Celebrating 300 years

Lodge gets on board in Poole

A cheque for £1,000 has been presented to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Poole from the Grand Charity Relief Chest of Public Schools Installed Masters’ Lodge, No. 9077. This donation was part of the Master’s List raised by the lodge during Lt Cdr James King’s year as lodge Master and was received by Will Collins, an RNLI employee and volunteer member of the Poole lifeboat. 

Continuing aid for Vanuatu

Following the Grand Charity’s £20,000 donation via the British Red Cross after a severe tropical cyclone hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific in March 2015, Warwickshire masons have also provided aid. More than £5,600 has been sent to the Vanuatu Recovery Fund thanks to 16 Warwickshire lodges, one very generous brother and the Province’s Masonic Charitable Association.

The Vanuatu Recovery Fund, managed by Lodge of Discovery on the island, has decided to fund the rebuilding of the library at Suango Mele Primary School, and to create a bigger and better structure than had previously existed. The school will now have a media centre within the library to ensure it meets students’ future study needs.

Holy trinity celebrations in North Wales

Llandudno’s Holy Trinity Church has celebrated its 150th anniversary. A sermon was delivered by Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, who also dedicated a new plaque for the cornerstone of the building.

Lodge of Saint Tudno, No. 755, was instrumental in the foundation of the church, with the first Rector, John Morgan, being its first initiate. Church architect George Felton was also a lodge member. At the laying of the cornerstone in 1865, masonic ceremony was performed by the Provincial Grand Master of North Wales and Shropshire, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn.

Current PGM Ieuan Redvers Jones recited the prayer read at the original cornerstone ceremony, while masonic memorabilia connected with the foundation was on display.

Pioneering cancer research

The Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) has donated £47,500 to Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) following the Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal, which enabled the University of Bradford’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT) to purchase a proteomics mass spectrometer. The money will fund a technician to operate the equipment over the next four years. 

It is hoped that the technician will play a vital role in discovering pioneering cancer treatments, using the machine to identify tiny amounts of proteins found in cancer cells. Researchers will then determine whether these proteins can be used as biomarkers for the early detection of cancer, targets for new therapies, or indicators of a patient’s likely response to current treatment. 

‘We are incredibly grateful to the MSF for their generous support,’ said YCR chief executive Charles Rowett. ‘The grant will play an extremely important part in helping us to bring pioneering cancer treatments to the people of Yorkshire and beyond.’

Published in Masonic Samaritan Fund

Care trainer of the year

Jane Baldwin, Learning and Development Officer at the RMBI, has received the Care Trainer Award at the 2015 Great British Care Awards, with Sandra Robson runner-up in the Putting People First category. In their sixth year, the awards celebrate excellence across the care sector and are designed to pay tribute to those who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work. ‘I am humbled and proud by my nomination,’ said Jane. 

Published in RMBI

Jamaica helps rebuild girls’ home

Walter Scott, District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, has presented a cheque valued at J$551,000 to Keith Sangster, chairman of the board of the Wortley Home for Girls, on behalf of the District. The donation will help the home recover from a fire that destroyed a section of the facility. 

Gala night success in Bideford

Freemasons and members of the public from all over the Devonshire Province packed the Devon Hall, Bideford, for a sell-out gala charity concert organised by local masons. Guests were welcomed by a parade of pipers from the Bideford Youth Pipe Band and the local Sea Cadets.

The audience enjoyed an evening of musical entertainment provided by the original Military Wives Choir, the Torridge Male Voice Choir and professional soprano Tamsin Ball. The evening finished with the Appledore Silver Band leading a rousing, flag-waving, ‘Last Night of the Proms’ finale. 

The evening raised £8,000, which is to be shared between the Devon Mark Charity Association, the North Devon District Hospital chemotherapy unit appeal and the Military Wives Choirs Foundation.

RMBI home’s new sensory bathroom

RMBI care home Prince Michael of Kent Court in Watford has unveiled a new sensory bathroom in its dementia support house. An integrated Bluetooth sound system enables music to be played while bathing, with the aim of promoting well-being and contributing to the reduction of tension and anxiety. The bath also features a whirlpool to aid muscular relaxation. The decor includes a tiled mural of Brighton’s Palace Pier, incorporating yachts, lighthouses and a beach hut to help people connect with their past.

Published in RMBI

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. 

Support when it’s needed

Seven Provinces are to trial an initiative to support the work of lodge almoners. Created in partnership with Provinces, the central masonic charities’ Visiting Volunteer scheme also aims to smooth the process of applying for a grant.

During the pilot phase, those seeking support from the central masonic charities will be visited by a trained volunteer who will help them to complete the application. The volunteers are all Freemasons nominated by their Province. Full training is provided by the charities and the first course was held with a group from West Lancashire. Ernie Greenhalgh, Provincial Grand Almoner, said, ‘These new volunteers will ensure that our almoners can focus on what matters most – keeping in touch with widows, elderly brethren and others in need of practical help.’

Published in Freemasonry Cares
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