An invited tour of the extensive new £8 million build at St Michael’s Hospice on the last day of 2014 by Herefordshire Freemasons, reflected the extent of appreciation for their committed support
In the presence of Ruth Denison, Fundraising Manager at the hospice, the RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, accompanied by fellow Freemasons, was informed that the new building would be the most advanced and highly specified in the country.
The new facilities, including the imaginative and highly technical five clusters of four bedded areas for in-patients, representing a significant increase in capacity, will enable the hospice to sustain its excellent national reputation.
The visiting local Freemasons were also told that the projected £3.2 million refurbishment of the thirty-year-old part of the existing hospice will take place during the coming twelve months, thus completing a challenging period of development.
The Rev David Bowen presented a donation of £2,804 on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity – since 1984, the charity has donated more than £11 million to hospices in England and Wales – and David Hudson, Worshipful Master of Coningsby Lodge presented an additional £500 on behalf of the members.
Speaking about the donations, David Bowen said: 'Freemasons in Herefordshire are pleased that The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has continued to provide this vital funding for our local hospice. The care, compassion and support the hospice provides to the community is outstanding and we are delighted that we are able to show our continuing dedication to their cause.'
Herefordshire Freemasons, family and friends of Hereford Cathedral, accompanied The Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, in celebration of the completion of the refurbishment of the old fountain in the Cathedral Cloister
Simon Hudson, stone mason at the cathedral, undertook the work using Forest of Dean stone. The new fountain surround reflects the stylised ball flower design as seen on the cathedral tower.
Relatives and friends of the late Reverend Philip Barrett vicar choral at Hereford, and of the late Tony Hunter-Choat past Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge in Hereford, sponsored the work.
During the service of celebration held in the Cathedral Cloister, The Dean praised the community spirit and dedication of those named: he read extracts from Reverend Barrett’s 1993 Barchester: English Cathedral Life in the 19th Century, which became and remains a standard reference work, and was supported by readings by RW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, and by Reverend Canon Dr Maureen Palmer.
The present Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge, W Bro Denis Cox, stated that the project had been initiated by W Bro Tony Hunter-Choat to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the foundation of Herefordshire’s oldest masonic lodge: the brethren of Palladian Lodge donated £1,000 accordingly, thus maintaining the strong link with the cathedral evident through the ages. Mrs Linda Hunter-Choat, and daughters Sarah and Felicity, were in attendance at the celebration.
Triple boost for air ambulance
Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to be able to operate. Annie Newell, fundraising manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued masonic commitment.
The logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the air ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire.
Masons praised by Countess of Wessex
Herefordshire mason Allan Lloyd and his wife Angela represented the Provincial Grand Master and the Province at a celebration of giving for the Haven Breast Cancer Support charity. The ceremony was held at Frogmore House, Windsor, in the company of the Countess of Wessex (right), an active supporter of the three Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford.
Herefordshire PGM The Rev David Bowen initiated the present level of support, which has qualified the Province to become a Guardian of The Haven. In her presentation, the Countess commented on the long-standing support of Freemasons, with an acknowledgement of the patronage of the Province of Herefordshire.
New scanners hit the road in Herefordshire
Local medical charity Cobalt is celebrating 50 years of providing state-of-the-art medical diagnostic imaging for people living in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, working closely with commissioners and NHS England. Cobalt has provided scans for more than 24,000 patients in the past year, both at its imaging centre in Cheltenham and through a fleet of six mobile MRI units, and has worked in partnership with local hospitals to fundraise for equipment that would not usually be available within the NHS.
Herefordshire Freemasons have maintained their support for the charity with a further £500 donation. Samantha Watson, head of fundraising at Cobalt, expressed the charity’s gratitude.
In 2015 the 23rd World Scout Jamboree will be held in Kirara-hama, Yamaguchi City, Japan
Eleven Scouts from Hereford together with their leader Chris Ruffe have been selected to attend. Each Scout has to raise £3,000, and all local members are actively carrying out various fund raising projects such as bag packing at local supermarkets, car washes, and selling commemorative badges and neckerchiefs in support of their fellow Scouts.
Herefordshire Freemasons have donated £500 towards the visit to Japan. 30,000 Scouts and Guides aged 14-18 years from all over the World will converge on Kirara-hama for the Jamboree which runs from 28th July to 8th August 2015.
Very Worshipful Brother Mike Roff, Deputy Grand Master of Herefordshire, stated that the visit will provide an experience of a lifetime for the Hereford Scout contingent attending – the theme of the Jamboree being “A Spirit of Unity”, and with spending time with a Japanese family, and visiting Hiroshima as it is the 70th anniversary of the bombing, Mike Roff considers that it a most worthy cause to support.
The three Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from their national charity, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been a regular supporter of air ambulance charities in recent years, donating over £1.5 million since 2007 to the twenty-two rescue services.
Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to operate. Support from grant-makers like the Freemasons means that doctors and paramedics reach patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible – saving lives in the process. This is especially true for rural areas. Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and sustained level of generous support of the Freemasons.
Speaking about the donation, the Right Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'We are delighted to be able to show our support for Midlands Air Ambulance once again. Charitable giving is central to Freemasons as evident that in 2012 the Province of Herefordshire donated £54,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance as a result of a designated three year campaign of support. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all Freemasons in England and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year.'
It is with a continued sense of pride within the three Provinces of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, that the logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the distinctly coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire, off the M5.
Photograph taken at Strensham during the presentation of £12,000, with staff of Midlands Air Ambulance who over the years have become close acquaintances of the Freemasons present.
Hereford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, established in 2011, has historically worked with women who have suffered rape or sexual abuse - however in May 2013 the centre secured funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to extended the service to include men
Within the last year the centre has received 29 referrals for men, and the charity aims to raise an additional £22,400 per year to extend the counselling service to provide them with free, confidential and non-judgemental counselling sessions. Herefordshire Freemasons presented £800 to Lesley Caldicott, Independent Sexual Violence Advisor for Herefordshire, as their first ever donation to this charity, to support this counselling process.
Lesley emphasised the importance of such support to the local Freemasons present at the presentation, by stating that there is no other organisation in Herefordshire that offers men specialist counselling free of charge for rape and sexual abuse.
Members of Eastnor Lodge No. 751 took part in the Ledbury June Community Day which provided the opportunity for the lodge members to raise the profile of Freemasonry in their community
The lodge set up a display in St Katharine’s Hall together with other local organisations.
The occasion was the ideal time for the lodge to launch their latest community project, a calendar 2015 with images of Ledbury, Past and Present, to be sold in aid of Ledbury Marie Curie Fundraising Group. The lodge has sponsored Community Arts Co-ordinator Jeanette McCulloch to design and produce the calendar in conjunction with the Marie Curie Fundraising Group.
The calendar project is expected to generate more than £1000 for the group as a result of Eastnor Lodge’s sponsorship.
Blackmarston Specialist School in Hereford has launched an appeal for the provision of an £80,000 sensory playground for its 70 plus primary pupils
Members of two Herefordshire masonic Lodges, Delphis Lodge No. 7769 and Vitruvian Lodge No. 338, have donated a total of £3,150 towards the project, maintaining local Freemasonry support for this school and its pupils with special educational needs.
Worshipful Brother Kevin Lyons of Delphis Lodge, in raising £2,900 for the school, is following in the footsteps of his wife Wendy who recently donated £1,300 to Blackmarston School raised by sponsorship for her freefall parachute jump. Kevin said that the school requires, 'our full support for the dedication and exceptional work undertaken by the staff for the wellbeing of the pupils.'
Kevin Lyons, Jack Baker, the Worshipful Master of Vitruvian Lodge, and Charity Steward Nick Swan, received a conducted tour of the school following the presentation. Staff members were most appreciative of this continued masonic support.