Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Air Ambulance donations total £42,500 from PGM’s Famous Five

The Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and the Midlands Air Ambulance have both benefitted from the Provincial Grand Master’s Famous Five initiative since 2014. Both have received donations of £5,000 each year since then, followed by a final £6,250 this month. Following the conclusion of the 2012 Festival, the Provincial Grand Master launched the Famous Five in mid-2013 to benefit specific non-Masonic Warwickshire charities, and this has been splendidly supported by our Lodges. This means that a total of £21,250 has been given to each of the Air Ambulance charities since the initiative began. Further reports on the Famous Five conclusion will be issued in due course, but these are the first of the cheques to be presented to Air Ambulances, both being nominated initially by the Provincial Grand Master.

The picture below shows the Provincial Grand Master presenting the cheque to two of the paramedics from the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, who fly to the scene of an incident, and treat those in need. Pictured are Paramedics Mark Beasley and Dr Laura Owen, with Provincial Charity Steward, John Hayward. Taken at the Baginton Airport Coventry where the WNAA team are based.

 Presentation of to the WNAA

The second photograph shows The Provincial Grand Master, presenting the cheque to Adam Williams, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, at the Midlands Air Ambulance airbase at Strensham.

Presentation to the MAA

We are all aware of the effect of the Air Ambulances in crisis situations, and many of us know of those who have been helped and lives saved by the prompt action taken. Warwickshire Freemasons and the Province itself are keen to be able to continue the support given to the both Air Ambulances which cover our Province, and I am quite certain that this will continue for many years into the future. The helicopters in use by both Air Ambulances bear the masonic logos, in acknowledgement of our funding support.

Further information regarding both teams may be found on their websites - http://www.midlandsairambulance.com/ and https://theairambulanceservice.org.uk/

JBH

Installed Masters’ Lodge – 29 March 2018

The recent meeting of what is often described as the Premier Lodge in Warwickshire was held in Rugby – for some a pleasant change as it was in Warwickshire but also much more convenient for those living in the eastern part of the Province (normal service will be resumed for the June meeting!). It started in good form with the Worshipful Master, WBro Eric Rymer, offering the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who initially accepted it and then in his typical humour gave it back to the Master on the premise that he wanted to see if he could remember how to open a Craft Lodge (probably in reference to the Master’s other main role in Freemasonry – the Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Degree in Worcestershire).

The meeting soon moved to the main item, which was a talk from VWBro James Newman OBE, the Deputy President of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). VWBro Newman started by saying that the MCF will support Festivals as much as possible having developed a clear partnership with the Provinces. This has only become possible since the amalgamation of the four central Masonic charities and, with the MCF celebrating its second birthday on the 1st April, it has achieved much since its creation. Working on the basis of 'action, not words', a 5-year strategy was approved at the end of 2017 and will see an enhancement of support and services, forging stronger links with UGLE and the Provinces, and raising its profile.

Since its launch, the MCF has worked hard to bring together the four teams and has introduced a better IT system. Initially it was receiving around 400 enquiries per month; this is now around 1000! A central tenet is giving support 'from the cradle to the grave' and it is predicted that spending on masonic support will increase. The MCF is currently supporting 108 petitioners in Warwickshire but they would like to see this increase. As a single charity, it has single chain of command and is therefore more efficient.

One major change has seen non-masonic grants become 'charity grants' and the programme of giving has been reviewed to create a more focused strategy. Two main themes have been selected – the early years to give the best start for disadvantaged children and the later years to overcome isolation in later life. Support for UK hospices and air ambulances will also change with a move from giving money to every organisation in the country to working with national bodies, such as Hospice UK, to identify projects that will benefit from larger grants. Eight grants have been made in Warwickshire totaling some £100,000.

As part of the Tercentenary celebrations, the MCF gave out £3M to charities selected in a national vote that saw over 80% of participants being non-masons. Six Warwickshire charities receiving just under £60,000. The impact of any donation is important both in terms of our profile but also in making a real difference to those being supported.

One fundamental point is that the MCF only receives its funds from Freemasons and that only 9p in every £1 is used in running the charity.  It is grateful for the support received from Festivals with regular giving making a huge difference. In closing, VWBro Newman assured that the MCF is still able to respond to major disasters around the world – it now works with Plan International to support specific projects or problems. The Provincial Grand Master responded by thanking VWBro Newman for his inspirational talk and exhorted the brethren to support the Festival.

In the absence of the usual Royal Arch representative, the Grand Superintendent, WBro Phil Hall, was pleased to report a rise in membership and that the success of the recent roadshows would be continued with two more scheduled in May – 22nd at Nuneaton and 24th at Knowle – assuring that this would not be a hard sell of the Royal Arch but rather encouraged Companions to bring along a brother who has yet to take that fourth step in Freemasonry.

The meeting then received a report on the 2023 Festival given, most appropriately by the Festival Chairman WBro David Greenwood. Since the launch back in January, around 400 Festival jewels have been sent out to qualifying brethren of whom three have already qualified for Grand Patron status and four lodges already have 50% signed up with regular giving. The aim is to have 700 brethren signed up by the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge and WBro David closed saying that he couldn’t have asked for a better start. The Worshipful Master then congratulated WBro David on his forthcoming appointment as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, which was received with acclaim by all present.

WBro Michael being presented with his Certificate of Merit

One of the very special things about Installed Masters is that it is often used as a platform by the Provincial Grand Master to make announcements or presentations. At the end of the Second Rising, the PGM took to the floor and asked his Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to bring WBro Michael Irving to him. He extolled WBro Michael’s virtues in supporting all of his lodges as well as the Provincial choir, adding that he is a magnificent example to all present, before presenting WBro Michael with his Certificate of Merit. WBro Peter Clarke then delivered an excellent proclamation – not easy when you have at least two Past ProvGDCs in the room! WBro Michael responded by thanking the Provincial Grand Master for his kinds words and adding that family apart, charity and music are a very important part of his life and that he would ‘treasure this forever’. One final tribute, probably missed by most, was paid (or played!) by WBro Peter Summers for, as the column processed out of the temple, he played the hymn tune specially composed by WBro Michael for the Tercentenary aptly named Fortior after his Mother Lodge.

Presentation to VWBro Newman, with the traditional cut-glass tumbler as well as something to put in it

The surprises kept on coming with the Master presenting our guest speaker, VWBro Newman, with the traditional cut-glass tumbler as well as something to put in it. The tables were then turned on the Worshipful Master as WBro Andy Hale, an engineer and member of the Mike Hailwood Lodge, who presented him with three-foot tall Past Master’s jewel! Not wishing to leave him out, WBro Andy also presented the Provincial Grand Master with his own much smaller jewel complete with a ribbon in Sunderland colours!

WBro Andy Hale presented the WM with a three-foot tall Past Master’s jewel

The Worshipful Master was then pleased to announce that the alms for the MCF had amounted to £600 before wishing everyone a safe journey home.

The Classic 300 Gala Dinner

 

Classic 300 Dinner

An evening of fine wine and dining with the legendary Richard Attwood - Contact Peter Manning, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for tickets

Ladies Gift Fund – Spring Lunch 2018

Ladies' Gift Fund for Masonic Charities

Provinces of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire

Registered Charity No 519281

The Spring Lunch, organised by the Ladies Gift Fund, took place on Sunday 8th April at the Kings Heath Masonic Hall.

A near capacity attendance of over 140 enjoyed a splendid three course lunch, following which cheques were presented to the Provincial Grand Masters for the three Provinces. The cheques for £3,000 each, were acknowledged by each in turn, but following a similar pattern. Worcestershire and Warwickshire are both already in Festival for the Masonic Charitable Foundation, with Staffordshire following this year. Each is due to complete in consecutive years – 2022 for Worcestershire, 2023 for Warwickshire & 2024 for Staffordshire.

Details of each Festival can be found on the Masonic Charitable Foundation website – this link will guide you to each Festival in turn.   Festival appeals are a vital source of funding and generate the majority of donations made to the Foundation. During usually a five year appeal, fundraising events and activities take place that make a significant contribution to MCF income. The MCF are extremely grateful to everyone who supports them. The Festival also provides an opportunity to increase the awareness of the work the Foundation undertakes and the support it provides to Freemasons and their families, as well as many non-Masonic charities.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation will also receive a cheque for £1,000 directly from the Ladies Gift Fund.  

On the day, £3,000 was raised from ticket sales and a mammoth well supported raffle.

Commenting on the event, Mrs Sandra Rouse, Chairman of the Ladies Gift Fund said, "Thanks to everyone in working together towards today’s event and giving your time and contributions for the charities we support. We should be pleased and proud that a good day has been enjoyed by all present, and that we have raised a substantial amount for Masonic Charities.  I would also like to thank the many husbands who have helped to make today such a success."

Ladies' Gift Fund presentation

Mrs Sandra Rouse, Chair of the Ladies Gift Fund, together with the three Provincial Grand Masters

L to R – John Lockley (Staffordshire), Bob Vaughan (Worcestershire) and David Macey (Warwickshire), receiving their cheques following the lunch.

The three Provincial Grand Masters all praised the efforts of the Ladies who had organised the event, for their continued enthusiasm on behalf of Masonic Charities, and for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

The Ladies Gift Fund Christmas Fayre, which with help from all concerned in the three Provinces will take place on Saturday 1st December at Linden House, Wolverhampton – notices will be issued in good time.

JBH

Read Easy Solihull - Masonic Charitable Foundation Grant

Read Easy UK is a volunteer organisation that recruits and trains volunteers to teach adults with low reading skills to read on a one-to-one basis. By helping people to tackle their reading difficulties, it is hoped that they will also grow in confidence and self-esteem, become more independent, move on to other forms of education and improve their employment opportunities.

Read Easy Solihull is an affiliated member of Read Easy UK, and is supported by literacy specialists both regionally and nationally. Established as a group in November 2016, Read Easy Solihull have just completed their first year, which has been very successful. They have a committee of 6 volunteers who work with a Co-ordinator who is responsible for recruiting coaches and arranging their training. The Co-ordinator also deals with reader referrals and with the support of a Literacy Specialist, pairs the readers with the trained coaches and regularly monitors their progress.

In their first year, the funding received enabled the group to train 10 coaches, and provide 9 readers with resources to start their reading journeys. At present, 7 coaches are actively paired with 8 readers all at various stages of progress. The grant of £2500 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation will enable the group to train further volunteers – it costs £50 to train a volunteer coach and approximately £140 to help one adult to learn to read.   The aim is to have 18-20 coaches and readers paired in the first half of this year, and in the second half of the year, they anticipate taking on 10 more coaches and a second Co-ordinator to manage them with another 10 readers.   A challenging aim but for this group, led by an enthusiastic Chair, committed Co-ordinator and Coaches and a supportive management committee, it is highly achievable with sufficient funding.

The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association has added to the donation by the MCF, and it is understood that the Province of Worcestershire are also supporting the group.

The MCF certificate of funding was presented to Mrs Deborah Chard (Co-Ordinator) and Mrs Lynn Wilson (Chair) in the centre, receiving the certificate outside the Solihull Central Library from John Hayward, Charity Steward for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. The Library is where much of the tuition takes place.

Grant Presentation

A reading group is shown below receiving training in the Solihull Library in the centre of the town.

 Reading Group

 

The Solihull group and the charity as a whole is finding there is a huge level of interest in the program offered throughout the West Midlands area.   Interest has also been shown in Worcestershire and Staffordshire for a similar group development.   Read Easy UK is a recently established charity which is finding a great deal of demand for its services in many areas of the UK. The group’s website is here which will also link to the Read Easy UK website.

JBH

Contact Us

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

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

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