Arriving in style
Second Grand Principal George Francis made a dramatic entrance when he arrived in a DeLorean car for the installation of Charles Cunnington as Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch Province of Derbyshire. Charles took over from Thomas Briggs, who had held the role for 12 years. Among those at the masonic hall in Littleover, Derby were 11 Grand Superintendents, three Past Grand Superintendents and 190 Companions. The DeLorean is owned by Provincial Grand Sword Bearer Chris Parnham.
Bowled venture in Taunton
Ninety-six bowlers and supporters from 17 Provinces travelled to Taunton in Somerset to take part in the annual masonic charity bowls event, hosted by the Somerset Masonic Bowling Association, which was raising funds for the Beacon cancer centre at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.
The Taunton Deane Bowling Club provided a superb setting in which Hertfordshire beat Cornwall in the final with Somerset third. The event raised £13,500 and the centre intends to buy its first VeinViewer – a mobile vascular imaging system that allows healthcare providers to see clearly accessible vasculature in real time directly on the surface of the skin.
Full support for St Michael’s Hospice
Vitruvian Lodge, No. 338, Ross-on-Wye, has continued its support for St Michael’s Hospice. On behalf of the Freemasons of Ross-on-Wye, Provincial Grand Charity Steward Nick Swan presented fellow mason Allan Lloyd with a cheque for £750 in support of his campaign to raise awareness and funding for St Michael’s Hospice, now in its 30th year. Allan emphasised the need to support the hospice and its £11.5 million programme of renovation and extension.
Specialist care for Parkinson’s
People living with Parkinson’s in East Lancashire now have access to a specialist nurse thanks to a £90,000 donation from the Grand Charity. Parkinson’s can make simple, everyday activities difficult for the 127,000 people in the UK living with the condition.
The main symptoms are tremors, rigidity and slowness of movement, but tiredness, pain and depression are also common. There is currently no cure; the main treatment is medication, but surgical options are available for some. Parkinson’s UK chief executive Steve Ford said, ‘Parkinson’s is a complex condition which affects each person differently, so it’s vital people have access to a specialist. This new post will make a huge difference.’
For information and support, contact Parkinson’s UK: 0808 800 0303, www.parkinsons.org.uk
Kilimanjaro climb for children’s hospital
Dale Murphy, from Gorhambury Lodge, No. 8745, Province of Hertfordshire, is all set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February, raising vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
After hearing about a close friend’s baby daughter being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Dale accepted the challenge of raising more than £4,000 by climbing the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Dale put his training to the test recently by taking part in the Mountain Trail Challenge, a 30-mile trek over the Brecon Beacons in Wales, completing the gruelling course in 10 hours 50 minutes. This raised an additional £100 from his lodge members, taking his current fundraising total to £3,000.
Support for Search Dogs
Buckinghamshire masons in the Slough area have donated £2,800 to Search Dogs, a charity that trains handlers and their animals to help Thames Valley Police find vulnerable adults and children who have vanished from their communities. Volunteers and their dogs are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to save lives throughout the area. Deputy PGM Mike Stimson commented, ‘We are supporting Search Dogs because the people involved demonstrate our shared values of friendship, decency and charity.’
Bible returned after 100 years
When Kevin Taylor of Chenies Lodge, No. 9127, was shown a Bible by a colleague, he immediately recognised it as masonic and realised it had originally belonged to St Mark’s Lodge, No. 2423, Province of North Wales. A group visit was arranged to return the Bible to the Welsh lodge.
On their bikes at Connaught Court
Connaught Court, the RMBI home at York, has teamed up with Get Cycling to take residents with dementia on weekly companion cycle rides, part funded by the locally based Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Family members and staff have enjoyed cycling on tandem tricycles around the grounds of Connaught Court and are now planning a series of rides along riverside cycle paths and to the local park. Get Cycling CEO Jim McGurn said, ‘This is very much a pilot programme so we can learn from our experiences… It could be used across the country and be the start of many dementia cycling groups.’
When the lights went out
Along with much of the country, Freemasons’ Hall was plunged into darkness on 4 August as the lights were turned out to mark the day that Great Britain declared war on Germany 100 years ago.
A single candle illuminated the Memorial Shrine, which commemorates the 3,225 brethren who died on active service in World War I and in whose memory the building was raised. Behind the shrine is the stained glass memorial window, the theme of which is the attainment of peace through sacrifice, with the Angel of Peace carrying a model of the building’s tower. The bronze memorial casket, designed by Walter Gilbert, contains the memorial roll, which features gilt figures representing the fighting services. The Hall’s lights were turned off by technician Damien Nolan, a process that took nearly two hours.
Vital support for Jersey hospital
Jersey masons reached the highlight of their 2013-14 charity appeal when a paediatric colonoscope was donated to the Endoscopy Unit at the General Hospital for its bowel cancer screening programme. Jersey masons raised £40,000 through donations and charity events ranging from lunches and raffles to clay pigeon shooting. The new colonoscope will enable the department to prevent a significant number of cases of bowel cancer on the island.