Celebrating 300 years

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.’

Published in Masonic Samaritan Fund

Reel attraction

To preserve captured moments in the history of Freemasonry, the Library and Museum is digitising masonic films to enable anyone to view them

The Library and Museum stores and cares for collections of older records on behalf of Grand Lodge and the masonic charities. Among these are films such as a 1929 newsreel of a ceremony marking the extension at Treloar Hospital in Hampshire, and a film made for the RMBI in 1978 entitled Life in Our Homes. 

Former head of the East Anglian Film Archive David Cleveland was asked by the Library and Museum to undertake a survey of the film reels to identify duplicates, and to advise on methods of destruction for some of the duplicate material. 

Current recommendations are for the transfer of reel film to digital media for long-term preservation. The process is costly but the Library and Museum has received support from London’s Screen Archives (LSA), which transferred 16 film titles to digital media at no charge, courtesy of the British Film Institute’s Unlocking Film Heritage Digitisation Fund. The digitisation was completed by Prime Focus in London’s Soho.

All 16 titles will be accessible with full descriptions at the LSA website. After copying, the reel films are kept in specialist storage at the London Metropolitan Archives. With half of the film titles in its collection now available online, the Library and Museum is working on ways to preserve the rest of its film collection. 

Films can currently be viewed at the BFI Player portal: http://player.bfi.org.uk/search 

Published in More News

Jubilee research votes counted

To celebrate 25 years of generous donations from the masonic community, the MSF is awarding £1 million in medical research grants across England and Wales. Freemasons were invited by the Fund to vote for a research study shortlisted for support in their region by the doctors, consultants and care experts of the MSF’s Board of Trustees. 

MSF Grants Director and Deputy Chief Executive John McCrohan said, ‘Each grant we award brings us closer to finding treatments and cures for the illnesses and disabilities that affect masonic families as well as the wider community. Thank you to all those who voted, we value your opinion and appreciate your support.’ 

The voting period is now closed, and results will be revealed via the MSF website and e-newsletter in September.

Published in Masonic Samaritan Fund

Now Jake’s ready for his close-up

One trauma is more than enough for any child to deal with, but before Jake turned 16 he had experienced his parents’ divorce as well as his mother’s battles with breast cancer and redundancy. Causing stress and anxiety, these events also led to financial hardship for Jake and his mother. 

As Jake grew older, he dreamed of pursuing a career in the performing arts. Realising it would be impossible for his mother to support his aspirations, Jake decided to learn a trade – but deep down he longed to work in front of or behind the camera.

Jake’s grandfather Mike, a Freemason, had always encouraged his grandson to pursue his dreams. When Mike was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, he encouraged Jake to reach out to the RMTGB for support. Jake was accepted as a beneficiary, gained a place at his chosen university and was offered a room at the RMTGB’s student residence, Ruspini House. 

‘Without the Trust, I would not have been able to follow my dream,’ said Jake, who plans to become a Freemason after he graduates so that he can help other children to succeed and give back to the masonic community.

Find out how the RMTGB supported Jake by watching the video at www.rmtgb.org/jake

Published in RMTGB

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?

For information on what’s happening in your Province or how to get involved with fundraising, contact James Hunt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Published in Lifelites

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.

Published in UGLE

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

Published in More News

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.

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