Local communities are set to benefit following a surprise £50,000 donation to Brecon Hospital from Brecon Freemasons, in the Province of South Wales
The generous donation was made at the Brecon Freemasons’ Festive Board, which took place at the Castle Hotel in Brecon, to mark 300 years since the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge.
Professor Vivienne Harpwood, Chair of Powys Teaching Health Board, receiving the donation on behalf of the hospital, said: 'I am so grateful and humbled by this generous donation from Brecon Freemasons. We knew in advance that the Freemasons wished to make a donation to Brecon War Memorial Hospital, but the size of the donation was very much under wraps until the cheque was presented to us.
'This will make an amazing difference, and we look forward to working with the Brecon Freemasons to use this donation for the benefit of local communities.'
Graham Richards, Charity Steward of Brecknock Lodge No. 651, presented the cheque saying: 'The highlight of our Tercentenary celebrations was the presentation of a cheque for £50,000 for the benefit of the Brecon War Memorial Hospital in appreciation and a recognition of the services and care given to Freemasons and their families and indeed to the whole community of Brecon & District.'
The Tercentenary has been an opportunity for fundraising and charitable works across the UK. John Ingham, Worshipful Master of the Brecknock Lodge, said: 'The first lodge in the UK was established in 1717, and here in Brecon our first recorded meeting was in 1764 with the Brecknock Lodge meeting in its current form since 1855. What better way to mark this momentous occasion than by upholding one of the main tenets of our organisation, the support of charity.
'Over £70,000 was donated to good causes and I would like to thank all Lodge members for their support.'
- The Salvation Army Homeless Christmas Appeal
- Feed the Homeless Cardiff
- Feed the Homeless Swansea
- St John Ambulance Brecon
- Macmillan (Mid Wales)
- Usk House Brecon
- Brecon Mountain Rescue
- Brecon Scouts
- Brecon Guides
- The Mark 150th Anniversary 2020 Appeal
- The 2021 Craft Festival Appeal
- TLC Teddies for Loving Care Appeal
- Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court Dementia Support
- Noahs Ark Appeal
- Lotus Orphanage Appeal in Sri Lanka
More than 30 charities have benefited from £150,000 donated by West Wales as part of the Province’s Tercentenary celebrations
Grants were presented at a dinner held in Fishguard attended by local Freemasons and charity representatives, with entertainment provided by The Goodwick Brass Band.
Dedicated cancer support in Truro
At the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cornwall held at Newquay, Provincial Grand Master Stephen Pearn presented Macmillan Cancer Support with a cheque for £75,792 towards its Cove Appeal, to build a new cancer support centre in Truro.
The Cove Macmillan Support Centre will provide a dedicated support facility for people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly affected by cancer, whether they are the patient, caring for someone or simply worried about cancer. More than 21,000 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are living with cancer.
Local support for Macmillan nurses
Katie Farmer, fundraiser for Wye Valley NHS Trust Charitable Fund, met Richard James and Alison, wife of Keith Price of Saint Peter’s Lodge, No. 7368, to receive a £1,500 donation in support of Macmillan nurses. Charity Steward Richard stated that such funding was in keeping with local Freemasons’ policy of supporting regional charities whenever possible, and was confident that this approach would be fully maintained.
Katie Farmer, Fundraiser for Wye Valley NHS Trust Charitable Fund, recently met with W Bro Richard James and Alison, the wife of W Bro Keith Price, the Past Master of Bromyard’s Saint Peter’s Lodge No. 7368
The meeting took place in the glorious spring sunshine at the Hop Pocket, Bishop’s Frome, where Alison Price on behalf of her husband and the members of Saint Peter’s Lodge, presented Katie with a £1,500 donation in support of Macmillan Nurses.
Charity Steward Richard James stated that such funding was in keeping with local Freemasons’ policy of supporting local charities whenever possible, and was confident that this approach would be fully maintained.
Katie Farmer sincerely thanked the representatives present for the significant and continued support for Wye Valley Trust.
Ghostly happenings in Dagger Lane
Hull’s masonic hall in Dagger Lane, which has a purpose-built lodge room that has been in constant use since 1804, is rumoured to be haunted, so a real-life ghost-buster was called in to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Paranormal investigator Mark Lindsay has hunted for ghosts there six times, with the public invited to join his latest search to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
He said: ‘There have been quite a few things that have happened in the building and a lot of the items inside there are quite old … We have had some unusual readings on our meters that we couldn’t explain and electromagnetic fields we couldn’t find the cause of.’ The building dates back to 1782 and is adorned with old furniture, regalia, swords and paintings.
Freemasons from Bromyard are championing Macmillan Cancer Support in Herefordshire by sponsoring the charity’s Not Alone campaign which was launched just over a year ago
Paul Beaumont, Worshipful Master of Saint Peter’s Lodge in Bromyard, together with Richard James, Lodge Charity Steward, presented donations totalling £600 to Jenny Goddard Fundraising Manager of Herefordshire and Forest of Dean – money raised personally by the Bromyard members in a variety of ways including a recent Farm Walk, with match funding from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
The presentation took place in the Patient Garden Area of the Macmillan Renton Cancer Unit, Hereford. Jenny Goddard in thanking the Freemasons, emphasised that such support will enable Macmillan Cancer Support, 'to create more vital new services and reach more people than ever before, and together with the public of Herefordshire, we can make sure that no one faces cancer alone.'
Richard James indicated that he would keep in contact with Macmillan Cancer Support in Herefordshire in the hope of maintaining support for this worthy cause. Every day over 900 people in the UK hear the news that they have cancer, and a quarter of them will have no support from family and friends.
Shropshire’s Freemasons gave over £40,000 to 49 local and regional charities at a special presentation on Monday, 10th June
Awards included £5,000 to the Midlands Air Ambulance, £1,000 each to Shrewsbury MENCAP, SSAFA Forces Help (Shropshire Branch), Macmillan Cancer Support and the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries. Hope House Children’s Hospice received £1,500 and Combat Stress £1,000. The Severn Hospice at Shrewsbury and Telford, which both received major grants last year, were each given £1,500.
Many smaller grants were also made to local charities which struggle to match the profile of larger national organisations. The Shrewsbury Ark, which cares for homeless people, Shropshire MIND, local Scouts and Guides and the Movement Centre each received £500. Donations were also made to Shrewsbury Street Pastors, the Friends of Whitchurch Community Hospital and the Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest. In most cases the cheques were received by representatives of the charities, who spoke – occasionally very movingly – of the difference these grants would make to their work.
Provincial Grand Master Peter Taylor explained the importance of these grants to Freemasons.
'All of the money distributed today has been raised from within our own membership – the majority by the 1,300 Freemasons in Shropshire. Over the years we have developed strong links with many of charities – both great and small – which benefit our community. Some of our members have very compelling personal reasons to support these good causes, and we believe that these donations show Freemasonry to be a real power for good both in Shropshire and in the wider world.'
The continuing work of Shropshire’s Freemasons can be seen on twitter by following @ShropshireMason
Best foot forward
Keith Pauling of Rathcreedan Lodge, No. 8690, Province of Oxfordshire, set off on a 290-mile walk across the Macmillan Way, from Boston in Lincolnshire, to Chesil Beach in
Dorset, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Three weeks later he completed the formidable journey, raising £3,300 for the charity. He was joined for the last 10 miles by four members of Weyland Lodge, No. 6507, and one of their wives.
Peter Reeves commented, ‘It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but being able to donate a worthwhile sum of money to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support made it all worthwhile.’
James Reeves, a former soldier and Iraq veteran, set the pace up the mountains. ‘After the third one, the soles of my feet felt as if they had been beaten with a baseball bat,’ laughed climbing companion Mark, after completing the three peak challenge.
To donate, please go to www.justgiving.com/Pete-Reeves or www.justgiving.com/Mark-Best1.