At the Lodge of Development 6566 VW Bro Alan J Wellan, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented a certificate commemorating 60 years service in Freemasonry to W Bro Bernard Rogers, P Prov SGW.
>Bernard was born in Birmingham in 1911 and will celebrate his 100th birthday next May. He was initiated into Lodge of Development on 28th April 1950 and has served in most offices of the Lodge, being Worshipful Master in 1967 and 1988. It was as recently as 2003 that he ceased filling regular offices in the Lodge, and he still gives guidance.
In those 60 years he has rarely missed a Lodge Meeting or a Lodge of Instruction and this is so even in his 100th year. He is an inspiration to all of his Brethren and is blessed with health and mobility.
Bernard's stories about life in Birmingham in the early years of his life were fascinating to all, as were stories about the bombing of Central Birmingham, where he lived and worked during the Second World War.
As the Deputy PGM said, an example to us all, and an example of the toughness of those who have lived through two world wars.
Bernard is looking forward to a holiday in Spain with his son and his family! posted 5 Dec 2010
£25,000 Donation to Haiti
The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated £25,000 to the British Red Cross, funding supplies to combat the cholera epidemic that is taking hold in Haiti.
Following January's devastating earthquake, over a million people in Haiti have been living in make-shift camps. It is these difficult living conditions which have resulted in the first cholera outbreak in Haiti in over a hundred years, due to a lack of decent sanitation facilities and access to clean drinking water.
The UN announced yesterday that over 28,000 people in Haiti are now being treated for cholera symptoms and it is estimated that close to 2,000 people have already died. The death toll is expected to rise until the situation can be brought under control. Since cholera broke out in Haiti in mid-October it has spread much faster than predicted and is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of people, according to the UN.
Cholera is caused by contaminated water or food and frequently occurs following a natural disaster. It is an intestinal infection that causes diarrhoea, vomiting and severe dehydration and can very quickly lead to death if left untreated.
A severe shortage of supplies is said to be hampering aid efforts and doctors and nurses are being overwhelmed with requests for help. The Grand Charity's donation will provide hygiene and sanitation packs, which the Red Cross will distribute to help stop the spread of the disease.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity donated £30,000 for immediate assistance following the January earthquake, in which an estimated 230,000 people were killed and over 300,000 injured. A Relief Chest was also opened by the Council of the Grand Charity, which raised £93,000. The Chest, which has now closed, is helping to fund the re-building of a school in Leogane, Haiti.
For further information about the work of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, visit their updated website, which delivers a fresh and modern feel whilst introducing great functionality and improved content. www.grandcharity.org posted 5 Dec 2010
Service of Remembrance
The annual Remembrance Service held at Stirling Road was attended by approximately 150 freemasons, their families and friends, including several past and present members of the armed forces, the Scouts, and members of the Royal Arch Lodge Representatives' group who were meeting in the building that morning.
(l-r) Garry Malpas, John Cowan, Paul Wheeler, Norman Blackburn
This moving Service, which commenced with messages of Remembrance from five different faiths, was led by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, and conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan and Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplain W Bro Paul Wheeler. The Bugle player was W Bro Norman Blackburn of Concord Lodge 3239.
Wreaths and tributes were placed by the PGM, the Deputy and all of the Assistant PGMs, as well as leaders of different orders and several other members of the congregation, including our own ex-servicemen. posted 21 Nov 2010
The Warwickshire Branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity (www.mtsfc.org.uk) hosted a fishing day for children at Heathcote Lakes near Warwick recently. Twelve children from a special needs school travelled to the lake with three of their teachers to enjoy a day of sunshine and fun in the countryside, catching rainbow trout. Each child had a helper - both masons and non-masons - to assist with fly casting and landing the fish, of which 40 were caught during the day. The children were given a splendid lunch, prepared by W Bro Bob Croxall and his wife Julia, assisted by W Bro Peter Clarke, who was on hand as the "First Aider". He fortunately was not needed!
Fishing day for children at Heathcote Lakes near Warwick
All the children received certificates and some received medals for special efforts - presented by W Bro Gordon Bourne, President of the MTSFC, who had travelled up from Hertfordshire for the event. Happy smiles were all around and it was very apparent that the children had had a wonderful time. And it was an extremely rewarding day for the helpers as well.
In addition to many other significant events which took place in 1950, Albert (Bert) Ernest John Randall was initiated into Kenton Lodge 5046 in the Province of Middlesex, and at the recent Installation meeting of Alauna Lodge 6266 in Alcester Town Hall, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented him with a 60 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate.
Alan Wellan (l) presenting Bert with his Certificate
Born on 20th August 1920 in Edgware, London, W Bro Bert had a happy family upbringing and on leaving school joined his father in his talent and enthusiasm for engineering. The family initially moved to the Midlands before the second World War, at the outset of which Bert and his father's company was partly re-located by the war department to Alcester, where Bert spent many happy years playing for Alcester and Ragley Cricket Club.
Bert met his lovely wife Barbara at a dance at Alcester Town Hall and they were married in 1945. They were blessed with a daughter (who sadly pre deceased them), three grand children and four great grand children. After the war Bert and his father formed a new company in Redditch which went from strength to strength, with Bert taking over as Managing Director when his father retired, as well as being involved at senior level with other well known local companies, travelling the world extensively as an expert in his field.
Golf has played a big part in Bert's life and he has only recently had to stop playing - not bad for 90 years of age! He and Barbara were also very keen on horse racing, spending many happy days at Stratford, Cheltenham and further afield. They have over the years supported Studley and Alcester life and are always keen to participate in local activities. Bert is a member and past President of the Alcester and District Probus club and also a member at the local Unionist club.
Having joined Alauna Lodge in February 1956, Bert became Worshipful Master in October 1971. Sir Stanley J Harley, the then Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire made a special effort to attend as he and Bert headed up rival engineering companies and there was some pretty intense competition in the field. Needless to say Brotherly love prevailed and it was a nice gesture from the PGM which Bert appreciated greatly.
Bert thoroughly enjoys all aspects of Freemasonry and is very keen to preserve both the traditions, and maintain the high standards of the Lodge. His knowledge and ability to present ritual with both dignity and clarity have been of the highest order, and his contribution to all aspects of the Lodge over the years has been immense, resulting in him being held in the highest esteem by every member. posted 21 Nov 2010
Happy New Year
The Annual General Meeting of The Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Ltd was chaired by RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, in his capacity as Chairman of the Company.
After paying tribute to the remarkable success achieved by his predecessor RW Bro Michael Price CBE, and thanking all members involved with the management of the commercial activities of the company, the PGM promised to maintain the high standards now enjoyed. These were a direct consequence of the professional diligence and skill of our General Manager Diane Hepworth, who reported that although trading conditions were difficult during the present economic downturn, the company had achieved a small profit for the preceding year.
Business development initiatives introduced were showing positive results, with new relationships being developed, which included attracting major Masonic events from London.
The regular Temple Councillors' meetings, which now include a variety of presentations and items of interest, continue to be well supported. Consideration was being given to holding extra meetings around the Province.
Also at the meeting were the Company's auditors, who advised that they were very comfortable with the management controls and financial information procedures now in place. The members present approved the accounts for the preceding year, as well as a proposition to form a subsidiary Company, The Clarendon Suites Ltd, this being for structural purposes only and which would have no effect upon day to day operations.
The PGM later chaired the AGM of the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association, at which the members present voted a further £100,000 be donated to the 2012 Festival. posted 21 Nov 2010
W Bro Eric Rymer, Assistant PGM, presided at the 1250th meeting of Elkington Lodge 1016, when Bro Steven J Turner was Installed as Worshipful Master. He was accompanied by W Bro Jonathon Amies, ProvAGDC.
W Bro Eric was charged with cutting the Lodge Birthday cake, which later formed a delicious accompaniment to the Festive Board.
A guest of the Lodge at the meeting was W Bro Edward Lord JP, the Chairman of the UGLE Universities Scheme whom W Bro Eric was delighted to meet, having only very recently been appointed by the PGM as the Provincial Liaison Officer for the Universities Scheme. posted 21 Nov 2010
Reading Court Tour
Senior members of the Province, including the Deputy and four Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, both Provincial Grand Wardens and the Provincial Grand Secretary, were received by RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, in his capacity as President of Reading Court. Following coffee with several House Committee members they were officially welcomed by the President, who announced that he had appointed VW Bro Alan Wellan, the Deputy PGM, as Vice-President of Reading Court.
(l-r) David Stanford, Eric Rymer, Anthony Rudell, David Macey and John Emms, captivated by Pam Jowers
W Bro Charles Dyer, Chairman of the House Committee, then gave a short presentation about the Masonic Housing Association and Reading Court, which was followed by a tour of the building led by Mrs Pam Jowers, the Warden. Those present agreed that they had learnt a lot about both the MHA and Reading Court of which they had previously had limited knowledge. posted 21 Nov 2010
From Mrs Val Edwards, Chairman of the Ladies' Gift Fund for Masonic Charities:
Christmas starts at Stirling Road on Saturday 20th November (note: not 27th, as printed in the newsletter) when the festive season will be started off by RW Bro David Macey, the Provincial Grand Master, when he performs the opening ceremony at 10.30am on the dot.
This is your summons to attend "The Ladies' Gift Fund's 58th Annual Christmas Fayre". Come and bring the family, it promises to be a most enjoyable social morning, with live music, many stalls selling gifts, cards, Christmas decorations, cakes and produce, plants and much more. There will be games with prizes to be won, a raffle, a toy tombola and a bottle tombola, all in the presence of many friends (old and new) including Father Christmas himself. Do come along and enjoy the fun.
Opening Ceremony at 10.30 - the event runs till 12 midday.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
All good wishes for a super day, Val, and thank you for all you do.
Details of the work carried out by the Ladies' Gift Fund can be seen on page 428 of the current yearbook. posted 13 Nov 2010
Hat Trick for the Sethi Family
Following the installation of W Bro Rajesh Sethi, his family now has three members in the chairs of their respective mother Lodges. See Lodge News for the full story. posted 13 Nov 2010
A Light that Heals
The last meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 saw a very busy programme, very ably managed by W Bro Philip Hall, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, him also being the Lodge DC. This included the investiture of W Bro Eric Rymer as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Keith Marchington as Provincial Grand Orator, W Bro David Holloway as Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar, W Bro Peter Summers as Provincial Grand Organist, W Bro Trevor Sturt as 2012 Festival Director and W Bro Mike Midgley as Lodge Support Team Manager.
(l-r) Mike Midgley, Peter Summers, Keith Marchington, Eric Rymer, David Holloway.
The main item on the agenda was the Installation of W Bro Roger Mac, Past Assistant PGM, as Master of the Lodge, which was conducted by the Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy PGM, in a sincere and meaningful manner.
After appointing and investing his officers, and presenting the IPM with a Past Master's Jewel, the WM gave an address about the benefits of laser treatment to alleviate pain. This followed his own personal experience, having for quite some time suffered incapacity and considerable pain to his back (probably from having lifting something too heavy), despite trying out alternative treatments and eventually surgery. He had heard about laser therapy previously, and eventually decided to try it, with great effect, and now on a regular basis.
The WM reflected upon the incredible variety of uses derived from laser technology, ranging from medical benefit (his being just one of the many available, several others which he mentioned), industrial and commercial applications, right through to the military destruction which could be inflicted by the same technology.
In thanking the WM for his most interesting and informative address, RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, observed that Roger's cheerful demeanour throughout many years suffering would have caused very few to realise just how bad this had been, and how carefully he had kept this hidden. He also pointed out that the Masonic Samaritan Fund could assist brethren to obtain alternative treatments not available on the NHS if their suffering and circumstances made this necessary.
W Bro Trevor Sturt, the new 2012 Festival Director, was delighted to report that the Festival Fund had now exceeded £2 million, and that with the continued support of every Lodge in the Province he was confident the original target will be met, despite a reduction in membership and difficult economic times. He hoped a "charm offensive" on other Provinces and Orders would provide additional support, and encouraged all brethren to continue their magnificent efforts.
Trevor then presented 14 mauls (nee gavels, re-named by him!) to those Lodges which had achieved their targets since the last meeting, advising that a further 16 Lodges were over 90% there, which when reached would mean 75 Lodges so far. He also announced that Lodges which had reached their target would be able to purchase an additional pair of mauls for the sum of £120, proceeds going to the Festival Fund.
W Bro Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, advised any Lodge Almoners or Charity Stewards present who were unable to attend the forum held earlier in the week that they could collect their briefing guidelines and information packs from the charity office. He also announced that a further 72 Teddies had been requested by the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby, these being part of the highly successful ongoing TLC project for children admitted into hospital. posted 11 Nov 2010
RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Brian Holdsworth with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate and lapel badge at Loyal Travellers Lodge 2733.
After stating how special an occasion this was (being his own Mother Lodge), the PGM teased out details of Brian's life, which according to his cv had started at an early age! Born and brought up in Hay Mills, Birmingham, Brian had, to the delight of his father Harold (CM), joined the family building firm at the age of 15, and had been very active in his youth, playing football for the Boys Brigade, table tennis, and bass drum in the Church band, meeting his wife-to-be Patricia from the Girls Brigade.
Following National Service in the Dragoon Guards and Ordnance Corps, Brian married in 1958 (later producing three children) and built his first house in Solihull, then considered a long way off from his home patch. Having been influenced by the many masonic committee meetings held at his parents' home, he eventually asked his father how to become a freemason, and was quickly ushered into Loyal Travellers Lodge (of which his father was Master in 1956) becoming Master some 14 years later in 1974. During 20 years as Preceptor Brian had provided support, praise, enthusiasm and firmness within the LOI, and epitomized all that a good mason should be.
A Proclamation was made by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, after which Brian thanked the PGM for his presentation. Brian then reflected upon the 32 years since he had first looked upon the PGM as a candidate, and the near fairy tale story which followed. Every member had been overwhelmed by the honour and privilege brought upon the Lodge by RW Bro Macey's appointment as PGM, in acknowledgement of which Brian presented him with a silver salver, etched with the banners of both the Loyal Travellers Lodge and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, to which the PGM suitably responded with grateful thanks. posted 11 Nov 2010
Racing the Sun
W Bro Rob Pike, Master of Silhill Lodge 4786, accompanied by three of his work colleagues, completed this year's Race the Sun tri-challenge to raise funds for Action Medical Research (AMR). A full report of the event can be seen on the Lodge News page. posted 11 Nov 2010
The Annual Service of Remembrance will be held at Stirling Road on Saturday 13th November at 10.45am. The Service is multi faith and will last about 30 minutes. All Brethren, their families and friends are invited to attend to remember in particular those Freemasons who made the supreme sacrifice in many theatres of war and conflict. Dress code is smart casual and anyone present can lay a wreath or a cross. posted 11 Nov 2010
During a recent spell in Warwick Hospital, W Bro A John Atkinson was visited by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, who on behalf of the PGM formally presented him with a certificate of promotion to the rank of P Prov JGW.
The Deputy PGM was accompanied by John's wife and members of Sutton Coldfield Lodge 8960, of which John was Master in 1990 and 2008. John is also Secretary of the Warwickshire Masonic Golfing Association and has set a personal target to be at their spring meeting next year. posted 5 Nov 2010
£434,000 Ends Year
The last major grants of 2010 have been approved at the October General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, totalling £434,000. Twelve charities have been awarded grants for projects based throughout England and Wales in the categories of medical research, support for vulnerable people and youth opportunities, as well as one religious building grant.
These include a grant of £50,000 to Crisis, which opened a new centre in Birmingham this year providing education, training and employment services to single homeless people.
Full details about all the grants can be seen here. posted 30 Oct 2010
Family Hat Trick
Whilst visiting Solihull Lodge 8088 in his capacity as Provincial JGW at this year's Installation meeting, W Bro David Stanford noted that the new Master was a Lewis. Nothing very unusual in itself, except that at the previous year's meeting, which David had attended as Deputy ProvGDC, the new WM had then also been a Lewis.
(l-r) Martyn Hale (father), David Stanford, Julian Davis (son-in-law), Steve and Stewart Smith (Solihull)
The following night David presided at Aston Manor Lodge 6323 where a father installed his son-in-law (also a Lewis). The father and son-in-law attended the Solihull meeting and are related to the father and son from Solihull, who attended as guests at Aston Manor the following night, where the picture was taken. posted 30 Oct 2010
At a recent Masonic Cocktail Party held on board the P&O Cruise Ship Ventura the sum of £150 was donated to the Captain's Charity. The event was attended by 19 Masons 2 of which were from Warwickshire. posted 30 Oct 2010
Into the Path of Light
The Lodge of Unity 567, meeting at Alderson House, Warwick, is presenting a demonstration "Into the Path of Light" by the Worcestershire Provincial Demonstration Team on Wednesday 3rd November.
The ceremony takes place in the 3rd Degree and is therefore only open to Master Masons. Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices are also very welcome to attend, but will be asked to retire from the Lodge during the demonstration itself. The only cost of the meeting is the meal at the festive board of £19.00.
The evening's charity is in aid of Acorns Children's Hospice, Worcester.
"Creature Comforts" at Severn Street
The 85 years old central heating pipes in the Dining Room at our Birmingham Severn Street Masonic Hall have been replaced with new thermostatically controlled radiators as part of the refurbishment of the Central Heating system. When the temperatures drop outside this winter, members and visitors can now rely on those 'Creature Comforts' being maintained in a warm and inviting environment. posted 30 Oct 2010
During their recent holiday to Canada our Past Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael Price CBE and his wife Dawn took the opportunity of indulging in one of their favourite sports with spectacular success, as the picture (below, left) shows.
The salmon was caught in the Bonaventure River, which is in the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. It rises in the Chic-Choc Mountains and flows south to empty into Baie des Chaleurs near the town of Bonaventure. The river, named after the Italian Saint Bonaventure, is about 121 km (75 miles) long and is noted for its clear, cold water, making it well known as a great place for Atlantic Salmon fishing. posted 30 Oct 2010
Semi-retirement for Roy
The year's Annual Provincial Meeting saw the retirement of W Bro Roy Marshall PAGDC after 19 years as the Craft Provincial Grand Organist. The whole Province should feel enormously grateful to Roy's long and faithful service which was rightly recognised by the then Provincial Grand Master's presentation to him of his Certificate of Merit.
Much of Roy's work was done behind the scenes in liaising with the Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Chaplain in respect of the liturgical and musical content of the Annual Church Service and any Consecration Ceremonies. He then would advise the Provincial Choir of the proposed music and arrange suitable rehearsal dates at Stirling Road. His musicianship was always to the fore during those rehearsals and the Choir would feel well prepared by the time the occasions arrived to sing under his baton (not that he ever used one!)
He was helped greatly by his wife Janet, who usually played the piano for those rehearsals and together they will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding the day after the Annual Royal Arch Church Service next March when E Comp Roy will be in charge of the Choir as he is still the Provincial Grand Organist for the Royal Arch. posted 30 Oct 2010
The Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey awarded his first 'promotion on the floor' as PGM whilst visiting Vellum Lodge 5845. During the second rising he requested the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to bring W Bro Harry Burrows to him and duly promoted him from Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. The promotion was then proclaimed by the Provincial DC.
Harry has recently installed his successor into the chair of Corinthian Lodge 4432, having himself served as Master for the fourth time. He is an honorary member of Lodge of Endurance, Lodge of St Christopher and Warwickshire Scout Lodge. He is perhaps best known though as a Guest Organist for some 19 other lodges throughout the Provinces of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire. This was indeed a worthy recognition of Harry's zeal and dedication to Freemasonry in the Province over many years. posted 30 Oct 2010
All brethren are invited to a talk by members of the Royal College of Surgeons about advances they have made in various surgical techniques in recent years , including experiences gained from working with British Forces in Afghanistan this year.
Full details can be seen on the flyer here. posted 30 Oct 2010
The Lodge of Fellowship 5579 is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on Friday, 22nd October 2010, at Stirling Road, and will be initiating a new member to mark the event. All brethren are invited to attend and further details can be seen on the Lodge News page. posted 26 Sep 2010
Masters and Wardens Gather
Over 200 Brethren, representing 116 Warwickshire Lodges and the Province, attended the annual Masters' and Wardens' Dinner at Stirling Road, presided over by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey. The dinner provides an opportunity for the senior Lodge Officers to meet each other, arrange exchange visits between each other's Lodges, and meet with the PGM and Provincial Team in an informal setting.
In an ebullient address following the dinner, the PGM referred to the great strength of the Province, advising that for the first time in some years initiations had exceeded resignations and deaths. The Stirling Road Open Day, as well as all the others around the Province, had been a great success, and we should be proud that many letters had been received from the general public thanking us for allowing them an insight into our activities.
He also stressed the vital importance of Lodge Almoners in supporting their brethren in time of need, urging Masters to ensure they appointed the right person in their Lodge to ensure this.
The PGM outlined the new initiative whereby Lodges were encouraged to invite him to their non-installation ceremonies, but only when members were comfortable with this, and were not likely to find his presence too scary!
With the 2012 Festival proceeds having topped £2 million, Lodges were to be congratulated on maintaining momentum, and some eighteen gavels will be presented at the forthcoming Installed Masters' meeting on 30th September, when W Bro Roger Mac would be Installed as Master and W Bro Eric Rymer invested as Assistant PGM.
He concluded by thanking everyone for their enthusiastic greetings and good wishes, exhorting all members to enjoy their freemasonry, as much as he was certainly intending to do. posted 26 Sep 2010
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, is trying something new. On Wednesday 15th September he visited Lodge of Grace 6211 who held an extraordinary meeting to initiate two Candidates. They have so many candidates waiting that they required this extra meeting to get their Masonic season underway.
(l-r) David Macey, Denis Hale, Nigel Griffiths, Barry Sadler
The W Bros Barry Sadler (Master), Geoff Whiteley, Richard Reed and Andy Hawkins did an excellent job in ensuring that Bros Nigel Griffiths and Denis Hale were initiated in a most splendid manner, with Bro Stephen Croxall being an outstanding JD. The PGM was on hand to congratulate them both and present them with their Initiate's handbook.
This was the first of the PGM's monthly visits where he wishes to attend a Lodge meeting, outside of the Installation cycle, to witness the many excellent ceremonies that are taking place within the Province. Next month, October, he has been invited to Athol Lodge 174 at Severn Street to see a raising ceremony.
Any Lodge which would like the PGM to come to one of its meetings, on a monthly visit, to see a ceremony they are going to perform, should contact the Provincial Office, tel: 0121 454 4422. posted 19 Sep 2010
PGM Radio Interview helps Open Days
Prior to the Heritage Open Day weekend, participated in by eight of the Masonic Temples in Warwickshire, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, was interviewed on local radio where he outlined the principles of freemasonry as well as promoting the event to the listeners.
To listen to the interview, as broadcast on "Ed Doolan at Lunch" on BBC WM, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.
(l-r) Candidate Richard Bowles, Michael Price, David Macey and Ed Doolan
The Stirling Road event was an unqualified success, thanks in no small part to the radio interview, with attendance exceeding many people's expectations.
Broadcaster Bro Ed Doolan MBE also visited on the day, and was greeted by the PGM and Immediate Past PGM RW Bro Michael Price CBE who had attended a meeting of the Michael Price Lodge earlier in the day.
(l-r) Charles Dyer, Margaret Owen and David Bateman manning the Redding Court display.
Over 250 members of the public visited the Warwickshire Masonic Temple and were shown exhibits from the Museum and Library, received talks on Freemasonry from Senior Masons of the Province and viewed stands and displays explaining the work of Masonic and non-Masonic charities.
MENSA members flanked by Garry Malpas (l) and Peter Sorrill (r)
In addition four organized tours of the building had been pre-arranged for SPICE and MENSA members and these proved to be very successful judging by the interest shown and number of questions asked by the groups.
Harry Owen was at his post as usual and raised over £250 with his sale of Masonic merchandise.
A Welcoming Committee
Members of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge provided escorts for our visitors and were kept busy throughout the day answering questions and acting as guides.
The event was ably supported by representatives of the Royal Arch and the Mark degrees and all concerned should be congratulated on their efforts. posted 19 Sep 2010
Freemasons donate £50,000 to the Pakistan Floods Appeal
One month since the major flooding in Pakistan began, the President of the Grand Charity approved a further emergency grant of £25,000 to the Red Cross, bringing the total donated to £50,000. The situation has worsened with over 17 million people being affected and thousands of people dead and injured. More than 1.2 million homes have been damaged or destroyed in the worst floods in Pakistan's history.
The decision was taken to fund the Red Cross due to their current presence in Pakistan and infrastructure capabilities, allowing them to provide immediate aid and assistance.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity had been one of the first organisations to issue an immediate £25,000 to the British Red Cross Pakistan Flood Appeal - one of the largest initial pledges the Red Cross received within the first 24 hours of opening the Appeal.
These funds will help to provide:
- Hygiene kits and sanitation facilities to stem the spread of preventable diseases.
- Safe drinking water to flood-affected families.
posted 19 Sep 2010
In response to the earthquake, which took place on the South Island of New Zealand, the President of the Grand Charity approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the District Grand Lodge of South Island, NZ.
These funds were directed to the Mayor of Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fund, to help the wider community with their immediate needs following the earthquake.
Some 100,000 buildings were destroyed in the earthquake, leaving many people displaced and without access to their homes, schools and places of work. In parallel with support for wider relief efforts, The Freemasons' Grand Charity has offered to assist any of the 340 individual Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England, plus widows or their other dependants, who have been affected by these events, through Masonic Relief Grants to assist with their immediate needs. posted 19 Sep 2010
All Master Masons are invited to attend the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 to be held at Stirling Road, on Thursday 30th September 4.45pm, where the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey will be investing W Bro Eric Rymer as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and VW Bro Alan Wellan will be installing W Bro Roger Mac into the chair of King Solomon of the Lodge.
The new 2012 Festival Director W Bro Trevor Sturt will also be presenting Commemorative Gavels to further Lodges who have met or exceeded their target.
All Lodges are invited to participate in a Quiz Night being held at the Knowle Temple on Saturday 25th September.
Contact and other details can be seen here. posted 12 Sep 2010
The latest Newsletter has now been posted to the homes of all Warwickshire Masons.
A copy can be seen here. posted 12 Sep 2010
Memory Lives On
The late W Bro Rodney Pitham was a Trustee of Acorns Children's Hospice Trust, and in his memory a plaque has been placed in the garden of the Selly Oak Hospice. The plaque was unveiled by Susan Pitham pictured here with Deputy Provincial Grand Master VW Bro Alan Wellan (left) and W Bro David Butcher, Vice-Chairman of Acorns. posted 5 Sep 2010
The Immediate Past Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE, will preside at the Athelstan Lodge 1333 Lodge of Instruction Festival on Thursday 16th September. Full details can be seen on the Lodge News page. posted 10 Aug 2010
The annual Summer Lunch for the residents of Reading Court was attended by about 50 of the residents, together with members of the House Committee, including RW Bro David Macey, the new President, and their partners.
The indefatigable Harry Owen with his working tools - The indefatigable Harry Owen with his working tools
The buffet lunch is cooked by W Bro David Stone, master elect of The Lodge of Amity 3845 and the roast beef was again expertly carved by W Bro Harry Owen, whose wife Margaret is a committee member. posted 10 Aug 2010
Our congratulations go to the following Brethren for their appointments within the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, who will be invested at the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge 4538 meeting on Thursday 30th September 2010.
- W Bro Eric Rymer as Assistant Provincial Grand Master
- W Bro Trevor Sturt as 2012 Festival Director
- W Bro Keith Marchington as Provincial Orator
- W Bro Peter Summers as Provincial Organist
- W Bro David Holloway as Provincial Assistant Registrar
- W Bro Michael Midgley as Lodge Support Team Manager
posted 22 Jul 2010
At a packed Special Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, over 600 Warwickshire Masons and visitors from other Provinces attended the Investiture of RW Bro David Macey as the new Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire.
After opening Provincial Grand Lodge exactly on schedule, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge VW Bro Alan Wellan welcomed everyone and said what a joy it was to see so many brethren present to celebrate this important occasion.
He then received the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes who acknowledged the splendid work carried out by the previous Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, but pointed out that this was David Macey's day. The Pro Grand Master outlined the purpose of the meeting, namely to invest W Bro David F Macey the Provincial Grand Master designate, who he had met previously, but only got to know last night, and to whom all looked up to in every way. He commented on the size of the Province and advised Lodges to make visits by the new Provincial Grand Master very special occasions.
(l-r) Peter Lowndes, David Macey and Nigel Brown
During the following immaculately exercised proceedings, carefully orchestrated by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Sebastian Madden, the Patent of Appointment was read by the Grand Secretary VW Bro Nigel Brown, and prayers were offered by the Grand Chaplain. The Provincial Grand Master designate then took his Obligation, after which he was invested, proclaimed and saluted.
The new Provincial Grand Master then announced the appointment of VW Bro Alan Wellan as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and addressed him on the duties of his office, and who was then duly obligated, invested, and he then received his new patent of appointment before being proclaimed and saluted.
W Bros Roger Parker, Nigel Bister, John Emms and Michael Morris were reappointed as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, all reaffirming their Obligations and receiving their new patents of appointment before being proclaimed and saluted accordingly.
The appointment of the other Provincial Grand Officers was confirmed, after which the RW Provincial Grand Master addressed the Brethren. He confirmed what an honour it was to be installed as Provincial Grand Master for this wonderful province and then went on to thank all of those involved in making it such a special day. Particular thanks were singled out for the MW The Pro Grand Master and his team from London, the RW Provincial Grand Masters from other provinces and other distinguished brethren who accompanied them.
Eric Rymer (l) and Trevor Sturt
He concluded by informing the brethren that he had appointed W Bro Trevor Sturt as 2012 Festival Director with immediate effect, and also that it was his wish to appoint W Bro Eric Rymer as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who would be invested at the next meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge on Thursday 30th September 2010.
Following the formal Masonic finery, a magnificent festive board was enjoyed by all present, which again demonstrated the ability of the Clarendon Suites operations team to cater for large scale dining functions. After the meal the MW The Pro Grand Master referred to various national matters and encouraged brethren to develop our relationship with the Royal Arch. He then presented a "Kent Cube" which was a personal gift from the MW The Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, to the Provincial Grand Master.
During his response the Provincial Grand Master presented the Pro Grand Master with a silver paper knife with the bear and ragged staff of Warwickshire for its handle as a memento of this occasion. This was hand crafted by W Bro Ken Downes and was very well received. In conclusion, the Provincial Grand Master exhorted members to thoroughly enjoy their freemasonry and repeated his thanks to all. posted 8 Jul 2010
Nuneaton Ladies celebrate 25th Anniversary
Members of the Nuneaton Masonic Ladies Fellowship Club celebrated their 25th Anniversary at Nuneaton Masonic Buildings.
The ladies had a wonderful afternoon celebrating, complete with a beautifully iced cake made especially for the occasion, with bubbly and plenty of party food, all organised by themselves.
Celebration Cake, showing a broken column
Although Evelyn Gibbs, a founder member who has been (and still is) the Chairwoman for many years, was unable to attend, the other two founder members, Mrs Margaret Haswell and Mrs Barbara Lindon, were present. During the festivities the ladies raised a toast to the gallant group of Brethren who have supplied transport and the serving of tea and coffee at their meetings throughout the years. For the anniversary meeting these were Don Adams, Jack Chetwynd, Bill Silvester, Mike Goldsmith, Ken Burtenshaw and Dewi Cooke.
(l-r) Joan Burtenshaw, Olive Cadman, Mavis Lowe, Barbara Lindon, Edith Price, Rita Eastall (treasurer), Jean Massey, Yvonne Humphriss (acting Chairlady), Margaret Haswell (secretary), Trixie Stammers, Brenda Rowley, Margaret Silvester.
The club was originally started for Masonic Widows but to help gain more members it was decided some years ago to open the membership to all ladies whose husbands still were or had been members of a Masonic Lodge. The Ladies enjoy the companionship and meet regularly on the first Wednesday of the month in the Nuneaton Masonic Buildings. They also go out for lunch and sometimes have a function at one of the members homes.
Masons Fly Back to Baginton
Senior Freemasons from Warwickshire and Northamptonshire paid another visit to the operations base of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) at Coventry Airport, Baginton, to hand over further grant aid cheques totalling £8,000, as part of the ongoing support for the magnificent work carried out by the dedicated team who run the WNAA.
Steve Porter, Air Operations Manager
Captain Richard Craske, Pilot
Michael Price CBE (representing Warwickshire)
Dr Adam Manson
Paramedic Brian Dwyer.
The WNAA provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service directly to the counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Milton Keynes area, as well as cover for Birmingham, Solihull and other areas in the West Midlands, and was nominated by the provinces of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to receive funding from the Freemasons' Grand Charity, which supports air ambulance charities in the delivery of their potentially life-saving services. To date, more than £500,000 has been donated to what is considered the busiest voluntary emergency service in the country.
The air ambulance charities in England and Wales fly about 19,000 missions per year at a cost of about £0.5 million per week, met almost entirely by donations from the public. The speed with which the ambulances are able to respond to emergencies and transport patients to hospital greatly improves the survival chances of individuals involved in serious road traffic collisions, medical emergencies and other incidents, 365 days of the year.
In 2009, Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Lodges across England and Wales were invited to nominate an air ambulance charity to receive a share of a total grant of £180,000.
Further information about WNAA can be found on their website: www.wnaa.co.uk posted 7 Jul 2010
Reading Court Takes Off too
A further donation of £1,377 was made to the WNAA by Reading Court, the Masonic Housing Association home in Stratford-upon-Avon. The majority of this was raised at the annual Strawberry Tea which was attended by over 100 people; money had also been raised at previous raffles and also from a "change bottle".
Pictured (l-r) are
Jean Wattison (resident)
Glynis Welton-Ward (WNAA)
Derek Wattison (resident & member of David Garrick Lodge 4243) and
Pam Jowers (Warden, Reading Court). posted 7 Jul 2010
Our congratulations go to Bro Kenneth Taylor of Victory Lodge 4009, who has been appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. Ken, 69, from Earlsdon, said he was "delighted" to be honoured for services to local government. He was Lord Mayor of Coventry in 2003, and led the council from 2004 until 2010. posted 5 Jul 2010
London Reception Marks Conclusion
A reception was held at Freemasons' Hall in London to mark the conclusion of the Historical Records Survey. Those present representing Warwickshire included Bob Russell, Tony Richards and Jim Dunlop on behalf of the Craft, together with John Saint, William George and David Pettit on behalf of the Royal Arch.
(l-r) William George, John Saint, Bob Russell, Peter Lowndes, Jim Dunlop, Tony Richards, David Pettit
Dr Malcolm Aish gave a warm welcome to the delegates and introduced the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes. Len Reilly, the Project Director, gave a review of the Survey and some interesting statistics.
The importance of improving storage for Lodge/Chapter records was stressed, and grants are available to repair damage, caused by previous poor storage, to existing records. This might include, for example, removal of sellotape and rebinding. The age distribution of the returns was interesting:
- Before 1750 11 lodges
- 1751 - 1850 259 lodges
- 1851 - 1950 3406 lodges
- 1951 - date 2285 lodges
Every Province has been sent a disc summarising its return, with a copy of each Lodge/Chapter's survey, which records and provides valuable research information for the future.
The vast body of data that has been collected will represent a source of information on surviving records in England and Wales. This will be especially useful to those researching for Freemasonry's tercentenary in 2017. The Warwickshire returns included 3,065 pieces of information and totalled a creditable 79% - well above the average for the country.
The Pro Grand Master, also addressed the meeting. He expressed his great appreciation of the work done in collecting the information, and the help given by the Provincial co-ordinators over the last two years. Director of Special Projects, John Hamill, added some useful remarks about the importance of the Survey and its results, and especially welcomed the information, which proved how helpful Freemasonry has been to the social developments in the country over the last three centuries.
A series of questions and observations were put by those present, which included reference to the production of books to mark the event in 2017. It was hoped that any final publications would be affordable to the members of Freemasonry, and that these would most likely include one item for general reading and perhaps another for serious research, both to include many illustrations and pictures. posted 5 Jul 2010
A national charity that supports Armed Forces personnel is seeking to expand its services after being awarded £250,000 by the Freemasons' Grand Charity.
The huge sum of money was awarded to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help (SSAFA), as part of a scheme that targets national charities to distribute funds at regional level.
Claire Hoather, director of fundraising at SSAFA said: "We are over the moon with the funding. The level of support shown by the Grand Charity is so positive and generous.
"Rather than our central operations deciding where the money will be spent, each regional office will be allocated part of the funding, and they will decide how it can be used to serve the local area.
"With our Armed Forces involved in conflict at the moment, it is vital that we can support them and their families as much as possible.
"At the SSAFA, we focus on providing help wherever it is needed. Our regional managers will assess what services should to be provided to Armed Forces personnel, and ex-military servicemen. We will then use the money awarded by the Grand Charity to find a solution."
Ms Hoather added that services could include projects such as providing practical and emotional support, organising and funding home adaptations, or short stay accommodation for families visiting injured relatives.
Laura Chapman, chief executive of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, said: "The immensely valuable work carried out by SSAFA Forces Help is widely supported within the Masonic community, and this latest grant is further evidence of our benevolent commitment in support of the armed services."
The Freemasons' Grand Charity is a grant-making organisation that supports groups in need of help. Since 1981 it has made grants of more than £80 million. For more information visit www.grandcharity.org
SSAFA is a national charity that supports those who serve in the Armed Forces, and those who used to serve. It provides health and social services, a confidential support line, and helps the families of those who serve. For more information visitwww.ssafa.org.uk posted 27 Jun 2010
The Ministry of Funny Handshakes
This was the headline given by The Times in their recent article following an interview and guided tour of Grand Lodge HQ at Great Queen Street, given by Grand Secretary Nigel Brown. The article can be seen at www.uglepio.co.uk/items_of_interest.php
The Times runs a blog for their articles, to which comments can be added by subscribers at www.timesplus.co.uk/tto/news/?login=false&url=http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/families/article2559157.ece posted 27 Jun 2010
Leadership and Tradition
The theme of this year's Annual Church Service was "Leadership and Tradition", in direct tribute to the retiring Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, who was escorted from Alderson House to the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick, by his acting Provincial Officers and Grand Officers in full dress regalia. Once in the Church, which was filled with Warwickshire Masons and their wives and partners, the congregation and visiting civic dignitaries were welcomed to the service by the Deputy Church Warden, W Bro Patrick Wilson. Prior to and during the service, the choir under the leadership of W Bro Roy Marshall, sang anthems and impressed all present with their true professionalism.
The PGM, with his Sword and Standard Bearers
After the Opening Ode, Masonic representatives of five World Faiths related their own messages of Leadership and Tradition. The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro John Cowan, led the congregation in prayers, which was followed by a rousing rendition of the hymn "Jerusalem". Readings by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Master and further hymns ensued, followed by prayers led by the Assistant Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro Paul Wheeler, which were concluded by the Provincial Grand Chaplain. The Rector, the Reverend Dr Vaughan Roberts continued the theme of Leadership and Tradition in his sermon, and congratulated the Provincial Grand Master for his achievements, saying how pleased he was that Warwickshire Freemasons were continuing their long association with the Church.
On his retirement day, the Provincial Grand Master addressed the congregation, and thanked everyone for their support. He thanked the civic dignitaries for their presence, and paid tribute to the Vicars who had welcomed the Province to the Church over many years, and gave thanks to the various Provincial Grand Chaplains who had designed the format for the services. He paid tribute to W Bro Roy Marshall and the choir for their wonderful accompaniment, again for many years. RW Bro Price thanked all the ladies for their support of their partners, and particularly to his wife Dawn for her unstinting support during his many demanding Provincial roles. He observed that they would shortly be celebrating their golden wedding anniversary, and would now be able to pursue their love of fishing with his forthcoming freedom. On completion of his address, the entire congregation gave him a lengthy standing ovation, with thunderous applause sounding throughout the church.
Finally, the closing ode was sung, blessings and messages were given from the five faiths present, and following the National Anthem, the Provincial Grand Master and Mrs Dawn Price said their goodbyes to all at the church doorway. A truly memorable service and most fitting conclusion to the service given by RW Bro Michael Price, who will be fondly remembered throughout the Province for many years to come. posted 18 Jun 2010
The June meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 was a memorable occasion, comprising a short Lodge meeting followed by a relaxed evening dining with our Ladies.
It was also the 75th birthday of our outgoing Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael J Price CBE.
The Lodge business included the election of W Bro Roger S Mac as the next Master of the Lodge. In addition, 30 brethren were elected as members, most of whom were present, making an impressive sight as they lined up to receive a hearty welcome from the Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan.
With everything running well to schedule, there was plenty of time for an impromptu rendering of "Happy Birthday To You" to the PGM following congratulations from the WM before the Lodge was closed.
Alan and Joy Wellan
The Ladies' Night commenced with a drinks reception on the Concourse with music being played by W Bro Peter Summers. The 266 diners were then summoned and enjoyed an excellent dinner with the toasts and responses having a wonderful combination of humour and salutation. The Toast to Joy Wellan whose ladies' night it was, and to all of the ladies, was proposed by W Bro Tony Rudell, and Joy of course replied and thanked the WM and brethren for the ladies gift, a silver book mark engraved with the square and compasses, and W Bro Keith Beckett who was the ladies' night Secretary. The WM proposed a toast to the PGM and his wife Dawn paying tribute to him and to Dawn on what was one of his last appearances as PGM.
Both the Master's and Ladies' songs were sung in a truly moving manner by the Brothers (father Chris and son Simon) Grove, to the delight of all present. posted 18 Jun 2010
All Welcome at National Service Day on 27th June
The eighth National Service Day at the National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR (tel: 01283 792333, www.thenma.org.uk ) on Sunday 27th June concludes a full week of exciting activities to celebrate Armed Forces Week.
W Bro Ron Eamonson OBE (pictured, left, being presented with his OBE) has again accepted an invitation from The National Service Foundation to lay a wreath on behalf of the Province at the commemoration service, which starts at 2.00pm, to honour all Warwickshire Freemasons who served their National Service in the Armed Forces from 1939 to 1965.
The event is organised by the Chairman of the Foundation W Bro Gerald Rose of Sutton Pilgrims Lodge 7780. The Senior Officer on parade will be Major General Everard CBE (GOC 3rd Division) and at the end of the service there will a march past.
In addition to the many individual memorials of all sectors of the armed forces, of which there are over 160, there are also memorials to the Merchant Marine and other civil defence organisations, as well as a wonderful Masonic Memorial sponsored by the Province of Staffordshire. Other monuments include the Chapel, and the breathtaking Memorial which was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen on 12th October 2007. This is a stone circle costing £6 million which at the unveiling had the names of over sixteen thousand of those who have died in service engraved on it. Sadly, every month more names continue to be added.
Ron is a long serving member of Number 1(f) Squadron Association Royal Air Force, having served with the Squadron in 1954 and 1955, who will be holding their reunion at the Royal Air Force club in London on the 11th September. Members of the Association along with their Wives will be joined by "the Boss" and current Harrier Pilots of the Squadron who returned from Afghanistan last year.
For those who have not yet visited the National Memorial Arboretum, this is a splendid opportunity to enjoy a wonderful tribute to those who served and died in the service of their country. It is a tremendous day and everyone is welcome - there we will be several thousand people in attendance from all over the UK and from many other Countries throughout the World. Although there is a restaurant where hot and cold meals are served (and a gift shop) why not take a picnic and a couple of bottles of wine, looking out for Ron and many other familiar Masonic faces? posted 16 Jun 2010
Shipston on Stour Roast Pig
The Master of Shipston on Stour Lodge 9418, W Bro Geoff Ridgway, will be hosting a Pig Roast on Sunday 4th July, with proceeds helping towards the Lodge's 2012 Festival target.
Full details and contact numbers can be found here. posted 15 Jun 2010
The 'Lodges of Progress', which is a group of those called Progress within UGLE, have arranged a Golf day at Harborne Golf Club on Friday 6th August.
Full details and contact numbers can be found here. posted 15 June 2010
£98,100 WMCA Annual Donations
This year's donations to non-masonic charities by the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association totalled £98,100, shared between 187 recipients in sums between £300 and £4,500.
Pictured are representatives from many of the recipient charities, who received their cheques at a lunch hosted at Stirling Road by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE (far left).
The WMCA Trustees evaluate the financial situation on an annual basis and decide an amount which can be afforded to donate and donations are subsequently made to registered charities which operate within the area covered by the Province of Warwickshire.
The process is managed on behalf of the Trustees by Tony Newby, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, together with Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, from the Charity Office, Stirling Road.
A full list of this year's recipients is available here. posted 15 June 2010
Mountain goes to Mohammed
W Bro Roger Parker, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Francis Badman with his 50 years' Service to Freemasonry certificate, following a challenging set of circumstances.
92 year old Francis was initiated into Scinde Lodge 4284 (Pakistan) in 1960, after which he joined Union Lodge 767 (Herts) in 1977, became a Founder of Junior Chamber Lodge 8902 (and Master in 1983) and then joined Holy Well Lodge 9437 in 1992.
After it became apparent that Francis would not be able to attend Lodge for his presentation, arrangements were made for this to take place at a gathering of his wife Gwyneth, two sons Jonathan and David, Worshipful Master Bob Turner and Almoner Reg Hamer (who co-ordinated the event), at the Badman's home.
Jonathan had flown in from Malaya, where he is Senior Warden of his Lodge there, managing to avoid the volcanic ash, with David travelling to the occasion from London. Unfortunately however, W Bro David Macey, the APGM who originally volunteered to make the presentation, did get caught out by the ash and was stranded in the Canary Islands. To make matters worse, Francis' certificate was waiting safely locked up in David's house!
Pictured is Roger handing Francis his certificate, applauded by Jonathan
But all ended happily, with Roger Parker being available and more than happy to stand in at short notice, and a replacement certificate being provided by the Provincial Office. Roger made the presentation in a most delightful manner, to the joy of Francis and everyone else present, and the original certificate and badge were eventually delivered after David's extended holiday.posted 15 June 2010
A recording was made of the address of the Provincial Grand Master to Provincial Grand Lodge on 15 May 2010.
To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.
posted 9 June 2010
Trip to the Palace
VW Bro Victor Keene MBE shares his momentous St George's Day occasion:
"It was a bright sunny day as my wife Judith, daughter Mary and grand daughter Victoria and me made our way by taxi to Buckingham Palace. A very kind friend had recommended me for an award and here we were attending the Investiture. The letter had come in November last year and we were sworn to secrecy until the announcement on New Year's Eve. From then on it was 'what should we wear?' New frocks for the ladies and top hat and tails for me were the order of the day.
We were assembled in a line awaiting our entry to be announced. Through the doorway we could see Prince Charles surrounded by equerries and Yeomen of the Guard. 'When your name is called, step forward give a court bow and address the Prince as His Royal Highness or sir. He will invest you with the insignia, have a few words and shake hands. You step back, another court bow and retire.' It went like clockwork, the Prince was very gracious and spoke very encouragingly.
Back in the inner courtyard were the photographers, we had our cameras back and could also take our own pictures. It was a really splendid and very happy occasion." posted 6 June 2010
Members and visitors at Knowle Lodge 8001 recently enjoyed a wonderful evening celebrating a 50 year certificate presentation by W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, to Past Master W Bro John Whiteley DFC, PProvSGW.
John, who will be 92 in June, was born in Nottingham and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross following his service in the Royal Air Force. He afterwards worked for the Norwich Union Insurance Company for over 40 years, during which time he met Mary, who sadly died after 52 years marriage to John in 2003.
During a very varied life John studied Spanish, French and Greek, and achieved an Open University degree in Pure Maths. He has helped teach people to read and write, and with money matters and problems, as well as being a school Governor and active member of the Conservative Party for many years.
But his passion throughout his life has been the RAF, where he was Secretary of the 619 Squadron for many years. In the 1990s he was put in touch with the crew of a U Boat his RAF crew had bombed, thus forming an annual reunion which lasted for 10 years.
John was initiated into Chetwode Crawley Lodge 395, Dublin, in 1960 and became a joining member of Knowle Lodge in 1986, attending 125 of the 136 meetings held since then, and was installed as Master in 1997. He was honoured with Provincial Grand Rank in 2003, and promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden by the Provincial Grand Master on the floor of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge in November last year, in recognition of his service as a RAF Lancaster Bomber Pilot during the Second World War.
Last summer John published his memoirs entitled "Soldier turned Airman", and he is pictured (centre) with the Master of Knowle Lodge W Bro Brian Smith (left) and Michael Morris. posted 25 May 2010
Valedictory Address at Annual Meeting
Over 800 Warwickshire freemasons attended the packed Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, presided over for the last time by the outgoing Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, who retires on 13th June 2010 following the Church Service in Warwick.
Prior to the opening, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Philip Hall, briefed all present (warning of the dire consequences of any mobile phones ringing), after which he supervised the incoming processions of Grand Officers, distinguished guests (including 12 visiting Provincial Grand Masters) and our own PGM escorted by his Officers.
Our PGM in procession
After paying due respect to those Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above, the PGM individually welcomed the distinguished guests, and all others present.
Following various reports from Provincial Officers and the expedition of other administrative matters, the PGM confirmed the re-appointment of the Provincial Rulers, after which the Officers for the ensuing year were appointed and invested, and Past Ranks conferred or confirmed.
He then announced the award of his Certificate of Merit to W Bro Roy Marshall and W Bro Malcolm Wright, whose backgrounds and long and distinguished services to freemasonry in Warwickshire were detailed by the Provincial Grand Secretary.
The PGM then addressed the meeting (a full transcript is available here) during the course of which he reflected upon his term in office, offering thanks to the many who had served during that period. He concluded by presenting all good wishes for the future, which was followed by a lengthy standing ovation.
After reviewing progress with the 2012 Festival, and thanks for all the fantastic ongoing support, W Bro David Macey, Festival Director, announced that to date over £60,000 had been received as a result of the Sponsored Walk, with many more pledges to be collected when Lodges resume next season.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, then gave a moving valedictory address to the PGM, (a full transcript can be seen here), in which he outlined in detail the difficulties, achievements and dedication seen during the term. He then presented an inscribed silver salver, and a cheque for the PGM to spend on holidays with his wife Dawn, together with an abundant supply of chocolate and a bottle of vintage champagne. In thanking the brethren for their kindness, the PGM dwelled upon some of the events mentioned, and stated that most of the chocolate would be gone before he arrived home! He would not miss the job, but would miss the brethren.
The PGM announced that the next Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire would be W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, which news was greeted with hearty acclamation. The Investiture would be by the Pro Grand Master and the Grand Secretary and would take place in the morning on Thursday 8th July, followed by lunch.
Provincial Senior Grand Warden
Next year's annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 21st May. posted 25 May 2010
Warwickshire Bodger Hosts Public School Lodges
All members of Warwickshire Lodges, and their Ladies, are invited to attend the Public School Lodges Festival, returning after 20 years to Rugby School on Saturday 3rd July.
The programme includes entertainment and a music recital for the Ladies, whilst a Lodge meeting is held in the morning. A sumptuous lunch follows, after which informal tours of the school will take place, concluding with afternoon tea prior to departure.
Not Invited: Harry Flashman, Alleged Old Rugbeian, war hero, charlatan, lusty bounder and bully.
For full details of the Festival, together with an outline of the various activities and their surroundings, as well as a tour of the School, its history, and details of the Old Rugbeian Lodge 3551 visit www.ormasonicfestival.com. posted 25 May 2010
New PGM Announced
At the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE, announced that the next Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshirewill be W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, which news was greeted with hearty acclamation.
His Investiture will be by the Pro Grand Master and the Grand Secretary and will take place in the morning on Thursday 8th July, followed by lunch. posted 21 May 2010
All Tylers have been invited to attend workshops to be held on 22nd May (Stirling Road), 3rd June (Warwick) and 17th June (Coventry). Those who would like to consider the role of a Lodge Tyler, and any other interested brethren are also very welcome to attend.
On very rare occasions we have the opportunity of rejoicing at the Consecration of a new Lodge, and even more rarely to see a top team from Grand Lodge in action. So when both are brought together, led by the Assistant Grand Master, with the additional touch of some exclusive exhibits, it really is an event to be remembered.
Over 140 Brethren attended such a magnificent occasion at the Consecration and Installation Meeting of the Michael Price Lodge 9853 held at Stirling Road, by Right Worshipful Bro David Kenneth Williamson, the Assistant Grand Master. His consecrating team comprised a veritable who's who of very senior masons, including the Provincial Grand Masters of Staffordshire and Worcestershire acting respectively as Senior and Junior Wardens, and the Assistant Grand Secretary as Installing Officer, all immaculately supervised by both the Grand and Deputy Grand Directors of Ceremonies.
The Assistant Grand Master welcomed everyone present and exhorted them to sing heartily and enjoy, which was not difficult, being led by W Bro Roy Marshall and ten members of the Provincial Choir. During the ceremony an Oration was given by Warwickshire's W Bro John Cowan, who acted as Chaplain, which referred to the qualifications and attributes of the members who had united with the common bond of their interest in Jaguar cars, with the "leaping cat" as their emblem. He paid tribute to our own Provincial Grand Master, after whom the Lodge was named and who was to be the first Master, and presented all best wishes to the members of the Lodge for many years ahead.
After the Lodge had been Consecrated, Dedicated and Constituted, VW Bro Graham Redman, the Assistant Grand Secretary, installed RW Bro Michael J Price CBE (who had been presented by W Bro Harry Owen) as Worshipful Master, following which greetings were given by the Assistant Grand Master on behalf of all of the Installed Masters present.
The Worshipful Master then appointed and invested the Senior Warden W Bro Roger Mac, well known for his motor sport enthusiasm, and the Junior Warden W Bro Michael Adams, who had been the driving force behind establishing the Lodge. In appreciation of this, and in his capacity as PGM, the WM then made the delightful gesture of appointing W Bro Adams to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden of Warwickshire, which was greeted with acclaim by all present.
The Silver Paper Knife
Following the appointment and investiture of the rest of the officers, and other important matters of procedure, the WM presented the Assistant Grand Master and the Assistant Grand Secretary with a memento by way of thanks for their duties as Consecrating Officer and Installing Officer respectively. These were hallmarked silver paper knives, the handles being replicas of the "leaping cat" mascot, beautifully crafted by W Bro Ken Downes.
A sumptuous Festive Board followed the proceedings, prior to which all presentmarvelled at the presence of two magnificent Classic Jaguar cars on display in the reception area of the dining room. These were the famous Alpine and Tulip rally winning 1938 SS 100 LNW 100, and the 1956 D Type, NKV 617, both kindly loaned for the event by Founder Member W Bro Alan Lloyd.
With the SS100 (l-r) David Williamson, Alan Lloyd, Michael Price
Without doubt, everyone had a splendid day and went away feeling very happy and contented. posted 19 May 2010
Phil Culverwell has kindly agreed to help with the logistics and running of future mentoring workshops.
Mountaineers go extra mile
Many congratulations to Bros Dave Marlow and Ivan Smart of Greville Lodge 4773 who have returned safely, albeit slightly worse for wear, from the challenge of their winter climb of Mount Toubkal, raising £6,500 for the Acorns Hospice. See the Lodge Newspage and the Greville Lodge website www.grevillelodge.org.uk/pages/toubkal.htm (limk removed) for further details and photos. posted 19 May 2010
Whence Come We?
The guest speaker at the last Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 meeting was VW Bro John Hamill, who spent many years as Librarian and Curator at the UGLE headquarters in Great Queen Street, and who is one of the world's leading experts on freemasonry.
John Hamill (l) and Alan Wellan
Having previously set up a specialised Communications Department for Grand Lodge in 1998, becoming Director of Communications, John has more recently become Director of Special Projects. His remit here takes him back to his roots as an historian, charged with producing a history of Freemasonry in England and Wales over the last three hundred years, as part of the celebrations marking the tercentenary of Grand Lodge. This will highlight the social and cultural interaction of freemasonry with contemporary society throughout those years, in which the recent historical records survey (which is the largest archive research project ever attempted in England) plays an important part.
Whilst the logical place to start such a huge task would be at the beginning - the very origins of freemasonry - it is impossible to determine where these lie, and very difficult to draw links between records of operative masonry and the guild system in the late 1300s, and evidence of speculative masonry developing during the 17th century. Our ritual implies that we go back to the building of King Solomon's Temple, but this has to be recognised as a symbolic representation. Early Masonic authors seem to have applied creative license, combining romance with imagination in their writings, some claiming it goes back thousands of years, and may have evolved out of a schism in the original Christian Church. More recently, a variety of theories have been put forward, mainly by non masons, claiming that the origins lie in the medieval Knights Templar, the so called Priory of Sion or the Egyptian Mysteries.
But upon examining the evidence available, most of these theories have gaping holes in them, often relying upon unrealistic "assumptions" and papering over large timescale differences. They also rely upon the "when, how and where" elements, without exploring the fundamental "why" question.
The late 16th and early 17th centuries were times of political and religious bigotry, from which civil war arose. Zero tolerance to liberal thinking was the order of the day, providing a seedbed - the "why" - for those who believed in the importance of morality and civility. The Bible, universally known by all, provided a variety of storylines symbolising the principles embraced by our forefathers, which also provided the anchors of freemasonry.
New evidence continually presents itself, and as an historian John hopes that one day definitive evidence explaining our origins will satisfy his enquiring mind. But he also rather hopes that perhaps that day may never arise, as it would herald the end of the delightfully stimulating and ongoing discussions taking place everywhere as regardsWhence Come We?
Silhill Lodge 4786 members with their gavel (l-r) Colin Coldicott, Jim Pike, Robert Pike, John Hamill, Rob Morgan, Reg Willsher, Brian Gibbs.
In addition to VW Bro Hamill's fascinating talk, W Bro David Macey presented sixteen gavels to Lodges who had already achieved their contribution target for the 2012 Festival, which to date totals the magnificent sum of £1.8 million.
Also, details of thirty two brethren who had applied to join the Lodge were announced, very much reflecting the attraction of the program of events always enjoyed by members and guests.
David Rawlins (l) and David Macey.
A delightful festive board following the meeting, during which the Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, presented VW Bro John Hamill with a cheque for £600, for the benefit of the Library and Museum at Great Queen Street. The Mark Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Rawlins, also presented a cheque for £2,100 to W Bro David Macey, this being the proceeds from the highly successful and enjoyable Chinese Valentines Ball organised by the Mark Social Committee at Stirling Road in February to support the 2012 Festival Appeal. posted 1 May 2010
March 2010 has shown an all time record, with 3,152 unique visitors, who visited 6,409 times, looking at 20,391 pages with 95,092 individual hits; three times the number of visits of 3 years ago.
Reading at the average speed for an adult, and without a break, it would now take a full day to read everything on our web site. And every word is indexed and searchable! posted 29 Apr 2010
Home and Dry
The 2012 Festival Charity Walk, trodden from start to finish by Festival Director W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, was an outstanding success. Many retinues supported him over the four day walk, which transversed the Province along the delightful paths of the Warwickshire canals, and will have raised a significant sum towards the Festival target.
The full report here is based upon David's daily blog. posted 26 Apr 2010
In a joint statement, W Bros Peter Sorrill and Philip Barnett have announced with excitement that the Lodge of Hope 4436 and St Alphege Lodge 1431 have successfully balloted to amalgamate, becoming the first Lodges in the Province to do so. The Lodge will now become the Lodge of Hope and St Alphege 4436.
Back in May 2009 the seed of possible amalgamation was sown, and discussions between senior Brethren of both Lodges started to take place. The pleasing number of junior Brethren in the Lodge of Hope, and the strength of Past Masters in St Alphege seemed to be a good basis on which to begin discussions, and it soon became apparent that a successful outcome was possible.
By September a planned timescale had been put in place with the ever present proviso that the issue could, and would, only be decided by a ballot in open Lodge by both parties.
Brethren were encouraged to openly discuss their feelings on the matter. It quickly transpired that the Brethren of both Lodges were of the same mind, and that the joint strength gained by an amalgamation would go a long way in securing the future of both Lodges.
Pictured are Peter (left) and Philip, who headed up the discussions between the two Lodges.
Agreeing the detail of such a marriage would be a daunting prospect, but by being open minded from the outset, and expressing their feelings with honesty and brotherly love, all the Brethren (including the few who felt a little uneasy with the new venture, especially changing the name) feel that the brave step they have taken will prove to be a great success, and will be emulated by many Lodges in the Province over the coming years. posted 21 Apr 2010
Each year in the last week of March a Luncheon is held in remembrance of the birth of Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini (1728-1813), who was descended from an ancient and noble Italian family, qualified as a surgeon at Bermago and specialised in dentistry.
After a short sojourn in the Court of France he came to England where he developed a tincture for the treatment of toothache which he gave to the poor free of charge. He was initiated into the Mourning Bush Tavern Lodge 116 in 1762 and also took an active part in Royal Arch Freemasonry, but his greatest achievement was the formulation in 1788 of a scheme for establishing a school for daughters of deceased and distressed Freemasons.
Fifteen girls between the ages of 5 and 10 were admitted to a school in a rented house near Euston Station. The school was called Royal Cumberland Free Mason School for Little Children where daughters were under the protection of HRH The Duchess of Cumberland. It evolved into the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, which together with the subsequently established (1798) equivalent for boys eventually became separate charities. The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys took over the running of the former charities in 1986. The fascinating history can be seen on the RMTGB website at www.rmtgb.org/about-the-trust/the-history-of-the-trust
Ruspini was accorded the rank of Chevalier in 1789, which was an exceptional honour for one who changed from the Roman to the Anglican Church.
Warwickshire has been represented at the lunch since 1994 by W Bro Ron Eamonson, who was a member of the Council of the Trust serving on finance and the petitions sub committees for over twelve years, and who is now a Patron.
The lunch is attended by Trustees (who are Provincial Grand Masters having held RMTGB Festivals in their provinces), current and past members of the Council, members of the professional bodies who work for the trust, and prominent members of the Craft. The lunch was previously held at different venues, but for the past two years has been at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth. posted 19 Apr 2010
W Bro Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Charles Anthony (Tony) Kemp with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate at The Aston Manor Lodge 6323.
Pictured (l-r) are W Bro Tony Greenshields (Master), Tony Kemp and Nigel Bister.
Following his initiation into the Lodge in 1959 at the age of 31, Tony went on to become Master in 1972/73 and again in 1992/93. His excellent ritual was well respected and he was elected as an honorary member in 2003 following his long and loyal service.
Born and bred in Birmingham, living with his grandparents, he enlisted for the war effort at an early age, after which he held a variety of jobs, spending much of his career in the motor trade, before moving into the property market, in which he is still active.
Tony's happiest times have been astride a motor bike, his passion including competition and trials successes at International level in both the UK and abroad during the 1950s, as shown by his many cups and trophies and his garage full of classic bikes. Other sporting activities included Golf, Football and Boxing, more lately Snooker, sporting prowess obviously being a family trait with his sister Ann having represented the County at Badminton and his youngest brother Ray doing the same at Speed Skating.
It was Tony's mother Edith who was the reason behind him joining Aston Manor Lodge - she told him to spend just one night a month with his father Charles Thomas, who is still remembered by a few members of the Lodge with much love and affection. posted 18 Apr 2010
The Installation meeting of Silhill Lodge 4786 marked a very special, emotional and unique event in its history when Bro Robert Pike was installed in the Chair of King Solomon by his father W Bro Jim Pike, ably assisted by his elder brother W Bro Jamie Pike.
Pictured (l-r) David Shakeshaft, Jamie Pike, Robert Pike, Jim Pike, Michael Morris.
W Bro David Shakeshaft, the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, was the Presiding Officer, also present was W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who is a Past Master of the Lodge. posted 18 Apr 2010
New RMTGB Ambassador
W Bro Eric Rymer has very kindly agreed to be Warwickshire's Ambassador for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
The Ambassador Scheme is an initiative to improve the information flow between the Provinces and the Trust, and is aimed at addressing a number of specific areas, the key ones being:
- Increasing awareness of the work undertaken by the Trust
- Identifying potential petitioners through greater understanding of the core aims
- Identifying potential members of Council
- Improving local understanding to achieve national coverage
- Highlighting the success of initiatives such as TalentAid
- Raising the positive profile of the Trust.
Eric will undoubtedly promote the Trust with aplomb and diplomacy, and we wish him well in this mission. posted 1 Apr 2010
Rather than trying to excuse himself, W Bro Dewi Cooke, Charity Steward of Newdegate Lodge 5102, is determined to take part in the 2012 Festival Charity Walk taking place over the Easter holiday, despite being 10,549 miles away. He is on holiday with Bro Colin Taylor, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, and who is also a subscribing member of the Lodge. They will be arranging sponsors for their own local walk, avoiding en route the crocs and 'roos we don't tend to see much of on our own canals.
Now, just think how much would Dewi raise if he carried on walking until he arrived home . . . . ? Our own Dewi Macey will walk fifteen miles each day. At that rate, it would take around 700 days to get from Oz to Brum, allowing for the odd puddles (aka oceans) en route, arriving back well in time for the Festival Celebration in September 2012, some 900 days away!
London Olympics 2012
Metropolitan Grand Lodge is considering some events to coincide with the London Olympics in 2012. It is understood that the Library & Museum is to organize an exhibition with a sporting theme at this time.
Ideas being discussed include a fund raising dinner for masons and non-masons, with their partners, from across the globe at the Grand Connaught Rooms; a reception in the Library & Museum; a lodge meeting and other such events.
It will enhance the events if a number of international sports persons, though not necessarily athletes or Olympic sports, with Masonic connections (members; partners; family members) can be present at one or more of the events. In order that MetGL can approach these masons for their support, they are seeking the names and contact details of such masons (or their family members).
If anyone knows of such, or needs further information, please contact:
W Bro Geoff Gillo
Metropolitan Information Officer
Rt Hon Lord Cornwallis, OBE, DL (obit)
The death on 6 March of our Past Pro Grand Master Lord Cornwallis breaks a chain of more than one hundred years of continuous distinguished service to Freemasonry by the Cornwallis family.
Fiennes Neil Wykham, 3rd Baron Cornwallis was born in 1921, educated at Eton and served in the Coldstream Guards during the Second World War. As a Farmer of extensive orchards he served on major committees in the House of Lords and the European Commission protecting the interests of fruit growers and small businesses in general, for which he received his OBE. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent in 1976.
He was initiated in Douglas Lodge 1725, Maidstone in 1954 and was Provincial Senior Grand Warden of Kent in 1962 and Senior Grand Warden in 1963. An interest in charity took him to the former Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, of which he was Chairman 1966 - 1972.
In 1971 he was appointed Assistant Grand Master. Shortly after, the Bagnall Committee was set up to make a fundamental review of Masonic Charity. On its report being accepted he was asked by the Grand Master to chair the Grand Master's Committee to implement the major changes which resulted in the reorganisation of the Charities into their present form, no mean feat.
In 1976 he became Deputy Grand Master and Second Grand Principal and in 1982 succeeded the late Lord Cadogan as Pro Grand Master and Pro First Grand Principal, serving for ten years.
His period as Pro Grand Master was not an easy one. Public perceptions of the Craft, political interference, major enquiries into the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity by the Methodist and Anglican Churches and the problems of the former Royal Masonic Hospital took up a great deal of his time. He gave real support to the then new policy of openness (not popular at that time) and lived to see it begin to bear fruit.
After his retirement in 1992 he continued to serve on the Grand Master's Council and his experience and wise counsel were much appreciated by his successors. posted 27 Mar 2010
Viewers watching the recent quarter final of BBC's Mastermind will have seen a relaxed and confident W Bro Brian Southgate, Past Master of Knowle Lodge 8001, narrowly beat his opponents following an excellent first round, four point lead, from his specialist subject, Sir Alex Ferguson, who during the introductions Brian had expressed his great admiration for.
The other competitors had varying levels of success with their own subjects, covering 17th Century English History, Startrek Voyager and Sir Edward Elgar, but Brian kept his own in the general knowledge round, managing to win by just one point with his very last question, which asked him which metaphor arose from Poet and Author John Milton's 1634 masque "Comus".
Well done, Brian, and all good luck for the next round. posted 27 Mar 2010
St George appears again
Solihull Masonic Temple (at Knowle) are holding a flag waving and singing night on 24th April. Tickets are £19 each and include a four course meal, with entertainment from the multi award winning duo, Street and Lain.
Full details here. Early booking is recommended. posted 27 Mar 2010
Many congratulations go to the following Worshipful Brethren for their preferment in Grand Lodge, their investiture taking place in London on Wednesday 28th April 2010.
- Philip Laurence Hall, Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- Garry Horace Derek Malpas, Past Grand Standard Bearer
- Anthony Paul Newby, Past Grand Standard Bearer
- Thomas William Seekings, from Past Grand Standard Bearer to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
posted 14 Mar 2010
The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, Grahame Elliott, has approved an emergency grant of £20,000 to the Red Cross following a large earthquake in Chile. The earthquake struck at 03.35 hours local time on 27 February 2010, measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. It is reported to be the worst earthquake to hit the country in 25 years, and has been followed by aftershocks of up to 6.9 magnitude. It has been confirmed that 802 people have died and over 2 million are believed to have been affected.
The earthquake hit 90 kilometres north-east of the city of Concepción in central Chile, and has reportedly caused considerable damage to infrastructure in the Bíobío and Maule regions. Many roads and buildings have been damaged, particularly in coastal zones, while some areas continue to suffer from power outages, though Santiago remains largely unaffected.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity has awarded the British Red Cross £20,000 to assist with their relief efforts. The Chilean Red Cross is working on the ground in partnership with the country's National Emergency Office (ONEMI), carrying out search and rescue operations, giving medical assistance where necessary as well as providing basic amenities like water, sanitation and shelter. posted 14 Mar 2010
A Moving Target
The 6th National Masonic Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition, hosted by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge Clay Shooting Association, will be held at the EJ Churchill Shooting Ground, Park Lane, Lane End, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP14 3NS on Saturday 26th June 2010.
This will be a challenging 100-Bird Sporting Competition Shoot at one of London's Premier Shooting Grounds, all in aid of the RMBI, at the great value of only £70 per head. This includes a welcome bacon buttie and tea/coffee breakfast, and a full Buffet Lunch (non-shooting guests Breakfast & Buffet Lunch only £15).
All Masonic Shooters and non-Masonic Guests are welcome.
Trophies will include:
- Overall Competition High Gun, Masonic High Gun and Runner Up
- Masonic and Non-Masonic Top Team and Runners Up
- Ladies' High Gun and Juniors'
Registration commences 9:00am. Shoot commences 9:45am.
Full details and an application form are on the What's On page, or download the form from here. posted 14 Mar 2010
Mentor Mentors Mentors
Our Provincial Mentor, Stuart Esworthy, was asked by James Bartlett, the National Mentoring Co-ordinator, to give the keynote speech at the second National Mentoring Conference held at our London headquarters in Great Queen Street in February.
The Grand Secretary Nigel Brown opened the day and talked about the need to challenge ourselves, the need to listen to our members and the need to enhance our PR - and he told the assembled mentors that we have just engaged a new PR company to help us with those initiatives.
Stuart was very pleased to hear all those things because it meant his text was complementary and not too radical or controversial!
The title of Stuart's speech was "The Values and Expectations of the 21st Century Mason", and his theme was change. He suggested we look to add to our original 3 values (Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth) with 5 newer aspirational values, his presentation being embraced within a Powerpoint slide show which can be seen here or downloaded as a PDF with accompanying notes here. He also suggested a route to delivery and ended with how we in Warwickshire were progressing.
A comprehensive summary of the Conference can be seen on the website promoted by our immediate past Pro Grand Master, The Marquess of Northampton, for the purpose of encouraging and developing mentoring activity, see www.3rlibrary.org.uk.
Stuart will be happy to answer any questions or expand on his thinking if anything is unclear, or if anyone feels it is worthy of further work.
Temple Lodge 4929 invite all masons, their families and friends to join them in a St George's Night celebration at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, on Friday 23rd April. All raffle and other proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival.
For full details and booking information see here. posted 11 Mar 2010
Support and Socks for the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack
The Lodge of Faith and Hope 4772 has supported the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack, which is based in Erdington, Birmingham for well over 15 years. The Pack caters exclusively for mentally and physically disabled children and is delighted to have also received supported from the Province during more recent years.
Funds provided last year totalling £700 helped to replace equipment lost in a fire during the previous year.
W Bro Roger Chapman, Charity Steward of the Lodge, being presented with an engraved plate by the Cub Pack leaders - W Bro Roger Chapman, Charity Steward of the Lodge, being presented with an engraved plate by the Cub Pack leaders
The funds provided were used to cover costs for their annual camp last year, which these days proves to be a very expensive event, particularly insurance costs which are a necessary overhead. The Lodge is intending to make further donations this year to ensure the event can go ahead again.
During the day with the Cubs, Roger had a meal cooked and served by the Cubs, which enabled them to gain their Cookery badges. Quite a remarkable achievement when you consider that all twelve of the Cubs present were in wheelchairs.
The picture (right) shows the special camp socks that were provided by the donations as part of the Scout camp trip, which without support they would not have been able to attend. posted 11 Mar 2010
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will be appointed to Grand Scribe N at the Annual Investiture of Supreme Grand Chapter on Thursday 29th April. It is the third time he has been appointed as an Acting Officer in Supreme Grand Chapter and we offer many congratulations on achieving this very senior rank. posted 9 Mar 2010
Festival For All
The General Lodge of Instruction will be holding its 92nd Festival of Instruction at 6.00pm on Thursday 25th March 2010, at Stirling Rd. This will include a demonstration of the Ceremony of Initiation including the Charge to the Initiate, together with a working of the First Section of the First Degree Lecture.
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE has kindly agreed to be the Festival President before his retirement.
All Brethren are very welcome to attend, particularly Entered Apprentices. The cost is only £15, including wine.
Athelstan Help Lift Off
W Bro Frank Salt and W Bro Malcolm Owen presented a cheque for £1003 to the WNAA at their base at Coventry Airport. See Lodge News here for full details. posted 28 Feb 2010
Every Warwickshire freemason should by now have received his copy of the Spring Newsletter, posted to him at the address held for him on the Provincial ADeplhi Database (see article on back page). The Newsletter contains several articles not included on the website Provincial News page. posted 28 Feb 2010
Beware the Insidious
An outfit styling itself Masonic Yellow Pages, based in New Zealand, has appeared on the internet suggesting that freemasons should advertise with them for the purpose of self help and gaining financial relief, networking, giving time, investing energy and a whole myriad of derivatives.
This is an entirely commercial operation which anyone appears to be able to subscribe to, freemason or otherwise.
Every freemason has signed a declaration stating that he is uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, and should recognise this unsolicited approach as being completely contrary to both his declaration, and the principles which freemasons pledge allegiance to. posted 23 Feb 2010
Acorns Children's Hospice will be the sole beneficiary of money raised by Greville Lodge 4773 for a winter climb of Mount Toubkal, part of the High Atlas Mountains and the highest peak in Northern Africa. See Lodge News for full details. posted 23 Feb 2010
Many junior members may think to themselves that Masonic life after the excitement and honour of being Master of their Lodge must equate to being put out to pasture. But how wrong they are.
Beyond the Craft and Royal Arch there are many other intriguing Orders in freemasonry, which cannot be joined without membership of the Craft, most of them being open to brethren quite soon after their becoming Master Masons. But another avenue is the one provided by our Installed Masters' Lodges.
Newly installed Masters are invariably advised of their qualification to join an Installed Masters' Lodge, where top level activity, whether academic, general interest or social, takes place. The Lodges provide a wonderful platform for many fascinating presentations and demonstrations, which all appropriately qualified Masons are very welcome to attend.
1810 Russian Initiation
Take the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538, for example, where last November a demonstration team from the Old Wulfrunians Lodge 7411 (Province of Staffordshire) gave a Demonstration in period costume of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace.
Members of the Old Wulfrunian's Lodge Demonstration Team
Team leader W Bro ED Humphries introduced his members, outlining the team's background and origins. They had given their first demonstration in 1986 to the Federation of School Lodges, when 370 onlookers were present. Since then they have given around 120 demonstrations all round the country, raising over £100,000 for a variety of mainly non-masonic charities such as Air Ambulance, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Gait Trainers and suchlike. All sorts of hitches and glitches arise with any touring group, this team being no exception, and the audience was given many amusing anecdotal reports of incidents incurred during their travels, including encountering the local weight watchers group when visiting Alcester Town Hall, and using a coffin to escape from a meeting at Grand Lodge!
The play itself was based upon Tolstoy's account of the Initiation of a Russian Aristocrat seeking a purpose and meaning to his life following the Napoleonic wars, which he hoped freemasonry might provide a gateway to. It was magnificent theatre in its own right, but reflected remarkably close similarities with our own present ceremonies. A running narrative was provided throughout, explaining the symbolism and meaning of the play as it unfolded, all carefully planned to reinforce the principles of discretion, obedience and morality which the candidate had been instructed in.
Following the presentation, the Worshipful Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, thanked the members of the demonstration team, stating how awe inspiring and thought provoking he had found the presentation to be.
Go and Do Thou Likewise
But it is not just in the Craft that we can enjoy presentations of great interest.
Following the January meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Mark Master Masons' Lodge W Bro Dr John Wade *, the 2009 Prestonian Lecturer, gave a superb delivery of his paper, to which freemasons from all orders had been invited to attend.
John's impressive CV was highlighted during the introduction by the Worshipful Master VW Bro Spencer Fenn, who welcomed him to Warwickshire in general and this Premier Lodge in particular. During his lecture, 'Go and do thou likewise: English Masonic Processions from the 18th to the 20th Centuries', John surveyed public processions of masons over two centuries and examined the association of civic, ecclesiastical and Masonic bodies in public ceremonies. He suggested that as we move into the 21st century we need to be protagonistic about our civility and civil identity, demonstrating that we have a civil association with the community, of which our forefathers among the leaders of both the civic and ecclesiastical authorities appreciated the symbolic importance.
Ingenuity was also needed to encourage interest in our activities; a wonderful example being the participation in the London Lord Mayor's Show, when freemasons rode along the route in an open-topped bus, escorted by Grand Stewards, all dressed in their regalia.
2009 Prestonian Lecturer John Wade (left) with Worshipful Master Spencer Fenn
The Mark PGM, RW Bro David Rawlins thanked John for a particularly enlightening and interesting presentation, and at the festive board W Bro Peter Wellings, who initially invited John Wade to the meeting, proposed his health in a hearty toast, enlightening those present to the demands on a Prestonian Lecturer, involving much travel around the world.
During the preceding meeting it was announced, to great acclamation, that W Bro Brian Price would be the next Master of the Lodge. A collection was made at the meeting towards the 2012 Festival Sponsored Walk.
Whence Come We? – John Hamill
The next opportunity to enjoy a top flight presentation is when VW Bro John Hamill addresses the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge 4538 at Stirling Road on Wednesday 31st March. John spent many years as Librarian and Curator at the UGLE headquarters in Great Queen Street, and is one of the world's leading experts on freemasonry.
In 1998 he was asked to set up a specialised Communications Department for Grand Lodge, becoming Director of Communications. More recently he has become Director of Special Projects, tasked with looking at the broad impact of Freemasonry on society in England and Wales over the last three hundred years, as part of the celebrations marking the tercentenary of Grand Lodge.
The title of his talk on 31st March is 'Whence come we?' and is bound to be stimulating and thought provoking. In the last 20 years, there have been a number of volumes published, mainly by non Masons, claiming that the origins of Freemasonry lie in the medieval Knights Templar, the so called Priory of Sion or the Egyptian Mysteries. Others, including some Masonic writers, claim it goes back over thousands of years and may have evolved out of a schism in the original Christian Church. This talk looks at the various orthodox and unorthodox theories of our origins, discusses the actual evidence we have and questions why any doubts should be thrown on the long established view that Freemasonry in fact descends either directly or indirectly from the organisation of the medieval Operative Masons and the guild system.
The Spice of Life
Stirling Road played host to a group of 40 members from SPICE in January. SPICE is a national organization, established over 28 years ago, with over 10,000 members who describe themselves as a social adventure group for ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things.
This 'extraordinary' evening for them began with talks given by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan, on Freemasonry in general and Warwickshire freemasonry in particular, and by the Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Chris Grove, on the charity activities undertaken nationally and by the Province.
The visitors were then treated to a tour of a Lodge Room with an explanation by W Bro Peter Sorrill of the furniture and ceremonial, a guided tour of the Museum with W Bro Clifford Hadley acting as a most knowledgeable guide and a visit to the Library where W Bro John Emms showed the visitors some of the more historic of our Masonic books and artefacts.
Members of the Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge proved their worth once again by escorting the visitors from place to place and answering their, sometimes, complex questions.
The guests left with a much greater appreciation of what Freemasonry is and what it has to offer and who knows, maybe a new member in the offing! posted 23 Feb 2010
The Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, instructed that a donation should be made to the Province of Cumberland & Westmorland Floods Appeal, following the devastation experienced in the area during late 2009.
At the request of the PGM, the cheque was presented personally to the Provincial Grand Master for Cumberland & Westmorland RW Bro Norman J Thompson, by W Bro John B Hayward, as he is a member of both Provinces.
The photograph shows John presenting the cheque to Norman during the recent Installation meeting of Windermere Chapter 2217. Norman is also the Grand Superintendent of the Province, hence the Royal Arch Regalia. John presented the cheque with the best wishes of the brethren and companions of the Province of Warwickshire. posted 23 Feb 2010
Like Father Like Son
W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Des Graham with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate at Coleshill Lodge 8272.
Des entered freemasonry as a Lewis on 16th January 1960, being initiated into Northfield Lodge 5056, where his father was a Past Master. He then went on, twelve years later, to become Master himself in 1972, receiving Provincial Honours in Worcestershire in 1977.
He joined Coleshill Lodge in December 1996, becoming Master in April 2008, between which times he was exalted into the Holy Royal Arch in Concord Chapter 3239 in April 2006. posted 23 Feb 2010
Last year, Lorna the daughter of Yenton Lodge 3484 Master W Bro Maurice Summers, successfully underwent surgery at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham to correct a condition she has had from birth.
As is the tradition of Yenton Lodge, at W Bro Maurice and his wife Pam's Ladies Evening last October, it was agreed and announced that 50% of the charity collection would go towards the MSF 2012 Festival, and 50% to a non-Masonic charity of Pam's choice - she chose the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (RoH) Orthopaedic Charity, which helps fund specialist research in the field of orthopaedics. At the November Lodge meeting the charity collection was very generously matched by a personal contribution from Maurice & Pam, and this was all added to the sum to be donated to the RoH.
The net result was that Yenton Lodge was able to donate £520 to the RoH Orthopaedic Charity, which together with tax recoverable via gift aid, should amount to in excess of £600, which the Master and Almoner W Bro Stephen Fowler duly went along to present, and which was most gratefully received.
Pictured (l-r) are Mr Matthew Revell, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, who performed the surgery on Lorna; W Bro Steve Fowler, Almoner, Yenton Lodge; W Bro Maurice Summers, Master, Yenton Lodge; Prof Paul Pynsent, Director of the Research & Teaching Centre at the RoH, and Chief Executive of the RoH Orthopaedic Charity. posted 23 Feb 2010
Brethren wishing to attend an initiation ceremony, especially those newly initiated themselves, are invited to Charterhouse Lodge 5690 in Coventry on 8th March. SeeLodge News for details. posted 23 Feb 2010
Warwickshire Freemasons and their Lodges have the opportunity of donating towards our Province's own appeal to assist with the relief efforts following the devastating earthquakes in Haiti. Provincial Grand Almoner W Bro Chris Grove was not surprised when the Charity Office started receiving calls enquiring if the Province was planning an appeal. With the Provincial Grand Master's approval the necessary arrangements have been put in place for a coordinated collection.
Reflecting that the Province was able to send a total of £44,500 in 2005 towards the Asian Tsunami appeal Chris said: "Once again Warwickshire Freemasons have expressed their willingness to respond to assist the misfortune of others. Already cheques are arriving and we will send appropriate amounts onto the British Red Cross at regular intervals as donations accumulate."
Cheques from Lodges, or individual Brethren, should be made payable to WMCA (Haiti Appeal) and sent to the Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. posted 2 Feb 2010
A copy of the last Newsletter can be seen here. posted 2 Feb 2010
Recent developments in the Mentoring programme include the publication of a number of important documents available to everyone by accessing the Mentoring section (in the Contacts menu) of the Website. One of these is a talk, which can be read in open Lodge or preferably presented to the Lodge by one of the Provincial Mentoring team so questions can be asked and answers given or sought.
There is also a new workshop for all would be Mentors, which will be arranged for groups of Mentors at a convenient locality. They will also be run centrally for all-comers, and interested parties should contact the Provincial office by email to be added to a waiting list of those wishing to attend, who will be contacted direct when the next date and location is finalised.
W Bro Stuart Esworthy, The Provincial Mentor, is seeking to establish a contact in every Lodge to act as the Mentoring Co-ordinator who will co-ordinate the matching of Mentors to Mentees in their own Lodge and receive new information on training dates etc. Please submit names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers to Stuart at the Provincial Office.
Stuart also needs anecdotal evidence of where we are meeting the needs of new members but also where we might be falling short of their aspirations. These can be sent to Stuart anonymously at the Provincial Office, enabling him to tailor the mentoring programme to cover the issues of concern to our newer members. posted 2 Feb 2010
In The Frame
W Bro Professor Ken Durrands CBE, Master of Howe Lodge 587 in 2000, received his 50 years service to freemasonry certificate from Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro John Emms exactly 50 years to the day after his initiation.
W Bro Bill Grigg, who was Master in 2001 and 2005, produced a beautiful commemoration sheet for the Lodge minute book, which may be seen here. posted 2 Feb 2010
A Great Night to remember
Happy New Year, but not just yet. . . . . . please wind forward to Saturday 13th February, when a unique and spectacular occasion will take place, to which all Lodge members, families and friends have been invited via the Masters of their Lodges.Chinese Valentines Ball being held at Stirling Road, organised by the Mark Social Committee and fully supported by our PGM Michael Price, who will be joining us for this great event with his wife, Dawn.
The Social Committee has organised the Ball to raise funds for the 2012 Festival. Their enviable reputation for arranging fantastic quality and value for money events goes before them, and this will be no exception!
Guests will enjoy the excellent standards provided at the newly refurbished Clarendon Suites, as well as a first class line-up of entertainment, which includes:
- setting the evening off with a very big Chinese Bang (not for the faint-hearted)
- a unique cabaret from the fabulous Blues Brothers
- dancing until midnight
- the chance to rub shoulders and compete with the "rich and famous" (aka you!) at the Casino Game, but at real-life costs
- and of course a hint of Valentine.
With Ladies' Nights becoming rarer these days, we don't see so many black tie events, unless at horrendous cost. This really will be a splendid opportunity to enjoy the sort of quality event we all look for, at a very reasonable price, and even better value with the discount for booking a whole table - why not make up a party with other members of your Lodges, Mark and Craft alike, and friends, perhaps inviting prospective candidates?
£30,000 in Relief for Haiti Earthquake
Following the devastating earthquake which took place in Haiti on Tuesday 12th January 2010, it was announced on Thursday 14th January that the President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved two emergency grants totalling £30,000. The funds have been issued to the British Red Cross and Plan.
The 7.3-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck at 1653 local time (2153 GMT) on Tuesday. The epicentre was within 10 miles of the centre of the densely-populated capital, where around one million people live, more than 50,000 people are feared dead.
The British Red Cross has been awarded £20,000 to assist with their relief efforts. Red Cross volunteers in Haiti are currently assisting the injured and supporting hospitals who do not have enough capacity to deal with this emergency. The most urgent needs at this time are search and rescue, field hospitals, emergency health, water purification, emergency shelter, logistics and telecommunications.
Plan has also been granted £10,000 in support of their efforts in dealing with the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Plan's priorities are assisting children and their families and getting people into safe accommodation wherever possible, as well as working with survivors to help ease their psychological trauma. posted 20 Jan 2010
When disaster struck Bro Paul Rowlands, who is currently Junior Warden of Charterhouse Lodge 5690, he was overwhelmed by the immediate support which appeared from his fellow Coventry Masons and those further afield.
Paul and his family were in their house when a fault between the mains electricity service in the street and the fuseboard resulted in the house catching fire. It was fortuitous that this happened in the morning when they were up and about, and that no personal injuries were incurred. Although the fire fighters attended promptly and acted swiftly, the house will have to be completely rebuilt.
Paul would like to most gratefully thank all who have come to the rescue, with offers of accommodation, provisions, help with salvaging possessions and any other assistance required following the disaster. posted 20 Jan 2010
Leigh Chapter Reveals the Arch
Brethren who would like to find out more about Royal Arch Masonry are cordially invited to attend Leigh Chapter 887, meeting at Stirling Road on Friday 5th February 2010.
It is anticipated that Brethren will be invited into the Chapter Room at approximately 6.45pm, and those able to stay for dinner are welcome to do so providing they give adequate notice. posted 20 Jan 2010
Vellum Lodge 5845 will be celebrating its 400th Regular Meeting on Friday 5th February at Knowle Masonic rooms, commencing 5.30pm. The celebration will be attended by senior members of the Province, including W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, along with other distinguished guests.
The ceremony for the evening will be a full Emulation working of initiation, conducted by W Bro Michael Cooney, Master, who will also deliver the Charge to the candidate, a Turkish gentleman of the Muslim faith.
Champagne All Round
W Bro Michael Morris, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented W Bro Jim Bullivant, with his 50 years Service to Freemasonry Certificate, together with a lapel badge acknowledging this.
Jim is an Honorary member of Old Dixonians Lodge 6037, his Mother Lodge. The Lodge was founded in 1945 by old boys of the former George Dixon Grammar School in Birmingham which Jim attended. He was initiated on 2nd November 1959, and installed as Master in 1970. He is a Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in both Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and a member of Hope and Charity Lodge 377 (Worcs), and has had membership of other Lodges as well.posted 20 Jan 2010
W Bro Michael Morris also presented a 50 year Certificate and badge to W Bro David Cadman at the Old Veseyan Lodge 7924.
David was a founder of the Lodge, having attended Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, when the Lodge was consecrated in 1963, and is the senior Past Master, having been Master in 1970. He is also a Past Master of the Lodge of Harmony 6888, which sadly no longer exists.
Having moved to Kenilworth some years ago, David is unable to attend as many meetings as he would wish, and the Lodge was very grateful for the assistance of W Bro John Atkinson from Sutton Coldfield Lodge 8960 in helping David attend this special occasion, and in kindly providing the photograph. posted 20 Jan 2010
A Very Special Installation Meeting
The Provincial Grand Master presided at the Installation meeting of St John's Lodge 2811, attended by Masters and representatives from twenty eight other St John's Lodges, and eleven other Coventry Lodges. For a full report and photograph see Lodge News posted 20 Jan 2010
PGM Announces Retirement
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, has announced that he will be retiring as Provincial Grand Master on 13th June 2010.
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price - The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price
Having experienced an extremely busy life in serving the Province, which without the wonderful support of both his wife Dawn and the Brethren of Warwickshire he could not have done, he admits that the early years were challenging particularly in regard to revitalising Edgbaston Assembly Rooms Ltd. That now behind us, his successor will be able to lead a successful business and a happy Province.
In thanking all the Brethren in the Province for the kindness, generosity and support they have always shown to him, especially when visiting Lodges, he states what a privilege it is to have had the opportunity to serve them as Provincial Grand Master, and how proud he is of the Province of Warwickshire and the Brethren therein.
The choice of successor is entirely a matter for the Grand Master and will be announced at a future Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge once a decision has been made.
The Provincial Grand Master is looking forward in the coming years to being able to devote more time to his family and his interests outside Freemasonry, much of which has been impossible during the past nine years, and wishes all Brethren a very Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year. posted 11 Jan 2010
W Bro Steve Cox, Past Master of the Lodge of the Round Table 8424, has for the second time helped provide care to the needy people of the Peruvian Amazon, previously having been assisted by a donation from the Province to The Vine Trust.
The people in this part of the world have little access to medical facilities and all but the basics have to be paid for. There are huge numbers of children, 55% of the population are under 25, 5% of babies die before their 5th birthday and the maternal death rate is the fourth highest in the world.
For full details and photographs, see the Lodge News page. posted 11 Jan 2010
The Warwickshire Installed Mark Masters Lodge 1400 are holding a Ladies Festival Weekend at the Mayfair Hotel, St Helier, Jersey from 26-28 March, to which all Masons and their friends are invited. There are a few places left, full details can be seen on theMark What's On page. posted 11 Jan 2010
Many congratulations to our past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Victor Keene, appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)in the New Year's Honours list, awarded for Services to the Community in Coventry.
This arises mainly from his community work in Coventry as Chairman of Trustees of the Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities and Crossroads Care, Coventry & Warwickshire. posted 6 Jan 2010
The Freemasons' Grand Charity has continued its annual programme of support by donating £500,000 to hospices across England and Wales. The money is an important contribution towards the millions of pounds needed each and every year to ensure these respected services can continue providing free physical, emotional, social and spiritual care to patients and their families. In total 225 services will receive a grant. In addition to this grant £150,000 was awarded to Lifelites, to provide educational and recreation technology for children in hospices.
Freemasons have been dedicated in their support for hospices across England and Wales for the past 25 years, and this takes the total donations to the sector to more than £8 million, complementing the generosity Provincial and individual Masonic Lodges regularly show for their local services.
A full list of hospice grants can be seen at www.grandcharity.org/hospice_grants.php posted 6 Jan 2010
Lodge of Perseverance 4622 will be celebrating their 600th meeting on Saturday 20th February 2010 at Yenton Assembly Rooms, Erdington, and cordially invite members of all other Lodges to join them on this momentous occasion.