Buckinghamshire Freemasons opened their doors to the public on 19th August 2018 with an Open Day at Bletchley Masonic Centre
The event was well-attended by a host of visitors and local masons and their families, as well as the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Martin Petchey. Visitors were able to take guided tours of the Temple and Museum and ask those all those curious questions they wanted to know the answer to.
The tour team showed over 70 members of the public around who were interested in joining Freemasonry. As well as 10 men's lodges, Bletchley also boasts a thriving women's lodge.
Amongst the exhibitors were representatives of Medical Detection Dogs, who explained to visitors about the work of the dogs in detecting a variety of cancers and other illnesses. Other stands showcased literature written by local Freemasons about the craft, whilst the new Buckinghamshire Masonic Waistwatchers Group was represented alongside the Bucks Masonic Clay Pigeon Shooting Association.
Another successful part of the day was the attendance of representatives from The Graham Fulford Charitable Trust, who were there to offer free blood tests for prostate cancer.
Working tirelessly, they completed 170 PSA tests during the event. Among those taking advantage of the service was Councillor Petchey, who commented: 'It is fantastic to hear that six lives have been saved over the last three years of PSA testing provided by Buckinghamshire Freemasons.'
Buckinghamshire Freemasons held its 11th Young Carers Summer BBQ on 24th June 2018 and with 184 people in attendance, made it the highest visited event since it began
The event was created as a chance to offer young carers, up to 16 years old, the chance to be ‘children’ again for the day. These children normally spend their home lives helping and supporting parents or siblings with mental or physical disabilities, meaning they spend their time caring rather than playing.
The Young Carers Summer BBQ is an event that allows the attending children to spend the day with other young carers playing and enjoying themselves, with help for their families provided by Young Carers MK and Freemasons from a number of lodges including St Martin's Lodge No. 2812.
The event is paid for by Buckinghamshire Freemasons under the Freemasonry in the Community funds and ensures that the entire event is free of charge for the families and the charity itself.
Highlights on the day included a petting zoo, where children got the opportunity to meet dogs, ducks, donkey, sheep, lamb and pigs, whilst additional entertainment was provided by a local DJ, two face painters who came and made the children feel like superheroes or princesses, as well as a bouncy castle and sling shot run. Finally, the event included many games such as skittles, a coconut shy and bubbles.
Nicholas Hills Sands-Potter, Event Organiser for Buckinghamshire Freemasons, said: 'Buckinghamshire Freemasons are delighted to be able to serve young careers in the community.
'This year we had families that hadn't engaged with the charity for over four years come along to the event and were finally given the chance to leave the house and not feel like they will be looked at or treated differently. To be able to organise this means a lot to all local Freemasons.'
Milton Keynes Food Bank has received a donation of £3,000 from Buckinghamshire Freemasons
A certificate for the funds, donated via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), was presented by Andrew Hough, MCF representative, and Mike Clanfield, Provincial Charity Steward for Buckinghamshire.
Milton Keynes Food Bank is an independent charity established to provide local families and individuals with essential food supplies at a time when they need it most, covering the days or sometimes weeks before other parts of the social care infrastructure can come into play.
The grant received has been used towards the transportation costs for the charity's gifted vehicles, which are used for delivering the emergency food parcels to their 12 serving centres across Milton Keynes.
Members of Haddenham Lodge No. 8944 in Buckinghamshire once again played their part in the local community, when they were in full cooking mode on the barbecue at the annual Haddenham Beerfest on 7th July 2018
As well as the usual enormous selection of ales, lagers and ciders there was a Pimms tent, a wine tent, and a non-alcoholic bar for the designated drivers. The kids were not forgotten either, with activities and soft drinks to keep them occupied through the afternoon.
Perhaps the best attraction this year was the 6m by 4m big screen erected at the back of Haddenham Middle School for the football fans to watch the World Cup match between England and Sweden.
Gazebos were erected, rugs laid down and canvas seats set up, as the sun shone brightly as it has so often in recent years to welcome more than 3,500 visitors. This was all backed up by a live stage, featuring local bands, a full food court area, including a fish and chips van, fresh pizzas, ice cream and the famous Haddenham Lodge barbecue.
For more than a decade, Haddenham Lodge has manned and operated the barbecue. During the afternoon, 600 burgers and sausages were cooked and served which raised more than £1,500 for local charities and good causes.
Martyn Broughton from the Festival Committee said: 'The Freemasons are part of the institution that is the Haddenham Beerfest and produce their high quality burgers and sausages, whatever the weather. Every penny that they make from their barbecue goes to local charities and we are extremely grateful for their continued support.'
Lee Buckingham, Charity Steward for Haddenham Lodge, said: 'The Haddenham Beerfest is becoming quite a famous local institution and we in the local lodge are extremely proud of our involvement in helping to make the Beerfest such a popular day in the village calendar.'
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
There was a special Installation ceremony at St Martin’s Lodge No. 2812 in Buckinghamshire when Nick Hills Sands-Potter was installed into the chair by both his Father and Stepfather
Nick’s stepfather, Alan Sands-Potter, who is now the Immediate Past Master of the lodge, did both obligations for the ceremony on 14th May 2018, while his father, Tim Hills, Worshipful Master of Bow Lodge No. 7751, performed the Inner Workings.
The evening was a great success and, as Nick pointed out afterwards, shows a prime example of the principle of brotherly love celebrated by the event.
People living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Buckinghamshire will benefit from a grant of £30,000, which will provide over 850 hours of physiotherapy to members of the Chilterns MS Centre
Regular physiotherapy and support can help those with MS to maintain mobility, cope with their disability and achieve an improved quality of life. On average, the Centre offers 256 hours of physiotherapy a week through one-to-one care and group exercise sessions. There are just over 110,000 people diagnosed with MS in the UK and approximately 850 in Buckinghamshire, of which 550 of them are members of the Chilterns MS Centre.
Many people using the Centre feel that it really makes a difference to their everyday lives. One of their members, Sue, said: 'Thanks to the fantastic physiotherapy I have had, I managed to appear in my daughter’s wedding photos without my walking aids. A year ago that just wouldn’t have been possible, so you can never know how much this means to me. Thank you for being a lifeline to me and so many others.'
Robert Breakwell, Chief Executive of Chilterns MS Centre, said: 'We are delighted that Buckinghamshire Freemasons have made this very generous grant to support our physiotherapy service. As a small charity, we rely on grants like this to continue to treat and support people living with MS in the local area, and to keep them independent for as long as possible.'
Barry Sparks, Provincial Grand Secretary for Buckinghamshire Freemasons, said: 'We’re very pleased to be able to help the Chiltern MS Centre, who do outstanding work for people living with MS. The regular physiotherapy they provide can make a huge difference to their quality of life and extend their capacity for independent living.'
The trip was organised by Sean Boardman and Andy Sutton of Hall Barn Lodge No. 8480, Andy Barr of Frederick Lawson Lodge No. 9185 and Graham Thorn of Penn and Tyler's Green Lodge No. 5876 on 15th April 2018.
The reserved carriage next to the engine was boarded by the steam train enthusiastic children, with a lunch bag distributed to each one before they went off on the journey to the Buckinghamshire town of Princes Risborough and back.
After their enjoyment and excitement, the children were then allowed to explore the restored and preserved railway.
The children are part of the Engine Shed, a special interest group for children and young people with autism. The club enables young people on the autistic spectrum with an interest in trains to come together with their peers to observe, play, talk and enjoy their hobby in a welcoming, safe and relaxing environment.
lodges meeting at Eliot Hall in Winslow have teamed up with the Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) to provide a small fleet of 4X4 vehicles to serve all areas of rural Buckinghamshire
Provincial Grand Master John Clark, assisted by Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Graham Dearing and Phil Blacklaw, presented the latest addition of three vehicles, which have been placed to serve the Buckinghamshire communities of Winslow, Marlow and Thame/Haddenham.
Community First Responders (CFR) are all highly trained volunteers who do not get paid for the many hours they give in support of their communities. Neither do they receive support from the NHS or local government.
The First Responders live and work in the community they serve and are able to start life-saving treatments prior to the arrival of an ambulance in a wide variety of medical emergencies such as stroke, choking and serious injuries. They can also reach emergencies and transport medical staff from the air ambulance landing point. In rural areas it is often difficult to reach incidents in the Responder’s own cars and an off-road capability is invaluable.
Steve Acton, the CFR for the Winslow area and a member of Saxon Lodge No. 9735 at Eliot Hall, first highlighted the need over two years ago. Since then the BMCF and Winslow lodges have worked together to build the fleet and extend the area of Buckinghamshire covered.
The fundraising has been boosted by the generous bequest of the late Rodney Meerza, who was also a Winslow Mason.
The vehicles provided all have the 4X4 capability, essential at some incidents on local farms and bridleways, and are fitted with scene lighting bars for night use, as well as alley lights to enable the user to see street numbers easily at night.
Over the past few months, all three vehicles have been regularly called on to assist in areas of heavy snowfall or muddy conditions and have helped to save lives in times of medical emergency.