2009

Opportunity Knocks

The copy deadline (31st July) for the next issue of the Provincial Newsletter is approaching fast. There is a small amount of advertising space still available, rates starting at £100 for a quarter page. If you would like to advertise your business or service to all recipients of the newsletter (approx 4,800), call Harry Owen at the Provincial Office 0121 454 4422 or Peter Wellings on 07973 135761.   posted 14 Jul 2009

What's On?

We've streamlined the website calendar so that future events now appear in anew What's On? column, with details and application forms (where applicable). This column can include all events of interest to Warwickshire Masons, whether Provincial, Lodge, 2012 Festival, other Orders, or Social.

So, if you want to advertise your event, make sure we know about it first! To find out how, see the guidance notes here. Please remember to give everyone plenty of notice.

And remember, after the event why not tell us how it went? Perhaps with a photo or two? Guidelines for submitting reports are here.   posted 11 Jul 2009

Shipston-on-Stour Lodge Annual Pig Roast

2012 logoOn Sunday 19th July 2009 Shipston-on-Stour Lodge 9418 are holding their Annual Pig Roast in aid of the 2012 Festival. Full details are posted on theWhat's On page.   posted 9 Jul 2009

Vellum Lodge Summer River Cruise

On Sunday 26th July 2009 Vellum Lodge 5845 are holding a Summer River Cruise in Worcester. Full details are posted on the What's On page.   posted 9 Jul 2009

The Rose Croix - Who and What we Are

The Grand Secretary General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite will address members of the Warwickshire Chapter on 9th September 2009. For full details see the Rose Croix page under Other Orders.   posted 1 Jul 2009

In Case of Emergency - 'ICE' Campaign

We all carry our mobile phones with names and numbers stored in its memory. If we were to be involved in an accident or taken ill, the people attending to us would have our mobile phone, but out of all the numbers how would they know which one to call in case of an emergency? Hence the 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) Campaign, which is quickly catching on.

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents there were always mobile phones with patients but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognised name for this purpose.

All you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE'. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as 'ICE'. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest.   posted 27 Jun 2009

Jazz in the Park

The Mark Degree in Warwickshire is renowned for the variety and success of its programme of Social Events. Many of these are open to all Freemasons, their families and friends. They also provide an excellent opportunity to bring prospective candidates for Craft Lodges along to a relaxed environment and meet up with Masons in an informal setting.

On Sunday 5th July, Jazz in the Park takes place in the picturesque grounds of Guys Cliffe, Warwick. Bring your picnic tables/chairs, gazebos, groundsheets and (just in case) umbrellas to enjoy a lazy, hazy, summer afternoon of entertainment with the fabulous Jazz Band. Pig Roast, Barbecue and wine/beer/soft drinks are included in the ticket price.

For full details see the flyer here, or contact Peter Wellings tel: 07973 135761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or John Handley tel: 01564 777578 e.mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Details of other events can be seen on the Mark website warwickshiremark.org.uk/calendar.php (link removed).   posted 25 Jun 2009

From Darkness to Light

Warwickshire Freemasons assembled dressed in their regalia and escorted the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, into the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, for the Annual Service of Provincial Grand Lodge. St Mary's is a busy working church, set in the centre of the ancient town of Warwick where people have worshipped for over 1,000 years, and have left evidence of their faith in the architecture and decoration of the building — one of the largest and most interesting Churches in England.

Prior to the service the members and their families listened to delightful music newly arranged and played by Ruaraidh Sutherland, Assistant Director of Music for the Church.

The Rector of St Mary's, Revd Vaughan Roberts, welcomed everyone to the service, during which representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian faiths offered thoughts and blessings relating to the theme of the multi-denominational service "From Darkness to Light". The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro Revd Canon Denis Claringbull, presented a short commentary in which he referred to the lesson read by the Provincial Grand Master, and thanked the Vicar for the use of the Church, God for our health, and Freemasonry for showing light from darkness.

The Rector of St Mary's greets the Provincial Grand Master after the service.Photo: The Rector of St Mary's greets the Provincial Grand Master after the service.

During his sermon, the Rector thanked both the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Chaplain for the opportunity of preaching. Although not a Freemason himself many of his in-laws had been, and he maintained a strong interest in the fraternity due to its influence in forming our contemporary society and its long association with the Church. Indeed the local association went back at least as far as 1728 when the Master of the first Lodge in Warwickshire was Vicar of the Church.

Why are we here, and where were we going, he asked?

In a well researched outline of the origins of Freemasonry, which included various references to social history such as the influence of the Guild system in the 17th century, the Rector quoted from the American academic and historian of science Prof Margaret Jacob commending her work and publications, based upon examination of genuine records, as opposed to the incredible fiction published by such masters of fantasy as Dan Brown.

Freemasonry is a contemporary, multicultural and multiracial organisation which has strived at all times to help bring divided societies together. This is amply demonstrated by the peace and harmony maintained within its Lodges, and reflects the Church's work in bringing men of faith together for the benefit of mankind. The full sermon can be read here.

The Provincial Choir, very ably conducted by Provincial Grand Organist W Bro Roy Marshall JP, demonstrated their skill during the service, to the delight of all present. Nothing happens without someone making it happen, and everyone involved with organising and running the event deserves warmest congratulations and thanks.   posted 23 Jun 2009

Bedford Lodge Garden Party

2012 logoOn Sunday 19th July Bedford Lodge 925 are holding a Garden Party in Alvechurch in aid of charity.

Full details about the garden party are posted on the Events page.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Guys Cliffe House Open Day

On Sunday 28 June, a rare opportunity is available to members of the public to visit the grounds and buildings of one of Warwickshire's hidden gems. Not normally open to members of the public, visitors to the Annual Garden Party may enter the grounds and experience the property at first hand.

Full details about the open day are posted on the Events page.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Queen's Birthday Honours

Our hearty congratulations are extended to W Bro Alan Sturley who has been awarded an MBE for services to young people in Warwickshire.

Alan, who is in his late 70s, is a former pupil of Warwick School and past Chairman of the Old Boys' Association, hence his membership of Schola Warwicensis Lodge No 9321 where he is Almoner and Past Master. He is also a former Almoner and subscribing Past Master of the Lodge of Unity No 567.

The well deserved honour was awarded following Alan's long career as Head of Gresham Special School in Leamington, and his work for the Warwick Apprenticing Charity which is based on apprenticing charities set up in the 17th and 18th century. It makes grants to students who live within the bounds of Warwick undertaking apprenticeships, attending university, or undertaking any other form of training designed to help in the furtherance of their career.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Quarterly Communication

The June Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England was presided over by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, who congratulated everyone who had fought their way to the meeting through the tube strike.

Pro GM, Peter LowndesHe announced that the annual meeting of the Grand Charity, usually held in March, will now continue to be part of each June's Quarterly Communication, returning to the previous format. The special event organised by the Grand Charity in commemoration of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent's forty years as our Grand Master proved to be a considerable public relations success for the Craft as a whole.

The new UGLE website, designed as both a public relations exercise and recruitment tool, is in the process of going live, and underpins our philosophy of open communications. It will help Masons when they talk to family, friends who are genuinely interested to hear what Freemasonry is all about, and will go a long way to dispel myths with our detractors.

When applications for jobs and certain offices ask whether the applicant is a Freemason, we are now actively pursuing any government body or organisation who specifically asks such question. Lambeth Borough Council has now backed down on this subject and we are now turning our attention to the Ministry of Justice. Although most Masons would be delighted and proud to say that they are Masons, the inclusion of such a question is flagrant discrimination.

In conclusion, The Pro Grand Master thanked everyone involved in organising and running the meeting, looked forward to seeing as many as possible in September and wished everyone and their families a very happy summer.

The full text of his address may be seen at www.ugle.org.uk/news/progm-speech100609.htm. (Link no longer works.)   posted 21 Jun 2009

Grand Charity

A number of national charities, across England and Wales, will benefit from generous grants totalling nearly £2 million approved at the Annual General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity. The grants include a sum of £500,000 for adult and children's hospice services and £192,000 for air ambulance charities.

For full details, including a list of the beneficiary charities please visit the Grand Charity site or read the attached information release.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Knocking at the Door?

The June meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge, at which our Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan Wellan, was declared Master Elect, saw several joining members, the presentation of a further eleven gavels and a magnificent demonstration of the Building of King Solomon's Temple.

A full report can be seen on the Lodge News page here.   posted 19 Jun 2009

DCs Taught a Lesson!

The Warwickshire Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge received a presentation from W Bro Keith Marchington, one of the five Authorised Orators for the Province led by the Provincial Grand Orator W Bro Trevor Sturt.

A full report on the presentation can be seen on the Lodge News page here.  posted 19 Jun 2009

Flying High

Reading Court, The Masonic Housing Association complex on Tiddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, is always pleased to receive enquiries from potential applicants for flats. Most of the units are for single occupancy but there are some doubles. There is of course a waiting list.

All those interested, brethren and widows, or aware of someone who is interested, are invited to make contact with W Bro Charles Dyer, preferably by e mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He will then provide information about procedures and arrange a visit to the complex. It offers sheltered accommodation, not nursing care.

Ada Bate and  Jean Wattison with Pam Jowers and Steve WeltonThe setting, in delightful gardens, and the active social life, make living conditions superb.

The residents have just hosted a fund raising Strawberry Tea and as a result of this and other functions were able to present a cheque for £1,000 to the Warwickshire and Northants Air Ambulance scheme, a worthy and generous achievement.

Picture shows ( left to right ) residents Ada Bate and Jean Wattison with Pam Jowers , the Warden, and Steve Welton from the Air Ambulance.   posted 12 Jun 2009

Grand Charity Aid for Namibia Floods

The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £5,000 to the Red Cross to support their relief work following the worst floods to affect Namibia in 40 years. The money will help to fund the costs of the deployment of the mass sanitation emergency response unit. This unit specialises in preventing the outbreak of diseases, vital in a situation where there is flooding and where many thousands of people have been displaced.

Over 700,000 Namibians are believed to have been affected by the severe flooding which hit six regions and led to the declaration of a state of emergency. Crocodiles and hippos were reported to be swimming though the flood waters, attacking and killing people and even though the rains have now subsided the resultant damage to homes and crops has displaced thousands and is expected to lead to food shortages in the coming months.

The Red Cross emergency appeal will help 20,000 people to receive assistance with their immediate needs. There is particular concern that the affected communities may be vulnerable to diseases such as malaria and cholera and there is critical need for clean water, sanitation, treatment and hygiene kits.

The grant from The Freemasons' Grand Charity will make a vital contribution towards the relief work of the Red Cross. In addition to constructing temporary latrines and assisting with sanitation and waste disposal the Red Cross will be distributing thousands of blankets, tents, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and over half a million water purification powder sachets.   posted 12 Jun 2009

Grand Master's Anniversary presentation

A group of ten charities had reason to celebrate this week when they attended a special event where they were presented with grants from The Freemasons' Grand Charity totaling £550,000. The grants were given in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the installation of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG, as Grand Master of United Grand Lodge of England and Grand President of the central Masonic Charities.

In front of an audience of hundreds of Masons and their guests, The Duke personally presented the cheques to representatives of the charities. The organisations supported are charities for which His Royal Highness has a particular concern and meet The Freemasons' Grand Charity's objective of supporting people in need.

More information about the beneficiary charities is available from the Event Brochure on The Freemasons' Grand Charity website here (link removed).

Grants presented at meeting:

  • Save Canterbury Cathedral £100,000
  • Combat Stress £50,000
  • The Colonel's Fund Grenadier Guards £50,000
  • King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes £50,000
  • Leukaemia Research £50,000
  • Royal Air Force Charitable Trust £50,000
  • Restore – Burn and Wound Research £50,000
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal £50,000
  • The Colonel's Fund Scots Guards £50,000
  • The Stroke Association £50,000

  posted 9 Jun 2009

Open and Shut

A Past Master of one of our Lodges spotted the following in his employer's Code of Conduct:

"Membership of any organisation which is not open about its membership or proceedings, or which seeks a commitment of allegiance or to support or advance fellow members, e.g. Freemasons, may be seen by the public as liable to influence the conduct of an employee. Employees must therefore carefully consider whether such membership is compatible with your job."

Following his remonstrations, the said employer (a major Governmental department) duly removed the reference to Freemasons, acknowledging the statement as being clear on its own "without using any contentious examples".

If any other members see similar "inaccuracies" but are nervous of approaching the body directly, the Provincial Information Officer will be happy to do so. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 9 Jun 2009

Annual Church Service

This will again be held at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, on Sunday 14th June 2009 at 3.00pm, preceded by a full procession (in Masonic dress, weather permitting) from Alderson House.

Full details may be obtained from the Provincial Office.  posted 29 May 2009

Help at Hand

W Bro Mike Derry is Tyler for two Lodges meeting at Stirling Road and would like to offer his services to others. His telephone number is 0121 770 3897, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 29 May 2009

The Warwickshire Rose

The latest issue of The Warwickshire Rose, the newsletter of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in Warwickshire, can be seen on the Rose Croix page of the website in the Other Orders column. Or it may be accessed here.  posted 29 May 2009

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 16 May 2009.

To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.

Play the PGM's speech

Right-click to download the PGM's address | Duration: 15 mins

posted 29 May 2009

London Calling

We were honoured in Warwickshire with a visit to our HQ at Stirling Road by UGLE Grand Secretary Nigel Brown (pictured below) and Information Officer Chris Connop, for a regional meeting of Provincial Information Officers (PIOs) which was attended by Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and ourselves.

UGLE Grand Secretary Nigel BrownThe purpose of this series of meetings taking place around the country, scheduled to be completed by the end of June, is to highlight the importance which the Grand Secretary lays upon Public Relations and Communication in our increasingly positive dealings with the media, and to discuss ideas how best to develop this. The extraordinary nature and architecture of Freemasons Hall at Great Queen Street, London, has resulted in it being listed among the "Unique Venues of London" and makes it very popular as a venue for shows, concerts, lectures and presentations, as well as a location for films and television productions. This is without affecting the daily routine of the building and provides excellent "soft" PR.

A new website for PIOs has now been created which provides a forum for them to share good practice and inform each other of any interesting initiatives or successes. It also includes extensive guidelines regarding the practicalities of PR and Communications. The main UGLE website is being completely overhauled and by responding to demands identified following careful research will become a major recruitment tool for us.

At the meeting a lively and informative discussion took place embracing a variety of topics, including opportunities arising from such events as Freemasonry in the Community and the Heritage Open Days, the formulation of a five year plan for the next stage of our PR objectives, and the clear message that we will not tolerate scurrilous and offensive attacks on freemasonry, which we are ready and willing to make quite clear to the general public.

Warwickshire PIO Peter Wellings made the point that in addition to activities from the centre covering national and policy matters, it was vital to involve brethren at grass roots level (see below) as they were the ones in closest contact with the most important audience – our local communities. Whilst they should always refer enquiries about Masonic policy to him or the Provincial Office, there is a huge range of activity across every Province such as charitable donations, social events and involvement of Lodges and members within their locality which can be highlighted in local media.

Initial details were announced of the forthcoming "Greatest Masonic Event Ever", ie the 300th Anniversary celebration of Freemasonry. This will be held on 14th June 2017 at ExCeL London, which will by then have been truly tried and tested by the 2012 Olympics. Capacity is 80,000 – make sure you book early!

Peter Wellings would like to hear from brethren who are able to help him develop our PR and communication activities in Warwickshire. Please contact him on 07973 135761, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 21 May 2009

Apologies for Absence

Keen Warwickshire freemason W Bro Malcolm Griffiths was unable to attend the Installation meeting of his Lodge due to commitments elsewhere – he was being installed as Mayor of Bridgnorth, after just three years since becoming a councillor. His membership of freemasonry is considerably longer however, having been initiated into Lodge of Happiness No 7952 in 1983, becoming Master in 1993 and 2002, now serving as Almoner.

Malcolm also had to miss the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge for the first time in many years as he and his wife, Lady Mayoress Julie, were supporting their counterparts in Kidderminster at a welcome reception for soldiers returning from duty in Afghanistan. He is always proud to fly the flag for freemasonry and everything it stands for and will certainly be doing so during his term in office.

Congratulations Malcolm, and all best wishes to you and Julie for a happy and enjoyable time in high civic office.   posted 21 May 2009

Charity from Faith and Hope

The Lodge of Faith and Hope No 4772 has supported the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack, which caters exclusively for mentally and physically disabled children, for well over 15 years, and have been delighted that the Province has also been able to support them in recent years.

"Arkela" and her Deputy
W Bro Roger Chapman (Charity Steward - the David Bailey of the Lodge) accompanied W Bro John Hayward to the Cubs' headquarters in Erdington, to present cheques totalling £500; £350 from the Province and a further £150 from the Lodge.

John is pictured with "Arkela" and her Deputy, who were absolutely delighted and will use this donation to cover costs for their annual camp later in the year, which these days proves to be a very expensive event.

Funds provided last year totalling £700 helped to replace equipment lost in a fire during the previous year.   posted 21 May 2009

Full House at Provincial Grand Lodge

Our Provincial HQ at Stirling Road was packed to capacity for the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, with cctv transmitting pictures on giant screens to the brethren towards the back of the meeting hall.

Prior to the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies gave a briefing to all present, following which the many distinguished guests, including visiting Provincial Grand Masters, Deputy and Assistant PGMs, Grand Officers and leaders of other Orders entered the Lodge in procession, with our own Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, being escorted into the meeting by his Officers.

After opening Provincial Grand Lodge in due form the PGM remembered Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above, including W Bro Christopher Sanders, RW Bro Stanley Lates and W Bro Rodney Pitham. He also referred to the sculpture of the Bear (chained) and Ragged Staff on his pedestal, and individually welcomed the distinguished guests, then everyone else present.

Following the various reports presented by Provincial Officers, which included a rallying call for events supporting the 2012 Festival from W Bro David Macey (in particular his Charity Walk early in April 2010), together with other formalities, the PGM appointed and invested W Bro Michael Morris, PJGD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, making special reference to Michael's son being the cushion bearer.

The PGM re-appointed the Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan Wellan, the Assistant PGMs, W Bros Roger Parker, Nigel Bister, David Macey and John Emms, acknowledging their individual efforts towards the well being and success of many aspects within the Province. Officers for the ensuing year, including W Bro Anthony Cheeseman as Provincial Senior Grand Warden (photo - front left) and W Bro David Shakeshaft as Provincial Junior Grand Warden, were appointed and invested, and Past Ranks were conferred or confirmed. Those invested were reminded of the important leadership role they had to play in the Craft in Warwickshire.

The PGM then addressed the meeting and a full transcript is available here.

Outgoing and incoming Provincial Senior Grand Wardens Rex Lowin and Tony CheesemanPhoto left: Outgoing and incoming Provincial Senior Grand Wardens Rex Lowin (front left) and Tony Cheeseman (front right).

At the festive board following Provincial Grand Lodge a splendid meal was enjoyed by everyone present, and in his toast to the PGM our new Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Tony Cheesman, referred to the great strength of the soul and heart of Warwickshire Freemasonry arising from the magnificent effort and devotion applied by our PGM.

Next year's annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 15th May.   posted 18 May 2009

Summer Break?

During the Masonic close season there is always plenty going on if you know where to look.

On Thursday 11th June the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge will view a demonstration of "The Building of King Solomon's Temple" at Stirling Road, and the following evening, Friday 12th June, the Warwickshire Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge will enjoy Orations entitled "Building the Temple" and "Jacobs Ladder", as well as an outline of the Orations Scheme, at the Alderson House rooms in Warwick. These events may be attended by all Masons and full details and application forms can be seen on the Lodge News pagehttp://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/lodge_news.php.

Then on Sunday 14th June we have the Annual Church Service at St Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick.

The Mark Degree organises a lively programme of social events which may also be attended by all Masons, the next one being "Jazz in the Park" on Sunday 5th July, in the delightful grounds of Guy's Cliffe, Warwick. Full details can be seen on the Calendar page of the Mark website www.warwickshiremark.org.uk/calendar.php.   posted 17 May 2009

Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 16th May 2009, at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.

The meeting starts at 10.30am and all Brethren should to be seated by 10.15am.   posted 12 May 2009

Saviour to Hand!

Bible Probe, who describe themselves as being a non-denominational outfit for Christians and Messianic Jews, pronounce on their website:

"Masons have mixed idolatry, paganism, the occult, Kabala, fertility cults, Satanism, spiritualism, demonology, and put it into a blender and come up with the Masonic religion. It is not of God! It is a false religion; the Harlot of Babylon. Masons say they offer new candidates "the light". The light they are actually giving is: Lucifer".

And guess what? They also offer prayers of cleansing for Masonic Degrees. Just send your cheque to. . . .

Everyone has a hearty chuckle at such ridiculous drivel, which the authors don't seem to realise only magnifies their ignorance. Do let us know of any similar reports or comments seen – we might be able to get royalties off a new Dan Brown production, filmed of course at Great Queen Street!   posted 12 May 2009

Grand Lodge Investitures

The Province of Warwickshire was well represented amongst 1604 Freemasons, who attended the annual investiture meeting of Grand Lodge at the end of April. MW Bro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, the Pro Grand Master, presided over the proceedings and was pleased to invest the many newly appointed or promoted Grand Officers.

At the beginning of his address he let it be known he does like to speak his mind, but that on public occasions such as this it is best to stay with the prepared script! In welcoming everyone present he assured them of the appreciation of those at HQ for their attendance.

Congratulations were extended to all those invested and promoted, as well as a reminder of the expectation of future commitment. Whilst appreciating being handed over to with the Craft in as buoyant a mood as it has been for some years, as well as the tremendous work carried out by his predecessor, there was still plenty to be done.

In particular, we must ensure that all candidates for initiation have a proper understanding, before they join, of what we expect of them and what they can expect from us. It is many years since we have shown so much pride in our membership and we should have the confidence to explain that we expect, and generally speaking get, all our members to behave in a way that benefits society at large. This is not only from our considerable charitable activities, but also from our emphasis that all members are expected to behave in a civilised, lawful and neighbourly fashion at all times, with action being taken if a member acts in a way that is unacceptable to society in general through antisocial or dishonest behaviour.

The Pro Grand Master concluded his address by thanking the Grand Secretary and his team for their huge amount of organisation, leading to the building really buzzing on a big occasion such as this. He and the Deputy Grand Master (both being former Grand Directors of Ceremonies) had taken more than a passing interest in the ceremonial aspect and congratulated the present Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for running the show so smoothly with just one word - impeccable.

It was especially pleasing for the Warwickshire brethren to see W Bro John Emms promoted to Past Senior Grand Deacon and W Bro Tony Wall to Past Junior Grand Deacon, in addition to the first appointments to Grand Rank conferred on W Bro Michael Morris as Past Junior Grand Deacon, W Bro Nigel Burton as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and W Bro Eric Bear as Past Grand Standard Bearer. It should also be mentioned that our Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2006/7, W Bro Eric Rymer, was invested as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies through his other Province of Staffordshire.

Afterwards our Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, hosted a dinner for no fewer than 29 Warwickshire brethren at the Royal Air Force Club on Piccadilly where he has been a member for the past 40 years. The PGM once again congratulated the members of the Province on receiving their honours at Grand Lodge and added his particular thanks to the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton, for his excellent arrangements. It was without doubt a most enjoyable and memorable day for all those fortunate enough to be present.   posted 9 May 2009

DC Directs

Following a very well attended meeting of Temple Councillors held at our Provincial HQ in Stirling Road, to which all members of Lodges had been invited, our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Philip Hall (pictured) delivered a most interesting and enlightening presentation in which he included his views on some of the ceremonial activities seen around the Province. 

Philip Hall
Philip Hall - Philip Hall
The variety and individuality of the Lodges was a constant source of delight, although some of the "traditions" witnessed could perhaps be tracked back to an error or misunderstanding in the distant past and perhaps be re-considered in that light!

W Bro Philip referred to the challenging times we live in and the need to adapt in order to continue attracting to our ranks men of honour and good standing, and the importance of the mentoring programme as well as the manner in which we run our meetings to maintain their interest, commitment and involvement. Whilst our ritual was regarded as sacrosanct, the festive board was the most relevant area where we can adapt and change in accordance with contemporary practices, and examples were given suggesting how our meetings could be modified accordingly, particularly as regards time frames.

After pointing out that the success of a festive board was largely dependent upon the Lodge DC's forward planning and management, he then went into considerable detail covering all aspects including seating plans, use of gavels, wine takings, toasts, raffles, charity appeals, etc.

The presentation was very well received and a full copy, which should be essential reading for all Lodge DCs, is available from your own Lodge's Temple Councillor.   posted 9 May 2009

Goats Milk at Newdegate

Newdegate Lodge No 5102 celebrated an English Night at their meeting rooms in Nuneaton on St George’s day. This was their Past Masters’ evening, at which Bro Dean Wagstaff was raised to the third degree in an excellent ceremony shared between the WM and Past Masters.

W Bro Nigel Bister presents a 50 year certificate to W Bro C Kenneth BurtenshawOn the same evening W Bro Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented a 50 year certificate to W Bro C Kenneth Burtenshaw, (pictured left) who was born in Dublin and initiated into Unity Lodge No 238 in Ireland in April 1956, moving to Nuneaton the following year. He joined Newdegate Lodge in 1972, was Master in 1986 and is currently Almoner. He was also a Founder member of George Eliot Lodge No 9227 and a member of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No 9253. Those present heard about Ken’s career, his swimming exploits, his service with the Boys Brigade and the excellent work he does for good causes.

Nearly sixty brethren attended this splendid occasion, including members of Abbey Lodge on their annual visit.

At the festive board the Roast Beef was carved at the table, and accompanied by "Goats Milk" Real Ale from the Church End Brewery at Ansley. As well as the usual Masonic songs, there were more Masonic songs set to English Folk tunes.   posted 9 May 2009

Annual Donations

Every year the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association makes many donations to worthy non-masonic charities, which this year totalled £92,100 shared amongst 191 recipients. Pictured are representatives from many of the recipient charities, who received their cheques at a lunch held at Stirling Road, Representatives from many of the recipient charitieswith the Provincial and Deputy Provincial Grand Masters.

The WMCA Trustees evaluate the financial situation on an annual basis and decide an amount which can be afforded to donate and donations are subsequently made to registered charities which operate within the area covered by the Province of Warwickshire.

The process is managed on behalf of the Trustees by Tony Newby, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, together with Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, from the Charity Office, Stirling Road.

A full list of this year’s recipients is available here.   posted 9 May 2009

Funeral of W Bro Rodney Pitham

The funeral of W Bro Rodney Pitham, Past Senior Grand Deacon, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, who died suddenly on Sunday 26th April, will be held on Tuesday 5th May at St James the Great Church, at the junction of Stratford Road and Church Road, Shirley B90 2AX. The service will be at 2.00pm, followed by a private cremation for family only.

Family flowers only, but donations are invited in memory of Rodney to the Warwickshire Masonic Benevolent Fund (WMBF), Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. (cheques payable to WMBF).

We understand that in his will Rodney asked that no black ties or dark suits be worn.

Refreshments will be available afterwards at the Solihull Masonic Temple, 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle, Solihull B93 9AH.  posted 3 May 2009

W Bro Rodney Pitham

It is with much regret that we have to announce the death of W Bro Rodney Pitham PSGD a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire on Sunday the 26th April 2009. Further details will be posted when they are available.   posted 27 Apr 2009

Warwickshire Grand Officers' Mess

The next Mess Dinner will be held on Thursday 23 April 2009 at the Solihull Masonic Temple at 6.30pm for 7.00pm. The guest speaker is Mrs Diane Clements, the Director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Great Queen Street, whose talk is entitled 'A Woman's Place? - The Female Presence at Freemasons' Hall'. This promises to be most interesting and informative and Mrs Clements, a leader in her profession, is worthy of a large audience. Those Grand Officers who are members of the Mess and who have not yet replied to the invitation to attend should do so as soon as possible to Peter Randon the Mess Secretary. This will be an evening to remember.   posted 21 Apr 2009

Royal Society snaps up a stately hothouse

In a recent article in the 'Sunday Times', Jonathan Leake, Science Editor, reported that the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific body, has bought one of the country's finest stately homes and plans to make it into a rural hothouse to train leading researchers.

It wants to use Chicheley Hall (pictured), Chicheley Hallin secluded grounds near Milton Keynes, for science seminars and conferences and to brief politicians and other policy-makers on issues such as climate change.

The grade 1-listed building, completed in 1725 by the master builder Francis Smith of Warwick, is among Britain’s most admired Georgian mansions.

Many who read the article will not have realised the link with the first known Lodge in Warwickshire constituted at The Woolpack in Warwick on 22 April 1728. Francis Smith was the Junior Warden at that meeting, his older brother being Senior Warden.

Also, the early development of both freemasonry and the Royal Society were undoubtedly intertwined, with many gentlemen of the era being members of both organisations.   posted 21 Apr 2009

Helping in the Hills

The trustees of the Longmynd Adventure Camp [LMAC] have seen the cost of converting its primary ablutions block into a segregated mixed gender facility more than double. LMAC Chairman Don Rogers explains "Not only have our initial estimates had to be revised due to increases in the cost of materials, but our plans to reuse a number of our existing toilet partitions has been thwarted. The incursion of damp after 30 years of service has rendered them unusable and their replacement cost is an eye watering £6,500."

W Bro David Kettle presents the chequeHowever this has not deterred the Charity from getting on with the job thanks to some generous offers of assistance and grant funding. The officers of the Charity were also delighted to receive donations from two Masonic sources – W Bro David Kettle (pictured centre) presented a cheque for £350 on behalf of the Province of Warwickshire in recognition of the provision of services to the children of the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham. The Trustees have for many years gifted a one week camp to children that have little or no access to the countryside. W Bro Allan Caswell and W Bro David Sagar presented a cheque for £374 on behalf of the Church Stretton based Caer Caradoc Lodge. The presentation took place in the Carding Mill Valley beauty spot with Don Rogers (LMAC Chairman), and Kim March (Secretary) in attendance.   posted 21 Apr 2009

Special Address

At the next meeting of the Temple Council, at Stirling Road on Monday 27th April, there will be an address by W Bro Philip Hall, our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. This will be of interest to many members and anyone who would like to attend would be most welcome. It would be helpful if those wishing to attend advised the Council Secretary W Bro David Bateman:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 21 Apr 2009

Stanley Lates RIP

The Funeral Service for RW Bro Stanley Lates will be held at St Alphege Church, Church Hill Road, Solihull B91 3RQ, on Monday 6th April 2009 at 2.00pm, followed by a private cremation.

Donations in memory may be made to the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, c/o the Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Birmingham B16 9SB, or to the Parkinson's Disease Society, c/o Thomas Bragg & Sons, 562 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 4AY.

Family flowers only please.   posted 31 Mar 2009

Want to keep up to date? Use RSS.

For some time, the Provincial web site has offered users notification of changes to the Provincial News page. Since the new site was launched last year, this has been augmented by the web-standard system known as RSS - Really Simple Syndication.

Help on how to use RSS is available here.

RSS is built directly into Internet Explorer 7 and 8 and Firefox and many other recent Web browsers and Microsoft provides a "How-to" here. Anyone clinging tenaciously to an older version of either browser should click on the link (above) to the help on the Provincial web site.

So, why are we using RSS rather than the older system? The old system checks the page once per day and looks to see if any changes have been made. Small changes are not flagged and not advised to subscribers, so a change from "available" to "not available" would go un-noticed. This could be changed so that every change, no matter how small, would be flagged. However, that would have the unfortunate side-effect of noticing when spelling mistakes were corrected, or when a PJGD became a PSGD after an error was noticed and corrected.

This has happened in the past, and we were sent complaints when no obvious change was seen by the viewer.

RSS has none of these problems.

  • News update notices are controlled directly by the webmaster, hence no spurious notifications are generated.
  • It is recognised by all modern browsers - some of them will prompt you when a RSS feed is detected on a web page you visit - and can be used directly from them.
  • It is used by every major organisation in the world, such as the BBC, as their preferred news alert system.
  • It is simple to use and reliable in operation.

In order to prevent further ongoing difficulties caused by using the outdated change notification system, this service will be discontinued on 31 March 2009. This may be the last automatic change notification you will receive. Please now subscribe to the RSS system.

Separate RSS feeds are available on the Provincial web site for Provincial and Lodge news so that you can choose what you want to be advised about.   posted 25 Mar 2009

You Asked, We Listened!

Always responsive to requests from Lodges and individual members in the Province, a number of additions have been made to the Provincial web site.

Lodges asked if they could have a section to promote their coming events; this has now been provided here. Lodges also asked if they could add news items about their lodges to the web site alongside the main news.

The web site was enlarged in response and items of a more local, rather than Provincial or country-wide, nature are now listed here. A new, separate, Events page was set up so that forthcoming events can be seen more easily, arranged in date order, and not be swamped by items of news posted later.

The main Provincial news page can still be accessed here.

The menu system was changed, of course, to provide access to the new pages, and links to each of the other sections are included on each of the pages.

Lodges can now send items of interest via email or directly from the form on the web site here.   posted 25 Mar 2009

Historic Quarterly Communication

The MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, was re-elected at the March Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, during which he was pleased to install MW Bro Peter Lowndes as the Pro Grand Master, and RW Bro Jonathan Spence as the Deputy Grand Master, with RW Bro David Williamson having agreed to continue as Assistant Grand Master. This team will build on our recent successes and lead the Craft with inspiration towards 2017 - our three hundredth anniversary. He also invested VW Bro Oliver Lodge as Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The Grand Master highlighted the enormous debt of gratitude we owe to the Past Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Lord Northampton, for his dedicated and unstinted service at home and abroad. Achievements highlighted included the appointment of a Grand Chancellor, the move of the Masonic charities into 60 Great Queen Street and the development of the Mentoring and Orator Schemes, all of which have contributed significantly to improving communications between Great Queen Street and Provinces and Districts - one of Lord Northampton's principal objectives on becoming Pro Grand Master. His support for the Grand Master's policy of speaking openly about our Freemasonry has led to a greater understanding of Masonic affairs by the general public, as well as educating the Brethren to feel less inhibited in talking about Freemasonry, and his worldwide activities emphasised our Grand Lodge's role as arbiters of regularity.

As regards the future, the Masonic and business experience of the new Rulers was outlined because, although Masonry is not a business, Grand Lodge has begun, under the direction of the Grand Secretary, to be managed along business lines. The new Pro Grand Master will preside over the Craft Annual Investiture meeting in April, where he will have the opportunity to outline his own ideas, and the Deputy Grand Master will take over the role of encouraging synergies between the four Masonic charities.

Open communications with members of the non Masonic community will remain a key objective supported by, for example, the new Grand Lodge website, Freemasonry Today magazine and the very successful events that are run for non masons from our wonderful headquarters building.

Lodges should select only quality candidates and then, with the Mentoring Scheme see that they are cared for, and educated through their Masonic journey. Brethren should always be mindful of the future of the Craft, so that we can be confident of the next generation of Masons. The Craft is in the soundest shape that it has been for many years, and is an Organisation much more confident in itself.

For the full text of the MW Grand Master's address go to www.ugle.org.uk/news/gmspeech-110309.htm (Link no longer works.)   posted 25 Mar 2009

£5,000 for emergency aid for Fiji flood victims

The President of the Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £5,000 to help victims of flooding that has affected large areas of Fiji. For full details please visithttp://www.grandcharity.org/news.php/31/pound5000_following_floods_in_fiji  posted 25 Mar 2009

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that R W Bro Stanley Alan Lates passed away peacefully on Sunday 22nd March at home.

He was a Past Provincial Grand Master of the Craft and Past Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch in Warwickshire, and had been awarded the highest accolade, the Order of Service to Masonry. His achievements in the other Masonic Orders were of similar great significance.

We will all have fond memories of R W Bro Stanley and will miss his presence with us. Our sympathies are extended to Rosemary and the family.   posted 23 Mar 2009

Grand Ranks

Many congratulations go to the following Worshipful Brethren for their preferment in Grand Lodge, their investiture taking place in London on Wednesday 29th April 2009.

First Appointments:

  • Michael C Morris, Past Junior Grand Deacon
  • Nigel R Burton, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
  • Eric Bear, Past Grand Standard Bearer
  • Eric Rymer, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies

Promotions:

  • John R Emms, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Senior Grand Deacon
  • Tony Wall, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Junior Grand Deacon

In addition, Michael Ward, an honorary member of St Barbara 4930 and a member of 4538 is to be promoted to Past Junior Grand Warden. He is also the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London and after 29 April will be addressed as RW Bro Michael Ward. posted 15 Mar 2009

Red letter day for Red Cross

The Freemasons' Grand Charity joined with the British Red Cross in Birmingham to launch a new Red Cross ambulance.

The emergency vehicle has been funded by a grant of £50,000 from the Grand Charity and will be used to support the emergency services as they help local people during an emergency such as the Birmingham Tornado and the freak snow storms during February.

The donation has come as part of the Red Cross West Midlands Emergency Response Appeal (WMERA) which is raising money to fund Red Cross volunteers and equipment which will be used to upscale the work of the Red Cross as it supports vulnerable people and communities across the West Midlands.

Rodney Pitham, Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, left, and Chris Grove MBE, Provincial Grand AlmonerBritish Red Cross Operations Director for the West Midlands Caroline Leighton (pictured with Rodney Pitham, Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, left, and Chris Grove MBE, Provincial Grand Almoner) said at the presentation "Whether it's helping people caught up in emergencies, such as the Warwickshire floods, or providing trained first aid cover at local events, this is what we do, day in, day out. During emergencies, the police, fire and ambulance services are among the first to respond. Once the immediate danger has passed, the Red Cross is on hand to help people get over the crisis, whether it's a high profile national emergency, such as the floods of 2007, or a personal crisis such as a house fire".

She continued "We need to do more: demand for our services is growing. The number of callouts is increasing and we need to recruit and train more volunteers to meet these needs, as well as purchase equipment, such as command and control centres.

"We are really grateful for the support we have received from The Freemasons' Grand Charity. It will enable us to respond even more effectively and reach even more people throughout the area".

Speaking on our behalf, Rodney Pitham said "The Freemasons' Grand Charity supports people in need and has a history of providing financial assistance to the worldwide emergency relief efforts of the British Red Cross. WMERA was an opportunity to extend this help to the wider activities of the Red Cross and we are delighted to be associated with the services that this vehicle will provide for the people of the West Midlands."

After handing over the keys of the Ambulance, Rodney and all the other supporters present were given a most enlightening guided tour of the Regional HQ in Birmingham, during which the wide variety of activities were outlined. Examples ranged from co-ordinating logistics for International relief missions, deploying the bulk storage of emergency supplies strategically located in "Thunderbird" style pods around the world, such as rescue boats in Scotland, and camp beds in Germany, right through to the daily one-to-one support given locally to distressed individuals.   posted 15 Mar 2009

Working Tools for Working Hands

W Bro Graham Bull having heard that there was a need for landscaping of the car park extension at Reading Court kindly offered to source materials and also provide the services of members from De Montfort Lodge No 5155.

Bro G A Bull, Mrs Marilyn Bull, W Bro J S Kisbey, W Bro J D Kisbey, volunteer Nick and Worshipful Master L J WhiteheadThe band of workers, including Graham's wife Marilyn, duly arrived at Reading Court with a full selection of the working tools of a masonic gardener. They did a wonderful job and the Chairman, VW Bro Alan Wellan, the committee and of course the residents are most grateful for this display of masonic support. Thank you and well done all of you!

Pictured are (left to right) Bro G A Bull, Mrs Marilyn Bull, W Bro J S Kisbey, W Bro J D Kisbey, volunteer Nick and Worshipful Master L J Whitehead.   posted 15 Mar 2009

Provincial Museum and Library

As is well known from the 2008 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, and from reference to page 136 of the Masonic Year Book, the museum and the library are being evaluated under the direction of Deputy PGM Alan Wellan with the aid of W Bros Clifford Hadley (museum) and John Emms (library). The objective of the exercise is to ensure that cataloguing is up to date and that the layout is as informative and user friendly as possible.

At the Temple Council Meeting on January 29th 2009 it was suggested that as Museum and Library Representatives have not met for a considerable time, and the evaluation was not complete, it may not be necessary in the medium term for lodges to continue appointing them. Since the Council Meeting some brethren have expressed concern at this suggestion; the concern is recognised and so it is now suggested that Representatives remain in post so that they are available for when meetings recommence. There will be an update at the April meeting of the Temple Council.   posted 15 Mar 2009

Masonic Relief Grants: Quarterly Update

Between December 2008 and February 2009, 434 Masonic Relief Grants were made to support individual Masons and their dependants experiencing financial need or requiring mobility equipment. In total, £828,703 was approved for payment to assist the beneficiaries.

Masonic Relief Grants represent one of the primary activities of The Freemasons' Grand Charity. Grants are made to Masons or the dependants of deceased Masons - including widows, partners and also divorced/separated spouses or partners - who are experiencing hardship; no case of genuine need is ever rejected.

Grants are made for essential daily living costs, unexpected needs or towards the provision of mobility equipment. They typically range from £100 up to £4,500 per applicant per year, and can be renewed for as long as the need lasts. In cases of exceptional need larger grants may be awarded.

Applications are assessed against guidelines taking into account the income, expenditure and savings of the applicant, but as a guide individuals with a Masonic connection who are in receipt of support from the State, such as Pension Credit, are likely to qualify.   posted 15 Mar 2009

2012 Festival

2012 logoThe total amount at the end of February 2009 stands at £1,341,253   posted 6 Mar 2009

New APGM

The Provincial Grand Master has been pleased to appoint W Bro Michael C Morris, P Prov SGW as a fifth Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Craft Province of Warwickshire and will invest him at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge to be held on Saturday 16th May 2009.

Michael was first appointed to Provincial Rank in 1995 when he was appointed as a Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. He was then promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2003, and was appointed as acting Senior Warden in 2006. He became a representative on the Provincial Grand Masters' Rulers Forum in 2007.

He has enjoyed a distinguished career in the legal profession and is currently a District Judge sitting in the West Midlands.

Many congratulations Michael, and all best wishes for a happy and enjoyable time in this high office.   posted 25 Feb 2009

Marking Well

Many congratulations to Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Roger S Mac, who is to become the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Province of Warwickshire, following the sad death of W Bro Chris Sanders. He will be installed into this Office at the meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Mark Masters Lodge No 1400 on Thursday 30th April. Roger's Mark CV can be seen in the news column on the Mark website www.warwickshiremark.org.uk.  posted 25 Feb 2009

Floating Masons help Bushfire Fund

The doyen of Freemasonry Afloat, W Bro Trevor Wellings, currently aboard P&O liner Arcadia as it sails around southern Australia, reports that the Masonic Festival held on the previous leg raised A$900. This will be donated to the Victoria Bushfire Disaster Fund and forwarded by the senior Grand Officer present, who was disembarking in Melbourne.  posted 25 Feb 2009

Warwickshire Royal Arch Masons Support Age Concern

Royal Arch Companions in Warwickshire have shown their generosity by donating £18,000 to provide a fully equipped Ford Galaxy people carrier to Age Concern Warwickshire, a local branch of the national Age Concern organisation. For full details and pictures from the presentation, go to the news column on the Royal Arch websitewww.royal-arch.org.uk.  posted 25 Feb 2009

Action against Flu

Provincial Almoner Chris Grove presented £10,000 to Action Medical Research Director of Research Dr Tracy Swinfield at Birmingham University's new School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. This was made up with £5,000 from the WMCA and the same amount under a match funding scheme being run by the Freemasons' Grand Charity at the moment.

Action Medical Research allocates the charitable donations which they receive towards research projects all over the UK, to help find new ways of preventing, treating and curing disease and disability. The charity was born out of the concern of a father for his daughter, who was diagnosed with polio in 1949. He was so distressed, and appalled by the lack of knowledge about what was a disease of epidemic proportions, that he used his small savings to set up a new charity. In 1952 the National Fund for Poliomyelitis Research was established, and eventually research funded by the charity led to the development of the polio vaccine, paving the way for virtual eradication of the disease world-wide. Their website is www.action.org.uk.

Our grant will assist a project being conducted in collaboration with the University's School of Medicine, in which researchers are investigating whether controlled exercise using weight training principles can boost the effectiveness of the flu jab. The exercises are designed to cause inflammation in the arm, which researchers believe might kick-start the immune system, so it is ready to go when the vaccine is injected.

If effective, exercise could be a very simple, cheap and natural way to boost the effect of the flu jab. It might increase immunity and help protect more people from the flu, sparing them from illness and saving lives. Chris Grove presents the chequeIt may also mean the jab can work at lower doses, which would decrease costs and increase availability. If this project does conclude that exercise helps boost the effects of the flu jab, it may also help in vaccination programmes against a wide range of infectious diseases as well.

Pictured with Chris and Tracy are (left) Dr Vikki Burns, Project Leader, and (right) post graduate research team members John and Jo.   posted 25 Feb 2009

New Year's Honours

We were delighted to see RW Bro Tom Lloyd, Provincial Grand Master for the neighbouring Province of Staffordshire, awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list. This was for services to West Midland Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association of which he was Chairman for a number of years until stepping down early in 2008. Well done Tom.   posted 21 Feb 2009

Emergency Relief

The Freemasons in Victoria, Australia, have acted very quickly in order to help relieve the suffering caused by the devastating bushfires which occurred on 7th February. In response they have established The Grand Master's Victorian Bushfires Appeal. Funds raised by this Appeal will be directly applied to significant community redevelopment and reconstruction projects in addition to providing direct assistance to seriously disadvantaged members of the Masonic and wider community. The appeal has been launched with an initial contribution from the Benevolent Fund of $400,000, together with newspaper announcements of it.

Full details can be seen on the Victorians' website:www.freemasonsvic.net.au/NewsArticle/News/tabid/267/Default.aspx?newsID=44

Our own Freemasons' Grand Charity is making an emergency grant to the Grand Lodge of Victoria to help them with their work.   posted 16 Feb 2009

An Aston Martin for Aston Manor

2012 logoThe brethren of Aston Manor Lodge 6323 are holding a rather special raffle at the festive board of their meeting on Tuesday 21st April, at Yenton Assembly rooms. The prize is an invitation for two people to a driving event at Millbrook Proving Ground. This will include an Aston Martin with a Performance Driving Instructor around the ground, followed by a complimentary lunch. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the 2012 Festival.

To take part in the raffle you will have to attend the Lodge so first enjoy their meeting and then chance your arm. Shrewd punters will of course work out the excellent odds - fire regulations mean the maximum number of participants will be just 90! Applications from the Lodge Secretary Bro SN Abel on 02476 676 100.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Help to Hand

W Bro RK Ward reports that at the recent Installation Ceremony at Gothic Lodge No 4735 visitors were surprised to see a Past Master occupying the chair and welcoming them. The Provincial DC asked that all Provincial Officers form a column for the Presiding Officer in the usual way.

The Presiding Officer occupied the chair and informed the brethren that the Installing Master had been rushed into hospital that afternoon. As other Past Masters of the Lodge were away on holiday, he and his acting DC would therefore carry out the ceremony from start to finish.

The ceremony was performed with warmth and sincerity and was greatly appreciated by all the brethren there, who had never experienced seeing a Presiding Officer or DC enact a complete ceremony with only approximately four hours notice.

The past masters and brethren of Gothic Lodge would like to sincerely thank the representatives of the Province for their help and support. They were W Bro Rodney Pitham and W Bro Philip Hall.   posted 16 Feb 2009

A Very Special Occasion

At Griffin Lodge of Installed Masters recently, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, presented a 60-year certificate to W Bro Arthur George Lewis PJGD, a Past Master of the Lodge (both pictured, with WM Bill Clark seated).

The PGM, RW Bro Michael J Price, presents a 60-year certificate to W Bro Arthur LewisThe PGM led Arthur to the centre of the floor of the Lodge and started by noting that the following day was Arthur's 86th birthday, the Brethren acknowledged this by singing Happy Birthday. The PGM then gently teased from Arthur some fascinating details of his life, from being born in Perth, Australia to his upbringing in Willesden, including Arthur's life initially as a Scout, then a Scout Messenger for the ARP on to being a Sergeant in the Home Guard. When Arthur was old enough he joined the Royal Artillery in 1942 and went to the Far East. Following his demob at Woolwich he then started civilian life as a Quantity Surveyor working for London Transport. Before long he was traveling again and spent 18 months in Ghana working for the Municipal Council in Accra before returning to the UK.

After marrying Audrey in 1956 they lived in Orpington, raising a son and daughter before finally moving to Dunchurch in 1995. Arthur had initiated, passed and raised his son Gordon and installed him in the Chair of King Solomon. He then exalted him into Royal Arch and installed him in both J and Z chairs. The PGM then asked Arthur to thank Audrey for her tremendous support during all of those years, prior to reading aloud the 60-year certificate which he presented to Arthur together with a 60-year lapel badge.

They both returned to their seats and the Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies then recited the Proclamation from the Lodge floor. This listed all of Arthur's Craft and Royal Arch accomplishments. This was very well done and well received by the Brethren.

Arthur then thanked the PGM and the Brethren and addressed the Brethren giving a few further observations on how the craft had changed during his membership. He finished with a warm tribute to the Provincial Grand Master.   posted 16 Feb 2009

A Very Rare Occasion?

At Darell Lodge No 5945, Rugby, Assistant PGM W Bro David Macey presented 50-year Certificates to W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox, 

50-year certificates for W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox
50-year certificates for W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox
this was thought to be a very rare occasion being a double presentation.

Arthur (92) has been a lifelong member of the Lodge, whilst David (72), formerly of Dover and the Province of East Sussex, joined Darell Lodge some 9 years ago.

Pictured are the APGM together with David and Arthur (seated l-r), and WM Stan Parnell.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Shakespeare Hospice features

Every year our Grand Charity makes donations to hospices throughout the country, this year being no exception. The Shakespeare Hospice received two cheques from Deputy PGM Alan Wellan Alan Wellan and Duncan Forbes(pictured with Duncan Forbes, CEO of the hospice), £1,000 from the Grand Charity and £400 from the local David Garrick Lodge.

Over £2.5 million was distributed to non-Masonic causes in the last 12 months by the Grand Charity, for which Rodney Pitham is Chairman of the non-Masonic grants committee.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Many, Many Happy Returns

A 50 year certificate was presented to W Bro Ron Rollason (pictured centre) by Assistant PGM W Bro Roger Parker, at Kenilworth Lodge No 6939.

APGM Roger Parker and W Bro Ron RollasonRon was initiated into Kenilworth Lodge exactly 50 years ago to the night, his son W Bro Peter Rollason (pictured on right) was initiated into the lodge 25 years to the night, and the photograph was taken by W Bro Peter Jones who was initiated into the lodge 18 years to the night.

As there was also an Initiation Ceremony, it was a very special evening and thoroughly enjoyed by all.   posted 16 Feb 2009

A Fond Farewell

W Bro Leslie Baber PProvSGW, who was the oldest and longest serving member of St Paul's Lodge No 43, and a former member of the Chapter of Fortitude No 43, passed to the Grand Lodge above on 28th January. He was 95 years old, was initiated into St Paul's Lodge in March 1950 and was Master in 1964. He is survived by his wife Lillian, who is 99 years old, and his two daughters Janet and Brenda, to whom our sympathies are extended.

Leslie and Lillian were fortunate to have passed the milestone of their Platinum Wedding Anniversary (70 years) in 2007.

Those who were privileged to have known Leslie will remember him as the true gentleman he most certainly was.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Under the Knife!

At a recent Installation meeting the new WM, an eminent Cardiac Surgeon, installed his officers immaculately and with a touch of humour. However when he invested his JW he told him that his position was in the South, his duty to call the Brethren from labour to refreshment and refreshment to labour, that PAIN and pleasure might be the result. It brought the house down!  posted 16 Feb 2009

A Daily Advancement

Not to be confused with the Oration scheme, W Bro Ray Hollins has independently produced a series of booklets entitled "A Daily Advancement in Masonic Knowledge - One-Hundred Short Talks on the Craft" which could be presented in Lodges for the interest and benefit of members. These may be purchased from him directly; full details are available here as a PDF. Any proceeds are donated to Masonic Charities.  posted 16 Feb 2009

2012 Festival

2012 logoThe total amount at the end of December 2008 stands at £1,230,600  posted 22 Jan 2009

Oh Yes They Did

The annual Pantomime - this year the ever popular Dick Whittington - again went extremely well with a full house enjoying the professional and brilliantly performed show (see picture) at our Provincial HQ in Edgbaston.

Oh yes they didChildren from local schools attend the event, with support from the Birmingham & Solihull Taxi Drivers Association, who are responsible for transporting the children to various schools within the City. St. George's, which is walking distance from Stirling Road, alone brought almost 100 pupils, helping to fill the ballroom area.

Peter Astfalck did a wonderful job entertaining as the children arrived and during the interval, with each child going home with a gift from Father Christmas (Geoff Hill), as did all the Carers. Diane Hepworth, her staff and a support cast from the Province and Charity Office supported it all so well, with Eric Bear and his loyal band of Brethren from the Provincial Stewards Lodge helping both outside and in, organising the car park and stewarding in the children as they arrived.

Altogether, a great time was had by all.

And they did it againOur thanks go to the WMCA for the finance, to Chaplins (the Pantomime producers and actors) and MCL for the staging. Also, for the co-operation of all at Stirling Road, the organising by Roger Parker and his support cast (pictured), and of course the Provincial Grand Master who unfortunately was too poorly to attend.

It is the intention to organise another Pantomime in December 2009; two performances (am & pm ) for six schools as before and also for schools within the city with pupils who perhaps have never been to the theatre. In addition, we will be offering seats to 'special needs' children.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Taking the Lead

After a period when the Clarendon Suites were not performing too well, great strides have been taken in turning around the performance of the company. We are now reaping the benefits from the determination of our Provincial Rulers, and the efforts of our General Manager Diane Hepworth.

This has been made possible by the hard working and efficient team we now have, led by Diane. The PGM agreed that there should be a party to reflect our gratitude to the staff, kindly "suggesting" that the Directors roll up their sleeves (literally) and reverse roles by acting as waiters, barmen and kitchen staff.

The alternative team, led by a very familiar face wearing a Santa hat bearing the legend "the Boss", impressed the staff greatly.

Other familiar faces seen regularly around the Province demonstrated their ability to pull pints of lager froth, plough through mountains of washing up, organise a spoof raffle and assist with the disposal of surplus gateaux.

Hopefully the regular staff didn't have too much to clear up afterwards!

It was a wonderful gesture of our gratitude to everyone at Stirling Road who look after us so well - thank you all.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Quinquagennial Congratulations

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan, presented a 50 year Certificate to W Bro John Richard Bettinson, OBE, LLD, during the 659th Meeting of Cosmopolitan Lodge No 3391 on Tuesday 6th January 2009. This date is significant as it is 50 years to the day since W Bro Bettinson was initiated into Cosmopolitan Lodge.

Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson
Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson - Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson
There was a further cause for celebration, as the year W Bro John was brought into Freemasonry was the 50th Anniversary of Cosmopolitan Lodge. The mathematicians will have worked out that 2009 is the Centennial Year for this Lodge.

The Deputy PGM's presentation to W Bro John (see picture), who is a third generation Freemason of Warwickshire, was hailed by the Lodge members as being wonderfully memorable, informal and informative. W Bro John's Masonic background was detailed, together with his astounding commitment to serving the local community over a great many years.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Nonagintennial Glory

The Provincial Grand Master (pictured with Harry), the Deputy PGM, together with Assistant PGMs and other senior members of the Province and their Ladies attended a very special celebration early in January - a Birthday Party they had organised for W Bro Harry Owen, our Provincial "super salesman".

The PGM with Harry OwenHarry spent several years as Provincial Charity Steward, demonstrating his ingenuity and sales flair to generate funds for our charities, prior to being asked by the PGM in 2001 to consider helping the Province further by expanding his activities. This he readily agreed to and his Provincial merchandise catalogue now includes an extensive range including ties, handkerchiefs, cufflinks, pens, books, braces and a whole host of other items. He is the senior subscribing Past Master of Lodge of Israel No 1474, having been WM in 1970, and will be seen around the Province at most of the larger meetings with his wares.

Having left school at the age of thirteen and originally trained as a Jockey, Harry moved into the Soho markets selling ladies' fabrics. Following his army service he moved to Birmingham, where he spent most of his career as a furniture manufacturers' agent.

As a memento of the occasion a cartoon drawing depicting Harry in charge of a market trader's barrow was presented to him, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for his wife Margaret.

Thank you Harry, for all your splendid work, and many congratulations.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Going for a Stroll

At the meeting of St Philips Lodge No 5580 on 14th January the Brethren received a beautifully performed presentation of "The Walking Charge" by W Bro Andrew Skidmore (pictured with W Bro Peter Clarke, Master).

Andrew Skidmore and Peter ClarkeThe origin of this piece, which is a poetic encapsulation of the three Craft obligations, is something of a mystery. It is often regarded as an alternative version of similar works such as "The Mason's Pledge", "The Mason's Vow", "On Yonder Book" (the VSL) "The Canadian Charge" and "The Candlelight Charge", which can be traced back to at least the nineteenth century.

It does not seem to have ever been a part of the regular ceremonial workings of English Craft Freemasonry, but is a delight to watch when it does appear from time to time.

After the Lodge had been closed, Andrew gave a talk about "Freemasonry and the Internet". His own interest stemmed from the early days of his Lodge website several years ago. The massive expansion of the medium, supported by great advances in technology, make it an extremely useful source of communication, not only internally (corresponding with members), but also in providing potential candidates and the general public with details of our activities.   posted 21 Jan 2009

A Helping Hand

Support is what the Provincial Lodge Support Team is all about!

As the team enters its third year many Lodges have benefited from the generosity of the Brethren who give their time to support ailing lodges.

The concept of providing Lodges needing support, with willing Brethren who wish to visit, but are unaware of where to go, has been a great success.

To all you Secretaries out there, if you need support, be it a Tyler, DC or just Peter Sorrill helps outBrethren to visit and help bring life into to your lodge contact Peter Sorrill (pictured) atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 0121 475 1940.

If you would like to join this merry band contact Nick This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Further support is available from the Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge, which in addition to helping with ceremonies, can provide a full team if required. They also conduct ceremonies of passing and raising in their own Lodge, for members of other Lodges. Contact Lodge Secretary Les Long atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 01564 794457.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Last Call to the Target. . . . . and Beyond!

2012 logoDon't forget this special event on 31st January 2009 at which the Chief Executive of the Masonic Samaritan Fund, Richard Douglas, will be speaking.See the attached leaflet for full details.

All Lodges have received their invitation, will those which haven't confirmed their attendance please do so immediately by telephoning the Charity Office on 0121 454 0554.   posted 21 Jan 2009

A Moving Target

The 5th National Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition, hosted by the province of West Lancashire, will be held at the Dolphin Shooting Ground, Marsh Lane, Longton near Preston PR4 5JY on Saturday 27th June 2009.

The 100 Bird Sporting Competition will be shot over thirteen stands and shooting will start at 9.00am. Last Entries 2.00pm.

Dignitaries and non-shooters are welcome to attend the buffet lunch (£10 per head), and light refreshments will also be available on the ground. There will also be a "Have a go" stand under qualified supervision by CPSA coaches at £5 per 10 shots.

The Entry fee, to include buffet lunch, will be £45.00 payable in advance, or £55.00 payable on the day. Entries should arrive with the Secretary: W Bro Mike Casey, 7 Selby Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 2LY, Tel: 01253 403731, no later than Wednesday 17th June 2009.

A 30 Bird 2 man Flush will be available as a pool shoot, entry fee payable £8.00 per team, prize fund will be distributed after every 10 entries.

Further details of the West Lancashire Masonic Clay Pigeon Shooting Society, together with a Brochure, entry form and rules, are available fromwww.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk/pages/bodies/bodiespigeon.   posted 21 Jan 2009

And now a Quasquibicentenary!

The (Royal Arch) Chapter of Fortitude No 43 will be celebrating its 225th Anniversary at Stirling Road on Tuesday 10th February 2009. All Masons and their ladies are cordially invited to join the members at this momentous occasion.

For further details contact Peter Wellings (Scribe E) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 07973 135761.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Mentoring Seminar

The object of mentoring is to provide the newly made mason with explanations, information, and guidance about Freemasonry in his early Masonic life and beyond, the provider being an experienced mason who is willing to act as a Mentor, thereby hopefully retaining those brethren that have been recruited, and reducing any decline in membership.

The next presentation of the scheme will be held at The Warwickshire Masonic Temple, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston Birmingham on Saturday 14th February 2009 at 10.30am. The presentation should be complete by 12.00pm.   posted 21 Jan 2009

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.

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.