Teddies to the rescue
All three of Berwick-upon-Tweed’s lodges were represented at the Berwick Infirmary to promote the TLC (Teddies for Loving Care) Appeal, which provides soft toys for children in A&E units all over the UK. ‘The staff at Berwick Infirmary do a fantastic job and we feel this helps both them and the children,’ said Colin Fuller, chaplain of St David’s Lodge, No. 393, who organised the scheme.
Nurse Kirsten Burn said, ‘We are really grateful to the Freemasons. If a child is in a great deal of stress we can give them a teddy to make them feel better.’
Funding from Somerset masons meant that Clevedon Minor Injury Unit received its 2,500th bear. Ian Strickland, TLC area coordinator, said: ‘We’re pleased to offer such valued assistance to our local community. The money for these bears has come from Clevedon, Nailsea and Yatton Freemasons, whose contributions enable this scheme to continue.’
Backing for Somerset hospice
Weston Hospicecare has received a £2,464 donation from the Grand Charity. The cheque was presented to John Bailey, the hospice’s director of patient services, by Somerset Freemasons Ian, Terry and Derek Porter.
John Bailey said, ‘I would like to thank The Freemasons’ Grand Charity once again for their generous support, which makes a real difference to the lives of local people with life-limiting illnesses.’
Warrington lodge reaches 250th anniversary
Lodge of Lights, No. 148, the oldest lodge in the Warrington Group in the West Lancashire Province, has celebrated its 250th anniversary. Among the 150-strong gathering were Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence. During the evening WM Stanley Jackson presented Tony with charity donations of £14,800.
Historic Oxfordshire plaques
The newly decorated temple at Caversham Masonic Centre in Oxfordshire has been installed with an unusual series of plaques depicting the Traditional History in the Third Degree.
The new centre was redecorated with expert design advice from a Past Master’s wife, with the plaque pictured above showing the attack on Hiram Abif.
Suffolk makes a dream come true
Dreamflight has expressed its thanks for the 192 bears received from Suffolk Freemasons. Every year the charity takes 192 children aged 8-14 with a serious illness or disability on a holiday to Orlando.
It has 12 regional groups, each made up of 16 children and their volunteer support team. The idea is for the parents to stay at home and have a valuable break while the children concentrate on enjoying their holiday. Previous attendees include Liz Johnson, who won Gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics.
Dreamflight relies on help from fundraisers, corporates and trusts to fund the trip and is grateful for support from Freemasons.
Classic car club’s record signings
The car, owned by Berkshire mason Gerry Hann, had a big teddy as the driver as part of a special display for the Teddies for Loving Care charity.
This prestigious Formula One car, the first model of which made its debut in 1954 with world champion driver Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel, attracted a large number of visitors to the club stand. During the three open days, a record number of 40 new members were signed up.
Lord-Lieutenant opens Wycliffe Rooms
The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton has officially opened the new Community Room at Lutterworth Freemasons’ Hall along with Leicestershire and Rutland Provincial Grand Master David Hagger and town Mayor Tony Hirons. The building, known as the Wycliffe Rooms, has undergone extensive redevelopment to include a new large multifunctional room, bar and kitchen, which is available for local hire.
Lutterworth Masonic Association chairman Malcolm Longley, said, ‘We are deeply indebted to many organisations and individuals who have contributed to the completion of this development with either financial or physical help, or both.’
Retirement dinner for George Francis
After 10 years as Second Grand Principal, George Francis has retired. To mark his retirement a dinner was held at Freemasons’ Hall in London for those Grand Superintendents that he had installed. Also present was his successor as Second Grand Principal, Russell Race.
Bromley in step at Royal hospital
Two members of the Chelsea Pensioners – Audrey Merton, 85, and Douglas Hassell, 98 – are sleeping easier after Bromley Freemasons from Mandalay Lodge, No. 9383, Mandalay Chapter and the Mandalay Club dug deep into their pockets to buy two special £3,000 beds for the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Mandalay’s Master, Ron Warren, presented the cheque to Col Laura Bale, director of care services at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Helping Jack stay positive
The masonic charities are helping to keep a teenager mobile as he lives with a progressive neuromuscular condition
Jack is 15 years old and has Becker Muscular Dystrophy, a life-limiting condition that causes muscle weakness and chronic pain.
He will eventually lose his ability to walk and his life expectancy may be shorter than average.
Hydrotherapy is essential for Jack to keep his muscles strong and ensure he remains mobile for as long as possible, but NHS facilities in his area are limited. After an application for support by his Freemason father and grandfather, the masonic charities have provided Jack with a specialist hydrobath to ease his pain and a hydrotherapy exercise pool.
Jack’s mother, Rachel, said: ‘There are no words to express how much the support of the masonic charities means to us. Without it, Jack would not be the positive, happy boy he is today.’