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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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 atwww.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.During 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
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 CBEand 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
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
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.
Learn more about the Third Degree
Learning more about the national Masonic Charities
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.The 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/anizvisramand 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
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
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
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 butone can be downloaded here posted 18/10/2008
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:
Ovarian Cancer Action - £1 million over five years
Masonic meeting places in Warwickshire are now easier to find
We have introduced a new featureon the meetings pageto 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 iconnext to the place you want to get to.
When the map appears:
click onGet directions To here
put your postcode into theStart Addressbox
A route map will appear complete with directions. It could not be more simple! posted 4/10/2008
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.
Learn more about other Masonic Orders
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 atwww.mtsfc.org.ukposted 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.htmlposted 23/9/2008
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.Seventy 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 wifeBarbara 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
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
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.
The 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
At the end of August 2008 the total stood at £1,100,437. posted 3/9/2008
The August 2008 edition of the Warwickshire Rose Croix newsletter,Warwickshire Rose, is now available andcan 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
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
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
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.
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
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.The 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.
The 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
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.
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
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
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.
This 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!”We 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.
RW 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.htmlwhere 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
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.
Major 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.
The 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.There 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
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 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
There 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
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
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 athttp://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
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 MarchingtonPAGDC, Anthony V N RichardsPAGDC, Richard L BarkerPGStB, Trevor L CavillPGStB, Alan J WellanPGSwdB, Nigel C BisterPSGD, David F MaceyPSGD, John W NixonPSGD, Raymond RookeJGD, Dudley Yorke-SummerskillPJGD, Frederick ColdrickPAGDCand Edward KettleboroughPAGDC. We also congratulate these Warwickshire Companions who have been honoured with appointments to or promotions in Grand Rank in the Royal Arch: Michael HarrisonGStB, Richard L BarkerPGStB, David MaceyPGStBand Ronald Eamonson OBEPAGSoj. 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
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
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
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.
The 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.
Joan 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 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
Walk 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
Euclid and his 47th Proposition
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.
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 customin the presence of some 100 Brethren, all of whom are shown in the photograph. posted 31/3/2008
" 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 Diningat 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
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
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 theHelping Heroes and their Familiesemergency 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.
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
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.
The RW Provincial Grand Master looks to all his Lodges for support for the Lecture. posted 7/3/2008
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 andcan be read here. posted 5/3/2008
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.
The 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
Temple Councillors and Liaison Officers
Do you want to know a secret - on another occasion?
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
A 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.
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
In 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
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.
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
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
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.
Do You Want to Know a Secret ?
Charity 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 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
The total raised at the end of December 2007 was £808,514. posted 7/1/2008
He’s behind you!
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
Thanks 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,from 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
New 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