Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Vanuatu Progress Report!

Vanuatu Cyclone: Warwickshire donations to the Recovery Fund.

You will recall that in March 2015, the Freemasons' Grand Charity donated £20,000 via the Red Cross, in emergency aid following the severe tropical cyclone which hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific. The cyclone caused widespread destruction to one of the world's least developed countries. President Baldwin Lonsdale appealed for immediate help, saying the storm had "wiped out" all development of recent years and his country would have to rebuild "everything".

There was significant impact on livelihoods, with 13% of people already living below the basic poverty line. Over 80% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity donation has been used towards delivering assistance in Water/Sanitation, Health and Shelter.

Following the initial donation by the Grand Charity, a number of Lodges asked if they could donate funds to assist the recovery, and I have been able to send over £5,600 to the Vanuatu Recovery Fund, thanks to 16 Lodges including one from Worcestershire, one very generous Brother, and a donation from the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association.

The report below describes the use to which our donation will contribute.

The Vanuatu Recovery Fund, managed by the Lodge of Discovery on the island, has made the decision to fund the rebuilding of the library at the Suango Mele Primary School, and to build a bigger and better structure than had previously existed. This will mean that the school can have a media centre within the library to make it suitable for the future study of the students.

The old library was behind one of the classroom blocks and next to a swamp and will now be moved to a much better location. It will now be more central to all the classroom blocks and nearby to the headmaster’s house. This will make the library a focal point within the school and will give prominence to the Masonic donations that made it possible.

Final planning is underway and by sourcing suitable materials locally, work is about to commence. Current projects on the site are going well with the help of other concerned parties: new classrooms are being built, older ones are being reroofed and other buildings are ongoing, so normality should return soon to the 400 young students of Suango Mele Primary School.

 

Reading Court collects £1000 for Warwickshire Air Ambulance!

The residents of Reading Court have just presented the Warwickshire Air Ambulance service with a cheque fo £1,000 - all of which has been collected by the residents!

This tremendous effort was undertaken by the hard work and generosity of the ladies in the photograph who are:

(from Left to Right)Ada Bate, Ann Smethers, Katie (Air Ambulance), Val Gibbons and Jenny White


 

Sugafest Family Fun Day is Here Again

Following the previous year’s amazing success, Sugafest is here again…and is even bigger and better! The charity fundraising event previously raised a phenomenal amount of money for Acorns and for 2015 the organisers have chosen to support four charities: Acorns Children’s Hospice, Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, Dogs for the Disabled and RNLI Lifeboats.

Attractions at the Sugafest Family Fun Day, taking place at Sugarswell Business Park on Saturday 20th June 2015, include: 

Fantastic children’s entertainment (10.30am – 2.30pm)

Live music by Old Slick Fire, The Duckworths, Molly Makes Mistakes, Mississippi Disco and more! (3.00pm – late)

Full size, blow up pub

Brewery tours with Cats Brewing Co.

Food and market stalls

Free hog roast by Parkland Meat

Vintage cars

Raffle

Fairground rides …and much, much more!

The Poster can be seen here

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children (6-16 years), free for children up to 5 years.  

The ticket process is super easy with an e-ticketing system in place. Simply click: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sugafest-charity-family-fun-day-tickets-15618463244?aff=eac2 and you will be directed straight to the Sugafest page to buy your tickets (the site is totally safe).  The tickets will then be emailed to you and should be brought on the day, where they will be swapped for fancy Sugafest wristbands. (You can also download the Eventbrite App and search for “Sugafest”)

Those preferring to buy hard copy tickets can either:

1) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2) Call Paul Regan - 07796001736

3) Call Amanda Douse – 07795384827

4) Contact the organisers Facebook – Sugafest Family Fun Day

The Sugafest Team really hope you’ll come along with your friends and family to support Sugafest and help them raise as much money as possible for these wonderful charities.

Please note: Ticket numbers are limited, so make sure you buy yours quickly to avoid disappointment!

Inspiration from Evolution

Michael Reeve and David Stanford, ready to start Following great success in 2014, Stoneleigh Park, in the very heart of Warwickshire, was once again the venue for the 2015 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, with some 700 members attending the meeting, and over 350 staying for the splendid lunch afterwards.

After welcoming everyone present, and opening the Lodge, the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey paid tribute to Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above since last year’s meeting. He then individually greeted the distinguished guests and thanked them and everyone else present for attending.

Various reports were presented by Provincial Officers, together with other formalities, including the re-appointment of the Deputy and two of the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, following which the PGM paid tribute to W Bros John Emms and Eric Rymer, the two APGMs who were standing down following long and devoted service to the Province. Two new APGMs, W Bros Philip Hall and Christopher Rogers were then invested and duly proclaimed. The new Wardens were invested, their predecessors having been gratefully thanked, after which various acting Officers were re-appointed, together with new ones for the forthcoming year, following which Past Ranks were conferred or confirmed for the new and existing Provincial Grand Officers.

The PGM with his new Assistants Christopher Rogers (l) and Philip Hall (r)

The PGM led a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday after promoting W Bro Fred Clarke to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, this very day having been Fred’s 89th birthday.

In his address to the meeting click here to read the PGM congratulated those who had received preferment in Provincial Grand Lodge, reminding them of the further great things expected from them, together with those who had received preferment within Grand Lodge. After thanking the retiring team of Acting Officers for all their support, in particular W Bros Stuart Esworthy, Keith Marchington and Peter Wellings, he announced the winners of this year’s lectures competition, W Bro David Joyce and Bro Gerard Somers, expressing his amazement and admiration for their content. They will deliver their papers at the June meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge, where they will also receive their prize winners’ trophies.

He then referred to the Strategy for Freemasonry which the Membership Focus Group has devised, to make Freemasonry fit to celebrate its Tercentenary in 2017 with confidence in its future, following which he quoted an inspirational address given by the PGM for Nottinghamshire. The address homed in on the absolute necessity these days to introduce change wherever needed, but stressed the need to embrace it with positive management and without fear.

Emphasis was placed upon the need for every lodge to introduce its own Three Year Plan, with seminars being held around the Province from September. Reference was also made regarding the sale of the Clarendon Suites, with an appeal for help as regards haulage, storage and manpower. The tercentenary celebrations in 2017 were outlined, as were various aspects of our charitable activity, especially regarding the PGM’s Famous Five initiative and the establishment of a relief chest at UGLE.

The PGM concluded by expressing his thanks to the Provincial Grand Secretary and all his staff, especially Wendy and Pam in the office for their hard work in organising the day, and to the Provincial Tyler, his team, the Provincial DC and everyone else who had taken part in ensuring the success of the annual meeting.

Following a collection which raised over £3,500 for one of the Famous Five charities (Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital), which was made whilst everyone sang "Jerusalem" with great enthusiasm and gusto, Rokeby Lodge 4118 invited the Province to hold next year’s meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge (to be held on Saturday 21st May 2016) under their Banner, giving assurance that all necessary arrangements will be made to accommodate members and guests to the high standard of past years, which the PGM was pleased to accept.

At the festive board the new Provincial Senior Grand Warden W Bro David Greenwood proposed a well received toast to the Provincial Grand Master, which included reference to the PGM’s many attributes and popularity within the Province, together with an element of sympathy for his future hopes for the aspirations of his beloved team, Sunderland Association Football Club. The PGM responded in true style, pointing out that aspirations may be challenging, but should always be realistic!

Ian Hart (l) and David Greenwood (r)

David is a professional Hotel Manager and also provides Management and Training Consultancy services. He is a member of the Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management Association, as well as being a member of the Guild of Professional Toastmasters. Married to Sian, they have no children.

He was initiated into Rokeby Lodge 4118 (Rugby) in 1989 and became Master in 2001. He was appointed as a Provincial Assistant Grand DC in 2007, re-appointed the following year, promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar the year after and then returned to active duty as Provincial Deputy Grand DC in 2010, again re-appointed the following year. His Craft pursuits include membership of a Leicestershire lodge, as well as the Warwickshire Installed Masters and DC’s lodges, in addition to his activity in the Royal Arch, Mark, and Antient and Accepted Rite.

David is extensively involved with the management of the Rugby Masonic buildings and a variety of local activities, and is a Grand Lodge ambassador for Freemasonry Cares.

His hobbies include Street and Grand Theatre, and as a qualified pyrotechnician providing plenty of whizzes and bangs at social events and local charities.

The toast to the visitors was proposed by the new Provincial Junior Grand Warden W Bro Ian Hart, who, following much advice, had determined to keep his greetings brief. This he achieved admirably, at the same time fully expressing great appreciation to all of our guests for their support, as embraced by a delightful poem he delivered, which had been penned by his wife Vikki.

Ian is a former fireman, having spent 24 years with the service in Hereford and Worcestershire, working mainly between Redditch, Bromsgrove and Evesham. A back injury led to his retirement from the service in 1999, following which he joined a company, helping them promote motorcycle communication technology, travelling around the country demonstrating their equipment, finally retiring from work in 2005. He has been married to Vikki for 23 years, and has a son and daughter from his first marriage.

Prior to his ten years service as Provincial Grand Tyler, Ian was initiated into Bedford Lodge 925 in 1996, also joining Friendship Lodge 5909. He is also a founder member of both the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 and the Michael Price Lodge 9853, as well as being a member of four Royal Arch Chapters.

He has sat as a JP in the Black Country since 2001 and his hobbies include motorcycling (where he is an advanced instructor), coarse fishing (being actively involved with the MTSFC) and previously, SCUBA diving.

A magnificent photo library taken on the day by W Bro Simon Grove can be seen here

Still Partying 103 Years On

At a joyous gathering attended by members of her family as well as many residents, Betty Fletcher recently celebrated her 103rd Birthday at a tea party at Reading Court.

The picture is of Betty holding a bouquet of flowers presented by Margaret Owen, one of the members of the House Committee and the widow of W Bro Harry Owen who was connected with Reading Court for many years. Betty is quoted as saying that the secret of a long life is a traditional roast beef dinner!

Reading Court is a Masonic Housing Association sheltered housing scheme situated a short distance from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. Details can be seen here

Still Partying at 103

Contact Us

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

For Masonic enquiries:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.