Lodge Centenaries are always special occasions and Thursday 13th September 2018 was such an occasion for Edgware Lodge No. 3886 in Middlesex

The Centenary meeting of Edgware Lodge No. 3866 meeting was held at the Harrow District Masonic Centre and it was special for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was to be the first official visit for the new Pro Provincial Grand Master Peter Baker.

Secondly, it was a member of Edgware Lodge who had conceived the idea of the Harrow District Masonic Centre. Sadly, this member did not live to see his vision come into being. Indeed, Edgware Lodge was the third largest contributor to the fund raised to create the centre which finally saw light of day in 1954.

Some of the original lodge furniture used by many Secretaries and Treasurers over the years had also been presented by the lodge. Since the building of the Centre, members of the lodge have given time and devotion in assisting with the administration and running of the Centre.

Edgware Lodge was founded at the end of the First World War by a group of local tradesmen and worshippers at the St Lawrence Church in Little Stanmore. Indeed, the Lodge Crest shows this church which had special relevance to the composer Handel whose Organ is to be found there. A former Rector of St Lawrence Church was non other than John Theophilus Desaguliers, the son of a French Hugenot Minister, who became the third Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England in 1719.

The lodge was Consecrated by the Right Worshipful Lord George Francis Hamilton GCSI (Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India), the Provincial Grand Master in 1918, and the Installing Master was the Very Worshipful Alexander Burnett Brown, Deputy Provincial Grand Master at the time as well as holding Office as Grand Superintendent of Works.

Like many lodges formed at that time, it flourished meeting in the Abercorn Hotel at the bottom of Stanmore Hill and then for many years at the Railway Hotel Edgware. About 25 years ago the lodge fell on hard times with a fall in membership but struggled on for some years. In 2003, the remaining members finally concluded that sadly it was not possible to continue and made plans to surrender its warrant.

However, a chance meeting between a member and another brother at a meeting in Ealing determined that a group of Freemasons, all members of Lions Club International, were looking for a home. So approximately six months later at the Installation meeting, 10 new members joined the lodge with many instantly appointed to office as Wardens, Deacons and Inner Guard. With so many new candidates, the lodge was able to support other lodges with work for some time after. Edgware Lodge now has a rosy future as it moves ahead into its second century.

The centenary meeting was a splendid evening. All those members who were involved in its organisation are to be congratulated and the Worshipful Master, Umesh Ragwhani, conducted the evening in a relaxed and friendly way. Members were presented with a commemorative pin whilst all those attending received a set of cuff links and a copy of the Lodge History to date. The oration by the Provincial Chaplain the Reverend Dr William Dolman was most interesting and was packed with historical facts.

A number of other historical documents relevant to the lodge were presented to form part of a Lodge archive and there was also a display of Jewels. The following Provincial Officers attended: Peter Baker, ProProvGM, Paul Huggins, PSGD AProvGM, Peter Annett, PGStB AProvGM, The Rev Dr Bill Dolman, ProvGChap, Howard Walters, PAGDC PPrJGW, ProvGTreas, Michael Dean, PJGD PProvJGW, Acting ProvGSec, Jim Mitchell, PAGDC ProvGDC, Brian Shaw, ProvGSwdB, Liam Delahunty, ProvSGD, Stuart Smith, ProvAGDC, Chris Pugh, ProvGStB, Phil Cooper, ProvGStwd, Frankie Whelan, ProvGStwd, and Tom James, PProvAGSwdB, ProvGTyler.

The members of the Lodge were absolutely delighted to receive this visit from Province and the presentation of a Centenary Warrant. This visit and the introductory address given by the Pro Provincial Grand Master Peter Baker made the entire evening something those present will never forget.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex held their first ‘Discover Freemasonry’ open evening at their headquarters in Twickenham on 19th September 2018, giving members of the public a unique insight into Freemasonry

Middlesex decided to attract the attention of potential members using social media, which led to a total of 164 members of the public registering for the event. Simultaneously, it was promoted within the Province, particularly to Secretaries of lodges in Twickenham, which led to another 21 people registering to attend.

The evening was designed to be engaging and inspiring, to present Middlesex’s message in a relevant and appealing way. Attendees were greeted and registered by a group of Provincial Stewards – in their collars. The evening took place in the lodge room and was introduced by Nigel Codron – the Chairman of the Provincial Communications Committee. He welcomed the attendees, shared his journey into Freemasonry, explained how the order is structured in England and Wales and introduced the Leaders.

Omaid Hiwaizi, Provincial Communications Officer, then took on the baton and led an interactive session asking the audience ‘What is Freemasonry?’ – gaining a few interesting responses. The attendees were well-informed, the wild descriptions only being those shared by Omaid as comments which had been made on social media. He then went on to ask if a series of famous historical and current characters were Freemasons – or not. Finally, he shared insights into what happens when a member joins and described the journey – alluding to the metaphor of the rough and smooth ashlars, which he pointed out in the lodge room, much to the interest of the audience.

Then followed seven Master Masons who each briefly described why and how they joined and their initial experiences. Amongst these was Vishakha Jain who is a member of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF), who was particularly inspiring. The broad selection of different voices, backgrounds and stories was particularly engaging and inspiring and attracted loud applause.

Prestonian Lecturer 2019 Michael Karn then delivered a spirited canter through the history of Freemasonry, alluding to the ancient Egyptians, the medieval cathedral builders and concluding on the wonderful Tercentenary event at the Royal Albert Hall last year. It complimented the very real and personal stories which had proceeded. Provincial Membership Officer Nigel Harris-Cooksley also described what those interested needed to do now and what would happen next.

Lastly, the HFAF Grand Master Christine Chapman took to the stage and presented a passionate and inspiring description of Women’s Freemasonry, which again was greeted with wild applause.

The feedback given verbally and through the anonymous forms was universally positive. However, the best feedback was that 18 men filled out enquiry forms on the evening, implying that the content shared very much served its purpose in describing Freemasonry in terms the audience would relate to.

Watch a video from the event here.

As a result, Middlesex are already planning to hold their next event at Harrow’s masonic centre on 19th November 2018.

Hungary is a long way from Middlesex, but in the quest for disseminating masonic enlightenment and learning, several Royal Arch Freemasons from Middlesex made the journey

Their destination was the City of Kecskemét, which is the eighth largest city in Hungary with a population of circa 110,000. On the weekend of 29th/30th June 2018, a team of Middlesex Royal Arch Provincial Grand Stewards, with permission from Supreme Grand Chapter and accompanied by Andrew Ford from Surrey and Sean Austin from Middlesex, made a visit to the Symbolic Grand Chapter of Hungary, to deliver a demonstration of the Passing of the Veils ceremony. 

The demonstration gives an insight into what precedes the Exaltation ceremony in a Bristol Chapter. Since 1834, within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset, it is the only Province in England where the ritual is performed, but only in Chapters in the City of Bristol itself. However, it is used elsewhere as part of the Royal Arch workings in the United States of America, Scotland and Ireland. English Royal Arch Masons in the other Provinces will know of this working and of the fraternal invitation that extends to them by Freemasons in Bristol to witness the working.

The Passing of the Veils ceremony refers to and uses the Ark of the Covenant: ‘a table on which rested the Ark of the Covenant containing the tablets of stone and the pot of manna.’ One was not available in Hungary, and given the significant size and weight of transporting this piece of furniture, Middlesex Freemason Steve Heynes requested that one be produced locally. This was duly done using supplied photographs.

However, there was no scale supplied and the Hungarian craftsman looked up the dimensions – some wires were crossed though and an impressively larger version was produced instead.

An informal BBQ was held on the Friday night after arrival where, as well as being treated to a wonderful feast, the demonstration team were entertained by Márk Beke, Hungary's young musician of the year who gave a lovely evening of Trombone playing interspersed with traditional Hungarian dancing from children from the Kodály Zoltán School of Music. The following morning, the Symbolic Grand Chapter of Hungary held a meeting with the team from Middlesex delivering the demonstration of the Passing of the Veils ceremony, which was enjoyed by all that attended.

On the Saturday afternoon, the St Stephen Lodge No. 7 of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary held its Installation meeting. St Stephen’s Lodge under the guidance of Mark Walton and Seamus Conlan hosted the weekend. This was also an unusual meeting as St Stephen Lodge use the old workings and did the full Installation in the Board of Installed Masters, including proving the Master Elect in all three degrees before he was entrusted.

The Festive Board took place afterwards where each member of the visiting team was presented with a decanter of Pálinka (Hungary fruit brandy) engraved with the crest of the Symbolic Grand Chapter.

Kenelm Lodge No. 8225 in Middlesex has made the generous gift of £10,000 to the Harrow Mencap Centre 

The donation has come from the Middlesex Masonic Charity (MMC) and will support the purchase of a new minibus to be used for the benefit of those attending the Centre. The donation was presented on 19th July 2018 by lodge members Ken Sinclair, Charity Steward, and Harihar Patel, Secretary.

Kenelm Lodge has supported Mencap on a number of occasions which has resulted in the MMC providing the grant. 

Mencap helps those who find it difficult to perform some of the more easier tasks in life which most of us take for granted. This support will also depend on the each individual’s particular needs and extends to providing friendships, socialising opportunities and the chance to run independent lives. At the same time those with severe or profound learning disability may need additional support by way of full-time care.

The Middlesex Masonic Charity has made the substantial donation of £25,000 to the St Mark’s Hospital Foundation in Harrow for robotic colon surgery

St Mark's Hospital specialises in colorectal and anorectal procedures and hopes to raise the sum of £2 million through charitable donations and from leading philanthropists to develop a Surgical Robotics Programme for bowel cancer and bowel disease surgery. At present, they have almost reached the £0.5 million mark.

David Yeaman, a Trustee of the Middlesex Masonic Charity, presented the cheque for £25,000 to St Mark’s Hospital Foundation Chairman, Sir Tom Troubridge.

At the presentation, a talk was given by Danilo Miskovic, one of the consultant colorectal surgeons at St Mark’s and an established robotic surgeon. He has specialised in the surgical treatment of bowel cancer, with a focus on advanced minimally-invasive surgery, such as laparoscopic (key hole), trans-anal and robotic surgery. 

Robotic surgery is an extremely important development in surgical innovation and the goal of the team in utilising these newer technologies and procedures is to ensure higher survival rates and improved long-term quality of life for those who have undergone surgery. The impact of surgical innovation on the cancer survival rate is striking: the five-year survival rate for bowel cancer has doubled over the past 40 years, primarily as a result of innovations in surgical procedures.

However, bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer fatalities and claims more than 630,000 lives annually worldwide. Although the overall survival rate is 50%, this can be improved on by continued surgical innovation. St Mark’s Hospital is committed to researching and implementing robotic surgery in its specialist field and also to disseminate the best clinical practice in colorectal robotic surgery worldwide. 

The contribution made by Middlesex Masons, together with all other charitable giving, will immensely improve the longer term prognosis of sufferers.

After Freemason Keith McBride died in 2016, solicitors dealing with his residual estate found that there was a sum of £66,200 which had been bequeathed to the 'Royal Union Charity Association’ – but the difficulty was that there did not appear to be an entity with such a title

They desperately tried to make the connection and after some time, it appeared that the name of Royal Union had a masonic connection in the Province of Middlesex.
 
Royal Union Chapter No. 382 was approached, but records did not show a Companion Keith McBride. The Royal Union Lodge No. 382 was then contacted and the link made. Both the lodge and chapter worked together to organise the distribution of the legacy and to make sure that the charities receiving the donation were worthy of such a bequest.
 
It had been decided that each charity should receive a minimum of £3,000 and that cheques should be presented personally by lodge and chapter members. The charities receiving the bequest were particularly involved with the care and welfare of disadvantaged youngsters, those in hospice care and also other groups of vulnerable people.
 
Donations were made to the following charities:
 
1.   Help for Heroes
2.   The National Autistic Society
3.   Alzheimer’s Society
4.   Harlington Hospice
5.   Michael Sobell Hospice
6.   The Hay Centre in Middlesex, which particularly seeks to improve the education, development and aspirations of disadvantaged and young children
7.   Thames Hospice – who received an enhanced gift of £12,000 to support not only those in care, but those members of the family who need emotional and moral support under the difficult circumstances of end of life care.
 
Even after death, the kind and generous wishes of a departed Freemason are able to transform lives and bring happiness to people. There is still a residue of the bequest available and in due course, subsequent charitable donations will be made by the members of Royal Union Lodge and Chapter.

Wheelchair sports charity WheelPower partnered with the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association to deliver a ‘Feel Inspired’ junior disability sports event for 12 to 18-year-olds in Uxbridge on 7 June 2018

The event was a great success, with 52 children from three local schools taking part in a wide range of sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair badminton, powerlifting, fencing, boccia, modern pentathlon shooting and zone hockey. 

Amongst the helpers and trainers was Great Britain powerlifting gold medallist Louise Sugden, who coached powerlifting, showed her medals and inspired all present with her story. 

'The junior camp was a resounding success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated,' said Oliver Buncombe, WheelPower's Sport Development Officer. 

'We are extremely grateful for the support we received from Brunel University, who provided the sports facilities we required and whose students were fantastic volunteers. A big thank you must also be said to the sports coaches who gave of their time to deliver the sports sessions.  

'Finally, we cannot thank the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association enough for their support in not only providing brilliant volunteers but for also funding this event. We hope that we will be able to work alongside them again and host more events like this in and around Middlesex in future.' 

Paul Sully, Chairman of the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association, added: 'We are very proud to be associated with this event and able to help Wheelpower transform lives through sport. It was a great day and we already have plans to repeat the exercise.'

Also supporting the event were Middlesex Provincial Stewards and a number of the members of Ruislip St Martin's Lodge No. 9125, which is the Universities Scheme Lodge associated with Brunel University.

Published in Initiatives & Clubs

Beaconsfield Lodge No. 2849 in Buckinghamshire was proud to celebrate 60 years of dedicated service to the lodge and Freemasonry as a whole, by Stan Brooker PPSGW

Stan was presented with a 60 year certificate by Buckinghamshire's Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Robinson at Slough Masonic Temple during the Installation of David Harfield as the lodge's new Worshipful Master.

Stan was born and raised in Shepherds Bush, West London, on the 5th May 1925. He joined the army at the age of 18 on the 6th May 1943. Whilst on active service in Normandy he was seriously wounded in the left arm. Stan was repatriated to the UK and subsequently discharged from the army, as medically unfit for active service, in January 1945.

Stan received a medal from the French Government in recognition of his service in the liberation of France in January 2018. He was made a 'Chevalier' in the Order National de la Legion d’ Honour.

After the war, Stan married Joan and they lived happily for 71 years; although sadly Joan recently passed away after a long illness. Stan and Joan had a son and daughter who in turn gave them grandchildren and great-grandchildren all of whom he is justly proud. In the 1960s, Stan and Joan moved from Shepherds Bush to live in Hayes, Middlesex, and again moved in 1989 to Andover where he still resides. Stan was a toolmaker by trade and in particular, worked for Johnson Matthey making specialist tools for their famous jewellery business in Hatton Garden.

Stan joined Freemasonry by becoming a member of Beaconsfield Lodge on 23rd April 1958, and 12 years later he attained the Mastership of the Lodge in 1970. He also served as the lodge Secretary for 13 years through the late 80s and early 90s where he proved to be a superb administrator, very knowledgeable on the rules and regulations of the order, and the ceremonies and etiquette required within the lodge. He was a regular attendee of the Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge, as remarked by the former Provincial Grand Master Ray Reed when presenting Stan with his 50th certificate.

For the lodge centenary in 2001, Stan put together the history of the lodge. He then organised the centenary meeting held which was presided over by the then Provincial Grand Master, Lord Burnham.

Stan has been a member of three craft lodges in Buckinghamshire, Middlesex and Hampshire. Along with achieving senior rank in Royal Arch Chapter, Mark, Rose Croix, Great Cross of Constantine, Knights Templar and Knights Templar Priests.

For 60 years Stan, supported by Joan, has devoted a great deal of his time and efforts in supporting the many and varied aspects of Freemasonry. And at 93 years of age, his support continues.

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

Ruislip St Martin’s Lodge No. 9125 in Middlesex is supporting a number of students at Brunel University in their research endeavours

The Lodge actively engages with research students, specialising not only in Medicine but also in Engineering to bring much needed improvements to peoples’ lives in the wider world. Brunel University are participants in the Middlesex Province Universities Scheme.

Over recent years, the lodge has been supporting students on a number of worthy projects, which has also gained support from the Middlesex Provincial Relief Fund. These have included:

  • The Medical Research faculty has undertaken research into finding a cure for Progeria; an extremely rare genetic disorder in which symptoms resembling aspects of ageing are manifested at a very early age in young children. The lodge has made several donations to this very important research.
  • Ugandan student Janna Deeble was keen to develop a wheelchair that would cover rough terrain in remote and poor communities in Africa and elsewhere. An initial donation from the lodge resulted in a further source of funding via Kickstarter which purports to be the world’s largest funding platform for design projects. So far in excess of £90,000 has been raised for SafariSeat.
  • Another project involving engineering design was the creation of a low-cost cart which would enable produce to be taken to market across rough terrain. Simplistic in concept but no doubt highly practical in situ.

A further two projects receiving support from Ruislip St Martin’s Lodge relate to water purification systems, which is essential in disease prevention and good health. These projects were undertaken in both Mexico and in the Cameroon:

  • In 2017, the lodge supported two students, Reece Kelly and Harry Stiles, who were looking to provide a cheap and effective water filtration system in Mexico City. This was by way of a donation of £1,300 from the Middlesex Provincial Relief Fund which assisted with the costs of air fares to Mexico. With Mexico City’s problem with water purity and the heavy dependence on water deliveries at exorbitant prices, these Brunel students developed a purification system which could be used to collect run off water which would be purified. This development of a filter system has already led to the idea being used as a prototype, which is being further tested by Isla Urbana, a local community organisation in Mexico City.
  • The lodge also sponsored student Matt McClampha, who has designed a solar disinfecting solution for pure quality water in the village of Bambui in the Republic of Cameroon.

Middlesex Freemasons are continuing to work with Brunel University and its students on a number of international community projects.

Published in Universities Scheme
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