Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence and Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton visited India to meet with senior Freemasons

The country has four District Grand Lodges recognised by UGLE. The first is the District Grand Lodge of Madras, which was consecrated in 1752. The oldest still meeting in the District, consecrated in 1786, is Lodge of Perfect Unanimity, No. 150.

The District Grand Lodge of Bombay operates from Mumbai, and its first lodge was consecrated in 1758.

The District Grand Lodge of Northern India has lodges in Delhi, Shimla, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Dalhousie. The District Grand Lodge of Bengal is based in Kolkata.

Thanks to the generosity of Freemasons on the Isle of Man, Lifelites has been able to deliver innovative technology to Rebecca House Children’s Hospice on the island

The Province has pledged to cover the entire cost of the package, which includes accessible, cutting-edge technology, as well as training and technical support services.

The technology will transform the time children spend at the hospice, enabling them to play games, be creative with art and music, control something and communicate with others.

With the funding covering the next four years, this is the first time that children at the Isle of Man hospice have been able to use this type of technology.

Published in Lifelites

More than 500 Freemasons, friends and family members attended a service in September celebrating the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England at Manchester Cathedral

The old medieval parish church of Manchester was a fitting venue for such a historic event.

The service encompassed everything that Freemasonry is about – openness, multi-faith and multiculturalism – all bound together by a common interest. The congregation received readings in both Hebrew and English, and heartfelt prayers were delivered by brethren of the Province.

During the service, there was a collection for the mission and aims of the cathedral, which was subsequently blessed by a Cathedral Canon.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight PGM Michael Wilks visited the Tall Ships Youth Trust at Gunwharf Marina, Portsmouth, in July, and presented £22,000 donated to the charity by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)

The donation will support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Wilks talked to the young people who had recently arrived to start their adventure and were looking forward to playing their part in assisting the crew, whatever the weather and sea conditions.

CEO Richard Leaman explained, ‘This bursary will allow us to get 50 NEET young people on board our vessels for sail training.

'We are immensely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generosity and support.’

Freemasons of Warwickshire paraded in full regalia in the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon in August for the first time since 1929, joined by Mayor of Stratford, Councillor Victoria Alcock

The procession commenced at Shakespeare’s Birthplace and proceeded through the town to Shakespeare’s New Place museum, where they were greeted by the head of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Dr Diana Owen.

A dedication was then given of Shakespeare’s desk and chair, both of which were donated by UGLE and the Province of Warwickshire to mark their commitment to the Stratford-upon-Avon community.

Warwickshire Provincial Grand Master David Macey formally handed over the desk and chair after the conclusion of the ceremony in the museum’s gardens.

South Wales Freemasons held a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at St Lythans, near Wenvoe, to celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry and raise money for the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) Appeal

More than 3,000 distressed children and their families will be helped by the £4,000 raised at the event.

The picnic will help to provide TLC Teddies to A&E hospitals in South Wales, including Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital.

Dean Faulkner from the Isle of Sheppey Lodge, No. 6769, has been awarded the British Empire Medal as part of the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours list

Dean, chairman of Sheerness Freemasons, has been an active St John Ambulance member for more than 40 years, and is the bandmaster of the Sheppey St John Ambulance Band.

With the band, Dean has organised parades throughout the country and beyond, most recently in Ypres, Belgium, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. His wife, Claire, is a Serving Sister of The Order of St John, and also runs the cadet division.

Eight Devonshire charities benefited from a series of special MCF Community Awards from Devonshire Freemasons after an unprecedented public vote, with 178,801 people in England and Wales participating

The MCF Community Awards are a major part of UGLE’s 300th anniversary celebrations. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing £3 million to 300 charities across the country, with the public vote deciding on the level of awards, which range from £4,000 to £25,000.

Presentations to the charities were made in September at a special ceremony in Plymouth by Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Find out more about the thinking behind the MCF Community Awards here.

Cheshire masons donated £55,000 to The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust in September for a 14-seat minibus, and PGM Stephen Blank presented the keys of the vehicle to charity president and football legend Sir Bobby Charlton

The minibus has been adapted to transport disabled, ill and disadvantaged children from north-west England to participate in activities such as sports, animal care, arts, crafts and music therapy.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

New livery lodge in ship-shape

The first lodge meeting to be held on board a ship, in this case the HQS Wellington, was held by the newly formed Wellington Livery Masters Lodge, No. 6991 – the only ‘floating lodge’ in the UK

The HQS Wellington is a well-known London landmark, permanently moored on the north bank of the River Thames on Victoria Embankment, near the Temple.

Previously known as HMS Wellington, she served in the Pacific before the Second World War, where she was mainly on station in New Zealand and China. During the Second World War, she was fitted with two 4.7 inch and one three inch guns and served primarily in the North Atlantic on convoy escort duties, as well as being involved in the evacuation of soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk.

She arrived at Victoria Embankment in 1948 to continue service as the home of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London and is now known as 'Headquarters Ship' HQS Wellington.

For this inaugural meeting, a talk about the links between Freemasonry and the Livery was given by Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton. The guest of honour was Metropolitan Grand Master Sir Michael Snyder.

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