Celebrating 300 years
Thursday, 07 March 2013 00:00

Legacy boosts Kent care home

A legacy donation to an RMBI care home has expanded facilities for residents, with the opening of a new lounge and dining room

A new addition to the nursing facility was officially opened at RMBI’s care home in Chislehurst, Prince George Duke of Kent Court, by Metropolitan Grand Master Russell Race.

The Hinton Lounge and new dining room followed a generous £70,000 donation to the Home from St Paul’s Column Lodge, No. 7197, which meets in London. The donation had been left in legacy by Brenda Hinton, the widow of local Freemason Roy Hinton.

Roy was initiated into St Paul’s Column Lodge in March 1977, becoming the Assistant Secretary in April 1979. As well as being a passionate Freemason, Roy worked for more than thirty years at The Times and was greatly respected by both colleagues and brethren. Sadly, Roy died in October 1981, aged just fifty-four.

Brenda kept in close contact with the lodge and on her own death in 2010, left a substantial gift to be used as deemed appropriate by the Master, Wardens and brethren. On further discussion between the lodge and the Grand Charity Steward, it was agreed that some of the donation should be used to support improvements at Prince George Duke of Kent Court. The new lounge and dining room were named in lasting memory of the Hinton family.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge, St Paul’s Column Lodge, the Province of West Kent, the RMBI and the local Association of Friends. Following a welcome by RMBI President Willie Shackell, a formal presentation of the £70,000 cheque was made by Warren Thomas, Master of St Paul’s Column Lodge, and the brethren were appropriately thanked. Russell Race then unveiled the plaque for the Hinton Lounge and cut the ribbon.

Prince George Duke of Kent Court was purpose built in 1968 and is situated in a popular part of Kent. The home can accommodate seventy-four residents for both residential and nursing care and, like all RMBI homes, can cater for people with dementia. The home benefits from individual rooms and attractive communal areas, as well as wheelchair-accessible gardens, a fully stocked library and a hairdressing and pamper salon. There’s also a full programme of entertainment, social events, outings, gentle exercise classes and creative, cultural and intellectual activities.

Published in RMBI

Forum highlights professionalism

An array of masonic fundraising talent gathered at Freemasons’ Hall in October for the 2012 Festival Forum, an annual event organised by the RMTGB on behalf of the four central masonic charities

The Festival Forum brings managers and directors of current and future festival appeals together. It gives them the opportunity to share ideas and learn about the charities they are raising vital funds for. There was no shortage of experience this year, with delegates attending from over 30 Provinces, having raised almost £60 million between them in support of the four central masonic charities.

RMTGB President, Mike Woodcock, opened the event and introduced representatives from the Provinces of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Rutland and Worcestershire, who shared their experiences of the most recent festival appeals. David Macey, the Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, gave an address about the impact that his festival has had on his Province.

Forum delegates heard from speakers representing the central masonic charities, including RMTGB Chief Executive, Les Hutchinson. It was heard that festival donations were more important than ever, particularly in view of increasing calls for charitable support – over 5,000 Freemasons and dependants have received assistance during the past 12 months alone.

Delegates were briefed about the increasing number of services that are available to festival and other masonic fundraisers, which have been developed by the charities in response to the increasingly professional nature of modern fundraising. RMBI President, Willie Shackell, closed the forum by offering a message of thanks to all those who work so hard to support the four charities.

Published in RMTGB

Phase 1 of the rebuild at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) care home James Terry Court, in Croydon, has been officially opened. The event was attended by more than 40 representatives from the Province of Surrey, the Association of Friends and the RMBI.

RMBI President Willie Shackell opened the event and spoke about the history of the RMBI, which started in East Croydon with its first home, named ‘Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Decayed Freemasons’ in 1850. Shackell went on to explain why the rebuild of the home was necessary, as it needed to adapt to the changing needs of older people.

Thanks were given to Dennis Vine, who oversaw the development of the home in his role as Co-opted Trustee. Julian Birch, Regional Property Operations Manager, who sadly passed away in October, was remembered for all his efforts in the rebuild. The Association of Friends and the Province of Surrey, Metropolitan Grand Lodge, and the Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight were also thanked for their support. The event saw the official opening of the lounge and library by Eric Stuart-Bamford.

Published in RMBI

Phase 1 of the re-build at RMBI care home James Terry Court, Croydon has been officially opened.

The event was attended by over 40 representatives from the Province of Surrey, the Association of Friends and the RMBI.

RMBI President Willie Shackell opened the event and welcomed all attendees. Willie spoke about the history of the RMBI which started in East Croydon with its first Home named Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Decayed Freemasons’ in 1850. He went on to explain why the re-build of James Terry Court was necessary as the original Home was looking tired and needed to adapt to the ever changing needs of older people.

Thanks were given by Willie Shackell to Dennis Vine who had overseen the development of the Home in his role as Co-opted Trustee, to the residents of the Home for their patience with the building works and to the staff for providing high quality care during the re-build. Julian Birch, Regional Property Operations Manager who sadly passed away in October was remembered for all his efforts in the re-build of the Home

The Association of Friends and the Province of Surrey, Metropolitan Grand Lodge and the Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight were also thanked for their generous and continued support of the Home and the RMBI.

Eric Stuart-Bamford, PGM of the Province of Surrey went on to speak about his appreciation and gratitude to Home Manager Di Collins and the staff at the Home for the services they provide to the residents. Mr Stuart-Bamford also recognised the support that the Association of Friends provide to the Home.

The event saw the official opening of the Lounge and Library by Eric Stuart-Bamford and also of the Therapy Room by Libby Stuart-Bamford. The Therapy Room was built using the generous donation provided by The Grand Stewards’ Lodge as part of their 275th anniversary celebrations.

Those present were given a tour of the new building and ended with canapés and refreshments.

Published in RMBI

Good friends and neighbours

The Friends of the RMBI charity ball raised £35,000 for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution's The Good Neighbour Fund

With the ball held in June at the Grange Hotel in London, a cheque was presented to the President of the RMBI, Brigadier Willie Shackell, by Grand Secretary and President of the Friends of the RMBI, Nigel Brown.

The Friends of the RMBI was formed in 1973 with an annual charity ball to provide extra funds for Thee Good Neighbour Fund. Over the years it has raised more than £550,000.

Published in RMBI
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