Celebrating 300 years

Critical prostate analysis in East Anglia

The Grand Charity has awarded a £100,000 grant to the Cancer Genetics team at the University of East Anglia to help fund research that will focus on distinguishing between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of the disease. Lead researcher Professor Colin Cooper explained that a critical problem in clinical management is an inability to distinguish this at the time of diagnosis. 

‘The Grand Charity award will allow us to tackle this critical question head-on through the analysis of large amounts of information already obtained from prostate cancer patients,’ said Cooper. The grant supports part of an ongoing study previously funded by the Grand Charity with two grants of £50,000, bringing the total donated to this project to £200,000. 

Published in The Grand Charity

Local community first aid in Devon

As part of their Tercentenary celebrations, Devonshire masons have combined with Devon Communities Together (DCT) to provide 300 first aid boxes to community buildings at a cost of over £7,000. DCT offers support to local people (often volunteers) who run Devon’s 500-plus community buildings.

Canterbury connection

An exhibition has opened in East Kent that reveals the enduring link between Canterbury Cathedral and local masons. Heather Newton, head of conservation at the cathedral, said, ‘[We are] grateful to the Freemasons for their support over many years. The exhibition allows us to celebrate this and give the public an insight into our craft.’

Roger Odd (above), Past Deputy PGM for East Kent, said, ‘Our connections with the cathedral are not just local, with the national Freemasons’ charity recently donating £22,000 to fund an apprentice stonemason. And to celebrate the Tercentenary, the Freemasons of Kent, Surrey and Sussex have pledged to raise £200,000 towards the restoration of the north-west transept and its pinnacles.’

Read more about the links between Canterbury Cathedral and Freemasonry here.

Travelling to Timaru

In Timaru, New Zealand, Tony Mansfield has been installed as Master of Lodge of St John, No. 1137, more than 150 years after his great, great grandfather, William Mansfield, was installed as its first master. Tony, a Past Master of Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 1338, has taken on this role despite residing at Auckland, 770 miles to the north. More than 100 Freemasons attended to celebrate such a rare event, with some 26 masons travelling to Timaru from across the Cook Strait, including members of the Scottish Constitution.

A family tradition

May Fair Lodge, No. 8294, which meets at Mark Masons’ Hall in London, has a strong family history with no less than 13 father and son relationships in its short 46-year history, three of which were sons initiating their fathers. The tradition has continued with a double initiation of Matthew Flynn and Dilip Singh Dhanjal, each aged 21. 

Musical night in Durham for festival launch

The Sage Gateshead, the world-class music venue on the banks of the River Tyne, was the stunning location to launch the Durham 2021 Festival in aid of the RMTGB. More than 1,000 tickets were sold to brethren and their families for the musical extravaganza, which was opened by community theatre group Enter CIC. Under the direction of Andrea Flynn, 30 children aged 13-20 provided songs from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival show ‘The Wind Road Boys’.

Festival Director John Thompson and Durham PGM Eric Heaviside welcomed RMTGB President Mike Woodcock and CEO Les Hutchinson. The PGM then presented a cheque for £250,000 towards the Festival target of £2,712,768, which follows a previous instalment of £500,000 in November 2014. 

Royal Arch club formed by Leicestershire and Rutland

Following the success of Craft Freemasonry social groups such as the Light Blue clubs, the Royal Arch Executive in Leicestershire and Rutland has sanctioned the creation of a similar scheme for the Royal Arch. Named after the white breast jewel worn by newly exalted companions, the White Ribbon Club will work alongside the Province’s Light Blue Club for master masons. 

The aim is to attract and inspire members and to encourage retention through chapter visits and social events. Grand Superintendent Peter Kinder said, ‘It is hoped the encouragement and recruitment of many new Craft members will equally apply to the Royal Arch membership.’ 

Published in SGC

Surprise guest at West Wales chapter

The Pro First Grand Principal Peter Lowndes was a surprise guest at the installation meeting of Dinbych Chapter, No. 1177, in the Province of West Wales. Bradley Davies, a long-time friend of Peter Lowndes, was being installed in the chapter chair for a record fifth time.

The Pro First Grand Principal had told Grand Superintendent Stephen Hookey that he would like to come and surprise his friend, so a plot was hatched to smuggle him into the meeting without anyone finding out, and it proved a huge success. 

Fresh boost for Devon Air Ambulance

Devon Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury and Provincial Grand Charity Steward Barry White have presented a cheque for £4,000 to Devon Air Ambulance on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

This brings the total presented to the service by the Grand Charity since 2007 to £47,000, and more than £105,000 when adding presentations made by individual lodges throughout Devonshire in the same period.

Tracy Owen from Devon Air Ambulance said that the service costs around £5.5 million each year to maintain. From this autumn, the air ambulance will be extending its operational hours to midnight. 

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