Tylers' Workshop - with a difference
Arising from his popular Tylers' seminars which have recently taken place around the Province, W Bro Ian Hart, Provincial Grand Tyler, has responded to the persistent question 'can we have a meeting that is aimed at the general work of the Tyler'?
A seminar will consequently be held on Saturday 12th March at Stirling road, from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon, to which every Brother in the Province (including Tylers of course) is invited. Coffee, tea and biscuits will be served from 9.30am.
At this meeting Ian will show brethren how to set up a Lodge room should their Tyler become unavailable. It is not aimed at training attendees to become qualified Tylers, but all present will receive a copy of the Tyler's Handbook for reference by themselves or their Lodges.
Visit from Bulgaria
Following an association established by Trinity Lodge 254 a delegation of Bulgarian freemasons led by MW Bro Lubomir Parmakov, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, visited the UK on a fact finding mission. Prior to attending a meeting of Trinity Lodge in Coventry, they were given a guided tour of the Textiles Factory of regalia manufacturers Toye Kenning & Spencer located at nearby Bedworth.
RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, greeted the party at their arrival at the factory and joined in the tour. Afterwards he answered a series of questions submitted by the Bulgarians aimed at improving their understanding of English freemasonry and its origins and practice. This was recorded on video by Bro Nedislav Mikolov, Director of Bulgarian Television, and will be used in the Bulgarian and UK masonic media.
At the Lodge meeting, which was attended by over sixty brethren including the Provincial Grand Master, Steven MacDonald was Initiated, with the Bulgarians enjoying the Initiate’s Chain as much as he did! The instigator of the visit, W Bro Tim Goddin, took part in the ceremony and proposed the toast to the visitors at the festive board. This was very kindly responded to by the deputy Grand Master in near perfect English.
The Bulgarians were all hosted by Trinity Brethren, who took them on a whistle-stop tour of Coventry Cathedral and Warwick Castle before leaving Coventry the following day.
As part of the ongoing association with Bulgaria, MW Bro Ivan Sariev, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, will be visiting Trinity Lodge for their Installation meeting in December (when Tim will be installing his son), linked in with sightseeing trips to Warwick Castle and the Warwickshire Temple, Library and Museum in Edgbaston. They will also be joined on that occasion by a delegation of Greek brethren.
David Macey (l) and Lubomir Parmakov in the Bedworth factory
Delma Hollins operating a 1930's Wilkinson Jacquard machine
Dot Castledine (r) demonstrating how to make embroidery threads
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.
New King of All England
There were over 100 members and guests present at the Installation meeting of Athelstan Lodge 1333, where a double treat was enjoyed by all.
The Installation of W Bro Phillip Benson (our Provincial webmaster) was performed immaculately by W Bro Jonathan Bowley, complete with some unusual features, including losing the FCs and EAs! They did eventually re-appear, following which the Presiding Officer, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented Bro Thomas Collins with a Long Service Certificate celebrating 50 years Service to Freemasonry.
Pictured above are (l-r) Alan Wellan, Tom Collins and Phillip Benson
During the presentation, Alan outlined Tom's long and distinguished service around the world in the Army, and observed that it was actually 52 years since he had become a freemason, having been initiated into the United Services Lodge 3813 in 1957. After leaving the Army in 1971, Tom held a variety of jobs prior to his retirement, and a question and answer style resumé outlining his background and career, including details of his family and other interests, provided everyone with a delightful insight into Tom's life. posted 16 Dec 2009
Too Good to be True
A previous scam to get hold of your e.mail address (which is worth money to direct mail organisations) is doing the rounds again, this being the supposed Sony Ericsson offer for free laptop computers in exchange for bundles of e.mail addresses.
Just Google "Ericsson laptop Promotion" and you will find around 351,000 articles mrntioning this scam. Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it always is! posted 16 Dec 2009
The Provincial Grand Almoner's next presentation entitled "An Update on Masonic Charities" will be made by W Bro Christopher J Grove MBE at Mozart Lodge 3735 during their regular meeting at Stirling Road on 19th January 2010, starting 6.00pm.
Visitors are always welcome at the Lodge's meetings and those Brethren who may be interested in this talk should contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro David Caudle. Tel: 0121 354 1831. posted 16 Dec 2009
Reading Court Christmas Lunch
This year's Lunch was held at the Arrow Mill Hotel and attended by the majority of the residents of Reading Court.
The House Committee, Mrs Margaret Owen, Mrs Wendy Lancaster, W Bro Charles Dyer, W Bro Terry Sumner, W Bro John More, W Bro Alan Johnson and W Bro David Bateman, together with their husbands and wives acted as table stewards.
The President RW Bro Michael J Price and Mrs Price were also present, together with the retiring chairman VW Bro. Alan J Wellan and Mrs Wellan.
The Warden Mrs Pam Jowers presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Wendy Lancaster (pictured left) and thanked her for all the hard work she had put into the event, which sentiments were echoed by the Chairman W Bro Charles Dyer. posted 16 Dec 2009
The Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Christopher J Grove MBE, is visiting the Forest of Arden Lodge 3826 for its meeting on Wednesday 16th December 2009 at the Solihull Masonic Temple, 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle, Solihull. The Lodge opens at 6.15pm, during which Chris will give a presentation on the workings and aspirations of Masonic Charity.
W Bro Julian Taitt of Elkington Lodge 1016 invites everyone to a Christmas Ball he is organising at the Regency Hyatt Hotel, Birmingham, on Saturday 19th December. All proceeds will be donated to the Birmingham Children's Hospital "kidneys for kids" appeal.
Tickets are £49 each, which includes a three course meal, DJ, Comedian and Steel Band, and can be obtained by contacting Julian on 07790 493774 or 07523 100620. There are ten seats per table. Click here to see the flyer for the event. posted 3 Dec 2009
Exciting times for the Lodge of Emulation 1163 this year when the Provincial Grand Master Michael Price CBE attended the Lodge to present W Bro Horace Walker with a 50 year Certificate. The address was conducted in the centre of the temple sitting a few feet apart when an in depth and amusing question and answer dialogue took place.A wonderful moment for Horace to remember.
This was subsequently repeated when W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, followed on with W Bro N Whitehouse, yet another member with 50 years in the Lodge.
Pictured, left to right, W Bro H Walker, W Bro D Macey and W Bro N Whitehouse. posted 3 Dec 2009
In response to the extreme flooding which has taken place in Cumbria, the President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cumberland and Westmorland who are directing the funds to the Cumbria Community Foundation. It has been estimated that 1,300 homes across Cumbria have been affected by flooding, with several hundred people displaced and more than 1,000 households left without power. Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, told the Commons "I saw for myself on Friday and Saturday in Cockermouth just what an effect the torrent of water had on homes, businesses and communities. It is utterly devastating."
Founded in 1999 by Cumbria Council, the Cumbria Community Foundation remains dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Cumbria. The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund has been set up to provide financial help for people who have been affected. The first phase of grant making will concentrate on the elderly, disabled and families with children under five years old. The Fund will also assist community groups that are helping out with advice, information, counselling, and activities for children and young people. In 2005 The Freemasons' Grand Charity sent £5,000 in emergency funds to the Cumbria Community Foundation in response to the previous Cumbrian floods. In parallel with support for wider relief efforts, The Freemasons' Grand Charity will be assisting individual Masons and their dependants, who have been affected by these events, through Masonic Relief Grants which are given to relieve hardship. posted 28 Nov 2009
More Life after the Three Degrees!
Hot on the heels of his visit to Barnard Lodge at Stirling Road, W Bro Spencer Fenn will again give his colorful presentation outlining the many additional Orders associated with English Freemasonry at the Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall, Mill Street. This will take place during the meeting of Hertford Lodge 3208 on Friday 11th December, opening at 6.00pm.
Royal Air Force Lodge Remembers
On 11th November 2009, Members of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge 9456 visited the National Memorial Aboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, to attend the Armistice Day Service, and were joined by a deputation from the Province of Staffordshire.
Full details on the Lodge News page. posted 22 Nov 2009
A Visit from Lanarkshire
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, presided at St Peter's Lodge 7334 at the Yenton Assembly Rooms when Bro Martin Parrack was installed into the Chair of King Solomon.
Full details can be found on the Lodge News page. posted 22 Nov 2009
New Master for Old Masters
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, was installed as Master of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 at their last meeting, following which he gave a fascinating and thought provoking address outlining the similarities between the City of London Livery companies and Freemasonry.
Each company has a similar team of Officers, and is run by a committee called a court. Its Master and Wardens wear gowns and chains of office, and great occasions are all conducted with strict ceremony and dress code. Many liverymen are also freemasons, and before being admitted into a Worshipful Company they have to make a declaration of allegiance to the Queen and the Lord Mayor. They also have to be freemen of the City of London, but these days are denied two of the ancient privileges; no longer can a freeman drive his sheep across London Bridge, nor any more have the right to ask for a silk rope if he is to be hung!
In conclusion, Alan read extracts from the "Rules for the Conduct of Life" given to every new Freeman of the City, which reflect great philosophical wisdom and thought, veiled in allegory. He invited the audience to consider the points he had made, and what a perfect model the livery companies had provided for our masonic founding fathers. Today, the companies provide a story of ongoing success and expansion, with a continuing determination to maintain the highest possible standards. Membership waiting lists are long, despite high admission criteria and costs. Perhaps freemasonry should once again follow the same precepts and examples?
During the administrative notices, it was announced that the Freemasons' Grand Charity had awarded the sum of £100,000 to the Acorns Children's Hospice in memory of W Bro Rodney Pitham, in recognition of his work as chairman of the non-masonic grants committee. Rodney had been a trustee of the Acorns Hospice and this news was received with acclamation.
At the festive board following the meeting, the programme for the year was announced. There will be a demonstration of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace on 30th November 2009, a talk by VW Bro John Hamill (Grand Lodge Director of Special Projects) on 31st March 2010, and an invitation for our Ladies to dine with us on 10th June 2010. All Master Masons are very welcome to attend any of the Lodge's meetings, and members are encouraged to invite them to join us. posted 14 Nov 2009
W Bro Spencer Fenn will be giving a colorful presentation outlining the many additional Orders associated with English Freemasonry following the meeting of Barnard Lodge 5100 at Stirling Road, on Tuesday 8th December at 6.00pm.
All Craft Masons are invited to attend, and if wishing to stay for dinner (cost £22 inc. wine) should contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro Fred Ditchfield, tel. 0121 353 1007. posted 14 Nov 2009
UK 'about-turn' on Freemason judges
In a policy about turn by the government, would-be UK judges will no longer have to declare if they are Freemasons.
The Times reports the policy reversal, announced by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, after a threat of legal action forced a review. The United Grand Lodge of England threatened legal action, prompted by a European Court of Human Rights decision. The judges ruled in an Italian case in 2007 that the requirement to disclose membership was a breach of the rights to privacy and freedom of association.
Read the article in The Times. posted 14 Nov 2009
Dan Brown: The Lost Symbol
Following publication of the novel, John M Hamill, Director of Special Projects at the United Grand Lodge of England, was very quick to issue the following appraisal:
"Despite all the hype and scare stories circulating on the internet over the last few weeks Dan Brown's new novel far from attacking Freemasonry is actually supportive of it. As a result it is unlikely to start the sort of media frenzy which accompanied the launch of the Da Vinci Code, which was seen by many as a fundamental attack on the foundation of Christianity.
It is the usual Dan Brown formula: the hero, Robert Langdon, is searching for lost Masonic treasure and spends twelve hours being chased round Washington DC, usually in subterranean passages which may or may not exist, by the villain, the police and the "Office of Security" of the CIA. There are the usual bloody murders, explosions and narrow escapes. He is aided in his search by senior members of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, which has its headquarters in a monumental building in Washington DC. The villain is a six foot three, self-castrated body builder whose body is covered with tattoos, most of which are Masonic symbols. He has infiltrated Freemasonry and reached the 33rd degree. He is seeking the "lost symbol" which when it is tattooed on the soft part of his skull will transform him into a powerful angel! Langdon is determined to stop him. Great hokum which Tom Hanks will no doubt enjoy turning into a Hollywood blockbuster!
Early in the novel there is a flashback to Langdon lecturing students on symbolism. One of the students makes disparaging remarks about Freemasonry which causes Langdon to point out to the group that contrary to the mythology Freemasonry is not an organisation to be feared; that Freemasons were much involved in the foundation of the United States; that it fails "the ABC test" and is not a religion; and that it is not exclusive but admits men of all faiths and ethnic and social backgrounds.
As in his previous books, there are facts, half-truths and misleading untruths presented as hard fact. The media picked up one Masonic "fact" which may upset some and certainly got the media going. In the prologue Brown claims that in the 33rd degree the candidate seals his obligation by drinking red wine out of a human skull. Absolute rubbish! His source for this "fact" is a very curious and highly inaccurate American exposure of the Ancient and Accepted Rite rituals published in 1887 by the Revd John Blanchard and given currency in Europe in the 1890s by the writings of the notorious French anti-Masonic writer who used the pen name Leo Taxil.
One major error which will be easily picked up by our American brethren is Brown's claim that the symbol of the 33rd degree - which Brown states is the most potent of Masonic symbols - is a double headed phoenix. Sadly, as all who are in the Rose Croix will know, it is a double headed eagle.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 16th September) the phone lines at Grand Lodge were pretty hot with the media wanting to know our reaction. You could feel the interest drop at the end of the phone line when I said that we had no problems with the book, that it was supportive of Freemasonry and that we would be fascinated to see what effect it had on the number of people contacting Freemasons' Hall and Provincial offices for more information about Freemasonry.
The book is quite a heavy read at times with the plot being held up from time to time by lengthy forays into deciphering symbols, cracking codes (which are relatively easy to break) and philosophising about the tensions between religion and science. There are the usual plot twists but as the reviewer in the Los Angeles Times wrote: ".. it's hard to imagine anyone after reading The Lost Symbol, debating about Freemasonry in Washington DC in the way that people did about Brown's radical vision of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in Da Vinci Code. That book hit a deep cultural nerve for obvious reasons. The Lost Symbol is more like the experience on any roller coaster - thrilling, entertaining and then it's over".
Freemasonry certainly has nothing to fear from the book, it may well stimulate a lot of public curiosity about Freemasonry which we will all be happy to deal with.
The letter from Dan Brown proves that he had no intention at all of showing hostility to Freemasonry in his latest book. The authenticity of the letter has been verified. posted 14 Nov 2009
Masonic Drama at Installed Masters
Master Masons are invited to attend a Period Costume Demonstration of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace. This will be presented at the meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge on 30th November.See details on the leaflet. posted 7 Nov 2009
W Bro Graham Steen, Master of Eastfields Lodge 8959, Rugby, has arranged for the well established and successful Scunthorpe Male Voice Choir to give a concert in Rugby on Saturday, 23rd January 2010. This will be a splendid event, to which all Masons, their families and friends are invited to attend. Proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival, and full details can be seen on the Whats Onpage. posted 7 Nov 2009
Historical Documents Survey Complete
Congratulations! Almost every Craft Lodge in Warwickshire has completed the forms relating to the Survey. This excellent result is due mainly to those brethren who have taken the time and effort to complete the necessary forms, and the group of co-ordinators who have spent considerable time and tact in supervising the Survey. The Provincial Grand Master is again proud of this Province and the results.
The Historical Documents Survey was a proposition given by the Pro Grand Master at a meeting of Grand Lodge early in 2008. In the long history of Grand Lodge there had never been any collection of historical material from the thousands of Lodges in England and Wales. The information provided by the lodges will be collated and entered into a data bank and thus provide a unique historical record of Freemasonry in England and Wales and its contributions to Society.
This vast amount of information will be most helpful in the compiling of a History of the United Grand Lodge which may be published to mark the 300th Anniversary of Grand Lodge in 2017 AD.
The information that has been collected will also be available to bona fide historians who are researching topics for future publications or perhaps interesting lectures.
In Warwickshire, the Survey has focussed attention on the records possessed by a lodge. The whereabouts of old minute books and their condition needed to be recorded. St Paul's Lodge Number 43, for example, had already taken steps to preserve its old records. Other lodges have found that some records were missing. So the Survey has done much to locate and make safe the records a lodge owns.
In May 2008 the Provincial Grand Master asked W Bro Robert Russell (pictured) to be the Co-ordinator for the Province. After a briefing about the scheme held in the Temple at Great Queen Street, London, Robert and W Bro Nigel Burton, the Provincial Grand Secretary, set about recruiting assistant co-ordinators to get the survey underway. This involved an assistant co-ordinator for each of the nineteen Masonic Halls and a further six for the Edgbaston Temple. There was a useful briefing session for these brethren.
Copies of the relevant forms were sent by the Provincial Grand Secretary to every Worshipful Master in the Province. All the completed Survey forms were returned to the Provincial Office, scrutinised by Nigel, recorded and then passed to the Survey Manager in London for inclusion in the database. posted 7 Nov 2009
There is now a Mentors' workshop, the first of which is running from 10.30 - 12.30 on Sunday, 22nd November at Rugby. There are 20 places available and bookings should be made directly to the Provincial Mentor, W Bro Stuart Esworthy, on 07881 505558.
Brethren with a background in tertiary education or exposure to management development as a facilitator are also asked to get in touch with Stuart on the same number. He is looking for a number of Regional Mentors to support him in taking the message directly into Lodges and to run more of these workshops across the Province.
At next year's Mentoring conference, Stuart will be giving a keynote presentation entitled - Values and Expectations of the 21st Century Mason - and he would value anecdotal evidence of where we are meeting the needs of new members but also where we might also be falling short of their aspirations. These can be sent to him anonymously and would be used in that way without revealing the name of the individuals or the Lodge concerned. posted 7 Nov 2009
£25,000 For Torrential Rain and Flash Flood Victims in Southern India
The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £25,000 to Save the Children, following the Kirshna River bursting its banks flooding 5 districts in India. The grant will help 20 of the worst affected villages in Southern India by providing them with essential and life-saving relief, as many families were unable to salvage even basic hygiene materials, cooking utensils or dry clothes.
To date, nearly two million people have been affected by the severe flooding which has caused destruction to homes, agricultural land and livelihoods. Tragically, the disaster has claimed over 300 lives and more than 70,000 homes have been severely damaged, resulting in half a million people being displaced to relief camps in Andhra Pradesh and a further 650,000 people are in temporary shelter in Karnataka.
The money given to Save the Children will supply 30,000 people with use of water pumps, household kits, educational kits and child friendly spaces where children can go to receive a meal each day and access clean water. There is particular concern that the 800,000 and more children affected are vulnerable to malnutrition and waterborne illnesses which could easily increase the death toll. posted 4 Nov 2009
This is an invitation for two people for a driving event to be held at Millbrook proving ground, hosted by Stratstone Aston Martin Hagley, any date during 2010. (Date and time to be confirmed by Stratstone Aston Martin Hagley).
It includes driving an Aston Martin with a Performance Driving Instructor around the Millbrook Proving Ground, and there will be a complimentary lunch also included.
This is to be auctioned online with all proceeds going to the 2012 target for Aston Manor Lodge No. 6323, who have kindly donated the event.
Closing date will be midnight of 5th December 2009. Happy bidding. posted 4 Nov 2009
All Master Masons who have not yet completed their journey through Pure and Antient Masonry are reminded of the forthcoming presentations to learn more. Full details have been circulated via Lodge Secretaries/RA Reps.
- Thursday 5th November, Alderson House, Warwick.
- Monday 9th November, Stirling Road.
posted 4 Nov 2009
New Website from Grand Lodge
The Grand Lodge website has been completely updated and can be seen atwww.ugle.org.uk. It is a wonderful representation of freemasonry in the 21st century, providing details of our principles, history, lodges and facilities of the English Constitution.
The classy website is primarily designed to aid recruitment of new masons, especially in their 20s and 30s, and to be informative to non-masons. In addition, it will be constantly evolving, with new content and functionality being added on a regular, on-going basis.
All areas of the site are available to public view, and it includes various informative videos to watch, including a tour of Grand Lodge.
A booklet containing a fascinating insight into Freemasonry can be viewed or downloaded from the Becoming a Mason section, which includes a facility for anyone to register an interest should they wish to join.
Taking advantage of latest technology, the actual speeches in Grand Lodge of both the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent and the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes can be heard and downloaded onto an iPod or iPhone. posted 31 Oct 2009
Warwickshire Website Arrives
After much technical work and expertise by our webmaster, Phillip Benson, the result of "Googling" freemasons Warwickshire, or something similar, is now a large "block" of results. This is a great achievement, and ensures wider exposure around the whole world of our activities here at home.
In addition, Grand Lodge has produced a summary of every Provincial website currently operating in the UK. Descriptions of the various sites range from "quite rambling", "very basic", "sort of ok" through "useful", "informative", "good looking".
The highest plaudit is undoubtedly "very good site" and is only accorded to one Province – Warwickshire.
Well done Phil, and many thanks for all your behind the scenes work. posted 31 Oct 2009
W Bro Professor Robert Ashford met with a total surprise when visiting South Africa on a recent business trip.
His mother Lodge (University of Birmingham 5628) was one of the original six University Lodges to sign up to the Universities Scheme launched by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) in 2005, whose main aim was to encourage young undergraduates to consider joining Freemasonry. The Scheme has now gained considerable momentum and at its 3rd annual conference in Manchester this year, over 80 Brethren attended, with some 20 Lodges being represented.
Prior to his trip, Robert checked if there were any Lodges meeting in the area he was visiting and was totally surprised to find a University Lodge which met in Johannesburg. He continues the story:
"On contacting the Secretary of the Lodge I discovered that my visit coincided with the universities winter vacation and traditionally a Lodge meeting was not planned. However it transpired that whilst I was in Johannesburg, the way in which the Lodge had operated over this vacation period was to hold an afternoon luncheon. This was the traditional way in which Brethren, who were originally linked to the local universities, would meet during the vacation to keep abreast of Masonic and other business. The University Lodge in Johannesburg meets under the English Constitution and in fact was formed by interested brethren from the UK. The original idea was that it should be a lodge where members would be graduates from the universities and technical colleges and interestingly where the brethren would wear their academic gowns at Lodge meetings. This last idea wasn't acceptable to the District but the Lodge idea went ahead and it was consecrated by RW Bro Major General Sir Allan Adair, the Assistant Grand Master, on the 13th Feb 1954. In the early days the Lodge met at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg but ultimately moved to the Freemasons' Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg in the 1970s.
During my visit, at the invitation of the Secretary W Bro Colin Lewis of the University Lodge 7327 (see picture), I attended a luncheon at the Provincial Building of the Northern District in the Freemasons' Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg. This is an exceptionally old building with beautiful Masonic architecture and a proud history of English Masonry being practiced therein.
Following lunch I was asked to give a brief overview of the UGLE Universities Scheme including its aims and objectives, the contextual framework in which the scheme operates including its philosophy, how it is managed and the University Lodges associated with the scheme. I was somewhat taken aback at the level of interest this scheme generated in terms of questions from the brethren following my presentation. The University Lodge is now planning to investigate this concept further with a view to becoming the first overseas university Lodge to sign up to the scheme and become actively involved in the process. I have had numerous invites to return to Johannesburg and visit this Lodge and other Lodges in the district."
Robert is planning to keep the UGLE universities scheme co-ordinator fully informed of his progress, and we wish him well with his splendid endeavours. posted 25 Oct 2009
Musical Splendour in Leamington
A fantastic evening of entertainment was provided by Barry Walker's SMACKEE at this year's concert, organised by W Bros Gordon Scott and Robin McConkey of St Barbara Lodge 4930, with all proceeds going to the 2012 Festival appeal.
The packed audience, which included many members of the general public, enjoyed another magnificent show from the famous performers at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington. It featured brilliantly choreographed medleys from West End, Broadway and Big Screen productions, as well as remarkably accurate renditions of hits from the 50s and 60s, and ABBA tributes.
Details of various events around the Province, including those supporting the 2012 Festival Appeal, can be found on the What's On? page. posted 22 Oct 2009
Remember, the clocks go back one hour at 1.00am this Sunday, 25th October. posted 22 Oct 2009
Redditch Freemasons (of both Warwickshire and Worcestershire) again threw open their doors to the public as part of the Heritage Open Days event in September, having advertised details in the local press, broadcast them on local radio and included them in other media listings.
W Bro Albert Walker explaining the Craft aprons to the Mayor
On display in the dining room were presentations illustrating a variety of national and local charities supported by the members who meet at Redditch, whilst in the Lodge Temple many items of regalia from several different orders of freemasonry were available for inspection. Early minute books of the various Lodges meeting at Redditch lay open, with the Seymour Lodge revealing details of its first recorded meeting more than a century ago, that having been the start of freemasonry in Redditch.
Refreshments were served by the widows of the local masons, and the Mayor of Redditch, Councillor Malcolm Hall, was presented with a £225 cheque from the masons towards his charity, the Sea Cadets.
W Bro David Bateman handing the Mayor a cheque for the Sea Cadets posted 22 Oct 2009
Bikers Surprise Master
Members of the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 visited the Isle of Man between 25th and 27th September, during which the Master of the Lodge, W Bro Michael Adams, conducted a ceremony which included David Hailwood, the son of "Mike the Bike" (see photo).
W Bro Michael Adams, present Master of the Mike Hailwood Lodge, during the 1955 Isle of Man TT
Accompanying them on the night were TWO Provincial Grand Masters in the persons of RW Bro Michael J Price CBE and RW Bro George Peake, together with a further 58 Brethren from the Mike Hailwood Lodge, Arthur Stanley Lodge 3732 (IoM) and every one of the other Lodges from the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man.
From left to right, RW Bro David Peake, W Bro Michael Adams, Bro David Hailwood, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE
"Welcome to Warwickshire" were the words of our own Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael Price CBE as he stood in the Temple of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man and greeted all those in attendance, including the Provincial Grand Master of the Isle of Man.
There were two surprises for the Master of the Lodge during the evening - one in the Lodge and the other at the festive board, where the brethren were joined by wives, partners and friends. The surprise in the Lodge was that PGM Michael presented the WM with a Festival Gavel for reaching the Lodge's 2012 Festival target. The second surprise came about after the members of the Lodge had visited a photographic exhibition of TT racing on the island. During the visit the WM asked the person who was presenting the exhibition if he had a photograph of him as he had raced there in 1955. Three photographs were found and to WM Michael's surprise and delight these were presented to him during the festive board, following which he took a short time before being able to respond.
Apart from the very enjoyable time that was had by all, it is hoped that the visit will be undertaken on a biannual basis with the Arthur Stanley Lodge visiting Warwickshire during the interim years. posted 22 Oct 2009
Brethren who would like to attend a Lodge in Gloucester which has its OWN ritual, and an extended inner working, are invited to their Installation meeting on Friday 20th October.
Full details can be seen on the Lodge News page. posted 8 Oct 2009
A horse & carriage was the order of the day in the City Centre of Birmingham when Severn Street first became a Masonic Meeting place.
150 years on, and a Car Parking facility has now been provided at the Singers Hill Synagogue in Blucher Street, just 2 minutes around the corner from the Masonic Hall in Severn Street, for the use by Severn Street Masonic Association members and their visitors from 5:00 pm onwards during the week. Details of entry procedures can be seen on the Meeting Places page.
As a former Synagogue that was acquired from the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation back in 1858 for Masonic purposes, to now have the adjacency of a car parking facility, gives added value to this unique venue.
"Traffic, parking restrictions, clamping and car park costs in the City Centre have been an issue for some and an inconvenience for others who meet or visit these rooms but this has all now been abrogated, with the future looking assured with personal benefits to existing members and a legacy for all new members into the 21st century." say the Directors of Athol Masonic Buildings Limited. posted 3 Oct 2009
Easter weekend 2010 will see our Festival Director, W Bro David Macey, walk the entire length and breadth of the Province, starting on April 2nd. The route will be along the canals of Warwickshire, providing easy and interesting walking, as well as an appreciation of the Province's rich industrial heritage. The walk will be over four days and be split into relatively short sections, so that Brethren, family and friends can join in for just one section, or accompany David for a whole day or indeed the entire walk. The details of the route can be seen on the Provincial website.
But David isn't doing it for health reasons, nor for a major dose of fresh air - oh no.
This walk is intended as a major fund-raiser for the Festival. We will be asking each and every Lodge to sponsor David, the details of which are in letters sent to every Master, Secretary, Festival Steward and Almoner, as well as being on a dedicated website page from which copies of all forms and details can be seen and printed.
Not only that, but everybody who joins in on the walk can seek his or her own sponsorship to boost the Festival funds.
Please support the walk in every respect – have fun, be healthy, enjoy the historic canals - but above all, raise lots of money! posted 3 Oct 2009
The latest Newsletter of the Warwickshire District of the Ancient and Accepted Rite can now be seen on the Rose Croix page under Other Orders, and contains details of a special meeting for members of the Order on 30th September 2010. This is part of the celebrations of the centenary of the occupation of 10 Duke Street as the Grand East, when the King Edward VII Chapter of Improvement will demonstrate the 13th degree Royal Arch of Enoch in the Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall in London. posted 29 Sep 2009
There will be an exhibition by Anthony Christian on Saturday, 17th October in the Concourse at Stirling Road from 10am to 6pm, to which everyone is invited to attend.
Anthony Christian is an International Artist who shot to fame when he painted The Battle Scene in 1955 at the National Gallery when he was then only 10 years old. This painting will be on show for the first time in public, together with other examples of his outstanding talent.
A donation from the sale of art will go to the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund.
See the What's On? page for further details of the exhibition, the artist and his work.
His website is www.ichorgallery.com [Now www.anthonychristian.co.uk] posted 27 Sep 2009
Masons Help Rescue Team
Senior Freemasons from Warwickshire and Northamptonshire paid a call to the operations base of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) at Coventry Airport, Baginton. Their main purpose was to hand over grant aid cheques totalling £8,000, and learn more about the magnificent work carried out by the dedicated team who run the WNAA.
Pictured (left to right) are Dr Ian Ferguson, Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb, Michael Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master and Captain Richard Craske.
During the visit the guests did manage to get close to the Agusta A109E Helicopter (purchased new in 2008), call-sign Helimed 53, as it briefly called into base to refuel between missions. Regional Fundraising Manager Jo Payne explained: "During a busy day we could respond to anything up to 12 emergency calls which could range from road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests to multiple casualty incidents. So far today we have helped a farmer who was kicked in the chest by one of his horses, two road traffic accidents and a patient complaining of chest pains, and we're nowhere near lunchtime yet."
The WNAA was formed just six years ago and exists to provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service directly to the counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Milton Keynes area, as well as cover for Birmingham, Solihull and other areas in the West Midlands. The service does not simply transport patients to the nearest hospital, but routinely carries senior Doctors and Consultants to the scene of incidents in just minutes, providing lifesaving treatment and medication at the scene and en-route to hospital. The Air Ambulance takes the hospital to the patient, providing the best possible chance of a full recovery, and the WNAA is acknowledged as being one of the most progressive of all the Air Ambulance services in the UK.
It is a registered charity and relies totally on public donations, fundraising activities and sponsorship. Chief Executive Andy Williamson said at the presentation "Being completely independent allows us to operate at peak efficiency as well as being able to respond to changing needs quickly and economically. Donations such as these are the lifeblood of our activities and we are very grateful for this and ongoing support from the masons and other groups who really are anchors of our communities".
The grant was part of our Grand Charity scheme which in 2008 gave £3.5 million to non-masonic causes, including a total of £180,000 to the various Air Ambulances around the UK. Further information about WNAA can be found on their websites:www.wnaa.co.uk posted 15 Sep 2009
An unforgettable experience from the award winning three-in-one show featuring Barry Walker's SMACKEE will enthral all attending this event on Sunday 27th September at 7.30pm, at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington. All proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival.
For full details and to book tickets go to our What's On page. posted 13 Sep 2009
Bedford Lodge 925 has sadly lost its senior Past Master and longest subscribing member who had for several years lived nearly 5,000 miles away in Texas, USA, and who passed away at the beginning of the month.
W Bro Jack Taylor, who held multiple executive management positions with GKN for over 40 years in the UK and Overseas, was initiated into Bedford Lodge where he became Master in 1963, which was the Lodge's Centenary Year. He moved to the USA with his wife in 2004 after his son Tim emigrated there in the 1980s, but was determined to maintain his roots by remaining a fully subscribing member of Bedford Lodge.
W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam - W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam
Pictured is W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam. posted 13 Sep 2009
The RW Provincial Grand Master is very pleased that once again many of our Masonic Halls will be participating in this year's Heritage Open Days event, which takes place from Thursday 10th - Sunday 13th September. This gives us a wonderful opportunity of demonstrating to the general public that we are a part of the community not apart from it. We need to demonstrate that we are a group like many others that give generously of our time and our money to help those less fortunate in our respective communities.
The Heritage Open Days event celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorsteps, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability.
Co-ordinated nationally by English Heritage the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making Heritage Open Days England's largest voluntary cultural event.
Warwickshire Masonic Temple
Guy's Cliffe, Warwick
Coventry Masonic Hall
Rugby Masonic Hall
Solihull Masonic Hall
Redditch Masonic Hall
Stratford Masonic Hall
Alderson House, Warwick
Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall
12 Sep 2009
11/12/13 Sep 2009
12/13 Sep 2009
10/11/12/13 Sep 2009
13 Sep 2009
12 Sep 2009
12 Sep 2009
13 Sep 2009
12 Sep 2009
12 Sep 2009
10.00am to 4.00pm
10.00am to 4.00pm
10.00am to 4.00pm
11.00am to 2.00pm
10.00am to 4.00pm
10.30am to 4.00pm
10.30am to 4.00pm
11.00am to 3.30pm
10.00am to 2.00pm
10.00am to 4.00pm
The Provincial Grand Master would be delighted if Brethren, their families and friends could support the event by visiting one or more of these Masonic Halls during the period of the event or if Brethren could offer their help to the organisers. posted 3 Sep 2009
Preserving and Caring for Lodge and Chapter Records
The Library and Museum at the United Grand Lodge of England has recently updated its guidance on this important subject. A copy has been placed in the Scribes Corner on the Royal Arch website here. There is also much interesting information available atwww.freemasonry.london.museum. posted 29 Aug 2009
A Ceremony with a Glittering Difference!
On Tuesday 10th November Fortior Lodge 6172 will be receiving a visit from the Lodge of the Glittering Star (Irish Constitution). They will be demonstrating their First Degree ceremony and Fortior Lodge will be pleased to welcome other Warwickshire brethren to witness a Ceremony With A Difference.
See the What's On? page for contact details. posted 29 Aug 2009
"The Victoria Cross - Freemasons' Band of Brothers"
This is the title of the Annual Clarendon Lecture to be given by W Bro Granville Angell, who was the Prestonian Lecturer for 2006, to which all brethren are invited to attend. The meeting is on Wednesday 2nd September 2009 at Stirling Road, and full detailscan be seen on the What's On? page. posted 15 Aug 2009
Province to support Masonic Roarers
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price, and Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton will be joining members of the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 at their meeting and banquet on the Isle of Man on Saturday 26th September. Over 20 brethren of the Lodge, accompanied by visitors, ladies and non-masonic guests, will be travelling to the event on their bikes, and would welcome any others who would like to join them.
Full details have now been finalised and can be seen on the Lodge News page. posted 7 Aug 2009
Spiced Up BBQ
On Sunday 16th August Victoria House (our Leamington rooms) will be holding an Indian Flavour Barbecue, to which all are welcome.
Full details can be seen here. posted 5 Aug 2009
Per Ardua Ad Dignitatem Meritam
"Through difficulties to a deserved status - the confluence of the Craft and the Mark" was the title of the Grand Stewards' Lecture for 2009, delivered by RW Bro Dr Roeinton BF Khambatta, PProvGM (London) at their meeting in July.
A summary of the lecture can be seen on the Mark website. posted 4 Aug 2009
Welcome to Little Britain USA
July 2009 marked the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Bermuda by the British.
The celebrations were steeped in history and included a ceremony where, amid much pomp, a venerable Freemason offered a state official a velvet cushion bearing a peppercorn on a silver platter, before the assembled dignitaries retired for afternoon tea.
How very British. But then this was in St George, once the capital of Bermuda and the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the Americas. Historical events such as the annual Peppercorn Ceremony – which commemorates the day in 1816 when the Freemasons began renting the old State House, paying with peppercorns – have taken on extra significance this year. posted 31 Jul 2009
On Friday 11th September 2009 the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 are holding a Candlelit Banquet with Ladies. This will be in the Great Hall of the magnificent medieval St. Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane, Coventry, and will be attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Coventry.
For full details and booking form see the What's On? page. posted 30 Jul 2009
There was a very special and happy evening at Guy's Cliffe in July when a candidate was Initiated into Freemasonry in Meridian Lodge 9003 by Worshipful Master John Durling.
What made the evening extra special is that in Lodge that evening were another Entered Apprentice member of the Lodge and four visiting Entered Apprentices. To crown it a further candidate was that evening proposed for membership!
The picture shows the happy group and includes the WM, the Deputy PGM Alan Wellan, the Wardens and the five EAs. posted 30 Jul 2009
Coventry Masons Rescue the Rhinos
The Radford Rhinos, one of Coventry's Explorer Scout Units, were devastated when a promise of transport by minibus failed to materialise.
The Rhinos had been invited to take part in the Gilwell 24 hour challenge at Gilwell, the Scouting HQ in the UK, which was to coincide with the inauguration of Bear Grylls as the new Chief Scout. Unfortunately the Rhinos learnt just days before the event that the minibus, which had been promised to get them there and back, was no longer available.
But not to be defeated, their Unit Leader Sarah Miller knew that Rhino Daniel Rowlands' dad was a local freemason, and that we are renowned for our community and charitable support. So she gave Daniel's dad Paul (who is due to become JW of Charterhouse Lodge 5690 in October) a quick ring and asked if he knew anybody that could help.
Cutting a long story short, following a short appeal for assistance at the Masonic Hall in Coventry the full amount of £220 to cover the cost of the hire of a minibus was raised along with a further £30 towards the petrol, thus ensuring that the Explorers could take part, and where they had a fantastic time.
Our Grand Charity last year pledged £500,000 to the Scout Association to support the KidsOutdoors initiative, giving them £100,000 each year for the next five years. posted 19 Jul 2009
W Bro Mike Midgley, who was Master of First Lodge of Light 468 in 1990 and who is currently their Treasurer and Charity Steward, has been awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement by Birmingham City Council Adult Education Service (see picture). This was for all the good work he has done during nearly 30 years of service as an Adult Education Tutor and Lecturer in the Birmingham area, teaching subjects such as Karate, Tai Chi, Self Defence, Relaxation and Meditation.
Mike's extensive training in working with the elderly, and disabled groups of all ages, enables him to take into account the many health problems that go with the ageing process, and he tells us "The development and establishment of classes has been a very big challenge but has been very worthwhile as I now have several groups in the Birmingham Area that are vibrant and thriving. The satisfaction I get from seeing the smiles on my students' faces during classes is very heart warming and everyone thoroughly enjoys the activities. The residents in the Care Homes that I teach in look forward to my weekly visits and it perks up their lives to have someone 'have a bit of fun and laughter with them' whilst quietly getting them to move their bodies to music as much as possible."
More recent additions to the programme he runs are Keep Fit for Mature Movers (Active Elderly 60-89 years of age) and Movement to Music for the Frail Elderly in Residential Care (75-100+). posted 19 Jul 2009
New OSM Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for Warwickshire
Our congratulations go to Wy Bro Merrill Elliott, who was installed as the new Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for Warwickshire at the Annual Provincial Meeting of the Order of the Secret Monitor. Our webmaster, Bro Phil Benson, has taken over Merrill's previous office as Provincial Grand Recorder.
A full report can be seen on the OSM page. posted 19 Jul 2009
Phishing Scam - HMRC
If you receive an e.mail, supposedly from HMRC advising they want to send you a tax refund, delete it immediately. It is a phishing scam.
Phishing is a form of identity theft, where fraudsters steal your identity and personal information to gain access to your accounts or commit other crimes using your persona.
A full description of this particular scam can be read here posted 19 Jul 2009
The Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 has published its first newsletter, and invites all Masons who have a current or previous interest or association with motorbikes to consider joining them as either visitors or members.
The Lodge has a unique programme of events, including biking to meetings at all of the Lodge rooms around the Province. They are also making a trip to the Isle of Man in September 2009 with the intention of holding a meeting there, at which they will conduct (under dispensation) a ceremony of Passing, the Candidate being David Hailwood, son of Mike after whom the Lodge was named.
Their website is www.mikehailwoodlodge9839.co.uk. posted 15 Jul 2009
The copy deadline (31st July) for the next issue of the Provincial Newsletter is approaching fast. There is a small amount of advertising space still available, rates starting at £100 for a quarter page. If you would like to advertise your business or service to all recipients of the newsletter (approx 4,800), call Harry Owen at the Provincial Office 0121 454 4422 or Peter Wellings on 07973 135761. posted 14 Jul 2009
We've streamlined the website calendar so that future events now appear in anew What's On? column, with details and application forms (where applicable). This column can include all events of interest to Warwickshire Masons, whether Provincial, Lodge, 2012 Festival, other Orders, or Social.
So, if you want to advertise your event, make sure we know about it first! To find out how, see the guidance notes here. Please remember to give everyone plenty of notice.
And remember, after the event why not tell us how it went? Perhaps with a photo or two? Guidelines for submitting reports are here. posted 11 Jul 2009
On Sunday 19th July 2009 Shipston-on-Stour Lodge 9418 are holding their Annual Pig Roast in aid of the 2012 Festival. Full details are posted on theWhat's On page. posted 9 Jul 2009
On Sunday 26th July 2009 Vellum Lodge 5845 are holding a Summer River Cruise in Worcester. Full details are posted on the What's On page. posted 9 Jul 2009
The Grand Secretary General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite will address members of the Warwickshire Chapter on 9th September 2009. For full details see the Rose Croix page under Other Orders. posted 1 Jul 2009
We all carry our mobile phones with names and numbers stored in its memory. If we were to be involved in an accident or taken ill, the people attending to us would have our mobile phone, but out of all the numbers how would they know which one to call in case of an emergency? Hence the 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) Campaign, which is quickly catching on.
The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents there were always mobile phones with patients but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognised name for this purpose.
All you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE'. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as 'ICE'. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. posted 27 Jun 2009
Jazz in the Park
The Mark Degree in Warwickshire is renowned for the variety and success of its programme of Social Events. Many of these are open to all Freemasons, their families and friends. They also provide an excellent opportunity to bring prospective candidates for Craft Lodges along to a relaxed environment and meet up with Masons in an informal setting.
On Sunday 5th July, Jazz in the Park takes place in the picturesque grounds of Guys Cliffe, Warwick. Bring your picnic tables/chairs, gazebos, groundsheets and (just in case) umbrellas to enjoy a lazy, hazy, summer afternoon of entertainment with the fabulous Jazz Band. Pig Roast, Barbecue and wine/beer/soft drinks are included in the ticket price.
From Darkness to Light
Warwickshire Freemasons assembled dressed in their regalia and escorted the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, into the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, for the Annual Service of Provincial Grand Lodge. St Mary's is a busy working church, set in the centre of the ancient town of Warwick where people have worshipped for over 1,000 years, and have left evidence of their faith in the architecture and decoration of the building — one of the largest and most interesting Churches in England.
Prior to the service the members and their families listened to delightful music newly arranged and played by Ruaraidh Sutherland, Assistant Director of Music for the Church.
The Rector of St Mary's, Revd Vaughan Roberts, welcomed everyone to the service, during which representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian faiths offered thoughts and blessings relating to the theme of the multi-denominational service "From Darkness to Light". The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro Revd Canon Denis Claringbull, presented a short commentary in which he referred to the lesson read by the Provincial Grand Master, and thanked the Vicar for the use of the Church, God for our health, and Freemasonry for showing light from darkness.
Photo: The Rector of St Mary's greets the Provincial Grand Master after the service.
During his sermon, the Rector thanked both the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Chaplain for the opportunity of preaching. Although not a Freemason himself many of his in-laws had been, and he maintained a strong interest in the fraternity due to its influence in forming our contemporary society and its long association with the Church. Indeed the local association went back at least as far as 1728 when the Master of the first Lodge in Warwickshire was Vicar of the Church.
Why are we here, and where were we going, he asked?
In a well researched outline of the origins of Freemasonry, which included various references to social history such as the influence of the Guild system in the 17th century, the Rector quoted from the American academic and historian of science Prof Margaret Jacob commending her work and publications, based upon examination of genuine records, as opposed to the incredible fiction published by such masters of fantasy as Dan Brown.
Freemasonry is a contemporary, multicultural and multiracial organisation which has strived at all times to help bring divided societies together. This is amply demonstrated by the peace and harmony maintained within its Lodges, and reflects the Church's work in bringing men of faith together for the benefit of mankind. The full sermon can be read here.
The Provincial Choir, very ably conducted by Provincial Grand Organist W Bro Roy Marshall JP, demonstrated their skill during the service, to the delight of all present. Nothing happens without someone making it happen, and everyone involved with organising and running the event deserves warmest congratulations and thanks. posted 23 Jun 2009
Bedford Lodge Garden Party
On Sunday 19th July Bedford Lodge 925 are holding a Garden Party in Alvechurch in aid of charity.
Full details about the garden party are posted on the Events page. posted 21 Jun 2009
Guys Cliffe House Open Day
On Sunday 28 June, a rare opportunity is available to members of the public to visit the grounds and buildings of one of Warwickshire's hidden gems. Not normally open to members of the public, visitors to the Annual Garden Party may enter the grounds and experience the property at first hand.
Full details about the open day are posted on the Events page. posted 21 Jun 2009
Queen's Birthday Honours
Our hearty congratulations are extended to W Bro Alan Sturley who has been awarded an MBE for services to young people in Warwickshire.
Alan, who is in his late 70s, is a former pupil of Warwick School and past Chairman of the Old Boys' Association, hence his membership of Schola Warwicensis Lodge No 9321 where he is Almoner and Past Master. He is also a former Almoner and subscribing Past Master of the Lodge of Unity No 567.
The well deserved honour was awarded following Alan's long career as Head of Gresham Special School in Leamington, and his work for the Warwick Apprenticing Charity which is based on apprenticing charities set up in the 17th and 18th century. It makes grants to students who live within the bounds of Warwick undertaking apprenticeships, attending university, or undertaking any other form of training designed to help in the furtherance of their career. posted 21 Jun 2009
The June Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England was presided over by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, who congratulated everyone who had fought their way to the meeting through the tube strike.
He announced that the annual meeting of the Grand Charity, usually held in March, will now continue to be part of each June's Quarterly Communication, returning to the previous format. The special event organised by the Grand Charity in commemoration of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent's forty years as our Grand Master proved to be a considerable public relations success for the Craft as a whole.
The new UGLE website, designed as both a public relations exercise and recruitment tool, is in the process of going live, and underpins our philosophy of open communications. It will help Masons when they talk to family, friends who are genuinely interested to hear what Freemasonry is all about, and will go a long way to dispel myths with our detractors.
When applications for jobs and certain offices ask whether the applicant is a Freemason, we are now actively pursuing any government body or organisation who specifically asks such question. Lambeth Borough Council has now backed down on this subject and we are now turning our attention to the Ministry of Justice. Although most Masons would be delighted and proud to say that they are Masons, the inclusion of such a question is flagrant discrimination.
In conclusion, The Pro Grand Master thanked everyone involved in organising and running the meeting, looked forward to seeing as many as possible in September and wished everyone and their families a very happy summer.
The full text of his address may be seen at www.ugle.org.uk/news/progm-speech100609.htm. (Link no longer works.) posted 21 Jun 2009
A number of national charities, across England and Wales, will benefit from generous grants totalling nearly £2 million approved at the Annual General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity. The grants include a sum of £500,000 for adult and children's hospice services and £192,000 for air ambulance charities.
Knocking at the Door?
The June meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge, at which our Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan Wellan, was declared Master Elect, saw several joining members, the presentation of a further eleven gavels and a magnificent demonstration of the Building of King Solomon's Temple.
A full report can be seen on the Lodge News page here. posted 19 Jun 2009
DCs Taught a Lesson!
The Warwickshire Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge received a presentation from W Bro Keith Marchington, one of the five Authorised Orators for the Province led by the Provincial Grand Orator W Bro Trevor Sturt.
A full report on the presentation can be seen on the Lodge News page here. posted 19 Jun 2009
Reading Court, The Masonic Housing Association complex on Tiddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, is always pleased to receive enquiries from potential applicants for flats. Most of the units are for single occupancy but there are some doubles. There is of course a waiting list.
The setting, in delightful gardens, and the active social life, make living conditions superb.
The residents have just hosted a fund raising Strawberry Tea and as a result of this and other functions were able to present a cheque for £1,000 to the Warwickshire and Northants Air Ambulance scheme, a worthy and generous achievement.
Picture shows ( left to right ) residents Ada Bate and Jean Wattison with Pam Jowers , the Warden, and Steve Welton from the Air Ambulance. posted 12 Jun 2009
Grand Charity Aid for Namibia Floods
The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £5,000 to the Red Cross to support their relief work following the worst floods to affect Namibia in 40 years. The money will help to fund the costs of the deployment of the mass sanitation emergency response unit. This unit specialises in preventing the outbreak of diseases, vital in a situation where there is flooding and where many thousands of people have been displaced.
Over 700,000 Namibians are believed to have been affected by the severe flooding which hit six regions and led to the declaration of a state of emergency. Crocodiles and hippos were reported to be swimming though the flood waters, attacking and killing people and even though the rains have now subsided the resultant damage to homes and crops has displaced thousands and is expected to lead to food shortages in the coming months.
The Red Cross emergency appeal will help 20,000 people to receive assistance with their immediate needs. There is particular concern that the affected communities may be vulnerable to diseases such as malaria and cholera and there is critical need for clean water, sanitation, treatment and hygiene kits.
The grant from The Freemasons' Grand Charity will make a vital contribution towards the relief work of the Red Cross. In addition to constructing temporary latrines and assisting with sanitation and waste disposal the Red Cross will be distributing thousands of blankets, tents, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and over half a million water purification powder sachets. posted 12 Jun 2009
A group of ten charities had reason to celebrate this week when they attended a special event where they were presented with grants from The Freemasons' Grand Charity totaling £550,000. The grants were given in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the installation of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG, as Grand Master of United Grand Lodge of England and Grand President of the central Masonic Charities.
In front of an audience of hundreds of Masons and their guests, The Duke personally presented the cheques to representatives of the charities. The organisations supported are charities for which His Royal Highness has a particular concern and meet The Freemasons' Grand Charity's objective of supporting people in need.
More information about the beneficiary charities is available from the Event Brochure on The Freemasons' Grand Charity website here (link removed).
Grants presented at meeting:
- Save Canterbury Cathedral £100,000
- Combat Stress £50,000
- The Colonel's Fund Grenadier Guards £50,000
- King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes £50,000
- Leukaemia Research £50,000
- Royal Air Force Charitable Trust £50,000
- Restore – Burn and Wound Research £50,000
- Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal £50,000
- The Colonel's Fund Scots Guards £50,000
- The Stroke Association £50,000
posted 9 Jun 2009
Open and Shut
A Past Master of one of our Lodges spotted the following in his employer's Code of Conduct:
"Membership of any organisation which is not open about its membership or proceedings, or which seeks a commitment of allegiance or to support or advance fellow members, e.g. Freemasons, may be seen by the public as liable to influence the conduct of an employee. Employees must therefore carefully consider whether such membership is compatible with your job."
Following his remonstrations, the said employer (a major Governmental department) duly removed the reference to Freemasons, acknowledging the statement as being clear on its own "without using any contentious examples".
Annual Church Service
This will again be held at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, on Sunday 14th June 2009 at 3.00pm, preceded by a full procession (in Masonic dress, weather permitting) from Alderson House.
Full details may be obtained from the Provincial Office. posted 29 May 2009
The latest issue of The Warwickshire Rose, the newsletter of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in Warwickshire, can be seen on the Rose Croix page of the website in the Other Orders column. Or it may be accessed here. posted 29 May 2009
Listen to the Provincial Grand Master's address
A recording was made of the address of the Provincial Grand Master to Provincial Grand Lodge on 16 May 2009.
To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.
Right-click to download the PGM's address | Duration: 15 mins
posted 29 May 2009
We were honoured in Warwickshire with a visit to our HQ at Stirling Road by UGLE Grand Secretary Nigel Brown (pictured below) and Information Officer Chris Connop, for a regional meeting of Provincial Information Officers (PIOs) which was attended by Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and ourselves.
The purpose of this series of meetings taking place around the country, scheduled to be completed by the end of June, is to highlight the importance which the Grand Secretary lays upon Public Relations and Communication in our increasingly positive dealings with the media, and to discuss ideas how best to develop this. The extraordinary nature and architecture of Freemasons Hall at Great Queen Street, London, has resulted in it being listed among the "Unique Venues of London" and makes it very popular as a venue for shows, concerts, lectures and presentations, as well as a location for films and television productions. This is without affecting the daily routine of the building and provides excellent "soft" PR.
A new website for PIOs has now been created which provides a forum for them to share good practice and inform each other of any interesting initiatives or successes. It also includes extensive guidelines regarding the practicalities of PR and Communications. The main UGLE website is being completely overhauled and by responding to demands identified following careful research will become a major recruitment tool for us.
At the meeting a lively and informative discussion took place embracing a variety of topics, including opportunities arising from such events as Freemasonry in the Community and the Heritage Open Days, the formulation of a five year plan for the next stage of our PR objectives, and the clear message that we will not tolerate scurrilous and offensive attacks on freemasonry, which we are ready and willing to make quite clear to the general public.
Warwickshire PIO Peter Wellings made the point that in addition to activities from the centre covering national and policy matters, it was vital to involve brethren at grass roots level (see below) as they were the ones in closest contact with the most important audience – our local communities. Whilst they should always refer enquiries about Masonic policy to him or the Provincial Office, there is a huge range of activity across every Province such as charitable donations, social events and involvement of Lodges and members within their locality which can be highlighted in local media.
Initial details were announced of the forthcoming "Greatest Masonic Event Ever", ie the 300th Anniversary celebration of Freemasonry. This will be held on 14th June 2017 at ExCeL London, which will by then have been truly tried and tested by the 2012 Olympics. Capacity is 80,000 – make sure you book early!
Apologies for Absence
Keen Warwickshire freemason W Bro Malcolm Griffiths was unable to attend the Installation meeting of his Lodge due to commitments elsewhere – he was being installed as Mayor of Bridgnorth, after just three years since becoming a councillor. His membership of freemasonry is considerably longer however, having been initiated into Lodge of Happiness No 7952 in 1983, becoming Master in 1993 and 2002, now serving as Almoner.
Malcolm also had to miss the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge for the first time in many years as he and his wife, Lady Mayoress Julie, were supporting their counterparts in Kidderminster at a welcome reception for soldiers returning from duty in Afghanistan. He is always proud to fly the flag for freemasonry and everything it stands for and will certainly be doing so during his term in office.
Congratulations Malcolm, and all best wishes to you and Julie for a happy and enjoyable time in high civic office. posted 21 May 2009
The Lodge of Faith and Hope No 4772 has supported the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack, which caters exclusively for mentally and physically disabled children, for well over 15 years, and have been delighted that the Province has also been able to support them in recent years.
John is pictured with "Arkela" and her Deputy, who were absolutely delighted and will use this donation to cover costs for their annual camp later in the year, which these days proves to be a very expensive event.
Funds provided last year totalling £700 helped to replace equipment lost in a fire during the previous year. posted 21 May 2009
Full House at Provincial Grand Lodge
Our Provincial HQ at Stirling Road was packed to capacity for the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, with cctv transmitting pictures on giant screens to the brethren towards the back of the meeting hall.
Prior to the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies gave a briefing to all present, following which the many distinguished guests, including visiting Provincial Grand Masters, Deputy and Assistant PGMs, Grand Officers and leaders of other Orders entered the Lodge in procession, with our own Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, being escorted into the meeting by his Officers.
After opening Provincial Grand Lodge in due form the PGM remembered Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above, including W Bro Christopher Sanders, RW Bro Stanley Lates and W Bro Rodney Pitham. He also referred to the sculpture of the Bear (chained) and Ragged Staff on his pedestal, and individually welcomed the distinguished guests, then everyone else present.
Following the various reports presented by Provincial Officers, which included a rallying call for events supporting the 2012 Festival from W Bro David Macey (in particular his Charity Walk early in April 2010), together with other formalities, the PGM appointed and invested W Bro Michael Morris, PJGD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, making special reference to Michael's son being the cushion bearer.
The PGM re-appointed the Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan Wellan, the Assistant PGMs, W Bros Roger Parker, Nigel Bister, David Macey and John Emms, acknowledging their individual efforts towards the well being and success of many aspects within the Province. Officers for the ensuing year, including W Bro Anthony Cheeseman as Provincial Senior Grand Warden (photo - front left) and W Bro David Shakeshaft as Provincial Junior Grand Warden, were appointed and invested, and Past Ranks were conferred or confirmed. Those invested were reminded of the important leadership role they had to play in the Craft in Warwickshire.
The PGM then addressed the meeting and a full transcript is available here.
Photo left: Outgoing and incoming Provincial Senior Grand Wardens Rex Lowin (front left) and Tony Cheeseman (front right).
At the festive board following Provincial Grand Lodge a splendid meal was enjoyed by everyone present, and in his toast to the PGM our new Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Tony Cheesman, referred to the great strength of the soul and heart of Warwickshire Freemasonry arising from the magnificent effort and devotion applied by our PGM.
Next year's annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 15th May. posted 18 May 2009
During the Masonic close season there is always plenty going on if you know where to look.
On Thursday 11th June the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge will view a demonstration of "The Building of King Solomon's Temple" at Stirling Road, and the following evening, Friday 12th June, the Warwickshire Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge will enjoy Orations entitled "Building the Temple" and "Jacobs Ladder", as well as an outline of the Orations Scheme, at the Alderson House rooms in Warwick. These events may be attended by all Masons and full details and application forms can be seen on the Lodge News pagehttp://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/lodge_news.php.
Then on Sunday 14th June we have the Annual Church Service at St Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick.
The Mark Degree organises a lively programme of social events which may also be attended by all Masons, the next one being "Jazz in the Park" on Sunday 5th July, in the delightful grounds of Guy's Cliffe, Warwick. Full details can be seen on the Calendar page of the Mark website www.warwickshiremark.org.uk/calendar.php. posted 17 May 2009
Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge
The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 16th May 2009, at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.
The meeting starts at 10.30am and all Brethren should to be seated by 10.15am. posted 12 May 2009
Bible Probe, who describe themselves as being a non-denominational outfit for Christians and Messianic Jews, pronounce on their website:
"Masons have mixed idolatry, paganism, the occult, Kabala, fertility cults, Satanism, spiritualism, demonology, and put it into a blender and come up with the Masonic religion. It is not of God! It is a false religion; the Harlot of Babylon. Masons say they offer new candidates "the light". The light they are actually giving is: Lucifer".
And guess what? They also offer prayers of cleansing for Masonic Degrees. Just send your cheque to. . . .
Everyone has a hearty chuckle at such ridiculous drivel, which the authors don't seem to realise only magnifies their ignorance. Do let us know of any similar reports or comments seen – we might be able to get royalties off a new Dan Brown production, filmed of course at Great Queen Street! posted 12 May 2009
Grand Lodge Investitures
The Province of Warwickshire was well represented amongst 1604 Freemasons, who attended the annual investiture meeting of Grand Lodge at the end of April. MW Bro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, the Pro Grand Master, presided over the proceedings and was pleased to invest the many newly appointed or promoted Grand Officers.
At the beginning of his address he let it be known he does like to speak his mind, but that on public occasions such as this it is best to stay with the prepared script! In welcoming everyone present he assured them of the appreciation of those at HQ for their attendance.
Congratulations were extended to all those invested and promoted, as well as a reminder of the expectation of future commitment. Whilst appreciating being handed over to with the Craft in as buoyant a mood as it has been for some years, as well as the tremendous work carried out by his predecessor, there was still plenty to be done.
In particular, we must ensure that all candidates for initiation have a proper understanding, before they join, of what we expect of them and what they can expect from us. It is many years since we have shown so much pride in our membership and we should have the confidence to explain that we expect, and generally speaking get, all our members to behave in a way that benefits society at large. This is not only from our considerable charitable activities, but also from our emphasis that all members are expected to behave in a civilised, lawful and neighbourly fashion at all times, with action being taken if a member acts in a way that is unacceptable to society in general through antisocial or dishonest behaviour.
The Pro Grand Master concluded his address by thanking the Grand Secretary and his team for their huge amount of organisation, leading to the building really buzzing on a big occasion such as this. He and the Deputy Grand Master (both being former Grand Directors of Ceremonies) had taken more than a passing interest in the ceremonial aspect and congratulated the present Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for running the show so smoothly with just one word - impeccable.
It was especially pleasing for the Warwickshire brethren to see W Bro John Emms promoted to Past Senior Grand Deacon and W Bro Tony Wall to Past Junior Grand Deacon, in addition to the first appointments to Grand Rank conferred on W Bro Michael Morris as Past Junior Grand Deacon, W Bro Nigel Burton as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and W Bro Eric Bear as Past Grand Standard Bearer. It should also be mentioned that our Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2006/7, W Bro Eric Rymer, was invested as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies through his other Province of Staffordshire.
Afterwards our Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, hosted a dinner for no fewer than 29 Warwickshire brethren at the Royal Air Force Club on Piccadilly where he has been a member for the past 40 years. The PGM once again congratulated the members of the Province on receiving their honours at Grand Lodge and added his particular thanks to the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton, for his excellent arrangements. It was without doubt a most enjoyable and memorable day for all those fortunate enough to be present. posted 9 May 2009
Following a very well attended meeting of Temple Councillors held at our Provincial HQ in Stirling Road, to which all members of Lodges had been invited, our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Philip Hall (pictured) delivered a most interesting and enlightening presentation in which he included his views on some of the ceremonial activities seen around the Province.
W Bro Philip referred to the challenging times we live in and the need to adapt in order to continue attracting to our ranks men of honour and good standing, and the importance of the mentoring programme as well as the manner in which we run our meetings to maintain their interest, commitment and involvement. Whilst our ritual was regarded as sacrosanct, the festive board was the most relevant area where we can adapt and change in accordance with contemporary practices, and examples were given suggesting how our meetings could be modified accordingly, particularly as regards time frames.
After pointing out that the success of a festive board was largely dependent upon the Lodge DC's forward planning and management, he then went into considerable detail covering all aspects including seating plans, use of gavels, wine takings, toasts, raffles, charity appeals, etc.
The presentation was very well received and a full copy, which should be essential reading for all Lodge DCs, is available from your own Lodge's Temple Councillor. posted 9 May 2009
Goats Milk at Newdegate
Newdegate Lodge No 5102 celebrated an English Night at their meeting rooms in Nuneaton on St George’s day. This was their Past Masters’ evening, at which Bro Dean Wagstaff was raised to the third degree in an excellent ceremony shared between the WM and Past Masters.
On the same evening W Bro Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented a 50 year certificate to W Bro C Kenneth Burtenshaw, (pictured left) who was born in Dublin and initiated into Unity Lodge No 238 in Ireland in April 1956, moving to Nuneaton the following year. He joined Newdegate Lodge in 1972, was Master in 1986 and is currently Almoner. He was also a Founder member of George Eliot Lodge No 9227 and a member of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No 9253. Those present heard about Ken’s career, his swimming exploits, his service with the Boys Brigade and the excellent work he does for good causes.
Nearly sixty brethren attended this splendid occasion, including members of Abbey Lodge on their annual visit.
At the festive board the Roast Beef was carved at the table, and accompanied by "Goats Milk" Real Ale from the Church End Brewery at Ansley. As well as the usual Masonic songs, there were more Masonic songs set to English Folk tunes. posted 9 May 2009
Every year the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association makes many donations to worthy non-masonic charities, which this year totalled £92,100 shared amongst 191 recipients. Pictured are representatives from many of the recipient charities, who received their cheques at a lunch held at Stirling Road, with the Provincial and Deputy Provincial Grand Masters.
The WMCA Trustees evaluate the financial situation on an annual basis and decide an amount which can be afforded to donate and donations are subsequently made to registered charities which operate within the area covered by the Province of Warwickshire.
The process is managed on behalf of the Trustees by Tony Newby, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, together with Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, from the Charity Office, Stirling Road.
A full list of this year’s recipients is available here. posted 9 May 2009
Funeral of W Bro Rodney Pitham
The funeral of W Bro Rodney Pitham, Past Senior Grand Deacon, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, who died suddenly on Sunday 26th April, will be held on Tuesday 5th May at St James the Great Church, at the junction of Stratford Road and Church Road, Shirley B90 2AX. The service will be at 2.00pm, followed by a private cremation for family only.
Family flowers only, but donations are invited in memory of Rodney to the Warwickshire Masonic Benevolent Fund (WMBF), Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. (cheques payable to WMBF).
We understand that in his will Rodney asked that no black ties or dark suits be worn.
Refreshments will be available afterwards at the Solihull Masonic Temple, 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle, Solihull B93 9AH. posted 3 May 2009
It is with much regret that we have to announce the death of W Bro Rodney Pitham PSGD a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire on Sunday the 26th April 2009. Further details will be posted when they are available. posted 27 Apr 2009
Warwickshire Grand Officers' Mess
The next Mess Dinner will be held on Thursday 23 April 2009 at the Solihull Masonic Temple at 6.30pm for 7.00pm. The guest speaker is Mrs Diane Clements, the Director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Great Queen Street, whose talk is entitled 'A Woman's Place? - The Female Presence at Freemasons' Hall'. This promises to be most interesting and informative and Mrs Clements, a leader in her profession, is worthy of a large audience. Those Grand Officers who are members of the Mess and who have not yet replied to the invitation to attend should do so as soon as possible to Peter Randon the Mess Secretary. This will be an evening to remember. posted 21 Apr 2009
In a recent article in the 'Sunday Times', Jonathan Leake, Science Editor, reported that the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific body, has bought one of the country's finest stately homes and plans to make it into a rural hothouse to train leading researchers.
It wants to use Chicheley Hall (pictured), in secluded grounds near Milton Keynes, for science seminars and conferences and to brief politicians and other policy-makers on issues such as climate change.
The grade 1-listed building, completed in 1725 by the master builder Francis Smith of Warwick, is among Britain’s most admired Georgian mansions.
Many who read the article will not have realised the link with the first known Lodge in Warwickshire constituted at The Woolpack in Warwick on 22 April 1728. Francis Smith was the Junior Warden at that meeting, his older brother being Senior Warden.
Also, the early development of both freemasonry and the Royal Society were undoubtedly intertwined, with many gentlemen of the era being members of both organisations. posted 21 Apr 2009
Helping in the Hills
The trustees of the Longmynd Adventure Camp [LMAC] have seen the cost of converting its primary ablutions block into a segregated mixed gender facility more than double. LMAC Chairman Don Rogers explains "Not only have our initial estimates had to be revised due to increases in the cost of materials, but our plans to reuse a number of our existing toilet partitions has been thwarted. The incursion of damp after 30 years of service has rendered them unusable and their replacement cost is an eye watering £6,500."
However this has not deterred the Charity from getting on with the job thanks to some generous offers of assistance and grant funding. The officers of the Charity were also delighted to receive donations from two Masonic sources – W Bro David Kettle (pictured centre) presented a cheque for £350 on behalf of the Province of Warwickshire in recognition of the provision of services to the children of the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham. The Trustees have for many years gifted a one week camp to children that have little or no access to the countryside. W Bro Allan Caswell and W Bro David Sagar presented a cheque for £374 on behalf of the Church Stretton based Caer Caradoc Lodge. The presentation took place in the Carding Mill Valley beauty spot with Don Rogers (LMAC Chairman), and Kim March (Secretary) in attendance. posted 21 Apr 2009
The Funeral Service for RW Bro Stanley Lates will be held at St Alphege Church, Church Hill Road, Solihull B91 3RQ, on Monday 6th April 2009 at 2.00pm, followed by a private cremation.
Donations in memory may be made to the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, c/o the Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Birmingham B16 9SB, or to the Parkinson's Disease Society, c/o Thomas Bragg & Sons, 562 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 4AY.
Family flowers only please. posted 31 Mar 2009
Want to keep up to date? Use RSS.
For some time, the Provincial web site has offered users notification of changes to the Provincial News page. Since the new site was launched last year, this has been augmented by the web-standard system known as RSS - Really Simple Syndication.
RSS is built directly into Internet Explorer 7 and 8 and Firefox and many other recent Web browsers and Microsoft provides a "How-to" here. Anyone clinging tenaciously to an older version of either browser should click on the link (above) to the help on the Provincial web site.
So, why are we using RSS rather than the older system? The old system checks the page once per day and looks to see if any changes have been made. Small changes are not flagged and not advised to subscribers, so a change from "available" to "not available" would go un-noticed. This could be changed so that every change, no matter how small, would be flagged. However, that would have the unfortunate side-effect of noticing when spelling mistakes were corrected, or when a PJGD became a PSGD after an error was noticed and corrected.
This has happened in the past, and we were sent complaints when no obvious change was seen by the viewer.
RSS has none of these problems.
- News update notices are controlled directly by the webmaster, hence no spurious notifications are generated.
- It is recognised by all modern browsers - some of them will prompt you when a RSS feed is detected on a web page you visit - and can be used directly from them.
- It is used by every major organisation in the world, such as the BBC, as their preferred news alert system.
- It is simple to use and reliable in operation.
In order to prevent further ongoing difficulties caused by using the outdated change notification system, this service will be discontinued on 31 March 2009. This may be the last automatic change notification you will receive. Please now subscribe to the RSS system.
Separate RSS feeds are available on the Provincial web site for Provincial and Lodge news so that you can choose what you want to be advised about. posted 25 Mar 2009
You Asked, We Listened!
Always responsive to requests from Lodges and individual members in the Province, a number of additions have been made to the Provincial web site.
Lodges asked if they could have a section to promote their coming events; this has now been provided here. Lodges also asked if they could add news items about their lodges to the web site alongside the main news.
The web site was enlarged in response and items of a more local, rather than Provincial or country-wide, nature are now listed here. A new, separate, Events page was set up so that forthcoming events can be seen more easily, arranged in date order, and not be swamped by items of news posted later.
The menu system was changed, of course, to provide access to the new pages, and links to each of the other sections are included on each of the pages.
Lodges can now send items of interest via email or directly from the form on the web site here. posted 25 Mar 2009
The MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, was re-elected at the March Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, during which he was pleased to install MW Bro Peter Lowndes as the Pro Grand Master, and RW Bro Jonathan Spence as the Deputy Grand Master, with RW Bro David Williamson having agreed to continue as Assistant Grand Master. This team will build on our recent successes and lead the Craft with inspiration towards 2017 - our three hundredth anniversary. He also invested VW Bro Oliver Lodge as Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The Grand Master highlighted the enormous debt of gratitude we owe to the Past Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Lord Northampton, for his dedicated and unstinted service at home and abroad. Achievements highlighted included the appointment of a Grand Chancellor, the move of the Masonic charities into 60 Great Queen Street and the development of the Mentoring and Orator Schemes, all of which have contributed significantly to improving communications between Great Queen Street and Provinces and Districts - one of Lord Northampton's principal objectives on becoming Pro Grand Master. His support for the Grand Master's policy of speaking openly about our Freemasonry has led to a greater understanding of Masonic affairs by the general public, as well as educating the Brethren to feel less inhibited in talking about Freemasonry, and his worldwide activities emphasised our Grand Lodge's role as arbiters of regularity.
As regards the future, the Masonic and business experience of the new Rulers was outlined because, although Masonry is not a business, Grand Lodge has begun, under the direction of the Grand Secretary, to be managed along business lines. The new Pro Grand Master will preside over the Craft Annual Investiture meeting in April, where he will have the opportunity to outline his own ideas, and the Deputy Grand Master will take over the role of encouraging synergies between the four Masonic charities.
Open communications with members of the non Masonic community will remain a key objective supported by, for example, the new Grand Lodge website, Freemasonry Today magazine and the very successful events that are run for non masons from our wonderful headquarters building.
Lodges should select only quality candidates and then, with the Mentoring Scheme see that they are cared for, and educated through their Masonic journey. Brethren should always be mindful of the future of the Craft, so that we can be confident of the next generation of Masons. The Craft is in the soundest shape that it has been for many years, and is an Organisation much more confident in itself.
For the full text of the MW Grand Master's address go to www.ugle.org.uk/news/gmspeech-110309.htm (Link no longer works.) posted 25 Mar 2009
£5,000 for emergency aid for Fiji flood victims
The President of the Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £5,000 to help victims of flooding that has affected large areas of Fiji. For full details please visithttp://www.grandcharity.org/news.php/31/pound5000_following_floods_in_fiji posted 25 Mar 2009
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that R W Bro Stanley Alan Lates passed away peacefully on Sunday 22nd March at home.
He was a Past Provincial Grand Master of the Craft and Past Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch in Warwickshire, and had been awarded the highest accolade, the Order of Service to Masonry. His achievements in the other Masonic Orders were of similar great significance.
We will all have fond memories of R W Bro Stanley and will miss his presence with us. Our sympathies are extended to Rosemary and the family. posted 23 Mar 2009
Many congratulations go to the following Worshipful Brethren for their preferment in Grand Lodge, their investiture taking place in London on Wednesday 29th April 2009.
- Michael C Morris, Past Junior Grand Deacon
- Nigel R Burton, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- Eric Bear, Past Grand Standard Bearer
- Eric Rymer, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- John R Emms, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Senior Grand Deacon
- Tony Wall, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Junior Grand Deacon
In addition, Michael Ward, an honorary member of St Barbara 4930 and a member of 4538 is to be promoted to Past Junior Grand Warden. He is also the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London and after 29 April will be addressed as RW Bro Michael Ward. posted 15 Mar 2009
Red letter day for Red Cross
The Freemasons' Grand Charity joined with the British Red Cross in Birmingham to launch a new Red Cross ambulance.
The emergency vehicle has been funded by a grant of £50,000 from the Grand Charity and will be used to support the emergency services as they help local people during an emergency such as the Birmingham Tornado and the freak snow storms during February.
The donation has come as part of the Red Cross West Midlands Emergency Response Appeal (WMERA) which is raising money to fund Red Cross volunteers and equipment which will be used to upscale the work of the Red Cross as it supports vulnerable people and communities across the West Midlands.
British Red Cross Operations Director for the West Midlands Caroline Leighton (pictured with Rodney Pitham, Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, left, and Chris Grove MBE, Provincial Grand Almoner) said at the presentation "Whether it's helping people caught up in emergencies, such as the Warwickshire floods, or providing trained first aid cover at local events, this is what we do, day in, day out. During emergencies, the police, fire and ambulance services are among the first to respond. Once the immediate danger has passed, the Red Cross is on hand to help people get over the crisis, whether it's a high profile national emergency, such as the floods of 2007, or a personal crisis such as a house fire".
She continued "We need to do more: demand for our services is growing. The number of callouts is increasing and we need to recruit and train more volunteers to meet these needs, as well as purchase equipment, such as command and control centres.
"We are really grateful for the support we have received from The Freemasons' Grand Charity. It will enable us to respond even more effectively and reach even more people throughout the area".
Speaking on our behalf, Rodney Pitham said "The Freemasons' Grand Charity supports people in need and has a history of providing financial assistance to the worldwide emergency relief efforts of the British Red Cross. WMERA was an opportunity to extend this help to the wider activities of the Red Cross and we are delighted to be associated with the services that this vehicle will provide for the people of the West Midlands."
After handing over the keys of the Ambulance, Rodney and all the other supporters present were given a most enlightening guided tour of the Regional HQ in Birmingham, during which the wide variety of activities were outlined. Examples ranged from co-ordinating logistics for International relief missions, deploying the bulk storage of emergency supplies strategically located in "Thunderbird" style pods around the world, such as rescue boats in Scotland, and camp beds in Germany, right through to the daily one-to-one support given locally to distressed individuals. posted 15 Mar 2009
W Bro Graham Bull having heard that there was a need for landscaping of the car park extension at Reading Court kindly offered to source materials and also provide the services of members from De Montfort Lodge No 5155.
The band of workers, including Graham's wife Marilyn, duly arrived at Reading Court with a full selection of the working tools of a masonic gardener. They did a wonderful job and the Chairman, VW Bro Alan Wellan, the committee and of course the residents are most grateful for this display of masonic support. Thank you and well done all of you!
Pictured are (left to right) Bro G A Bull, Mrs Marilyn Bull, W Bro J S Kisbey, W Bro J D Kisbey, volunteer Nick and Worshipful Master L J Whitehead. posted 15 Mar 2009
Provincial Museum and Library
As is well known from the 2008 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, and from reference to page 136 of the Masonic Year Book, the museum and the library are being evaluated under the direction of Deputy PGM Alan Wellan with the aid of W Bros Clifford Hadley (museum) and John Emms (library). The objective of the exercise is to ensure that cataloguing is up to date and that the layout is as informative and user friendly as possible.
At the Temple Council Meeting on January 29th 2009 it was suggested that as Museum and Library Representatives have not met for a considerable time, and the evaluation was not complete, it may not be necessary in the medium term for lodges to continue appointing them. Since the Council Meeting some brethren have expressed concern at this suggestion; the concern is recognised and so it is now suggested that Representatives remain in post so that they are available for when meetings recommence. There will be an update at the April meeting of the Temple Council. posted 15 Mar 2009
Between December 2008 and February 2009, 434 Masonic Relief Grants were made to support individual Masons and their dependants experiencing financial need or requiring mobility equipment. In total, £828,703 was approved for payment to assist the beneficiaries.
Masonic Relief Grants represent one of the primary activities of The Freemasons' Grand Charity. Grants are made to Masons or the dependants of deceased Masons - including widows, partners and also divorced/separated spouses or partners - who are experiencing hardship; no case of genuine need is ever rejected.
Grants are made for essential daily living costs, unexpected needs or towards the provision of mobility equipment. They typically range from £100 up to £4,500 per applicant per year, and can be renewed for as long as the need lasts. In cases of exceptional need larger grants may be awarded.
Applications are assessed against guidelines taking into account the income, expenditure and savings of the applicant, but as a guide individuals with a Masonic connection who are in receipt of support from the State, such as Pension Credit, are likely to qualify. posted 15 Mar 2009
The total amount at the end of February 2009 stands at £1,341,253 posted 6 Mar 2009
The Provincial Grand Master has been pleased to appoint W Bro Michael C Morris, P Prov SGW as a fifth Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Craft Province of Warwickshire and will invest him at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge to be held on Saturday 16th May 2009.
Michael was first appointed to Provincial Rank in 1995 when he was appointed as a Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. He was then promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2003, and was appointed as acting Senior Warden in 2006. He became a representative on the Provincial Grand Masters' Rulers Forum in 2007.
He has enjoyed a distinguished career in the legal profession and is currently a District Judge sitting in the West Midlands.
Many congratulations Michael, and all best wishes for a happy and enjoyable time in this high office. posted 25 Feb 2009
Many congratulations to Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Roger S Mac, who is to become the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Province of Warwickshire, following the sad death of W Bro Chris Sanders. He will be installed into this Office at the meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Mark Masters Lodge No 1400 on Thursday 30th April. Roger's Mark CV can be seen in the news column on the Mark website www.warwickshiremark.org.uk. posted 25 Feb 2009
Floating Masons help Bushfire Fund
The doyen of Freemasonry Afloat, W Bro Trevor Wellings, currently aboard P&O liner Arcadia as it sails around southern Australia, reports that the Masonic Festival held on the previous leg raised A$900. This will be donated to the Victoria Bushfire Disaster Fund and forwarded by the senior Grand Officer present, who was disembarking in Melbourne. posted 25 Feb 2009
Royal Arch Companions in Warwickshire have shown their generosity by donating £18,000 to provide a fully equipped Ford Galaxy people carrier to Age Concern Warwickshire, a local branch of the national Age Concern organisation. For full details and pictures from the presentation, go to the news column on the Royal Arch websitewww.royal-arch.org.uk. posted 25 Feb 2009
Action against Flu
Provincial Almoner Chris Grove presented £10,000 to Action Medical Research Director of Research Dr Tracy Swinfield at Birmingham University's new School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. This was made up with £5,000 from the WMCA and the same amount under a match funding scheme being run by the Freemasons' Grand Charity at the moment.
Action Medical Research allocates the charitable donations which they receive towards research projects all over the UK, to help find new ways of preventing, treating and curing disease and disability. The charity was born out of the concern of a father for his daughter, who was diagnosed with polio in 1949. He was so distressed, and appalled by the lack of knowledge about what was a disease of epidemic proportions, that he used his small savings to set up a new charity. In 1952 the National Fund for Poliomyelitis Research was established, and eventually research funded by the charity led to the development of the polio vaccine, paving the way for virtual eradication of the disease world-wide. Their website is www.action.org.uk.
Our grant will assist a project being conducted in collaboration with the University's School of Medicine, in which researchers are investigating whether controlled exercise using weight training principles can boost the effectiveness of the flu jab. The exercises are designed to cause inflammation in the arm, which researchers believe might kick-start the immune system, so it is ready to go when the vaccine is injected.
If effective, exercise could be a very simple, cheap and natural way to boost the effect of the flu jab. It might increase immunity and help protect more people from the flu, sparing them from illness and saving lives. It may also mean the jab can work at lower doses, which would decrease costs and increase availability. If this project does conclude that exercise helps boost the effects of the flu jab, it may also help in vaccination programmes against a wide range of infectious diseases as well.
Pictured with Chris and Tracy are (left) Dr Vikki Burns, Project Leader, and (right) post graduate research team members John and Jo. posted 25 Feb 2009
New Year's Honours
We were delighted to see RW Bro Tom Lloyd, Provincial Grand Master for the neighbouring Province of Staffordshire, awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list. This was for services to West Midland Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association of which he was Chairman for a number of years until stepping down early in 2008. Well done Tom. posted 21 Feb 2009
The Freemasons in Victoria, Australia, have acted very quickly in order to help relieve the suffering caused by the devastating bushfires which occurred on 7th February. In response they have established The Grand Master's Victorian Bushfires Appeal. Funds raised by this Appeal will be directly applied to significant community redevelopment and reconstruction projects in addition to providing direct assistance to seriously disadvantaged members of the Masonic and wider community. The appeal has been launched with an initial contribution from the Benevolent Fund of $400,000, together with newspaper announcements of it.
Full details can be seen on the Victorians' website:www.freemasonsvic.net.au/NewsArticle/News/tabid/267/Default.aspx?newsID=44
Our own Freemasons' Grand Charity is making an emergency grant to the Grand Lodge of Victoria to help them with their work. posted 16 Feb 2009
An Aston Martin for Aston Manor
The brethren of Aston Manor Lodge 6323 are holding a rather special raffle at the festive board of their meeting on Tuesday 21st April, at Yenton Assembly rooms. The prize is an invitation for two people to a driving event at Millbrook Proving Ground. This will include an Aston Martin with a Performance Driving Instructor around the ground, followed by a complimentary lunch. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the 2012 Festival.
To take part in the raffle you will have to attend the Lodge so first enjoy their meeting and then chance your arm. Shrewd punters will of course work out the excellent odds - fire regulations mean the maximum number of participants will be just 90! Applications from the Lodge Secretary Bro SN Abel on 02476 676 100. posted 16 Feb 2009
W Bro RK Ward reports that at the recent Installation Ceremony at Gothic Lodge No 4735 visitors were surprised to see a Past Master occupying the chair and welcoming them. The Provincial DC asked that all Provincial Officers form a column for the Presiding Officer in the usual way.
The Presiding Officer occupied the chair and informed the brethren that the Installing Master had been rushed into hospital that afternoon. As other Past Masters of the Lodge were away on holiday, he and his acting DC would therefore carry out the ceremony from start to finish.
The ceremony was performed with warmth and sincerity and was greatly appreciated by all the brethren there, who had never experienced seeing a Presiding Officer or DC enact a complete ceremony with only approximately four hours notice.
The past masters and brethren of Gothic Lodge would like to sincerely thank the representatives of the Province for their help and support. They were W Bro Rodney Pitham and W Bro Philip Hall. posted 16 Feb 2009
A Very Special Occasion
At Griffin Lodge of Installed Masters recently, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, presented a 60-year certificate to W Bro Arthur George Lewis PJGD, a Past Master of the Lodge (both pictured, with WM Bill Clark seated).
The PGM led Arthur to the centre of the floor of the Lodge and started by noting that the following day was Arthur's 86th birthday, the Brethren acknowledged this by singing Happy Birthday. The PGM then gently teased from Arthur some fascinating details of his life, from being born in Perth, Australia to his upbringing in Willesden, including Arthur's life initially as a Scout, then a Scout Messenger for the ARP on to being a Sergeant in the Home Guard. When Arthur was old enough he joined the Royal Artillery in 1942 and went to the Far East. Following his demob at Woolwich he then started civilian life as a Quantity Surveyor working for London Transport. Before long he was traveling again and spent 18 months in Ghana working for the Municipal Council in Accra before returning to the UK.
After marrying Audrey in 1956 they lived in Orpington, raising a son and daughter before finally moving to Dunchurch in 1995. Arthur had initiated, passed and raised his son Gordon and installed him in the Chair of King Solomon. He then exalted him into Royal Arch and installed him in both J and Z chairs. The PGM then asked Arthur to thank Audrey for her tremendous support during all of those years, prior to reading aloud the 60-year certificate which he presented to Arthur together with a 60-year lapel badge.
They both returned to their seats and the Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies then recited the Proclamation from the Lodge floor. This listed all of Arthur's Craft and Royal Arch accomplishments. This was very well done and well received by the Brethren.
Arthur then thanked the PGM and the Brethren and addressed the Brethren giving a few further observations on how the craft had changed during his membership. He finished with a warm tribute to the Provincial Grand Master. posted 16 Feb 2009
At Darell Lodge No 5945, Rugby, Assistant PGM W Bro David Macey presented 50-year Certificates to W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox,
Arthur (92) has been a lifelong member of the Lodge, whilst David (72), formerly of Dover and the Province of East Sussex, joined Darell Lodge some 9 years ago.
Pictured are the APGM together with David and Arthur (seated l-r), and WM Stan Parnell. posted 16 Feb 2009
Shakespeare Hospice features
Every year our Grand Charity makes donations to hospices throughout the country, this year being no exception. The Shakespeare Hospice received two cheques from Deputy PGM Alan Wellan (pictured with Duncan Forbes, CEO of the hospice), £1,000 from the Grand Charity and £400 from the local David Garrick Lodge.
Over £2.5 million was distributed to non-Masonic causes in the last 12 months by the Grand Charity, for which Rodney Pitham is Chairman of the non-Masonic grants committee. posted 16 Feb 2009
A 50 year certificate was presented to W Bro Ron Rollason (pictured centre) by Assistant PGM W Bro Roger Parker, at Kenilworth Lodge No 6939.
Ron was initiated into Kenilworth Lodge exactly 50 years ago to the night, his son W Bro Peter Rollason (pictured on right) was initiated into the lodge 25 years to the night, and the photograph was taken by W Bro Peter Jones who was initiated into the lodge 18 years to the night.
As there was also an Initiation Ceremony, it was a very special evening and thoroughly enjoyed by all. posted 16 Feb 2009
A Fond Farewell
W Bro Leslie Baber PProvSGW, who was the oldest and longest serving member of St Paul's Lodge No 43, and a former member of the Chapter of Fortitude No 43, passed to the Grand Lodge above on 28th January. He was 95 years old, was initiated into St Paul's Lodge in March 1950 and was Master in 1964. He is survived by his wife Lillian, who is 99 years old, and his two daughters Janet and Brenda, to whom our sympathies are extended.
Leslie and Lillian were fortunate to have passed the milestone of their Platinum Wedding Anniversary (70 years) in 2007.
Those who were privileged to have known Leslie will remember him as the true gentleman he most certainly was. posted 16 Feb 2009
At a recent Installation meeting the new WM, an eminent Cardiac Surgeon, installed his officers immaculately and with a touch of humour. However when he invested his JW he told him that his position was in the South, his duty to call the Brethren from labour to refreshment and refreshment to labour, that PAIN and pleasure might be the result. It brought the house down! posted 16 Feb 2009
A Daily Advancement
Not to be confused with the Oration scheme, W Bro Ray Hollins has independently produced a series of booklets entitled "A Daily Advancement in Masonic Knowledge - One-Hundred Short Talks on the Craft" which could be presented in Lodges for the interest and benefit of members. These may be purchased from him directly; full details are available here as a PDF. Any proceeds are donated to Masonic Charities. posted 16 Feb 2009
The total amount at the end of December 2008 stands at £1,230,600 posted 22 Jan 2009
The annual Pantomime - this year the ever popular Dick Whittington - again went extremely well with a full house enjoying the professional and brilliantly performed show (see picture) at our Provincial HQ in Edgbaston.
Children from local schools attend the event, with support from the Birmingham & Solihull Taxi Drivers Association, who are responsible for transporting the children to various schools within the City. St. George's, which is walking distance from Stirling Road, alone brought almost 100 pupils, helping to fill the ballroom area.
Peter Astfalck did a wonderful job entertaining as the children arrived and during the interval, with each child going home with a gift from Father Christmas (Geoff Hill), as did all the Carers. Diane Hepworth, her staff and a support cast from the Province and Charity Office supported it all so well, with Eric Bear and his loyal band of Brethren from the Provincial Stewards Lodge helping both outside and in, organising the car park and stewarding in the children as they arrived.
Altogether, a great time was had by all.
Our thanks go to the WMCA for the finance, to Chaplins (the Pantomime producers and actors) and MCL for the staging. Also, for the co-operation of all at Stirling Road, the organising by Roger Parker and his support cast (pictured), and of course the Provincial Grand Master who unfortunately was too poorly to attend.
It is the intention to organise another Pantomime in December 2009; two performances (am & pm ) for six schools as before and also for schools within the city with pupils who perhaps have never been to the theatre. In addition, we will be offering seats to 'special needs' children. posted 21 Jan 2009
Taking the Lead
After a period when the Clarendon Suites were not performing too well, great strides have been taken in turning around the performance of the company. We are now reaping the benefits from the determination of our Provincial Rulers, and the efforts of our General Manager Diane Hepworth.
This has been made possible by the hard working and efficient team we now have, led by Diane. The PGM agreed that there should be a party to reflect our gratitude to the staff, kindly "suggesting" that the Directors roll up their sleeves (literally) and reverse roles by acting as waiters, barmen and kitchen staff.
The alternative team, led by a very familiar face wearing a Santa hat bearing the legend "the Boss", impressed the staff greatly.
Other familiar faces seen regularly around the Province demonstrated their ability to pull pints of lager froth, plough through mountains of washing up, organise a spoof raffle and assist with the disposal of surplus gateaux.
Hopefully the regular staff didn't have too much to clear up afterwards!
It was a wonderful gesture of our gratitude to everyone at Stirling Road who look after us so well - thank you all. posted 21 Jan 2009
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan, presented a 50 year Certificate to W Bro John Richard Bettinson, OBE, LLD, during the 659th Meeting of Cosmopolitan Lodge No 3391 on Tuesday 6th January 2009. This date is significant as it is 50 years to the day since W Bro Bettinson was initiated into Cosmopolitan Lodge.
Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson - Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson
The Deputy PGM's presentation to W Bro John (see picture), who is a third generation Freemason of Warwickshire, was hailed by the Lodge members as being wonderfully memorable, informal and informative. W Bro John's Masonic background was detailed, together with his astounding commitment to serving the local community over a great many years. posted 21 Jan 2009
The Provincial Grand Master (pictured with Harry), the Deputy PGM, together with Assistant PGMs and other senior members of the Province and their Ladies attended a very special celebration early in January - a Birthday Party they had organised for W Bro Harry Owen, our Provincial "super salesman".
Harry spent several years as Provincial Charity Steward, demonstrating his ingenuity and sales flair to generate funds for our charities, prior to being asked by the PGM in 2001 to consider helping the Province further by expanding his activities. This he readily agreed to and his Provincial merchandise catalogue now includes an extensive range including ties, handkerchiefs, cufflinks, pens, books, braces and a whole host of other items. He is the senior subscribing Past Master of Lodge of Israel No 1474, having been WM in 1970, and will be seen around the Province at most of the larger meetings with his wares.
Having left school at the age of thirteen and originally trained as a Jockey, Harry moved into the Soho markets selling ladies' fabrics. Following his army service he moved to Birmingham, where he spent most of his career as a furniture manufacturers' agent.
As a memento of the occasion a cartoon drawing depicting Harry in charge of a market trader's barrow was presented to him, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for his wife Margaret.
Thank you Harry, for all your splendid work, and many congratulations. posted 21 Jan 2009
At the meeting of St Philips Lodge No 5580 on 14th January the Brethren received a beautifully performed presentation of "The Walking Charge" by W Bro Andrew Skidmore (pictured with W Bro Peter Clarke, Master).
The origin of this piece, which is a poetic encapsulation of the three Craft obligations, is something of a mystery. It is often regarded as an alternative version of similar works such as "The Mason's Pledge", "The Mason's Vow", "On Yonder Book" (the VSL) "The Canadian Charge" and "The Candlelight Charge", which can be traced back to at least the nineteenth century.
It does not seem to have ever been a part of the regular ceremonial workings of English Craft Freemasonry, but is a delight to watch when it does appear from time to time.
After the Lodge had been closed, Andrew gave a talk about "Freemasonry and the Internet". His own interest stemmed from the early days of his Lodge website several years ago. The massive expansion of the medium, supported by great advances in technology, make it an extremely useful source of communication, not only internally (corresponding with members), but also in providing potential candidates and the general public with details of our activities. posted 21 Jan 2009
A Helping Hand
Support is what the Provincial Lodge Support Team is all about!
As the team enters its third year many Lodges have benefited from the generosity of the Brethren who give their time to support ailing lodges.
The concept of providing Lodges needing support, with willing Brethren who wish to visit, but are unaware of where to go, has been a great success.
Last Call to the Target. . . . . and Beyond!
Don't forget this special event on 31st January 2009 at which the Chief Executive of the Masonic Samaritan Fund, Richard Douglas, will be speaking.See the attached leaflet for full details.
All Lodges have received their invitation, will those which haven't confirmed their attendance please do so immediately by telephoning the Charity Office on 0121 454 0554. posted 21 Jan 2009
A Moving Target
The 5th National Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition, hosted by the province of West Lancashire, will be held at the Dolphin Shooting Ground, Marsh Lane, Longton near Preston PR4 5JY on Saturday 27th June 2009.
The 100 Bird Sporting Competition will be shot over thirteen stands and shooting will start at 9.00am. Last Entries 2.00pm.
Dignitaries and non-shooters are welcome to attend the buffet lunch (£10 per head), and light refreshments will also be available on the ground. There will also be a "Have a go" stand under qualified supervision by CPSA coaches at £5 per 10 shots.
The Entry fee, to include buffet lunch, will be £45.00 payable in advance, or £55.00 payable on the day. Entries should arrive with the Secretary: W Bro Mike Casey, 7 Selby Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 2LY, Tel: 01253 403731, no later than Wednesday 17th June 2009.
A 30 Bird 2 man Flush will be available as a pool shoot, entry fee payable £8.00 per team, prize fund will be distributed after every 10 entries.
Further details of the West Lancashire Masonic Clay Pigeon Shooting Society, together with a Brochure, entry form and rules, are available fromwww.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk/pages/bodies/bodiespigeon. posted 21 Jan 2009
And now a Quasquibicentenary!
The (Royal Arch) Chapter of Fortitude No 43 will be celebrating its 225th Anniversary at Stirling Road on Tuesday 10th February 2009. All Masons and their ladies are cordially invited to join the members at this momentous occasion.
The object of mentoring is to provide the newly made mason with explanations, information, and guidance about Freemasonry in his early Masonic life and beyond, the provider being an experienced mason who is willing to act as a Mentor, thereby hopefully retaining those brethren that have been recruited, and reducing any decline in membership.
The next presentation of the scheme will be held at The Warwickshire Masonic Temple, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston Birmingham on Saturday 14th February 2009 at 10.30am. The presentation should be complete by 12.00pm. posted 21 Jan 2009
Valedictory Address by Pro Grand Master
At the Quarterly Communication on 10th December, the retiring MW Pro Grand Master, The Most Hon. The Marquess of Northampton, DL, took the opportunity to put on record some of his thoughts about English Freemasonry.
In order to ensure its future, Freemasonry must continually adapt to fit the needs of the society of the day, from which it draws its members, as it has done over the past 300 years. We must be open, not only with the outside world, but also with our family and friends, and learn how to explain our masonry in layman’s terms.
Integration within the Craft is now much closer, and Grand Lodge is on a sound financial footing, no longer relying on investment income to cover its annual expenditure. Transparency and decentralisation have been key objectives, but it is in our individual Lodges that the real work is undertaken, the Brethren being responsible for the success or otherwise of their Lodge. They have freedom to explore, within the rules and edicts of Grand Lodge, ways of making their meetings more enjoyable, and should consider anything which accommodates the needs of their members, and young men with pressures of time and money, family and business.
Education is of paramount importance, and it is hoped the Orator scheme will encourage Masons to look deeper into the meaning of the rituals during their personal journey of self discovery. As part of the vision for recruitment and retention, which includes the mentoring scheme, an upgraded website is due to go live in March.
Our support for charity is significant and worthy of great pride, but is an effect of our Masonry, not a cause. It does, however, give us tremendous scope for promoting the good things that Freemasonry stands for by being seen to be doing something for our local communities in our local press.
As the mother Grand Lodge of the world, our responsibility to share our experience is practised, and we take the view that it is the individual Mason, imbued with the principles of the order, who makes a difference in society, and not Freemasonry itself.
The past twenty five years have seen us go from being reactive to proactive, repositioning us back into society. We must not ease off, and the efforts made by so many Brethren should now be channelled into attracting and retaining good men and improving the quality of our Masonry.
The Pro Grand Master concluded with best wishes to his successor, together with thanks to his wife for her love and support; to the Grand Master for giving him the opportunity of serving the Craft and Royal Arch; to his fellow Rulers who worked so hard to bring about change, and to all the Brethren who have supported him as a High Ruler during the last fourteen years. All have worked together to ensure that the Craft we all love and enjoy, and its Grand Principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, will continue to inspire men for many generations to come.
The Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes, RW Bro Michael Lawson, PJGW, gave thanks to the Pro Grand Master for his huge contribution to English and world Freemasonry, and also to Lady Northampton for allowing and supporting him in so doing.
For the full text of the address, go to
www.ugle.org.uk/news/progm-speech101208.htm (Link no longer works.) posted 29/12/2008
More of our Yesterdays
Also enjoyed at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 10th December was a fascinating presentation on the Proceedings of Grand Lodge of two hundred, and one hundred years ago, given by VW Bros John Hamill and Graham Redman.
A right royal rumpus, and controversy over the running of the Freemasons’ Tavern occupied a great deal of attention within Grand Lodge in the early nineteenth century, with history repeating itself some one hundred years later.
To read the full text of the presentation, go to
www.ugle.org.uk/news/101208-jh-gfr.htm (Link no longer works.) posted 29/12/2008
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is supporting the disaster relief work of Save the Children with an emergency grant of £15,000 towards its activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For full details of the distressing circumstances which have warranted our support, go to www.grandcharity.org/pages/democratic_republic_of_congo.html posted 29/12/2008
Lodge of St Andrew 4056 will be welcoming a deputation of Brethren from WM Tom Helm's mother lodge, St Munn (Ardnadam) No 496, Scottish Constitution, on Saturday 14th February.
The deputation will present a demonstration of a Scottish First Degree Ceremony. A good turn out is expected, with the Lodge musicians being in attendance.
Royal and Select Masters
Michael Guest has been asked by the Grand Master of the Order to succeed Spencer Fenn as District Grand Master on the 7th April 2009. He will be Installed at 5.00pm in the Main Temple at Stirling Road.
Also taking place that day at 2.00pm will be the Consecration of the new Edgbaston Council of Royal and Select Masters, when our PGM Michael Price CBE will be installed as the Council’s first Thrice Illustrious Master.
Our congratulations go to both Companions. posted 29/12/2008
Athol Masonic Buildings Ltd celebrates 150 years (1858-2008) of their buildings as a Masonic Hall.
The former Synagogue was acquired from the Hebrew Community in 1858 that had moved to a new Synagogue in Blucher Street around the corner from Severn Street. The original building, the present Dining Room, had a Lodge Room and accommodation to the front completed in 1891 which now forms the Masonic Hall as we know it today.
The Masonic Hall received a Grade 2 listing a few years ago and now forms part of the historic street scene in Birmingham City Centre. This unique venue contributes to the Masonic experience enjoyed by all members of 18 Lodges who meet there.
A continual programme of refurbishment, instructed by the Directors of the company, is enhancing the buildings in readiness of the 200th Anniversary of Athol Lodge in 2011. posted 29/12/2008
Change of Palace
The Birmingham Old Edwardian Lodge No 7115 has recently moved, and now meets in our main Temple at Stirling Road, Edgbaston.
There are five regular meetings, on the fourth Thursday of September, October, February and April, and the first Thursday in December.
Membership is open to former pupils of any of the King Edwards Foundation Schools, and also to parents of such pupils.
The Lodge would welcome qualified Brethren as joining members, and of course candidates to be initiated into the Lodge.
More information is available from Michael Spencer on 0121 449 1868, and fromwww.birminghamoldedwardianlodge.org.uk posted 29/12/2008
Greville Go Greek
Greville Lodge No. 4773, which meets in Warwick, recently hosted at their Installation meeting 25 members of the Anagennisis Lodge, Athens.
Amongst the visitors from the Greek lodge was the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Greece RW Bro Georgios Vasilogeorgis. The visit was the initiative of Bro George Bamplenis who is a member of both Greville and Anagennisis lodges.
It was an excellent evening thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended, and members of Greville Lodge have been invited to visit Anagennisis Lodge in Athens, hopefully sometime in 2009.
The following day the Greek visitors, accompanied by their wives, visited the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire building at Stirling Road where they were hosted and given a tour of the building by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price CBE.
The photograph shows members of Anagennisis Lodge presenting a commemorative plaque to Greville Lodge. Left to right are W Bro David Butcher IPM Greville Lodge, W Bro Georgios Biniaris WM Anagennisis Lodge and W Bro Gordon Hudson WM of Greville Lodge.
For further information about Greville Lodge, visit their website at www.grevillelodge.org.uk, or via their link from this website (see here.) posted 29/12/2008
When a Lodge passes its 2012 Festival target it receives a token of appreciation at the following meeting of the Installed Masters’ Lodge No 4538. This is a beautifully carved gavel, presented with thanks and encouragement to keep up the good work, so we may strive to exceed the overall target.
One Lodge, anxious to receive its gavel, but somewhat behind in its efforts, suggested that their target be reduced to allow them to receive their accolade all the more sooner.
The expression on our Festival Director’s face when he heard this was quite something to behold! posted 15/12/2008
Groundworks for Charity
Coventry Foundation Lodge No 4543 will enjoy a presentation from W Bro Chris Grove, our Provincial Grand Almoner, when they meet at 6.00pm on Monday 26th January 2009 at Coventry Masonic Hall. Chris will be presenting an insight and update on the charitable activities of our wonderful organisation, to which members of other Lodges will be very welcome to attend.
All Fired Up
The Aston Manor Lodge No 6323 will be celebrating its 500th meeting on Tuesday 20th January 2009 at Yenton Assembly Rooms, and will be supported by Provincial Officers.
There will be an Initiation Ceremony, and a commemorative firing glass has been commissioned for this momentous landmark in the history of the Lodge.
On Wednesday 14th January , St Philip’s Lodge 5580 will receive a demonstration of the Walking Charge, presented by W Bro Andrew Skidmore, who will afterwards talk about Freemasonry and the Internet. It is very rare to see this delightful piece of Masonic ritual performed, and all Master Masons are welcome to attend the meeting at Stirling Road.
W Bro Bill Hall writes:
"On 14 November Hertford Lodge widow Dr Jean Elizabeth Preston, 'Betty', was summoned at the age of 94 to join her husband Dr JR Preston who was Master of Hertford Lodge No 3208 in 1960. He was Medical Officer of Health for Sutton Coldfield and the only fatality of a railway crash when on his way to a medical conference in Scotland in 1976."
"On 18 November Mrs Nancy Edith Morgan was 100. She received congratulations from The Queen and bouquet from Master, Wardens and Brethren of Hertford Lodge No 3208 who also signed a birthday card at their Festive Board of the November meeting. Nancy's late husband W Bro Cyril Talbot Morgan was Master in 1955." posted 15/12/2008
Making their Mark
Congratulations to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Warwickshire on the launch of their stylish and professional Newsletter and Website, which were unveiled at their recent Annual Meeting.
For a peek, go to www.warwickshiremark.org.uk. posted 5/12/2008
The meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters’ Lodge No. 4538 on 29th November saw a packed house and a packed schedule. The Master W Bro John Saint handed his gavel to the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE for the first part of the meeting. After requesting his Provincial Officers to take their various Offices the PGM opened the Lodge and afterwards paid a fulsome tribute to W Bro Rodney Pitham for his magnificent service and devotion to duty, the previous 15 years of which had been as an active Provincial Officer. As a token of appreciation, in advance of Rodney’s retirement as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, he presented him with an engraved silver salver.
The Worshipful Master then took his rightful place and completed the other items of business, the highlight of which was a talk from W Bro Yasha Beresiner entitled “Attacks on Freemasonry 1698 to 2008 – A Brief Review”. This was a most interesting and well presented talk by W Bro Beresiner, during which he categorised the main four areas of attack over the years as being Religious, Ridicule, Exposure and Political, each with its own fascinating and enlightening background. He concluded by pointing out that perhaps it is much more interesting to be attacked than ignored! The full text of his talk can be downloaded from here as a PDF.
These Mentoring scheme events have now been booked for December, and appropriate Lodges from the venues below have been duly invited as follows:
- Stratford Masonic Hall 8th December - all Lodges from Stratford and Redditch, with Alcester and Henley.
- Coventry, Draper's Hall 15th December - all Lodges from Coventry and Nuneaton, with Atherstone and Southam.
- PGL Warwick Suite, Stirling Road on 19th December - all Lodges meeting in Rooms 5&6, plus Severn Street, Wretham Road, Yenton, Knowle (and Shenstonian), Coleshill and Sutton Coldfield.
Events have already occurred in 2008 with Lodges from Rugby, Leamington, Guy's Cliffe and Stirling Road rooms 1/2/3.
A further event, date to be confirmed but hopefully in January, will be set up for Warwick High Street and any other Lodges who could not attend the initial meetings.
W Bro Rodney Pitham has had the honour and privilege of being presented to Her Majesty The Queen on two occasions in 2008 in his capacity as Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity. In May he attended the HQ of The Scout Association in London when Her Majesty unveiled a delightful sculpture of herself. She was most impressed when Rodney told her that the Scouts were about to receive a donation from the Freemasons' Grand Charity of £500,000 spread over a period of five years to assist them with their Kidsoutdoors campaign.
On 27 November Rodney was in Banbury for the opening by Her Majesty of the Leonard Cheshire Home for the Disabled called Agnes Court and was again introduced. The Freemasons' Grand Charity had assisted with the provision of the Home with a grant of £100,000. posted 5/12/2008
The number of Masonic Relief Grant applications received this year increased by 4%, with 75% of the 2123 applications being assisted. The average grant was £2092 (an increase of 16% over 2007) costing a total £3.8 million – up 34% since 2007 and £700,000 over budget! Support for distressed freemasons and their dependants is provided by the Grand Charity. For more information go to: www.grandcharity.org/. posted 5/12/2008
50 Not Out
At an immaculately organised meeting of Fraternity Lodge No. 4032, Senior Past Master W Bro Robert Giles Russell (pictured left, below, after presenting a Punch Bowl to his Mother Lodge) received his 50 year Certificate from the Provincial Grand Master, RW Michael J Price CBE.During presentation of the Certificate the PGM skilfully established a two way rapport with W Bro Robert, from which many delightful memories and lifetime achievements both within and outside freemasonry were recalled and enjoyed by the seventy Brethren present.
W Bro John Emms, in his then role as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, delivered an immaculate Proclamation, and with all the other members of the Provincial Team present demonstrated the unique and valuable contribution made by the Province at important events such as this. The Festive Board following the meeting allowed W Bro Rodney Pitham, W Bro Raymond Rooke and VW Bro Richard Wallis, to present their own anecdotes of many years acquaintance with W Bro Robert, which included many humorous and memorable occasions. posted 5/12/2008
Old Salts W Bro Geoff Hill (pictured left, below) and W Bro Brian Daley were at the Remembrance Service held at Stirling Road in November. This moving Service was led by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE and conducted by the Assistant Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan. The Bugle player was W Bro Norman Blackburn.
There were approximately 200 in attendance, including members of the Royal Arch Lodge Representatives’ group who were meeting in the building that morning. Wreaths and tributes were placed by the PGM and several others, including our own ex-servicemen. posted 5/12/2008
New Grand Master Mason for Scotland
Brother Charles Iain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esselmont was installed as Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh, on Thursday 27 November 2008. Brother Wolrige Gordon is the 110th Grand Master Mason to lead the Freemasons of Scotland at home and all over the world. Brother Wolrige Gordon is 47 years of age. posted 28/11/2008
Continuing an annual programme of support, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is donating an enormous £600,000 to Hospices across England and Wales. The money is an important contribution towards the millions of pounds needed each and every year to ensure these respected services can continue providing free physical, emotional, social and spiritual care to patients and their families. In total 227 services, including those specifically for children, will receive a grant.
For many years, Freemasons have been enthusiastic in their support for Hospices. The funding announced on 24 November 2008 takes The Freemasons’ Grand Charity’s total donations to the hospice movement to more than £7.5 million, complementing the generosity Provincial and individual Masonic Lodges regularly show for their local services. The hospices that have benefited from this generosity in the Masonic Province of Warwickshire are Acorns Children's Hospice (Selly Oak), Marie Curie Centre Warren Pearl (Solihull), Mary Ann Evans Hospice (Nuneaton), Myton Hamlet Hospice (Warwick), Shakespeare Hospice (Stratford) and St Mary's Hospice (Selly Park). posted 24/11/2008
Strength in Numbers
Provincial Wardens for 2009 announced
The RW Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint W Bro Tony Cheesman as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W Bro David Shakeshaft as Provincial Junior Grand Warden for 2009. We wish them a very happy and rewarding year in their high offices. posted 18/11/2008
The Central Masonic Charities have advised that the global economic situation has not required any reduction in current or planned projects. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Masonic Samaritan Fund are fortunate to have diversified income streams and are therefore in a better position to weather the financial storm than many charities who have to rely upon a narrow income base. The continuing success of the Festival system coupled with a combination of legacy and investment income have enabled the Central Masonic Charities to fund their charitable expenditure despite the detrimental impact on their investment portfolios.
The investments of the four Charities are professionally managed with the performance of the investment managers kept under the close scrutiny of their Trustees. None of the Charities has been affected by the much publicised problems of the Icelandic banks.
What is not yet clear is what impact the credit crunch and recession will have on demand for support from the Charities as increasing financial hardship is experienced by Freemasons and their families. Although the unprecedented conditions within the financial markets have caused concern for many charities it remains the view of the Central Masonic Charities that, providing the generous support from today’s Freemasons continues at present levels, they should be able to continue to meet the demands placed upon them for charitable support to Freemasons and their families. posted 17/11/2008
A happy event - thanks to the Masonic Samaritan Fund
John and Janet have a wonderful baby son Matthew (all the names have been changed to protect their identities). Janet suffers from a condition which attacks her reproductive system and is unable to conceive naturally. IVF treatment was the only solution but is costly and the couple had to be assisted by friends and family towards the costs involved. The short series of treatments was unsuccessful. John is a Freemason in Warwickshire and applied to the Masonic Samaritan Fund for assistance, which was granted. The treatment funded by the MSF resulted in the birth of Matthew to very happy and grateful parents.
This wonderful event should encourage all Warwickshire Freemasons to dig even deeper into their pockets to support the RW Provincial Grand Master and his Festival for the MSF in 2012. posted 17/11/2008
In December 2000 Grand Lodge resolved that in those cases where the Lodge Secretary was able and willing to despatch summonses by email it should be sufficient compliance with the requirements of the Book of Constitutions if summonses were sent by email to those members who had requested it. It was stipulated then that any such request should be made in writing and on an annual basis.
The matter was reviewed by Grand Lodge in December 2005. A written request once made need not be renewed annually but should continue in force until further notice to the secretary of the Lodge. The written request may be sent by email. Every member who has not asked for summonses to be sent by email must continue to receive them by post, and it is essential that at least one printed copy of each summons is retained by the Lodge for its records. In addition a printed copy of the form must be sent by post to the Provincial Grand Secretary. posted 16/11/2008
How to be a good Director of Ceremonies
A briefing booklet, written by John Emms the current Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for Warwickshire, 'A Guide for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies' is now on sale, price £3-00 each or 2 copies for £5-00, and is available from the Provincial Grand Secretary at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. posted 13/11/2008
At the Regular Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge on Saturday 29 November 2008 the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will appoint and invest W Bro John Emms PAGDC as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Philip Hall as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and W Bro Graham Lewis as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. In addition, he will appoint W Bro Trevor Sturt PAGDC as the Provincial Orator, W Bro Peter Wellings as Provincial Information Officer and W Bro Stuart Esworthy as Provincial Mentor. The Lodge will also receive a talk entitled "Attacks on Freemasonry 1698 to 2008 - a brief review" from the well known Masonic historian and lecturer W Bro Yasha Beresiner PGStB.
The total amount at the end of October 2008 stands at £1,158,077 posted 9/11/2008
A night of celebrations
At the recent Regular Meeting of the Lodge of Assembly Brethren witnessed the Installation of W Bro John Goldingay and celebrated the Lodge's 70th Anniversary. W Bro Keith Quinton and W Bro Roy Quinton presented the Lodge with a Master's apron which the new Master wore. The Lodge elected the RW Provincial Grand Master as an honorary member 'with affection, respect and appreciation for all his many endeavours on our behalf' and presented him with a framed caricature of a fly fisherman.
At the Festive Board Keith Walton presented the Provincial Grand Master with a cheque for £500 for the Warwickshire Masonic Benevolent Fund, a cheque for £100 for the 2012 Festival raised by a widow of the Lodge, and a cheque for £2012 for the Festival from the Lodge. Finally Roy Quinton presented a beautifully hand carved large pear wood sculpture of the Bear and Ragged Staff (shown in the photograph), made by W Bro Derek Leigh, a Mason from Shropshire. posted 4/11/2008
Aniz Visram, a Past Master of the Lodge of Israel No 1474, has decided to take a break from work to cycle 550 km over 6 days, from Mumbai to Goa in India, for FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, early in the new year.
This is going to be quite a challenge for Aniz given that he has neither cycled at length nor been to India! If you can support Aniz in this venture please do so by visitinghttp://www.justgiving.com/anizvisram and donating online. posted 4/11/2008
Five Ways Lodge of Instruction
This Lodge of Instruction meets at the Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham every Wednesday evening throughout the year at 6.45pm except in the months of June, July and August. The workings of the ceremonies are in conformity with the ritual practised by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement. All Master Masons have an open invitation to join in the practices. Further information is available from Ralph Hickman on 0121 429 1357.
Details of the General Lodge of Instruction, the Five Ways Lodge of Instruction, the Rugby Masonic Lodge of Instruction, the Five Points Circle Lodge of Instruction and the Yenton Lodge of Instruction can be found on pages 241 to 247 of the Warwickshire Masonic Year Book for 2008 - 2009. posted 2/11/2008
At the meeting on Saturday 1 November 2008 of the Royal and Select Masters of Warwickshire Right Ills Companion Spencer T E Fenn, District Grand Master, reappointed Ills Companion Michael J Poole as Deputy District Grand Master and Installed Ills Companion David H Liddington as District Grand Principal Conductor of the Works. The District Grand Master then announced that he had indicated to Grand Council his intention to stand down as District Grand Master early in 2009 when the New Council to be formed at Stirling Road, the Edgbaston Council, is Consecrated, or at the meeting of Grand Council in April 2009 whichever is the sooner.
The District Grand Master thanked all the Companions for their support since his appointment as District Grand Master in 2002. posted 2/11/2008
Important person at Masonic Hall
Rugby Masonic Hall was the venue chosen by the local Conservatives recently when the principal guest was the Rt Hon Sir John Major. posted 31/10/2008
The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies will be holding a Seminar for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies and Assistant Directors of Ceremonies on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 7.30pm at the Provincial HQ, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. It is important that all those who hold these offices should attend. W Bro John Emms has written a booklet with guidance for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies and this will be available to purchase on that occasion at £3.00 each or 2 copies for £5.00. posted 28/10/2008
"To the target and beyond" for the 2012 Festival
Warwickshire Brethren are asked to put Saturday 31 January 2009 in their diaries now. That is the day when W Bro David Macey, the Festival Director, will talk of new things in relation to the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund and it is important that all Lodges are represented. The RW Provincial Grand Master has expressed his wish that at least two members of each Lodge in the Province will be present on that occasion. The presentation, at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, is expected to start at 10.30am and finish no later than 1.00pm. Lodges will receive further details shortly. posted 26/10/2008
Peter, Trevor and Stuart will be invested in their respective offices at the next meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 to be held on 29 November 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. posted 22/10/2008
The Annual Christmas Fayre, presented by The Ladies’ Gift Fund for Masonic Charities, will be held on Saturday 15 November 2008 from 10.30am until 12 noon at The Clarendon Suites, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The official opening ceremony will be performed at 10.30 am by Richard Douglas who is the Chief Executive of The Masonic Samaritan Fund for which Warwickshire is in Festival. Brethren are asked to support this enjoyable event by bringing family and friends. There are attractions for all - cakes, greeting cards, presents, plants and Christmas decorations. There will also be a raffle for Christmas hampers and lots of other brilliant prizes. Just come along and have a great time. posted 19/10/2008
A Remembrance Service will be held at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 8 November 2008 commencing at 10.45am. Brethren, their families and friends are invited to attend this important service to remember in particular those Freemasons who made the supreme sacrifice in all theatres of war and conflict. posted 19/10/2008
It is now permissible to apply to the Grand Secretary for Grand Lodge Certificates electronically.
Visiting Officers have been asked to ensure that the Lodges in their groups receive a copy but one can be downloaded here posted 18/10/2008
It is with great sadness that we report the death of John Maris, Provincial Grand Steward, on 11 October 2008 as a result of a motorcycle accident. John was a Founder and Master Elect of the Mike Hailwood Lodge and was returning home from Rugby after a meeting of that Lodge. Our sympathies and condolences are with his wife Joan at this sad time. posted 13/10/2008
Nearly £2 million is to be dedicated to helping charities delivering opportunities for young people, supporting vulnerable people and researching the cause and treatment of illness and disease. The grants to seventeen national charities were approved by hundreds of Freemasons at a General Meeting of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity held in Bournemouth on 27 September 2008.
The organisations that will benefit from the generous sum include the Scout Association which is set to receive £1/2 million as a contribution towards its KidsOutdoors Campaign and Ovarian Cancer Action whose research and awareness work will be supported over five years through a £1 million donation.
The meeting also heard that the District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago is to receive a grant of £15,000 towards its work with survivors of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma). The grant will help to fund the building of three health clinics at Pyinkhayang, Myaugmya and Nadupaw.
Summary of Grants approved on 27 September:
- Ovarian Cancer Action - £1 million over five years
- Deafness Research UK - £82,700 over two years
- Scout Association - £500,000 over five years
- The Who Cares? Trust - £25,000
- Raleigh International - £15,600
- Reach Volunteering - £15,000
- National Autistic Society - £50,000
- Whizz-Kidz- £40,000
- The Elizabeth Foundation - £30,000
- Children: Our Ultimate Investment (UK) - £26,700
- Treloar Trust – £25,000
- Elizabeth Fitzroy Support - £15,000
- Counsel & Care - £15,000
- The Bruce Trust - £10,000
- Cued Speech Association UK - £10,000
- Royal Blind Society - £8,000
- St John Ambulance and Rescue Service - £5,000
Further details of the grants can be found at www.grandcharity.org/news.php (Link changed 2009) posted 5/10/2008
Masonic meeting places in Warwickshire are now easier to find
We have introduced a new feature on the meetings page to make it easier for Brethren within or outside the Province to find all the Masonic meeting places in Warwickshire. Once on the page you can find the location of a venue, and/or directions to it, by clicking on the icon next to the place you want to get to.
When the map appears:
- click on Get directions To here
- put your postcode into the Start Address box
- click Go.
A route map will appear complete with directions. It could not be more simple! posted 4/10/2008
At 30 September 2008 the total amounts to £1,122,150. posted 3/10/2008
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help needs you. There are over 10 million people eligible for help from SSAFA Forces Help, the leading national charity committed to helping those who serve in our Armed Forces, those who used to serve and the dependents of both. SSAFA provides a reliable, caring and trusted service to more than 50,000 people each year.
Volunteers can give as little or as much time as they can spare. There are positions for people interested in practical case work as well as other roles such as team leaders, treasurers and fundraisers. SSAFA Forces Help also has a network of volunteers who work within serving communities. Freemasons, by their very nature, are accustomed to offering help and support in the community. SSAFA already have many Freemasons helping in their work but they are looking for more. If you would like to be part of their important volunteer team that cares for those who have left the Services please get in touch. Training is provided and all out of pocket expenses are paid.
A £5,000 grant has been made to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland by the Freemasons' Grand Charity to support its efforts to help the residents of Morpeth. Earlier this month (6/7 September 2008) around 1,000 houses were hit by flooding when the River Wansbeck breached its banks after a month's worth of rain fell in just 24 hours.
At its peak Morpeth High Street was under two feet of water and more than 100 people had to be rescued from their homes by boat. Some residents were forced to spend a night sheltering in the town hall and at a local school. Families have seen their homes and belongings completely destroyed and, although the flood waters have now subsided, the recovery process for the community as a whole is likely to be a long one.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland plans to support the Morpeth Flood Appeal, which has set a fundraising target of £100,000 for use in providing assistance to those affected by the flooding.
In similar manner a Freemasons' Grand Charity grant of £7,500 is helping the District Grand Lodge of Bahamas and Turks to provide emergency relief to victims of Hurricane Ike. Earlier this month, the Category Three Tropical Storm hit the islands of Grand Turk and South Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Inagua in The Bahamas leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
On the Island of Grand Turk around 90% of buildings have been damaged by the ferocious storm and some are simply no longer there. Infrastructure has been seriously affected and rebuilding is likely to take many months. Inagua in The Bahamas also bears the scars with over 50% of houses damaged.
The grant to the District Grand Lodge will support the work of its Hurricane Relief Committee, helping residents of the affected Islands by providing much needed supplies and resources. posted 30/9/2008
A pleasant day's fishing
Members of the Warwickshire branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity hosted a day's trout fishing near Leamington Spa recently for 12 children with special needs. Teachers, parents and other volunteers also assisted the young people to have a great day out. Lunch was provided and all the children went home with their fish and certificates of participation, presented to them by RW Bro Michael J Price, Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire.
Further information about the MTSFC can be found at www.mtsfc.org.uk posted 30/9/2008
Changes in Warwickshire
The RW Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, is pleased to announce that he is appointing W Bro John R Emms PAGDC as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and W Bro Philip L Hall as the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. He will invest both these Brethren at the Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters’ Lodge on Saturday 29 November 2008. posted 23/9/2008
The potentially life-saving services provided by eighteen air ambulances have been supported with a grant of £180,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. The announcement of how the grant has been shared between the services is made as National Air Ambulance Week (22-28 September 2008) begins. Air ambulance charities across England and Wales collectively fly around 17,500 missions every year at a cost of £0.5 million per week. The money to fund this work is met almost entirely by donations from the public.
Earlier this year, Provincial Grand Lodges were invited to nominate a service to receive a £4,000 share of the total grant and throughout the summer months representatives of the Provincial Grand Lodges have been visiting helipads to meet crew and present the donations. For details of how the £180,000 grant has been shared between the air ambulance charities, visit:http://www.grandcharity.org/pages/air_ambulance_charities.html posted 23/9/2008
The Brethren of Warwickshire send their warmest congratulations and wish a very happy 80th birthday today, 23 September, to W Bro Robert Swain PJGD, Past Provincial Grand Secretary. May he have many, many more. posted 23/9/2008
Bill Roberts of Doric Lodge and Chapter has recently been diagnosed with a muscle weakening condition called Myasthenia Gravis. The Myasthenia Gravis Association provides support and advice as well as funding research into this rare condition; it does not receive any government funding and survives on charitable donations only.
Bill would like to raise some funds for the association and has arranged a Sunday lunch at The Kings Court Hotel, Kings Coughton, Alcester, B49 5QQ on Sunday 19 October 2008, 12.30pm for 1.00pm. He invites Brethren their families and friends to help make this a successful and enjoyable afternoon. A three course lunch with coffee will be served, the cost will be £14.00 per head and £7.00 for children under 12 years of age. There will be a choice of two starters, traditional roast lunch or alternative fish or vegetarian dish and a choice of two deserts. Please let Bill know your requirements and numbers with your choice of main course and send a cheque made payable to Doric Chapter No 4167 to him at 16 Driffield Close, Ipsley, Redditch B98 OTH to arrive no later than Friday 10 October 2008. posted 21/9/2008
Changes in London
The Rt Hon Lord Millett PC Metropolitan Grand Master and Metropolitan Grand Superintendent since the inauguration of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Chapter on 1 October 2003 will be retiring from those offices on 26 February 2009 immediately prior to the Annual Investiture Meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge on that day.
He is to be succeeded by RW Bro Russell Race DL PJGW (PGSN), the current Deputy, who will be installed as Metropolitan Grand Master on 26 February 2009 and as Metropolitan Grand Superintendent on 2 April 2009.
VW Bro Michael Ward PGSwdB has accepted an invitation to become Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master. E Comp Charles Grace will become Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent.
Michael Ward is well known in Warwickshire both as a Past Master of St Barbara Lodge and a Past MEZ of St Barbara Chapter in addition to his long service to the London Warwickshire Lodge and Chapter as Secretary and Scribe E respectively. The Brethren and Companions of Warwickshire send Michael their warmest congratulations. posted 21/9/2008
Redditch Freemasons (of both Warwickshire and Worcestershire) threw open their doors to the public on Saturday 13 September 2008 as part of the Heritage Open Days event. Seventy seven people signed the visitors book of which over fifty were not Freemasons. At least two gentlemen expressed an interest in becoming members of our Order and two Freemasons asked to join a Lodge.
The first photograph shows Bro Wilf Allbutt, the Charity Steward of Seymour Lodge, and his wife Barbara at the Masonic Charities table. The second photograph is of David Bateman, Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in Warwickshire, presenting two cheques for £112.50 each to the Mayor of Redditch, Councillor Jack Field, for his chosen charities which are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and The League of Friends of the Alexandra Hospital. posted 17/9/2008
The Freemasons' Grand Charity
A General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity will be held on Saturday 27 September 2008 at 11.00am at the Bournemouth International Centre. Members of the Charity (i.e. Master Masons who are subscribing members of London and Provincial Lodges and all other Brethren eligible to attend Grand Lodge) and their partners or other non-Masonic guests are welcome to attend. Everyone must be seated by 10.50 am. The Vice Grand President, the Rt Hon Lord lane of Horsell, will chair the meeting, which has been organised with the support of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
The meeting will consider, in particular, the approval of a grant of £1,000,000 to Ovarian Cancer Action in five equal instalments to fund research relating to the treatment of ovarian cancer and a programme to raise awareness of the illness amongst women, and a grant of £500,000 to the Scout Association in five equal annual instalments towards its KidsOutdoors Campaign. (This grant is designed to help improve opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to access the physical, social and emotional benefits of outdoors activities and to help develop scouting across the country).
The meeting will also be asked to approve a total of £400,000 being placed at the disposal of the Council of the Charity for grants to appropriate charities that are associated with the MW Bro HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, in commemoration of his 40 years as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England.
These non-Masonic grants and many others for consideration at the General Meeting are recommended by the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity whose Chairman is Rodney Pitham, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire. posted 15/9/2008
On 19 July 1933 the then MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Connaught, a younger son of Queen Victoria, accompanied by no less than four Royal Princes; HRH The Prince of Wales (later Duke of Windsor), HRH The Duke of York (later King George VI), HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught (the Grand Master’s son) and the young Prince George, later to be Duke of Kent, our Grand Master and the father of our present Grand Master, in the presence of some 5,353 brethren in the Grand Temple and all the lodge rooms, solemnly dedicated the new Masonic Peace Memorial, as it was then known, to the service of God and of Freemasonry. 75 years later at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on 10 September 2008 VW Bro John Hamill delivered an address on the history of the present building in Great Queen Street. The address may be seen at http://www.ugle.org.uk/news/jhamill-100908.htm (Link no longer works.) posted 14/9/2008
The Burma Railway and Freemasons
Changes in Grand Lodge
Lord Northampton, the Pro Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, is to retire from that high office and he will preside for the last time at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge in December. He is to be succeeded by RW Bro Peter Lowndes, the current Deputy Grand Master, who in turn will be succeeded by RW Bro Jonathan Spence, the Grand Director of Ceremonies at the present time. RW Bro David Williamson will remain as Assistant Grand Master. posted 12/9/2008
W Bro Rodney Pitham PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master has tendered his resignation from that office and his role as Information Officer for the Province with effect from 31st December 2008 in order that he may concentrate more of his energies on his family and his church.
W Bro Rodney's service to the Province spans over 15 years commencing in 1993 with his appointment as Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, promotion in 1994 to Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, followed in 1997 by his appointment as Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary. In 1998 he became the Provincial Senior Grand Warden and in 1999 was appointed as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and became the Provincial Deputy Grand Secretary. In 2000 W Bro Rodney was made an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the following year was promoted to the active rank of Senior Grand Deacon.
During W Bro Rodney's illustrious career he has been a founder member of two Lodges and is a member of a further four Lodges.
He has been the Province's Information Officer since 1997 and has overseen the continued development of the Provincial Website and has spent many hours defending the reputation of Freemasonry as a whole against prejudice in all walks of life. posted 9/9/2008
Master for the fourth time!
Roy Piddington is to be installed into the Chair of Tuscan Lodge on 24 October - for the fourth time, having been Master in 1985, 1996 and 2005. Tuscan Lodge is low on numbers and would appreciate support especially on this particular occasion. Any Brother who wishes to attend should get in touch with Roy on 01527 542110. The Lodge meets at the Masonic Hall, Severn Street, Birmingham. posted 9/9/2008
Paul Anderson of Loyal Travellers Lodge No 2733 recently presented a cheque for £1,200.00 to the babies heart unit at the Birmingham Children's Hospital.
The amount was raised from ladies nights held throughout the year by the Lodge. posted 5/9/2008
A golden celebration - W Bro Robert G Russell
W Bro Robert Giles Russell, a Past Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree for Warwickshire, will celebrate 50 years as a Freemason in Fraternity Lodge on 14 November 2008 when he will receive his certificate from RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master, at a meeting of the Lodge at Stirling Road, Edgbaston. Brethren wishing to support Robert on this very special occasion should get in touch with:
Avtar S Panesar
8 Cockthorpe Close
At the end of August 2008 the total stood at £1,100,437. posted 3/9/2008
The August 2008 edition of the Warwickshire Rose Croix newsletter, Warwickshire Rose, is now available and can be accessed here. posted 2/9/2008
Masonic Relief Grants
Between June 2008 and August 2008, 528 Masonic Relief Grants were made by the Freemasons' Grand Charity to support individual Freemasons and their dependants experiencing financial hardship or requiring mobility equipment. In total £1,171,554 was approved for payment to assist the beneficiaries. posted 1/9/2008
June and David Chapman wish to say goodbye, as they enter their retirement, to the many Freemasons of Warwickshire they have had the pleasure of knowing over many years at the Yenton Assembly Rooms and at Victoria House in Leamington Spa. posted 31/8/2008
It is with sadness that we report the death in his 100th year of W Bro Ted Cotton PProvJGW. Ted joined the Lodge of Industry in 1953 becoming Master in 1966. posted 27/8/2008
If you wish to see a Masonic ceremony with a difference then why not join the members of the Lodge of Jurisprudence No 9457 when they act as hosts to members of the Black Country Heritage Lodge No 9702? They will demonstrate the First Degree Ceremony as it might have been enacted by our forefathers at the height of the Industrial Revolution. The evening will appeal to all warm hearted Freemasons who believe that Freemasonry can be fun yet with the ceremonial still retaining dignity and sincerity. The Black Country Workings accurately reflect the warm spirit of the people of the Black Country.
Nothing to do on Bank Holiday Monday? Then go along to the Coventry Masonic Hall at 165 Warwick Road, Coventry from 1.00pm onwards on 25 August and join in with the Freemasons of Coventry at their Charity Barbecue. There will be a beer tent, other refreshments, and lots of prizes to be won. Just roll up and enjoy yourself. posted 19/8/2008
All you want to know about Freemasonry - the answers are here
The Yenton Masonic Rooms at 73 Gravelly Hill North, Erdington, Birmingham, will be open to the public from 10.00am until 4.30pm on Saturday 30 August 2008. There will be a guided tour for all visitors which will include an interactive explanatory tour of the Lodge Room, laid out for a Lodge Meeting, showing lodge banners in particular, and the dining hall which will be furnished in the traditional manner for dinner after a Lodge meeting. Many Freemasons will be on hand to answer questions about Freemasonry. Members of the public are cordially invited to see for themselves what Freemasons do in this delightful Masonic Hall in the heart of Erdington. No appointments are necessary. posted 12/8/2008
The RW Provincial Grand Master is once again keen to reinforce the excellent and successful work carried out by Lodges and Brethren in the Province during the ‘Freemasonry in the Community’ week in 2002 and during the Heritage Open Days event of 2007. His view is that we should remind members of the general public that we are a part of the community not apart from it. We need to demonstrate that we are a group like many others that give generously of our time and our money to help those less fortunate in our respective communities. As an essential ingredient of this initiative he has again encouraged those who operate Masonic Halls in the Province to take part in the Heritage Open Days event which runs this year from 11 to 14 September 2008 inclusive.
The Heritage Open Days event celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorsteps, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability. Co-ordinated nationally by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making Heritage Open Days England's largest voluntary cultural event.
Warwickshire Masonic Temple
13 Sep 2008
10.00am to 4.00pm
12/13/14 Sep 2008
10.00am to 4.00pm
Coventry Masonic Hall
13/14 Sep 2008
10.00am to 4.00pm
Rugby Masonic Hall
11/12/13/14 Sep 2008
10.00am to 1.00pm
Solihull Masonic Hall
13/14 Sep 2008
10.00am to 4.00pm
Redditch Masonic Hall
13 Sep 2008
10.00am to 4.00pm
Stratford Masonic Hall
12 Sep 2008
11.00am to 4.00pm
Alderson House, Warwick
13 Sep 2008
10.00am to 2.00pm
Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall
13 Sep 2008
10.00am to 4.00pm
The RW Provincial Grand Master would be delighted if Brethren, their families and friends could support the event by visiting one or more of these Masonic Halls during the period of the event or if Brethren could offer their help to the organisers. posted 1/8/2008
And the residents of Reading Court help others
The photo shows Bro Derek Wattison presenting a cheque for £ 700 to Sue of the Warwickshire Air Ambulance. The money was raised at a Strawberry Tea organised by the residents of Reading Court. Bro Derek is a resident, and a great helper, and is a recent initiate into David Garrick Lodge which meets at Stratford. posted 28/7/2008
Thanks to the generosity of the Freemasons of Warwickshire the residents of Reading Court at Stratford upon Avon enjoyed a delightful get together and lunch recently.
The apartments at Reading Court have to be available for the benefit of persons on Council housing lists and are not restricted to Freemasons and their dependants. The Chairman of the complex is VW Bro Alan J Wellan the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire. posted 25/7/2008
Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge Ladies’ Evening – Saturday 13 September 2008
Susan and Rodney Pitham have pleasure in inviting Brethren, their ladies, families and friends to their Ladies’ Evening on Saturday 13 September 2008 at The Clarendon Suites, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. This will be a ladies' evening with a difference.
It will commence with a concert by the Shirley Silver Band in the Ballroom at 6.30pm. Bucks Fizz prior to the concert will be served in the Concourse from 6.00pm onwards. Dinner will be served at 7.30pm. After dinner we will be entertained by Ed Doolan, the well-known radio broadcaster, in ‘An audience with Ed Doolan’. Informal photographs will be taken throughout the evening. Dress will be black tie. A pay bar will be open from 5.45pm until 10.30pm.
The cost per person for this Ladies’ Evening, which will include wines at the table, will be £30. Cheques should be made payable to WIML No 4538 Festival Account. The menu and reply slip can be downloaded here.
Please indicate your requirements on the reply slip and send it and your cheque to Philip Wills at 2 Brocton Close, Sedgemoor Park, Lanesfield, Wolverhampton WV14 9XY no later than 6 September. Tickets will not be issued. posted 19/7/2008
The Festival figure at 17 July 2008 is £1,064,669.88. posted 17/7/2008
Congratulations to the Province of Herefordshire on raising the sum of £583,679.74 in their Festival for the Freemasons' Grand Charity. There are just 14 Lodges in the Province. posted 17/7/2008
David Rawlins, Rodney Pitham and David Macey have all become grandfathers again with the births of Jacob Sean on 14 July, William Jacob on 15 July and Noah David on 16 July. posted 17/7/2008
Congratulations from the Brethren of the Province of Warwickshire to the Province of Middlesex on receiving a silver gilt award for the Masonic garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show.
This is the first time that the Province has entered a garden in such a competition and to obtain such a high commendation is a wonderful achievement. posted 10/7/2008
Freemasons of Warwickshire speak to the world at the Royal Show
Despite the showers and puddles for some of the time, the stand of the Warwickshire Freemasons at the Royal Show between 3 and 6 July 2008 proved to be popular and a focus of interest for all who passed by. Visits were made by people from many parts of the world including a Mason from New Zealand and another Mason from a Grand Lodge not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England but who was nevertheless made very welcome. A lady who was exhibiting nearby came and asked for a leaflet – only to prove to her disbelieving Masonic husband at home in Lincolnshire that the Freemasons were actually there talking about the Order! There were only two adverse comments throughout the four days, one of which was to the effect that “you should go the same way as foxhunting!” We even had a visit from a young lady Mason. Many Brethren from Warwickshire and adjoining Provinces took time to come and see the stand.
Nigel Burton, Provincial Grand Secretary of Warwickshire, relaxes before the Show opens to the public.
RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master, welcomes the Chairman of Warwick District Council and her Consort to the Freemasons' stand.
The RW Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, Michael J Price CBE, generously gave up his valuable time to assist the other volunteers at the stand. He said: “This was the first venture of its kind at the Royal Show for us and I was pleased with the positive reaction that we received from the many members of the public who visited us. We will be reviewing the success of our participation shortly to determine whether we should be at the show in 2009 and in what manner. I am most grateful to all those who assisted in this venture particularly the two members of staff from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity who came from London to help. I also thank that Charity for the substantial financial contribution it made towards the costs incurred.” posted 8/7/2008
Warwickshire Freemasons are exhibitors at The Royal Show for the first time in its history when it opens from 3 to 6 July 2008 at Stoneleigh Park, the erstwhile home of Lord Leigh who was the Provincial Grand Master for the Province for 53 years from 1852 to 1905. We shall be occupying a stand at Block 17 on Avenue E No 7 next to the Sports Industries Federation. The opening times for the Show are: Thursday 3 July - Saturday 5 July: 9.00am - 7.00pm but there is no admission after 5.00pm; and Sunday 6 July: 9.00am - 5.00pm with no admission after 4.00pm. There are five car parks which are all free of charge.
Michael J Price CBE, the Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, says: "Since almost every country in the world is represented at The Royal Show this is a marvellous opportunity for Warwickshire Freemasons to tell the world about Freemasonry and the ideals and principles which we practise as well as dispelling the many myths and fictions that are published about us by the ill-informed from time to time. I am delighted that we have been able to secure a stand this year for the first time and one that is in such a prominent location. Although we will aim our message at members of the public I hope that I might have the privilege of meeting many Freemasons from all quarters of the globe."
Brethren of Warwickshire and their families will be particularly welcome to pay a visit to the Freemasons' Stand but we would hope that they will tell their friends and neighbours to come as well. posted 18/6/2008
Freemasons' Grand Charity reports on its activities
All Master Masons in England and Wales are members of the Freemasons' Grand Charity and through their Lodge annual subscriptions make a contribution of £13 each year to its funds. Brethren who wish to see how their money is spent should visithttp://www.grandcharity.org/pages/annual_review.html where they can download copies of various leaflets and the Annual Review for 2007. They are well worth reading. posted 18/6/2008
Pro Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge - 11 June 2008
On the nineteenth of July, this very fine building – created as a Masonic Peace Memorial – will be seventy five years old. At the June Quarterly Communication in 1933, held seventy five years ago last Saturday at the Central Hall Westminster, Lord Ampthill, the then Pro Grand Master, thanking Lodges for their generous response to the appeal for the erection of this building said that, “it would be an outward sign of our pious memory of the Brethren who fell in the Great War and, at the same time, a fulfillment of the duty we owe those who came after us.”
I believe that the building remains today as a fitting memorial for the Brethren who fell in the Great War. And a fitting fulfillment of the duty the planners and builders owed to those of us who came after them. I am confident that that fulfillment will continue for many generations of future Masons.
Referring to the building the then Pro Grand Master continued, “it is a duty we owe to the cause of Masonry, and to Freemasons all over the world, that the headquarters of the English Constitution should be worthy of the honour and reputation that we enjoy, and that the place of assembly of the Grand Lodge of England should be fully significant of our faith and cause, our confidence in the future, and our determination to make Freemasonry more and more a potent influence for the good in national life.”
Shortly afterwards, the Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn held an especial meeting in connection with the dedication of this Masonic Peace Memorial at the Royal Albert Hall, followed the next day – the nineteenth of July 1933 – by the dedication itself, here at Great Queen Street. So, the first Quarterly Communication was held here on the sixth of September 1933. To commemorate that, at our next Quarterly Communication in September, I have asked Brother John Hamill, Director of Communications, to talk about the history of the building.
Towards the end of last year I launched a survey of Lodge and Chapter records. This survey will be an important building block for the book on Masonic history which we are planning to publish in 2017 as part of the Tercentenary celebrations of the formation of the first Grand Lodge. Undertaking this survey within an organisation of this size and age is ambitious. But I am confident that, with your help, it will be successful and that the results will also be important in encouraging further research into our history.
I have been following the results very closely and I am pleased that the project has been enthusiastically supported. All our Provinces have now appointed a volunteer co-ordinator to organise the survey. Most of these co-ordinators have taken the opportunity to attend a briefing meeting here at Freemasons Hall, and have already started the survey in their Provinces. We hope to have completed the survey by the summer of 2009.
At the end of May the Deputy Grand Master opened the Women and Freemasonry Exhibition in the Library and Museum. It covers the development of Freemasonry for Women in the early years of the last century. At the preview guests included lady representatives from the various women’s organisations including the Order of Women Freemasons and the Honorable Fraternity of Antient Freemasons. We maintain our independence from the women’s organisations and they are happy to maintain their independence from us. Apart from the historical interest, the Exhibition has a valuable public relations benefit. It will help to dispel the commonly held myth, among non masons, that there are no women in Freemasonry! I commend the Exhibition to you.
The Hampton Court Flower Show in July will feature a garden with a Masonic theme which I hope will encourage some of you to visit, if you have an interest in gardens. It is sponsored by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and twelve Provinces in the south east of England. I am looking forward to attending and the dates and details can be found on the UGLE website:(http://www.ugle.org.uk/news/hampton-court.htm) (Link no longer works.)
Brethren, returning to the words of the Pro Grand Master in 1933, and comparing those words with the situation today: this fine building is fully significant of our faith and cause; we have confidence in the future and we remain determined to make Freemasons more and more a potent influence for good in our national life. In fact, I believe that the Craft is in a much stronger position now than it has been for many years.
I end my remarks by wishing you and your families a very happy summer. posted 17/6/2008
The total at 16 June 2008 is £1,046,475.80. posted 17/6/2008
Warwickshire Freemasons aid injured servicemen and women
On Thursday 5 June 2008 RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, presented a cheque for £2,500 to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine Patient Welfare Fund at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham. The Provincial Grand Master acknowledged the special reasons for the fund and was pleased to offer the support of the Warwickshire Freemasons to those service personnel at such a crucial time during their recovery from the trauma of hostilities.
Major Ian Cheesman, who is Officer Commanding the Patient Support Services (PSS), said: "This money will be used in a myriad of different ways but you can be absolutely sure that every penny spent will be for the benefit of the servicemen and women that find themselves as battle casualties here at Selly Oak Hospital".
The PSS are a small team whose mission is to manage the initial reception and arrival of the patient group (patient and immediate family) at Selly Oak Hospital and provide practical assistance, relieve them of any administrative burden and provide welfare support thus allowing them to concentrate on the recovery of the patient.
The first photograph shows the Provincial Grand Master presenting the cheque to Major Cheesman. The second shows him and Major Cheesman with Lee Snelling MBE, a Military Liaison Officer, Sergeant Wanda Wilson RAF - Military Nurse, Leading Naval Nurse Sarah Butler and Mrs Sally Wafford, Senior Welfare Officer. posted 9/6/2008
In front of a capacity audience at The Royal Albert Hall, MW Bro Brenda Irene Fleming-Taylor surprised everyone at the celebration of the OWF Centenary on Saturday, 7 June. There was an audible collective gasp as she presented £250,000 to Mr David Newbigging, OBE, Chairman of Cancer Research UK and £250,000 to Camilla, Countess of Halifax, President of MacMillan Cancer Support.
The donations were more than twice the target amounts expected. posted 9/6/2008
The total in the Fund at the end of May 2008 amounted to £1,026,107.35. posted 9/6/2008
In the February 2008 Newsletter we announced that Earl Leofric Lodge was sponsoring the training of a guide dog, to be called Leofric, for a blind person.
Leo has arrived and here he is. posted 1/6/2008
Learn all about the Freemasons' Grand Charity and its work
The Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge No 4538 will be host to VW Bro Grahame Elliott, President of The Grand Charity, and Laura Chapman, its Chief Executive, at its meeting on 12 June 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. They will make a presentation on the activities of the Charity after the Lodge is closed. Although of interest to all Freemasons it will be a presentation of particular significance for Lodge Almoners and Charity Stewards who are urged to attend. Dinner after the meeting will cost £21.00.
All the fun of the fair
Two very senior Worcestershire Freemasons are shown in the photograph enjoying (?) themselves at Cannon Hill Park on Friday 23 May 2008.
Provincial Church Service
Brethren of Warwickshire, their families and friends and members of the public are invited to the Warwickshire Provincial Church Service at The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick on Sunday 8 June 2008 at 3.00pm. This is a major event in the Provincial calendar and the Provincial Grand Master considers that every Master, his Wardens, members of the Lodge and their families should have the pleasure of attending. Representatives of other faiths as well as those of the Christian faith will be taking part in the service in the conviction that Freemasonry has an important role in helping to establish and promote world peace. Freemasons not in the procession will clothe in their Masonic regalia after taking their seats in the church. Doors will be open at 2.00pm and all those who are attending should be seated no later than 2.30pm ready for pre-service music. posted 26/5/2008
The total for the Fund at 22 May 2008 is £1,007,343.99. posted 22/5/2008
Listen to the Provincial Grand Master's address
A recording was made of the address of the Provincial Grand Master to Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 April 2008.
To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later. posted 19/5/2008
Right-click to download the PGM's address | Duration: 13mins 50secs
Please get in touch
W Bro Bill Roberts of Doric Lodge in Warwickshire has been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a disease which affects 1 in 10,000 of the population. The disease can affect the eyes and chewing, swallowing, muscles all over the body and breathing.
Aid for Victims of Earthquake in China
The President of the Grand Charity has approved a £20,000 grant to the Red Cross to support relief efforts following an earthquake measuring 7.8 in south-western China. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is the first organisation to support the British Red Cross’ response to the worst earthquake to strike China in more than 30 years.
The Red Cross Society of China’s local branches have been active in the 48 hours following the quake providing emergency relief to the affected areas, including tents and blankets. Although the official death toll stands at 12,000 this is expected to rise sharply as rescuers gain access to previously cut off areas and thousands of people remain trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings.
The grant of £20,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be an important contribution to the continuing rescue and relief efforts and is enough to provide approximately 200 relief tents which will provide shelter for many of those affected and act as a first aid point to treat casualties and also 850 quilts. posted 15/5/2008
Save the Children’s relief work in Burma (Myanmar) is to be supported by the £20,000 emergency grant approved, following Cyclone Nargis, by the President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is also in discussions with District Grand Lodges in the affected region to identify what support it may be able to provide to their own efforts.
More than 32,000 people are now believed to have been killed by the high winds and resulting tidal surge which struck Burma (Myanmar) on 2 May destroying homes, crops and infrastructure. Following the Cyclone, Save the Children quickly redirected the efforts of 500 staff already in the Country from work on longer-term projects to the emergency relief response and essential supplies including food and clean water have already been distributed to over 100,000 people.
The grant of £20,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be an important contribution to this ongoing work and is enough to provide plastic sheeting for temporary accommodation to 1,400 families, including around 33,000 children. posted 15/5/2008
We've reached the magic million - but there's still a long way to go
The total for the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund has reached the magic milestone of £1,000,000 having been nudged to that figure by a generous donation from the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge. The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price is delighted and is grateful to all those Brethren who have so far donated to the Fund. David Macey, the Festival Director, also congratulates Brethren particularly those Festival Stewards and Charity Stewards whose task it is to keep the Fund as a focus for Lodges and their members. David says:" Although this figure of £1 million is gratifying and is ahead of target it is a reminder that we still have a long way to go and 2012 is not that far away. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent but to regard this landmark as an encouragement to greater efforts." posted 15/5/2008
The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, Grahame Elliott, has announced that an emergency grant of £20,000 will be made to help victims of the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone. Relief efforts in the regions devastated by Cyclone Nargis are being examined, in order to identify the best way to ensure the Grand Charity's support reaches the victims. posted 10/5/2008
Eat and raise money!
Members of the Lodge of Rectitude are holding a Pig Roast at 2 Longrood Road, Rugby on Sunday 8 June from 12 noon. Tickets are £10 each and £5 for children under ten. Proceeds will be divided between the 2012 Festival and the Rugby Branch of the MS Society. Further details and tickets are available from Joe Rainbow on 01788 814667. posted 10/5/2008
Eastfields Lodge is sponsoring the Rugby Summer Festival at the Whitehall Recreation Ground, Rugby on Saturday 5 July from 12 noon to 6.00pm. Admission charges are £2 for adults and £1 for children under 12 to enjoy all the fun of the fair. Proceeds will be donated to local charities. posted 10/5/2008
2012 Festival total
The fund currently stands at £997,000. Watch this space for the first magic figure of £1,000,000 which is rapidly approaching! posted 7/5/2008
The total amount collected by Freemasons for the Warwickshire Firefighters Families Fund has closed at almost £47,000 of which £37,000 was contributed by Warwickshire Freemasons. The appeal for donations was launched by RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, shortly after the devastating fire in Atherstone-on-Stour in November last year in which four gallant firefighters sadly lost their lives. He is most grateful to all Freemasons who have given so generously. posted 7/5/2008
Grand Master addresses Grand Lodge - 30 April 2008
"Brethren, I start by saying a very warm welcome to everyone attending our Grand Lodge meeting today and I congratulate all those whom I have had the pleasure of investing with Grand Rank or promoting to higher office. As Grand Officers you have an important leadership part to play in the future of Freemasonry. By leadership I mean setting consistently high standards in your own Masonic life as well as demonstrating your understanding of the meaning of the ritual and the principles and tenets of the Craft. This understanding will help you to guide others at all stages of their Masonic journey, remembering to encourage them all to talk openly about their Freemasonry to potential candidates, family and acquaintances.
There is a caveat though, Brethren: although you will naturally feel some personal satisfaction at achieving such offices, I know you will all remember the words we hear each year at our Lodge installations, that humility in each is an essential qualification. And I have no doubt that that injunction should apply at least as much to those who are Grand officers as to more junior Brethren.
Last November I hosted a reception and dinner on the eve of the European Grand Masters’ Meeting. This was the first such gathering and was thus an historic occasion for representatives of forty four European Grand Lodges, which included no less than forty one Grand Masters. It was the most representative gathering of the leaders of regular Freemasonry in Europe that has ever been held. The Pro Grand Master planned it as a one-off meeting so that we, as the mother Grand Lodge, could make clear our views on regularity, recognition and sovereignty.
The Pro Grand Master set out our position on regularity emphasising that it is not Freemasonry, but the individual Mason, instilled with the principles and tenets of the Craft, who has a positive influence on society. My view is that communication between us all is essential to the future well being of regular Freemasonry, and I can see no reason why such gatherings should not occur from time to time in the future.
I spoke last year about the Rulers’ Forum, and said that I would be happy if it achieved a focus for grass roots Masons to debate issues, which concern you all, with the Rulers and other senior members of the Craft, and to act as a conduit for disseminating the results through their groups to Lodges. I was therefore happy to hear that during the year three of the Rulers’ Forum Groups were given the task of identifying and collating best practice from Mentoring Schemes across the country. The project team has seen Masons from eight different Provinces working together, sharing ideas and, importantly, learning from each other. They have now presented their ideas to both the Rulers’ Forum and at the last Quarterly Communication.
Their ideas support the aim of recruiting and then retaining men of quality. The successful retention of these men will involve the careful selection of mentors at Lodge level so that, once initiated, each member is fully supported throughout his Masonic journey. The Brethren selected as Mentors will be those who can provide the time and knowledge required to care for the candidate and then to develop his understanding of our Order and how it translates into his everyday life.
Brethren, there have been a number of advances since this time last year which I believe will bring substantial benefits. For example, the new magazine Freemasonry Today has been successfully launched, and I am confident it will become a major channel for our open communications. In addition, the four Masonic Charities have all now congregated in this building, a move which will result in cost savings as well, I hope, to a better understanding by the Brethren in London and the Provinces of the roles of each of the charities. With so many successful initiatives launched since I last addressed Grand Lodge, I see this coming year as one of consolidation.
Finally, Brethren, I know you would all want me to express our thanks to the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for the meticulous way in which they have run this meeting, as well as to the Grand Secretary and his staff for their careful and thorough organisation." posted 6/5/2008
Warwickshire Lodge Almoners and Festival Stewards are reminded of a forthcoming series of seminars in the Province to enable them to appreciate the full range of support that is available from the Masonic Samaritan Fund for which the Province is, of course, in Festival.
The first four seminars will commence at 7.00pm promptly and will finish at approximately 8.30pm. Coffee will be served from 6.30pm. Brethren should be seated by 7.00pm. The seminar on Saturday 28 June will commence at 11.00am promptly and will finish at approximately 12.30pm. Coffee will be served from 10.30am. On this occasion Brethren should be seated by 11.00am
The dates and venues are:
Monday 2 June 2008
Alderson House, 23 High Street, Warwick CV34 4AX
Wednesday 4 June 2008
Yenton Masonic Rooms, 73 Gravelly Hill North, Erdington, Birmingham, B23 6BJ
Thursday 5 June 2008
Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB
Friday 6 June 2008
Coventry Masonic Hall, 165 Warwick Road, Coventry CV3 6AU
Saturday 28 June 2008
Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.
All seminars will conclude with a question and answer session.
The Masonic Samaritan Fund continues to increase the support it provides and wishes to keep you informed of the latest developments which include funding the cost of drug treatments for cancer and degenerative diseases. Applications for grants towards the cost of digital hearing aids and the cost of respite care are also now considered.
To fully understand how the Fund provides effective medical care and support the Provincial Grand Master considers it is important that every Lodge in the Province is represented at a seminar of their choice. Masters of Lodges are requested to ensure that this happens. posted 2/5/2008
Mike Hailwood Lodge
The Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839 was consecrated by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Michael J Price CBE, in a full Main Temple at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Friday 25 April 2008, assisted by the Provincial Wardens and other acting Provincial Officers. Michael Adams is the first Master and he was installed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan. There was loud and appreciative applause when the Master announced that the first candidate for Initiation would be David Hailwood, the son of the late Mike Hailwood after whom the Lodge has been named. We wish David and all the Brethren well in this brand new Lodge. posted 1/5/2008
The Warwickshire guidance notes which are recommended for use in presentations to non-Masons are now available in downloadable form. The booklet can be downloaded from here. posted 1/5/2008
The total at 1 May 2008 is £985,000. posted 1/5/2008
Masters, Secretaries and Directors of Ceremonies in particular of Lodges in Warwickshire are reminded that the official Toast List for use at the Festive Board changes with effect from 30 April and must be used on and after that date. A copy will be found at http://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/docs/Warks_PGL_Toast_List_A5.pdfand reflects the new Grand Ranks of Alan Wellan, Nigel Bister and David Macey conferred on them that day. posted 30/4/2008
Congratulations on Grand Ranks
Our congratulations go to these Warwickshire Brethren on their amply merited appointments to or promotions in Grand Rank in the Craft: Keith Marchington PAGDC, Anthony V N Richards PAGDC, Richard L Barker PGStB, Trevor L Cavill PGStB, Alan J Wellan PGSwdB, Nigel C Bister PSGD, David F Macey PSGD, John W Nixon PSGD, Raymond Rooke JGD, Dudley Yorke-Summerskill PJGD, Frederick Coldrick PAGDCand Edward Kettleborough PAGDC. We also congratulate these Warwickshire Companions who have been honoured with appointments to or promotions in Grand Rank in the Royal Arch: Michael Harrison GStB, Richard L Barker PGStB, David MaceyPGStB and Ronald Eamonson OBE PAGSoj. We hope that they will have a happy and memorable day at the Annual Investitures on 30 April and 1 May respectively. posted 27/4/2008
Enjoy yourself and contribute to the Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival 2012 at the same time. That is the message of Gordon Scott of St Barbara Lodge who is promoting 'Phantom and the Musicals' at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa on Sunday 28 September 2008 at 7.30pm with performances by Europe's No 1 Showgroup, 'Smackee'. This is the West End brought to a theatre near you and is a night of musical splendour not to be missed. Tickets are on sale now and they are going fast. Book yours immediately on 01926 334418. Prices are £15 and £20. posted 23/4/2008
A great honour
R Ill. & Em Kt Richard V Wallis, the Deputy Grand Sovereign of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and St John the Evangelist, is to be installed as the Grand Sovereign of the Order at the Annual Assembly of the Grand Imperial Conclave to be held at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Tuesday 1 July 2008. The present Grand Sovereign, M Ill Kt Cdr Ronald Albert Champion, RN, who has decided to step down from that high office after 12 years as Grand Sovereign, will install his worthy successor.
Richard is well known and much respected in Warwickshire, and indeed beyond, having been Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Craft from 1992 to 1999, Deputy Grand Superintendent in the Holy Royal Arch from 1991 to 1993, and Grand Superintendent from 1993 to 2006. In whatever Masonic Order Warwickshire Brethren may be they all wish Richard many happy, successful and rewarding years in this high and important office in Freemasonry.
The last time a Warwickshire Freemason was the national head of an Order was in 1856 when Lord Leigh became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. posted 23/4/2008
857 Brethren attended the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire on 19 April 2008, which is a record. There were two significant highlights of the meeting. W Bro Stanley Butterworth, Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, received the Provincial Grand Master's personal Certificate of Merit for his contributions to Freemasonry. The Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton, responsible for all the arrangements for the meeting, was taken by surprise when summoned to appear before the Provincial Grand Master who, without any previous notice, promoted Nigel to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. It was the best kept Masonic secret in the Province! posted 23/4/2008
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, is grateful to all those Brethren who attended the Annual Meeting on Saturday 19 April 2008 and so generously contributed the sum of £4,600 to the Masonic Samaritan Fund 2012 Festival. posted 21/4/2008
At an impressive Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication on 19 April 2008, W Bro Liam O'Donoghue, Master of the Lodge of Friendship No 5909 in Warwickshire, named a new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat at Aberystwyth for the RNLI.
The Master was accompanied by several members of the Lodge and their families amongst the Station Officers and other VIP guests at the Ceremony. The Atlantic 85 is the most advanced inshore lifeboat ever produced by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and its introduction at Aberystwyth is thanks to the legacy of Joan Bate, sister of the late W Bro Arthur Bate, one of the first initiates of the Lodge of Friendship, Master on three separate occasions and a member for 48 years until his death in 1992.
Joan Bate generously bequeathed sufficient monies to purchase three lifeboats for the RNLI, one at Conway to replace the lifeboat "Arthur Bate" already at Conway and named by W Bro Clifford Hadley, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, one at Salcome on the South Coast and the present "Spirit of Friendship".
Since she arrived in October 2007, The Spirit of Friendship has already launched twelve times and rescued eight people. The Lodge of Friendship is honoured to be associated with this latest lifeboat at Aberystwyth. posted 20/4/2008
We have changed!
Welcome to the new look web site for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. Pleasing to the eye, easy to navigate and making the best use of modern technology, this revised site was launched by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, at the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire on Saturday 19 April 2008. Our thanks go to Phil Benson our webmaster for his skill and assiduity in creating the new look. posted 19/4/2008
Raj Padhiar, of Forest of Arden Lodge No 3826, recently ran the London Marathon in aid of SCOPE, the cerebral palsy charity. Raj ran the 26 mile+ course in a very creditable 4 hours 58 minutes, raising £1500 for the charity. They must be serving something in the wine at the Forest of Arden - Mark Gregory, also a member, ran the Paris Marathon last month in 4 hours 37 minutes! It must be a fit Lodge! posted 17/4/2008
Freemasons pledge $65 million
The Grand Lodge of Minnesota, with 17,000 Masons, has bestowed the largest gift ever on the University of Minnesota. It has pledged $65 million dollars over the next 15 years for cancer research, prevention and care. posted 12/4/2008
The total collected for the 2012 Festival as at 10 April 2008 is £948,000. posted 12/4/2008
Warwickshire Firefighters Families Fund
The amount so far raised for this Fund by Warwickshire and other Brethren is £46,500. The Fund was established to assist the families of those four courageous firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the devastating fire that occurred in Atherstone on Stour last November. posted 12/4/2008
W Bro Robert Sillett the Prestonian Lecturer for 2008 has written to W Bro Rodney Pitham as follows:
"I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Installed Masters Lodge, the Brethren of the Lodge and the visitors for the warmth of the welcome extended to me personally at the recent meeting. It was a great pleasure and privilege for me to deliver the Prestonian Lecture to such a receptive audience and I enjoyed the experience enormously. How can I thank you sufficiently for your incredible generosity towards my charity? I am overwhelmed." posted 9/4/2008
Walk hailed as a success
The sponsored walk in aid of the Province of Warwickshire 2012 Festival which took place in Kenilworth on Saturday 5 April 2008 has been hailed as an outstanding success. Initial estimates suggest that the total amount raised for the Masonic Samaritan Fund Festival could well be in the region of £14,000 thanks to the generosity of the sponsors and the energy and enthusiasm of the walkers. Our congratulations to all who gave up their time and money for this worthwhile cause. The photo shows two unidentified walkers (although they look more like talkers!) contemplating the event. There are no prizes for guessing who they might be! posted 9/4/2008
Brethren who are attending this Annual Meeting are reminded that it commences at 10.00am precisely on Saturday 19 April 2008 at the Headquarters of the Province at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Those not in processions must be seated no later than 9.45am. In view of the large numbers wishing to attend lunch a waiting list has had to be established, so it is regretted that any who wish to apply now to dine after the meeting are unlikely to be accommodated. posted 7/4/2008
Freemasons meet across the Provinces
Euclid and his 47th Proposition
The Freemasons' Grand Charity Annual Review for 2007
The Freemasons' Grand Charity Annual Review for 2007 is now being distributed to Freemasons in England and Wales with the Spring edition of 'Freemasonry Today'. If you do not have a copy one can be viewed and downloaded athttp://www.grandcharity.org/. The Review makes for very interesting reading and shows each Freemason where and how his contribution to the Grand Charity is spent. posted 5/4/2008
Prestonian lecture for 2008
The Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 was well supported by almost 400 Brethren from Warwickshire and many other Provinces when it hosted the first official delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2008 on 31 March at the Provincial HQ in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The Prestonian Lecturer, W Bro Robert Sillett PJGD, presented his lecture 'The Language of the Ritual' in an entertaining and relaxed but most informative style. 'One of the best I have ever heard' was a comment made by many Brethren as they left or as they dined at the Festive Board. Rodney Pitham, Master of the Lodge, declared that it was one of the finest Masonic nights of his Masonic career of over 35 years and he was delighted with the support of the Brethren.
Banner Dedication in Rugby
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, dedicated the new banner of the William Webb Ellis Lodge in Rugby Masonic Hall on Saturday 29 March 2008 according to ancient custom in the presence of some 100 Brethren, all of whom are shown in the photograph. posted 31/3/2008
" I congratulate your Province on your web site" says W Bro Robert Sillett PJGD the Prestonian Lecturer for 2008 about the Warwickshire web site. We thank him for that but we wonder what his and your reaction will be to the new look web site that we are launching on 19 April. Watch this space. posted 29/3/2008
Square Meals: 300 Years of Masonic Dining
There is an organisation that held the largest sit down meal ever seen in this country, where the customs and manners of Georgian England still survive, whose feasts over nearly three centuries have seen a mixing of races, religions and cultures unheard of in the UK until recent times. That organisation is Freemasonry. Square Meals: 300 Years of Masonic Dining at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in Freemasons' Hall in London will recreate Masonic dining from the early 1700s to the present, following the festive meal through times of prosperity and wartime austerity. One of the largest silver table centrepieces in the country, rare ceramics and glass, even Masonic jellies and still filled bottles of 150 year old drinks will give a unique insight for the first time into the ceremonies, friendship and fun that make up the Masonic feast.
Come to the Goose and Gridiron for an early meeting of the first Grand Lodge, have a meal in Islington with the Country Stewards Lodge, learn why cigars were better than food in Kipling’s mother Lodge in India, or see artifacts from the meal for 7000 at Olympia in the 1930s.
The exhibition is open from Monday 7 July to Friday 26 September 2008 and admission, open to all, is free. posted 29/3/2008
The Province of Warwickshire will be making donations to 165 local charities in April to a total of £100,080. Similar amounts are presented on an annual basis. Among the recipients are local hospices – Acorns Children’s at Selly Oak, St. Mary’s at Selly Park, Mary Ann Evans at Nuneaton, Myton Hamlet at Warwick, Rugby and Coventry, St.Giles’ at Whittington, Shakespeare at Stratford, and Warren Pearl at Solihull, who will receive a total of £14,500. Four Air Ambulances serving the Province of Warwickshire will be given a total of £6,000. Other recipients include the Leonard Cheshire Homes in Sutton Coldfield and Redditch, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and the Warwick Hospital Cancer Ward.
Charities supporting health issues in the area including the British Heart Foundation (West Region), Cancer Research at Birmingham, Deafblind UK, and Macmillan Cancer Support are also being assisted. For the first time a donation is to be made to the new Royal Star and Garter Home in Solihull, due to open later this year to provide nursing care for disabled ex-service personnel impaired during conflict. St Basil’s working with young homeless people in Birmingham, and the Norman Laud Centre supporting disadvantaged youngsters in Sutton Coldfield, will also be aided as will the Birmingham Mail Charitable Trust and the Salvation Army for their work. posted 27/3/2008
There may not have been much good news in the recent Budget but at least the Chancellor is making a positive effort to help our aims for the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund. He has decided to keep the amount of tax that can be reclaimed under the Gift Aid system at 28.2% until 2011, even though the basic rate of tax will still be reduced as from April 2008. Many thanks Mr Chancellor from the Freemasons of Warwickshire! posted 18/3/2008
A racing certainty
Local authority backs Freemasons
The City Council of Port Alberni in British Columbia has declared 16 to 23 March 2008 as Freemasons' Week. The two Lodges which meet there under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon are holding a number of open days during that week. Local authorities here might take note! posted 15/3/2008
A number of non Masonic charities, across England and Wales, will benefit from generous grants announced by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity on 12 March 2008 and totalling an incredible £1.5 million. The grants have been awarded to worthwhile causes in the areas of medical research, youth opportunities and vulnerable people. The sum includes £600,000 for adult and children’s hospice services and £180,000 for air ambulance charities to be distributed during the current year.
One of the largest individual grants awarded (£250,000) will contribute to a new Breast Cancer Haven centre in Leeds providing support, information and complementary therapies before, during and after medical treatment of breast cancer. SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association), who provide support for serving men and women in today’s Armed Forces, will also receive a substantial donation of £100,000 towards the Helping Heroes and their Families emergency appeal. This grant will be used to assist the provision of suitable accommodation for families visiting severely wounded servicemen and women at Headley Court in Surrey and at Selly Oak in Birmingham during long rehabilitation periods.
Other grants included support for research into deafness and help for unemployed young people to learn skills of a trade. Smaller charities are also set to benefit with grants totalling £50,000 and beneficiaries will be announced during the course of the year.
The grants are made on the recommendation of the Appeals and Donations Committee of the Council of the Grand Charity and the Chairman of that Committee is Rodney Pitham, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire.
Further details of the grants can be seen at http://www.grandcharity.org/ posted 15/3/2008
Unique freemasonry centre welcomes new director
The UK's first dedicated centre for research into Freemasonry at the University of Sheffield will host a public lecture to mark the start of a new directorship by Dr Andreas Önnerfors. The lecture, which is entitled 'Press between the private and the public: Freemasonry as a topic in 18th Century journals', and which will be delivered on 13 March 2008, will explore how various European journals from the 1700s covered the secret and public images of Freemasonry and how they reflected European thoughts of the time.
The Centre for Research into Freemasonry was established in 2000 as the first centre in a British university devoted to scholarly research into the Freemasons. The Centre studies the historical, social and cultural impact of Freemasonry, particularly in Britain.
Dr Önnerfors is a widely-published expert on Freemasonry and joined the Centre as the new Director earlier this year. posted 13/3/2008
The RW Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, will consecrate the Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839 on Friday 25 April 2008 at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham commencing at 4.00pm. Brethren are requested to assemble no later than 3.45pm. Applications to attend and stay to dinner should be made to W Bro Peter Wright at 2 Longrood Road, Rugby CV22 7RG no later than 18 April. The dining fee is £24 inclusive of wines and cheques are payable to 'Mike Hailwood Lodge No 9839'. posted 8/3/2008
New Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire
At the regular meeting of Lechmere Volunteer Lodge on 5 March the R W Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire, Richard Goddard, announced that he had been pleased to appoint W Bro Raymond Rooke as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and that he will invest him at the meeting of Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge on 10 May 2008 at Moseley Masonic Hall, Kings Heath.
W Bro Peter Band, who has held this high office with great distinction for the past five years, will stand down on that day. The Brethren of Warwickshire send their congratulations and good wishes to W Bro Raymond Rooke for a successful and happy time in his new appointment. posted 7/3/2008
David Perkins the Master of the Lodge of Unity, is holding a Charity Celebrity Auction at Alderson House, Warwick, on the evening of Thursday 22 May 2008. The BBC's Flog It and Bargain Hunt star, Philip Serrill, will be the auctioneer. Among the many lots are a week's family holiday in a self catering cottage in Cumbria, four hospitality tickets for a weekend at the British Grand Prix in July, four tickets and parking for the Royal Show at Stoneleigh, and David will come to your home and cook a sumptuous meal for 4 people. Doors open at 5.00pm for viewing and registration with the auction starting at about 7.00pm. The charities that will benefit are The Helen Ley Care Centre for the care of multiple sclerosis sufferers and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. posted 7/3/2008
An event not to be missed
W Bro Robert Sillett PJGD will be attending the next Regular Meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538 on 31 March 2008 to present an Official Delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2008 entitled 'The Language of the Ritual'. This is a most prestigious event in the life of the Province and of the Lodge and it is an opportunity that cannot be missed. The Lodge meets at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham and the Lecture begins promptly at 6.00pm in the Main Temple. Regalia will not be worn. There are only four official deliveries of the Prestonian Lecture each year throughout the whole of the English Constitution. In light of the importance of the occasion each Lodge in the Province should ensure that it is represented at least by its Master.
The RW Provincial Grand Master looks to all his Lodges for support for the Lecture. posted 7/3/2008
The fund total at the end of February 2008 is £893,000. posted 7/3/2008
The March 2008 edition of The Warwickshire Rose for members of the Ancient and Accepted Rite is now available and can be read here. posted 5/3/2008
Some 87 years after the consecration of the Yenton Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 719, the Brethren of that Lodge decided it was time they should have a Lodge Banner. RW Bro David J F Rawlins, Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Degree in Warwickshire, was pleased to dedicate the Banner on 3 March. In addition to the delightful ceremony, the Provincial Grand Master promoted W Bro Bill Hepburn to Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden and W Bro Barrie Dolphin to Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden for their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm. posted 4/3/2008
The University of Birmingham Lodge No 5628 in the Province of Warwickshire, has initiated its first undergraduate of the University since 1944 when on 25 February 2008 Fergus Robert Sinclair Smith, aged 19, studying geology, was made a Mason by dispensation. The evening was, of course, very special but was made even more so since the undergraduate initiated in 1944 took part in the ceremony. W Bro Michael Roper-Hall PProvSGW (a Lewis) and a holder of the RW Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit has been a keen and active member of the Lodge since that time and has been the Master on six occasions, including the 50th Anniversary of the Lodge. The Lodge, at one time meeting at the University but now firmly established in the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Birmingham, has had difficult times but is now enjoying a resurgence of interest by many of the academic staff and post-graduate students.
The Lodge is a member of the University Lodges Scheme promoted by RW Bro David Williamson, the Assistant Grand Master. Oxford and Cambridge have proved how popular Freemasonry can be at universities. With the admission of Bro Smith, who benefits of course from a reduction of fees for those who are under 25, the Lodge hopes that he can help to make the wonderful experiences enjoyed by Freemasons available to more prospective Masons, especially undergraduates of his university.
The Lodge was delighted that W Bro Sebastian Madden, Grand Steward, the Coordinator of the University Lodges Scheme, was present on this historic occasion and thank him for his support.
The photo shows Bro Fergus Smith, W Bro Robert Ashford, the Master, W Bro Michael Roper-Hall and W Bro Sebastian Madden. posted 28/2/2008
"Beyond the Craft....."
Spencer Fenn will be making one of his famous presentations under this title in Leamington Spa and will explain the inter-relationship of the various Masonic Orders, their themes, without giving too much away, and their origins. There will be a display of all the different regalia.
The date is Friday 28 March , under the auspices of Royal Leamington Spa Lodge No 9663, at the Masonic Hall, Willes Road, Leamington, at 6.30pm for 7.00 pm, with bar provided, and a buffet afterwards. The buffet will cost £7.50. The bar will be open from 6.15pm.
Booking Forms can be provided by the Secretary W Bro L Thacker, 29 Whitnash Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 2HW. Tel. 01926 420245 posted 22/2/2008
Do you want to know a secret - on another occasion?
Another wonderful celebration and another surprise
Stoneleigh Lodge No 725 celebrated its 150th Anniversary at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Edgbaston Birmingham in the presence of the RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael John Price CBE, on 14 February 2008. Brethren were entertained to a reading of the minutes of the Consecration in 1858 and of a short history of the Lodge which was later supplemented by the gift to all those attending of a book with the full history. A delightful commemorative plate was also presented to every Brother who attended. With magnificent donations in the Lodge and the collection at the Festive Board the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund will benefit by almost £1,900.
A highlight of the evening was when the Provincial Grand Master summoned W Bro Len Rose to him and, without prior notice, promoted him with immediate effect to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, an act which was greeted with loud applause. posted 15/2/2008
Love-struck Cyril Sergeant and Madge Robbins became Britain's oldest newlyweds on 14 February 2008 with a combined age of 178. Cyril, aged 89, is a Past Master of Hertford Lodge No 3208 in Warwickshire. We wish them every happiness and many years together. posted 15/2/2008
Assistant Provincial Grand Master to step down
W Bro Roger S Mac PSGD has indicated to the RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, his wish to retire as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 April 2008. Roger has been a loyal and dedicated Freemason and has proved to be a very popular member of the Warwickshire Provincial Executive. The Brethren of the Province wish him well for the future. posted 14/2/2008
Heritage Open Days celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorstep, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability. Co-ordinated nationally by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making Heritage Open Days England's largest voluntary cultural event.
Many Masonic Halls in the Province of Warwickshire took part in 2007 with great success. The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, wishes to encourage all those who own or control Masonic Halls in the Province to participate again in Heritage Open Days in September since it is a sure way of demonstrating the public face of Freemasonry. The Provincial Grand Secretary will be responsible for the arrangements at the Provincial HQ in Edgbaston but would welcome support from Brethren who meet there.
Everest conqueror Carrie Gibson has been named Inverclyde’s Citizen of the Year by Freemasons — the first woman to receive the honour. Scout leader Carrie became only the fifth Scottish woman and the 14th British woman to conquer the world’s highest mountain when she reached the summit on 16 May 2007. Carrie, 35, was part of the Scottish Scouts Seven Summits Expedition that tackled the 29,028ft peak. Now her efforts in reaching the summit and her contribution to the Scouting movement in Inverclyde have been recognised with the Citizen of the Year award from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West. Carrie said: “I am very humbled to receive this award. The last year has been an incredible experience.”
The award was presented to Carrie at the annual dinner of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West by Alex Galbraith, Provincial Grand Master, who said: “Carrie is a great role model and an inspiration for the people of Inverclyde. Her magnificent achievement, together with her selfless contribution to youth work, should be recognised and we were delighted to honour her in this way. She is the first woman to win our Citizenship Award — another achievement for her.” posted 10/2/2008
Presidential candidate is a Mason - and proud of it!
Andrei Bogdanov is a Russian presidential candidate with long, curly hair who heads up the country's largest Masonic lodge as well as the Democratic Party of Russia. At 38, Bogdanov is Russia's youngest-ever presidential candidate. He says he is truly optimistic that he can eventually draw widespread support among young voters -- despite his Masonic background and cascading locks. "We are working for the future," Bogdanov said in an interview this week at his party's headquarters in central Moscow. "A new generation of voters will emerge soon with a better knowledge of Freemasonry and with fewer prejudices about it -- and about the long hair." posted 8/2/2008
Ray Sanders-Crook, the current Master of the David Garrick Lodge No 4243 in the Province of Warwickshire, served as a regular soldier for many years. On his retirement he became a member of The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard and was stationed at HM Tower of London. The photograph shows Ray proudly wearing his uniform as a Yeoman Warder. Although now retired from that historical office he still sports those wonderful whiskers! posted 7/2/2008
The Festival Fund now stands at £851,324.15. posted 6/2/2008
Following civil unrest in parts of Kenya, The President of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity, to which all Freemasons in England and Wales contribute, has approved a grant of £10,000 to the District Grand Lodge of East Africa’s Grand Charity, complementing local relief efforts.
Violent clashes and rioting following the results of the Kenyan Presidential election have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes. Many families are now living in makeshift camps and are desperately in need of essential supplies like food, clean water and basic household items.
The District Grand Charity has already made 1 million Kenyan Shillings (approximately £8,500) available through its own Fund for internally displaced people, supporting the immediate relief efforts of the Kenya Red Cross Society and Lodges in some of the areas most affected by the events. As part of this assistance, the Chairman of the District Grand Charity recently visited Jamhuri Camp in Nairobi to donate milk, bread, rice, beans and drinking water to 3,000 displaced people including children. The grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be used to increase the current support for needy individuals in the wider community. posted 4/2/2008
A special celebration - with surprises
Some two hundred Brethren attended the 275th Anniversary Meeting of St Paul's Lodge No 43 on Saturday 2 February 2008 and witnessed the RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, installed into the Chair (delightfully by David Richards) in the presence of RW Bro George P Francis, the Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England. Many Brethren had travelled considerable distances to enjoy this special celebration including those from the French and German Lodges with which St Paul's Lodge is twinned. The surprises came when the Provincial Grand Master summoned three Past Masters of the Lodge to him and, without any prior notice, promoted Peter Cook, David Houston and Peter Taylor to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden with immediate effect. posted 3/2/2008
In February Steve Cox, one of the Provincial ADCs in Warwickshire, will be leaving his dental practice for two weeks and joining a medical mission in Peru, organized by The Vine Trust. Along with medical and surgical colleagues who will undertake necessary medical and minor surgical care he will be working on Amazon Hope 2, carrying out dental care for those in regions which can only be reached on the river.
The RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, has been pleased to appoint W Bro Alan J Wellan as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and W Bro David F Macey as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and will invest them at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on 19 April 2008. VW Bro David J F Rawlins, the present Deputy Provincial Grand Master, will step down from that high office on that day. posted 31/1/2008
Still time to book for a celebration
Motorists have been warned to expect delays as a £1.4m scheme gets under way on a busy road into Birmingham. Severn Trent Water said the scheme to replace ageing water pipes will close one lane of the inbound carriageway of Hagley Road, Edgbaston. The first phase will affect the road between Sandon and Monument Roads in a project set to last up to eight months. Brethren attending the Provincial HQ of Warwickshire Freemasonry at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston should take this into account when undertaking their journey. posted 27/1/2008
A major refurbishment of the catering kitchen at the Masonic Hall in Severn Street in Birmingham has recently been completed. The kitchen now has a more ergonomically efficient layout with all new replacement stainless steel tabling, new gas cooking ranges and replacement fridges and freezers. It is a kitchen fit for purpose for the 21St century. posted 25/1/2008
Help is at hand
To assist less agile Brethren two 'S' framed chairs are available in each dining room at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ at 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Lodges are asked to ensure that these chairs are used for the purpose for which they have been acquired and that their availability is drawn to the attention of those who may benefit.
A 'lift car' is also available; it actually climbs stairs and makes movement between floors very much easier. The Duty Manager will, on early application, make the equipment available and operate it. posted 20/1/2008
At quite significant expense Lodge Room No 1 at the Warwickshire Provincial HQ in Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, has been renovated to put right the damage caused last year by water ingress, redecorated in a style that will be the norm for the building and the lighting dramatically changed.
The new lights not only give a good visual appearance to the room, and a good level of light but, as a result of the design conceived by Nigel Bister, will enable the heating and air conditioning systems to work effectively again. The final piece of work to be done is the design and fitting of covers to the remaining circular openings visible in the ceiling, covers that will further enhance the air circulation. posted 17/1/2008
Walk for the 2012 Festival
St Paul's Lodge No 43, Warwickshire's oldest Lodge, will celebrate its 275th Anniversary on Saturday 2 February 2008 at the home of Warwickshire Freemasonry 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham commencing at 4.00pm. The RW Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price CBE, is to be installed as Master in the presence of RW Bro George Pipon Francis, the Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England. It goes without saying that this is a unique and historic occasion in the life of the Province and therefore one not to be missed.
Charity comes of age
As the New Masonic Samaritan Fund enters its 18th year the decision has been taken to remove 'New' and revert to the legal title of Masonic Samaritan Fund with this redesigned logo. posted 16/1/2008
The staff of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Masonic Samaritan Fund will move into the lower ground floor of Freemasons' Hall in Great Queen Street, London by the end of January. The space has been converted into modern office accommodation and brings the staff of the four charities together for the first time. The move will bring substantial benefits to the charities and their administration and also to all members of the Craft. posted 12/1/2008
Grand Charity donations
The Freemasons' Grand Charity's donations to adult and children's hospices throughout Warwickshire amounted to some £19,000. The photo shows Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presenting a cheque for £4,728 to Tina Fisher, Chief Executive of St Mary's Hospice, Selly Park, Birmingham, and John Wheeler Chief Fund Raiser, who were most grateful for the donation.
Since 1984 the Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated some £7 million to the hospice movement in England and Wales.
Other local hospices to receive donations from the Freemasons' Grand Charity are Acorns at Selly Oak, Birmingham, Mary Ann Evans in Nuneaton, Myton Hamlet in Warwick, Shakespeare at Stratford upon Avon and Warren Pearl, Solihull. posted 11/1/2008
The total raised at the end of December 2007 was £808,514. posted 7/1/2008
Left: This little boy's face says it all
Shrieks of laughter, shouts of "He's behind you" and lots of singing and applause were the wonderful responses of some 200 children with severe learning and physical disabilities and their 50 adult carers when they were entertained to a magical performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at Stirling Road, the home of Warwickshire Freemasonry, in December. The imaginative initiative of the Provincial Grand Master, the pantomime was a jointly funded operation between the Province of Warwickshire and the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Drivers Association. This delightful event was graced by the presence of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham who joined in all the fun. The Lord Mayor was delighted to receive a donation from the Provincial Grand Master on behalf of the Province for his own chosen charities.
Below: The Provincial Grand Master welcomes the Lord Mayor to the pantomime
Thanks are due to many but in particular to Roger Parker and his organising Committee, Chaplins and their professional actors who transformed the main dining room into a theatre, to Peter Astfalck for his magic, to Mike Shingler and his fellow taxi drivers, and to Diane Hepworth and her staff.
Each child on leaving received a present, which had been provided by the taxi drivers,from Father Christmas. The Provincial Grand Master was so delighted with the success of the pantomime that he has agreed that the event should be repeated this year.
Left: The Lord Mayor of Birmingham with the Lady Mayoress and the cast
New Grand Master for Massachusetts
Roger W. Pageau was installed as the 86th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts on 27 December 2007 and will preside over 235 lodges and 40,000 Freemasons throughout the state for the next three years. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts celebrates its 275th Anniversary in May 2008. posted 1/1/2008
New Year Honours
Our congratulations go to Bro Alex Bulloch of the Lodge of St Andrew No 4056 who has spent more than 35 years taking relatives to war graves across northern Europe on his being honoured with the award of an MBE for his services to the Birmingham War Research Society. Alex has been a Freemason for 49 years and is a life member of Dunbar Castle Lodge No 75 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Also honoured is RW Bro Norman Lloyd-Edwards the current Junior Grand Warden in Grand Lodge and the immediate past President of the Masonic Samaritan Fund who becomes a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. posted 1/1/2008