New heights for Lifelites
From lunching with friends to abseiling down the UK’s tallest sculpture, Freemasons and their families across the country are supporting Lifelites in a variety of ordinary and extraordinary ways.
In May, George Lang from Essex raised £800 by abseiling down London’s ArcelorMittal Orbit, and Ewan Gordon from Oxfordshire ran 1,050 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End, raising more than £2,500. In the Kent countryside, Ivor Macklin opened up his stunning garden to the public and raised money by selling tea and cakes.
The funds are helping Lifelites to provide specialist technologies for 9,000 terminally ill and severely disabled babies and children in hospices across the British Isles. Help the charity to enrich these young lives by organising your own fundraising activity – why not try a golf day, clay pigeon shoot or Ladies that Lunch for Lifelites event?
On song at Worcester Cathedral
Thanks to a donation of £200,000 from the Province of Worcestershire, a new link has been forged between local masons and the magnificent Worcester Cathedral following the rededication of the cathedral’s refurbished Song School building.
The money was mostly part of a large legacy left by Derek Bullivant, who was active in the Province.
The Song School houses the choirs’ rehearsal rooms, library and storage facilities and was in a sad state of repair. The rededication, which took place outside the door of the Song School, followed an Evensong Service attended by Provincial Grand Master Robert Vaughan and other Worcestershire Freemasons.
Missed by many
After a short illness Iain Ross Bryce, Past Deputy Grand Master and Past Second Grand Principal, died peacefully in hospital on 30 June aged 79
Educated at Bridlington Grammar School, Iain Ross Bryce trained in accountancy, becoming a Fellow Chartered Accountant and joining Ernst & Young, where he rose to senior partner and ran the Hull office. After national service with the Royal Engineers, he enlisted in the Territorial Army, becoming colonel and earning the Territorial Decoration.
A keen yachtsman, Iain served as treasurer, chairman and president of Bridlington Royal National Lifeboat Institution and was for many years the charity’s national treasurer. A well-known and popular figure, he was involved in many community organisations in the town and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire.
A lifelong friend commented: ‘He did a great deal for Bridlington, mostly behind the scenes. He had a very kind nature and many people in Bridlington have received his help, mostly without knowing it.’
In Freemasonry, Iain was active in the Province of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, serving as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent from 1984 to 1991. Appointed Deputy Grand Master and Second Grand Principal in 1991, he served for 13 years during which time he gave wise counsel and strong support to the ‘top to bottom’ overhaul of the administration of the Craft. He also did much to bring the masonic charities together, laying the foundations for the major changes taking place.
A big man in every sense, Iain had a great love for and enjoyment of life, but always said that he could not have achieved anything without the great support of his wife Jan and their family.
He will be much missed by many.
National conference for young masons
An invitation has gone out from the Connaught Club and other ‘light blue’ organisations to take part in the first ‘New and Young Masons Clubs’ Conference’ at Freemasons’ Hall in London on Saturday, 24 October 2015.
Each club will present any ideas they have, explain which events have worked well for them, and discuss best practices. The two-hour conference will include time to meet other members. Representatives from Provinces without a young masons club are also encouraged to attend.
After the conference, guests are invited to the installation meeting and Festive Board for the Connaught Club’s lodge, Burgoyne Lodge, No. 902.
For full details and to register, go to www.connaughtclub.org/nymcc2015
Essex charity champions
In just one weekend Essex Freemasons raised £130,000 for eight local charities, bringing the total raised for 700 Essex charities to more than £1 million in a year. Dozens of events took place over the three-day 8Aid event, from sponsored bike rides and abseiling to a whole host of social functions. The eight charities – which included Essex Air Ambulance, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, Lifelites and the Teddies for Loving Care Appeal – each received £16,250. The cheques were presented by Provincial Grand Master John Webb at a special ceremony in Saxon Hall, Southend.
Breathing easier in Redditch
Worcestershire and Warwickshire residents, as well as local masons, have donated £4,500 to help buy a CoughAssist machine for the respiratory ward at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
Bill Roberts of Doric Lodge, No. 4167, started the ‘Cough Up a Pound for CoughAssist’ appeal after he was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG). This condition weakens certain muscles – commonly the eye and facial muscles, and those that control swallowing – by damaging the communication system between them and the brain.
The CoughAssist machine clears excess mucus from airways by mimicking a real cough. Instead of having to put a tube down a patient’s throat, this equipment fits over the mouth and creates varying levels of pressure to simulate a cough.
Bill enlisted the help of friends from his MG support group, run by the charity Myaware (the Myasthenia Gravis Association), and asked Worcestershire and Warwickshire masons for support.
Festival target smashed by £1m
West Kent’s Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) has exceeded its target by more than £1 million, with the grand total of £3,253,148 announced in the presence of Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence, MSF President Willie Shackell and MSF CEO Richard Douglas at Freemasons’ Hall in London.
Shackell outlined some of the MSF’s projects, while Spence congratulated Provincial Grand Master Jonathan Winpenny for such a successful result. The PGM told the Province, ‘Your generosity has touched and changed so many lives. Be very proud of what has been done by the whole of the Province.’
Sheffield’s family focus
The RMTGB’s Stepping Stones scheme has awarded grants totalling more than £260,000 to 12 charities, including Home-Start Sheffield, a regional branch of a national network of family support charities. Home-Start’s 110 volunteers provide practical and emotional help to 800 vulnerable parents and children each year.
Families receive parenting advice and skills training to strengthen relationships and the care that they provide for their children, helping to break cycles of disadvantage. Stepping Stones awarded Home-Start Sheffield a grant of £24,873 over two years to part-fund the new ‘Parents and Children Together’ project, which will provide more intensive parental support for 90 disadvantaged families to increase their children’s school readiness.
Sea cadet support in Jersey
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Jersey has donated £10,000 to the Jersey Sea Cadets to fund staff training as well as the purchase of items such as kayaks, archery and diving apparatus, and IT equipment. Provincial Grand Master Ken Rondel said, ‘The core values our two organisations share are so similar, it is an honour to be able to assist the Sea Cadet Corps in their valuable work.’
A nationwide maritime youth organisation, the Sea Cadets gives young people aged 10 to 18 opportunities for personal development, through learning new skills – such as sailing and rock climbing – challenging themselves and working in teams. Those aged 13 to 18 may also join the Royal Marines Cadets.
Turning the tables
When researcher Maxine Gilhuys Notarbartolo from Florence attended the 2014 symposium to celebrate the Union of the two rival Grand Lodges in 1813, she noticed a marble table in the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Library and Museum. She returned to Leicester in 2015 to give an illustrated address on the history of the table, showing how it is not of Florentine origin; rather, its roots lie in the pietre dure tradition, which was imported into Malta from the Italian mainland by the Knights of St John.