Over 800 Freemasons from throughout Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire joined together with civic dignitaries, family and friends on 11th June 2017, to help celebrate the Tercentenary and founding of the Premier Grand Lodge with a dedicated Evensong service at Peterborough Cathedral
The service was conducted by The Reverend Canon Jonathan Baker, who welcomed everyone and commented on the common theme of `giving` in all aspects of life.
The service was preceded by a parade of Freemasons in their Masonic regalia from the Peterborough Town Hall to the Cathedral in glorious sunshine, with members of the public lining the route. Each of the 93 member Lodges from the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire were represented and paraded their historic and colourful Lodge banners.
The parade aimed to replicate the last Masonic parade to be held in Peterborough over 95 years ago. Prior to this, parades were quite a regular feature in many towns and cities, but since the Second World War they had become rare.
The last parade in 1922 was held to help raise funds to assist with major restoration works needed in the north east wing of Peterborough Cathedral. The event raised a significant sum and coupled with other fundraising, the target was reached and the work completed.
The Provincial Grand Master Max Bayes commented: 'It's a wonderful day for Freemasonry and the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire. I am sure that all present thoroughly enjoyed the day and were rightly proud of their membership.'
In Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, Freemasons raise over £100,000 each year for charitable purposes and regularly support the local community with donations to many worthy causes.
On Saturday 31st August 2013 a very special event took place in the History of the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire
On that day RW Bro Max Bayes, the Provincial Grand Master, dedicated the new Northampton Freemasons' Hall in the presence of over 200 brethren from across the Province.
The purpose-built functional modern premises, in addition to providing an excellent Provincial Headquarters, offers flexible accommodation for the meetings of local lodges with facilities for up to three concurrent events, or a single major function, and catering for up to 300 members. Like the sectional lodge room the large separate dining room can be divided, to enable up to two Festive Boards to be catered for at a one time.
In his address the PGM commented that the day was the culmination of a long period of planning followed by much hard work by a considerable number of brethren. He commented that he was grateful to all the input, but a small number had made very significant contributions which he was pleased to reward with promotions.
One in particular, W Bro Barry Howard, who negotiated the purchase of the premises, project-managed the whole building programme and oversaw the disposal of the previous premises at St George's Avenue, was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden and was then awarded the Provincial Grand Master's Certificate of Merit. In making the award RW Bro Max Bayes said that without Barry Howard's constant support throughout the months following completion of the purchase the project could not have been achieved on time.
As a final item on the meeting agenda W Bro Jim Parker, the Chairman of the Hall Management Committee, paid tribute to the leadership of the Provincial Grand Master. He also announced that, in appreciation of this, the Management Committee had decided that the main Lodge room would be known as the 'Max Bayes Room'. The very obviously surprised PGM thanked the Management Committee for the singular honour and again paid tribute to all who had contributed to such an excellent outcome over what had been a difficult period with many hurdles to be overcome. The rapturous applause by all present gave witness to the appreciation of all the members present for what had been achieved in providing a premises that would serve Freemasonry in the Province for many years to come.
Silverstone lodge revs up
Believed to be the first motorsport-related lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England, Silverstone Lodge, No. 9877, has been launched by Max Bayes, Provincial Grand Master of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire.
The lodge will meet at Silverstone on four Friday evenings each year, to coincide with race weekends: the Vintage Sports-Car Club Pomeroy Trophy in February, the Silverstone Classic in July, the British Superbike Championship in October and the Walter Hayes Trophy in November.
The first Master is Dermot Bambridge, whose involvement in motorsport includes working for Goodyear Racing’s Formula 1 Team, Silverstone Circuit and the World Superbikes organisation. ‘One of the charities we will support is the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust,’ said Dermot. ‘We were delighted to receive a letter from three-times Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart, founder of the charity, wishing us every success.’
On Thursday 2 May, RW Bro Max Bayes, Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, along with the Mayor of Wellingborough, attended a ceremony to mark the beginning of work on the extension to Palmer Court at Hatton Avenue in Wellingborough.
The Masonic Housing Association is building eleven one-bedroom flats suitable for couples and including a guest room. The new flats are scheduled to be available for occupation in early 2014. This project will contribute to meeting urgent, affordable housing needs, especially for older people.
The flats are all self-contained, with a living room, kitchen and bathroom. Accommodation is under one roof, with one protected main entrance door for security, but each resident has a front door to his or her own flat within the scheme. Personal safety and security is of paramount importance to elderly people, so every scheme has a resident Scheme Manager and emergency call system.
Half of the tenancy allocations will be to nominees of the Local Authority and half to the Association's waiting list.
The Scheme Manager of the existing Palmer Court, Jill Lett, said, 'This scheme is much needed in Wellingborough where there is a shortage of quality accommodation to suit the needs of older couples.'
The project is being financed entirely by the Association without any grant or public subsidy, although it does not normally develop and build new schemes. Formed in 1975, it is a registered Housing Association and already has 180 flats in five different Provinces.
For further information about the Masonic Housing Association and / or Palmer Court, please contact Stuart Henderson, Director MHA, on 07833 452977 or 01844 344960
The Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at St George's Avenue Northampton on Thursday 19th May proved to be a momentous occasion with a record number of members of the Province in attendance. This was undoubtedly due to the fact of it being the last such meeting to be presided over by RW Bro Barrie Hall as PGM. Bro Barrie had, earlier in year, announced that he was to retire at the end of June. There can be no doubt that the turnout at this meeting was a testimony to the affection with which he is held throughout the Province.
In his address the PGM reflected on the warmth and affection shown to him throughout the past six years and thanked his Executive and the whole membership for their support. He wished his successor, VW Bro Max Bayes every success for the future confident in the knowledge that the Province's happy approach to Masonry would continue. At his Installation by the Pro Grand Master on 27th July, RW Max Bayes commented that he will uniquely enjoy the support of no less than five of his Past PGM predecessors (RW Bros Peter Palmer, Richard Sandbach OSM, Brian Smith, Nicolas Hart and Barrie Hall).