Fly high for charity
The end of 2015 saw some fantastic and exhilarating fundraising efforts by members of the masonic community
The Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, and Kevin Lyons, Past Master of Delphis Lodge, Hereford, completed freefall tandem skydives from 12,500ft and raised over £7,000 for the Herefordshire 2020 Festival in support of the Masonic Samaritan Fund.
Meanwhile, Nigel Moran and Andrew Paice from the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight completed the Sky Tower 100ft freefall challenge in Tivoli Friheden, Denmark. They completed the feat dressed as Batman and Robin to raise funds for the 2016 Festival for the RMTGB.
At the top, Andy suggested that Nigel (Batman) should go first. Nigel shouted, ‘So mote it be!’ before plunging into the net below. Their sense of achievement was reinforced by raising over £1,000, double their original target.
A St David’s Day tradition
Every year Coningsby Lodge holds a St David’s Day celebration at its March meeting. This includes the ordeal of eating raw leeks, and current Worshipful Masters are ‘invited’ to take part in the ceremony. This year the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, agreed to join them for a sponsored leek-eat in aid of the 2020 Festival.
In introducing the event W Bro Roger Tomlinson explained that it was a tradition for all new members of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, of which he had been Bandmaster, to eat a leek on St David’s Day. He said that the tradition dates back to the 6th century when St David advised the commander of the Welsh army that his soldiers should wear a leek on their head-dress to distinguish them from the Saxons, with whom they were about to do battle. Having won the battle, the Welsh celebrated, and honoured St David, by eating the leeks. The tradition has continued among Welsh soldiers, and for a number of years has been re-enacted by Coningsby Lodge.
As well as the PGM, the Worshipful Master of Coningsby Lodge, W Bro Kevin Jones, took part, together with W Bro Keith Farmer, WM of Dean Waterfield, and W Bro David Joyce took part. A salver of raw leeks was carried in by W Bro Gordon Bumfrey, to a drum accompaniment by W Bro Ian Warren. The four participants were then invited to select their leeks, and eat them whole. Having done so, they were rewarded with a drink of Welsh beer.
In recognition of the RW PGM’s participation, and in his role as President of the Festival, the Lodge then presented him with a cheque for £100 in aid of the Festival. The PGM thanked the Lodge, and said how much he had enjoyed taking part.
£5,000 donation to St Michael's Hospice
Herefordshire Freemasons have long been strong supporters of the county’s St Michael’s Hospice, and have continued that tradition with a further donation of £5,000. The donation was presented by the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire and former Chaplain at the Hospice, the Rev David Bowen, and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Michael Roff, to Ruth Denison, Director of Income Generation, and Paddy Nugent, Community Fundraising Manager.
Receiving the donation, Paddy Nugent said: 'St Michael’s Hospice is eternally grateful for the support from the masons, which goes back to 1984. We really appreciate their continued commitment and would like to thank all involved for their continued support.' The money will be used for the fitting out of one of the bedrooms in the new building.
This follows closely on a donation of £500 made by members of the oldest lodge in Herefordshire, Palladian Lodge. One of its members, Colin Tudor, has been receiving out-patient care at St Michael’s, and is so pleased with the way he is being looked after that he wanted to show his appreciation, with the support of his Lodge. In presenting that cheque Colin thanked the dedicated staff for all they had done for him and many others.
Freemasons throughout the country are strong supporters of their local Hospices, and those in Herefordshire are very pleased to have such an invaluable and high-quality facility available to the local community.
Help for St Michael’s
In a visit to St Michael’s Hospice Hereford, the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, met patient and Past Master of Delphis Lodge, No. 7769, Colin Tudor and his wife Gill.
Colin had for some time been a fundraiser for the Macmillan Renton Unit and St Michael’s Hospice. Following a period of chemotherapy treatment, Colin walked across mid-Wales for these charitable concerns.
While he was there, David Bowen, accompanied by Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, presented the hospice with a £3,343 donation from the Grand Charity.
Over the years, the Province of Herefordshire has presented some £70,000 to the hospice, helping towards the current £3.2 million refurbishment.
Herefordshire PGM meets Royal visitor
HRH The Countess of Wessex has paid a return visit to The Haven’s Hereford centre. The Countess is an active supporter of the charity, which provides emotional and physical support to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Calling The Haven a ‘fantastic organisation’, she thanked all the fundraisers gathered for giving their time and backing to the charity. During the visit, the Countess also met Herefordshire PGM, the Rev David Bowen, and thanked him and his fellow Freemasons for their substantial and continued support. The Province is an official Guardian of the Hereford Haven.
During one of many visits to St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford, RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, was recently given the most welcome opportunity of meeting and greeting hospice patient Colin Tudor and his wife Gill.
Colin, past Master of Delphis Lodge No. 7769, had for some time been a valiant and resolute supporter and fundraiser for the Macmillan Renton Unit and St Michael’s Hospice: following a period of chemotherapy treatment, Colin walked across Mid Wales for such charitable concerns.
David Bowen, accompanied by VW Bro Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, presented Ruth Denison Fundraising Manager and Paddy Nugent Community Fundraising Manager, with the annual donation awarded to the Hospice by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
This year the award was for £3,343. Since 1984 The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated rising £12m to the 245 adult and children’s hospices in England and Wales.
The Province of Herefordshire has also presented approximately £70,000 to St Michael’s Hospice over the years, and this support will be recognised within the £3.2m refurbishment of the original hospice buildings due to be completed within the next three months.
The Rev David Bowen pledged the continued support of Herefordshire Freemasons to the dedicated care the hospice provides, which is so highly valued by the local community. David Bowen had been Chaplain to the hospice in the past, and truly appreciated the work undertaken at St Michael’s.
The presentation took place in the new £8m In-Patients’ Unit – the most advanced and highly specified in the country. David Bowen emphasised how important it was to be able to show a continued commitment to the outstanding work of the hospice.
Sophie Countess of Wessex pays return visit to the Hereford Haven
Haven is a charity which provides emotional and physical support to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Countess of Wessex called the Hereford Haven a 'fantastic organisation', and thanked all the fundraisers gathered for giving their time and backing to the charity for which she is an active supporter.
While visiting the Haven Centre in St Owen Street, she met and greeted the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire. She thanked him and his fellow Freemasons for their substantial and continued support of Hereford Haven. The Herefordshire Province is an official Guardian of the Hereford Haven. Earlier in the year The Freemasons' Grand Charity donated £30,000 to Breast Haven Cancer UK.
The Rev David Bowen, in conversation with Frankie Devereux, Manager of the Hereford Haven, said how pleased Freemasons were to be able to contribute to the work of the Haven, through the Grand Charity, the Province of Herefordshire and its individual lodges. He hoped that such support would be maintained well into the foreseeable future.
2020 vision in Herefordshire
The Province of Herefordshire has officially launched its 2020 Festival Appeal by presenting an initial donation of £45,000 to the Masonic Samaritan Fund. Herefordshire Provincial Grand Master the Rev David Bowen opened the appeal at the Provincial Grand Lodge in June.
MSF President Willie Shackell received the donation from the Province and offered his sincere thanks for such a generous contribution towards the Fund’s work. He said, ‘Your generosity will make a tremendous difference to so many people waiting to receive the treatment and care they need to live healthy and independent lives.’
£5k in donations PER YEAR to breast cancer support centre
In 2011, the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, initiated the desire among Freemasons to become a Guardian of the Haven Breast Cancer Centre in Hereford. As such, this assured and supplemented the long standing local masonic support for the Haven with a guaranteed annual donation of £1,000. Over the last decade, the average donation by local Freemasons to the centre has been upwards of £5,000 per year.
Through the pages of the Hereford Times, the Rev Bowen has now issued a challenge to other organisations within the county of Herefordshire, to join the Province in becoming Guardians of the Haven in support of the latest Haven appeal to raise £30,000 to pay for an additional qualified nurse, as public demand for the service has recently increased by 51%.
Frankie Devereux, Manager of the Hereford Haven said that the £30,000 will be set against the £270,000 a year that it takes to run the centre, and with no government funding, the Haven is entirely dependent on charity and its future network of Guardians, Trusts and community fundraisers.
Charity focuses on the financial impact of cancer
Breast cancer support charity The Haven has received £30,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. The donation will help to maintain and expand its welfare, benefits and money advice service, which is currently available at the London Haven centre or via a telephone service.
This centralised financial assistance from the Grand Charity is in keeping with the support given to the Hereford Haven centre in the past by Freemasons on a local level. Speaking about the donation, Laura Chapman, Chief Executive of the Grand Charity, said:
‘When people think about cancer, they don’t think about the financial impact it can have. This service will help patients focus on what really matters without the worry of how they will manage their money. We are so glad to be able to support those experiencing breast cancer in such an incredibly practical way.’
Herefordshire PGM the Rev David Bowen and Deputy PGM Mike Roff represented Freemasons county-wide at Hereford Haven, where they met centre manager Frankie Devereux.
RW Bros Tim Henderson-Ross, the Rev David Bowen and Robert Vaughan presented Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager at Strensham air ambulance base, with a combined donation of £12,000 as part of Grand Charity's support to all 22 rescue services in England and Wales – financial support which since 2007 has totalled nearly £2m.
The country’s air ambulance service, without either government or National Lottery funding, relies on such voluntary donations to operate its critical role. Annie Newell, in her final year as Fundraising Manager, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over many years. Michelle McCracken will be taking over Annie’s responsibilities in September.
The donation has been awarded so as to maintain and expand the Welfare Benefits and Money Advice service available at Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford.
Such central financial assistance is in keeping with the local support given to the Hereford Haven over the past years by Herefordshire masons.
RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, accompanied by VW Bro Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, represented Freemasons county wide at Hereford Haven, where they met the Centre Manager Frankie Devereux.
Rev David Bowen spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken by the Haven Centre, which is free at source, and entirely dependent on charitable giving.
David Bowen was pleased by the news that a new Haven centre will open on the Worcestershire Royal site in October, and was delighted to hear about the Haven’s Healing Garden to be seen at Chelsea Flower Show in May of this year.
An invited tour of the extensive new £8 million build at St Michael’s Hospice on the last day of 2014 by Herefordshire Freemasons, reflected the extent of appreciation for their committed support
In the presence of Ruth Denison, Fundraising Manager at the hospice, the RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, accompanied by fellow Freemasons, was informed that the new building would be the most advanced and highly specified in the country.
The new facilities, including the imaginative and highly technical five clusters of four bedded areas for in-patients, representing a significant increase in capacity, will enable the hospice to sustain its excellent national reputation.
The visiting local Freemasons were also told that the projected £3.2 million refurbishment of the thirty-year-old part of the existing hospice will take place during the coming twelve months, thus completing a challenging period of development.
The Rev David Bowen presented a donation of £2,804 on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity – since 1984, the charity has donated more than £11 million to hospices in England and Wales – and David Hudson, Worshipful Master of Coningsby Lodge presented an additional £500 on behalf of the members.
Speaking about the donations, David Bowen said: 'Freemasons in Herefordshire are pleased that The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has continued to provide this vital funding for our local hospice. The care, compassion and support the hospice provides to the community is outstanding and we are delighted that we are able to show our continuing dedication to their cause.'
Herefordshire Freemasons, family and friends of Hereford Cathedral, accompanied The Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, in celebration of the completion of the refurbishment of the old fountain in the Cathedral Cloister
Simon Hudson, stone mason at the cathedral, undertook the work using Forest of Dean stone. The new fountain surround reflects the stylised ball flower design as seen on the cathedral tower.
Relatives and friends of the late Reverend Philip Barrett vicar choral at Hereford, and of the late Tony Hunter-Choat past Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge in Hereford, sponsored the work.
During the service of celebration held in the Cathedral Cloister, The Dean praised the community spirit and dedication of those named: he read extracts from Reverend Barrett’s 1993 Barchester: English Cathedral Life in the 19th Century, which became and remains a standard reference work, and was supported by readings by RW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, and by Reverend Canon Dr Maureen Palmer.
The present Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge, W Bro Denis Cox, stated that the project had been initiated by W Bro Tony Hunter-Choat to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the foundation of Herefordshire’s oldest masonic lodge: the brethren of Palladian Lodge donated £1,000 accordingly, thus maintaining the strong link with the cathedral evident through the ages. Mrs Linda Hunter-Choat, and daughters Sarah and Felicity, were in attendance at the celebration.
Masons praised by Countess of Wessex
Herefordshire mason Allan Lloyd and his wife Angela represented the Provincial Grand Master and the Province at a celebration of giving for the Haven Breast Cancer Support charity. The ceremony was held at Frogmore House, Windsor, in the company of the Countess of Wessex (right), an active supporter of the three Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford.
Herefordshire PGM The Rev David Bowen initiated the present level of support, which has qualified the Province to become a Guardian of The Haven. In her presentation, the Countess commented on the long-standing support of Freemasons, with an acknowledgement of the patronage of the Province of Herefordshire.
The three Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from their national charity, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been a regular supporter of air ambulance charities in recent years, donating over £1.5 million since 2007 to the twenty-two rescue services.
Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to operate. Support from grant-makers like the Freemasons means that doctors and paramedics reach patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible – saving lives in the process. This is especially true for rural areas. Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and sustained level of generous support of the Freemasons.
Speaking about the donation, the Right Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'We are delighted to be able to show our support for Midlands Air Ambulance once again. Charitable giving is central to Freemasons as evident that in 2012 the Province of Herefordshire donated £54,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance as a result of a designated three year campaign of support. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all Freemasons in England and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year.'
It is with a continued sense of pride within the three Provinces of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, that the logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the distinctly coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire, off the M5.
Photograph taken at Strensham during the presentation of £12,000, with staff of Midlands Air Ambulance who over the years have become close acquaintances of the Freemasons present.
Hereford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, established in 2011, has historically worked with women who have suffered rape or sexual abuse - however in May 2013 the centre secured funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to extended the service to include men
Within the last year the centre has received 29 referrals for men, and the charity aims to raise an additional £22,400 per year to extend the counselling service to provide them with free, confidential and non-judgemental counselling sessions. Herefordshire Freemasons presented £800 to Lesley Caldicott, Independent Sexual Violence Advisor for Herefordshire, as their first ever donation to this charity, to support this counselling process.
Lesley emphasised the importance of such support to the local Freemasons present at the presentation, by stating that there is no other organisation in Herefordshire that offers men specialist counselling free of charge for rape and sexual abuse.
Freemasons warmly welcomed by Herefordshire Samaritans
While it is appreciated that members from individual masonic Lodges have supported Herefordshire Samaritans in the past, the recent £500 donation to refurbish the organisation’s vehicle, was the first support given by the central Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association
In the words of Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, this assistance should be maintained in the light of the invaluable work undertaken by the Samaritans, as exemplified by the 18,835 contacts made to the local branch in 2013. David Bowen was impressed by the fact that Herefordshire Samaritans was a self funded charity with no paid employees, everyone involved being a volunteer.
Dorian Lower, Branch Director of Herefordshire Samaritans situated in Berrington Street, warmly welcomed the Freemasons who attended with David Bowen, namely Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Allan Lloyd and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward. He expressed his great appreciation for such support and hoped that the link with between the local Freemasons and Herefordshire Samaritans Group would continue and prosper.
The annual pantomime presented at Brookfield School and Specialist College, Hereford, has received the support of Herefordshire Freemasons with a donation of over £700
The school, which provides specialist educational needs for over sixty Herefordshire youngsters, has received such support on three occasions, much to the approval and wishes of the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire masons.
This year’s pantomime Treasure Island was organised through the national charity Happy Days by Anna Collum a senior member of the teaching staff at the school. The production was attended by the visiting Freemasons, David Bowen, Allan Lloyd, and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward.
David Bowen was delighted to be able to visit the school, and remarked how well the pupils responded to the professionally presented pantomime performed by the visiting theatre company Magic of Theatre. He remarked that the performance truly proved magical for the pupils who obviously greatly enjoyed the production, and promised that he and his fellow Freemasons would continue to fully support such local charities.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity supported this charity with a donation of £20,000 in 2011.
Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, said that it was a wonderful experience to be with the young children of the Hereford Deaf Children's Society during a most enjoyable musical afternoon led by Real Impact Music
With a donation of £500 to enable 25 children to attend a pantomime at The Courtyard later in the year, Herefordshire Freemasons are continuing to support this worthy local charity.
The Society’s Chairperson Tracy Caddick-Rudd, together with the assistance of a large number of volunteers, has recently organised Hereford Deaf Children Society visits to York, Weston-super-Mare and Disneyland Paris, much to the delight of up to 100 children who were involved.
Tracy emphasised that the only way to maintain such participation among the children was to receive the continued support of charitable organisations such as the Freemasons.
Also in attendance at the presentation was David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Herefordshire.
Meeting volunteers at the Newton Farm Community Association in Hereford to support their charitable work over Christmas and the New Year, local Freemasons greatly appreciated the level of commitment evident
Rev David Bowen, who had ministered to the people of this part of the city in the past, welcomed the opportunity to revisit Newton Farm and once again see how the community centre continues to positively assist in bringing the people of local neighbourhoods together.
Financial support was presented by Rev Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, to Audrey Pask, the long standing vice chair of Newton Farm Community Centre. This support was identified as help towards the cost of 50 Christmas Hampers being distributed, and the children’s presents received in Santa’s grotto thanks to Richard Johnson, chairman of the centre.
David Bowen, who was accompanied by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles, expressed gratitude to the people of Newton Farm for the warmth of their welcome, and the privilege of being able to support such a worthy local enterprise. He praised the dedication of all involved in the non profit making charity with special reference to the 24 volunteers, and looked forward to the forthcoming planned renovation of the immediate area.
Ian Talboys of Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Hereford, has long admired the staunch work of Linda Bishop in her support of St Michael’s Hospice
Ian has known Linda for many years through their involvement with the local Scout movement and has had the pleasure of walking many miles with her in the Black Mountains.
Linda recently completed her Beating Boundaries Challenge Hike, the first ever complete walk around the county boundary of Herefordshire, to raise money especially for the new Complementary Therapy Suite at Bartestree.
With the £14.5 million new build at St Michael’s Hospice due for completion in June 2014, as projected by Head of Fundraising Ruth Denison, visiting Herefordshire Freemasons recently took the opportunity of viewing its progress while presenting their annual donation.
A donation of £2,809 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity was presented to Ruth Denison during the visit, with an additional £1,000 from Hereford’s Delphis Lodge being ring-fenced for the provision of the state of the art Complementary Therapy Suite.
Since 1984, £10.5 million has been donated to hospices across England and Wales by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
Speaking about the donation, Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'Every year Freemasons all over the country work together to provide funding for hospice services.
'The care provided by our local hospice is exceptional, but financial support is fundamental to ensuring a continued good service. We recognise the vital role the hospice plays within our community here in Herefordshire, and that is why we are so happy and committed to maintain our support.'
A suitable horse
Riding for the Disabled Centre at Holme Lacy, Hereford, is searching for a suitable new horse. The previous occupant of the now empty stable was Gypsy, a horse sponsored by the Freemasons of Herefordshire
Freemasons wish to continue their two decade support of the centre, and recently donated £2,600 towards the purchase of a replacement horse. The original horse they sponsored was aptly named Mason.
The annual minimum cost of maintenance for each of the 13 horses stabled at Hereford RDA is £1,500. Like all centres, Hereford RDA depends on local financial and physical support in order to provide the much appreciated quality service of compassion and care.
The centre provides 250 sessions per week for their disabled clients. One such client is Nick Jones, now aged 35, who first attended the centre at Holme Lacy when aged six: he is now an Ambassador, voluntarily representing the centre at all public occasions.
The newly appointed manager, Lisa Millman, who has been at the centre for the past 21 years, warmly welcomed the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire the Rev David Bowen, and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles. Lisa emphasised that as a charity, volunteers as well as financial donations are required. She is to contact the fifteen masonic lodges in Herefordshire seeking such physical support.
Rev David Bowen expressed how the quality of life of the individuals who attended the centre would diminish should the centre become non-viable – for some clients the visit to Hereford RDA was their only 'outdoor' activity. He promised continued support on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons. The most recent donation had been match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
According to the Haven’s manager, Frankie Devereux, the 'hugely successful' Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Hereford, 'culminated in a most welcomed and substantial donation of £5,800.00 from the Freemasons'
Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, in presenting this latest donation, spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken at the Haven in Hereford. He emphasised the continued support of Freemasons, being fully aware that the success of the Haven’s work depended entirely upon charitable giving. Herefordshire Province of Freemasons has been a Guardian of the Haven since 2011.
In attendance at the presentation, undertaking his first official duty, was Edward Lord, the newly appointed National Director of Fundraising and Development for the Breast Cancer Havens in Hereford, Leeds and London. As a senior mason himself, he welcomed the support given by both local Freemasons and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. He praised Herefordshire Masons for the continued support received over recent years.
This year’s annual masonic donation to the Haven included specific giving from Royal Edward Lodge No. 892, Palladian Lodge No. 120 and Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire, and the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. This local support was match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
The Cobalt medical charity, now approaching its 50th anniversary, supports patients with cancer across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire
At present, the charity is working with Wye Valley NHS Trust to set up a state of the art Breast Cancer Digital Screening and Biopsy Assessment Centre at Hereford County Hospital. With sufficient funding this project could be realised by the end of the current year.
Mel Bolton, Service Delivery Manager at Hereford Hospital, recently met with representatives of Herefordshire Freemasons, who are continuing in their support of the Cobalt Appeal, and toured the designated hospital area which will accommodate the new facilities. They were accompanied by Sian Syddall, Community Fundraiser for Herefordshire Cobalt Appeal.
In presenting the latest donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, Rev David Bowen, praised the work of the charity and the financial support given to the Cobalt Unit by the people of the county. He was pleased to be informed that the realisation of this latest project would make it unnecessary for patients to travel to Bromsgrove and Cheltenham to access these services.
Sian Syddall said: 'One in eight women in Herefordshire will be affected by breast cancer at some stage in their lifetime. We want to ensure that all women across the county have access to the best possible screening and follow-up, close to home and loved ones. New digital breast screening equipment for the county will undoubtedly play a vital role in the detection of breast cancer and help to save more lives. On behalf of the women in Herefordshire we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Herefordshire Freemasons for their generous support of our important local appeal.'
The Provincial Grand Master wishes to place on record the invaluable contribution made by fellow Freemason, Allan Lloyd together with his wife Angela, who have campaigned for the past decade for the provision of comprehensive cancer treatment at Hereford Hospital, of which access to digital mammography is an integral part.
A further development to be initiated by the Cobalt Charity will be the provision of a Mobile Digital Mammogram Unit serving the five market towns in the county.
Vitruvian Lodge is the second oldest active lodge of Freemasons in Herefordshire, having been founded in 1813
The consecration meeting of Vitruvian Lodge No. 338 had been held in the School Room, now St Mary’s Hall, Ross-on-Wye, on 6th August 1813, when John Tristram, a local builder, was installed as Worshipful Master of the lodge. The other lodge officers recorded at the time were William Hooper, John Collins, Francisco Knowles, Samuel Brookes, John White, John Rudge, Robert Evans, Uriah Delahay and Thomas Morgan.
The lodge initially met in the King’s Head Inn, the former home of the 'Man of Ross' John Kyrle. The present masonic hall building, situated just below the Royal Hotel, the site of the former British and Foreign School, has been its meeting place since 1928.
The original 1813 minute mook and by-laws are still in existence. However, records indicate that an earlier but short-lived lodge was active in Ross between May 1764 and April 1783, and which held its meetings mainly at the Swan and Falcon.
The Bicentenary Festival of Vitruvian Lodge was held at The Chase Hotel on the 3rd September 2013, with Thomas Maguire as Worshipful Master. The lodge history was presented by Worshipful Brother Martin Thorne, and an oration was delivered by the Provincial Grand Chaplain Worshipful Brother Edward Dilley.
At the festival, the Right Worshipful Brother the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, dedicated and presented the splendid new bicentenary banner to the lodge. It is fitting that Rev David Bowen, initiated into Freemasonry in Vitruvian Lodge in 1983, and appointed to the highest office of the Province of Herefordshire earlier this year, should lead the celebrations of the bicentenary of his mother lodge.
To commemorate the bicentenary, the brethren of Vitruvian Lodge have donated over £16,000 to local charities aimed at assisting young people in particular.
Charity backing for neighbour scheme
The Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) has been awarded £50,000 by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to fund the establishment of a county-wide Good Neighbours Scheme for older people in Herefordshire.
The project will support one hundred older vulnerable people at home, providing practical help and companionship and using trained volunteers. Herefordshire RVS will require an additional fifty volunteers, over and above their existing 500 volunteers, to promote this new venture. In the words of George Driver, RVS local Service Manager, the scheme will enable the elderly receiving this support 'to retain their independence, give them choice, provide them with the opportunity of involvement, and positively encourage a feeling of being valued.'
Speaking about the donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, The Rev David Bowen, said: 'The wellbeing of the older members of our local community is of real importance to Herefordshire Freemasons and we are therefore delighted to support the Royal Voluntary Service with this grant to establish the Good Neighbours Scheme in this county. In other areas around Britain such schemes have shown real benefits and positive outcomes. This scheme will enrich the lives of the older people in our county.'
Claire Print, Locality Manager RVS Herefordshire, emphasised that 'We are very grateful for this substantial support from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to set up a vital Good Neighbours Scheme in Herefordshire. Good Neighbours volunteers will make a huge difference to the lives of older people who find getting out and about difficult. Knowing that there is a friendly face willing to help will have a real impact on the wellbeing of older people who use the service.'
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need. The charity provides grants totalling about £8 million annually in areas of medical research, support for vulnerable people, youth opportunities, hospice services, air ambulances and disaster relief, as well as providing assistance to Freemasons and their dependants in financial need.
Financial support for Air Ambulance throughout England and Wales has been maintained again this year by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, taking the total awarded over the last five years to £1 million
Flying over 20,000 'mercy' missions every year, this vital national emergency service relies entirely on such voluntary donations and public fundraising.
Meeting at the Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, which operates the service for Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Welsh border, Herefordshire Freemasons were able to make a further donation on behalf of the Grand Charity. The contribution from local Freemasons, in addition to that from the Grand Charity, has totalled £54,000 over the past four years.
Such continued support has been acknowledged by the display of the masonic square and compass logo and the words 'Supported by Freemasons' on the distinctive red and yellow air ambulance helicopter.
The Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the Rev David Bowen, and Mike Roff, Deputy ProvGM in charge, on their first visit to Strensham, were 'hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Air Ambulance staff', and discussed at length the operational side of the service with helicopter pilot Tim Hutchins.
Michelle McCracken, a member of the fundraising team who organised the visit, expressed the gratitude of Midlands Air Ambulance to all Freemasons for their generous support.
RW Bro the Rev David John Bowen was installed as the nineteenth Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire on Monday 3rd June 2013
Except for a break of twelve years between 1836 and 1848, when no Provincial Grand Master was appointed, this otherwise continuous period of 260 years has witnessed Dukes, Lords, and Members of Parliament as Provincial Grand Masters for Herefordshire. The first and longest serving being Sir Thomas de Cornwall 1753-1789.
Rev David Bowen was installed by MW Bro Peter Lowndes, Pro Grand Master representing the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.
Rev Bowen’s first act as Provincial Grand Master was to appoint VW Bro Mike Roff as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire.
Herefordshire Freemasons held their annual church service at Hereford Cathedral Sunday 9th June.
Long service acknowledged
One of the first official duties of the newly installed Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, was to award Long Service Certificates to three Herefordshire masons who had completed fifty years membership in Freemasonry.
The men who received this honour at the Three Counties Hotel were Peter Like, of Loyal Hay Lodge No. 2382, John Poyner, of Coningsby Lodge No. 6383, and Stanley Davey, of Saint Peter’s Lodge No. 7368. All three masons are Past Provincial Grand Wardens. Rev David Bowen warmly congratulated the three recipients for their dedication, commitment and loyalty to Freemasonry in the Province of Herefordshire and beyond.
The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master designate for Herefordshire, has kept his promise in ensuring that the Province remains a Guardian of the local Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre, with the presentation of a yearly donation on behalf of local masons.
In the presence of the national Haven Chief Executive, Pamela Healy OBE, David Bowen presented the Haven Manager Frankie Devereux with the customary £1,000 donation, as part of the annual financial support for this local charity.
David Bowen, who speaheaded the Province becoming a Guardian of the charity, is mindful of the fact that this vital service, freely available to breast cancer sufferers, is entirely dependent on charitable giving.
Pamela Healy celebrated the continued and significant support of the Freemasons with a timely reference to the quotation to be found on the illustrated Tree of Life displayed at the Hereford Haven Centre – 'Fear will take you a prisoner: hope will set you free' – by stating how such local support is crucial to the fulfilment of such hope and freedom.
The recently registered charity appeal “Robocap”, aimed at providing a `da Vinci’ surgical system which uses the latest state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer, was officially launched at the delightful Herefordshire setting of How Caple Court. The event was organised by Fundraiser Howard Pitts, with a number of Herefordshire Masons in attendance.
The Chairman of the appeal, Les Kinmond, introduced the three Consultant Urologists of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire - Graham Sole, Biral Patel and Aloysius Okeke. They spoke with enthusiasm and commitment about this most advanced form of key hole surgery which offers surgeons superior 3D HD imagining and magnification, great precision and optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery, and reduced incidence of complications.
Such robotic assisted surgery is the fastest growing treatment for prostate cancer, a system which could also be developed for surgical work on the kidney and bladder.
35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in England and Wales. 800 local operations are carried out annually in the 3CCN area of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and south Worcestershire.
Cllr Olwyn Barnett, Chairman Herefordshire Council, issued a rallying call to all Herefordshire Town Mayors elect, to support this major appeal. Cllr Brian Wilcox Mayor elect for Hereford city, had already indicated his wish to make Robocap his official charity during his term of office.
VW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, welcomed the opportunity given to local Freemasons to be in the vanguard of this public appeal.
Allan Lloyd, campaigning for access to radiotherapy cancer treatment at Hereford, supported the opinion that such robotic surgery was “the biggest development in surgery over the last 50 years and of immeasurable benefit “.
The initial target of £400,000 would allow delivery and installation of the unit. The full cost of the robotic system is £1.6 million. It is probable that the site for this advanced form of surgery would be Cheltenham.
Manager Frankie Devereux has welcomed Freemasonry in Herefordshire as the latest Guardian of The Haven in St Owen Street, Hereford.
Entirely dependent on charitable giving, The Haven which provides, completely free of charge, support to those affected by breast cancer, invites individuals and corporate bodies to become Guardians by donating £1,000 a year.
VW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, is most anxious to maintain the long standing support of The Haven by Herefordshire Freemasons, and initiated this desire among Freemasons to become a Guardian. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Masonic Province of Herefordshire is a true supporter of local charities and welcomes this opportunity to support The Haven on an annual basis.
Frankie Devereux welcomes visitors to The Haven Centre. Those visiting should note the following words written by a patient, which can be seen on the Centre’s colourful Tree of Life “Fear will take you a prisoner. Hope will set you free.”
The Haven, with the backing of its Guardians and the host of local supporters, will continue to give that fundamental hope to those who cross its threshold.
Mr. Graham Sole, Consultant Urologist at Hereford Acute Trust, meeting with local Freemasons, has welcomed the lead taken by Masons from Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and South Worcestershire in the launch of the “Robocap” appeal.
This is a newly Registered Charity set up to generate funds to purchase a 'da Vinci’ surgical system which uses the latest robotic technology to provide the most up to date and advanced form of treatment for prostate cancer. Approximately one thousand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the three Shires.
Graham Sole speaking with Herefordshire Freemasons at Kyrle Street Hereford, supported the fact that such state-of-the-art robotic surgery will offer surgeons superior 3D HD imaging and magnification, with greater precision for the optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery, resulting in a quicker recovery and reduced incidence of complications.
The initial target of £400,000 would allow delivery and installation of such a unit at a location within the 3CCN area. The full cost of the robotic system is £1.6 million.
To date in excess of £100,000 has been raised following the lead taken by Freemasons from the three counties. Worshipful Brother David Sparrey of Eastnor Lodge Ledbury is a Fundraising Trustee of the Charity.
Very Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, welcomed the opportunity given to local Freemasons to be in the vanguard of this public appeal, and ultimately achieving the appeal’s slogan “Taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand” for local people.