The inaugural match of the Light Blues Rugby Football Club (LBRFC), recently formed by Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, was held on Saturday 29th October 2016

The Light Blues played host club Vipers RFC at their ground in Whetstone, Leicester as a thank you for proposing them to the Leicestershire Rugby Union and allowing the use of their facilities for future fixtures.

The Light Blues were first to score with a try from Bro Jordan Owen-Clegg of Hastings Lodge No. 8695 and the extra points converted by Bro Mark Edwards from Beacon Lodge No. 5208 who kicked all three conversions with stylish ease. At half time LBRFC were a converted try up, a flurry of activity straight after half time saw the Vipers strike back to level the score. The game was played in a fine spirit and the final score of 40-21 to Vipers did not reflect the balance of the match, a few younger backs came to the fore in the final few minutes to inflate the lead further.

Bro Samuel Harris of the Lodge of the Golden Fleece No. 2081 and Chairman of the LBRFC said: 'It was a great day and the culmination of a lot of hard work by the committee. Thank you to all those who came to support and provide banter from the touchline.'

 

The Rutland Lodge No. 1130, which meets at Freemasons’ Hall, Melton Mowbray, celebrated its 150th anniversary on Thursday 6th October 2016

The Sesquicentennial Festival was held at the regular meeting of the lodge who were honoured to receive the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Hagger, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Jim Buckle, and the rest of the Provincial Officers. 

In total over 90 brethren were in attendance to witness this relatively unique occasion which has seen only five other lodges in the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland celebrate this milestone.

After the lodge was opened the Master offered the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who on this occasion willingly accepted it. The Master read the Warrant and the Centenary Warrant of the lodge before W Bro Keith Harkness gave a thoroughly absorbing talk on the Highlights from the History of the Lodge.

The Rutland Lodge No. 1130 was consecrated on the 19th October 1866 at the George Hotel, Melton Mowbray by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro William Kelly. The lodge was named after His Grace the Duke of Rutland, the cousin of the first Master Bro George Norman, Squire of Goadby Marwood. The lodge was given permission by the Duke of Rutland to use the arms of the Duke on the lodge banner. 

In the days before street lighting, the lodge originally met on days of the full moon to enable the members to find their way home by light of the moon but now meets 8 times a year on the first Thursday evening in the months between October and May. The lodge met at the George Hotel for 44 years and then subsequently met at the Colles Hall, Burton Street, Young Men’s Institute Hall in Market Place, Egerton Lodge, the Corn Exchange, and has met at its’ current home at Wicklow Lodge since 1951.

After the lodge meeting was closed, the Brethren enjoyed a wonderful Festive Board and were each generously presented with a hardbound copy of ‘The Sesquicentennial Festival 1866-2016’ which was compiled by W Bro Harkness and designed by W Bro Mike Rawson. 

The Provincial Grand Master said: 'The 150 years of this lodge, since its consecration in 1866, are ample proof of the dedication shown by the Brethren in Melton Mowbray to our great Order. As the lodge travels its masonic pathway, I’m sure the brethren will display that same devotion and dedication in the future. I, and the masonic Province of Leicestershire and Rutland, wish them well.'

The inaugural match of the Light Blues Rugby Football Club (LBRFC), recently formed by Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, was held on Saturday 29th October 2016

The Light Blues played host club Vipers RFC at their ground in Whetstone, Leicester as a thank you for proposing them to the Leicestershire Rugby Union and allowing the use of their facilities for future fixtures.

The Light Blues were first to score with a try from Bro Jordan Owen-Clegg of Hastings Lodge No. 8695 and the extra points converted by Bro Mark Edwards from Beacon Lodge No. 5208 who kicked all three conversions with stylish ease. At half time LBRFC were a converted try up, a flurry of activity straight after half time saw the Vipers strike back to level the score. The game was played in a fine spirit and the final score of 40-21 to Vipers did not reflect the balance of the match, a few younger backs came to the fore in the final few minutes to inflate the lead further.

Bro Samuel Harris of the Lodge of the Golden Fleece No. 2081 and Chairman of the LBRFC said: 'It was a great day and the culmination of a lot of hard work by the committee. Thank you to all those who came to support and provide banter from the touchline and in particular our sponsors Richard Ward Funeral Services and AP Keenan Building Services.'

The next game will be against Aylestone Athletic on the 10th December 2017 at Victoria Park, Leicester. Kick off will be at 2pm.

On Saturday 29th October 2016, the Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, RW Bro David Hagger, along with Trustees of the Bradgate Park Trust marked the commencement of the first tree clearance for the reflection area of the Memorial Wood at Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

The Memorial Wood is being funded by Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons along with United Grand Lodge of England to enhance a small woodland at the Park to create a tranquil and reflective space. This project is one of a number of projects in Leicestershire and Rutland that will be supported to mark the 300th anniversary of the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. 

The small woodland plantation is located opposite the Cropston Reservoir. Currently the woodland is fenced and inaccessible, but a new path into the heart of the space from the main carriageway will be suitable for all visitors. As part of the proposals the woodland will be fenced with traditional parkland deer fencing, new hedgerow planted and the wildlife value of the area enhanced, with new glades and trees planted. Natural paths within the woodland will allow people to explore the wood, whilst seating and a central feature will ensure there is an area for quiet reflection and remembrance. A centrepiece within the wood will consist of a seating area along with a sculpture of a stag.

Peter Tyldesley, Director of the Bradgate Park Trust said, 'We are regularly asked about opportunities for memorial trees and benches with plaques, but the nationally important landscape and heritage designations of the site means we cannot always accommodate these. This is a way that we can provide somewhere for our visitors to remember someone special, with a memorial plaque within a dedicated space. As a charity we are delighted to be working with the local Freemasons and also the United Grand Lodge of England.

'Their generous grants will support the physical work on the ground within the Site of Special Scientific Interest. It will also assist the charity in establishing a programme whereby people can purchase plaques within the Memorial Wood in recognition of the special nature of Bradgate Park to people throughout their lives. This will be available once the habitat improvements are completed in the autumn of 2017.'

The Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, David Hagger said, 'We have worked with the Bradgate Park Trust in the past and this project is an important community initiative for our Tercentenary celebrations. Not only will conservation volunteers and our members be able to get involved in developing the project, working alongside the Bradgate Park Team, it will provide a lasting legacy of a special place where people can reflect on loved ones. Bradgate Park is close to the heart of local Freemasons, as Charles Bennion, Bradgate Park’s original Benefactor, was an eminent Leicestershire Freemason.'

The Memorial Wood will be officially opened on Thursday 5th October 2017 by the Pro Grand Master, RW Bro Peter Lowndes. 

A £2,000 donation by the Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons will fund the wishes of two local children suffering from cancer

Wishes 4 Kids was launched 14 years ago and has already granted over five thousand wishes for Leicestershire children who are life limited, terminally ill, have experienced life-changing physical or emotional traumas, or have suffered major abuse.

The first child to have her wish granted is a seven year old girl who is being treated for bone cancer. She is fanatical about the Disney film Frozen. Russell said: 'Her greatest wish is to meet Elsa so she will be heading to Disneyland Paris with her family for three magical days and she will not only be meeting the princess but all the Disney princesses.'

The second child to have his wish granted will be a nine year old boy who is being treated for a brain tumour. Russell explained: 'As a Leicester City Football supporter, his greatest wish is to fly over the King Power stadium in a helicopter. We are trying very hard to persuade Leicester City to write his name in footballs on the pitch for when he goes over.'

Founder of Wishes 4 Kids, Russell Bricket, who is organising the wishes of the children said: 'We can’t do it without the help and fantastic support of the Freemasons who have been very supportive over the whole 14 years. This money will grant wishes of two children.'

He continued: 'From the bottom of our hearts, the deepest thank you goes to the Freemasons for their help and support. The biggest thank you is going to be from the two children whose wishes they’ve granted.'

The awards were made at a special event held at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester on Saturday 10th September 2016 where £28,490 was donated which is in addition to the £800,000 already given in the past five years.

Children’s ward gets new nebulisers

Six nebulisers were presented by local Freemasons to the Children’s Ward at the Leicester Royal Infirmary via the Asthma Relief Charity by Leicestershire and Rutland PGM David Hagger.

Nebulisers convert liquid medication into aerosol droplets suitable for inhalation, using compressed air to enable patients to breathe more easily.

Each nebuliser will help 150 children over its six-year life. Members of Grey Friars Lodge, No. 6803, which meets in Leicester, also donated £1,400 to the Leicestershire Royal Infirmary Children and Young People’s Cancer Unit to provide play equipment and materials together with updating medical equipment.

Freemasons in Leicestershire and Rutland are celebrating a magnificent milestone in their charitable donations to the local community during the last five years

As they approach their 300th anniversary, figures released today show that Freemasons based in Leicestershire and Rutland, despite the recent economic downturn, have donated to over 400 different charities to the sum of £800,000.

Just under a third of the money donated went to healthcare charities, whilst those charities supporting children and youth received a quarter of the funding. Other charities were also supported who focus on social welfare, education, disability, elderly, culture, sport, religion, homeless and animals.

Freemasonry is one of the biggest contributors to UK charities, including both masonic and non-masonic causes. It encourages members to take a moral and ethical approach to life, helping them become the best that they can be. It seeks to reinforce the principles of kindness, honesty, fairness, tolerance and integrity.

The donations include those given by the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association, the Royal Arch Masons and Mark Master Masons.

Some of their recent donations include £10,000 to Warning Zone, the Leicester based interactive life skills centre, for an e-Safety zone, £15,000 to Leicester Cathedral for the reinterment of Richard III, £25,000 to the Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre Mablethorpe for play equipment and £50,000 to the new Centre for Medicine at the University of Leicester.

Other major beneficiaries include the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, LOROS Hospice, Rainbows Children's Hospice, and PROSTaid.

David Hagger, Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland said: 'All of our members are encouraged to give to charity but should always be within their means and it is entirely up to each member how much they wish to contribute. The money donated is raised by the members themselves from such events as ladies' nights and other social occasions where family and friends get together.'

He continued: 'I'm incredibly proud and thank all our members for their philanthropy and generosity by contributing this amazing amount of money to local communities reinforcing the role that Freemasonry has always and continues to play in society.'

Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons are currently in full training getting ready to do a 300-mile cycle ride marking their 300th anniversary and aiming to raise £20,000 for the Rainbows Children's Hospice in Loughborough and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)

On 24th June 1717, four masonic lodges, which had existed for some time in London, formed the Grand Lodge of England which has since continued to administer the 7,000 lodges and it's 200,000 members across England and Wales.

Leicestershire and Rutland have 3,000 members which meet in the 76 lodges across the two counties. Masonic lodges are based in Leicester, Loughborough, Hinckley, Syston, Uppingham, Melton Mowbray, Lutterworth, Market Harborough, Oakham, Coalville and Ashby de la Zouch.

At least 35 Freemasons, aged between 22 and 70 years old, from over 20 different lodges will be cycling in June 2017 to each of the 11 masonic meeting places within Leicestershire and Rutland. They will then head to the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England at Freemasons' Hall, Covent Garden in London. When clocking up the 300 miles they will take a short detour to the site of the former Goose and Gridiron Ale House in St Paul's Churchyard, London where the first Grand Lodge was formed before they head back to Leicester.

Simon Oldfield, keen cyclist and organiser said: 'Cycling 300 miles will be a test of all those taking part, everyone is motivated to do the training knowing that we are raising money for two very worthwhile causes as part of our Tercentenary celebrations. It has brought together cyclists of varying age, experience and fitness, building a real team spirit for the challenge ahead.'

The Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, based in Lougborough, provides care to those that are affected by life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. Helen Lee-Smith, Head of Individual Giving at Rainbows, said: 'I would like to thank Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons for organising their 300 mile cycle ride to celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry and for supporting Rainbows. Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons are doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice – fundraising efforts make such a huge difference to both the children and young people at Rainbows and their families.'

The MCF supports Freemasons, their families and the wider community. David Innes, Chief Executive of the MCF said: 'Our work depends entirely on donations from Freemasons and their families across England and Wales, and we are continually surprised and inspired by the unique and challenging ways that they raise funds for us. We wish all participants in the Leicestershire and Rutland 300 mile bike ride the best of luck and thank them in advance for their hard work and generosity.'

The Provincial Grand Master of the Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, David Hagger, added: 'We'll be holding several celebratory events in 2017 and this charity bike ride is a perfect opportunity for our members to raise money for good causes by undertaking this physical challenge. We're keen to shake off our bygone image and this bike ride is a great example of this. Recently we have found that more younger people are attracted to Freemasonry as they seek a social environment with strong values and traditions that also supports the local community.'

He continued: 'During 2017, we'll also be opening the doors to our masonic halls for everyone to see inside and an exhibition on Freemasonry at Newarke House Museum in Leicester highlighting the contribution of Freemasons to our local communities. We hope this will lead to further interest and a better understanding of our historic fraternity.'

W Bro Martin Oliver and Mike Rowe from St Mary's Lodge No. 7164 presented three local charities with £250 each which has been generously donated by its members

Representatives from Motor Neurone Disease in Leicestershire and Rutland, Parkinson's Disease Melton Mowbray Support Group, and the Melton and Rutland Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society each received the award at a presentation ceremony at Freemasons' Hall, Wicklow Lodge, Melton Mowbray on Saturday 30th July 2016.

Martin Oliver said: 'Some of our members have been affected by the illnesses supported by these wonderful charities and we're delighted to be able to offer these donations to help the local community.'

On the 3rd June 2016, the Uppingham in Rutland Lodge No. 9119 presented a cheque for £925 to the Leicester Hospitals Charity to be spent on treating children with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles.

The master, W Bro Chris Cockerill said: 'Those who have had contact with someone who has this painful disease understand the impact it has on them. However, to have this as a child brings further challenges and one that I wished to contribute towards in order to help them. We think this disease is something we may get when older and forget that people can get rheumatoid arthritis at any age.'

The cheque was received in a presentation by the Master to Kamlesh Mistry of the Leicester Hospitals Charity who thanked the members of the lodge for their fantastic support in raising the money which will go towards helping children with the disease.

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