Devonshire masons and their families have raised a magnificent £3,836,625 in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB). The result of the 2012 Festival Appeal, which lasted almost 6 years, was announced during a memorable night at the Riviera International Convention Centre in Torquay.
RMTGB President Mike Woodcock thanked the Province for its efforts during the appeal and spoke about the importance of the charity’s work. Provincial Grand Master Michael Penny praised the members of his Province and the Festival Committee, which had been instrumental in the appeal’s success.
During the dinner, harpist and former RMTGB beneficiary Angelina Warburton played some popular classics before a lively performance by the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra, whose trumpeter is also a trust beneficiary.
In recent years, the RMTGB has held its AGM in various Provinces away from London. As a result, an increasing number of Freemasons and members of the public have been able to hear about the life-changing charitable support that the RMTGB is able to provide.
This year’s meeting was held at the Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish under the chairmanship of Michael Penny, Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire. The RMTGB’s President and Chief Executive, together with members of Council and staff, explained the work of the charity to over 200 guests, including the Lord Lieutenant of Devon and the Lord Mayor of Exeter.
The presentations highlighted how the RMTGB’s annual expenditure, which this year amounted to over £9 million, makes a positive and lasting difference to more than 1,800 children and grandchildren of masonic families, all of whom have suffered a distress such as the death of a parent or have been adversely affected by unemployment or redundancy.
Talking about Talent
The RMTGB’s TalentAid scheme, which this year celebrates a decade of providing support to those who are exceptionally gifted in music, sport and the performing arts, was also highlighted at the meeting.
During an interlude in proceedings, Clio Williams, a former beneficiary of the scheme, delivered an operatic performance to demonstrate the very high level of ability that TalentAid encourages and supports.
The RMTGB’s ongoing support for those with no connection to the Craft was also promoted at the meeting, including the Choral Bursary and Stepping Stones schemes, as well as the in-kind support provided to the separate charity Lifelites. This charitable organisation supplies valuable entertainment and educational technology to children’s hospices.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2011
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 9 March 2011 and of the Annual Investiture of 27 April 2011 were confirmed.
The Board has said goodbye with regret to David Jenkins, Past Provincial Grand Master of Somerset, who has served as a member since July 2003. The Grand Master has appointed Michael Penny, Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire, to succeed him.
The Board recommended that the annual dues (including VAT) payable to Grand Lodge in
respect of each member of every Lodge for the year 2012 shall be:
In a Lodge in England and Wales that is unattached . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£46.50
In a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £28.00
In a Lodge in a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £6.80
In a Lodge abroad not in a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £11.50
The recommendation was approved.
The Board recommended that the fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates
and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation to:
(a) the Registration of :
1. A Grand Officer, present or past, on first appointment. . . . . . . . £103.00
2. A Deputy or Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master or a
Metropolitan Grand Inspector) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £57.00
3. A Deputy or Assistant Provincial or District Grand Master ........ £57.00
4. A holder of Overseas Grand Rank . . . . . . . . . . . . £22.00
5. A Mason, inclusive of Grand Lodge Certificate (initiation,
or joining from a Lodge not under the Grand Lodge)
In a Lodge in England and Wales that is unattached . . . . . . . . £57.00
In a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province . . . . . . . . . . . £50.00
In a Lodge in a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £31.00
In a Lodge abroad not under a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £43.00
(b) the replacement or amendment of a Grand Lodge Certificate . . £56.00
(c) a certificate for a Serving Brother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £31.00
(d) a Dispensation by the Grand Master . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £29.00
a Dispensation by the Grand Master “nunc pro tunc” . . . . . . . . . . . £58.00
A Resolution to this effect was approved.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE GRAND CHARITY
It was recommended that for 2012 the annual contribution be raised to £15 in respect of each member of a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached.
A Resolution to this effect was approved.
2010: Music in Masonry and Beyond
The Lecturer, W W.B. Warlow, has informed the Board that in addition to the four official deliveries to Lathom Lodge, No. 2229 (West Lancashire), Guildhall School of Music Lodge, No. 2454 (London), Old Wycombiensian Lodge, No. 6754 (Buckinghamshire) and Proscenium Lodge,No. 9059 (South Wales), the Lecture was also delivered on 13 other occasions as well as to the Sheffield Masonic Study Circle. Overseas deliveries were made in New York and Toronto. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Warlow for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.
2011: Was Sir Christopher Wren a Freemason?
The Prestonian Lecturer for 2011 is Dr J.W.P. Campbell, Five official Prestonian Lectures for 2011 have been or will be given under the auspices of Isaac Newton University Lodge, No. 859 (Cambridgeshire), Christopher Wren Lodge, No. 4855 (Berkshire), Archibald Campbell Lodge, No. 4998 (Madras), Alphin Lodge, No. 8461 (East Lancashire) and Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 9812 (London).
2012: A.D.G. Harvey has been appointed as Prestonian Lecturer for 2012. The title of his Lecture will be Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?
Arrangements for the delivery of the Lectures to selected Lodges will be considered by the Board in November and applications are now invited from Lodges. Applications should be made to the Grand Secretary, through Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Secretaries.
The Board emphasise the importance of these, the only Lectures held under the authority of the Grand Lodge. It is, therefore, hoped that applications for the privilege of having one of these official Lectures will be made only by Lodges which are prepared to afford facilities for all Freemasons in their area, as well as their own members, to participate and thus ensure an attendance worthy of the occasion.
RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN GRAND LODGES
The Grand Lodge of Cameroon
The Grand Lodge of Cameroon was formed on 15 September 2001 from four Lodges which comprised the District Grand Lodge of Cameroon under the National Grand Lodge of France.
The Grand Lodge of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino
On 3 April 2003 the Grand Lodge of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino was consecrated by the Grand Orient of Italy from three Lodges meeting there. Although the Grand Orient of Italy is no longer recognised by this Grand Lodge we have publicly stated that we accept that its Lodges are working regularly.
The Grand Lodge of Ukraine
The Grand Lodge of Ukraine was jointly formed from five Lodges on 24 September 2005, by the Grand Lodge of Austria and the National Grand Lodge of France.
Having shown that they have regular decendency and that they conform to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition, the Board, having no reason to believe that they will not continue to maintain a regular path, recommended that these three Grand Lodges be recognised. The recommendations were approved.
Six Lodges had surrendered their Warrants in order to effect amalgamations and a proposal from the
Board that they be removed from the register in order to effect the respective amalgamations was approved.
ERASURE OF LODGES
The Board had received a report that 33 Lodges had closed and surrendered their Warrants. Over recent years, the Lodges had found themselves no longer viable. The Board recommendation that they be erased was approved.
Two Brethren were recently expelled from the Craft.
Grand Lodge Accounts 2010
The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2010 were approved.
Election of Grand Lodge Auditors
Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP were reappointed as auditors of Grand Lodge.
LIST OF NEW LODGES FOR WHICH WARRANTS HAVE BEEN GRANTED
Allegoria Lodge No. 9865 ((Limassol, Cyprus) from 9 March 2011.
QUARTERLY COMMUNICATIONS OF GRAND LODGE
14 December 2011, 14 March 2012, 25 April 2012 (Annual Investiture), 13 June 2012 and 12 September 2012.
CONVOCATIONS OF SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER
9 November 2011, 26 April 2012 and 14 November 2012
Don received a big surprise from his wife Edna, which left the lodge with a raising to perform while he was away on holiday.
It seemed a good idea to hold a Past Masters night and invite the Grand Officers of the Lodge to undertake the work.
Benevolent Lodge was blessed with enough members of that rank to fill all offices on the night.
The out-turn was a truly remarkable event with a ‘sell-out’ of visitors to witness a ‘top draw’ ceremony the like of which the candidate, Norrie Millen, is unlikely to witness again.
Searching the Lodge archives since 1794, no record can be found of the Lodge having ever undertaken a ceremony entirely conducted by Grand Officer members.
The Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire, Michael Penny, didn’t believe it had happened before in the Province of Devonshire.