Herefordshire Freemasons have a new Provincial Grand Master. Michael Holland was recently installed into that office at the Three Counties Hotel, Hereford, by the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and his team from Grand Lodge in London, in front of 271 local Freemasons and visitors

Afterwards, Michael Holland installed his Deputy Graham King. Herefordshire is the smallest Province in the mainland, but is active and vibrant with 15 Lodges and just under 600 members. Although small, it punches well above its weight in support of local and national charities.

The recent vacancy was caused by the death earlier this year of the Rev'd David Bowen, who had held the office of Provincial Grand Master since 2013. He is greatly missed and made a substantial contribution to local Freemasonry; however, the members feel confident that there will be further progress and development under his very experienced successor.

The Province is to fund a memorial to the Rev'd David in the Booth Chapel of Hereford Cathedral, which is to be refurbished to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Canonisation of St Thomas Cantilupe. This will further demonstrate the close and historical relationship local Freemasonry enjoys with the Cathedral.

Following his installation, Michael said: 'It is a privilege to lead the masonic Province of Herefordshire, and I am grateful for the support and kindness I have received from our members and also those in neighbouring provinces and beyond.'

Two members of Dean Waterfield Lodge No. 8089 in Herefordshire visited the Maternity unit of Hereford County Hospital on 18th October 2019 to present a cheque for £1,200 to Maxine Chong, Head of Midwifery

Paul Sabel, the Immediate Past Master, and his wife Wendy, along with Tim Bridgland-Taylor, the Lodge Charity Steward, were given a guided tour of the new facilities, created under the 'Born Sleeping' Appeal. These are delightfully appointed rooms which bereaved families can use when suffering the devastating a loss of a new born child.

The 'Born Sleeping' Appeal had raised their original amount to create these rooms, so this was to help the Maternity unit to continue to maintain the private rooms for the bereaved families. The money was raised during Paul Sabel’s year as Master of Dean Waterfield Lodge and both he and his wife Wendy were keen to donate to the continuing 'Born Sleeping' Appeal, as they had had personal experience of losing family members at birth.

Katie Farmer, the Wye Valley NHS Trust Charitable Fundraiser, explained that donations are always welcome so they can continue with the upkeep of the rooms.

After accepting the cheque, Maxine Chong expressed her very grateful thanks to Paul and Wendy and to the members of Dean Waterfield Lodge.

Herefordshire Freemasons have donated £500 to support the valuable work of local charity Horizon Training, which focuses on the needs of young people, aged 16-23, who have often had a difficult start in life

It gives them the opportunity to learn vocational skills at the same time as developing their social interaction abilities and self-confidence, increasing their chances of a successful entry into the workplace. Often, they have not achieved well in the state education system for a variety of reasons, and Horizon Training provides the chance for them to develop the abilities that will enable them to succeed in life.

Horizon Training at present has 76 learners undergoing one-year courses at their premises on the Foley Trading Estate in Hereford, which, because of their troubled background many of them come from, can create challenges.

A variety of courses are available to them. Construction work is a popular option, covering a wide range of skills including bricklaying, plastering, tiling, carpentry, painting and decorating, and plumbing, much of the training taking place in the charity’s large and well-equipped workshops. Many graduates of the course go on to undertake formal apprenticeships.

Learners on the catering course have the opportunity to work in the on-site café, which Horizon Training built themselves, and which provides meals and refreshments for the many people working on the Foley Trading Estate. The Province’s grant of £500, which comes through the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association, will go towards the purchase of two refrigerators for this facility.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, Michael Holland, and Provincial Charity Steward, Nick Swan, visited the facility to present the grant. They were shown round by the Manager Paul Dopson and impressed with the hard work and dedication of the team providing these invaluable services for young people.

Herefordshire Freemasons have continued their long-standing support for Hereford Riding for the Disabled (RDA) with a donation of £1,100

£1,000 of the donation from the members of the Herefordshire Province as a whole, through the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association, and £100 from the members of Coningsby Lodge No. 6383 in Hereford.

Hereford RDA has 12 horses, of varied sizes, all of a gentle and friendly temperament, and the money will go towards sponsoring one of them, called Jelly.

The local RDA is one of a network of nearly 500 all over the country. With just four full-time members of staff, it relies heavily on its team of volunteers. Each local group is independent and money raised stays for the benefit of that local group.

RDA’s clients, children and adults, live with a number of physical and learning disabilities, and autism. The charity aims to give them an enjoyable experience, but through that to provide them with a wide range of therapeutic benefits – improving their physical abilities, self-confidence, communication skills, social skills and relationship building among others. One example was a little girl who wouldn’t talk, but a few months of interaction with the horses encouraged her to start to speak.

Children and adults come to the RDA by a number of routes, mainly through word of mouth, and via their website and social media. Seven or eight local schools come on a regular basis.

The Hereford facility at Holme Lacy provides a range of activities, and has equipment such as lifts to enable people with disabilities to mount and dismount easily and safely, with the help of the volunteers. There is an indoor riding school, shown in the photo, and extensive adjoining land for trekking and longer hacks into the country.

David Harding, Chairman, and Sarah Fishbourne, Fundraising Manager, expressed their gratitude to the Freemasons of Herefordshire for their continued support. Herefordshire Freemasons are delighted to be continuing their support for this excellent and very worthwhile charity and plan to follow the career of their newly sponsored horse, Jelly.

Herefordshire Freemasons have continued their support for Breast Cancer Haven in Hereford, with a grant of £1,000 from the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association (HMCA)

Rachael Manacchini-Godfrey, Community Fundraising and Events Officer of the Hereford Centre, showed the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Michael Holland, and Provincial Charity Steward, Nick Swan, around the premises in St Owen Street when they visited to present the donation.

The Hereford Centre was the second of five opened in various parts of the country, the others being in London, Leeds, Hampshire and Solihull. It provides a wide range of support services for women, and occasionally men, who are living with a diagnosis of breast cancer. The £1,000 donation will go towards helping local people at the Breast Cancer Haven centre in Hereford.

Anyone can call on the support of Breast Cancer Haven following a diagnosis – they don’t need a referral. Help is also given to husbands and partners, and other family members, of those living with the condition. On first making contact a visitor (as users of the service are termed) will be taken through all the wide range of options available, and a treatment programme mapped out for them.

The available treatments include a choice of one-to-one therapies, including counselling, aromatherapy, ear acupuncture, head massage, nutrition, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, reflexology, reiki and shiatsu, all designed to improve the well-being and ease the stress and anxiety of those living with the condition. There are also group classes, including tai chi, yoga and general fitness.

Each visitor is given up to seven free group or individual sessions, and the grant from the HMCA will pay the costs of one visitor going through the whole sequence of therapies available to them. They can take further sessions, for which a small fee is charged.

The Hereford premises provide a light and relaxing environment, which visitors are encouraged to use whenever they want some peace and support, not just when they have a class or therapy session. The small garden, maintained with the help of some of the visitors, provides a peaceful refuge.

Rachael Manacchini-Godfrey thanked the Freemasons of Herefordshire for their continued support, which would help ensure that the Haven’s very valuable services continue to help women and their families who are going through a difficult and stressful time in their lives.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation, through the Province of Herefordshire, has supported local charity Hope Support Services with a grant of £4,719

Hope Support Services, founded in 2009 in Ross on Wye, provides support for young people aged 11-25 when a close family member is seriously ill with a life-threatening condition, especially those with cancer. They provide support at this stressful time through sessions where young people can gather together in Ross, Leominster and Hereford.

They arrange various activities and outings, and also provide support online, through Facebook and Skype, and are in the process of developing an app with help from Comic Relief which will enable young people to communicate with each other and to link with other charities which might be able to provide help.

Their aim is to provide emotional support for their young clients, of whom there are around 300, and to prepare them for bereavement. They also run a Building Better Opportunities course for those young people who are wanting to find work.

In 2017, they were approached by St Michael’s Hospice to run their services for the children of cancer patients being cared for by the Hospice. Children looked after in this way can be as young as five, and around 130 children and young people are cared for through this initiative.

They have eight full and part-time staff, plus a session worker and two online workers. There is also a Youth Management Team, who have benefited from the services themselves in the past and now help with planning and holding the charity’s range of activities.

On receiving the donation, Hope Support Services warmly thanked the Freemasons of Herefordshire for the generous grant, which will go towards developing the activities provided for young people at this difficult time in their lives.

After their meeting on 10 November 2018, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire presented the Province with a plaque commemorating those Herefordshire members who lost their lives in the First World War

In a special ceremony, Paul Young, Worshipful Master of Delphis Lodge in 1991, presented the plaque, which was received by the Provincial Grand Master The Rev David Bowen. Paul then read the complete poem by Laurence Binyon, 'For the Fallen', with the assembled members joining in repeating the well-known middle verse - 'They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old'.

In receiving the plaque on behalf of the Province, The Rev David Bowen, thanked members of Delphis Lodge for this thoughtful gift to the Province and read the Wilfred Owen poem, 'The Parable of the Old Man and the Young'. Bugler Colin Davies gave added further dignity and poignancy to the occasion, rounding off the ceremony with The Last Post.

The plaque commemorates the six members known to have died, from Palladian, Vitruvian, Eastnor, Arrow and Loyal Hay Lodges. Their identities and history were researched by Tim Fycun, Worshipful Master of Delphis Lodge 2015-2016. The plaque, with its fine wooden frame made by Keith Farmer, will occupy a prominent and permanent position within the Hereford Masonic Hall.

On the same occasion, a statuette was unveiled of a soldier commemorating the memory of all Herefordshire members who lost their lives in the service of their country, generously provided by Wilf Charles.

Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy has left Freemasons' Hall to kick-start her 2,500 mile journey to 47 famous landmarks to raise awareness of Lifelites and £50,000 for the charity

Dubbed 'A Lift for Lifelites', Simone will see Freemasons in nearly every Province in England and Wales and will be stopping at landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall, Angel of the North and Bletchley Park in vehicles including a classic Rolls Royce, a camper van, a four seater plane, an E Type Jaguar and even a zip wire.

Simone said: 'With the help of Freemasons and their vehicles around the country, I’m on a mission to raise the profile of our work and raise more funds to reach more children whose lives could be transformed by the technology we can provide.'

We'll be updating this page regularly, including images, as Simone continues on her epic quest.

Day 14 – Thursday 7 June

That's a wrap! Simone completed her 14 day challenge and finished in style on ThamesJet speedboat with guests including United Grand Lodge of England Chief Executive Dr David Staples. Her fundraising currently stands at over £103,000.

Day 13 – Wednesday 6 June

It's the penultimate day, starting with a trip to Bedfordshire at the Shuttleworth Collection. The next stop was Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire, which included completing a lap in a Jaguar, before driving this to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The last trip was to the home, studios and gardens of former artist Henry Moore in Hertfordshire.

Day 12 – Tuesday 5 June

Day 12 took in journeys across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The first stop was Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Lincolnshire before using two vehicles, a Hudson Straight Six Touring Sedan and a Range Rover, to Bressington Steam and Gardens in Norfolk. There was still time to grab lunch at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk before a BMW took Simone to her final stop in Cambridgeshire, which included a punt on the River Cam.

Day 11 – Monday 4 June

Simone crammed in four locations to start the week, with a wide variety of vehicles used. The day started in Yorkshire Sculpture Park before driving a 1977 Bentley to the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. It was from here that Simone then picked up a DeLorean to take her to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire before completing the day by driving a gold Rolls-Royce to Victoria Park in Leicestershire.

Day 10 – Sunday 3 June

The week concludes with trips to Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the news that Simone had already hit her £50,000 target. Trips included the Millennium Bridge in Northumberland, the Angel of the North and a scenic drive across the Yorkshire Moors to Bolton Castle.

Day 9 – Saturday 2 June

Day nine saw visits to the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland, with landmarks including Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria and transport provided by a horse and cart.

Day 8 – Friday 1 June

Two Rolls-Royces helped provide the transport on day nine, with Simone starting at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, driving down to New Place in Warwickshire and then to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. There was still time to conclude the day by visiting Manchester Cathedral in East Lancashire.

Day 7 – Thursday 31 May

At the halfway point, Simone made trips to Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – starting out at the Georgian Hall Dunham Massey, then heading to the RAF Museum Cosford in a custom built Rewaco Bike and finally, to Arthur’s Stone.

Day 6 – Wednesday 30 May

Day six was solely focused in North Wales where Simone took on the challenge of the fastest zip wire in the world. This was then followed by making the journey to Chester in a six month old blue McLaren Spider and flanked by the Widows’ Sons motorcyclists and Blood Bike volunteers.

Day 5 – Tuesday 29 May

Day five was a journey across the borders for Simone as she ventured to Oxfordshire before heading west to Monmouthshire and continued to South Wales and West Wales. Landmarks included Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Caerleon Amphitheatre in Newport, the Donald Gordon theatre in Cardiff and ending the day in the county town of Carmarthen to meet the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Wales.

Day 4 – Monday 28 May

Simone began day four by driving an Aston Martin DB9 to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare with help from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A 1928 MG Riley saloon then took Simone to her next port of call, Clifton Suspension Bridge where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol had a 1966 Austin Mini Cooper waiting to take her to Caen Hill Locks. It was here that Simone met representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire, before the final stop of the day saw her clock up the miles to Shaw House in Berkshire to be greeted by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire.

Day 3 – Sunday 27 May

Day three involved journeys to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It started with a visit to Lulworth Cove in Dorset to be met by members from the Provincial Grand Lodge in a yellow camper van and to receive a donation of £2,000. Simone then ventured to Buckfast Abbey to receive a donation of £5,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire before departing in a classic Rover to head to Lanhydrock House and Garden in Cornwall, where she received another donation of £1,750.

Day 2 – Saturday 26 May

Simone took to the sky for day two, meeting a representative from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who drove her to Southampton to board a flight to Jersey, to meet members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Guernsey and Alderney.

Day 1 – Friday 25 May

Simone has begun her challenge, leaving in a taxi escorted by a fleet of Widows Sons motorcyclists. This is the start of her 14 day road trip with a difference, using a variety of unusual and extraordinary forms of transport.

The next destination for Friday was Richmond Park where Simone was met by representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex after arriving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. Further destinations included Guildford Cathedral, where Simone was met by a Noddy car, and Brighton Royal Pavilion, where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex made a donation of £5,000.

Lifelites has a package of their magical technology at every children’s hospice across the British Isles and their work is entirely funded by donations. Through the journey they are seeking to raise £50,000 – that’s the cost of one of their projects for four years.

You can sponsor Simone by clicking here

Published in Lifelites

Help for St Michael’s Hospice

Herefordshire Freemasons have continued a long tradition of supporting the county’s St Michael’s Hospice with a further donation of £5,000.

Director of income generation Ruth Denison and community fundraising manager Paddy Nugent received the donation from Provincial Grand Master (also former hospice chaplain) the Reverend David Bowen and Deputy Provincial Grand Master Michael Roff.

With the money to be used for the fitting out of one of the bedrooms in the new building, Nugent said: ‘St Michael’s Hospice is eternally grateful for the support from the masons, which goes back to 1984. We really appreciate their continued commitment and would like to thank all involved for their continued support.’

A St David’s Day tradition

Every year Coningsby Lodge holds a St David’s Day celebration at its March meeting. This includes the ordeal of eating raw leeks, and current Worshipful Masters are ‘invited’ to take part in the ceremony. This year the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, agreed to join them for a sponsored leek-eat in aid of the 2020 Festival.

In introducing the event W Bro Roger Tomlinson explained that it was a tradition for all new members of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, of which he had been Bandmaster, to eat a leek on St David’s Day. He said that the tradition dates back to the 6th century when St David advised the commander of the Welsh army that his soldiers should wear a leek on their head-dress to distinguish them from the Saxons, with whom they were about to do battle. Having won the battle, the Welsh celebrated, and honoured St David, by eating the leeks. The tradition has continued among Welsh soldiers, and for a number of years has been re-enacted by Coningsby Lodge.

As well as the PGM, the Worshipful Master of Coningsby Lodge, W Bro Kevin Jones, took part, together with W Bro Keith Farmer, WM of Dean Waterfield, and W Bro David Joyce took part. A salver of raw leeks was carried in by W Bro Gordon Bumfrey, to a drum accompaniment by W Bro Ian Warren. The four participants were then invited to select their leeks, and eat them whole. Having done so, they were rewarded with a drink of Welsh beer.

In recognition of the RW PGM’s participation, and in his role as President of the Festival, the Lodge then presented him with a cheque for £100 in aid of the Festival. The PGM thanked the Lodge, and said how much he had enjoyed taking part.

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