Forest Ridge Lodge No. 8306 in London marked their meeting on 19th April 2018 with a special event, as they presented a 50 year long service certificate to Laurie Cousins and a Grand Lodge certificate to his grandson Rickie Bloom

Laurie was initiated into Freemasonry in 1967 and has been a member of Forest Ridge Lodge since 1971. He was awarded London Grand Rank in 1993.

The meeting, held at the Southgate Masonic Centre, was in the presence of Metropolitan Grand Inspector Chris Burgess PSGD and was also witnessed by the rare sight of seven sets of fathers and sons, who are all members of the lodge, as well as a father and grandson in Laurie and Rickie.

Forest Ridge Lodge has a long history of father and son members. This dates back to their Primus Master Cecil Wershof PAGStB, with his son David still a member of the lodge.

Leadenhall Lodge No. 4297 in London has raised £1,500 towards a dedicated renal dialysis unit for Nanyuki Cottage Hospital in Kenya

The hospital is located at the foot of Mount Kenya on the equator at an elevation of 1,905m/6,250 ft.

Amolak Hunjan, Past Master of Leadenhall Lodge No. 4297 in London, grew up watching the expansion of the hospital, as his father provided building and service facilities for the hospital and to this day his business still supports the hospital.

The hospital has been a focus for fundraising activities both for the large and vibrant British Expat community in the Mount Kenya region and the local residents of Nanyuki Township for over 60 years. It was set up under the Cottage Hospital initiative by the colonial administration at the turn of the last century and was bequeathed into perpetuity to the elected board of trustees managing the facility.

The money was raised for a renal dialysis unit during Amolak Hunjan’s year as Worshipful Master in 2017.

Two installations with a difference took place between two London lodges, with the Worshipful Master and Secretary alternating roles between the lodges

The Installation of the Duke of Sussex Lodge No. 3343 took place at Freemasons' Hall on 1st February 2018 with new Worshipful Master Jim Bolton and new Secretary Terry Smith.

This was then followed by the Installation of its daughter lodge, the Lodge of Love and Charity No. 6224, held at the Croydon and District Masonic Hall on 12th March 2018, with the roles reversed as Terry Smith stepped into the chair as Worshipful Master and Jim Bolton as Secretary.

This meeting had the honour of welcoming the Metropolitan Grand Inspector David Cuckow to mark the lodge's 300th meeting. Later this year, Terry Smith will also receive his London Grand Rank after he completes his year in office.

The Lion and Lamb Chapter No. 192 in London is supporting disabled ex–serviceman Andy Bracey as he attempts to compete on the international stage in wheelchair racing

Andy, who resides in Southend, Essex, was injured in a motorcycle accident during leave from the Army. After several unsuccessful operations on his spine, he was confined to a wheelchair and was told he would never walk again.

After enduring a bitter struggle for several years, he eventually took up wheelchair basketball. It was during here that one of his team members told him about wheelchair racing and led him to be chosen for the Invictus Games in Orlando, America, in 2016. He then went on to win two silver and two bronze medals for Great Britain.

Andy was chosen again for the Invictus Games a year later and went to Toronto, Canada, where he returned with four silver medals.

He is now looking to compete at international level for his country, which means a better class of racing, and he is preparing for trials to be held in Switzerland and Australia. To achieve his goal and compete for gold medals he needs to raise £4,000

As a result, the Lion and Lamb Chapter have donated £100 towards his cause.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Modern masons: Graham Hill

Friendship

Over the last five decades, Graham Hill's interest in animals has, he admits, somewhat taken over his life

‘I started exhibiting dogs in 1965 – Russian wolfhounds known as borzoi – and I’ve won breeding and showing achievements at championships for years: top dog, top breed,’ he beams proudly as his well-trained borzoi calmly gaze into the camera lens.

Graham is Secretary of Connaught Lodge, No. 3270. Set up for Freemasons with an interest in dog fancying, the lodge now has members from across Britain involved in all facets of the dog world, from showing at Crufts and other dog shows, through to field trials, agility, breeding, owning and judging.

The lodge has a history inextricably linked with The Kennel Club that goes back more than a hundred years. Connaught was founded by a group of six like-minded men in 1907 and named in honour of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (son of Queen Victoria), who was, in the early 20th century, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England and also president of The Kennel Club.

The philosophy behind Connaught Lodge is simple. ‘It’s for Freemasons with a common interest in the canine world,’ he says. ‘All of us are associated with dogs, and Connaught members are involved in organising and taking part in all disciplines of canine activities.’

Though the lodge meets just four times a year, its members routinely meet informally. ‘We’re a whole cross-section of canine enthusiasts,’ Graham says of this niche interest lodge. ‘It’s a philosophy that truly espouses two key aspects of masonry: socialising and brotherhood. Many members are glad of the social aspect, counting Connaught as their mother lodge.’

What does the Tercentenary mean to you?

‘The celebrations have been an exciting, important milestone in the Connaught calendar, with each member bringing their ideas and enthusiasm to the table.’

With the especial meeting at the Royal Albert Hall streamed online in the Grand Temple of Freemasons’ Hall, nearly 1,000 brethren and ladies – including the wives of official guests – were able to watch the ceremonies

After attending the screening, Ruth Wright from the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons commented, ‘I could feel that I was part of something very special. I cannot say how privileged I felt to be part of your special day. You could have heard a pin drop as everyone watched with great interest and when, spontaneously, most of the men joined in singing the hymns. It made you realise just how wonderful an organisation Freemasonry is.’

‘A wonderful meal – how on Earth could such splendid fare have been served to the thousands present with such style?’ David Pratt

The Grand Temple guests then attended a special dinner in the Grand Connaught Rooms, chaired by Earl Cadogan, who was assisted by senior members of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London

Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 of the attendees from the Royal Albert Hall meeting were being bussed through London’s rush-hour traffic to Battersea Evolution for a special reception and banquet. Yorkshire, West Riding Provincial Grand Master David Pratt commented, ‘A wonderful meal – how on Earth could such splendid fare have been served to the thousands present and with such style? We then floated back to our hotel with so many stories to share. What a day.’

Published in UGLE

The bad weather may have put Southwark Lodge’s recent meeting on ice, but a cunning plan resulted in a £1,000 donation to homeless charity The House of St Barnabas

Southwark Lodge No. 879 in London was initially due to meet at Freemasons’ Hall on 2nd March, but with sufficient numbers unable to attend, it had to be abandoned – for the first time since the Second World War.

The meeting was due to be followed by a Festive Board at Browns, but rather than waste the hot dinners, members Simon Brown, James Innes and Anton Wheatley made the suggestion of taking with them a group of homeless people, in cooperation with an appropriate charity. 

Despite a number of hasty emails and phone calls, time was very much against them and unfortunately, it ultimately proved impossible to make this plan work in the time available. However, Mitchells & Butlers, owners of Browns, were firmly on board with the plan and proposed, as a welcome alternative, a full refund of the £500 deposit paid, with those funds to be paid to a charity for the homeless instead.

The Lodge’s Worshipful Master Andy Butler acted rapidly to generously propose they match this donation to present the round sum of £1,000 to The House of St Barnabas. The charity, based in Soho Square, London, performs a vital service in helping London's homeless back into work.

James said: ‘Although our original goal was to make good use of our hot dinners and not have them go to waste, the ultimate solution is doubtless for the best in terms of providing longer-term support to those attempting to make the difficult transition from homelessness to paid employment – a cause which is close to my heart.’

Ceri Sheppard, Employment Academy Director of The House of St Barnabas, commented: 'I am delighted that Southwark Lodge is supporting our Employment Academy at The House of St Barnabas.  Employment is the best route out of homelessness, and donations like this enable us not only to support people to get work, but crucially to help them keep that work.'

An unusual turn of events has resulted in the Stroke Association becoming the recipients of a £1,000 donation from London Freemason Ted Jennings

Ted became an honorary member of his lodge 10 years ago, but forgot to cancel the standing order for his subscription – and now his oversight has benefited the Stroke Association in London to the tune of £1,000.

Trevor Sherman, Treasurer of Zetland Lodge No. 511, explained: ‘Ted had a balance of nearly £900 on his account so I asked him what he wanted to do with the money. Ted suffered a stroke himself a few years ago and is now unable to attend lodge meetings.

‘He was very grateful at the time for the support he got with his recovery from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich. Without hesitation Ted said he wanted to donate the money to charity and specifically, to the Stroke Association.’

The lodge topped Ted’s donation up to £1,000 and presented it to Heather Clifford, Community and Events Fundraiser for the London region of the Stroke Association.

In accepting the cheque, Heather commented: ‘Thank you for the generous donation to the Stroke Association. Please pass on my thanks to Ted Jennings for selecting to support our charity.

‘Thanks to supporters like yourselves we are able to continue our work providing vital services, campaigning for better care and investing in research to find better treatments for stroke.’

Heather gave a presentation to members of Zetland Lodge and their guests about the work of the Stroke Association. She explained that stroke continues to be one of the greatest health challenges of our time, and can happen to anyone at any time.

There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK with 100,000 strokes happening in the UK each year. Most strokes are preventable and having a heart test is really important because it helps people to know if they have high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation (AF), conditions which mean you're are at much greater risk of having a stroke.

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.

Funds will buy two extended high-res lifts for London Fire Brigade

Metropolitan Grand Master Sir Michael Snyder surprised a packed Freemasons Hall on 2nd November 2017 when he announced the launch of a £2.5 million appeal to purchase two extended high rise aerial vehicles for London Fire Brigade

This took place at the annual London Grand Rank Investiture meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, where a party from London’s Fire Brigade were welcomed into the Grand Temple, led by Steve Apter, London Fire Brigade Director of Safety and Assurance, and Dr Fiona Twycross, Chair of London Fire EPA. They were presented with the first instalment of a cheque for £375,000.

These appliances will be in addition to the extra resources for extended height aerial vehicles already requested by the Commissioner as part of a Mayoral review into the Brigade’s resources in July.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton thanked Sir Michael Snyder for their generosity: ‘We are very grateful to Sir Michael Snyder and London Freemasons for this first donation and their commitment to raise the significant sum of money to buy such important equipment. It’s important that we have the most effective resources for the city environment in which we serve, so we not only have to consider the reach of our aerial appliances but whether they are agile enough to move around the capital’s narrow streets.

‘This has been an incredibly busy and emotional year for everyone connected with London Fire Brigade and we welcome this recognition.’

At the meeting Steve Apter, in his address to the members of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, commented: ‘They will be mobilised across London and used for both fighting fires and effecting rescues. They can reach 22-24 floors far higher than anything we currently have in service. This generous donation by London Freemasons provides a very large support to our tight public funds and financial capability.

'On behalf of The London Fire Brigade and the people of London, we thank you for your very kind offer and look forward to working with you in the future.’

Sir Michael Snyder then replied: ‘On behalf of every London Freemason, I am delighted to announce the launch of our latest charity appeal in support of the London Community. These extended height aerial vehicles will help better equip the busiest fire and rescue service in the country.  The appeal is the latest step in the London Freemasons objective to support the London community and help make London a safer place to live and work.’

'It follows successive appeals to support London’s Emergency Services by the purchase a two-million-pound state of the art Cyberknife for Bart’s Hospital, five rapid responder cars for the London Ambulance Service, and the recent two million pounds donation to help fund London’s badly needed second Air Ambulance.’

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